Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2012 NFL betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 15!
Washington Redskins (7-6 SU, 8-5 ATS) @ Cleveland Browns (5-8 SU, 8-4-1 ATS)
Spread: Washington -1, Total: 43.5
Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH – Sunday, December 16th, 1:00 ET
The Redskins are still holding their breath about the status of QB Robert Griffin III, who might be out on this game with a knee injury that he sustained last week. The injury comes at a terrible time for Washington, which needs to win a minimum of two of the last three games of the year to get into the playoffs. The Browns are still technically in the thick of the fight, but they need to win out to get the job done. These two teams don’t exactly have great histories of late, and they have only played against each other in two very ugly games. The Skins won 14-11 in 2008 in DC, and Cleveland won 17-13 at the Dawg Pound in 2004. Both games sailed ‘under’ the ‘total’, and it wouldn’t be surprising to any, especially if it was QB Kirk Cousins in the fold for the Redskins, if this were another low scorer.
New York Giants (8-5 SU, 6-7 ATS) @ Atlanta Falcons (11-2 SU, 7-5-1 ATS)
Spread: Atlanta -1.5, Total: 50.5
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA – Sunday, December 16th, 1:00 ET
The Falcons have dominated at home over the course of the last several years, but they aren’t really in a great spot in this one against the defending Super Bowl champs. Atlanta was beaten last week by a bad Carolina team, and now, there is a lot of feeling that this team is in some trouble. The Giants are surging, and they are an 8-5 team that is on the verge of getting into the playoffs once again. Of course, they are still trying to take down the NFC East title as well, and it might take winning the last three games of the year for that to happen as well. These two met in the playoffs last year, a 24-2 victory for the G-Men in the Meadowlands, and of course, that was the first step towards winning the Super Bowl. The G-Men have won four in a row in this series and are 3-1 ATS in those games. This is a team that Matty Ice has to figure out how to stop.
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11 SU, 6-7 ATS) @ Miami Dolphins (5-8 SU, 5-7-1 ATS)
Spread: Miami -7.5, Total: 37.5
Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL – Sunday, December 16th, 1:00 ET
This may as well be the Super Bowl to the Jaguars, and especially for QB Chad Henne, who was with the Fins last year before unceremoniously being dumped in favor of rookie QB Ryan Tannehill. Jacksonville is going nowhere, and the truth of the matter is that it would be better served losing this game and getting closer to a Top 2 pick in the NFL Draft. Miami is still fighting for its playoff life in technicalities only, and a loss would surely end any hopes of the season being salvaged. Figure on this being an ugly game, as the last three meetings of these two Sunshine State rivals have all been won by the road team, and none of the games featured more than 34 points on the board.
Green Bay Packers (9-4 SU, 7-6 ATS) @ Chicago Bears (8-5 SU, 6-6-1 ATS)
Spread: Green Bay -3, Total: 43.5
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL – Sunday, December 16th, 1:00 ET
The Packers and the Bears are two of the biggest rivals in football. When these two teams met the last time, the situation was virtually exactly the same with the team names reversed. Green Bay was off to a bad start to the season, and it needed to beat the Bears to get back on track. Now, it’s Chicago that is sliding at the end of the campaign, and all of a sudden, there is a real chance to miss out on the playoffs after such a great start to the season. If this one is lost, playoff hopes in the Windy City are moving closer to nil. Green Bay will lock up the NFC North with a win. Chicago will get into first place in the NFC North with a win though, so we can’t forget that either.
Minnesota Vikings (7-6 SU, 5-7-1 ATS) @ St. Louis Rams (6-6-1 SU, 9-4 ATS)
Spread: St. Louis -2.5, Total: 39
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, MO – Sunday, December 16th, 1:00 ET
The Vikings and the Rams are going to be involved in a de facto playoff game this week. The losing team of this one is going to have a tough time getting into the second season. Both of these teams kept their season alive last week, as the Vikes knocked off the Bears to get back within a game of the playoffs, while the Rams beat the Bills in Orchard Park to get back to .500. Either way, both of these teams have a lot to be happy about, as they have taken some massive steps in the right direction. The road team has won both of the last two games in this series, but more importantly for the Rams, the favored team has covered six games in a row in this series dating back to the 2000 playoffs.
