NFL Week 15 Betting Lines
Thursday Night Football gets Week 15 off to a phenomenal start with the AFC West showdown between the Los Angeles Chargers and the visiting Kansas City Chiefs. SoFi Stadium opened last year in LA but with no fans permitted inside to appreciate its stunning beauty and amenities. This year a packed house beckons, but at least half of it is likely to be dressed in Chiefs red. Los Angeles is seen by many in the NFL community as the top threat to the Chiefs' lock of the AFC West. Justin Hebert was a sensation as the Chargers rookie quarterback and won NFL Rookie Offensive Player of the Year honors for his efforts. But Kansas City will be focused on the road and has the experience of facing full blast pressure in a way that the Chargers can't yet understand.
The Los Angeles Rams will host the Seattle Seahawks in what could be a critical NFC West Division matchup with postseason consequences. Rams head coach Sean McVay has dropped in esteem after being touted as the man that was reinventing the sport in 2018 when he and former quarterback Jared Goff took Los Angeles to the Super Bowl. Since then, NFL defensive coordinators have cracked the code to McVay's offense. Bill Belichick set the tone in New England's Super Bowl win over the Rams, and McVay never recovered. At that time, anyone that had a cup of coffee with McVay was getting interviewed for NFL head coaching jobs. That is no longer the case.
McVay and Goff had an ugly falling out last year, which facilitated a trade of Goff to the Detroit Lions for veteran Matthew Stafford. By the time the Rams play the Seahawks, we'll have a good idea how it all turned out. Speaking of falling out, the word was that Russell Wilson wanted out of Seattle. But he was never moved, likely because he is the engine that drives the Seahawks and also because of salary cap gravity.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the New Orleans Saints for NBC Sunday Night Football in an NFC South Division showdown. Last year these were the two best teams in the division. But Jameis Winston was not the Saints' starting quarterback last year. How much of a difference will that make? Winston will be going up against the GOAT, Tom Brady, who turned the Bucs into an instant champion. Brady not only made the Bucs into a champ last year, but Tampa Bay will be an even better team for 2021. Now the Bucs know they are of championship caliber and will no longer have the self-doubts of the past. Of course, the fact that Tampa Bay is better this season is no guarantee of a repeat title.
Monday Night Football offers what could be a matchup of surprise NFC and North Division contenders when the Chicago Bears host the Minnesota Vikings at what will be a chilly Soldier Field. By this point of the season, we'll know if it's more of the same with the patented Kirk Cousins tease. Or if the Vikings quarterback finally breaks through with a serious charge for the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Bears starting quarterback situation should be settled by this point in the season. And head coach Matt Nagy will either be sitting on a much cooler seat than the case last year or have a scorched rear end.
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