Nostrathomas Predicts: The NFL Shuffle Has the Point Spreads Swinging

Point spreads are from VegasInsider.com and are accurate as of this writing.

The Week 15 schedule has been thrown into chaos because of a massive surge of positive Covid-19 tests around the league. It’s also thrown sports books into chaos as they deal with player news that has sent point spreads swinging wildly between teams in multiple games.

The result of all the movement is that we have two Monday night and two Tuesday night games to round out the Week 15 schedule.

After last night’s win straight-up and against the spread on the New England Patriots vs Indianapolis Colts game, Nostrathomas is 128-72-1 straight-up and 104-96-2 against the spread for the season.

Now let’s see how the Week 15 schedule will play out.

Best Bets

Carolina Panthers vs Buffalo Bills -13 (1PM ET; Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY)

This game has exploded from the Buffalo Bills -10 to the current line of -13. Even with the larger spread though, money is still coming in heavily on Buffalo.

Carolina is falling apart on offense without consistent play from any of their quarterbacks and not having Christian McCaffrey to carry that offense on his back.

That’s not the worst part for the Panthers though. Their defense that started the season as one of the best in the league is coming apart by the week.

The Buffalo Bills have lost two straight games, to the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Two of the best teams in the NFL and they came close to winning both.

This is a get-well game for the Bills. Take them to win and cover.

Buffalo Bills 33 Carolina Panthers 13

Dallas Cowboys -11.5 vs New York Giants (1PM ET; MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ)

Dak Prescott has had a couple of rough games since his calf injury but he still has plenty of weapons within his offense to score points against a below average defense.

As for the Giants, they’ve had trouble putting up points the last two weeks against Miami and the Los Angeles Chargers. Fourteen of the 21 points they put up last week were in garbage time and that was against a Chargers team that was looking ahead to a Thursday Night battle against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Dallas Cowboys have covered the spread in their last eight games against NFC teams and have covered in six of their last seven road games.

Take Dallas to win and lock up the 2021 NFC East title.

Dallas Cowboys 27 New York Giants 14

Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars -5 (1PM ET; TIAA Bank Stadium, Jacksonville, FL)

The sun is shining in Jacksonville again with the firing of head coach Urban Meyer. Fortunately for the Jaguars, they get to celebrate by facing a team as woeful as they are.

I’m not looking for Trevor Lawrence to pass for 300 yards and four touchdowns but the two-ton weight being removed from the team’s back can only be a positive for him.

Another positive is one of the best running backs in the NFL is going to get a chance to show what he can do. Expect James Robinson to have a big game against the Texans.

The Jacksonville Jaguars get revenge for their Week 1 loss.

Jacksonville Jaguars 20 Houston Texans 10

Best of the Rest

Arizona Cardinals -13 vs Detroit Lions (1PM ET; Ford Field, Detroit, MI)

The Arizona Cardinals are in the middle of a dogfight with the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to earn the top seed in the NFC. They are not going to be taking the Detroit Lions lightly.

Kyler Murray may not have DeAndre Hopkins to target for the remainder of the season but he still has Christian Kirk, A.J. Green, Rondale Moore and tight end Zach Ertz to target against one of the worst pass defenses in the league.

Arizona Cardinals 30 Detroit Lions 14

New York Jets vs Miami Dolphins -9 (1PM ET; Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL)

The New York Jets lost to the Miami Dolphins 24-17 in Week 11. The question for their upcoming Week 15 meeting is can New York score 17 again against a Dolphins defense that has been increasingly stifling since Week 9.

The Jets have failed to cover the spread in five of their last six road games and Miami has a 7-0-1 cover record over New York in their last eight.

Take the Dolphins to win and cover as they reach .500 for the first time since Week 2.

Miami Dolphins 23 New York Jets 10

Tennessee Titans vs Pittsburgh Steelers -1.5 (1PM ET; Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA)

With the losses of Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown the Tennessee Titans season has slowly been fizzling out. They still have a strong hold on a playoff spot but their offense only produced 13 points in games against the Houston Texans and New England Patriots before shutting out Jacksonville last week.

Pittsburgh is on extra rest after scoring 21 fourth quarter points but falling short in a Week 14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. That was on the road though. The Steelers have still been tough at home this season.

