Mike Ivcic’s Week 15 NFL Preview and Free Picks

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Mike Ivcic’s Week 15 NFL Preview and Free Picks ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>


By Mike Ivcic, UltimateCapper Contributing Writer


Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Bills by 2.5
As per my column earlier this week – don’t sleep on the Jags!
Pick: Jacksonville 24, Buffalo 20

Chicago Bears @ Cleveland Browns
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Browns by 1
Regardless of whether Cutler or McCown gets the start, there’s no way around it – the Bears must beat the lowly Browns if they expect to remain in consideration for a playoff spot, especially since the Lions have beaten them twice.
Pick: Chicago 31, Cleveland 16

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Colts by 5.5
The Texans have played teams close recently, so I’m tempted to take a cover here, but something tells me the Colts are poised to finally post a convincing win.
Pick: Indianapolis 34, Houston 17

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Patriots by 2.5
That’s two straight weeks I’ve picked New England to win and cover, only to have them pull of half of the prediction. As they say, the third time’s the charm.
Pick: New England 27, Miami 24

Philadelphia Eagles @ Minnesota Vikings
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Eagles by 5
Philly got the break they needed when Chicago beat Dallas on Monday night. While they would still have to win the final game of the season in Arlington, they’re not arguing with the breathing room they now have in the NFC East, and I can’t see them giving it up in a dome.
Pick: Philadelphia 38, Minnesota 20


San Francisco 49’ers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: 49’ers by 5.5
The Niners posted a big win over Seattle to gain some confidence and maintain their one-game lead in the NFC Wild Card race. While I think they do the same here, I also think the Bucs defense keeps this close enough to cover a big road spread.
Pick: San Francisco 24, Tampa Bay 21

Seattle Seahawks @ New York Giants
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Seahawks by 7
The Seahawks are still the best team in football, but they’ve struggled on the road. That makes this a very difficult pick. The only saving grace is that the Giants were officially eliminated from postseason contention last week, so I’m hoping they mail this one in.
Pick: Seattle 31, New York 10

Washington Redskins @ Atlanta Falcons
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Falcons by 6.5
I’ll be totally honest – I have no idea what will happen here. Yes, Atlanta’s home, but I think Kirk Cousins steps up, plays well, and leads the Redskins to a win here. And if I’m wrong, just remember – I have no idea what will happen here.
Pick: Washington 27, Atlanta 20

Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders
Sun, 4:05pm, CBS
Line: Chiefs by 4.5
Chiefs defense against the carousel that is Oakland’s quarterback situation? Sure.
Pick: Kansas City 23, Oakland 13

New York Jets @ Carolina Panthers
Sun, 4:05pm, CBS
Line: Panthers by 11
So the Jets staved off elimination for a week. No chance they do it again.
Pick: Carolina 30, New York 10


Arizona Cardinals @ Tennessee Titans
Sun, 4:25pm, FOX
Line: Cardinals by 2.5
I really like this Cardinals team, and it would not shock me in the least, even though it’s a long shot, for them to sneak into the postseason if Carolina or San Francisco stumbles. Tennessee still has a long shot at the postseason, but I think this game will officially lay that idea to rest.
Pick: Arizona 34, Tennessee 23

Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys
Sun, 4:25pm, FOX
Line: Cowboys by 7.5
Dallas should win this game, but I think the Packers will score too. The Cowboys defense simply isn’t good enough to warrant a line half a point higher than a touchdown. It just isn’t.
Pick: Dallas 34, Green Bay 31

New Orleans Saints @ St. Louis Rams
Sun, 4:25pm, FOX
Line: Saints by 6
New Orleans may not be the same team on the road as they are at home… but this road game is in a dome, so it really shouldn’t make too much of a difference for a team I still think will win the NFC.
Pick: New Orleans 32, St. Louis 17

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Sun, 8:30pm, NBC
Line: Bengals by 3
No, no, and no. I’m still not taking Andy Dalton on the road against a desperate Steelers team that still can quite easily project as a playoff team – especially after Cincinnati’s big win last week sets them up quite well for the third seed in the AFC, lessening the impact for this game.
Pick: Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 20

Baltimore Ravens @ Detroit Lions
Mon, 8:30pm, ESPN
Line: Lions by 6
The Lions are good at home, and trust me, I understand that. But Baltimore is just as desperate as Detroit, and the Lions continue to prove time and time again that they cannot be trusted to win a big game. The same can’t be said for the Ravens.
Pick: Baltimore 28, Detroit 24

Straight-Up: 133-75-1
Against Spread: 98-105-6


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