The Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, and Philadelphia Eagles are all looking to get road wins in their Week 15 matchups in order to keep their respective playoff hopes alive. All three playoff-hopeful teams will be going up against opponents that have their own postseason hopes, so let’s find out if all three can get the outright win or ATS cover when they take to the gridiron on Sunday.
New York Giants at Washington Redskins
What: Tennessee Titans (7-6) at New York Giants (5-8)
When: Sunday, December 16, 2018, 1:00 PM ET
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Slight Chance Light Rain: 5°C | 41°F
Wind: 5 MPH NE
Stadium Type: Open Air
Tennessee has won two straight and four of six and they smacked struggling Jacksonville senseless in their 30-9 on Thursday night to cover the spread as a 5.5-point home favorite. Derrick Henry rushed for a career-high 238 yards and four touchdowns in what was arguably the single most dominating solo performance by a player this season. Henry scored one of his touchdowns on a record-tying 99-yard touchdown run in the win.
“Once I got in the open field on that 99-yard run, it was going to take all of them,” Henry said. “I definitely wasn’t going to go down easy, so I definitely wanted to use my stiff-arm to my advantage, and it worked.”
While Marcus Mariota passed for a modest 162 yards with no touchdowns and one interception, he wasn’t needed much in this contest as Henry stole the show from the outset. The Titans average 19.3 points per game (27th) while limiting the opposition to 19.5 points per game defensively (4th).
The Giants have won two straight and four of their last five games and come into Week 15 off a seriously impressive 40-16 blowout win over Washington as a 3-point road dog last weekend. Rookie running back Saquon Barkley rushed for 170 yards and one touchdown to lead the way to victory and Eli Manning added three TD passes in the win.
“We’re starting to figure out what kind of this offense runs through him,” said quarterback Eli Manning, who threw for three touchdowns. “When we’re running the ball well, it just sets up everything else. It sets up the play action and it sets up so much.”
The Giants picked off Redskins veteran Mark Sanchez twice. New York averages 23.6 points per game (17th) while allowing 25.5 points per contest defensively (23rd).
While I’ve been seriously impressed with the Giants the last few weeks and I absolutely love super gifted running back Saquon Barkley, my head tells me the Tennessee Titans are the pick to win this huge matchup to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Yes, Tennessee’s offense generally leaves a lot to be desired, but I’m expecting the Titans to feature Derrick Henry and the rushing attack more moving forward and that’s going to make them more balanced offensively. The Titans have an excellent defense that should be able to keep Saquon Barkley mostly in check since clearly, there’s no stopping the versatile former Penn State star.
The Titans are 4-1 ATS in their last four games in the month of December while New York has gone 1-4-1 ATS in their last six home games. With Tennessee also going 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings against the Giants, I say back the AFC playoff contenders to win and cash in!
Predicted Score: Tennessee Titans 27 | New York Giants 21
Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings
What: Miami Dolphins (7-6) at Minnesota Vikings (6-6-1)
When: Sunday, December 16, 2018, 1:00 PM ET
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Clear: 1°C | 34°F
Wind: 7 MPH NW
Stadium Type: Dome
Miami has won two straight and pulled off one of the most improbable wins of the entire 2018 campaign by beating New England 34-33 on a last-second trick play that stunned everyone. Kenyan Drake ran 52 yards for a score on the game’s final playoff a double lateral and Ryan Tannehill passed for 265 yards and three touchdowns to get the win.
“I collapsed — just the emotion of the whole thing,” Tannehill said.
Former Patriots running back Brandon Bolden added a pair of rushing score for the Fins in the win. The Dolphins average 21.4 points per game (22nd) while allowing 25.6 points per contest defensively (26th).
Minnesota has lost two straight and three of four and comes into this contest off an uninspiring 21-7 road loss to Seattle as a 3-point underdog. Veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins passed for 208 yards with one touchdown, but the Vikings got shut out for the game’s first three quarters and just couldn’t get over the hump.
“I feel like all of our losses we, as an offense, we are so slow,” Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen said. “Our defense is keeping us in games. And we’re not pulling our side of the bargain.”
The Vikings average 21.7 points per game (20th) while allowing 22.4 points per game defensively (11th).
Minnesota is playing at home and they’re completely and utterly desperate – and that’s the only reason I’m going to advise you to back them to get the SU to win in this Week 15 Inter-Conference clash. However, when it comes to covering the spread, I like Miami to get the easy cover while pushing the underachieving Vikes for the outright win.
Miami has gone 4-1 ATS in their last five games and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games in the month of December. While Minnesota has gone 11-2 ATS in their last 13 home games against a team with a winning road record, the Vikings are also a winless 0-4 ATS in their last four games against a team with a winning record. I like Minnesota to get the win, but the Dolphins to cover the chalk.
Predicted Score: Minnesota Vikings 27 | Miami Dolphins 24
Sunday Night Football: Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams
What: Sunday Night Football: Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) at Los Angeles Rams (11-2)
When: Sunday, December 16, 2018, 8:20 PM ET
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Slight Chance Light Rain: 19°C | 66°F
Wind: 8 MPH SW
Stadium Type: Open Air
Philadelphia had their modest two-game winning streak snapped in their 29-23 overtime loss to Dallas last weekend while failing to cover the chalk as a 3.5-point road dog. Carson Wentz passed for 228 yards and three touchdowns and Philly scored 17 fourth-quarter points to get the game to overtime. However, Philadelphia had no answer for the combination of Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper who caught all three of Prescott’s TD passes including the game-winner late in overtime.
“Helpless feeling,” Wentz said. “I’ve got a lot of a lot of confidence in the defense. They were making plays today. We just didn’t do enough early offensively and that cost us.”
Philadelphia averages 21.6 points per game (21st) while allowing 22.7 points per contest defensively (13th).
The Rams had their three-game winning streak snapped in their stunning 15-6 loss to Chicago this past weekend while failing to cover the spread as a 3-point road favorite. Chicago’s stout defense harassed quarterback Jared Goff into a career-high four interceptions and held superstar running back Todd Gurley to just 28 rushing yards.
“Really, consistently over and over I continue to put our players in bad spots,” Los Angeles coach Sean McVay said. “Certainly a humbling night, but it’s one you get a chance to look at yourself critically, find a way to get better and move forward accordingly and that’s exactly what we’re going to do and that’s all I know how to do. And I have to be better for our football team. This loss is on me. I didn’t do a nearly good enough job for us today. I trust we will respond the right way.”
Los Angeles averages a stellar 32.7 points per game to rank third in scoring while allowing 24.1 points per contest defensively (18th).
I’m going to get right to the pint with my pick on this Week 15 pairing by saying that =i have no faith in the Philadelphia Eagles whatsoever! The Birds have underachieved at the worst possible times this season and really, their offense looks nothing like it did a year ago – and even worse – their poor play is taking a toll on the defense.
While I don’t like the Birds to beat a Los Angeles Rams team that is playing at home and will be focused after losing last weekend, I also don’t like the Birds to lose this game by double digits in order to cover the spread. Philadelphia has only lost one game this season by more than seven points this season and the Birds have gone 10-1 ATS in their last 11 meetings against the Rams.
The Rams are 1-4 ATS in their last five games against their NFC counterparts and 0-3-1 ATS in their last four home games. I like the Rams to get the ‘W’ but Philly gets the ATS cover.
Predicted Score: Philadelphia Eagles 31 | Los Angeles Rams 28