Final NFL Week 15 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread: Impacts of Baker Mayfield, Russell Wilson, Zach Wilson, and Others

    If you're betting on 2022 NFL games -- whether props, point spreads, or moneylines -- here are the final NFL Week 15 predictions and picks.

    Final NFL Week 15 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread: Impacts of Baker Mayfield, Russell Wilson, Zach Wilson, and Others

    We’ve gone 30-13 (70%) picking against the spread and 32-10-1 (76%) on moneylines the past three weeks. Here’s a final look at our NFL Week 15 predictions and picks for all 15 remaining games. The following betting odds are for picks against the spread, as well as moneylines based on DraftKings Sportsbook.

    NFL Week 15 Predictions and Picks

    Each week of the NFL season features the expected, the moderately unexpected, and the completely unexpected. When betting on point spreads and moneylines, we need to focus on the first two outcomes.

    What are the highest-probability game scripts? Which interesting subplots could emerge? For example, we cannot anticipate when a little-used fullback will fall into the end zone twice in one half. But we can assess the likelihood that one team’s backfield will earn more scoring opportunities.

    With that in mind, here are our final assessments of how each game might proceed.

    Minnesota Vikings (-3.5) vs. Indianapolis Colts

    • Date: Saturday, Dec. 17
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    This betting line has shrunk from -5.5 earlier this week when I had the Vikings winning and covering. The more narrow line makes me even more bullish. Matt Ryan needs a strong start to avoid a mid-game benching (yes, it’s possible).

    Meanwhile, Jonathan Taylor has lost three fumbles in his last seven games and is averaging “only” 4.25 yards per carry since Week 3. For most teams, that would be fine. But Indy’s troublesome passing attack has put even more pressure on Taylor to match last year’s output.

    The Colts are in chaos, and the Vikings should coast, thanks in part to a stout run defense that should force Ryan to throw too much.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Vikings
    Moneyline winner: Vikings

    Cleveland Browns (-2.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens

    • Date: Saturday, Dec. 17
    • Start time: 4:30 p.m. ET

    If J.K. Dobbins can’t duplicate his impressive production last week, Baltimore could have difficulty keeping pace with the win-or-else Browns. Then again, Mark Andrews might be the biggest X-factor for the 9-4 Ravens, as the all-world TE has been nothing more than middling in his last six games.

    Baltimore’s impressive run D will try to contain the scuffling Nick Chubb. All the pressure is on Deshaun Watson to make good on his gargantuan contract because throwing in the towel on 2022 in mid-December is not an option for a franchise that spent $250 million for one player.

    I’m eyeing continued progress for Watson and a bounce-back performance from Amari Cooper — another relatively expensive offseason addition who was retained for big games like this one.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Browns
    Moneyline winner: Browns

    Buffalo Bills (-7) vs. Miami Dolphins

    • Date: Saturday, Dec. 17
    • Start time: 8:15 p.m. ET

    The Bills have won nine of their last ten home games against the Dolphins. The only Miami win during that stretch came on a 206-yard rushing effort by Jay Ajayi. I don’t see Raheem Mostert going over 65 yards in wintry conditions against Buffalo. For that matter, Tua Tagovailoa and the passing game could struggle to gain traction — literally and figuratively.

    Miami prevailed at home in their first matchup this season. But this is a more one-dimensional offense these days. Tyreek Hill has to come up big . . . or else.

    Pick the Bills to avenge their early-season defeat by more than a touchdown.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Bills
    Moneyline winner: Bills

    New Orleans Saints (-4) vs. Atlanta Falcons

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 18
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    Let the Desmond Ridder era begin. Atlanta arguably waited too long. But at a minimum, their presumed Week 1 2023 starter will get some needed NFL experience in a high-pressure debut.

    The Falcons are somehow only a game behind the Bucs in the NFC South. However, they lack the personnel to help elevate their rookie quarterback. Barring unforeseen mid-week injuries to Alvin Kamara or Chris Olave, New Orleans should be just better enough on both sides of the ball to win by 6+.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Saints
    Moneyline winner: Saints

    Chicago Bears (+9) vs. Philadelphia Eagles

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 18
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    On Monday, I wrote that “this point spread seems a bit too high.” Back then, the Eagles were favored by 7.5. Now it’s nine points. What gives? Clearly bullishness about Philly overpowering the Bears’ vulnerable defense.

