If you’re looking to combine sports betting and DFS, DraftKings Sportsbook Pools might be for you. It combines your knowledge of sports betting with the upside of a DFS-style prize pool. Pick the winner for each of 12 NFL games on Sunday against the spread and the higher you finish on the leaderboard, the more money you earn. Check out the contest at the DraftKings Sportsbook Pools page or by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.
Let’s take a look at all 12 NFL contests slated for Sunday’s DraftKings Sportsbook Pro Football Week 15 Spreads Pool, including my five personal favorites.
San Francisco 49ers (-2.5) @ Dallas Cowboys
The Pick: 49ers -2.5
Both of these teams are coming off deceptive performances last week. The 49ers lost, but they played significantly better than the final score indicates. San Francisco outgained Washington by a significant margin but was plagued by sacks and turnovers. Turnovers are part of the equation with Nick Mullens under center, but you’re supposed to win games when you outgain the opposition by more than 150 yards.
On the other hand, the Cowboys clearly got lucky against the Bengals. Cincinnati has been anemic with Brandon Allen at quarterback, but they moved the ball well to start the game last week. However, they fumbled on each of their first three possessions, which put them in a huge hole that they were unable to dig themselves out of. With some better fumble luck, the Bengals could have easily won that contest.
With that in mind, this is an obvious buy-low spot for the 49ers. The Cowboys’ defense is a joke, and San Francisco should be able to pummel them with their run game. Raheem Mostert is currently listed as questionable with the expectation that he will play, but Jeff Wilson and Jerick McKinnon should be more than adequate against Dallas. The Cowboys rank just 27th in rush defense DVOA this season, so this is a potential smash spot.
Additionally, the Cowboys should struggle when they have the ball. The 49ers are not the same elite defensive team that they were last year — that will happen when you lose half your defense to injuries — but they’re still capable of shutting down weak offensive units. It happened last week against Washington, and Dallas isn’t much better.
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings (-3.5)
The Pick: Bears +3.5
This game represents a classic “sharps vs. squares” showdown. The public is all over the Vikings. They hate Mitch Trubisky, love the Vikings’ skill position players and remember when the Vikings beat the Bears by six points on the road back in Week 10. The Vikings have received 56% of the early betting tickets in this contest and that number would be way higher if we were only looking at “public” tickets.
That means that the sharps are all over the Bears. They’re currently receiving 92% of the betting dollars, which means that virtually all of the high-dollar bets are landing on Chicago.
One reason why the sharps love the Bears is the absence of Eric Kendricks. Kendricks has been a monster for the Vikings this season, earning a Pro Football Focus grade of 82.6. That gives him the second-highest grade among linebackers this season, trailing only the Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner.
Kendricks was out of the lineup last week for the Vikings and their defense was slightly exposed by the Bucs. Ronald Jones and LeSean McCoy combined to average 5.09 yards per carry and Tom Brady finished with 10.25 adjusted yards per attempt. Overall, the Vikings allowed the Bucs to rack up 303 yards despite possessing the ball for just over 20 minutes. That’s not very good.
It should also be noted that the Bears played their previous game against the Vikings with Nick Foles under center, and Mitch Trubisky has been superior to Foles in virtually every category this season. He led the Bears’ offense to 36 points and 410 total yards last week vs. the Texans, so they should improve upon their 13 points in their first meeting vs. the Vikings this season.
Seattle Seahawks (-5.5) @ Washington Football Team
The Pick: Seahawks -5.5
This game looks like a massive mismatch.
On one side, Washington will likely be without their two most important players on offense. Alex Smith has already been ruled out, while Antonio Gibson is listed as doubtful. That means Dwayne Haskins will draw the start at quarterback, and J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber will carry the load at running back.
Smith is not the same quarterback that he was in his prime, but he’s still a massive upgrade over Haskins. Haskins owns the worst Pro Football Focus grade at the quarterback position this season and he’s averaged just 5.9 adjusted yards per attempt. It’s hard to envision him having any success without being able to lean on the running game.
