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NFL Week 15 picks: Rams a lock to beat Cowboys, Giants won't cover; Titans, Bills win

Cooper Kupp and the Rams will be the

Cooper Kupp and the Rams will be the latest winning team the Cowboys have trouble with.  Credit: AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez

From Titans-Texans and Bills-Steelers in the AFC to Bears-Packers and Rams-Cowboys in the NFC, Week 15 could be a turning point for the respective conference's playoff races.

There are too many teams to list who are out of it, but that doesn't mean every one has packed it in. Remember that as you handicap each game and matchup.

Underdogs went 7-7-1 against the spread last week (one game was a pick 'em), and are 114-88-5 for the season.

My most confident picks ATS this week are the Rams, Raiders, Falcons, Titans, Seahawks and Redskins. There aren't many stay-away games, but don't pick meaningless matchups unless you have to.

1 p.m. Games

DOLPHINS (3-10) AT GIANTS (2-11)

Giants by 3.5; O/U: 46.5

Imagine telling Big Blue fans back in Week 4 that the then-2-2 Giants and then-0-4 Dolphins would meet in Week 15 with Miami having one more win. Can the Giants snap their losing streak at nine games? Maybe, but I'm not laying over a field goal against a gritty Miami team led by coach Brian Flores that is 7-2 ATS in its last nine, has scored 20 or more points in five straight games and nearly won at MetLife Stadium just last week.

The pick: Dolphins

TEXANS (8-5) AT TITANS (8-5)

Titans by 3; O/U: 51

This should be a fun one with first place in the AFC South on the line. The Texans followed up their best win of the season (dominant SNF performance over the Patriots) with their worst (a blowout defeat at home against the Broncos). I'm tempted to take Deshaun Watson and Houston here because I like backing teams after embarrassing defeats. But I just can't fade Ryan Tannehill (6-1 since taking over), Derrick Henry and a Titans team that has won and covered four in a row to put themselves in this ideal position.

The pick: Titans

BRONCOS (5-8) AT CHIEFS (9-4)

Chiefs by 10; O/U: 45

Drew Lock looked like John Elway last week as Denver's runaway win at Houston was one of the season's top stunners. The Broncos won't win at Kansas City but it should be a close game as Denver is clearly playing with a purpose. Pride is also a factor for the Broncos, who were embarrassed, 30-6, at home by the Chiefs on TNF in Week 7 . . . even after Patrick Mahomes exited early with an injury. Lastly, you have to expect a natural letdown for the Chiefs after being the first team to win at New England in over two years.

The pick: Broncos

PATRIOTS (10-3) AT BENGALS (1-12)

Patriots by 9.5; O/U: 41.5

Things are unraveling in New England so fast that the Pats are filming the one-win Bengals? After back-to-back losses, they're on to Cincinnati at the perfect time. Do your job, guys, and have this covered by halftime.

The pick: Patriots

BEARS (7-6) AT PACKERS (10-3)

TV: Ch. 5

Packers by 4; O/U: 40.5

Green Bay is 10-3, which just so happened to be the final score when the Pack won at Chicago in this season's opener. Expect more points, but not too many as Green Bay has had some close finishes at home (see: Lions, Panthers and Vikings wins). The Bears have won three in a row and need to make it four just to have an outside shot at a wild card so expect a close game.

The pick: Bears

SEAHAWKS (10-3) AT PANTHERS (5-8)

Seahawks by 6.5; O/U: 49

As expected, Carolina wasn't competitive after Ron Rivera was fired, losing by 20 at Atlanta. Seattle is 6-1 on the road (5-2 ATS) and will bounce back after the offense was kept out of the end zone last week.

The pick: Seahawks

EAGLES (6-7) AT REDSKINS (3-10)

Eagles by 4; O/U: 39

Philly continues to get too much respect, as this line is a point or two too high. Even the most hardcore Eagles fan couldn't pick some of these backup players out of a (starting) lineup. Washington has won two of three, hung in there at Lambeau Field last week and could embrace the spoiler role against a rival.

The pick: Redskins

BUCS (6-7) AT LIONS (3-9-1)

Bucs by 3.5; O/U: 46

The Lions have lost six in a row and nine of 10 but I'll take the home 'dog in this spot. Jameis Winston has a thumb injury, Mike Evans is out and Detroit will be able to hit some deep passes.

