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NFL Week 15 Expert Bets: Picks for Chiefs vs Texans, More

NFL Week 15 Expert Bets: Picks for Chiefs vs Texans, More article feature image
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Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images. Pictured: Kansas City Chiefs.


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NFL Odds & Picks

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Chiefs vs Texans Total
1 p.m. ET
Titans vs Chargers Spread
4:25 p.m. ET

Pick
Under 49.5
Best Book
Time
1 p.m. ET

Sean Koerner: The Texans nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season last week against the Cowboys. They ended up losing 27-23, but were able to throw Dallas off guard by using a two-quarterback rotation of Davis Mills and Jeff Driskel.

Driskel essentially operated in the “Taysom Hill role” under center. The Texans mostly leveraged his rushing ability as he went 4-of-6 for 38 yards and a TD through the air and rushed seven times for 36 yards. The element of surprise, however, is gone as the Chiefs will be ready for the Mills/Driskel split.

Not only will Houston be without Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins again, but they will also be without Dameon Pierce. It’s a massive blow to this offense as they will now need to rely on the RB trio of Rex Burkhead, Dare Ogunbowale and Royce Freeman.

I doubt Houston will be able to repeat last week’s performance. Before the 23-point outburst in Week 14, the last time they scored at least 20 was in Week 7.

For the Chiefs, there is no doubt they will be able to move the ball with ease against the Texans. Houston ranks 27th in DVOA against the run, so this is a great spot to get rookie Isiah Pacheco going.

Houston’s inability to put up many points will also help slow down K.C.’s offense. The Chiefs mounted a 27-0 lead against the Broncos before Patrick Mahomes got sloppy and threw three costly interceptions that allowed Denver to make it a close game. I don’t think they will make that same mistake again.

I project this total closer to 47 and like the value on the under.


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Pick
Titans +3
Best Book
Time
4:25 p.m. ET

Sean Koerner: The Titans are in the midst of a three-game losing streak. If they lose this week, it’ll be the longest skid in Mike Vrabel’s stint as head coach.

In fact, he’s 7-2 against the spread when his team is on a losing streak of at least two games. I think this is a good spot to buy low on the Titans, who will face a Chargers defense that ranks 29th in EPA per rush. Derrick Henry could have a big game and that would be an ideal way to keep Tennessee’s defense off the field, which is dealing with a ton of injuries.

It’s also a favorable matchup for Ryan Tannehill, who should have a fairly clean pocket considering the Chargers have generated the sixth-lowest pressure rate. Tannehill’s EPA/play ranks 19th (of 36 qualified QBs) when facing pressure, but that jumps up to fourth when he has a clean pocket. It’s worth noting the Titans have faced teams that rank in the top 10 in pressure rate generated over the last three weeks (Bengals, Eagles and Jaguars).

Rookie tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo has stepped up as a much-needed weapon in the passing attack over the past few games, and I think he continues to shine as one of Tannehill’s top targets. The Chargers will be without Derwin James, which is a massive blow to their defense and further improves the outlook for the Titans offense.

The Chargers passing attack should be able to take advantage of a banged up Titans secondary, but they are allergic to convincing wins this season.

The Titans are a well-coached team that will be able to keep this close. While I think they could sneak out with a win, I like the insurance we get with the key number of +3.

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