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Posted on 11/30/2007 5:39:45 PM
By: CappersPicks.com NFL Football Handicapping Staff
NFL Football Betting – Free Picks Week 15
Seattle Seahawks (9-4) vs. Carolina Panthers (5-8)
Sunday, December 16th — Bank of America, Charlotte — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Seattle -7 (37.5)
Seattle needs to finish the season to get a home game in the first round. They are simply not as efficient on the road and play far better than most teams in the rain. That being said, their 3-3 SU record on the road should not make their betting investors shy away from them against the pathetic Panthers this weekend.
The Panthers have averaged 14.6 points over their last five games, which is massively offset by the 31 points they posted on the lowly Niners. The defense for Seattle has allowed 220.8 passing yards and 100.0 rushing yards on average, but Carolina has been pathetic in both departments. Their 112.4 rushing yards is inflated due to the massive and meaningless runs DeAngelo Williams breaks when the game is well out of hand in the fourth quarter. Making matters worse for Vinny and company is that the pass-rush for Seattle has been superb the past few weeks. Expect Patrick Kearney to bust in to the backfield for a few game changing sacks and forced throws.
Seattle is 5-0 ATS, which is a record for any team coached by the insufferable Mike Holmgren. Carolina, meanwhile is 1-6 ATS and SU in their last seven games and have won only one game at home, which was against the aforementioned Niners. Bet on Hasslebeck to continue his tremendous play as he shreds this listless secondary to shreds. Seattle is 8-2 against NFC opponents.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Seattle 28 Carolina 13
Atlanta Falcons (3-10) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5)
Sunday, December 16th — Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Tampa Bay -11.5 (39)
Everything is going south for Atlanta. Bobby Petrino joins the Nick Saban Coward Coalition as a college coach who couldn’t handle the atmosphere of the NFL. Things do not look good for the Falcons, especially as they prepare to hit the road as massive road dogs against Tampa Bay. The Bucs crushed their divisional foes 31-7 a month ago in Atlanta.
Not helping matters for the Falcons is the return of Jeff Garcia who has steadied the passing game, and the offense in general, by steering the Bucs to a 207.6 passing yards average. Earnest Graham, and remember he’s a third stringer, is averaging a dazzling 4.2 yards per carry. It’s scary to think what this Tampa team would look like with Cadillac still in the fold. The Bucs are 5-1 SU at home and are a team that the savvy betting investor has been making solid profit off of against the money line.
The woeful Falcons have looked modestly much better with Chris Redman slinging the ball, but they are still 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games. Their 4-1 ATS record in their past five road games is easily offset by the fact that their head coach left them in the dust like an irresponsible father who never returned home after going out, “for a pack of smokes”. On a final note, it was insanely classless of the Falcons to sport “free Mike Vick” shirts after the quarterback received a two-year jail sentence for felony charges. Bet on the football guards to seek revenge for this wrong doing as the Bucs emphatically lay claim to the NFC South title was a severely crippling blow to the chin of the Falcons.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Atlanta 12 Tampa Bay 24
Green Bay Packers (11-2) vs. St. Louis Rams (3-10)
Sunday, December 16th — Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Green Bay -8.5 (44.5)
I scrambled on the e-mail to switch my St. Louis upset over Cincinnati to a loss after learning the last-minute news that Brock Berlin was starting for the Rams. Hopefully, you were able to switch your pick. The former Hurricane gets the start again, and faces an aggressive Green Bay front-seven that puts tremendous pressure on the quarterback. The Green Bay defense only gives up 217.3 passing yards, while their rushing defense holds opponents to 99.3 rushing yards.
To prove how bad Berlin is in the NFL, all you have to do is ask Isaac Bruce, who still runs some of the best routes in the NFL. Bruce was held with zero catches for one of the few in his celebrated career. To say that the dynamic duo of Al Harris and Charles Woodson won’t smother Bruce and Torry Holt to death is like denying Britney’s staggering pace of ten children by the time she reaches 35.
