The season is winding down, but betting-wise, things are only getting more interesting.
With so many teams still in playoff contention despite abysmal records — thanks, AFC South and NFC East — handicapping is no picnic. But NESN.com’s super-picking trio of Mike Cole, Ricky Doyle and Ben Watanabe is still lockin’ ’em up for Tom Brady’s Emails, our entrant into the Westgate SuperContest as a member of Team OddsShark.
Check out our Week 15 locks, with all trends courtesy of OddsShark:
New York Jets (-3.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys, Saturday, 8:25 p.m. ET
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Expect the Jets to blitz the daylights out of Matt Cassel, who was under fire throughout the Cowboys’ Week 14 loss to the Packers. Dallas is 1-6 in its last seven home games and is unlikely to have the same success on the ground it had a week ago against New York’s stout rush defense. The Jets, who have won three in a row against the spread, are rounding into form as the season enters crunchtime.
Chicago Bears (+5.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, 1 p.m.
TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
Both these teams have numbers working in their favor, with Chicago undefeated ATS in its last five on the road and 7-3 ATS in its last 10 overall and Minnesota 10-2 ATS in its last 10. Still, when looking at total points likely to be scored, five of the Vikings’ last seven games have gone under, and with Minnesota’s ball-control offense and Jay Cutler’s ability to make the big play, give the edge to Da Bears.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) vs. Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, 1 p.m.
EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Fla.
The overall numbers don’t look so bad for the Falcons, until one considers almost everything positive for them happened in first five weeks. Since then, they’ve been a mess, while the Jags’ offense is finding its stride. Atlanta has dropped nine in a row ATS, while Jacksonville is averaging 38.3 points per game the last three weeks. Playing Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson and Blake Bortles in your fantasy playoff matchup isn’t a bad idea, either.
Carolina Panthers (-4.5) vs. New York Giants, Sunday, 1 p.m.
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
What do you get when you match up an elite pass defense against a quarterback who only has one (admittedly very good) weapon to target? Answer: A recipe for disaster if you’re the Giants. Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. are an electric combination, but Josh Norman and the Panthers are allowing less than 224 pass yards per game and are 5-1 in their last six road games.
Green Bay Packers (-3) vs. Oakland Raiders, Sunday, 4:05 p.m.
O.co Coliseum, Oakland, Calif.
The Pack isn’t as unbeatable as it has been in recent years, but Aaron Rodgers and Co. have won three of four ATS and are a solid 4-2 ATS away from Lambeau Field this season. Meanwhile, the Raiders are just 2-4 ATS at home and, for all their young talent, have been a mixed bag offensively, scoring more than 30 points twice yet scoring 15 or fewer five times.
Thumbnail photo via Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports Images