Prisco’s Week 15 NFL picks: Browns top Raiders, Vikings roll over Bears, Eagles cover vs. Washington
With four weeks left in the NFL regular season, the time to turn around my fortunes with my picks is now.
In recent weeks I’ve had a lot of middling outcomes. It’s not too bad or very good. That’s frustrating.
I went 7-7 with my Expert Picks last week, giving me a season record of 106-99-3. My straight-up record was 10-4 to get to 125-82-1 and I went 3-3 with my Best Bets as part of the Pick-Six Podcast to get the season record to 44-43.
Like I said, a bunch of average outcomes.
It’s time to change that. With four weeks left, this is the time to make the real push — just like the NFL teams.
So let’s shoot for 11-5 ATS, 12-4 straight up and 5-1 with the Best Bets this week. Hey, I can dream, can’t I?
Kansas City Chiefs
This is the game of the week featuring two of the best in the AFC. The Chiefs have been rolling behind their defense, while the Chargers have cranked up the offense with Justin Herbert the past few weeks. Patrick Mahomes will match Herbert throw for throw, and the Chiefs will get the best of it on the road.
Pick: Chiefs 31, Chargers 27
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The Browns are decimated by COVID-19 as they head to this game, with a lot of key players on offense possibly out for this one, which has been moved to 5 p.m. ET on Monday. That will challenge Kevin Stefanski, who also tested positive for COVID this week. The Raiders haven’t played well as of late, but with all the players missing for the Browns, look for the Raiders to hang around and keep it close.
Pick: Browns 23, Raiders 22
This is a huge game for both teams and both are coming off the bye, so there is no advantage. The Patriots were dominant in the wind last game against the Bills with their run game. They will try and use that again here to key the offense, but it won’t be nearly as successful. The Colts will do the same with Jonathan Taylor. I think the Colts get the best of it.
Pick: Colts 24, Patriots 20
The Giants are a mess, while the Cowboys are coming off a big win last week at Washington. Playing a second straight road game is tough, but they can handle this one. The Dallas front will get all over Mike Glennon, who is playing for Daniel Jones. This will be ugly. Dallas big.
Pick: Cowboys 34, Giants 17
This is the dog game of the week. Both of these teams are playing out the string with changes coming after the season. This will match two rookie passers in Davis Mills and Trevor Lawrence. Mills played better last week. Lawrence will play better here. It will be low scoring, but the Jaguars will find a way after Urban Meyer was fired early Thursday.
Pick: Jaguars 19, Texans 14
The Titans have a firm grip on the AFC South, while the Steelers are playing for their playoff lives. The motivation factor goes to the Steelers. I think that matters. The Steelers will play good defense, and they will be able to do just enough on offense to pull this one out. Steelers stay in the hunt.
Pick: Steelers 26, Titans 20
New York Jets
The Dolphins are coming off a bye and they have some COVID issues. The Jets have struggled to win games, losing at home last week to the Saints. The Jets defense has been bad, which is why I think Tua Tagovailoa will be able to have some success. But the Jets will keep this close.
Pick: Dolphins 21, Jets 17
This is a big game for both teams if they want to have a real chance to make the playoffs. It has been moved to 7 p.m. ET Tuesday due to COVID-19 issues. Washington could be without quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who went on the COVID-19 list Friday, and Kyle Allen is also on the list. The Eagles are coming off their bye and will have Jalen Hurts back for this one. That’s big. Eagles take it.
Pick: Eagles 24, Washington 17
The Cardinals are playing on a short week and now must head out on the road. The good news is they are playing the Lions. Arizona has been outstanding on the road, and that will continue against Detroit. Cardinals get back on track.
Pick: Cardinals 31, Lions 18
The Bills get back home after losing at Tampa last week, but they showed a lot in coming back from 24-3 down to send that game to overtime. Josh Allen will be facing a good defense here, but the Carolina offense is limited. The Bills will get back on track at home with a dominant performance.
Pick: Bills 31, Panthers 16
The Bengals have lost two in a row, while Denver has won two of three. This is a playoff game of sorts, since both teams need the game in the worst way. This will come down to the Bengals offense against the Denver defense and I think Joe Burrow will get the best of it. The Bengals will win a tough road game.
Pick: Bengals 23, Broncos 21
This is a long trip for the Falcons, who are playing consecutive road games. The 49ers are home for the first time in three weeks after splitting two road games the past two weeks. They are playing much better football than earlier in this season, and I think that stays that way here. The 49ers take it.
Pick: 49ers 25, Falcons 19
The Rams would’ve been playing on a short week after their impressive road victory over the Cardinals, but this game was moved to Tuesday due to COVID-19 issues. Seattle is playing a second straight road game after beating the Texans last week. The Rams are due for a big letdown and Russell Wilson is playing well now after his finger injury slowed him some. The Rams will win it late, but Seattle will keep it close.
Pick: Rams 29, Seahawks 26
Green Bay Packers
This is one of the better games of the week, but Lamar Jackson’s health is the big concern for the Ravens. If he can’t go, it will be Tyler Huntley. If Jackson does go, how healthy will he be with the ankle injury? The Packers will throw a good defense at whoever starts and we know Aaron Rodgers can light up the banged-up Baltimore secondary. Packers big.
Pick: Packers 37, Ravens 27
New Orleans Saints
The Saints need this in the worst way for playoff survival. They are playing a second straight road game after beating the Jets on the road last week. The Bucs beat the Bills, but the defense was so-so in that one. The Saints beat Tampa Bay earlier this year with Trevor Siemian at quarterback. This will be Taysom Hill, but it won’t matter. The Bucs will win it, but it’s close.
Pick: Bucs 27, Saints 23
The Bears are pretty much done, while this is a big game for the Vikings. They have to get this to stay legitimately in the playoff race. They have looked good on offense lately, but the defense has issues. That won’t matter here. They will contain Justin Fields as the Vikings win it.
Pick: Vikings 25, Bears 17