USA Today Sports

NFL's biggest betting mismatches: Week 15

Each week, Jason Logan breaks down some of the underlying mismatches in the NFL, hoping to give you an inside edge when handicapping the schedule. Here are four of the biggest betting mismatches from Week 15:

Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants (+7, 41.5)


Seahawks’ early rise vs. East Coast


The Seahawks internal clocks won’t know what hit them when they take the field at MetLife Stadium Sunday. Seattle and New York are scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. ET, which is 10 a.m. ET back home in the Emerald City. The Seahawks have been able to overcome the time difference this season, going 3-1 SU and ATS in 1 p.m. ET starts but are just 4-4 SU and ATS in those early games over the past two seasons, which says a lot for a team that is 20-9 ATS during that span.

Not only does Seattle need a couple cups of coffee Sunday morning but it will also have to bundle up. Temperatures in East Rutherford are expected to dip below freezing and snow is in Sunday’s forecast. The Seahawks may be used to the rain and warmer winters on the West Coast but didn’t fare well in their last foray in the snow, losing 35-24 to Chicago in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs in 2011.

Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns (Pick, 45)

Bears’ fourth-quarter scoring vs. Browns’ fourth-quarter collapses

Jay Cutler. Josh McCown. It may not matter who’s under center for the Bears with the way the Browns are buckling in the final frame. Cleveland has failed miserably at closing out games, as evidenced by its letdown loss to New England last Sunday. Granted, the Browns were burned by a terrible pass interference call but there’s no denying the 35 total points allowed in the fourth quarter over their last three games – an average of 11.7 points over the last 15 minutes.

Chicago isn’t slamming the door with defense either, but is managing to offset that with a strong sprint to the finish line on offense. The Bears are fourth in the league in fourth-quarter scoring, averaging eight points in the final frame this season. Chicago didn’t let up on Dallas Monday, tacking on another 10 points in the fourth. Da Bears are also fourth in time of possession percentage in the final 15 minutes, holding on to the pigskin 54.20 percent of the quarter. Cleveland’s 44.91 percent is fourth lowest in the NFL.

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5, 41.5)

Bengals’ QB Andy Dalton vs. Steelers’ stigma and primetime jitters

If Andy Dalton is going to get his team back to the playoffs, where they could be a very dangerous Super Bowl sleeper, he’s going to have to overcome two things that have plagued is short career in Cincinnati: the Steelers defense and the primetime spot light.

According to Yahoo!Sports, Dalton has been well below his bar versus Pittsburgh. His 53 percent completions and 67.8 passer rating in five games against the Steelers fall short of his career tallies of 60.8 percent and 85.1. Add to that a 2-3 SU record in primetime games – Cincinnati is 3-11 SU all-time on Sunday Night Football – and Dalton could be walking into a perfect storm in Pittsburgh Sunday night.

Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions (-6, 48)

Ravens’ LB Elvis Dumervil vs. Lions’ turnover troubles


This mismatch could swing to either side, depending on the ankle of Dumervil, who sat out last week’s thriller against Minnesota. Baltimore’s pass rush has been toothless without their newest addition to the linebacking corps. It failed to record a single sack against the Vikings, allowing Matt Cassel to throw for 265 yards and two TDs Sunday, and has just three sacks total in the past three games. Dumervil, who leads the team with 9.5 sacks, is questionable but holding out hope for a return in Week 15.

Without their top sack master, the Ravens may not be able to get to Lions QB Matt Stafford. Stafford has been at the center of Detroit’s three-game losing skid, throwing six interceptions during that skid. He had a clean sheet in last Sunday’s snow ball with the Eagles, but only threw the ball 25 times – his fewest attempts all season – and didn’t face any pass rush in that blizzard. If Dumervil is ready to go, that pressure could force more mistakes from Stafford.

