In our final post of 'expert' picks against the spread, we go through the late games and the Monday night game for Week 15. Again, you will note that the underdogs are our preference overall. The late games are actually quite intriguing. Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos face the master Tom Brady and his New England Patriots. The rallying San Diego Chargers try to reinvent their December magic against the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers face the San Francisco 49ers.
See who our picks are!
Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders (+1.0): In a close line, the Raiders will face the Lions without Darren McFadden again it seems. Ndamukong Suh will be back as well for the Lions. Expect to see a Detroit pass rush fluster Carson Palmer and a Lions team desperate to make the playoffs. Pick: Lions, -1.0.
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos (+6.5): We are left with a conundrum. We don't like to pick against Tim Tebow, but neither do we like to pick against Brady. A wise man would not bet this game at all. However, the Patriots offense is the best one that the Denver defense has faced. Only Pittsburgh has really been able to slow them. And while New England's defense is suspect, I don't see the game being too close for a Tebow rally. Sorry, Tim. God may speak with you, but he blessed Tom Brady with more talent. Pick: Patriots, -6.5.
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-3.0): Michael Vick and the Eagles have been terrible at home. They have the speed, but the Giants are determined to finish the season strong with Eli Manning's best season yet. New York is going to ride that win against the Cowboys all the way to the playoffs. Pick: Giants, +3.0.
Cleveland Browns at Arizona Cardinals (-7.0): Arizona as a touchdown favorite? Things are changing...well, that and the Browns are bad. Colt McCoy is out, so Seneca Wallace gets to face the Arizona defense that has allowed only six TDs and 27 percent of third downs to go for first downs over the last six games. While Cleveland is string against the pass, they are horrible against the running game. It will be Beanie Wells over and over again. Pick: Cardinals, -7.0.
Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers (+2.5): In this Sunday night matchup, the Ravens better be ready. Philip Rivers and company are starting to look like the team everyone expected them to be. It is December and they need to win games to get themselves in position to take back the AFC West. Baltimore has been very good, but this is going to be the Chargers' night. Pick: Chargers, +2.5 (but we have them winning straight up).
Pittsburgh Steelers at San Francisco 49ers (no line): There is some uncertainty with the game because it is unknown whether Ben Roethlisberger will play. We think he will. Alex Smith struggled against the Cardinals' defense, which is modeled after the Steelers' scheme. The Steelers happen to play it better. So, even though this game is in California, we expect the Niners to be held in check much like the Ravens did it to them. Pick: Steelers, straight up.