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Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 15 Analysis/Review/Notes

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Dec 19, 2019
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Monday, December 16, 2019 Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints (NFL) - 8:15 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 9.5/-110 Indianapolis Colts Rating: 9* Mike's MNF Attention Grabber (LOSS) The Saints are definitely the more flashy & talented team. However, just like the 49ers, they left a lot on that field (multiple injuries to key personnel) in last week's 48-46 thriller & loss @ this venue. In that game, I know Colts' HC Frank Reich WAS paying attention to the fact that the New Orleans defense CAN be beat vertically. It's pertinent that WR T.Y. Hilton (378 receiving yards, 10.8 YPC, % TD's in limited action & is listed as questionable here) gets off his duff & plays some football in a game that Indy can compete with him in the lineup. Taking the Horseshoes plus getting double-digits are BIG here since the Colts have only lost ONCE by more than a TD. That game was against Tennessee (31-17) who benefited by a 10-point swing after returning a blocked FG for a TD. Let's crunch some numbers. New Orleans has NOT done well @ home being over-priced in most on their way to a 3-8 ATS record. You think the Saints (1-4 statistically since their bye week) would bounce back off a home loss. Further examination of the database shows when the Who Dats are a home favorite of 7 or more coming off a SU home loss, they've gone a ticket-ripping 0-7 ATS! In addition, the last 11 times NO has taken on non-conference teams @ home reveals a staggering 1-10 record versus the number. In the month of December, HC Sean Payton is a very pedestrian 25-26 ATS. My bottom line says after you look @ the Colts in prime-time non-divisional roadies on Monday night, you'll find they're a take-me-to-the-window 7-1 ATS! I'm ready! Let's get pumped to end the week right as we take the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (buying to + 11 1/2) as MNF Attention Grabber @ the Mercedes-Benz Superdome! Sunday, December 15, 2019 Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers (NFL) - 1:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -210 Green Bay Packers Rating: 9* Mike's Black N' Blue Division Deep Impact Play (WIN) If you think the mushes have been HOOKED into taking the 7-6 SU Bears, you're thinking right. Throw out the meaningless trends here & remember that Chicago (against like teams on the road) have already lost by 8 (22-14) @ Philadelphia AND came on the short end of a 17-7 verdict @ the Los Angeles Rams. For this one, the key number to remember is 19. The Bears average 19 PPG on the road & the Packers' "D" yields 19 PPG @ home. QB Aaron Rodgers (23/2 TD/INT ratio, 3,260 passing yards with a 102 QBR) & the 10-3 SU Green N' Gold are averaging 26 PPG @ Lambeau & definitely rate the edge over an inconsistent Mitch Trubisky & his Monsters Of The Midway who couldn't handle Oakland away from home. Yes, this rivalry is the oldest since this game sets an NFL series' record with its 200th meeting (GB leads the series @ 98-95-6) since their 1st game back in 1920 when the then Chicago Staleys blanked the Packers 20-0. These 2 teams are 2 of 4 of the original NFL franchises since the 20's that still exist along side the Cardinals & Giants. The Packers ALSO hold the record for most NFL championships with 13 while the Bears have 9 (2nd place) but flip them for Hall Of Fame members since Chi-Town chimes in with 28 & Green Bay with 25 (2nd). You've had the history lesson so now the bottom line. I don't see things getting any easier than their 1st meeting in September where the Cheeseheads frustrated Trubisky as they force him to make plays from the pocket on their way to a shutdown 10-3 win @ Soldier Field. The X-Factor for this game has to be GB RB Aaron Jones (779 rushing yards, 4.5 YPR, 12 TD's, 425 receiving yards, 9.4 YPC & 3 more TD's) who makes Rodgers' passing game effective when he & RB Jamaal Williams (401 rushing yards, 4.3 YPR) collectively get 25 or more rushes. You have to side with the Lambeau Leapers here since its a classic brutal weather game with 15 degrees (+1 degree with wind chill) scheduled for kickoff on the frozen tundra. Opportunity speaks louder than words as we have Green Bay with a +11 turnover ratio that stands many cuts above Chicago's + 1. We'll gladly take our chances with Rodgers being a stellar 71-19 SU @ home up against the younger Trubisky whose underdog woes are well documented @ 6-9 SU. While there's always that threat of an ugly backdoor cover, the ML is the place to go with eventual divisional winner GB combined with Chicago DT Akiem Hicks due back. A win here & one @ Detroit in Week 17 should be enough to win the NFC North even if they lose @ Minnesota next week. Why? I feel the Vikings don't survive this week @ the Chargers. Let's jet up north to Wisconsin's Lambeau Field (which was New City Stadium in 57' until long-time player & HC Curly Lambeau died in 65') to play the GREEN BAY PACKERS on the ML as my Black N' Blue Division Deep Impact Play! Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans (NFL) - 1:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 3/-110 Houston Texans Rating: 9* Mike's AFC South Rule Of The Roost Play (WIN) Sorry, I don't see the look-ahead last week Texans to lay ANOTHER egg here! This will be the 1st of 2 quick meeting in the next 3 weeks between these 2 (8-5 SU) teams with the finale scheduled for the last week of the season in Houston. I feel the Texans definitely got caught up in a celebration week in their lopsided home loss to Denver (38-24) after they earned an overdue upset win (28-22) entertaining New England the week before. Don't expect a Romeo Crennel defense to be flat 2 weeks in a row. Yes, there's no doubt that newly-inserted QB Ryan Tannehill (6-1 SU after relieving Marcus Mariota) is playing @ a high level with a 15/5 TD/INT ratio, 73.4% completions, 1,993 passing yards & a stellar NFL-leading 118.5 QBR. However, we'll be picking this ATS where Tannehill's career chalk record as a favorite sits @ a pedestrian 18-19. Now let's flip the coin to the other side as we look @ mobile Texans' QB Deshaun Watson (3,425 passing yards, 67.7% completions, 24/9 TD/INT ratio & a 100.9 QBR) who may be a dud as a favorite going 7-11 ATS. However, when we dress him up as an underdog, he's definitely a horse of a different color. When Watson is dressed up as a pup, he turns in a very profitable 11-4 ATS since his inception. In addition, he's a ticket-cashing 10-5 versus the number on the road as well as a not-too-shabby 8-4 SU versus the AFC South. Besides having Will Fuller back (off hamstring injury) this week, WR DeAndre Hopkins remains the biggest deep threat for Houston turning in ACF-leading 93 receptions for 1,023 yards & 7 TD's. Those wideouts will pick & chose their spots staying clear of Tennessee Safety Kevin Byard who leads the NFL in interceptions over the past 3 seasons with 16. My bottom line looks @ the status of key cog & Titans' RB Derrick Henry (1,243 rushing yards, 5.0 YPR, 13 TD's, 206 receiving yards & 2 more TD's). Henry is listed as probable but he won't be near 100% coming off a hamstring injury. Tennessee ranks 17th in total offense but Houston cracks the Top 10 ranks 9th. The mushes will RUN to bet the Titans this week based on their recent 4-0 SU & ATS record the past 4. However, the number is already factored in. Let's jaunt down to Nissan Stadium in Nashville to play the HOUSTON TEXANS (buying to a key + 4 1/2) as my AFC South Rule Of The Roost Play! Minnesota Vikings vs. Los Angeles Chargers (NFL) - 4:05 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 1.5/-110 Los Angeles Chargers Rating: 9* Mike's NFL Public Missed Perception Play (LOSS) All the mushes are QUICK to point out that the Vikings are ROLLING @ 9-4 SU & their QB Kirk Cousins (3,274 passing yards, 70.1% completions, 24/4 TD/INT ratio, sacked 23 times for an NFL 2nd-best 112 QBR) is set to get key WR Adam Thielen (391 receiving yards, 14.5 YPC, 6 TD's) back off of a 4-week hamstring injury. The key doesn't solely lie on dual-threat RB Dalvin Cook (1,108 rushing yards, 4.6 YPR & 13 TD's, 503 receiving yards), it also lies on the effectiveness of Cousins. While Cousins has been lights-out @ home going 6-0 SU with 5 double-digit wins, he's been very mediocre @ best on the road. On the NFL road, he's gone 16-26 SU (3-4 this season that includes 2 patsies like the Giants & Lions) & 21-21 ATS. The 9-4 SU Purple People Eaters have NOT had much success versus this AFC West Division outside of beating Oakland 34-14 @ home. In their other games, they've lost @ Kansas City 26-23 & squeaked past Denver 27-23 in Minnesota. Even though the Chargers have been eliminated for the playoffs @ 5-8 SU, they're still playing decent ball. But how have they done in their 3 games played versus the NFC North? They've lost early @ Detroit 13-10, they beat Chicago on the road 17-16 & handled the division-leading Packers 26-11 @ this venue just 5 weeks ago. So the Los Angeles defense (ranks 4th in total "D"-Minnesota's 14th) has fared very well versus this division yielding just 13.3 