INSIDE THE LINES: WEEK FIFTEEN

December 13, 2018

 

 

 Inside the Lines is a weekly feature on ScouTurf.com where we outline the NFL spreads, provide a short snippet of match up insight, and give final score predictions.

 

All lines are from MyBookie as of the timestamp of this article. Please visit our disclaimer at the bottom of the page.

 

We had a monster Week 14 hitting on our Hot Play of the Week and upset pick of Indy winning in Houston outright and the Browns beating the Panthers. Overall, we went 10-6 against the spread, landing us at a 106-95 record on the season. Here's what we got for Week 15:

 

Los Angeles Chargers (+3.5) at Kansas City Chiefs

It's really had to beat the Chiefs at home, and with this game having so much on the line for divisional crown implications, it's hard to imagine this Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs game not taking care of business. The war of attrition of the running back will affect both teams, as Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler, and Spencer Ware are all doubtful to suit up. This has a larger impact on the visiting team than it does the Chiefs, and I expect a Gus Bradley-led defense to struggle covering one of the best tight ends in the NFL in Travis Kelce.

Chiefs 34 Chargers 28

 

Houston Texans (-6.5) at New York Jets

The Texans had a slight hiccup at home last week against divisional rival Indianapolis Colts, but don't expect lightning to strike twice with back-to-back losses. The Jets defense should put up a fight against the Texans porous offensive line, but Deshaun Watson has been able to manage it all season. No matter what happens, it seems like the clocking is ticking on the Todd Bowles era and a loss will ensure the new regime a nice top five draft pick, as quite a few of the teams in the top ten seem to be playing each other this week, cannibalizing their draft position. With the Texans in the thick of a possible first round playoff bye, Bill O'Brien is going to keep his foot on the pedal to get back some of the momentum they lost last week.

Texans 27 Jets 13

 

Cleveland Browns (+3) at Denver Broncos

Weird Saturday night game but we get to see Baker Mayfield cook with Freddie Kitchens so OK. The Broncos really looked like they had the final AFC wild card spot in the palm of their hands until the injuries to Chris Harris and Emmanuel Sanders and awful loss to San Francisco last week. Meanwhile, the Browns are only two games behind the Steelers in the AFC North and things could start getting really interesting for Gregg Williams and company. Denver in December is a tough place to play, and while the Browns offensive tackles have played much better the last five weeks, it's still Bradley Chubb and Von Miller at home.

Broncos 24 Browns 20

 

Miami Dolphins (+7) at Minnesota Vikings

Miami has some weird magic to them that almost makes them feel like a team of destiny at this point. The Vikings seem to be unraveling with Mike Zimmer firing his second offensive coordinator in three years, but they could get that short-term injection from new play caller Kevin Stefanski plotting plays. Still, Miami has been finding ways to cover all year long and while the Vikings may very well win, I'm going with Ryan Tannehill covering the spread.

Vikings 27 Dolphins 21

 

Oakland Raiders (+2.5) at Cincinnati Bengals

The Raiders pulled off quite an upset last week against the Steelers and it could be just the spark the team needed for everyone to get on board with Jon Gruden. They better, because he's not going anywhere any time soon. It was good to see rookie Arden Key start to show some life, and even though they're on the road, there's no reason they can't beat a Bengals offense led by Jeff Driskel and defense that is leaking yards allowed all over the place.

Raiders 21 Bengals 17

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7.5) at Baltimore Ravens

I was almost floored last week when I saw the Bucs logo on the "In The Hunt"graphic for the playoffs last week, but I guess they still have a mathematical chance of a wild card spot so no NFC team seems to really want it. Meanwhile, the Ravens are clinging on to the final spot in the AFC wild card and can't afford to drop this game at home. Lamar Jackson was named the starter and it looks like his era has officially begun, and it's hard to spot a rookie QB more than a TD, even if they should win.

