BSN Against the Spread

Picking the AFC’s two biggest matchups in our Week 15 NFL picks

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Maybe it was that Thanksgiving turkey or maybe just maybe what we’ve said for two years; that our numbers would finally develop a healthy sample size and get going, has finally come to fruition.

Whatever the case may be - in betting there’s always some luck sprinkled into any streak - things have been going quite well with our NFL projections the last few weeks.

Our picks have gone 6-and-0 the last two weeks combined and 2-and-0 this past week. Our numbers have been in a groove also as EW was 10-4 overall against the spread with big wins in the week's most high profile games. YPP also went 10-4 overall a week ago. Unbelievably we’re now above .500 against the spread with our picks as well sitting at 22-2-20 on the year. Our numbers have been on a roll even though the margins of difference have decreased, something we're seeing again this week.

Things keep getting more complicated with quarterback injuries (Carson Wentz is now added to the list), returns (Aaron Rodgers is back and all bets are off in the NFC now), and trade deadline acquisitions (Jimmy Garoppolo in a limited sample size has turned the Niners around) keeping us to have to adjust as always.

And adjust we did with the Green Bay Packers this week, as we have a sample size that’s big enough to rely on with Rodgers form earlier in the season. The Packers would’ve been 7 point underdogs without their phenom quarterback, with him the line is about right at +3. See for yourself here below. We’ll do the same with the San Francisco 49ers next week once we have more than a two-game sample on Garoppolo.

Adjusted spreads for the Packers game with Rodgers

Teams Current Spread Expected Wins 2017 Advantage Home Field EW Suggested Spread EW Differential YPP Suggested Spread YPP Differential
GB 10 1 1
@CAR -3 9.5 3 -2 -2.5 0.5

It’s also worth noting that we have two games on Saturday this week, one of which we're picking here below.

With that, here we go.

Consensus pick of the week

Kansas City Chiefs +1 versus the Los Angeles Chargers

Here’s your Saturday game in one of the two matchups of the NFL week. This is a great game with massive playoff and AFC West title implications. The Chargers are without a doubt the hotter team right now and that’s shown in our estimated win figures with LA projected to win 10.5 and the Chiefs at 9 ‘W’s’.

Meaning its the home field advantage at Arrowhead in mid-December that’s making the true difference here for our projections. A factor that certainly shouldn’t be discounted. Don’t buy into this narrative that the Chargers aren’t affected by home field either because they have no real home-field advantage, traveling from the west coast takes its toll on everyone, and the Chargers are scoring five fewer points per game on the road then they are in LA.

It’s also easier to make this pick after the Chiefs finally got back to winning a week ago. They’ve also found their offensive production since head coach Andy Reid ceded the play calling duties to offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, averaging 28.5 points per game. While KC also saw their front line revived with Chris Jones and Justin Houston having big games a week ago.

More than anything the most telling factor with our pick is the history between these two teams, as the Chiefs have won seven in a row against the Bolts. Their last meeting earlier in 2017 was particularly telling as the Chiefs are the only team to have beaten LA by more than a touchdown. Reid and his staff have the Chargers figured out and they’re a tough matchup for the Bolts. Even with the recent form from the visiting team, beating the Chiefs in KC will be quite the mountain to climb.

The Chiefs defense will have to step up as will their offense which will be facing a really tough defense. But the Chiefs are the ultimate home-dog pick, you know we wouldn’t pass this up even if the margins are slim.

Pittsburgh Steelers +3 versus the New England Patriots

Here’s the other big matchup of the week in the AFC as the Steelers go against the Pats in a battle for the top seed in the conference, and Pittsburgh already has the early lead after New England was surprisingly upset by the Miami Dolphins.

The Steelers are also the hottest team in the NFL, have been great defensively all season and seem to have figured it out on offense too. Having won eight in a row, they’re as dangerous a team as any. Which is why it should come as no surprise that at home both our metrics have them as favorites.

Especially against a Patriots team that’s been far from perfect defensively. There's no doubt this will be a great matchup and it won’t be easy for Tom Brady and co to come in with one less day of preparation to win.

The big matchup in New England’s favor is the return of Rob Gronkowski and Ryan Shazier’s absence, which really hurts Pittsburgh's ability to cover both running backs and Gronk.

The Patriots have also always been good about figuring out how to stop the Steelers, at least better than others on defense. But this year is different as the Patriots have real limitations defensively, particularly up front where they’re unable to create much of a rush.

With Big Ben playing well again and the best receiver-running back combination in the entire league it’ll be hard to stop them no matter how good the game plan is.

It might end up being a shootout which would make it anyone's game down to the wire, but the Steelers are simply the more complete team. Plus they're a team with talent and a great home field advantage as an underdog, you know we couldn’t pass that up no matter who the opponent is.

BSN ATS’ YPP & EW Week 15 lines

Once again there still isn't a line for the Buffalo Bills game as quarterback injuries are affecting the situation. That's our only game without an actual spread, which also means our numbers could be affected depending on who plays quarterback. Something to keep in mind as you skim the figures.

Teams Current Spread Expected Wins 2017 Advantage Home Field EW Suggested Spread EW Differential YPP Suggested Spread YPP Differential
DEN -2.5 5 2 -3.5 1
@IND 4 3 -1 3.5
CHI 6 3
@DET -5.5 8.5 5 3 -8 2.5 -2.5
LAC -1 10.5 3
@KC 9 3.5 -0.5 1.5 -3 4
MIA 5.5
@BUF 6 1 3.5 -4.5 -3
BAL -7 10.5 14 -11 4
@CLE 3.5 3 -4 11
CIN 6.5 3.5
@MIN -10.5 10.5 8 3.5 -11.5 1 -7
NYJ 6.5 2.5 5
@NO -15 11 9 3.5 -12.5 -10
PHI -7.5 12 16 -13 5.5 -6.5
@NYG 4 3 1
AZ 5 1.5
@WSH -4 6 2 3 -5 1 -2.5
GB* 7.5
@CAR -3 9.5 4 3 -7 4 -5.5 2.5
HOU 7.5 2
@JAX -11 12 9 3 -12 1 -9
LAR 11.5 3 2
@SEA -2.5 10 3.5 -0.5 -2.5 0
NE -3 11.5 3
@PIT 10 3.5 -0.5 3.5 -6 9
TEN 7.5 5 -2 4 Even 2
@SF -2 5 3 Even
DAL -3 8.5 4 -1
@OAK 6,5 3 2 -2 5
ATL -6.5 9 5 -2 -4.5
@TB 6.5 3 4.5 2

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