NFL picks & best bets for Week 15’s Sunday Games

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As Week 15 of the NFL season was getting underway, clarity was already being added to the playoff picture. San Francisco’s 21-13 verdict over the Seattle Seahawks in the TNF game clinched the NFC West title for the 49ers. Meanwhile, it dropped the #8 seed Seahawks (7-7) further out of the postseason race.

There’s some big games on the Week 15 Sunday NFL slate that could go a long way toward determining playoff positions. The Kansas City Chiefs (AFC West) would clinch division a title with a victory over the Houston Texans. A win for the Dallas Cowboys over the Jacksonville Jaguars assures them of a playoff spot.

Let’s look at the best bets to be playing from the NFL Week 15 Sunday games.

Week 15 NFL Picks

Lions +1 vs. Jets

There’s no hotter team in the NFL than the Detroit Lions. Straight up, they’ve won five out of their last six games. Against the spread, they’re even better for bettors, going 6-0 over than span of games.

Detroit’s offense is loaded with weapons. Quarterback Jared Goff can hand off to running back Jamaal Williams, who leads the NFL with 14 rushing touchdowns. Or he can throw to wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, tied for fifth in the league with 82 receptions.

Detroit’s defense is getting better, too. The Lions haven’t allowed more than 25 points in any of their past four games. In three of the past six games, they’ve kept teams under 20 points.

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Coming off a huge win over the Minnesota Vikings as a home favorite, it’s back to normal for the 6-7 Lions. They are going to MetLife Field to face the New York Jets as 1-point road underdogs. The line has shortened, though. The Jets opened as a 1.5-point pick.

This game presents an interesting contrast in styles. Detroit is the NFL’s #5 scoring offense, averaging 26.8 points per game. Over the past five games, the Lions have averaged 32.8 ppg and haven’t scored fewer than 28 points in any of those games.

Meanwhile, the Jets are the NFL’s #6 scoring defense, permitting just 18.7 ppg. But they’ve allowed 47 points over the past two weeks in losses to the Vikings and Bills. New York’s offense has scored as many as 20 points in only three of the past eight games. The Jets are 1-3 SU in their past four games.

Detroit is 1-4 SU in the past five meetings with the Jets. But these aren’t the same, old Lions. In each of the past four seasons, a 6-7 team has made the NFL playoffs. Detroit is looking to make it five in a row.

Bengals -3.5 vs. Buccaneers

The Tom Brady retirement tour isn’t going according to plan. The Buccaneers are 6-7, meaning Brady could be experiencing something he hasn’t endured since he was an NFL rookie with the New England Patriots in 2000 – a losing season.

Tampa Bay is still atop the dismal NFC South, but with a 1-2 SU slate in the last three games, the Bucs have seen their lead dwindle to one game. More alarmingly to bettors, Tampa Bay is 1-9-1 ATS over the past 11 games.

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At the same time, the defending AFC champions Bengals are strongly stating the case that they’re again the team to beat in the conference. Cincinnati is 5-0 both SU and ATS in the past five games. That stretch includes a win over the Kansas City Chiefs in a repeat of last season’s AFC Championship Game outcome.

The Bengals are 9-2 SU in the past 11 games. Against AFC North opposition, the Buccaneers have already lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns, two teams that Cincinnati has beaten this season.

Eagles vs. Buccaneers over 48.5 points

Both the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears are scoring points at will over the past several weeks. Philadelphia has scored 133 points in the past three weeks. The Eagles have scored 30+ points in six games and 40+ points in two of the past three games. They are the NFL’s #1 scoring offense, piling up on average 29.7 points per game.

While not as dominant offensively, Chicago has tallied 30+ points in three of the past seven games. Just as significantly to a total wager, the Bears have surrendered 201 points during their current six-game losing streak. That works out to 33.5 points against per game.

The Bears have gone over the total in seven successive games. Philadelphia has hit on the over in seven of the past eight games.

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