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Jets vs. Saints Week 15 NFL Point Spread Pick from Will Rogers: December 17th 2017

New York Jets vs. New Orleans Saints
Week 15 NFL Point Spread Pick: Under 47.5 points (December 17th 2017)
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The set-up: After opening 0-2, many (most) believed the Jets w ere on their way to battling the Browns and 49ers for the NFL’s No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft. However, the Jets have been surprisingly competitive, going 5-8 SU but 7-5-1 ATS. The Jets will visit New Orleans this Sunday, looking to play the role of spoiler against the 9-4 Saints, who currently own the tie-breaker over the Panthers in the AFC South. The Saints have missed the playoffs for three straight seasons but are very close to ending that drought here in 2017.

NY Jets: The Jets were frustrated by last Sunday;s 23-0 loss in Denver, a defeat which ended the Broncos’ 0-8 SU & ATS run. However, the Jets lost more than a game in Denver, as Josh McCown left the game with a broken hand, likely ending his season. He passed for only 46 yards (on 6 of 12 passing) plus an interception. McCown has been a pleasant surprise, completing 67.3% with 18 TDS and nine INTs (94.5 QB rating). Bryce Petty threw for 14 yards on 2 of 9 passing in relief and is expected to start against the Saints. New York is averaging only 103.2 YPG on the ground, ranking 21st. The Jets are averaging 20.5 PPG (20th), while ranking 21st in both points allowed (23.9 per) and total defense (347.3 YPG).

New Orleans: The Saints opened 0-2 just like the Jets but then ripped off eight straight wins. However, the Rams ended that eight-game winning streak in Week 12 at LA, 26-20. New Orleans rebounded with a 31-21 home win over the Panthers but then a week ago last last Thursday, lost 20-17 in Atlanta. The ageless Drew Brees is having another excellent season, completing 71.7% with 19 TDs and six INTs for a 104.2 QB rating. It sure has helped that the Saints’ have developed a solid ground game, one which is averaging 135.4 YPG (4th). Brees and Co. also have to love the defensive improvement, as the Saints are allowing 20.2 PPG (11th) on 331.1 PPG (15th). Click here for more week 15 NFL picks from our handicappers at Touthouse.com

The pick: I guess it’s possible that McCown could return from an injury on his non-throwing hand but I wouldn’t want to count on that. Also, the Saints are highly-motivated to stay alive (on top?) in the three-team race happening in the NFC South. The Saints can now run the ball effectively (controlling the clock) and their defense has shown the ability to shut down opposing offenses. That’s a likely scenario here vs. the “not ready for prime time” Bryce Petty or a way less than 100 percent, McCown. Play the Under.

Middle Tennessee vs. Arkansas State Bowl Game Pick from Larry Ness: December 16th 2017

Middle Tennessee vs. Arkansas State
College Bowl Game Pick: ARKST -3.5 (December 16th 2017)
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The 6-6 MTSU Blue Raiders get ready to battle 7-4 Arkansas State in the Camellia Bowl this weekend and for a number of different reasons, I think this one favors the Red Wolves.

MTSU comes in having won three of its last four, while Arkansas State will be eager to get back with one more victory here after falling to Troy in its regular season finale.

The Blue Raiders have a balanced rushing and passing offense. QB Brent Stockskill took over half way through the year and sports a 14/5 TD/INT. This team is used to outscoring its competition, so its defense is the weak point.

Arkansas State is another team with an explosive offense. QB Justice Hansen averages 330 passing yards, to go along with 35 rushing yards per game. In the end Hansen posted a total of 34 TD’s combined through the air and on the ground this season. Like their counterpart today, the Red Wolves weakness is on the defensive side of the ball, but the unit is a step up, having forced 10 fumbles and 11 INT’s this year.

I’ll point out as well that MTSU is 0-4 ATS in its last four bowl games, while Arkansas State is 5-2 ATS in its last seven as a favorite.

Hansen has only been sacked 27 times this year and the Blue Raiders don’t have much of a pass rush. Simply put, I think the Red Wolves have a distinct advantage in at least two of the three phases and because of that, I’ll indeed recommend a second look at Arkansas State in the Camellia Bowl this year.

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