Look for Pittsburgh to slip past the struggling Titans this week.

Pittsburgh Steelers 24 Tennessee Titans 21

Atlanta Falcons +9 vs San Francisco 49ers (4:05PM ET; Levi’s Stadium, San Francisco, CA)

The Atlanta Falcons have been figuring a few things out on offense which has kept them in the NFC playoff fight. They should be able to keep this game close with their strong running attack but it’s going to take more than they currently have to win this game.

San Francisco 49ers 25 Atlanta Falcons 21

Cincinnati Bengals +3 vs Denver Broncos (4:05PM ET; Empower Field at Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO)

The question in this game is if the Denver Broncos secondary can shut down Cincinnati’s talented receiver group. As long as the Bengals stay away from turnovers, they’ll have more offense than Teddy Bridgewater can generate for the Broncos.

Cincinnati Bengals 27 Denver Broncos 23

Green Bay Packers -7 vs Baltimore Ravens (4:05PM ET; M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD)

The Green Bay Packers are at the top of their game right now. The Baltimore Ravens have been struggling too much on offense to keep up with them.

Green Bay Packers 30 Baltimore Ravens 20

New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers -11.5 (Sunday Night Football; Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL)

The New Orleans Saints improved their record to 5-2 with Week 8 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s been all down hill for New Orleans since then.

The Saints managed to beat the Jets last week to end their five-game losing skid. Tampa Bay won a thrilling overtime game last week against the Bills. Which victory sounds more impressive.

The Saints offense has been in sad shape with Taysom Hill at quarterback and their defense has been trending in the wrong direction since that 5-2 start.

The Buccaneers are in a three-way fight for the top seed in the NFC and won’t be showing New Orleans much sympathy in this one.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32 New Orleans Saints 17

Monday Night

Las Vegas Raiders vs Cleveland Browns -3 (Monday 5:00PM ET; FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH)

The Cleveland Browns potentially have so many players out of action due to Covid-19 protocols that before this game was moved, the Las Vegas Raiders had moved from underdogs to favorite. With the game moved to Monday evening, the Browns are back to being -3 favorites.

I would say that any team that is stupid enough to dance on their rival’s midfield logo deserves every bad thing that happened to it last week. I would also say they are too stupid to take advantage of a team with a depleted roster but still fighting for their playoff lives.

Cleveland Browns 27 Las Vegas Raiders 21

Minnesota Vikings -6 vs Chicago Bears (Monday Night Football; Soldier Field, Chicago, IL)

The Minnesota Vikings are going through injury and Covid-19 problems but the Chicago Bears have been slowly circling the drain as this season comes to a close.

The strength of the Bears season had been their defense until Khalil Mack went down with a foot injury that finished him for the season. Since then, Chicago’s undermanned secondary has been exposed.

Kirk Cousins may not have Adam Thielen available for this game but still has plenty of weapons with Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson.

If the Bears get their run game going strong, they can keep this close. Actually, the Vikings have had a habit of keeping games close this season, no matter who they’re playing. They shouldn’t have a problem winning and covering the spread here.

Minnesota Vikings 26 Chicago Bears 17

Tuesday Night

Washington Football Team vs Philadelphia Eagles -6.5 (7:00PM ET; Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA)

This is a tough game to pick based on who could out of Covid protocols by kickoff. The Football Team has won two of their last three games but have been relying on their defense while their offense struggles to score. Now, even if Taylor Heinicke comes off the Covid list for this game he might not have wide receiver Terry McClaurin due to concussion.

Philadelphia has been riding their strong running game to win three of their last four games and they’re catching Washington at the right time, even with the kickoff moved to Tuesday. Take the Eagles to win and cover.

Philadelphia Eagles 25 Washington Football Team 16

Seattle Seahawks vs Los Angeles Rams -6.5 (7:00PM ET; SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles, CA)

The Seattle Seahawks are on a two-game winning streak but that has only improved their record to 5-8. Too little too late to be thinking about a playoff push at this point.

The Rams have also won two-straight but are still hoping to still make a play for the NFC’s top seed. Matthew Stafford is also back on his hot streak over the last three games and should shred a defense that is 21st in passer rating allowed.

Los Angeles Rams 26 Seattle Seahawks 17

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