NFL odds, picks, predictions for Week 15: Expert model projects Steelers top Colts, Cowboys get past Bills

It was not the best week of football for top Super Bowl contenders.

The Eagles were blown out for the second straight week to an NFC foe, this time to the division rival Cowboys. The Chiefs fell in a narrow clash with the Bills. The Jaguars were stymied by the Browns. The Lions were tossed around by the Lions. And the Dolphins blew a late, double-digit lead to the Titans.

The chaos has left two teams looking all the stronger: the 49ers and Ravens. The two have emerged as heavy Super Bowl favorites, per the model, with San Francisco having the best odds to win it all at 31.6 percent and Baltimore second at 21.7 percent.

Each week, Sporting News’ model will project every game in the NFL 10,000 times to generate the number of times a team wins a matchup and calculate the win probability. The model adjusts after each week as it learns more about each team and that team’s quarterback.

MORE WEEK 15 PICKS: Straight up | Against the spread

Listed for each game is its projected spread, according to the model, and a team’s win probability. We’ve also included updated playoff and Super Bowl odds at the bottom. The odds listed with each game are not based on bookmakers, but rather how the model sees the game playing out. We will then compare the model’s odds with those from Caesars Sportsbook, to see how bookmakers are seeing the week’s games.

Here’s how the model sees Week 15 shaping up.

NFL picks, predictions Week 15

Chargers (-3) vs. Raiders

Win probability: 62%, Chargers

Los Angeles was given six primetime games when the schedule was announced, and it now has its fifth facing the Raiders on “Thursday Night Football.” But rather than Justin Herbert vs. Jimmy Garoppolo, fans will see Easton Stick vs. Aidan O’Connell. Las Vegas has now lost three straight games, including a dismal 3-0 clash with the Vikings, but the Chargers will have their first game with Stick as the starter. The model likes the Chargers as 3-point favorites, while Caesars favors the Raiders by 3.

Bengals (-2) vs. Vikings

Win probability: 58.1%, Bengals

The Bengals have been floored with the performance they’ve received from Jake Browning in a backup role as he’s propelled Cincinnati back into the playoff conversation. The magic in Minnesota with Joshua Dobbs has since worn off, and now, Nick Mullens will be tasked with keeping the Vikings in the race. Brian Flores’ defense should be among the most complicated for Browning to decipher, but the offensive uncertainty is favoring the Bengals, with the model (-2) and Caesars (-3.5) both leaning Cincinnati.

Steelers (-1) vs. Colts

Win probability: 53.6%, Steelers

It doesn’t get much worse than the Steelers dropping back-to-back games to the Cardinals and Patriots, the two easiest games left on their schedule, in the midst of a playoff race. The Colts had won four straight to get back in contention, but stumbled against the Bengals. In a tight AFC picture, this game is one of the most meaningful left on the schedule. This is another contest in which the model and Caesars have some disagreement on the winner, with the model leaning Steelers by 1 and Caesars favoring the Colts by 2.5.

Lions (-7) vs. Broncos

Win probability: 73.6%, Lions

Denver rebounded from a stinging defeat to the Texans by routing the Chargers during a game in which Herbert was injured. The Broncos now face the toughest matchup on their remaining schedule, heading to Detroit to take on a Lions team that was throttled by the Bears in Week 14. Detroit’s defense has struggled since the bye, having averaged 29.8 points allowed per game. But that offense has a chance to click again facing Denver. Caesars has the Lions as only 4-point favorites, while the Lions are 7-point favorites, per the model.

Falcons (-5) vs. Panthers

Win probability: 68.1%, Falcons

The NFC South continues to be wide open. No one has a winning record, and three teams tied at 6-7 for the lead, the division could come down to the last week. But at this point, facing the Panthers any time should feel like a must-win game for any of these teams. The Falcons fell to Tampa Bay, but could rebound quickly as 3-point Caesars favorites and 5-point model favorites over the 1-win Panthers.

