Surviving Week 15
Favorites went 14-2 last week, with only Houston and Pittsburgh losing, and almost no one had either of those two teams. So let's take a look at this week's slate:
|Team ||Opponent ||%Taken ||Vegas ML** ||Vegas Odds
|PANTHERS ||Jets ||29.90% ||562.5 ||84.91
|Eagles ||VIKINGS ||17.30% ||220 ||68.75
|BRONCOS ||Chargers ||9.60% ||525 ||84.00
|Chiefs ||RAIDERS ||9.40% ||210 ||67.74
|FALCONS ||Redskins ||8.50% ||285 ||74.03
|COLTS ||Texans ||4.80% ||230 ||69.70
|Saints ||RAMS ||4.60% ||240 ||70.59
|49ers ||BUCCANEERS ||3.80% ||230 ||69.70
|Seahawks ||GIANTS ||2.70% ||290 ||74.36
|LIONS ||Ravens ||2.50% ||240 ||70.59
Home team in CAPS
** Average of the two moneylines
As always, late in the season, the percent-taken numbers are to be taken with a grain of salt. Make sure to consult the pick history of those remaining in your pool to get a better gauge of their most likely picks.
1. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers could struggle if they try to force the run against the Jets defense, but Carolina's defense should have its way with Geno Smith
. I give the Panthers an 86 percent chance to win this game.
2. Denver Broncos
The Broncos should annihilate the Chargers terrible defense, but San Diego's offense can score on anyone and gives them a puncher's chance. I give the Broncos an 81 percent chance to win this game.
3. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks aren't nearly as good on the road, but they're still a good deal better than the Giants who simply didn't get off the bus last week. That said, there's still talent in New York, they're at home and they could be up for a game against arguably the league's best team. I give the Seahawks a 74 percent chance to win this game.
4. Philadephia Eagles
Taking the Eagles on the road is a leap, but the Vikings pass defense is an easy matchup for them, and Minnesota's likely to be without Adrian Peterson
. Moreover, the Eagles' defense has been above average the last eight games. I give the Eagles a 74 percent chance to win this game.
5. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons can't play defense, and their passing game is far more limited in the absence of Julio Jones
. That said, the Redskins are on the ropes, are playing their backup QB and have to travel to Atlanta. I give the Falcons a 72 percent chance to win this game.
6. San Francisco 49ers
The Niners typically handle doormats at home or on the road, but the Bucs are playing well of late, and this game won't be easy in Tampa. I give San Francisco a 70 percent chance to win this game.
7. Kansas City Chiefs
The Raiders are one of the league's worst teams, but the Chiefs are merely above average and are traveling to play them. I give Kansas City a 70 percent chance to win this game.
8. Indianapolis Colts
The Texans have lost 11 straight, but they nearly beat the Colts in the first match-up, and they should probably have won last week in Jacksonville. Plus, they could get a dead-cat bounce from the removal of Gary Kubiak. I give the Colts a 70 percent chance to win this game.
9. Dallas Cowboys
I don't trust the Cowboys much, and all bets are off if Aaron Rodgers
plays. But if it's Matt Flynn
, Dallas should be able to handle Green Bay at home. I give the Cowboys a 70 percent chance to win this game.
10. New Orleans Saints
The Saints don't travel particularly well, and while the Rams are average at best, they can get pressure on the quarterback and have some playmakers on offense. I give the Saints a 70 percent chance to win this game.
- The Lions are significantly better than the Ravens, but the former plays below their talent level while the latter often plays above it. With both teams competing for playoff spots, I don't want to mess with the more experienced and poised squad.