All the games featured below have at least one team that is still in the playoff hunt, so I’ve included some thoughts on the current Super Bowl odds as well. Even with playoffs out of reach for the other teams, there’s still some intriguing potential for the dogs this weekend. Of course, some of these teams are longshots and at least two of them are tempting longshots. Read on to find out who’s Super Bowl odds I like as flier bets as we surge in to Week 15.
Chicago Bears +2.0 over CLEVELAND BROWNS
Josh Gordon trying to outduel Alshon Jeffrey (read what Lane Kiffen said about Jeffrey earlier this week) is going to be a tantalizing game, but I just love the way the Bears played on Monday Night. Granted, that means they’ll be on a short week, but a dominant 45-28 victory over Dallas gives them all the momentum they need against a Browns team which continues to suffer bad luck at historic levels. Cleveland is just 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS in their last 4 games, and while Chicago doesn’t present a much better play, I think that they can build off of their win on Monday night while Cleveland will be in the dumps after having a win against New England stolen from them.
It will be difficult for Chicago to bust in to a crowded playoff picture unless Detroit completely implodes down the stretch, which is still totally possible given that it’s the Lions we’re talking about. Megatron’s crew is +5000 to win it all right now but while Josh McCown pushes the Bears within range of a division title, Chicago’s +7000 Super Bowl odds might be worth a chip shot to some. It’s worth mentioning since this season has been anything but predictable.
San Francisco 49ers -5.5 over TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The road through the NFC will go through Seattle eventually, but after handling Russell Wilson last Sunday, you have to be at least tempted by the +1000 Super bowl odds the Niners are posting. I don’t care what anyone says – this is still the best team in terms of talent per position. They have the best offensive and defensive lines in the NFL, and have allowed only two teams hit the 20-point barrier against them recently including Arizona (backdoor garbage time) and New Orleans (for obvious reasons).
Tampa has been an enjoyable play over the last six weeks, going 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS, but they have been absolutely silenced by good teams. Carolina stifled them completely while Seattle made a bunch of first quarter mistakes before shutting them up the rest of the way. It’s obvious that the Bucs will have appealing value as home dogs considering how they’ve played, but I think people are wildly underestimating just how good the Niners actually are. They’ll offer a nice reminder this weekend by running the Bucs out of their own building and when they win handedly, San Francisco’s odds will drop in to the three-digit real. If you love the Niners, take their 10-to-1 odds now because this is as good as they’re going to get.
Philadelphia Eagles -4.5 over MINNESOTA VIKINGS
This might not be the version of Chip Kelly’s offence we were expecting, but the coach has made some nice adjustments to the caliber of the NFL game and his offensive creativity has made the Eagles a dangerous team. LeSean McCoy leads the league in rushing and Nick Foles has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league over the past two months. Philadelphia is 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games, and while they’re an intriguing play with +3000 Super Bowl odds, I still can’t get past the fact that this is the freaking Eagles. The idea of them winning a Super Bowl with Foles seems like lunacy.
As for Minnesota, it’s idiotic to believe that they can continue to keep games close without Adrian Peterson who is going to be shut down for Week 15. Minnesota does have a home field advantage, but the Eagles playing in a dome is a far more tempting take against the number this weekend. Stomaching a long term investment on Philly is a tough sell, but their value as road favorites this weekend is a must-play.
TENESSEE TITANS +2.5 over Arizona Cardinals
Never underestimate the impact of a star safety on a team that relies on defense to stay close in games. The Honey Badger tore almost everything in his knee this past weekend and is done for the year. Despite Arizona’s tempting 5-1 SU and ATS record over their past 6 games, it’s impossible to leverage a play on the Cards without a complete secondary. Tennessee has been a massive letdown all year, but this is a matchup delight for them and they’ve shown plenty of fight over the past month despite what their 1-3 SU and ATS record in those games suggest.
Kansas City Chiefs -4.0 over OAKLAND RAIDERS
All things considered, the Super Bowl odds for the Kansas City Chiefs must be pretty tempting right now. For the record, they’re a +3000 longshot which ranks them well behind Cincinnati (please) and is more than double than the Patriots who are 12-to-1 as moderate favorites despite losing Rob Gronkowski for the year. Half the battle in making a strong bet on the Super Bowl odds is banking on a team that will get there. At 30-to-1, Kansas City is worth a flier bet in the futures market and are definitely a strong road bet against Oakland. It might take a little more encouragement to get you to do the former, but if you need explanations as to why Kansas is the take this weekend, then I don’t know what to tell you. Oakland is as awful as they’ve been for the past ten years.
ST. LOUIS RAMS +5.5 over New Orleans Saints
The letdown potential in this game is massive. Even after blasting Carolina at home, thanks in large part to some unfair pass interference calls early in the game, you’d have to be nuts to bet on New Orleans’ +900 Super Bowl odds considering how they’ve played overall. The Saints are the epitome of an up-and-down team and while they still boast one of the better offences in the league, they are a horrifying road play as they’ve failed to cover in their last four trips away from home. St. Louis is a punchy home team that has gone 3-2 ATS this season, and there’s a real chance that the Saints overlook them with a Panthers rematch coming in Week 16. This is one of those jagged little pills in NFL betting, but I’m willing to wash this one down (with a ton of booze).
PITTSBURGH STEELERS +2.5 over Cincinnati Bengals
People seem mighty high on the Bengals even though they will likely have to play on the road in the post season. Why is this important? They’re posting a ridiculous +16.0 point differential during their undefeated 6-0 SU and ATS record at home. Away from it, they’re just 3-4 SU and 2-4-1 ATS while averaging a queasy -0.9 point differential in those seven games. They may host a playoff game, but when they hit the road against one of the AFC’s better teams they’re in for a whooping. So now you know why I’m not telling you to bet on their +1000 Super Bowl odds in the futures market, nor against a Pittsburgh team that is 3-1 SU and ATS at home in Week 15.