Indianapolis Colts (9-4 SU, 9-4 ATS) @ Houston Texans (11-2 SU, 8-5 ATS)
Spread: Houston -10, Total: 48
Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX – Sunday, December 16th, 1:00 ET
This is one of the most important games of the year, and though last week’s game was billed as the biggest game in franchise history, this one means even more to the Texans. Winning this game is going to clinch the AFC South this year, and it will move them just two steps away from clinching the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Of course, Indy still has to believe that it can win the division, and all that it has to do is win its last three games of the year, two of which are against the Texans, to get the job done. The home team has won and covered four games in a row in this series, and the two teams have alternated which team has covered the spread in the last six. Indianapolis will clinch a playoff spot with a win.
Denver Broncos (10-3 SU, 8-5 ATS) @ Baltimore Ravens (9-4 SU, 5-7-1 ATS)
Spread: Denver -3, Total: 48
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD – Sunday, December 16th, 1:00 ET
The Broncos and the Ravens are two of the top teams this year in the AFC, and if these two end up playing each other in the playoffs, home field advantage in that game could very well be on the line. Baltimore is a game back of the Broncos and the Patriots, so this game has to be won. If not, the Ravens won’t ultimately have a chance of getting a bye week in the second season, and they might not even win the AFC North. If they win this one and get some help, they could have the division wrapped up, and they’ll put a lot of pressure on the Broncos and the Patriots. Denver will lock up no worse than the No. 3 seed with a win, as it has already won the AFC West. With some help, getting to the top spot is still achievable, but it won’t be if this game is lost.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7 SU, 8-4-1 ATS) @ New Orleans Saints (5-8 SU, 6-7 ATS)
Spread: New Orleans -3.5, Total: 54
Mercedes Benz Superdome – Sunday, December 16th, 1:00 ET
The Super Bowl will be played here in the Superdome, but these two teams aren’t likely to be in it. Both were dealt crippling blows last week, and now, both are below .500 and need to win out and get a heck of a lot of help to get into the second season. The loser of this game is certainly going to be finished. The Bucs have lost the last two games in this series both SU and ATS, but they have really put up some good fights over the years against New Orleans, including winning in this building both in 2010 and 2009 as huge underdogs. Still, QB Drew Brees has to be licking his chops going against that Tampa Bay secondary, which has consistently been one of the worst in the league all season long.
Detroit Lions (4-9 SU, 4-8-1 ATS) @ Arizona Cardinals (4-9 SU, 5-7-1 ATS)
Spread: Detroit -6.5, Total: 43.5
University of Phoenix Stadium, Phoenix, AZ – Sunday, December 16th, 4:05 ET
The Cardinals are a train wreck, and they are continuing to hit new lows seemingly every week. Hopefully for their sake, it doesn’t get any worse than last week, a 58-0 loss in Seattle in which the team really looked like it just gave up. We have to remember though, before we get too excited, we have to remember that the Lions are also a 4-9 team, and the loser of this one is going to get a better draft pick than the team that wins it. These two teams are a real contrast against each other in terms of scoring. The Lions have averaged 50.9 points per game this year and are 8-4-1 towards the ‘over’. The Cards are combining for 36.8 points per game and are 4-9 for ‘over’ bettors. Arizona has won three straight in this series and has gone 2-1 ATS in those games.
Carolina Panthers (4-9 SU, 6-7 ATS) @ San Diego Chargers (5-8 SU, 6-7 ATS)
Spread: San Diego -3, Total: 45
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA – Sunday, December 16th, 4:05 ET
Both the Chargers and the Panthers came up with landmark wins last week. Carolina won at home over Atlanta, while San Diego beat the Steelers on the road. Now, the Bolts still have a chance, albeit it a brutally small one, to get into the playoffs. These two teams are separated by quite a long distance, and it is the longest road trip of the season for Carolina. These two teams have only met each other four times in the past. The road team has actually won three of those four games, and it has covered three out of the four. The underdogs have also covered three of the four when push came to shove, including the Panthers winning outright as 9.5-point underdogs here at Qualcomm Stadium four years ago.