PPG. My bottom line says you better remember these SAME Vikings are a perfect 0-3 SU their last 3 visits to California. In addition, Minnesota HC Mike Zimmer has struggled overall during his coaching career in December going just 11-12 SU as well as in the Mountain & Pacific time zones going just 1-6! Continuing to crunch some numbers, we have to look @ Chargers' QB Philip Rivers (3,748 passing yards, 65.1 % completions, 20/15 TD/INT ratio, sacked 27 times for a 90.7 QBR) when installed as an underdog. Rivers has gone a very respectable 52-38 ATS career as a pup while also a decent 30-25 SU in Non-Conference games. With 2 Vikes' CB's hobbling (Xavier Rhodes-ankle & Mike Hughes oblique muscle), LA is the play since all of their 8 losses have come by a TD or less. This should be a FG game with your 10th-ranked (Chargers) & 11th-ranked (Vikings) teams in total offense. We're also playing this @ OUR NUMBER. As we go to the smallest venue in the NFL, Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, we're hopping all over the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (buying to + 4 1/2) as my NFL Public Missed Perception Play! Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) - 1:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 10/-115 Denver Broncos Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Ugly Pig Game Of The Week (LOSS) There's no doubt that the 1st meeting between these 2 during Week 7 was UGLY with QB Pat Mahomes injuring his knee on a QB sneak @ the goal line. Despite that injury, the damage was already done in a lopsided 30-6 Kansas City win @ Denver. Not only is this a revenge game, but a game where we can say that the Chiefs definitely come in as FAT CATS off a win @ New England, 23-16 . This is the same situation Houston found themselves in the past week against these same Broncos who beat them 38-24. Yes, the KC defense showed up aggressive & pressured Tom Brady throughout last week. However, bringing that same intensity will be very hard with a defense ranked 20th in total "D" which fails in comparison with Denver's that ranks 11th. Power ratings show the Broncos about 10 points lower. However, the BULK of those stats factored in were with Joe Flacco who had a 6/5 TD/INT ratio & a low 85.1 QBR. Playing rookie QB Drew Lock (making his 3rd start) turned in BIG dividends last week who went 22-for-27 for 301 yards & 3 TD's. At 5-8 SU & going nowhere, I expect the loosey-goosey Broncos to bring their "A" game once again & play this as their Super Bowl since they only have Detroit & Oakland left on the schedule. My bottom line points out the hand injury to Mahomes last Sunday @ NE might be hurting more than he's admitted & HC Andy "The Walrus" Reid maybe adjusting his game plan a tweak or 2. We definitely benefit from KC winning 3 SU & ATS in a row. Number ALSO show Mahomes is just 13-11 ATS as a favorite career & a shocking 7-8 ATS in front of the Arrowhead faithful. I love the fact that the rookie Lock (2-0 SU with wins over the Chargers & Texans) is looking promising since he knows he's playing for a starting position on next season's squad right now! Let's fly up to Missouri's Arrowhead Stadium to play the motivated & revenge-minded DENVER BRONCOS (buying to a key + 11 1/2) as my NFL Ugly Pig Game Of The Week! Los Angeles Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys (NFL) - 4:25 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread 1/-110 Dallas Cowboys Rating: 9* Mike's Mush-Fader Game Of The Week & Systems Play (WIN) After that convincing 28-12 L.A. home win over Seattle combined with the Bears' 31-24 home win over the Cowboys, the mushes will be all OVER the Rams here! Remember, more than likely the N.F.L. stands for "Not For Long" when you look to BLINDLY bet on a team after what you just saw. THIS is one of those situations. This matchup goes MUCH deeper. Jerry's Boys are in revenge mode here after the Rams knocked them out of the playoffs with a 30-22 win @ L.A. last season. Before anyone starts throwing daggers @ Dallas QB Dak Prescott, you need to know his numbers are substantially better than Jared Goff's. Goff comes into this with a very pedestrian 15/14 TD/INT ratio, 3,712 passing yards, 63% completion rate & an 84.8 QBR. Prescott enters in with a 24/11 TD/ratio, 4,122 passing yards, 65.5% completions & a 98.2 QBR. Look for the Cowboys to get back to what they do best, run. It's clear that amidst their current 3-game losing skein they've rushed for an average of 22 times -their lowest average in any 3 consecutive game stretch. This same Dallas squad started the season carrying the rock nearly 33 times a game & came out 3-0 SU heading