For The Win: Week 15

NFL picks against the Las Vegas lines.

Here we are again this year, back for more NFL picks. It is with great pleasure that I take the reins from Jeff Pasquino after writing a guest edition last year. As someone who has won and lost their fair share of money on the NFL (and many other sports), this is bound to be a fun and unpredictable ride. Join me, won’t you?

As with the format in previous years, this article will help those of you who compete in confidence pools and in ranking selections, which may come in handy on those Las Vegas trips. Games are rated based on preference for both the point spread and other angles (such as totals or over/unders) with 1-3 “Stars”, which basically highlight the best bets for the week. Those games which have zero stars are not preferred one way or the other, but will still be covered, discussed and a winner will be predicted for those trying to get some advice for their weekly office pools.

Last week produced a decent result with a 9-7 finish to take the overall winning percentage for the season to 52.4%. It’s fine, but we can do better. This part of the season can be very tricky for gamblers to gauge; will certain teams give up and turn what looked like a promising bet into a dud? Perhaps some might start younger players with an eye on 2020? These are legitimate concerns and something to pay attention to throughout the week. Be wary of sudden line moves – sometimes Vegas picks up tidbits before the public.

Note that the over/unders are taken from VegasInsider.com

(Thursday) NY JETS at BALTIMORE (-14.5) (Over/Under 45)

The final act of Thursday Night Football for the 2019 season will feature the presumptive league MVP, Lamar Jackson, so we can’t be too fussy as a football populace. Spare a thought for Sam Darnold, who has quietly played solidly over the past few games and profiles as one of the league’s up-and-comers at the positions. A night game in Baltimore is always a tall task, regardless of the experience of the opposing team’s quarterback; this spot, against a juggernaut Ravens team, is particularly unedifying for the Jets.

A short week compounds the team’s problems, with the defense that gives up 25.8 points per game on the road likely to be without their key piece, Jamal Adams. Preparing for the Ravens 10 days out from a game is an unreasonable ask; to do so with a four-day turnaround may have Adam Gase pulling his hair out. The NFL world will bask in the creativity of the Baltimore offense, marvel at Jackson’s continuing feats of athletic wonder and nod along as the Jets fall to another defeat. Vegas has tempted us with this line, but the half-point makes it a stay away. Lean to the Jets getting the 14.5.

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