NFL betting: Week 15 survivor pool picks

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  • Tua Tagovailoa
    Tua Tagovailoa
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  • Zach Wilson
    Zach Wilson
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The survivor gods granted a reprieve in Week 14, striking down less than 1% of entries. It may have been the calm before the tempest, however, as Week 15 is already shaping up to be the most unpredictable slate of the year. More than 75 players have tested positive for COVID-19 since Monday, sending teams, fantasy leagues and betting spreads into a state of chaos. Before we burrow into this week's picks, let's recap how we did in Week 14:

Week 14 picks

Best Bets: 2-0 (YTD: 20-5)

Leans: 1-0 (YTD: 14-3)

Traps to avoid: 0 eliminations avoided (YTD: 11)

On to the Week 15 picks!

All lines from BetMGM.

BEST BETS

Miami Dolphins (-10) vs. New York Jets

The Dolphins have been on a heater, reeling off five wins in a row and outscoring their opponents 115-55 in the process. Their defense has forced 11 turnovers during this period and ranks third in the NFL this year in home takeaways. New York, meanwhile, is tied with Jacksonville for most giveaways. Jets rookie QB Zach Wilson has been awful against pressure, throwing at least one interception in seven of the eight full games he's played. Like many BYU students, Wilson rarely encountered any physical contact in college, doing the majority of his work in a clean pocket. Miami blitzes at the second-highest rate in the league and will be in his face all afternoon. Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa, conversely, has been lighting up defenses like the Rockefeller Christmas tree. In the three games since he's been back in the starting lineup, Tagovailoa is completing 80% of his pass attempts. Thirty of those have been funneled to rookie receiver Jaylen Waddle, who's on pace to break Anquan Boldin's record for rookie receptions. They'll have a plus-matchup against a Jets secondary that ranks last in completion percentage allowed and interceptions.

Just over 28% of pool entries are swimming with the Dolphins this week. There's little future value the rest of the way for Miami.

Arizona Cardinals (-13.5) at Detroit Lions

This is the biggest spread and most popular pick on the board this week, and for good reason. Detroit's offense is ranked 31st in DVOA, mustering the third-fewest points of any team this year. With offensive centerpieces D'Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson not practicing due to injury, the Lions are going to have a tough time moving the ball against the NFL's fourth-best scoring defense. When the cleats are on the other foot, we get a Detroit defense giving up the fifth-highest QB rating and 27.2 points per game versus Kyler Murray (third-highest QB rating) and a Cards offense averaging 28.2. Arizona is a perfect 7-0 on the road. They'll be 8-0 after this one.

Nearly 37% of submitted picks are on Arizona. Similar to the Dolphins, they don't hold much future value.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is completing 80% of his pass attempts over the last three weeks. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is completing 80% of his pass attempts over the last three weeks. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

LEANS

Dallas Cowboys (-10.5) at New York Giants

Giants QB Mike Glennon is 0-2 as a starter this year and 2-14 since 2014. The last time he won a game, we were still more than 19 months away from the "Game of Thrones" finale. New York's Week 5 game against the Cowboys gave off "Red Wedding" vibes, with starting QB Daniel Jones getting knocked out of the picture and Glennon subbing in for a 44-20 bloodbath. Their offense has been tough to watch the entire season. Joe Judge's squad is the only team in the NFL that hasn't scored 30 points in at least one game this year. No Giants receiver has caught a touchdown since Week 7. The organization attempted to fix the state of things by firing offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, but New York is bottom five in total offense since he got the boot. A Dallas defense that's been vastly outperforming expectations under new coordinator Dan Quinn is finally getting key players like Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence back from injury, as rookie linebacker Micah Parsons' play has locked up Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and put him right behind Myles Garrett for DPOY favorite. All the firepower in this game is on the Dallas sideline.

A shade over 10% of entries are locked in on the Cowboys, whose future value is a home game next week versus Washington.

TRAPS TO AVOID

Minnesota Vikings (-3.5) at Chicago Bears

Pssst, wake up. I'm the Ghost of Survivor Pools Past and I'm here to talk to you about the Minnesota Vikings. I heard you want to push all your chips in on one of the NFL's most unpredictable teams playing on the road against a division rival on Monday night. Did you know that Matt Nagy has defeated Mike Zimmer in five of their last six matchups? Of course not, you're too busy working poor Bob Cratchit to death.

Close to 3% of entries are going back to Skol this week. 

Cleveland Browns (+1.5) vs. Las Vegas Raiders

I can't believe I have to include an underdog here, but nearly 2% of you still have your entries locked on the Browns. More than a quarter of their active roster is on the COVID-19/reserve list. Maybe they'll pull out a win without their secondary, offensive line, quarterback and head coach, but did you really survive until Week 15 to take that chance? 

Stats provided by Football Outsiders, teamrankings.com, CBS Sports, and nfl.com.

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