Seattle Seahawks (8-5 SU, 9-4 ATS) @ Buffalo Bills (5-8 SU, 6-7 ATS)
Spread: Seattle -5.5, Total: 43.5
Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, NY – Sunday, December 16th, 4:05 ET
This is a “home game” for the Bills, for the game is going to be played in Toronto. Buffalo’s playoff hopes are basically shot at this point after losing last week to the Rams. Seattle just keeps finding ways to win games. It has taken four out of five both SU and ATS, and it is right in the thick of the playoff fight in the NFC. Losing this game isn’t going to be the end of the world, but right now, the Seahawks know that destiny is in their hands. They also want to keep the pressure on the 49ers in the NFC West. The problem that Seattle has is that it is been destroyed by the Bills historically, losing three of the last four in this series by 19 points or more.
Kansas City Chiefs (2-11 SU, 5-8 ATS) @ Oakland Raiders (3-10 SU, 3-10 ATS)
Spread: Oakland -3, Total: 44
O.co Coliseum, Oakland, CA – Sunday, December 16th, 4:25 ET
This is one of the ugliest games that you’ll see all year long, and it is the first time that we are going to be seeing a pair of 10+ loss teams against each other. These two AFC West rivals have been inept for years, and that might be part of the reason that the road team has dominated in this series over the course of the last two and a half seasons. In fact, the visitors are not just 4-0 ATS, but 4-0 SU as well in those games. The underdog has covered 12 straight in this series as well. However, this is a game that is very unpredictable from the standpoint that the Chiefs have no offense whatsoever, and the Raiders have no defense whatsoever. This won’t be a game watched by most in the 4:00 ET hour with so many other great games to choose from to watch.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6 SU, 5-7-1 ATS) @ Dallas Cowboys (7-6 SU, 5-8 ATS)
Spread: Pittsburgh -2, Total: 44
Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX – Sunday, December 16th, 4:25 ET
Two teams that are on the wrong side of the playoff fight right now are going to try to get back into it in a game that they absolutely have to have on Sunday. The Steelers are a half game back of the Bengals, but they’ll still control their own destiny to get into the playoffs by winning their final three games. Dallas is still one back of Chicago and Seattle in the Wild Card race and one back of the Giants in the NFC East race. A loss would be truly debilitating for the Cowboys, while the Steelers could get back into it next week with a win over Cincinnati at home. These two storied rivals don’t meet often, but they do have a rich history of playing exciting games. The Steelers have covered and won both of the last two clashes since 2004, but the margins of covering have been just a total of four points.
San Francisco 49ers (9-3-1 SU, 10-3 ATS) @ New England Patriots (10-3 SU, 8-4-1 ATS)
Spread: New England -4, Total: 46.5
Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA – Sunday, December 16th, 8:20 ET
New England is coming off of one of its best games of the year when it beat the snot out of the current top seed in the AFC, the Texans, but it has its hands full again in this one. The 49ers are coming to town in hopes of keeping control of their own destiny for the No. 2 seed in the NFC. A loss would probably send San Fran to the wrong side of the bye weeks, and all of a sudden, Seattle could be back in the discussion for the NFC West crown. The Pats know that winning out will guarantee them a first round bye, and the likelihood will be there as well that they could get the top seed as long as Houston trips once more. These two teams have only met three times since 1998. New England is 3-0 SU and ATS in those games and have averaged winning the last two by 12.5 points per game.
New York Jets (6-7 SU, 7-6 ATS) @ Tennessee Titans (4-9 SU, 4-9 ATS)
Spread: Tennessee -2, Total: 41.5
LP Field, Nashville, TN – Monday, December 17th, 8:30 ET
As proof for just how bad the Jets really are, they are underdogs on MNF against a team that clearly has looked like it has packed it in this year. New York could be right back on the verge of the playoffs with a win, and amazingly, it would be back at .500 in spite of the fact that it has been a tumultuous season. The Titans are just trying to finish out the season with a level of respectability, and they might be playing for Head Coach Mike Munchak’s job when push comes to shove. The Jets have won the last two and five of the last six outright in this series, and they have covered each of the last six games in spite of the fact that they have failed to log more than 320 yards in four of those meetings.
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.
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