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Posted by 7MrG7
11 months ago

Eli's been reliable all year. Reliable for throwing pick 6 that is. Should throw for 2 pick 6 against a Seattle team coming off a loss at SF. This Giants team just doesn't look right.
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Posted by penguins1503
11 months ago

Giants, Bears, Steelers, lions.
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Posted by degengambler34
11 months ago

THe giants are true trash this year, but i am worried about the start time. God though the thought of eli and a punchless offense with only 2 has been wide receivers, no tight end, no good running back, and a bad offensive line against this seahawks team is a bit of a joke though. We know wilson will be ready to play, im just not sure about the rest of his squad.
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Posted by degengambler34
11 months ago

THe giants are true trash this year, but i am worried about the start time. God though the thought of eli and a punchless offense with only 2 has been wide receivers, no tight end, no good running back, and a bad offensive line against this seahawks team is a bit of a joke though. We know wilson will be ready to play, im just not sure about the rest of his squad.
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Posted by RichardHertz
11 months ago

Seattle, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Baltimore. Excellent call benching McCown 6 days after he plays the game of his life. Only Chicago...
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Posted by RichardHertz
11 months ago

Seattle fans are entertaining to say the least. So upset over the analysis in this article, who do they think they are? The 2007 Patriots?
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Posted by forkball
11 months ago

Who was qb for Seattle in 2011..? G men ready to pack it in as evidenced in San Diego last week. Hawks win 2/3 and home field is in the bag. I called Caroll to make sure the team is tucked in early and to dress warm for the game...unbelievable !
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Posted by Stevens61310
11 months ago

If we are talking straight up wins Seattle's defense should handle the self-destructive Giants, Chicago is a better team than Cleveland and should win by double digits, I like Pitt in that one, and once again Detroit will prove they are nothing but smoke and mirrors
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Posted by wde
11 months ago

LET'S LOOK AT THE SCENARIO'S, SEATTLE IS IN, SO I'LL TAKE THE GIANTS, CHICAGO WANTS IN, SO I'LLTAKE CHICAGO, PITTSBURGH HAS NOTHING TO PLAY FOR, SO I'LL TAKE CINN, BALTIMORE AND DETROIT WILL BE A VERY CLOSE GAME, SO I'LL TAKE THE POINTS AND BALTIMORE.
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Posted by JinnRikki
11 months ago

Rusty Cutlery versus dull cleaver, take the cleavers and thank me Monday.
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Posted by deenize
11 months ago

Seattle got momentum. Chi, Cinn, Det looking for some. Cutler back should help against Browns. Dalton needs to win for confidence. Stafford needs to prove he belongs.
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Posted by THEMUGG
11 months ago

"The Seahawks have been able to overcome the time difference this season, going 3-1 SU and ATS in 1 p.m. ET starts but are just 4-4 SU and ATS in those early games over the past two seasons....." What's more important, this year or last year? I guess you didn't know it's been in the 20's-30's over the last week in Seattle.............pretty weak angle. Seattle rolls.
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Posted by J_Logan
11 months ago

When you look at the Seahawks' ATS mark over the last two seasons, four of their nine ATS losses have come in 1 pm ET starts - that's 44 percent. I'm just shedding light on that fact and bettors may not want to jump on Seattle blindly. This spread has already come down to -6.5 at some books, so somebody is wary of that fact.
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Posted by mo008
11 months ago

Bears with Cutler back at QB, everybody in Chicago are thinking that Bears will going to lost to Browns. They dislike the QB and he will blow the game. But I think Bears have good offense get the job done. The Bears would blowout Cleveland easily, 38- 23 final !
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Posted by tommyblinds
11 months ago

Seattle . Clev, Pitt, Balt for me
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Top Response

Posted by mo008
11 months ago

"Bears with Cutler back at QB, everybody in Chicago are thinking that Bears will going to lost to Browns. They dislike the QB and he will blow the game. But I think Bears have good offense get the job done. The Bears would blowout Cleveland easily, ..."