NFL Week 15 Parlay Picks
If the playoffs started today, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Texans would be the winners of the AFC North and AFC South, respectively, and would each host a wild-card round game. Both clubs look to take another step toward repeating as division champion on Sunday and I recommend parlaying them together in the NFL odds.
NFL Week 15 Parlay Picks
— NFL (@NFL) December 12, 2016
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5)
Could Pittsburgh (8-5) be looking for some payback here? Last year, Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict pulled down Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell on the play that ended his season with a knee injury, and he put big hits on Ben Roethlisberger and receiver Antonio Brown in the Bengals’ AFC wild-card loss. The Steelers will face Burfict for the first time since he concussed Brown with a late hit in that wild card game in January. For that vicious hit and others, Burfict was suspended for the first three games of this season and missed the first meeting between the Steelers and Bengals at Heinz Field in September. Pittsburgh left guard Ramon Foster said he’s hoping to return to the starting lineup against the Bengals after missing this past Sunday’s Bills game with a chest injury. It’s the second game Foster has missed this season due to a chest injury. He also missed the Chiefs game earlier in the season.
Will Cincinnati (5-7- 1) have top receiver A.J. Green? He has not played in a game or practiced since Week 11 when he was carted off against the Bills with a Grade II hamstring tear. He has missed the past three games, but he has been jogging and doing work on the rehab field during practice. Green traveled with the team to Cleveland last week, but he did not do any pre-game warmups prior to the game against the Browns, which was held in snowy conditions. Green is expected to practice on Wednesday so that’s a good sign. Green is 36 receiving yards shy of his sixth straight 1,000-yard season. He could join Randy Moss as the only players in NFL history with 1,000-plus receiving yards in each of his first six seasons.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-6)
Houston (7-6) is tied atop the AFC South with Tennessee following the Texans’ 22-17 upset win at Indianapolis on Sunday to end a three-game losing streak. The Texans won for the second straight year in Indy, have won nine straight against division foes and got their first sweep of the Colts in franchise history. Lamar Miller finished 21 carries for 107 yards, while Brock Osweiler was 14 of 24 for 147 yards with one interception. Miller converted on a two-yard run for Houston’s only touchdown. Miller finally broke out of his two week slump and went over 1,000 yards on the season. Texans top cornerback Johnathan Joseph (ribs) said he is “shooting for” a Week 15 return. Joseph was not able to play Sunday after suffering cracked ribs and a bruised lung Week 13 against the Packers. “It’s a day-to- day thing,” Joseph said. “Hopefully, the next day is better.” Houston did a surprisingly good job against Andrew Luck even without Joseph in the lineup.
Jacksonville (2-11) lost an eighth straight game Sunday, 25-16 at home to Minnesota. Before Sunday, the Jaguars had allowed just two pass plays longer than 40 yards all season. They gave up three in the first half against Minnesota. Johnathan Cyprien forced a fumble on the goal line that Malik Jackson recovered in the fourth quarter to keep the Vikings from extending their lead. The Jaguars couldn’t take advantage because quarterback Blake Bortles and the Jaguars’ offense couldn’t do anything with the turnover. Bortles completed 23-of- 37 passes for 257 yards and a touchdown. He added 13 rushing yards and didn’t commit any turnovers, but did take four sacks. Still, this was a step forward for Bortles in what so far has been lost year.