As the NFL campaign enters the 15th week of competition, the herd of teams with a shot at the playoffs thins, separating weak franchises from the strong. The AFC has shown weakness this year compared to the NFC, which features a Darwinian battle between seven teams with a path to the postseason. Aaron Rodgers announced his return to the fray, lifting the Packers slim odds of making the NFL playoffs. While you’re watching the games, make sure to play casino games on you iPhone for some extra fun.
New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick Steelers +3.0
Pick the Steelers to cover
You can bet that the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers were going over the Dolphins-Patriots game in slow motion, dissecting the way that Miami were able to suppress Tom Brady’s air attack. The Dolphins stunned Brady into his worst game of his season, Miami’s defense grabbing a pair of interceptions while holding Tom to a 55.81 completion percentage.
The week before Buffalo was able to hold Brady to zero TDs passes while scoring on an interception. The Steelers defense, compared to the Bills and the Dolphins, has been far superior. If Pittsburgh can figure out how to replicate New England’s rivals in the AFC East, the Patriots could be in for a long, cold day on Heinz Field.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Pick Seahawks -2.0
Pick the Seahawks to cover
Seattle had to endure more than most teams to play meaningful football in Week 15. After a slew of injuries decimated key members of the offense and defense, the Seahawks managed to stay alive by beating the Philadelphia Eagles, which cushioned the blow of an unfortunate defeat at the hands of the Jaguars in Jacksonville.
The Seahawks enjoy the strongest home advantage in the NFL, worth more than five points per game according to ESPN. Furthermore, the Rams have beaten the Seahawks only once in their last twelve meetings in Seattle. Since Seattle has already defeated Los Angeles this season, expect Russell Wilson to enjoy another strong game en route to the top of the NFC West division.
Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders
Pick Raiders +3.0
Pick the Raiders to cover
Either the Cowboys or the Raiders will no longer compete for a playoff spot when the weekend’s action concludes, as both must run the table to convert on miraculously small odds for a post-season berth. Last year, Dallas crowned the NFC East division with 13 wins while the Raiders made a surprise wild card appearance with 12 wins.
Without Ezekiel Elliott, the Dallas Cowboys don’t have a dynamic offense, placing too much pressure on Dak Prescott, who’s only a sophomore starting pivot. The Raiders have been a shadow of last year’s playoff squad and are lucky to have a 6-7 record. The Cowboys previous two wins were against heavily injured teams, which prepares them well for an away game against the Raiders.
Green Bay Packers at Carolina Panthers
Pick Panthers -3.0
Pick the Panthers to cover
As one elite QB goes down, another re-emerges from injury to boost the Green Bay Packers’ odds of making the playoffs. Rodgers was medically cleared to play football, returning the actual MVP of the NFL against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon. He must put together a string of wins for the Packers to have any chance.
Green Bay has a six percent chance of making the playoffs if they win their last three, beginning with a victory over the Panthers. Carolina then needs to go 1-2 with their only win against the Falcons, and the Seahawks need to finish with a 2-1 record. If these events take place, the Packers own the tiebreaker for head-to-head wins.
Instead of this complicated scenario, expect the Panthers to shine at home, winning their second consecutive game over the Packers.
Baltimore Ravens At Cleveland Browns
Pick Ravens -7.0
Pick the Ravens to cover
Baltimore enjoys a significant advantage over the rest of the AFC wild card hopefuls because of the ease of their last three games, beginning with the masters of losing, the Cleveland Browns.
Cleveland took losing to another level last week, orchestrating their 13th loss this season by giving up a 21-7 lead in the fourth quarter. Instead, the Green Bay Packers mounted a comeback and sealed an overtime win with an INT and a TD pass from Brett Hundley to Davante Adams.
The Ravens need this win to lock up a playoff spot. If they lose to the Browns, they may not be welcomed back to Baltimore.