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The Gambling Solution: Week 15

Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Both Jeremy and Jeff started with a 1,000 unit bankroll as they go head to head all season long.

 

Jeff split his selections last week as he had winners on the Panthers and Rams/Lions under.  His losses came on the 49ers and Buccaneers.  Jeff finished the week down 10 units.  Jeremy finished the week at 1-3 as he dropped his picks with the Buccaneers, Bears and Jets/Titans over.  His winner came on the Seahawks.  Jeremy finished the week down 50 units.  Jeff extended his season-long lead by 40 units as he now leads Jeremy by 210 units.  With only three weeks remaining in the regular season, can Jeremy make a final late season push to close the gap?  Let's get to the picks for Week 15.

 

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Jeff Baldwin

Record: 34-26

Units: 1,290

 

Jeremy Wardwell

Record: 31-29

Units: 1,080

 

Titans at Patriots (-14) - 40 units
The Patriots put an end to their two-game losing streak as they defeated the Texans last Sunday night 27-6.  This team has been decimated with injuries, but they don't use that as an excuse.  The Titans were blown out by the Jets 30-8.  This team has managed only three wins all season as they'll be in line for a high draft pick next year.  The Patriots received a nice boost last week with the return of TE Rob Gronkowski.  Gronkowski scored a touchdown, and more importantly finished the game without any setbacks.  The Patriots even had WR Julian Edelman back at practice last week, but he wasn't able to suit up against the Texans.  You have to think Edelman will make his return at some point before the regular season concludes with this weekend a possibility.  The matchup on Sunday against the Titans is one the Patriots should be able to exploit regardless of their injury situation on both offense and defense.  The Patriots also got a few breaks last weekend as both the Bengals and Broncos lost.  This opens the door for the Patriots to be the top seed in the AFC if they win out.  Look for QB Tom Brady to pick apart this Titans’ secondary and spread the ball around.  I expect a heavy dose of those targets to go to Gronkowski and WR Danny Amendola.  RB LeGarrette Blount suffered a season-ending injury last week which is a tough blow to their running game.  The Patriots will look to RB Brandon Bolden and RB James White to pick up the slack.  The Patriots’ defense came up with a strong effort a week ago as they held the Texans out of the end zone.  They now face rookie QB Marcus Mariota who I'm sure will see a lot of different looks.  The Patriots’ defense has a very good track history in forcing rookie quarterbacks into mistakes.  The Patriots have a lot to play for here as they want home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  The Titans are 0-8 ATS in December games over their last eight.  Expect this game to get out of hand early as the Patriots roll. 
Pick: New England Patriots -14

Cardinals (-4) at Eagles - 40 units
The Arizona Cardinals travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Arizona is currently riding a seven-game winning streak after knocking off the Vikings last week to secure a playoff spot. Despite guaranteeing a postseason appearance, I expect the Cardinals to go all-out in an effort to secure a first round bye. Arizona has one of the top offenses in the league averaging 31 points per game. It looks like QB Carson Palmer will have his full complement of receivers for this one but the status of the Arizona running backs is less clear. Andre Ellington missed practice again Thursday which means rookie David Johnson could be in line for a big role again this week after gaining 123 total yards last week against Minnesota. The Eagles are allowing 127 rushing yards per game and will have a hard time containing Johnson. While Philadelphia has won two in a row over AFC East opponents, I don't see either of those wins as overly impressive especially on the offensive side of the ball. They beat a depleted New England team that repeatedly shot themselves in the foot and squeaked by an overrated Bills team at home. QB Sam Bradford is the picture of inconsistency. He has been picked off 11 times while throwing only 14 touchdowns. The Cardinals are one of the more opportunistic defenses in the league having forced 25 turnovers including 16 interceptions. It appears CB Patrick Peterson will be a full go in this one after being limited in practice earlier in the week. The Eagles' running game remains a question after DeMarco Murray was relegated to a backup role last week. He did end up with the second-most carries but how playing time and touches will be distributed this week remains to be seen. Arizona has been tough against the run allowing only 88 yards per game. I'm expecting the Cardinals to win fairly comfortably in this one. The weather looks like it won't be a factor which will allow the Arizona offense to run at full speed. The Cardinals are 5-2 ATS on the road this year and 4-0-1 ATS against Philly in their last five meetings.
Pick: Arizona Cardinals (-4)