Seattle should have no problems slowing down Washington this week. They got off to a historically bad pace in terms of pass defense to start the season, but they’ve improved drastically over their past five games. They’ve allowed an average of just 16.2 points per game over that time frame and they’ve allowed opposing passing attacks to average just 187.2 net passing yards per game.
Part of that is due to their soft competition over that stretch, but they’ve also gotten some reinforcements on the defensive side of the ball. Jamal Adams has made a major impact since returning from injury — particularly as a pass rusher — and Carlos Dunlap has given them another option along their defensive line. The Seahawks have also slowed down their offense a bit, which has allowed their defense to catch their breath a bit on the sidelines before being forced back into action.
If the Seattle defense can continue to do their job, Seattle’s offense figures to hold up their end of the bargain. Russell Wilson has tapered off a bit after starting the year red hot, but the Seahawks remain dangerous on that side of the ball. They currently rank fourth in offensive DVOA.
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins (-2.5)
The Pick: Patriots +2.5
This game is more important for the Dolphins, who need to keep winning to hold on to the final playoff spot in the AFC, but I like the Patriots’ chances of pulling off the upset.
For starters, Bill Belichick is known for his dominance against rookie quarterbacks. His defensive scheme is very complicated and tough for first-year signal-callers to prepare for. He put that dominance on display with a 45-0 win over Justin Herbert just two weeks ago, and Belichick is 21-5 straight up against rookie passers as head coach of the Patriots.
Additionally, the Patriots have a few extra days to prepare after playing on Thursday Night Football. Belichick unsurprisingly has a great track record with extra time, posting a record of 19-11-2 against the spread with at least 10 days to prepare. That number is obviously a bit inflated by playing so many years with Brady, but it makes sense for the guy considered by some to be the greatest coach in NFL history to do well with additional time.
The Patriots should also control this game with their rushing attack. Miami’s defense has improved drastically since the start of the season, but most of that improvement has come against the pass. They still rank just 23rd in rush defense DVOA and the Patriots have the second-highest run rate in the league this season.
Finally, we’re getting some nice spread value here. This line is down to Patriots +1 on DraftKings Sportsbook, but we can still grab them at +2.5 in this Sportsbook Pool.
Cleveland Browns (-3.5) @ New York Giants
The Pick: Browns -3.5
This is another game that is offering tremendous spread value. The Browns are all the way up to six-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, but they’re still listed at -3.5 for this contest.
Most of the line movement stems from the Giants’ injury situation. Daniel Jones is dealing with two different leg issues and he has been limited at practice during the week. He’s officially listed as questionable, and there’s no guarantee that he’ll be effective if he does suit up.
If Jones is out, Colt McCoy would be expected to make his second start of the season. The Giants managed to secure a victory with McCoy in his first start, but McCoy finished with just 105 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception. McCoy owns a record of just 8-21 in his career as a starter, and he’s just 9-19-1 against the spread. That makes him one of the least profitable quarterbacks over the past 15 years.
The Giants are also going to be without their top defender in James Bradberry. He has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list after his personal chiropractor tested positive for the virus. You truly cannot make this stuff up.
With Jones at less than 100% and Bradberry out of the lineup completely, it’s tough to envision the Giants being competitive in this contest. The Browns are not as good as their current record indicates, but they are still vastly superior to New York.
Here are the teams I’m targeting for the rest of the Sunday games. Remember, we’re looking to beat the competition and climb up the leaderboard, so I’ll be looking to gain leverage on the field and fade the public in situations where I don’t see a huge edge on the spread.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5.5) @ Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Buccaneers -5.5
Detroit Lions @ Tennessee Titans (-10.5)
Pick: Titans -10.5
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts (-6.5)
Pick: Texans +6.5
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Baltimore Ravens (-13.5)
Pick: Jaguars +13.5
New York Jets @ Los Angeles Rams (-16.5)
Pick: Rams -16.5
Philadelphia Eagles @ Arizona Cardinals (-6.5)
Pick: Cardinals -6.5
Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5) @ New Orleans Saints
Pick: Saints +3.5
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.
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