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Week 15 NFL Betting Preview

NFL Week 15 Preview

Handicappers have to wear many hats to do a good job: athlete, statistician, doctor, lawyer, critic. These days, a background in labor relations would be handy.  Our top online experts from Bodog sportsbook weigh in with their opinions and cappers insight for two big matchups happening during Week 15 of the NFL season.

By: BoDog Sportsbook

The NFL Players Association says the New York Giants violated the collective bargaining agreement when they suspended WR Plaxico Burress for the remainder of the season and docked him a week’s wages. The Giants were also supposed to pay Burress $1 million this week as part of his signing bonus. He inked a five-year extension this offseason totalling $35 million, but New York can reportedly recoup $23 million by cutting ties with Burress.

In this case, the union’s grievance won’t be heard until after the season – unlike the court injunction that blocked the suspensions of six players last week in the StarCaps scandal. That includes three members of the New Orleans Saints, who kick off our Top 3 NFL betting games for Week 14. For current lines, visit the Bodog Sportsbook.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Md.
Sunday, 4:15 p.m. ET, CBS
10% chance of rain, 40 degrees
Pittsburgh: 10-3 SU, 7-6 ATS, Over 7-6
Baltimore: 9-4 SU, 10-3 ATS, Over 8-4-1

The Steelers defense keeps saving the day. Pittsburgh scored two TDs in the final 2:04 to beat Dallas (+4) 20-13 last week, the final major coming on a Deshea Townsend interception return. Pittsburgh’s offense is tied with Baltimore’s near the bottom of the league at 4.8 yards per play – the winless Lions are next at 4.7 yards. But the Ravens are actually more efficient moving the ball. They’re No. 13 in the NFL with 248 first downs, while Pittsburgh languishes at No. 22 with 229.

The difference is power running. The Steelers have absorbed myriad injuries in the backfield, but none of their running options would be mistaken for a bruiser. Baltimore’s Le’Ron McClain, on the other hand, is a 260-pound fullback enjoying his first year as a feature ball-carrier. His relatively small 3.7 yards per carry disguises Baltimore’s efficiency in short-yardage situations – the Ravens are fourth in the league in this department, while the Steelers are No. 24.

Click here to check out the Week 15 NFL odds in the Bodog Sportsbook.

N.Y. Giants at Dallas

Texas Stadium, Dallas
Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC
10% chance of rain, 60 degrees, 10 mph winds
New York: 11-2 SU, 10-3 ATS, Over 7-5-1
Dallas: 8-5 SU, 6-7 ATS, Over 7-6

Perhaps Big Blue could use a dose of Plax after all. The Giants’ 7-0 SU and ATS streak ended with a thud last week against the Eagles (+6.5), who left the Meadowlands with a 20-14 victory. This was a near-total shutdown by the Philly defense. The Giants managed only 211 total yards, and there were 15 seconds left in the game before the offense finally scored. Domenik Hixon had three catches for 30 yards in Burress’ absence.

Philadelphia is fourth in the NFL in defense at 4.5 yards allowed per play, one spot better than New York at 4.8 yards. The Cowboys are mere percentage points behind the G-Men in that category; if you take out the three Brad Johnson games, Dallas looks a lot more competitive at 7-3 SU and 5-5 ATS. That includes Week 9, when the Giants cruised to a 35-14 win as 9.5-point home faves with Tony Romo and his broken pinkie finger on the sidelines. Dallas is 3-1 SU and 2-1-1 ATS against the Giants with Romo as the starter.

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