Jets (-3.5) at Cowboys - 40 units
The Jets took care of business last week as they defeated the Titans at home 30-8.  The Jets are in the mix for a wild card in the AFC, but every game remaining is a must-win if they hope to get into the playoffs.  The Cowboys fell to the Packers 28-7 as they couldn't stop the Packers’ running game.  The Jets will likely use the same formula on Saturday night as they'll lean heavily on RB Chris Ivory.  The success of Ivory running the football will open the Jets’ passing game which has been very effective this season.  QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has had the passing game clicking as he has two great receivers in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.  Marshall and Decker have been two of the most consistent receivers in the league in regards to receiving yards and touchdowns.  The Jets’ defense got CB Darrelle Revis back last week after sitting out a few games recovering from a concussion.  This defense faces a Cowboys’ offense that is struggling primarily in the passing game due to the quarterback play.  QB Matt Cassel has struggled since taking over as the starter.  This offense is focused around running the football behind their offensive line.  I think this is a bad matchup for the Cowboys primarily because their strength feeds right into what the Jets do best which is stop the run.  The Jets only allow 78.9 rushing yards/game which is first in the league.  If the Cowboys are forced to throw the football due to their inability to run the ball with any effectiveness, it will be a long game for the Cowboys.  The Jets’ secondary's focus will be to ensure the whereabouts of WR Dez Bryant at all times.  Even though Bryant hasn't been his usual self, he's always capable of making that big play in the passing game.  I can see this game being close at the half, but look for the Jets to pull away in the second half as their running game will wear down this Cowboys’ defense.  The Jets play with a sense of urgency knowing every game is critical if they have hopes of making the playoffs.
Pick: New York Jets (-3.5)
Browns (+14.5) at Seahawks - 35 units

Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks will look to continue their hot streak against Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns in Seattle. Wilson has been on fire lately having thrown 16 touchdown passes in his last four games and no interceptions. Not coincidentally, the Seahawks are 4-0 over that span with an average margin of victory of 21 points including wins over two playoff contenders in Minnesota and Pittsburgh. The Seahawks running attack will be limited after Thomas Rawls suffered a broken ankle last week and was lost for the year. He will be replaced by a committee of Bryce Brown, Christine Michael and Fred Jackson. Even with a mash up of journeyman running backs, Seattle should be able to pound Cleveland's 26th ranked defense. Last week, Cleveland snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 24-10 victory over the hapless 49ers. The Browns turned the offense over to Manziel who threw for 270 yards and a touchdown at home. This week will be a harder task as taking on the Seahawks in Seattle is a totally different game. Manziel could catch a break as DB Kam Chancellor is doubtful for this game with a tailbone injury. Even without Chancellor, the Seahawks should be able to contain the Cleveland offense that lacks a big time threat out of the backfield and are led in receiving yards and touchdowns by their tight end Gary Barnidge. Seattle ranks third in the league in points allowed at 18 and has given up the second fewest total yards. I don't expect this to be a close game as Seattle pulls away early.  
Pick: Seattle Seahawks -14.5

Cardinals (-4) at Eagles - 20 units
The Eagles remain in a first place tie in the NFC East after they held on to defeat the Bills at home.  The Cardinals won a close game as well as they defeated the Vikings by three.  The Cardinals have their sights set on a first round bye in the playoffs as they head to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles.  A win in this game will put them in great position to lock up that bye.  QB Carson Palmer will look to take advantage of an Eagles’ secondary that struggles defending the pass which doesn't bode well in slowing down this potent Cardinals’ attack.  Palmer has a plethora of weapons at the receiver position which makes it so difficult from a defensive perspective to determine who to focus on.  RB David Johnson played well in his start at running back.  His ability in the running and passing game forces the defense to respect his skill set.  As for the Cardinals defensively, they are a strong unit against the run as they are in the top five in the league giving up only 87 yards/game on the ground.  Given the Eagles’ struggles this season running the football, I don't think they are going to suddenly turn things around in this matchup.  Due to their anticipated struggles in the running game, the Eagles will be forced to throw the ball a ton in this game.  The Cardinals’ secondary will need to play better this week after the Vikings were able to make some big plays in the passing game.  I think the Eagles will be playing from behind a good portion of the game as I expect the Cardinals to jump out to an early lead and not look back.  The bottom line is the Cardinals are a better overall team with more weapons at the skill positions than the Eagles.  The Eagles are 0-6 ATS after two or more consecutive wins over their last six games.  The Cardinals take care of business and come away with the win by a touchdown.
Pick: Arizona Cardinals -4