The Green Bay offense overcame the loss to Dallas in Week 13 by embarrassing the Oakland Raiders for 38 points. If you don’t think that Brett can’t do the same against a defense that allows 217.6 passing yards and 24.3 points per game, then you’re taking a heavy amount of crazy pills. All of the betting trends should be thrown out the window, because the recent spread records between these two are based on Bulger being in the pocket for St. Louis. Don’t bet on Berlin ever…and send some crazy pills my way as a thank you for this advice.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Green Bay 31 St. Louis 17
Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-4)
Sunday, December 16th — Heinz Field, Pittsburgh — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Pittsburgh -4 (38)
The Steelers got pasted and what’s-his-name can go back to the bench and think about his loud mouth because Troy Polamalu is back in the building. The Jaguars are 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS in their past five games, and face a Steelers team that desperately needs to get back on track. The Jags have also won the past two meetings between these two teams.
David Garrard’s return couldn’t have come at a better time for the Jaguars, who are riding his steady play all the way to the playoffs. The Jaguars average 200.8 passing yards and the receiver set – namely Reggie Williams – is coming alive with the steady production of Garrard. Also helping is the ageless Fred Taylor, who has three 100+ rushing games in the past three weeks.
The problem will be the Steelers, who remain are perfect at home. They are 7-0 SU and 8-3 ATS in their past 11 road games. Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes have the chance to burn a secondary that tries to make too many big plays and gives up 237.6 passing yards. The loss of Marcus Stroud on the defensive line for Jacksonville will help Willie Parker break off some consistent runs in large chunks against the Jags.
Pittsburgh’s betting bandwagon is getting slightly lighter in the past weeks as the Steelers have fallen to 7-6 ATS. However, with a tight spread against the 9-4 ATS Jags, you can bet that Big Ben, Polamalu and company can get this ship righted with a win over the Jaguars. There is no way they are going to let the loss to the Patriots derail their season.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Jacksonville 23 Pittsburgh 28
Arizona Cardinals (6-7) vs. New Orleans Saints (6-7)
Sunday, December 16th — Superdome, New Orleans — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: New Orleans -3.5 (46)
In another game that has massive playoff implications for each team, the Cardinals hit the road as dogs in New Orleans. Arizona could see the return of Anquan Boldin (toe), but both he and Larry Fitzgerald are playing well under one-hundred percent. Watching Fitz run patterns with a stiff groin was tough to watch, but mostly because of those atrocious red pants the Cardinals have. Simply brutal.
Also brutal is the Cardinals’ road record. They are 4-13 SU in their past 17 road contests and have gone 3-6 ATS in their last 9 games when playing New Orleans. The Saints looked like they were getting things back on track against Atlanta, but they are an iffy team, and it’s hard to get behind them when Aaron Stecker is their starting tailback.
But the Saints betting faithful can rest assured in Drew Brees. The Saints still post 23.1 points per game, and Brees has thrown for a team average of 263.3 yards and Marques Colston is doing exactly what he did last year – post huge numbers in the second half. The Saints are surging towards the playoffs, although they are hardly a team anyone is scared of. The losses to the Bucs essentially put the NFC South title out of reach, but they can salvage a potential wildcard spot with a win over Arizona. The Saints are a strong second-half team, much like last season, and the Cardinals are a horrific road team. Writing’s on the wall, my betting investors.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Arizona 14 New Orleans 24
New York Jets (3-10) vs. New England Patriots (13-0)
Sunday, December 16th — Gillette Stadium, Foxboro — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: New England -25.5 (50.5)
What do you want me to write? Kellen Clemens has been awful. Jericho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles have disappeared, and Thomas Jones is non-existent. And even in press conferences and interviews, the Jets look like this game is going to be a joke. The sad thin is that they’re right. No matter what you may believe, the Patriots are going to absolutely destroy the Jets.
