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NFL Week 15: Preview and Picks on Dallas-Buffalo, Baltimore-Jacksonville and more

Credit: Buffalo Bills

We got another NFL article to preview a great slate. The prime of the Holiday season is upon us. Christmas Trees and lights are lit up. Bowl Season is underway in college football. The final lap of the NFL regular season is about to commence.


There are a lot of playoff and divisional spots up for grabs. The contenders and pretenders will be separated. We took a break from picking and betting games last weekend.


This week, I see some value on the board that we can take advantage of.



Here are the picks.


New York (Jets) at Miami


Spread: Miami (-9)


Total: 37


This will be the lowest total you will see involving Mike McDaniel’s Dolphins. The weather in Miami on Sunday warrants it. There is a more than likely chance of rain and winds up to 20-30 MPH. Miami’s offense is banged up. Devon Achane and Tyreek Hill are game time decisions.

I think this situation plays well for New York.


Robert Saleh reinserted Zach Wilson back in the lineup last week and he threw for 300 yards for the first time this season. He is not going to have a repeat of that performance here. He makes New York’s offense semi- competent. New York did a good job against the Miami offense the first time around. If it wasn’t for Tim Boyle’s Hail Mary interception, New York could have been in that game. New York has some new life and can make the playoffs if they win out. New York’s defense has been great. They are the best defensive unit in ESPN’s Power Index, and 4th in total defense EPA.


It’s also important that New York’s defense has seen Miami’s scheme multiple times. They will be prepared to adjust to their pre-snap motion. Miami’s offense is not at full strength. New York is better equipped to play a physically poor weather game.


We will take the points with New York here. Don’t be surprised if Miami suffers a second consecutive loss.


The pick: New York +9



Houston at Tennessee


Spread: Tennessee (-3)


Total: 37


Houston will be without QB CJ Stroud, and you don't need me to tell you the drop-off between Case Keenum and Stroud is massive.


Meanwhile, Tennessee is 4-1 ATS at home this year. Houston is not the same team away from home. Houston’s most explosive weapon Tank Dell will not be available. Tennessee has a ton of momentum from their win on Monday Night Football. Tennessee is wearing the Houston Oiler throwbacks against Houston. They have to play with some swagger right??


Will Levis showed some growth last week. I think Tennessee plays spoiler to Houston’s playoff hopes on Saturday.


The pick: Tennessee (-3)

 

New York (Giants) at New Orleans Saints


Spread: New Orleans (-5.5)


Total: 39


Tommy Devito played the best game of his life last week running the ball for 71 yards, completing 18-21 of his passing attempts for 158 yards and a touchdown. It was the lone game in Devito’s NFL career where he wasn’t sacked. He won the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.


How does he follow up that performance against a team fighting for its playoff lives? Devito is gaining more confidence but so is the market. This is one of the higher point totals New York has had since Devito became the starter.


New Orleans plays at a slow pace. New Orleans offense ranks 20th in EPA while their defense ranks 6th. Chris Olave, New Orleans best offensive weapon is a game time decision. I expect New York’s offense to regress again. The New Orleans offense will continue to sputter.


This game is going to be ugly, so take the under here.


The pick: Under 39

 

Dallas at Buffalo


Spread: Buffalo (-2)

Total: 49.5


Last week I described Buffalo as a “paper tiger”. A team whose metrics are outstanding, but they don’t necessarily pass the eye test on the field.


Well, they passed the eye test last week holding Patrick Mahomes to 17 points in Arrowhead. No matter how much Mahomes complained about the refs, the Buffalo defense shut him down for most of the game. This is the game where they will pass the eye test again. Buffalo will face the most explosive offense in the NFL.


Similar to Buffalo, Dallas is coming off its best win of the season dominating the defending NFC champs 33-13 in a Prime Time showing.



How does Dallas respond? I think this is a let down spot.


First off, you have a dome team having to play in snowy and freezing Buffalo. Buffalo will be the best defense Dallas has faced. Buffalo has faced Philly and Kansas City in back-to-back weeks. To move the ball on Buffalo, you have to run the ball between the tackles. That is one area, Dallas has not been successful doing this year. Dallas’s vertical passing game actually plays into Buffalo’s quarter scheme. Dak is going to have to throw the ball in tight windows in bad weather. I don’t trust Dak to do that. Dallas’s defense presents problems for Buffalo’s offense as well. Dallas leads the league in turnovers created and Josh Allen has 14 interceptions on the year. Playing at home is going to help them.


This is a game I’m excited to watch. I think the spot favors Buffalo here.


The pick: Buffalo (-2)


 

Baltimore at Jacksonville (Sunday Night Football)


Spread: Baltimore -3.5


Total: 42


Sunday's slate wraps up with an epic primetime contest between two AFC contenders.

Baltimore travels to Jacksonville hoping to get a statement win and to tighten their grip on the number one seed in the AFC.


Jacksonville meanwhile comes into this game hobbled with injuries. They will be without star cornerback Tyson Campbell and starting safety Andre Cisco. And this is for a secondary that already ranked 19th pass defense EPA.


Because of the injuries, I think this is going to be a high scoring game.


Jacksonville is good against the run but mediocre against the pass. Zay Flowers has improved on the outside. Baltimore is averaging 7.3 yards per pass attempt, the highest mark in Lamar Jackson’s career.


On the other side, Baltimore’s run defense is suffocating. Jacksonville is going to move the ball through the air. Jacksonville was in a shootout in their last prime time game against Cincinnati.

I see games playing out in the same manner.


Prime time games have gone under most of the year, so we are due to see some regression. Enjoy the primetime game and expect a ton of points.


The pick: Over 42


Follow Austin Montgomery on Twitter - @AMontgomeryLive 




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