Week 15 and don’t look now, but the Giants are slowly moving themselves back into the playoff race. It’s a tall order, but after a 1-7 start, the G-men are 4-1 after the bye week, including big wins against Chicago and Washington. Here’s what needs to happen the rest of the way. Big Blue needs to win all their remaining games. That includes opponents such as Tennessee at home this weekend, Indianapolis on the road and a season ending match-up at home against Dallas. Then they need help. Minnesota, Carolina and Philadelphia all need to lose two of their last three games and Green Bay needs to lose one of their last three for any kind of chance. If everything falls into place, the G-men could be looking at a wildcard game on the road against Chicago in January.
Last Week’s Results
Head to Head: 8-8
Against the Spread: 7-8-1
Season to Date
Head to Head: 134-72-2
Against the Spread: 102-72-34
All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com
Thursday December 13
LA Chargers at Kansas City
Line: Chiefs by 3½
The Bolts continue to charge their batteries in the AFC West and they now have a crucial match-up against the Chiefs. LA won their game with Cincinnati, KC took out Baltimore with a narrow victory. The winner will likely win the division.
Smooth’s Pick – Kansas City (34-31)
Saturday December 15
Houston at NY Jets
Line: Texans by 6
Houston’s win streak ended at nine with a narrow loss to Indianapolis last Sunday. They travel to the Meadowlands to take on Gang Green. They won in Buffalo for their 4th win. The Texans are still in the mix for a first round bye. They need this one badly.
Smooth’s Pick – Houston (24-13)
Cleveland at Denver
Line: Broncos by 3
The Browns also have an outside chance for a wildcard spot. They also need to win all their remaining games including this one in the Mile High city, plus get some help. The Broncos are one of those teams standing in their way. This will be a tough match-up.
Smooth’s Pick – Denver (21-18)
Sunday December 16
Arizona at Atlanta
Line: Falcons by 8½
The “dirty birds” season is just about done. Only a half filed stadium last weekend. This weekend will be no different in a meaningless game except for draft position. The Cardinals continue to struggle scoring. This should be easy pickings.
This is my lock!
Smooth’s Pick: Atlanta (38-12)
Dallas at Indianapolis
Line: Colts by 3
The Cowboys are in the driver’s seat in the NFC East. They can clinch the division with a win. But they have the Colts, who are playing better of late. They knocked off the red hot Texans and can do the same with the Cowboys. Look for a competitive match-up.
Smooth’s Pick – Indianapolis (22-19)
Detroit at Buffalo
Line: Bills by 2½
Despite a home loss to the Jets, this is a rare favorite for the Bills. And it’s probably because the Lions have been decimated with injuries the last four weeks. With Josh Allen beginning to show signs of life. They could make the game interesting at home.
This is my upset special!
Smooth’s Pick – Detroit (23-17)
Green Bay at Chicago
Line: Bears by 6
The Pack was able to win last weekend against the Falcons and keep their slim playoff hopes alive. But it may come to an end in the “Windy City” in a game verses their rivals, the Bears. They were able to slow down the Rams last Sunday night. If their offense gets back to business, they could be trouble.
Smooth’s Pick – Chicago (24-18)
Miami at Minnesota
Line: Vikings by 7
The Dolphins pulled off a miracle in the final seconds against New England. They need to continue to win for the wildcard, but this match-up verses the Vikings in Minneapolis could be tough to do. Coming off an ugly loss in Seattle, the Vikings also need this one.
Smooth’s Pick – Minnesota (25-23)
Oakland at Cincinnati
Line: Bengals by 2½
The Raiders escaped with only their third win of the season, a game that slipped off the foot of Pittsburgh’s kicker. They travel to Cincinnati, where the Bengals lost a tough one to the Chargers. They need this to keep from going under .500 on the season.
Smooth’s Pick – Cincinnati (27-21)
Tampa Bay at Baltimore
Line: Ravens by 8
Not a good match-up for the Bucs, as they travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. However, they’re going up against a new QB in Lamar Jackson, who is in for the injured Joe Flacco. He is 3-1 in his starts and could be their future.
Smooth’s Pick – Baltimore (33-15)
Tennessee at NY Giants
Line: Giants by 2½
The Titans control their own destiny as they sit in the final wildcard spot in the AFC. But they continue to be inconsistent this season at 7-6. Now they take on a resurgent Giants squad, who we mentioned previously need this game. The point spread will shrink to a pick ‘em by Sunday afternoon. It’s anyone’s guess who will win.
Smooth’s Pick – NY Giants (23-14)
Washington at Jacksonville
Line: Jags by 7
The Redskins got hammered by the G-men last weekend. Mark Sanchez was a horrible pick for a start. They will go with Josh Johnson against the Jags, who looks lethargic last weekend. The Jags may get a break as they look to get win number five.
Smooth’s Pick – Jacksonville (30-10)
Seattle at San Francisco
Line: Seahawks by 5
Impressive win by the Seahawks against Minnesota on Monday night. They travel to the bay area to take on a Niners squad who surprised Denver last weekend. They will try to snap an 11 game losing streak to the Seahawks and play spoiler.
Smooth’s Pick – Seattle (26-22)
New England at Pittsburgh
Line: Patriots by 1½
The Patriots were rocked by a last second loss to Miami and now have to take on a Steelers team that were rocked by their own last minute heartbreak in Oakland last weekend. After losing three in a row, this is the worst time to try and end a losing streak.
Smooth’s Pick – New England (25-24)
Philadelphia at LA Rams
Rams by 9
The Eagles will not have QB Carson Wentz this weekend, and possibly the rest of the season. They go back to Nick Foles to take on the Rams, who had a rare ‘faux-pas’ in Chicago. Will this all lead to another run to the playoffs? Not likely!
Smooth’s Pick – LA Rams (30-21)
Monday December 17
New Orleans at Carolina
Saints by 6
They had lots of time to think about their stinker against Dallas. The Saints will take on a Panthers team, that’s collapsing before our very eyes. They were upset against Cleveland. Another loss will sink them even further in the playoff hunt. Saints need this win to stay even for that number one overall position in the NFC.
Smooth’s Pick – New Orleans (31-19)
Now with all our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to GamblersAnonymous.org.
And that’s week fifteen of Smooth’s NFL Football Picks. We’ll see you later!