Browns (-6) vs. Bears

Win probability: 69.4%, Browns

Cleveland has looked like a much more efficient offense with Joe Flacco at quarterback, and though the defense has struggled lately without Denzel Ward, it flashed that dominance again against Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars. The Bears all of a sudden have a standout defense, however, and one that could give Flacco and a diminished offensive line some problems. But the model (-6)  and Caesars (-3) are both on the Browns to win in Cleveland.

Chiefs (-14) vs. Patriots

Win probability: 88.3%, Chiefs

It takes a lot for the NFL to flex a Patrick Mahomes game out of primetime, but facing the Patriots will do that to teams this year. Kansas City has all of a sudden lost three of its past four contests, including two straight, but heading to Gillette Stadium to take on the Patriots, even one coming off a win over Pittsburgh, should help get the Chiefs on track. Caesars is taking a more reserved approach, favoring the Chiefs only by 9.5 points, but the model is more bullish on the Chiefs, listing them as 14-point favorites.

Packers (-2) vs. Buccaneers

Win probability: 58%, Packers

The Buccaneers have stuck around in NFC South contention all season, most recently besting the Falcons to take the lead in the division — and assume the best odds to win the division at 36.8 percent. The Packers stumbled against the Giants after impressively topping the Chiefs, but are still very much alive in a soft NFC wild-card picture. In Green Bay, the model and Caesars are thinking about the same thing: Packers in a close one, at 2-point and 3-point favorites, respectively.

Dolphins (-9) vs. Jets

Win probability: 77.4%, Dolphins

Are the Jets back? Maybe not quite. But Zach Wilson looked much improved in a dominant 30-6 win over the Texans. The Dolphins, on the other hand, did not look great falling to the Titans on “Monday Night Football.” Back in Week 12, the Dolphins shredded New York in a 34-13 blowout. But that was with Tim Boyle leading the offense under center. Perhaps the Jets will look sharper with Wilson. The model and Caesars are still picking the Dolphins to win comfortably, setting the spreads at 8.5 and 9 points.

Saints (-4) vs. Giants

Win probability: 64.3%, Saints

The Giants are suddenly one of the most fun teams in the NFL behind Tommy Cutlets, with DeVito now having led New York to three straight wins. The Saints are the complete opposite, having been booed by their home fans for their performance in a game in which they wound up winning 28-6. Every game is crucial for the Saints down the stretch in the NFC South race, and at home, they could be well poised to sap some of the fun out of New York’s run. The model has the Saints as 4-point favorites, while Caesars has New Orleans favored by 6.

Texans (-4) vs. Titans

Win probability: 63.1%, Texans

This line hinges completely on the health of C.J. Stroud. He’s in concussion protocol, and if he misses, that line is going to close significantly. Right now, the model favors the Stroud-led Texans by 4 points. Caesars appears to already have decided Stroud won’t play, favoring the Titans by 2.5 points.

49ers (-15) vs. Cardinals

Win probability: 90.1%, 49ers

The 49ers are clicking on all cylinders, having just picked up its fifth straight win by beating the Seahawks 28-16. San Francisco faced the Cardinals earlier in the year, albeit the Dobbs-led team. San Francisco clobbered Arizona 35-16. The Kyler Murray-led Arizona squad has looked more formidable and now is coming off a bye week following a 24-10 win over Pittsburgh. Even in Phoenix, the model likes San Francisco to win big (-15), a similar spread to Caesars (-13.5).

Rams (-5) vs. Commanders

Win probability: 67%, Rams

It took an improbable punt return touchdown in overtime for the Rams to fall to the Ravens, who have certainly established themselves as the AFC’s premier team so far in the season. That loss snapped Los Angeles’ three-game winning streak since the bye week. The Commanders are trending in the opposite direction, having now lost four straight before the bye. The Rams are fighting for a playoff spot, while Washington is likely fighting for a good draft pick. Both the model (-5) and Caesars (-6.5) are picking the Rams by similar margins.