into Week 4. My bottom line says Dak Prescott has been better than good @ home in his career going 21-11 SU. He runs an "O" that ranks #1 in the NFL in total offense (L.A.'s 8th) & has an offensive line that ranks #1 in sacks allowed with 18 (Rams are #2 with 19). Let's crunch some final numbers! First, my decades-old & proven road exhaustion theory KICKS in here! L.A.'s offense comes in FAT scoring 62 the last 2 & now travels. Since they're not a Top 5 offense, they are a play-against team. Last, L.A. has been HABITUAL under-achievers when matched up against .400 or greater opponents who are coming off back-to-back SU losses. In this situation, they've gone a dominating 2-17 SU & an Antarctic-like 1-17-1 ATS! Let's hold our noses as we go to AT&T Stadium to play the DALLAS COWBOYS (but we'll buy to a key + 3 1/2) as my Mush-Fader Game Of The Week & Systems Play! Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) - 8:20 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 0/-115 Pittsburgh Steelers Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Sunday Night Bailout Play (LOSS) This one is more than an intriguing matchup as the red-hot 9-4 SU Buffalo Bills (who left a lot on the field in their hard-fought 24-17 home loss to the Ravens last week) meet the Wild Card hopeful 8-5 SU Pittsburgh Steelers who arguably have a Coach Of The Year candidate in Mike Tomlin. No, we won't be seeing WR JuJu Smith-Schuster again. However, I DO believe we WILL see a glimpse of RB James Conner whose back but now sharing duties with his fellow RB's Benny Snell, Jr. & Jaylen Samuels. The Steelers have actually been hotter than Buffalo as they've won 7 of their past 8 since an OT home loss to Baltimore back in Week 5. Yes, we still have to give Bills' rookie QB Josh Allen (2,737 passing yards, 17/8 TD/INT ratio, 59.8% completions, sacked 33 times with a pedestrian 85.8 QBR) his due as he leads his team with 8 rushing TD's. However, his stats have been padded as well as Buffalo's record since they've taken on the easiest schedule in the NFL (32nd) & have beaten 1 team with a winning record, a 14-7 victory @ Tennessee BT (before Tannehill)! My bottom line says we have to remember the key number here is 3. Why 3? Because 3 represents the MOST the 2019-20 rendition of the Pittsburgh Steelers have lost by @ home (Seattle 28-26 & Baltimore 26-23). Part of the reason for their recent success has to be their 3-0 SU & ATS, 3rd-string game managing QB Devlin "Duck" Hodges (71.3% completions, 8.5 YPA, 4/2 TD/INT ratio for a very good 103.2 QBR) & a ground game by committee that's rushed for 424 yards during their current 3-game winning streak. In addition, HC Tomlin is a December warrior whose gone an excellent 36-17 SU career in that month. In this game between 2 great defensive teams (Buffalo is 3rd & Pittsburgh is 5th in total defense), we're going to grab the more opportunistic team (Steelers have a +12 turnover ratio while the Bills are @ +2). We'll confidently go to Heinz Field during PRIME TIME to play the PITTSBURGH STEELERS (but we'll push them beyond that earlier mentioned key number--buying them to + 3 1/2) as my NFL Sunday Night Bailout Play! NOTES: Wow, what an unpredictable week! I certainly wasn't expecting Pittsburgh losing the turnover war badly (4 Hodges INT's & fumbled on 1st & goal) after dominating it with a +12 ratio. It was equally as tough to see a Denver "D" get dominated in the snow in KC & the Chargers (even in total yards but 7 TO's) to lay an egg @ home after 3 very good games versus the NFC North which included a double-digit win versus Green Bay. However, we did rack up some impressive wins with Houston upsetting Tennessee on the road, the Packers handling the Trubisky-led Bears & the Cowboys finally showing why their #1 in total offense as they ran rickshaw over the Rams in Texas. I'll be looking to make that later-season push with 6 regular season/playoff weeks left til' the conclusion of the NFL with the Super Bowl 54 @ Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on February 2nd. Going into Week 16, my NFL Power Rankings are as follows: 1) Baltimore Ravens 2) New Orleans Saints 3) San Francisco 49ers 4) Kansas City Chiefs 5) Seattle Seahawks 6) New England Patriots 7) Minnesota Vikings 8) Green Bay Packers 9) Buffalo Bills 10) Houston Texans. Go to my articles @ VTD from Week 1 on for accurate records. Thanks to all my loyal subscribers & followers for a successful season so far. Mike Handzelek's 2019 NFL Week 15 Record: 3-4 for a disappointing 43% Mike Handzelek's 2019-20 NFL overall Seasonal Record: 37-29 for a decent 56%

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