Week 15 NFL Picks: Sides & Totals

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action during the game against the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field on December 19, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Image Credit: Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Each week, BetPrep NFL Sharp “Tommy The Hitman” discusses every game through the eyes of a professional sports bettor with host and 30-year sports talk radio vet Jody McDonald of CBS Sports Radio.

Here are some recent highlights from the latest episode of Hot Read Hits, the official NFL podcast of BetPrep:

Cowboys at Giants (Under 44.5), Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Dak Prescott is not 100% healthy. Steve Young recently broke down some clips showing how Dak isn’t fully healthy. Since his Week 6 calf injury, Dak is 27th in EPA per play after ranking 10th before. The Cowboys offense has scored six touchdowns in the last four weeks.

Mike Glennon has been rough in his two starts with the Giants, completing 52.3% and 47.2% of his passes for 4.3 Y/A and 5.3 Y/A, respectively. Dallas’ defense has played better recently, keyed by having their three pass rushers Randy Gregory, Demarcus Lawrence and Micah Parsons healthy.

New York’s new OC (Freddie Kitchens) hasn’t fixed any of the Giants offensive struggles.

All six of the Giants home games this season have gone Under the closing total.

Dak and Zeke Elliot likely are not healthy. Star LT Tyron Smith is  likely out, which always takes a toll on the Dallas offense. The market isn’t fully accounting for Dak and Zeke not being fully healthy for the Cowboys. Dallas is becoming a defensive football team similar to how the Chiefs have become. New York’s offensive struggles speak for itself and its O-Line doesn’t have anyone capable of blocking Dallas front four. Back the Under.

Titans at Steelers (+1.5), Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

My Power rank says that Pittsburgh should be favored by one point.

The Titans are weak, 20th, in Football Outsiders DVOA rankings. Tennessee lacks an explosive offense in the absence of Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown, both on IR. Tennessee is averaging a gain of 20 or more yards once every 26.5 offensive plays, the lowest rate in the league. The Titans only had 3.7 yards per play last week against Jacksonville, hardly a defensive juggernaut. Tannehill has now thrown one or fewer touchdown passes in all but two games (both against the Colts) this season.

The Steelers have extra rest off a Thursday game in Week 14. They need the game like lifeblood while Titans can afford a loss.

Mike Tomlin is 21-9 ATS as a dog since 2016. He’s 12-3-2 ATS his last 17 games as a home dog, including 6-0 ATS in that role since 2018.

The Titans continue to be the league’s most overrated team. The market is still treating them like an average team but the reality is that they are well below average. The Titans won with a shutout against Jacksonville last week, but they were unable to generate offense against a quitting Jaguars team. These are two similar teams but we are catching points with the home Steelers.

Texans (+5) at Jaguars, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

My Power Rank has the Jags by three. These are the two worst teams in the NFL; Houston (33.2%) and Jacksonville (34.6%) are the bottom-two teams in the league in percentage of points scored in their games this season.

Trevor Lawrence just keeps getting worse. In Week 14, he threw a season-high four interceptions (his first game with multiple interceptions since Week 3) and averaged just

5.5 yards per pass attempt. He failed to throw a touchdown pass for the fifth time in the past six games.

Davis Mills may stink, but he’s playing better than fellow-rookie Lawrence: It has not always been pretty on a per-play basis, but Mills has thrown for 310 and 331 yards in each of his past two starts. By default, he has been better than Lawrence and Zach Wilson this season in equally as bad situations – and Mills’ situation actually may be worse than those of the top two picks.

Urban Meyer has been fired. But this may not cure the Jacksonville dysfunction. The Jags have been favored only twice since the start of last season, losing both of those games outright, Jacksonville has not scored more than 23 points all season, which means they are a team who should have a tough time covering margin.

Meyer was a cancer in the locker room for the Jags and I expect the Jags to play hard

without him. But this line is overrating the difference between these two teams. Jacksonville’s stats are better than Houston, but not by much – and they also have a minimal home field advantage.