NFL Week 15 Best Bets: 3 Picks from the Saturday/Sunday Slates
A chaotic NFL season continued to devolve into inexplicable madness this week after a slew of unexpected final scores across the league. Favorites took a beating last week, covering in just four of 15 games and losing outright in eight. The Patriots, Bucs, Bills, Broncos, and Titans won on the road as underdogs, with Tennessee’s outright victory coming when Mike Vrabel’s squad was listed as 13.5-point dogs. Tampa’s win brought them alongside Washington as the two teams with three straight-up wins when hitting the road as the underdog.
Week 14 marked a reversal during a great year to bet on favorites. Favored teams boast a record of 103-93-9 against the closing number this season, good for 52.6%. According to BetIQ, favorites have covered the spread 47.8% of the time since 2003. 25 of the 32 teams have ATS records below 50% in that time.
Meanwhile, just ten teams have ATS records above 50% when in the underdog role in 2023, and 17 teams have a negative ATS margin as dogs. Dallas has been a nightmare to play against when favored this year, winning 10 of 11 straight up and covering nine times.
Our season-long record remained slightly above 53% after Week 14’s 1-1 result and now sits at 16-14-2 with four regular-season weeks remaining. This weekend brings the return of Saturday NFL football, with three games kicking off at 1 pm, 4:30 pm, and 8:15 pm ET, thanks to college football vacating that position during bowl season.
We’ve locked in three best bets for this week’s action and present our reasoning next.
Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals: UNDER 38.5
- The Vikings have gone under the total in five of seven road games this season, including five of their last six dating back to October 1.
- The under is 4-3 during seven Bengals home games in 2023.
- Minnesota’s D is allowing 13 points per game over their last four.
- Minnesota has tightened up against the run in the last month, allowing 285 yards on 75 carries (3.8 ypc) to Vegas, Chicago, Denver, and New Orleans.
- The Vikings’ defense has allowed 17 third-down conversions in their opponents’ last 58 tries (29.3%) since November 12 against the Saints.
- Given the Bengals’ recent success against Jacksonville and Indy, we expect the public to be on the over. 62% of tickets have favored Cincy at the window so far.
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots: UNDER 37.5
- Kansas City is averaging 19 points per game in their previous six contests.
- The Chiefs averaged 1.4 takeaways per game prior to their bye in Week 10. They’ve managed just two in the four games since, giving their offense fewer opportunities to take advantage of short fields.
- New England has held their last four opponents to an average of 296 yards of offense and 11 points per game.
- The Patriots rank 6th in the NFL in red zone defense, allowing opposing teams to score touchdowns less than 46% of the time.
- Without Isiah Pacheco last week, KC’s two running backs managed 58 yards on 15 carries. His health is in question again this week after missing the first game of his career against Buffalo on Sunday.
Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns -3
- Cleveland’s top-ranked defense in total yardage has been vulnerable to the run recently but contained Jacksonville to just 58 yards on the ground in Week 14.
- The Browns are the best in the NFL at forcing opponents into short, unproductive drives, ranking first in opponent time of possession, plays, and yards per drive among all teams.
- Chicago has given up the third-most passing touchdowns in the league. Cleveland’s Joe Flacco threw for three TDs in his first start this season last week.
- The Bears allow 2.01 points per drive to opposing teams, the eighth-worst mark in the league.
- Cleveland’s 6-1 record against the spread when favored this season is tops in the NFL.
Sports Betting Contributor
Nicholas brings over 10 years of sports betting and DFS experience to our team. He’s a player prop specialist who holds a degree from Penn State University. He enjoys a nice round of golf in his downtime and covers the NFL, NBA, baseball, CFB, and CBB. Mr. Berault is currently on a great run with his NFL best bets, so be sure to check those out!