Welcome to week fifteen of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series. With only three weeks left we are nearing the end of the season. If you are still alive in your leagues then you have had one hell of a year after the many surprise upsets we have seen this season. Hopefully for the few of you still alive I can provide some words of wisdom towards a perfect season. Read on and feel free to comment at the end.
Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups
What was more surprising to you? The Steelers defeating the Bengals in Cincinnati, or the Carolina Panthers completely dominating the New Orleans Saints? While these games are a complete pain to pick against, at least they are fun to watch! Do yourself a favor this week and avoid the many division games listed below:
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- Arizona at St. Louis
- Miami at New England
- Washington at NY Giants
- Oakland at Kansas City
- Houston at Indianapolis
- Cincinnati at Cleveland
- Denver at San Diego
- Minnesota at Detroit
- San Francisco at Seattle
Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups
While there were no big surprises in prime time last week, the Atlanta Falcons did get very close to upsetting the Packers who seemed to have the game in the bag as early as the second quarter. Keep your eyes on these games and avoid when possible:
- Dallas at Philadelphia (also a division matchup)
- New Orleans at Chicago
Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage
The biggest consistency we have seen this season is the home teams have increasingly become better and better. There is no better example of this in week fourteen than watching the Oakland Raiders defeat the San Francisco 49ers by double digit points. Be aware this week and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:
- Pittsburgh at Atlanta
- Green Bay at Buffalo
Step 4 – Make your pick!
Carolina has gotten back into the groove by returning to their roots of running the ball down their opponent’s throats. Next comes a struggling Tampa Bay team who may be returning to Mike Glennon after a three game losing streak. After what Carolina did to New Orleans, Tampa Bay should be a cake walk even with Cam Newton standing on the sidelines.
Carolina over Tampa Bay
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Another option I like this week:
Baltimore over Jacksonville
Last Sunday the Baltimore Ravens had a huge win over the Miami Dolphins, possibly opening the door for them to make the playoffs. If they can beat a tough Miami team on the road then this week should be a piece of cake. In a win and in scenario the rest of the season, I just don’t see the Ravens losing to the lowly Jaguars in a game this important. This is easily the lock of the week. My pick of the week is: