NFL picks, predictions for Week 15: Patriots cut off Colts; Titans slip Steelers; Dolphins keep winning

NFL picks, predictions for Week 15: Patriots cut off Colts; Titans slip Steelers; Dolphins keep winning


NFL football becomes a four-days-a-week-affair starting in Week 15. 

All 32 teams are in action, and a pair of Saturday games are very interesting. The Raiders meet the Browns in a matchup of teams fighting to get off the AFC playoff fringe, and the Patriots meet the Colts in a classic rivalry in prime time. 

Those come after what should be a thrilling Thursday night matchup between AFC West rivals Kansas City and Los Angeles. The Packers and Ravens also meet on Sunday, but Aaron Rodgers (toe) and Lamar Jackson (ankle) are both nursing injuries.

Each week, Sporting News picks the NFL games straight up. A look at our track record so far:

  • Week 14: 9-5
  • Total: 128-78-1

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NFL picks, predictions for Week 15

  • Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5) at Los Angeles Chargers

Thursday, 8:20 p.m., FOX/NFL Network

Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes II are among the top-five passers in terms of yardage, and they will revisit the 30-24 thriller from Week 3. The Chiefs, however, are doing it with defense. They have allowed 17 points or less through a six-game winning streak. That’s good enough to travel and pick up another huge AFC West victory.

Pick: Chiefs 31, Chargers 24

Result: Chiefs 34, Chargers 28

  • Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns (-1)

Monday, 5 p.m., NFL Network

The Browns are suddenly back in the AFC playoff hunt, but the team has been decimated by positive COVID-19 tests. Baker Mayfield and Jarvis Landry are among the names. That likely means a healthy dose of Nick Chubb when the postponed game finally kicks off, and the Browns find a way against a reeling Raiders’ team. 

Pick: Browns 24, Raiders 20

  • New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5)

Saturday, 8:15 p.m., NFL Network

It’s no longer Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. Mac Jones and Carson Wentz will have to do, and the Patriots will look to slow down Jonathan Taylor coming off a bye week. The Colts are hanging in the AFC Playoff race, but New England has won the last eight meetings. Make it nine in a row.

Pick: Patriots 29, Colts 27

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  • Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills (-11.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

The Bills need this one to break out of a funk where they have lost four of their last six games. The Panthers offer a chance for a get-right game knowing they have a -8 turnover ratio and struggle to run the ball. Josh Allen gets Buffalo back on track with a monster game.

Pick: Bills 30, Panthers 22

  • Arizona Cardinals (-12.5) at Detroit Lions

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

The Cardinals are coming off a short week, but they are looking to keep pace for the top seed in the NFC North. Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins are healthy again, too. That’s still a huge spread to cover on the road. The Lions are 1-5 at home, but three of those losses are by eight points or less.

Pick: Cardinals 34, Lions 21

  • New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-9.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

The Dolphins can run their winning streak to six games, and Tua Tagovailoa has a 100-plus passer rating with just one interception through his last three starts. New York has allowed 30-plus points in each of its last two losses. The Jets haven’t won in Miami since 2015.

Pick: Dolphins 28, Jets 17

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  • Dallas Cowboys (-10.5) at New York Giants

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

The Cowboys are huge favorites against the division rival Giants, and they have a chance to win for the ninth time in the last 10 meetings. New York is 3-3 at home and rivalry rules are always a factor, but the Cowboys present too many problems.

Pick: Cowboys 32, Giants 21

  • Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles (-7.5)

Tuesday, 7 p.m., FOX

Taylor Heinicke (knee) was another quarterback who was injured in Week 14, but he is expected to play. Jalen Hurts (ankle) should be under center for Philadelphia after a bye week. These teams play twice in the next three weeks, and the winner of this one gets back to .500.

Pick: Eagles 24, Washington 20

  • Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers (-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

The Steelers are on the brink, and that’s the kind of week when they pull an upset to stay in the playoff race. Tennessee will not abandon the run against a shaky Pittsburgh defense, and the Titans will clamp down on Najee Harris with their second-ranked run defense. Pittsburgh has won the last three meetings, so that upset chance still exists. We’re just taking the safe bet.

Pick: Titans 28, Steelers 24

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  • Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

The loser in this matchup of 2-11 teams will be in the mix for the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Houston won the first meeting in Week 1. Texans quarterback Davis Mills will lead the go-ahead drive late to complete the sweep of the Jaguars.

Pick: Texans 24, Jaguars 21

  • Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos (-3)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m., CBS

The Bengals have been one of the most-unpredictable teams this season. Cincinnati, however, is 4-2 on the road this season with some surprising victories. The Bengals also have a top-five run defense, which will force the Broncos into some uncomfortable situations. Joe Burrow does the rest and keeps Cincinnati’s playoff hopes alive.

Pick: Bengals 24, Broncos 23

  • Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers (-9.5)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m., CBS

The 49ers have quietly won four of their last five to get back in the NFC playoff race, and Eli Mitchell could return this week. The Falcons can get to .500 with a victory, too. Atlanta is 5-2 on the road this season. San Francisco wins, but it’s close.

Pick: 49ers 31, Falcons 26

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  • Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams (-5.5)

Monday, 7 p.m., FOX

The Rams are working on a short week, and the Seahawks are playing better with an offense that has hit 30-plus points the last two weeks with Russell Wilson. The Rams grinded out a 26-17 victory in the first meeting, and Los Angeles has won four of the last five. That trend continues.

Pick: Rams 30, Seahawks 22

  • Green Bay Packers (-7) at Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX

Jackson (ankle) and Rodgers (toe) are dealing with injuries that impact their mobility, and that means both teams could turn up the pressure on defense. The Packers are 4-3 on the road this season, but those victories are by an average of 4.5 points per game. This will be close, but the Packers will take advantage of a late turnover to close it.

Pick: Packers 27, Ravens 24

  • New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-11.5)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m., NBC

The Buccaneers will look to stop the tandem of Taysom Hill and Alvin Kamara, who rolled up 193 rushing yards together in Week 14. Tom Brady is 0-3 in the regular season against the Saints since coming to Tampa Bay, and New Orleans averages 36 points per game in those victories. The Buccaneers get their revenge.

Pick: Buccaneers 33, Saints 21

  • Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) at Chicago Bears

Sunday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN

Kirk Cousins is just 1-5 as a starter against the Bears since coming to Minnesota, but four of those games have been one-score nail-biters. Neither team can stop the run, so this is a chance for Dalvin Cook and perhaps David Montgomery to go large. It’s another tight one; and Justin Fields surprises by playing hero on MNF.

Pick: Bears 26, Vikings 24 





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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.