We've reached Week 15 of the NFL season, and ESPN betting analysts Joe Fortenbaugh, Preston Johnson and Doug Kezirian, sports betting deputy editor David Bearman and general editor Ben Fawkes, Fantasy's Mike Clay, and Matt Youmans of the Vegas Stats & Information Network are here to tell us what they like from Sunday's NFL slate.
Season ATS (against the spread) records:
Youmans 1-2-1 (27-22-2 on season)
Kezirian 1-1 (15-20-1)
Bearman 2-1 (15-16-1)
Clay 2-2 (21-11)
Fortenbaugh 3-1 (30-24-1)
Preston Johnson 1-3 (18-24-1)
Note: Caesars Sportsbook lines displayed as of Wednesday; all times Eastern. Picks on lines available at time of posting.
1 p.m. games
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-4.5, 40.5)
Fortenbaugh: The Packers have a good record, but are they a good football team? This is the question I've been pondering all week after watching Aaron Rodgers and company post a 3-2 record over their last five contests with wins over the Panthers, Giants and Redskins (combined record of 10-29), coupled with humiliating losses against the Chargers (26-11) and 49ers (37-8). I know that Rodgers is an elite quarterback, but I have questions about the head coach as well as every other position on the field. After all, the Packers rank 22nd in total defense, 24th in opponent yards per play and 18th in opponent third-down conversions. Something definitely looks off.
Meanwhile, the Bears are back from the brink after ripping off four wins over their last five outings while holding the opposition to just 17.6 points per game during that stretch. Oh, and did I forget to mention that Chicago enters Week 15 on 10 days of rest and expects linchpin defender Akiem Hicks back from a dislocated elbow sustained in Week 5? Don't be shocked if the Bears win this game outright.