    But I’m not counting out Justin Fields, even if he (and his offensive line) need to take matters into their own hands. If patient, the Bears can run it 45 times on Sunday and keep this one close, especially against an Eagles squad yielding a healthy 4.7 yards per carry.

    MORE: Eagles vs. Bears Prediction, Odds, and Picks for Week 15

    Also, consider that Philly gave up 33 points to the Packers — the most Green Bay has scored all year. The Commanders posted 32 points — the most they’ve scored all year.

    As great as the Eagles are, far “lesser” teams often have hung close. Surely Chicago can, too.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Bears
    Moneyline winner: Eagles

    New York Jets (+1) vs. Detroit Lions

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 18
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    Earlier this week, the Jets were three-point favorites when it appeared Mike White would be healthy enough to start. Now they’re one-point underdogs with Zach Wilson returning to the start.

    I’m not here to convince you that Wilson is better than White. The next one-to-two years will sort that out. But here’s some context on why bettors might be making a big mistake switching their allegiance to Detroit.

    Wilson’s last five starts were @Packers, @Broncos, Patriots, Bills, and @Patriots. New England’s defense is plain tough, and Buffalo’s arguably is tougher (as White learned last weekend in a relatively dismal performance). The other three opponents are among the seven toughest against the pass (in terms of yards per game).

    The timing couldn’t be better for Wilson or for the Jets in general. Detroit’s surrendering the third most passing yards per game. Whatever “yips” Wilson’s dealing with, the Lions are a proven antidote for struggling quarterbacks.

    Additionally, assuming Sauce Gardner shuts down Amon-Ra St. Brown (more likely than not, if that’s his assignment), Jared Goff will have a lot more trouble moving the ball, even with rookie Jameson Williams making his presence known.

    I’ve been big on Goff and the Lions’ offense, in general, all season. In this game, the Jets have the advantage.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Jets
    Moneyline winner: Jets

    Carolina Panthers (-3) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 18
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    Kenny Pickett won’t be playing, which means Mitch Trubisky or Mason Rudolph will get the start. That’s great news for Carolina fans and bettors. The Panthers have several problems, but their defense has been somewhere between great and stellar these past four games, including in tough road contests in Baltimore and Seattle.

    The Steelers’ D entered Week 14 giving up only 4.1 yards per carry — one of the NFL’s best marks. Then, Dobbins and Gus Edwards steamrolled them. I’m not convinced a Steelers team led by Trubisky and Najee Harris can push past the improved Panthers.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Panthers
    Moneyline winner: Panthers

    Jacksonville Jaguars (+4) vs. Dallas Cowboys

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 18
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    This line has narrowed two points since Monday, suggesting that the Jags should be taken seriously not only to cover the spread but possibly win outright.

    I’m still comfortable picking Dallas to win by a field goal or less. Both offenses can move the ball quickly. The Jags are still somehow in playoff contention. If their above-average run defense can slow Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, then this one could come down to the final possession.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Jaguars
    Moneyline winner: Cowboys

    Houston Texans (+14) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 18
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    Interestingly, this point spread hasn’t budged, even with Dameon Pierce declared out. With Derek Stingley Jr., Brandin Cooks, and Nico Collins questionable or worse, can Houston keep this one within two touchdowns?

    I keep going back and forth. But in the end, a backfield led by Dare Ogunbowale and Rex Burkhead might do less to Kansas City than Latavius Murray and Marlon Mack did last week.

