Saturday, December 16, 2017

Week 15 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are Dan Yanotchko's Week 15 NFL picks against the spread:

New Orleans Saints -16.5 over New York Jets (4 units)

The Jets gave the 2017 campaign a valiant effort, but in the end we always knew that they are the same old Jets. The Saints really need this game badly to keep pace with the Panthers, as they have lost two of their last three games overall. The Jets have been really bad on defense this year, as they have allowed 116.9 yards per game on the ground and 4.1 yards per carry. They have also been woefully bad against the pass, as they allow 230 yards per game, and 25 touchdowns as well.

The Jets have lost Josh McCown, head coach Todd Bowles has suspended Muhammad Wilkerson a game for missing a meeting, and the Saints have one of the best offenses in the league. New Orleans has to win this one, and will pile on the points, as Bryce Petty and the Jets will be unable to move the ball at all on offense.

Tennessee Titans +2 over San Francisco 49ers (4 units)

This is another case of a team just having to the win game, as the Titans really need this one to stay with Jacksonville for the division title. The 49ers have looked great with Jimmy Garoppolo under center, and they are starting to move the ball well on offense. The only problem is that San Francisco just has not been that great on defense this year, as they allow opposing rushers 121.3 yards per game. The 49ers have also been very generous to opposing quarterbacks as well, as they allow 231 yards passing per game, 23 touchdowns, and they have only picked off opposing quarterbacks seven times. I just see too much ball control with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, and Marcus Mariota will be able to exploit this secondary. Titans need this game, and getting points? Yes, please.

New England Patriots -3 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 units)

This is certainly the game of the week, and perhaps the worst thing that could have happened to Pittsburgh was New England playing horribly in Miami last week, as they will be laser-focused for this game. The Patriots have great past history against the Steelers, as they have won five of their last six dating back to 2010, and they have outscored Pittsburgh 185-126 in those games. The Patriots have also beaten Pittsburgh by at least a touchdown in those games, as Tom Brady just completely shreds the Pittsburgh cover 2 defense. New England will be attacking Pittsburgh with their running backs often, as the Steelers allow 69 receptions and 609 yards passing to opposing teams' running backs. With the trio of James White, Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis plus the return of Rob Gronkowski is too much for Pittsburgh, who allowed 269 passing yards to Joe Flacco last week. Pittsburgh is a great team, but they just don't matchup well with New England.
- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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