It's now Week 15 of the NFL season. You know what that means. It means the holidays are here and your favorite team is either battling for playoff positioning or spending tons of time on Google with terms like "NFL Mock Draft" and "Andrew Luck NFL Draft". It's pretty obvious where Arizona Cardinals fans fall in that spectrum, but for other teams, there's still some very big games left. So our "experts" are going to look at the New Orleans Saints versus the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers versus the New York Jets and give you our picks against the spread because without those, how could you sleep tonight?
Ravens (-1) vs. Saints
Unless you're into the Jets' moribund offense against the Steelers grind-it-out style, you probably agree that the premier game of the NFL weekend is Ravens-Saints. Not sure how exactly this happens, but the defending Super Bowl champion Saints (10-3) have quietly won six games in a row -- the last five of which were against under .500 football teams. Baltimore (9-4) got back on the winning track on Monday Night when Matt Schaub threw a game-losing INT and will need a win to stay in the race for the AFC North crown.
Whether or not the Ravens' offense is able to keep up with the Saints will be a good test of how far Joe Flacco has come as a quarterback. The game is in Baltimore and Vegas has set the line at -1.5, so expect a barn burner. Our "experts" are split on this game, so you might as well flip a coin. And for the record, our Coin Flip has been right 59 percent of the time picking against the spread and it says "Ravens."
Steelers (-6) vs. Jets
Oh, Rex Ryan. What have you brought on yourself now? It was one thing to start your season off with your potty-mouth tirades on HBO's Hard Knocks and it was another to tease the grizzly bear otherwise known as Tom Brady. Now we come to learn that Sal Alosi, one of your coaches, conspired to cheat the game from the sidelines. Rex, we are disappointed.
But really, to be honest, we wouldn't care all that much if your offense didn't suddenly stink. The Jets have scored a total of nine (9!) points in the last two games and now they are facing the Steel Curtain in Pittsburgh. The Steelers will likely be without defensive stud Troy Polamalu, but we don't really think it matters. We are overwhelmingly taking the Steelers in this game by a touchdown, except for those of us from New York who are homers and cling to silly dreams. Sorry, Gibberman, but that's you.
Panthers (-2.5) vs. Cardinals
Hilarious how little faith the Vegas odds-makers have in the suddenly-rejuvenated Cardinals, led by undefeated rookie sensation, John Skelton. How dare they pick the one-win Panthers over the mighty four-win Cardinals. Blasphemy!
Yeah, well ... honestly, who can blame them? Basically, Vegas is saying that both teams suck, but at least the Panthers are at home and more importantly, they are secure enough in their draft seeding now that they can afford to at least try and give their fans something (anything) to cheer about. Pretty sound logic when you think about it, but all of us here in Arizona are still infatuated with Skelton, so we are going with the Cardinals for the win.
Our Week 15 picks
Here are the rest of our Week 15 picks against the spread, along with the updated pick records on the season. We give Bryan Gibberman a lot of crap around here, but he did manage to come up with the best result for Week 14, with ten correct picks. He's still in last place, but at least has brought his pick rate up to a more respectable 44 percent (which is still last of all our "experts"). So props to Gibby.