Josh Katzowitz's Week 15 NFL Picks
14 Dec, 2017 by Josh Katzowitz
Seattle has a decent chance to make the playoffs. The Seahawks are 8-5, and they finish the season with two winnable games vs. the Cowboys on the road and the Cardinals at home. At worst, that would make them a solid 10-6, and if the Falcons lose two of their final three games against either the Buccaneers, the Saints and the Panthers, Seattle would sneak ahead of them for a Wild Card spot
But the Seahawks certainly aren’t a lock. They play host to the Rams on Sunday, and going to Dallas in Week 16 won’t be easy. And if Atlanta finishes with the same record as Seattle, the Falcons would win the tiebreaker based on their Week 11 win vs. the Seahawks.
What matters on Sunday is triumphing against the Rams. Seattle already beat L.A. once this year, so a victory on Sunday would put the Seahawks into a first-place tie in the NFC West with Seattle holding the tiebreaker. Then, if Seattle wins out in Weeks 16 and 17, it’ll win the division. Will that happen? I’m not sure. But despite an atrocious outcome last week in Jacksonville, I know I’m predicting a slim Seahawks victory this weekend and a reinvigorated push for the postseason.
As usual, check out Pickwatch’s John Halpin’s full slate of Week 15 picks. Now, here are a few of mine (If I’m right, make sure to congratulate me @jkatzo on Twitter).
1)Bet your life savings on this game*
Bengals at Vikings
After losing a hard-fought game to the Steelers in Week 13, the Bengals were disastrous last week in a 26-point loss to the Bears in Cincinnati. You think Cincinnati will travel to Minnesota to face its former defensive coordinator and put up much of a fight, even though its season is over and its long-time coach Marvin Lewis is all but finished in that role? Because I certainly don’t. Go with Minnesota huge here.
Straight up: Vikings
Against the Spread: Vikings -10.5
2017 record for the “Bet your life savings” game: 10-4 S/U and 6-8 ATS
2)This game scares the hell out of me
Titans at 49ers
What to make of Jimmy Garoppolo winning back-to-back games at quarterback to lead San Francisco on a bonafide winning streak? What to think of a less-than-mediocre defense allowing only 30 points in the past two games, the lowest number given up in any two-game stretch this year by San Francisco? Is this a late-season renaissance for the 49ers? Probably not. Were they just playing crappy teams when they won? Yeah. Can they continue this run against a solid team in the Titans who are probably going to make the playoffs? In my mind, it’s unlikely. But this game still worries me, especially since it’s on the West Coast. Go with Tennessee, but be wary.
Straight up: Titans
Against the Spread: Titans +2
2017 record for the “Scares the hell out of me” game: 8-6 S/U and 8-6 ATS
3) Fun game of the week
Patriots at Steelers
This will be the third-straight road game for the Patriots. The Steelers are coming off two hard-fought battles against AFC North rivals and a closer-than-expected victory against the Packers the week before. Both squads are battling for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. I’m going with Pittsburgh in another tough contest, mostly because I hate taking teams on three-game road trips. Either way, it should be a blast to watch.
Straight up: Steelers
Against the Spread: Steelers +3
2017 record for “Fun game of the week”: 10-4 S/U and 8-6 ATS
2017 record for every game picked in this column: 28-14 S/U and 22-20 ATS
DEN over IND DEN -2.5
DET over CHI DET -5.5
KC over LAC KC +1
JAC over HOU JAC -11
BAL over CLE BAL -7
BUF over MIA No spread
CAR over GB CAR -3
MIN over CIN MIN -10.5
NO over NYJ NYJ +16
PHI over NYG PHI -7.5
WAS over ARI WAS -4.5
SEA over LAR SEA -1.5
PIT over NE PIT +3
TEN over SF TEN +2
OAK over DAL OAK -3
ATL over TB ATL -6.5
*Don’t really bet your life savings. Please.