Falcons (+3.5) at Jaguars - 25 units
After starting the year 5-0, the Atlanta Falcons have now lost six in a row and sit at 6-7 and on the outside looking in for a playoff spot. The Jacksonville Jaguars come into this game with one of the best passing attacks in the league, ranking third in passing touchdowns with 30 behind only Arizona and New England. QB Blake Bortles threw for three touchdowns in a 51-16 thumping of the Colts last week. He has now thrown 13 touchdowns and only three interceptions in the last five games. I'm looking for him along with his two big receivers, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, to put up big numbers against a Falcons’ defense that gave up 425 total yards and 38 points last week. The Jaguars will turn to backup running back Denard Robinson with T.J. Yeldon expected to miss this one with a sprained knee. For Atlanta, turnovers have been a major issue. They have turned the ball over 12 times in the last four weeks. QB Matt Ryan hasn't thrown for more than 300 yards in his last four games and the Falcons are averaging 12 points per game over that time. Since returning two weeks ago from a concussion, RB Devonta Freeman has failed to repeat the success he had at the beginning of the year. In his last two games, he has gained only 87 yards on the ground and lost a fumble. While Jacksonville can be vulnerable to the pass, they do possess a talented run-stopping unit led by Telvin Smith and Paul Posluszny who is expected to play after missing last week's game with a broken hand. His return will make it even more difficult for Atlanta to get their running game going. I'm looking for this to be a somewhat high scoring game as both teams will be able to move the ball through the air. I like Jacksonville to get the win at home. Atlanta has been awful ATS this year posting a 4-9 record ATS including losing nine straight. Jacksonville is 7-5 ATS this year including a 5-1-1 mark in their last seven.
Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars -3.5

Cardinals at Eagles (Total: 50.5 points) - 20 units
The Cardinals got by the Vikings last Thursday night as a late field goal was the difference.  The Cardinals now head to Philadelphia well-rested looking to continue their pursuit of a first round bye in the playoffs.  The Eagles got their second straight win after dropping three straight games as they defeated the Bills at home 23-20.  The total of 50.5 in this game is the second-highest for Week 15 for good reason.  Look for the potent Cardinals’ passing attack to be on full display as they face an Eagles’ defense that struggles in this area as they give up 259 passing yards/game.  Wide receivers Michael Floyd, John Brown and Larry Fitzgerald will make it very difficult for the Eagles’ secondary to slow this offense down.  RB David Johnson showed he was more than capable of producing at a high level after being named the starter when RB Chris Johnson went down with an injury.  The Eagles’ offense has played better during their two-game winning streak.  They will have to be sharp in this game as they'll need to stay with the Cardinals’ high-powered offense if they have any chance to win this game.  I expect this game to be up-tempo with both passing offenses on display.  In the Eagles’ last four out of five contests, the games have gone over the total.  Look for that trend to continue on Sunday night.  I can also see a special teams or defensive touchdown thrown in the mix as this game will go over the posted total.
Pick: Over 50.5
Panthers at Giants (Total: 48 points) - 20 units
The undefeated Carolina Panthers travel to MetLife Stadium to take on the playoff-minded New York Giants. Carolina comes into this game averaging 31 points per game on the year and 39 PPG in their last four. QB Cam Newton has been extremely impressive all season and twice in the last four games has thrown for five touchdowns despite having a mediocre receiving corps. He will be called on to carry the load again this week as Carolina will be without starting running back Jonathan Stewart who is out with a foot injury. He will be replaced by a committee of backs including Fozzy Whittaker and Mike Tolbert. Even with Stewart's absence, I expect Carolina to have success moving the ball. The Giants rank dead last in pass defense and are vulnerable to the run as well giving up more than 110 yards per game. On offense, New York is averaging 26 points per game. WR Odell Beckham Jr. has had 100 or more yards receiving in each of the last six games and scored in four straight. He will square off against Carolina's top DB Josh Norman. Outside of Beckham, QB Eli Manning's options on offense are mediocre. The running game ranks 29th in the league and will struggle against the Carolina defense. The Panthers are giving up 20 points per game on the road and I see the Giants hitting that number with Carolina putting up at least 30. The total for this game has been posted at 48 and most signs point to it going over that number. The total has gone over in eight of Carolina's last 11 games and five of New York's last seven. Four of the last five match-ups between these teams played in New York have gone over. This one will as well.
Pick: Over 48

Editor's note: Both Jeremy and Jeff started with 1,000 units as they go head to head all season long.

You can follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffBaldwin4 and Jeremy @jdwardwell5.


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