NFL Week 15 Opening Odds Analysis
Let’s take a look at a few games that are sure to draw attention from bettors for Week 15. We will just be discussing the matchups; if you are looking for more concrete predictions and projections, be sure to check back throughout the week for our game picks.
All odds are courtesy of our friends at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Seattle Seahawks at Washington
Odds: Seattle -4.5, O/U 43.5
Washington has now won five-straight games and sit in first place in the NFC East with a 6-7 record. Unfortunately, comeback player of the year, lock Alex Smith injured his leg late in the first half of Week 14’s contest against the San Francisco 49ers. The injury was to the same leg he suffered the devastating injury on, had multiple surgeries on, and almost lost. This is a scary time for a player who probably should have medically retired. Dwayne Haskins was not much better than Smith as both struggled against the 49ers, but he was still an improvement in every category. The question now is who we will see under center for Week 15 against Seattle. Either way, the defense is going to have to play inspired again to give Washington a chance.
Seattle finally got things back on track in Week 14. However, when the get right game comes against the winless New York Jets, the victory is not likely to change many opinions on what the Seahawks are or aren’t. Washington is going to provide a good test for the Seahawks. They have the type of strong defense Seattle has struggled with but are soft enough on offense for Seattle to pull out a win even if they aren’t clicking on defense. They will need to be careful not to play down to the perceived level of their competition because, as the San Francisco 49ers no doubt found out, Washington’s defense, even down Landon Collins and Matt Ioannidis, is still chock-full of playmakers.
The -4.5 spread on the Seahawks playing on the road is a little perplexing, especially when Washington being the opponent is considered. Washington has the defensive front to cause major headaches for Russell Wilson; however, whether they have the offensive prowess to cover or pull off the straight-up upset is the question. The overnight juice has been on the Seahawks, so it appears that the sharps and early bettors have been all over Seattle, moving the number from -4 to -4.5. Perhaps this has to do with the Smith injury; perhaps it has nothing to do with it at all. The 43.5 over/under is very well set for a game that should feature a number of stalled drives from both offenses. Seattle showed they still have one of the most explosive offenses in the league when they are clicking but will have a much tougher time against Washington than they did against the New York Jets in Week 14. The spread and total both appear in line for further movement, so take that in account when deciding when to place your wagers.
Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals
Odds: Arizona -6, O/U 48.5
The 4-8-1 Philadelphia Eagles are riding high after a shocking win over the New Orleans Saints and will be hoping to carry their momentum into Arizona. Arizona has been struggling and does not have the deadly pass rush that they had when Chandler Jones was healthy. They may have enough juice to deal with the Eagles offensive line but may have some issues trying to contain Jalen Hurts. Luckily for Arizona, they get to practice against the ‘rich man’s version’ of Hurts on a weekly basis. Philadelphia is going to have their work cut out for them. The Eagles will need their defensive unit to do some of the heavy lifting in this contest. If they can help slow down a struggling Kyler Murray, Hurts dynamism should give them a chance. If they can pull off the win, they could make a push for first place in the NFC East and a spot in the postseason.
The 7-6 Arizona Cardinals are in seventh place in the NFC and remain in playoff position. They are just one game ahead of Minnesota and Chicago, so they will need to find a way to emerge from the winnable games with victories in order to make the playoffs. They have the San Francisco 49ers in Week 16 and the Los Angeles Rams in Week 17, so this matchup against Philadelphia is going to be critical to their hopes of making the expanded postseason. Arizona lost guard Justin Pugh on Sunday and will be hoping that he can make it back for Week 15 to contend with a strong Eagles defensive line. Buying Kyler Murray time to make his reads and deliver the ball downfield will be a key element to any winning gameplan for the Cardinals. Both the Eagles and the Cardinals will be fighting for their playoff hopes, so expect a competitive atmosphere that should help bring out the best in Murray.
The -6 spread on Arizona is sure to raise a lot of eyebrows. As alluded to above, Arizona has not been playing well lately. Philadelphia suddenly is, thanks to making the switch to Jalen Hurts at quarterback. Perhaps Kyler Murray wakes up due to doing battle with a fellow Oklahoma alum. This could be the start of a very exciting rivalry, but whether or not Arizona can win this contest and then manage to win by seven points for the cover is the question. The overnight juice has been on the Eagles, so it appears that the early bettors and sharps do not believe they will. However, it is important to note that this line opened at -5.5 and has already been bumped up to -6. The Cardinals apparently had significantly more appeal when only needing to win by six points. The over/under has also seen some overnight movement and now sits at 48.5, up a full point from the open of 47.5. 47.5 was a far more appealing number for over bettors, so it is fair to wonder which way the total will move going forward. This will be an interesting line to monitor as the week progresses and should attract one of the largest handles of the week.
Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints
Odds: Kansas City -4, O/U 51
The Kansas City Chiefs are back where they belong. On top of the AFC. The Pittsburgh Steelers have now dropped two games in a row, in turn allowing Kansas City to take sole possession of first place. Kansas City has shown that they are vulnerable, but so far, only the confusing Las Vegas Raiders have been able to solve them for a full 60 minutes. Patrick Mahomes had his worst game of the season against the Miami Dolphins in Week 14 and will have another tough test against one of the top defenses the NFC has to offer. The Chiefs will come into this game fully aware that they could see the Saints again in February, so expect an inspired start from the defending champions.
The New Orleans Saints lost to the Philadelphia Eagles. Yes, you read that right. Granted, the Eagles are a much better team with Jalen Hurts under center, and the Saints are starting Taysom Hill at quarterback, but if this loss was not a five-alarm warning, I do not know what is. New Orleans lost their grip on first place in the NFC with the loss and would no longer have a bye if the season ended today. Luckily for them, it doesn’t. New Orleans should get Drew Brees back in the next week or two, and while he is quite clearly in the decline phase of his career, he still offers more than Hill when the Saints are in catch up mode. New Orleans will be able to silence a lot of the armchair, Monday morning quarterbacks who point out that they have lost to the Green Bay Packers by upsetting the Chiefs.
The juice is currently on the New Orleans Saints and the over. New Orleans is attracting more interest at -4, but the -3.5 line this contest opened at was quickly bet up to -4 by the sharps and early bettors. This is a potential Super Bowl preview and will likely garner the most interest from viewers and casuals. There is going to be a lot of money pouring in on this contest, so ignore the public action splits and instead watch the line movement. The 51 point over/under is either set perfectly or way too low. One thing that is for sure is that ‘over bettors’ are going to be all over this line. However, they are called over bettors for a reason, namely that they seek out and largely only bet on overs, not a sound strategy for long term profitability. The juice is expectedly on the over but has not shifted to 51.5 yet as it has at other books. This suggests that FanDuel received some sharp action on the under. Take that into consideration before locking in your own lean.