Welcome to another edition of the Picks Six! We’re about to get rolling on Week 15, as the climax of the NFL regular season rolls on. However, to be honest, I would be completely doing this wrong if I didn’t talk about the absolute masterpiece that was last week’s Monday Night Football. I didn’t get to sleep until gone 5am in London, but it was 100% worth it. What a game. I need to thank both the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns for that absolute rollercoaster ride. It was fantastic to see both Lamar (cramps aside) and Baker both looking back to their best, and whilst it was hard on the Browns not to win that game after such a stellar comeback, you have to respect the Ravens’ ability to withstand that and keep their playoff hopes alive. Let’s hope we get another game of that quality somewhere in this week 15 slate.
This week, I love, and I mean LOVE, like looooooooooove, this slate of games. I think there are numerous teams who should have way bigger margins of victory, and I am very happy to take those favourites. Let’s have a look!
1st and Goal from the 1yd Line
This is my nailed on – has to happen – pick of the week.
I’m trying not to just pick on the hapless Jets this week (it feels too easy at this point), so we’ll look beyond the obvious LA Rams pick, and trek to the AFC South for our winner.
The Tennessee Titans are on the verge of claiming a second straight AFC South crown, but with the Indianapolis Colts breathing down their neck, they can
scarcely afford a slip up. Luckily for Mike Vrabel, he’s got Tractorcito and THIS – mid-December NFL Football – is #TractorcitoSzn. Derrick Henry looks unstoppable right now, seemingly rushing for 150-250 yards and 1-2 TDs every single week. The man is a machine, and correctly getting plaudits that are even suggesting he should be in the MVP conversation. I don’t think there’s any chance he can win it, because Mahomes and Rodgers are who they are, but King Henry deserves his respect, and I think he – and the underrated Ryan Tannehill – can take the struggling Detroit Lions to the cleaners this week. The line is Titans -11.0, which is a lot to cover, but I do expect Tennessee to take control early and feed Derrick Henry down the stretch. They need it way more, and the Lions are in absolute disarray.
Titans to win.
45yd Field Goal
This is my toss up, but likely winner. Odds around evens.
This line makes no sense to me. Yeah, fine, Drew Brees is back. Yes, I get it, the Saints defense is very good. BUT COME ON. This is Andy Reid’s Chiefs offense. Patrick Mahomes’ offense. The Legion of Zoom and Travis Kelce. I can’t grasp how the chiefs aren’t favoured by more. It’s the game of the week – without question – and I just can’t see a way that KC don’t continue their charge towards the #1 seed in the AFC. I’m taking the Chiefs.
Mark Andrews – Lamar looked electric on Monday running the ball, but when he needed a big play, he still looked more often than not towards his big Tight End. Andrews is an exceptional receiver and I think he’ll have a good chance of finding the endzone.
Rashard Higgins – Higgins has become Baker’s favourite endzone target, as we saw on Monday night. The Browns must win against the Giants and I think they’ll have to throw a couple times – despite the bad weather – as the Giants seek to stop the run.
Justin Jefferson – This is the risky one, because I’m trusting Kirk Cousins against the Bears defense, but Jefferson has been so electric this year – surely offensive rookie of the year?! – that I think he has enough to find the endzone this week. Chicago are on the brink of official elimination and I’m sure Minnesota would love to finalise that this week.
£10 on this treble pays about £130 depending on your bookmaker. At this price, I think this treble is well worth it.
If you don’t like the above options, I think Travis Kelce & Cam Akers are equally good options, but with considerably shorter odds.
This week’s totals are a bit tricky. As much as I think there are numerous games that are very straightforward in terms of their outcome, there are a number here where I have no idea how many points will be scored. I’d say these two are the best of a bad bunch.
Over 52.0 – Chiefs @ Saints – Brees is back, so even though Michael Thomas is out, the Saints should be able to get some points on the board. And they’ll need to, because Patrick Mahomes is 31-1 against teams who score less than 28 points… The Saints defense is no doubt an impressive crew, but nobody is better than the Chiefs offense. I think they Chiefs win this game and score a lot of points whilst doing it.
