Arses Five Favorites: Week 15 NFL Predictions

After my first losing week all season, a 1-4 performance in Week 13, I fought back with another winner, a 3-2 march in Week 14. It wasn’t 4-1 or 5-0, but it was a winner nonetheless. Week 15 has some nice favorites, and honestly, I had a tough time picking my Top 5. It’s cold up here in Alaska, but with all this darkness, I have plenty of time to do my research – and I expect it to continue it’s showy performance.

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New Orleans (-7) @ home vs. Dallas: Listen when I tell you, the Dallas Cowboys aren’t that good. But a good thing for the Saints is that everyone else thinks the Cowboys are. The Saints have beaten the pee out of top rated foes this year, embarrassing teams like Philly and New England, and well, beating everyone else as well. Let the 14-0 teams continue to roll!

N.Y. Jets (-6) @ home vs. Atlanta: The Jets are favored by 6 over the Falcons for a reason, and that’s because this is a terrible match-up for Atlanta. If people think that Michael Turner and Matt Ryan are all of a sudden going to come in and stop the run, they must be confused. The offense in Atlanta isn’t the problem.

Seattle (-6) @ home vs. Buccaneers: The Bucs are that bad. I hate taking the Hawks as a big favorite, but this game looks like a blowout. If Seattle loses here, I will refer to them as the Seagulls forever.

Vikings (-8.5) @ Carolina:The Vikings will run into, or I guess past the Carolina Panthers – I expect Minnesota to approach 40 rushing attempts this week in something like a 28-10 win over the Panthers, and it won’t feel that close. I don’t know what Carolina can do against the Vikings, but I also don’t know how the Panthers D will slow Minnesota.

N.Y. Giants (-1) @ Washington: How is this? I’m not convinced the Redskins are good just because they haven’t played terrible lately. They aren’t one of the worst teams in the NFL, maybe even better than their record insists, but the Giants are the much better team. In Washington doesn’t scare me.

Oklahoma Sooners vs Kansas Jayhawks Free NCAA Pick

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Oklahoma Sooners (-7.5) @ Kansas Jayhawks Fre Pick: This is one of those fantastic situations that shows you how much Top 25 rankings really mean. The Sooners are missing at least 2 First Round NFL Draft picks, one of which won the Heisman Trophy last season, Sam Bradford, and was pretty universally listed as the Top NFL Prospect in all the land heading into the season. They are heading into 6-1, 21st ranked Kansas to play the Jayhawks, and who’s favored? The Sooners, by a touchdown, and get ready for this, they are a good bet. Rankings are a joke, it’s too bad they mean anything at all. I’ll take the unranked road favorites here. Believe it.

Oregon Ducks vs Washington Huskies Free NCAA Pick

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Oregon Ducks (-8.5) @ Washington Huskies: I’d love to think the Huskies were a good bet at +8-10 at home, wait, who am I kidding, they passed on recruiting me, still a little bitter, I love betting against the Dogs. But they’ve been tough to go against, definitely. They play close with everyone and possess one of the best players in the Nation, quarterback Jake Locker. But they struggle stopping the run, and Oregon thrives running the ball. I don’t think the Huskies are strong enough up from to stop the Ducks from doing anything. While UW will surely put up a few big plays, and score some points, if they can’t stop the Ducks, no amount of big plays will be enough to cover this one.Like Stanford, the Ducks won’t be tricked into throwing the ball. They will pound it on the ground, thus dominating the Huskies up front. I like the road favorites here, there D has improved a ton over the last 4-5 weeks.

Iowa Hawkeyes vs Michigan State Spartans Free Pick

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Iowa Hawkeyes (+2) @ Michigan State Spartans: I can’t just pick against the Hawkeyes because they are ranked 6th in the Nation and an underdog against 4-3 Michigan State. I know the Spartans have played better of late, but wins over Michigan (in overtime), Illinois, and Northwestern don’t really blow me away. The Hawkeyes have gotten by in ugly fashion, sure, and they are probably due for a loss, but their fights have shown me how resilient they are, and that alone is worth a small bet to me, especially against a Spartan team that is also due to have a tough go of it after three straight wins. Against my normal system play (unrated favorite over ranked dog is almost always a bet on the favorite) but I like Iowa’s chances on the road.

Penn State Nittany Lions vs Michigan Wolverines Pick

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Penn State Nittany Lions (-4) @ Michigan Wolverines: In two games against decent teams this season (Iowa and Michigan State) the Wolverines were out-gained in total yardage. They lost both of those games. Penn State has out-gained every single opponent they’ve played so far this season. I’m just saying. Both teams have played pretty easy schedules, but at least the Lions have looked good in all games but one. Defensively they’ve been strong, never giving up more than 3 scores, holding opponents to a touchdown or less in 5 of their 7 games. Michigan doesn’t have that kind of ability defensively, they’ll need to win in a shoot-out against the Lions, and I don’t think Penn State will allow that to happen. Four is one point more than I’d like, but I’ll take the Lions over Michigan, making it back to back wins for the first time in a long time.

Boston College Golden Eagles V Notre Dame Fighting Irish Pick

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Boston College Golden Eagles (+8) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish Free Pick: The Eagles struggle when teams have the ability to run the ball with speed and power. That’s not the Irish. Sure, they have some talent, and some big boys up front, but when it comes right down to it, they are a foo-foo offense that likes to throw the ball when going gets tough, or right off the bat for that matter. That should allow the discipline Golden Eagles to stay in this game, and cover that 8 point spread against a Irish team with a defense that just can’t get stops. ND might win, with the luck of the Irish and all, but I like the Eagles to cover.

Green Bay Packers vs Cleveland Browns Free NFL Pick

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Green Bay Packers (-6.5) @ Cleveland Browns: Lots of stuff has me thinking this is a great bet. There’s the Flu that’s going around Cleveland like flies swarm cow poo, there’s the fact that Cleveland’s quarterback has a 44% completion rate on the season, or that Green Bay has played much better defensively over the past three games – many, many things say Packers. But 81% of the public likes this bet, and that’s a red flag if I’ve ever seen one. One thing Cleveland does better than Green Bay is control the ball, their time of possession is solid despite the inability to complete passes and being prone to turnovers. Big spreads for road favorites can often backfire with a pass happy team struggling to complete passes. But I see the Packers running the ball more this Sunday, holding the ball longer, and covering by at least a touchdown in Cleveland. Vegas or the people? Who wins this Sunday? Damn the man!