The pick: Lions

4 p.m. Games

LOCK OF THE WEEK

RAMS (8-5) AT COWBOYS (6-7)

TV: Ch. 5

Rams by 1.5; O/U: 49

If the playoffs started this weekend, the Rams would be home watching and the Cowboys would be home hosting as the 4 seed. No Fair League, indeed. While the defending NFC champs are playing their best football — Sean McVay's masterful game plan in a dominant win over the Seahawks Sunday night is the Rams team that's been missing most of the season — the Cowboys are in a tailspin. After a 3-0 start, they've lost seven of 10. They're 0-5 vs. winning teams and while this is the NFL and nothing should surprise you, there's no reason to have any belief in a team that appears to have no belief in itself. They also look like they forgot how to tackle, which will be a problem against Rams receivers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. Everyone is on the Rams (the line went from Rams +3.5 to Rams -1.5), so that scares me a bit but everything points to the Rams making it three straight wins and staying in the hunt for an NFC wild card.

The pick: Rams

VIKINGS (9-4) AT CHARGERS (5-8)

Vikings by 2; O/U: 45.5

This game was flexed out of SNF, which is good news for Kirk Cousins (7-14 in prime time), and Minnesota has all the motivation as it holds the NFC's sixth seed and can still win the division. Seems too obvious a call, which is why I'll take the Bolts, who are finally healthy and may put stock in making a run at .500.

The pick: Chargers

BROWNS (6-7) AT CARDINALS (3-9-1)

Browns by 3; O/U: 49

This will be close, but I give the edge to the Heisman-winning QB and No. 1 pick out of Oklahoma. (Be more specific, Joe). Oh, right. Baker Mayfield is going to feel like he's back in the Big 12 facing this Cardinals pass defense.

The pick: Browns

JAGUARS (4-9) AT RAIDERS (6-7)

Raiders by 6.5; O/U: 45.5

34-3. 40-9. 42-21. The Raiders' last three losses have been bad but the Jaguars have them beat: A five-game skid with the losses by 23, 20, 22, 17 and 35. Jacksonville has no defense and looks like a team that has checked out. The Raiders, while no longer in the playoff conversation, has huge motivation as this is the last game in Oakland. Anyone else want to be a fly on the wall for Jon Gruden's pregame speech? Expect a spirited effort from Derek Carr and the home team as it puts up 30, maybe even 40 points and shows the crowd a (Black) Hole lotta love.

The pick: Raiders

FALCONS (4-9) AT 49ERS (11-2)

49ers by 10.5; O/U: 48

San Francisco regained the NFC's No. 1 seed after its thrilling 48-46 win at New Orleans last week in the game of the year. That followed a last-second 20-17 loss at Baltimore, which followed a huge win over Green Bay on SNF. It's been a grueling stretch, and with the Rams and Seahawks on deck, what will the motivation level be for the 49ers vs. the 4-9ers? Kyle Shanahan will beat his old team but Matt Ryan should have success against a defense missing key starters.

The pick: Falcons

SUNDAY NIGHT

BILLS (9-4) AT STEELERS (8-5)

TV: Ch. 4

Steelers by 1; O/U: 35.5

This game was flexed into SNF, and if you like low-scoring defensive struggles, than NBC has just the game for you. In a battle of the AFC's current fifth and sixth seeds, I give the slight lean to Buffalo because its defense is the best one Devlin "Duck" Hodges has faced. Also, the background Bills showed on Thanksgiving how psyched they were to be front and center on national TV. Sean McDermott's team finds a way to clinch a playoff spot with a win.

The pick: Bills

MONDAY NIGHT

COLTS (6-7) AT SAINTS (10-3)

TV: ESPN

Saints by 9; O/U: 47

New Orleans won't need a pick-6 to seal this one as it did in the teams' Super Bowl XLIV meeting. Did you know the Saints beat the Colts, 62-7, in the next matchup, in 2011? This will be a lot closer but the Saints should still win by double digits as it bounces back from last week's last-second kick in the gut.

The pick: Saints

STAFF STANDINGS AND PICKS

(best bets in bold)

JOE MANNIELLO

100-103-5 overall, 7-7 best bets

Last week: 8-7-1

Dolphins Titans Broncos Patriots

Bears Seahawks Redskins Lions

Rams Chargers Browns Raiders

Falcons Bills Saints

BOB GLAUBER

93-110-5, 5-9

Last week: 7-8-1

Dolphins Titans Chiefs Patriots

Packers Seahawks Redskins Bucs

Rams Vikings Cardinals Raiders

49ers Bills Colts

TOM ROCK

98-105-5, 6-7-1

Last week: 7-8-1

Giants Texans Chiefs Patriots

Bears Seahawks Eagles Lions

Rams Vikings Cardinals Jaguars

49ers Bills Saints

AL IANNAZZONE

99-104-5, 5-9

Last week: 7-8-1

Giants Texans Chiefs Patriots

Packers Seahawks Eagles Bucs

Rams Vikings Browns Raiders

Falcons Steelers Saints

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