Over 48.5 – Buccaneers @ Falcons – This one is weird because of how streaky the Falcons are… some weeks, they look like a team stacked with first round talents, and some weeks they look like the New York Jets. Makes no sense. Similarly, some weeks the Bucs look unplayable, and some weeks they look anaemic. But both offenses are explosive enough that I think this line should be a little bit higher, and as such will take the over.
Not a great Paay last week, as the Bears decided to remember how to play offense, and the horrible Broncos and Washington teams disgustingly stole another win each. The good news? I might have mentioned this before… but I LOVE the board.
Bills -5.0 – I cannot fathom why Buffalo are not larger favourites here. Is it because it’s IN Denver and the altitude could play a part? Maybe. But still. This Bills team are
Packers -8.0 – Aaron Rodgers wants a bye. Aaron Rodgers needs a bye. The Packers won’t let him down.
Titans -11.0 – See above. #TractorcitoSzn. It’s a big line, but they should run all over Detroit.
Dolphins -1.5 – You either believe that the Dolphins are for real, or you don’t. This game is everything to Miami. If Brian Flores’ upstarts are going to sneak into the playoffs, they’re going to need either the Ravens to lose (unlikely), or to win out themselves. That starts here. The Patriots ran all over the Fins in week 1, but this is a different Dolphins team. The 2nd ranked defense in the league is raring to go, and it’s a revenge game for so many former New England employees who have sensibly moved southeast to a nicer climate. I think now is the time for the Dolphins to finally slam the door shut on the Patriots dynasty, and start building their credentials to challenge the Bills for AFC East supremacy. They have to win on Sunday.
Browns -6.0 – Baker is cooking. You all saw that on Monday Night. I’m a big believer in Stefanski and this offense. Yep, the defense needs work, but the Browns rushing attack can control this clock and grind down the (actually quite good) Giants D. Colt McCoy cannot win this game. Browns.
£10 on this five-fold returns about £250 depending on your bookmaker.
(If you’re reading this after the two Saturday games have happened, I’d suggest adding Ravens -13.0 & Chiefs -3.0 in place of the Bills and Packers)
The Full English (Season Record: 74-35)
9-6 again last week; a number of ridiculous upsets in my opinion. Washington continue to steal wins at an alarming and outrageous rate. Here’s hoping that ceases this week. We’re still above 67% picking for the season – not bad at all – so let’s keep it rolling with this weekend’s slate.
Bills @ Broncos – Bills
Panthers @ Packers – Packers
Bears @ Vikings – Vikings (Sorry Mitch)
Lions @ Titans – Titans
Texans @ Colts – Colts (I still don’t trust the Colts, but hard to believe in the Texans right now)
Jaguars @ Ravens – Ravens
Patriots @ Dolphins – Dolphins
Seahawks @ Washington – Seahawks (Washington are frauds, Haskins is starting, Seattle need to win… it’s clear for me)
49ers @ Cowboys – 49ers (This is maybe the tightest game of the week. Complete toss up for me. The Niners defense should be good enough to stifle Andy Dalton, but their offense is bad… hard to say, but I’m going 49ers, led by their defense)
Buccaneers @ Falcons – Buccaneers
Jets @ Rams – Rams
Eagles @ Cardinals – Cardinals (Hurts did great last week, by Kyler and the Cards need this for the playoff push)
Chiefs @ Saints – Chiefs
Browns @ Giants – Browns
Steelers @ Bengals – Steelers
Next week is Fantasy Football championship week so here’s hoping my three semi final teams are still alive and playing for the money…
We get Christmas Day football, a Boxing Day triple-header, and a Sunday slate including Seahawks vs Rams & Packers vs Titans. Tasty! I hope you’re all staying safe amongst this insanity of a festive period. Whichever Tier you’re in, stay safe this Christmas. As ever, I’m @CallumJDSquires on Twitter and Instagram if you wanna hear more from me. Have a great week.
Callum Squires is a safe distanced friend of NFL in London and a great Dolphins fan.