The Patriots average 38.7 points per game, while the Jets have given up an average of 24.2 points to lesser teams. The Patriots are 9-1 SU in their last 10 games against the Jets, so the victory isn’t the question. Their 3-8 ATS record against the Jets in their past eleven games might make you squirm, but worry not. Revenge has a funny way of revving up the old scoring engine. Brady would love nothing more than to break the touchdown record against the pathetic Jets. What I’m more interested in is how Belichik and Mangini handle the post-game handshake.
I have to be realistic to my scoring system, but I would not be surprised if the Patriots try to score 100 points on the Jets this weekend. This is a season for records, right? And who better then to do it on than the idiot who ratted you out in the first place.
NFL Betting Free Pick: NYJ 6 New England 47
Baltimore Ravens (4-9) vs. Miami Dolphins (0-13)
Sunday, December 16th — Dolphins Stadium, Miami — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Baltimore -3 (37.5)
Oh good lord. Who is going to watch this game? Seriously? The Ravens are 4-9 SU and 2-11 ATS, while the Dolphins remain winless with a terrible 3-8-2 ATS record. Baltimore has the edge in virtually every important statistical category, but are 1-6 ATS against the spread in the last seven matches. That would be enough to make any betting investor queasy.
Miami, however is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games and 9-2 ATS in its last eleven when playing the Ravens. The problem for anyone predicting the Dolphins to win is that Cleo Lemon is back in the saddle. He is a horrifically easy quarterback to predict. Once he loses sight of his first option (which is usually the underwhelming Derek Hagan), Lemon tries to run. Bart Scott and Ray Lewis will chew this guy up like he’s dinner.
Indianapolis was able to decimate the Ravens, who were without McAllister and Rolle. The Ravens have given up an average of 219.9 pass yards per game, but Lemon soured the betting community with his awful play when he got his first chance. The Baltimore secondary should be back against the Dolphins, and if Lemon decides to throw, there are only two things he’ll get. An interception and a chorus of boos from the seven people in the crowd (even Jesse Chatman’s mother has better things to do).
NFL Betting Free Pick: Baltimore 23 Miami 9
Tennessee Titans (7-6) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (4-9)
Sunday, December 16th — Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Tennessee -4 (33.5)
The Chiefs are one of the worst teams on third down. They rank third-last with a 32.4 conversion percentage on third down, and go up against a wildly talented Titans defense. Granted, this Titans team is impossible to predict these days, but there is no way they lose to the Chiefs.
Normally Arrowhead is an impossible place to play, but these Chiefs are horrendous. They are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 home games and are 1-5 SU in their last six home games. Tennessee has gone 3-3 SU on the road, but against much better opponents than Kansas City. The Titans have the eleventh best scoring defense, surrendering only 20.3 points per game. Consider their last-second meltdown against San Diego an abomination. There is no way Brodie Croyle or Damon Huard stand a chance in the pocket against Vanden Bosch or Albert Haynesworth.
The question I have for Tennessee is how they expect to make the playoffs with an erratic offense. This was supposed to be Vince Young’s year. While he’s avoided the brutal Madden Curse, he still has only seven passing touchdowns against 16 interceptions. KC hardly has the defense to make even Vince look bad, but the betting faithful for the Titans should take the next three games and leave it at that. This team is not ready for the playoffs.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Tennessee 20 Kansas City 13
Indianapolis Colts (11-2) vs. Oakland Raiders (4-9)
Sunday, December 16th — McAfee Stadium, Oakland — 4:05pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Indianapolis -10.5 (46)
The Colts absolutely embarrassed a tattered Baltimore defense, and Oakland’s doesn’t pose much of a threat either. Josh McCown gets the start for the black and silver, but it almost doesn’t matter. The Colts defense has been thirsty for turnovers, and has created a staggering 32 turnovers.
Indianapolis is 7-2 SU against AFC opponents and Oakland is only 4-5 SU. The Raiders have been brutal down the stretch against the spread. Currently they are 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games and have gone 4-18 SU in their last 22 games. They’ve also lost 2-8 SU in their past 10 games at home. Brutal. Simply brutal.
Look for Indianapolis to put the Raiders on their heels early by throwing against a solid passing defense that only gives up 192.2 pass yards per game. Manning will use Dallas Clark mostly, to burn an insufficient line-backer corps that can get scorched underneath. The Colts passing defense only gives up 166.8 yards per game, while their solid rushing defense only surrenders 107.5 yards. The Raiders score a measly 18.5 points per game, and don’t even have a puncher’s chance to win this one. The double-digit spread may seem inviting for the Raider’s betting faithful, but don’t be on Kiffen’s corps to keep this game close against the defensively sound Tony Dungy.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Indianapolis 31 Oakland 12
Philadelphia Eagles (5-8) vs. Dallas Cowboys (12-1)
Sunday, December 16th — Texas Stadium, Dallas — 4:15pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Dallas -9.5 (49)
The Eagles are cruising on a three game losing streak and meet the Cowboys at the worst time. Terrell Owens loves playing against this secondary. The league’s leading receiver had 10 catches for 174 yards and a score in their last contest. Romo and Owens lead a passing game that rocks teams for 270.4 passing yards per game, and both are exhibiting some dangerous team chemistry.
The Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games, but are just 2-4 ATS in their last six games against Dallas. Dallas is also 5-2 ATS in their past seven games, but have had a handful of trouble against the Eagles when the line is in question.
The problem for Philadelphia is that Romo and the Boys are peaking right now. They have too many weapons for even the Eagles well-coached defense to handle. If they decide to double Owens, Witten will be available underneath. If they throw their man coverage at both Witten and Owens, that leaves Marion Barber in one-on-one coverage on the outlets. Despite the Cowboys’ woes against Philadelphia in the past, take the Cowboys with the wide margin of points.
The Cowboys still need to keep winning with the Packers hot on their heels in the NFC and a solid win here would send a message loud and clear to the rest of the league. Donavan McNabb has shown steady improvement, but this ferocious front-seven completely enveloped Baltimore’s offensive line last week. Philadelphia’s is much worse.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Philadelphia 20 Dallas 31
Detroit Lions (6-7) vs. San Diego Chargers (8-5)
Sunday, December 16th — Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego — 4:15pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: San Diego -10.5 (46)
Detroit has successfully shanked their season. At the end of the day, these are still the Detroit Lions. San Diego is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games, and the near-loss last week to Tennessee should be attributed to their inconsistent play on the road. Still, there is something amiss about this San Diego offense, and a double-digit line should rightfully make the Chargers betting faithful worried.
Detroit is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on the road and are 0-5 SU when playing San Diego. But this secondary has been able to torture bad quarterbacks, and Rivers is one of the worst. Antonio Gates is hampered by a back/hip injury and that will slow down a Chargers passing game that only gets 214.1 passing yards per game. Rivers is marginally better at home, but his play overall has been shaky, frustrating and erratic.
Jon Kitna, despite his absurd guarantees, still spreads the ball nicely and his offensive line is getting a nice shove off the line of scrimmage. that has allowed the Detroit rushing game to move the chains efficiently in most of the games this season. Kevin Jones will do well against a line that will be missing Shawne Merriman and, perhaps, Jamal Williams. Detroit still guns for 248.6 passing yards and San Diego gives up 214.1 yards.
The Chargers are too sketchy on offense to expect them to cover a double-digit spread. Detroit is 2-4 SU on the road, but I expect their secondary to chew apart Rivers’ poorly timed efforts. LaDanian is erupting at the right time, and he’ll be the reason the Chargers win. But don’t bet on these uninspiring Chargers to cover a double-digit line.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Detroit 24 San Diego 28
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