NFL Week 15 tips: Crunch time as playoffs pictures takes shape
Simon Sinclair | 18 December 2016
NFL week 15 tips
We’re approaching the climax of the NFL regular season with the majority of the teams in the league, having just three matches left in the campaign.
Sides are on the verge of locking down their places in the playoffs, or in the case of the Seattle Seahawks have already done so following their win over Los Angeles Rams on Thursday.
Several other teams will be looking to secure their fates across the weekend, with a host of exciting contests taking place. Here Coral gives its five top NFL week 15 tips…
Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Titans pulled off a huge win over Denver Broncos in their outing last week, boosting their hopes of winning the AFC South title. Mike Mularkey’s men needed a late defensive stand to hold the Super Bowl champions, but proved their character to hold out for the victory in the fourth quarter.
Kansas City also secured an important result in their bid to capture the AFC West crown along with a first-round bye in the playoffs by defeating Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium. They were potent enough on offense to put up 21 points on the board, while their defense was excellent, restricting Derek Carr and company to just 13 to earn the win.
These are similar sides with both having the ability to run the ball well, although Tennessee’s passing attack might have the edge over Andy Reid’s men. However, the Chiefs are much stronger on defense, which is why backing them for a 7-12 point win at a sweet 7/2 makes sense in this contest.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh are one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now and are currently riding a four-game winning streak following their triumph over Buffalo Bills in the snow. Mike Tomlin’s men are peaking at the right time in the campaign and a win over Cincinnati would put them with touching distance of locking down the AFC North.
The Bengals have endured a number of injuries this term and still be without Pro Bowl wide receiver AJ Green for the contest. However they have shown fight to not quit on the season and will be determined to make life difficult for their rivals given their history of ill-tempered battles.
Tomlin’s men are flying high and should be able to close out another win, but they will have to be careful to avoid injuries to their star men Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, which is why a 1-6 point win at 10/3 would be a solid bet to take for this match.
Detroit Lions @ New York Giants
Two of the surprise teams in the NFL this season that are battling for division crowns. The Giants’ win over Dallas Cowboys put them two games back on their rivals, and should their rivals drop two of their remaining contests and the Giants win out they could snatch the number one seed in the NFC.
The Lions have been the clutch team in the league this term, winning the majority of their matches late into the fourth quarter and their victory over Chicago Bears last week was no different. Matthew Stafford has a hand injury and that could be worth watching over the final weeks of the campaign as he was forced to wear a glove in his side’s win over the Bears.
New York are starting a surge similar to their Super Bowl winning seasons of 2007 and 2011, but the Lions have the ability to hang with them and cover the spread at MetLife Stadium.
New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos
The Patriots return to the scene of their defeat in last season’s AFC Championship game, aiming to secure their place in the playoffs and a first-round bye to have another crack at reaching the Super Bowl.
Bill Belichick’s men produced a fine performance to defeat Baltimore Ravens on Monday and will have another opportunity to deal a blow to the post-season hopes of one of their rivals.
Denver’s stagnant offensive display for three quarters against Tennessee Titans cost them dearly last week, dropping them out of the sixth seed in the AFC. Gary Kubiak’s men have failed to run the ball consistently, putting second-year quarterback Trevor Siemian under pressure to deliver, which has brought inconsistent results.
The Broncos need a victory to keep their playoff hopes on course, while the Patriots have a 2-7 record in Denver with Tom Brady at quarterback. As a result, taking Kubiak’s men on the money line at 29/20 could be the best option for this contest.
Carolina Panthers @ Washington Redskins
The Redskins earned a vital win over Philadelphia Eagles last week to keep themselves in the playoff hunt, producing a late comeback to secure the victory over their NFC East rivals. Jay Gruden’s men have to keep winning in order to have any chance of securing a wildcard berth, with the club currently outside of the playoff picture.
Carolina produced a solid performance to defeat San Diego Chargers last week, but have little to play for other than pride and long-term injury prevention. Linebacker Luke Kuechly may be result out for the season due to his concussion issues, ensuring that he is healthy and ready to go for the 2017 campaign.
Washington have to win this game and, as a result of their need and the Panthers’ situation, they could run out comfortable victors. Backing them for a 13-18 point win at 4/1 could yield a healthy profit this weekend.