With just three weeks left in the regular season, the number of teams in playoff contention is dwindling. In Week 15, a few teams find themselves in virtual “must-win” situations if they want to make the postseason.
Underdogs got just six wins against the spread in Week 14, but a few teams can cover the betting line on Sunday and still lose handily. Two teams are favored by two touchdowns, though only one other game features a point spread of more than seven points, according to vegasinsider.com.
Below are picks against the spread for every game in Week 15, as well as updated betting odds at Las Vegas casinos.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1.5) at St. Louis Rams
St. Louis is coming off a win against Detroit, but their quarterback situation will make it tough for them to win again this season. The Rams are 2-9 in their last 11 games following a win, via OddsShark, and Todd Gurley won’t be able to beat Tampa Bay by himself.
Prediction ATS: Tampa Bay
New York Jets (-3) at Dallas Cowboys
The Jets are on their way to a double-digit win season, and they should be giving the Cowboys more than a field goal. Dallas can’t score with Matt Cassel at quarterback, failing to total more than 20 points in seven of their last eight games not started by Tony Romo. The Cowboys are virtually out of the NFC East race, and it should become official in Week 15.
Prediction ATS: New York
Chicago Bears (+5.5) at Minnesota Vikings
If the Bears hadn’t missed field goals late in their last two games, they’d be alive and well in the playoff race. They should be able to play the Vikings close, and they nearly beat Minnesota in their first meeting.
Prediction ATS: Chicago
Atlanta Falcons (+3) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Few teams are playing worse than Atlanta, who has lost six games in a row. Blake Bortles and Jacksonville’s top two receivers give the team a pretty good offense, and they might not have trouble winning by more than a field goal on Sunday.
Prediction ATS: Jacksonville
Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5) at Baltimore Ravens
Odds makers can’t make this line high enough. Baltimore has the worst quarterback situation in the league with below-average skill position players. Kansas City is the AFC’s hottest team, and this game should be over by the start of the fourth quarter.
Prediction ATS: Kansas City
Buffalo Bills (-1) at Washington Redskins
The Redskins aren’t that good, but they should be favored by three points, making them the easy pick. Washington is 5-2 at home, and Buffalo hasn’t proven to be any better than the Redskins this season.
Prediction ATS: Washington
Tennessee Titans (+14) at New England Patriots
The Patriots are getting healthy, and they are poised to win big over the Titans. New England has taken care of business against bad teams all season, beating the Jaguars, Cowboys, Dolphins, Redskins and Texans by an average of 25 points. They’ll do the same against Tennessee, who has lost five games by at least 14 points.
Prediction ATS: New England
Arizona Cardinals (-3.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles might be the most unpredictable team in the NFL, getting big road wins against the Jets and Patriots while losing at home to the Dolphins and Buccaneers. But the Cardinals are about as consistent as any team in the league, and Philadelphia will have trouble keeping up with Arizona's No.1 ranked offense.
Prediction ATS: Arizona
Carolina Panthers (-5.5) at New York Giants
The Panthers might be headed for an unbeaten regular season, but Sunday’s game could be a nail-biter. New York has seven losses, but in only one of them did they not have a chance to win in the final minute. The Giants nearly gave the Patriots their first loss of 2015, and they have a shot to beat Carolina.
Prediction ATS: New York
Cleveland Browns (+14.5) at Seattle Seahawks
Having won four straight games, including three by at least 16 points, the Seahawks are back to playing like a Super Bowl contender. Russell Wilson is putting up better numbers than almost any quarterback, and they are sure to blow out the Browns, who have nothing to play for.
Prediction ATS: Seattle
Green Bay Packers (-3) at Oakland Raiders
The Raiders offense hasn’t been as good as it was at the beginning of the year, and Oakland could struggle to score on Sunday. Green Bay’s defense has been one of the NFL’s best all season, and Aaron Rodgers will give the Packers enough offense to win in Oakland.
Prediction ATS: Green Bay
Miami Dolphins (+1.5) at San Diego Chargers
Neither team is going to the playoffs, but at least San Diego has been competitive in a lot of their defeats, losing to teams like the Bengals, Steelers and Packers by one score. Miami has lost five games by at least three scores, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them get blown out on Sunday.
Prediction ATS: San Diego
Denver Broncos (+6) at Pittsburgh Steelers
Denver has one of the NFL’s worst offenses, but their defense remains the best in the league. Ben Roethlisberger won’t be able to throw for over 330 yards like he has in four of his last five games, and this game should come down to the wire.
Prediction ATS: Denver
Cincinnati Bengals (-4.5) at San Francisco 49ers
Andy Dalton may be out, but Cincinnati still has one of the NFL’s best overall teams. A.J. McCarron had a 90.6 passer rating when playing on short notice last week, and he can do enough to help the Bengals win in San Francisco.
Prediction ATS: Cincinnati
Detroit Lions (+3) at New Orleans Saints
Both teams are going to miss the playoffs, and the smartest move is to grab the points. New Orleans is 2-9-1 against the spread in their last 12 games as home favorites, per OddsShark.
Prediction ATS: Detroit
Houston Texans (+2) at Indianapolis Colts
Houston is much better defensively, and T.J. Yates is just as good as Matt Hasselbeck.
Prediction ATS: Houston
Season Record: 102-100-6