Ravens 24 Buccaneers 21

 

Dallas Cowboys (+3) at Indianapolis Colts

The Cowboys have all but locked up their division and while they are playing lights out football on defense and Amari Cooper seems to be a human cheat code, the Colts smell blood in the water. This is really a field goal toss up for me, advantage goes to the home team. I won't be placing on it, though.

Colts 24 Cowboys 20

 

Detroit Lions (+2.5) at Buffalo Bills

Bills lost two starters on defense to injury this week in Matt Milano and Taron Johnson, but it's their offense that is breathing life into the organization right now with Josh Allen's running ability. Give me the Bills at home and another questionable loss for Matt Patricia and the Lions, who seems to be gaining more questions than answers as the season progresses.

Bills 17 Lions 14

 

Green Bay Packers (+6) at Chicago Bears

It's hard to imagine the Bears losing at home, but it's also hard to imagine Chicago finishing with a good enough record to wrap up a first round bye over the Rams and the Saints at this point in the season and it looks like they have the NFC North all but wrapped up. With that said, it's very possible Aaron Rodgers and the Pack find a way to get within six points, even if they still end up with the L. 

Bears 28 Packers 24

 

Tennessee Titans (+2.5) at New York Giants

The Titans have had a couple of extra days to game plan for the Giants this week, but dismantling the Jaguars they way they did may have them flying a little too close to the sun from a confidence standpoint. The Giants seem like they are starting to click on offense under Pat Shurmur and it would be huge for them to continue into that offseason with some of this late-season momentum, even if it does cost them draft position for a QB. 

Giants 24 Titans 21

 

Washington Redskins (+7) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Speaking of QB, the Jaguars really should lose this game. And they might, as Josh Johnson is a wild card without much film. Mobile QBs have given the Jaguars fits all year and if the reports are true this week about Gruden installing a zone-read/option offense this week for Johnson, the Jaguars might be in trouble. If Johnson and Adrian Peterson can steal a touchdown or two, can the Jaguars offense under Cody Kessler really answer? They haven't scored double-digit points since Kessler was named the starter. Not sure who will win, but I know this - bet the under of 36 points.

Redskins 14 Jaguars 10

 

Arizona Cardinals (+9) at Atlanta Falcons

The Cardinals looked really bad against the Lions last week, but they managed to beat the Packers in Lambeau just the week before, so who knows right now. The Arizona offensive line is a skeleton crew with recent pick up Joe Barksdale set to start at right tackle and the Falcons should handle this easily at home and give Dan Quinn a much-needed win.

Falcons 27 Cardinals 17

 

Seattle Seahawks (-4.5) at San Francisco 49ers

HOT PLAY OF THE WEEK

The 49ers surprised everyone last week with a shocking win against the Broncos, so is it that crazy to think they can do it again to the Seahawks this week at home? Yeah, it is.

Seahawks 30 49ers 17

 

New England Patriots (-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers are really doing themselves no favors at the end in the final quarter of this season, huh? James Conner is questionable to play, but it's hard to imagine that they can beat a pissed-off Patriots team that lost via a crazy Miami Miracle last week. That's not ketchup on Heinz field, that's Tom Brady looking for blood.

Patriots 26 Steelers 23

 

Philadelphia Eagles (+11) at Los Angeles Rams

You can field an 8-8 football team using just injured players that won't be available for this game on the Eagles. With no Wentz, look for Jared Goff to bounce back in a big way from a shocking four interception performance agains the Bears last week at home.

Rams 38 Eagles 20

 

New Orleans Saints (-6.5) at Carolina Panthers

The Panthers have really choked lately, and if they haven't been able to turn it around against some bad opponents, it's going to be really hard to do so against a Saints juggernaut. Drew Brees and New Orleans went back to their spread-covering ways last week, so put your cash on them.

Saints 31 Panthers 21

 

3 TEAM PARLAY: CHIEFS -3.5, SEAHAWKS -4.5, PATRIOTS -2 

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