NFL Odds Week 15: Rams & Bears Favored in Crucial Games

One piece of bad news about Week 15 of the NFL season: It’s the last with a Thursday night game. But some good news: It’s the first week with Saturday action now that the college football regular season has concluded.
Three teams entered Week 15 having clinched playoff berths: The Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs. The Rams are home on Sunday night this week against the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. Los Angeles would clinch no worse than the NFC’s No. 2 seed with a win and is up to a 10.5-point favorite on the NFL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com over the Eagles, who need a victory to keep their slim wild-card chances alive.
Philadelphia has won and covered the past five in this series. However, it now appears the Eagles could be without star quarterback Carson Wentz due to a back injury. This line has been steadily rising since that news came out and could continue to grow when/if confirmed.
The Chicago Bears shockingly dominated the Rams last Sunday night and would clinch their first NFC North title since 2010 with a home win over the Green Bay Packers, who are set as 6-point underdogs. The Packers would be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss but are 12-4 ATS in the past 16 in this series.
Likely the biggest game Sunday is New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers in a matchup of division leaders. The Patriots clinch yet another AFC East title with a win and Miami Dolphins loss earlier Sunday at the Minnesota Vikings. New England is -2 for the game against Pittsburgh, which could be without injured top running back James Conner again. The Steelers have lost the past five in this series, by an average of more than 12 points.
Miami, meanwhile, is +7.5 at Minnesota, which comes off an ugly Monday night loss in Seattle. That led to the firing Tuesday of offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, who was only in his first season and a hot candidate this past winter on the open market as both an OC and head coach. The Dolphins are 2-9 ATS in their past 11 road games.
Week 15 closes with the Saints visiting the Carolina Panthers on Monday night. New Orleans, a 6.5-point favorite at online betting sites, clinches no worse than the NFC’s No. 2 seed with a win and Bears loss on Sunday. The Panthers have lost five straight and their playoff hopes are gone with another defeat. They are 10-1 straight up and 8-3 ATS in their past 11 at home.
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