    In that Week 14 contest where Kansas City nearly blew a 27-0 lead, we should consider that Patrick Mahomes threw three picks against one of the league’s toughest pass defenses. And while Houston’s certainly improved in this area, they can’t reasonably do better than the Broncos did in slowing down the Chiefs.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Chiefs
    Moneyline winner: Chiefs

    Denver Broncos (-2.5) vs. Arizona Cardinals

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 18
    • Start time: 4:05 p.m. ET

    With Russell Wilson officially sitting, this point spread might shift in the next 24 hours. For now, Arizona’s porous defense probably can’t stop Jerry Jeudy — and that might be enough — assuming Denver’s strong defense can contain Colt McCoy and a presumably discouraged receiving corps that once looked like a strong unit poised for a deep playoff run.

    Keep a close eye on James Conner, who’s stepped up the past four games while garnering 89 touches. After barely cracking 3.0 yards per game in the season’s first four weeks, he’s looked like the guy Arizona signed this offseason to a long-term contract.

    At his best, Conner can neutralize the Broncos’ defensive advantages. But that’s the thing: he has to keep playing at a high level. And Denver should be ready.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Broncos
    Moneyline winner: Broncos

    Las Vegas Raiders (-1.5) vs. New England Patriots

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 18
    • Start time: 4:05 p.m. ET

    I picked the Patriots to cover Monday morning before they beat Arizona that night. Nothing’s changed, as New England’s superior defense should frustrate Derek Carr enough to move the Raiders one step closer to letting him go after this season.

    There might be some concern about Rhamondre Stevenson’s injury. I wouldn’t sweat it. The Pats drafted two running backs this year for just this type of scenario.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Patriots
    Moneyline winner: Patriots

    Los Angeles Chargers (-3) vs. Tennessee Titans

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 18
    • Start time: 4:25 p.m. ET

    L.A. is healthy. Tennessee has Derrick Henry. I don’t see an obvious scenario where Henry, alone, can overcome the offensive prowess of the full-strength Chargers. While Tennessee’s run defense is the real deal, their secondary is one of the league’s weakest.

    We can’t view the Chargers as merely a 7-6 team. They’re a strong postseason contender whose season was nearly derailed by injuries to their top two wideouts and (somewhat) to their franchise QB. Remember, Justin Herbert played several games at less than 100% and only recently got his starters back on the field.

    L.A. is a dangerous team. Their biggest weakness is on the defensive side. But as long as they jump out to an early lead, Tennessee will be forced to play catch-up through the air. Advantage: Chargers.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Chargers
    Moneyline winner: Chargers

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) vs. Cincinnati Bengals

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 18
    • Start time: 4:25 p.m. ET

    Ugh, a tough point spread. It was +2.5 on Monday. Can the Bucs’ D step up? That’s my big question. The Bengals’ beatable secondary should get burned enough to keep this one close, even with the Bucs’ passing game struggling.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Buccaneers
    Moneyline winner: Bengals

    Washington Commanders (-4.5) vs. New York Giants

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 18
    • Start time: 8:20 p.m. ET

    Heading into the Week 13 faceoff between these two teams, I wrote that — based on rest-of-season schedules — the 7-4 Giants needed the win more than the 7-5 Commanders did.

    Their ensuing tie didn’t make things any easier for New York. Now they’re on the verge of falling to 7-6-1, as well as 1.5 games (including the tiebreaker) behind Washington for the second of three Wild Card berths.

    I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but these are the stakes. And for what feels like the 10th time this season, I’m making the same declaration — the overrated Giants cannot reach the postseason by running Saquon Barkley into the ground in the absence of a top-24 passing game.

    The Commanders are more well-rounded on offense and are considerably better against the run. They should win surprisingly comfortably.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Commanders
    Moneyline winner: Commanders

    Green Bay Packers (-7) vs. Los Angeles Rams

    • Date: Monday, Dec. 19
    • Start time: 8:15 p.m. ET

    If you believe Baker Mayfield is as great as he looked in the closing minutes of the Rams’ victory over the Raiders last week, then go with L.A. again. I’m sticking with Green Bay, in the belief their faint playoff hopes will keep them locked in on prime time.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Packers
    Moneyline winner: Packers

    B.J. Rudell is a betting and fantasy analyst at Pro Football Network. You can read all of BJ’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @BJRudell.

    Listen to the PFN Betting Podcast

    Listen to the PFN Betting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Betting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!