Cowboys (PK) vs. Bills

Win probability: 50.2%, Cowboys

A week ago, these two teams were defeating the reigning conference champions. For the Cowboys, it re-established themselves in the NFC East race. For the Bills, it kept them alive in the wild-card race. Now in Buffalo, these two will battle, each looking to keep fighting in their respective playoff hunts. The model likes the Cowboys a bit more overall, which is why they’re the narrow favorites in a pick ’em. Buffalo is favored by 2 in Caesars’ odds.

Ravens (-4) vs. Jaguars

Win probability: 63.5%, Ravens

In what could be a playoff preview, the Ravens will head to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars. Baltimore has had some late-season struggles in the past, but has now won three straight games heading into its most difficult stretch of the year. Jacksonville is coming off back-to-back losses, both to AFC North teams, as Lawrence has battled with a high-ankle sprain. Caesars and the model both like the Ravens by similar margins in this “Sunday Night Football” showdown at 3.5 and 4 points, respectively.

Eagles (-8) vs. Seahawks

Win probability: 75.6%, Eagles

In this battle of the birds, both teams could use some the win. The Eagles need to right the ship after back-to-back blowout losses to NFC contenders. The Seahawks started the year 5-2, but have since gone 1-5, dropping four straight games, half of which coming by double digits. There’s some quarterback uncertainty in Seattle after Drew Lock started, and because of that, the model likes the Eagles by 8. Caesars has it at a closer spread, though still favoring Philadelphia by 4.

Updated NFL projections 2023

AFC East

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Dolphins 11-6 81.6% 15.0% 96.6% 17.5% 16.1% 7.3%
Bills 10-7 18.4% 35.3% 53.7% 0.0% 4.3% 1.6%
Jets 7-10 0.0% 0.1% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Patriots 4-13 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

AFC North

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Ravens 13-4 94.0% 5.6% 99.6% 58.4% 43.4% 21.7%
Browns 10-7 4.8% 64.3% 69.1% 0.6% 0.9% 0.3%
Steelers 9-8 1.1% 24.2% 25.3% 0.0% 0.3% 0.1%
Bengals 9-8 0.1% 21.5% 21.5% 0.0% 0.7% 0.3%

AFC South

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Jaguars 11-6 79.4% 15.9% 95.3% 5.0% 6.0% 2.1%
Texans 9-8 11.2% 38.5% 49.7% 0.0% 0.8% 0.2%
Colts 9-8 9.4% 36.2% 45.7% 0.0% 0.4% 0.2%
Titans 6-11 0.0% 0.2% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

AFC West

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Chiefs 11-6 97.6% 1.5% 99.1% 18.4% 26.6% 11.2%
Broncos 9-8 2.3% 40.7% 43.1% 0.0% 0.7% 0.3%
Chargers 6-11 0.0% 0.9% 0.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Raiders 6-11 0.1% 0.3% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

NFC East

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Eagles 13-4 72.8% 27.3% 100.0% 30.5% 25.6% 11.7%
Cowboys 12-5 27.3% 72.8% 100.0% 6.3% 15.1% 8.2%
Giants 6-11 0.0% 2.3% 2.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Commanders 5-12 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

NFC North

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Lions 11-6 85.8% 13.4% 99.1% 0.6% 6.9% 2.9%
Vikings 9-8 12.5% 49.8% 62.3% 0.0% 0.7% 0.3%
Packers 8-9 1.7% 35.5% 37.2% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0%
Bears 7-10 0.0% 7.0% 7.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

NFC South

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Buccaneers 8-9 36.8% 13.3% 50.0% 0.0% 0.2% 0.0%
Saints 8-9 35.5% 7.6% 43.1% 0.0% 0.2% 0.1%
Falcons 8-9 27.8% 15.8% 43.5% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0%
Panthers 2-15 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

NFC West

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
49ers 13-4 100.0% 0.1% 100.0% 62.6% 50.8% 31.6%
Rams 8-9 0.1% 37.4% 37.4% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0%
Seahawks 8-9 0.0% 18.0% 18.0% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0%
Cardinals 4-13 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

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