The 2020 NFL season is winding down, which means Saturday NFL games are back on the menu. These Saturday games are popping up on the schedule for the first time in Week 15 with a doubleheader that starts with the Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos and concludes with the Green Bay Packers hosting the Carolina Panthers. Both matchups will help shape the 2021 NFL Playoff picture, even though the Broncos and Panthers are all but officially eliminated from contention at this juncture. Both the Bills and Packers are in the running for the top seed in their respective conferences, an especially valuable seeding this year given only the No. 1 seeds earn a bye in the expanded 14-team postseason format.
Unsurprisingly, Buffalo and Green Bay are both rather heavy favorites against flawed opponents. The Bills opened as 5.5-point chalk for their trip to the Mile High, but that line has since been bet down to BUF -5. A fair number of bettors believe the Broncos will put up a fight in this Week 15 clash, which is not too shocking given Denver is tied for the second-best cover percentage in the league during the 2020 season. Check out the section below to find more relevant betting trends related to this head-to-head matchup to help make an informed decision when picking a winner against the spread today.
The Packers are eight-point favorites at Lambeau Field, a spread that was also adjusted slightly after going up on the board with Green Bay laying 8.5. Carolina has been struggling after a decent start to the year—outright losing seven of its last eight contests—but has covered in two consecutive matchups and three of the last four heading into this Saturday showdown. Each of the underdogs playing today has some semblance of life left regarding their postseason aspirations, so do not expect them to just roll over and tank for a better draft position. You can find a full list of 2021 NFL Playoff scenarios surrounding these Week 15 Saturday games below.
Read on to check out the complete Week 15 schedule, which includes each matchup and its point spread, kickoff start time and TV channel. After that, don’t miss an in-depth guide to both Saturday NFL games, including a closer look at the betting lines, over-under totals, trends and predictions courtesy of Jon Price and his team of experts at SportsInformationTraders.com.
Week 15 NFL Schedule And Odds
Saturday, December 19
- Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos (+5), 4:30 p.m. (NFL Network)
- Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (-8), 8:15 p.m. (NFL Network)
Sunday, December 20
- Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans (-10.5), 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (+6), 1:00 p.m. (Fox)
- New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (-2), 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
- Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team (+5.5), 1:00 p.m. (Fox)
- Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-3), 1:00 p.m. (Fox)
- Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens (-12.5), 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
- San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys (+3), 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
- Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-7), 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
- New York Jets at Los Angeles Rams (-17.5), 4:05 p.m. (Fox)
- Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals (-6), 4:05 p.m. (Fox)
- Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints (+3), 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
- Cleveland Browns at New York Giants (+5), 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Monday, December 21
- Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (+12.5), 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Buffalo Bills (10-3) at Denver Broncos (5-8)
Kickoff Start Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
TV: NFL Network
Live Stream: NFL.com, NFL App, Yahoo! Sports
Location: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
NFL Playoff Scenarios
The Bills can clinch their first AFC East title since 1995 with a win over the Broncos today. Even if they lose this matchup, which isn’t all that likely given Buffalo’s status as five-point favorites, the Bills can still secure the crown if the Miami Dolphins aren’t able to best the New England Patriots tomorrow. Buffalo still has an outside chance at earning the No. 1 seed in the conference as well, but would need some help from both the 11-2 Pittsburgh Steelers and 12-1 Kansas City Chiefs stumbling down the stretch.
The Broncos are in a dire situation in Week 15, having to not only pull off an outright victory over Buffalo today, but also needing the Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens to lose their respective matchups in order to stave off elimination for at least one more week.
Point Spread: The Bills are a five-point favorite on Saturday, a spread that has waffled a bit since it first went on the board with Buffalo laying 5.5 points. Early action pushed the line to BUF -6, but that has since been bet down a full point in Denver’s direction. Buffalo has drawn a large majority of public wagers as of Saturday morning, with the club responsible for 64% of all bets and 82% of the cash wagered against the spread. Despite this lopsided action, shops have still adjusted the line in favor of the Broncos, which indicates the sharp professional bettors are predicting Denver will be able to keep it close today.
Total: The over-under on this Week 15 clash has been set at 48 points, a line that has not been nearly as volatile or polarizing as the point spread. It did jump up to 49 shortly after sportsbooks opened betting, but the market corrected the odds back down to 48.5 and now 48 as of Saturday morning. The public is slightly leaning towards a low-scoring affair, evidenced by 56% of tickets and 60% of the handle taking the under.
Moneyline: Those wishing to forego the spread and pick a straight-up winner can find the Bills as a -255 favorite and the Broncos as a +210 underdog. These odds translate to one needing to risk $2.55 to win $1 if Buffalo takes care of business as projected or return $2.10 for each $1 staked if Denver can pull off the upset. Based on these figures, Vegas has set the implied probability of a Bills win at 72% and a Broncos victory at 32% based on these odds.
Broncos vs. Bills point spread: Bills -5
Broncos vs. Bills total: over-under 48 points
Broncos vs. Bills moneyline: Bills -255, Broncos +210
Brandon Krisztal tweeted out the final injury report for both the Broncos and Bills after Thursday practices concluded:
The Bills have covered in eight of their last nine contests against the Broncos, an impressive streak that includes six ATS wins in a row leading up to Saturday’s head-to-head showdown. The Bills have also dominated the series outright in recent years, straight-up winning four of the last five and each of the last two head-to-head clashes. These opponents most recently met in November 2019, a game Buffalo won by a 20-3 margin as 3.5-point home favorites.
The total has gone OVER in six of the last nine matchups between the Broncos and Bills. Buffalo has also seen a higher percentage of its games go over the total this year than all but two other teams, with an 8-4-1 record towards the over heading into Week 15.
Buffalo has struggled to pay out when laying points on the road, with a meager 1-3 ATS record as an away favorite in 2020. The club has performed well when you look at its outright record in those games though, going 3-1 SU. Denver has performed better against the number as a home ‘dog this year, owning a 3-3 ATS record, although the team is just 2-4 SU in those contests.
After burning bettors out of the gate with a 3-5 ATS start to the 2020 NFL season, the Bills have now beaten the number in five consecutive games and are tied for the second-best cover percentage in the league at 61.5% (8-5 ATS). The Broncos boast the same ATS record this year, cashing tickets in back-to-back contests and three of the last four leading up to this Week 15 matchup.
Drew Lock has been a boon for Broncos backers, as the Denver quarterback possesses a 5-2 ATS record as a starter. The young signal-caller has been especially strong at home, completing 62.5% of his passing attempts at the Mile High compared to a meager 53.1% completion percentage on the road this year. Lock is 3-1 ATS at home for his career, only failing to cover against a tough Kansas City Chiefs squad back in Week 7.
The Broncos have the dubious distinction of ranking last in turnover differential, committing 18 more giveaways than they have recorded takeaways this year. No other team is within eight turnovers of Denver’s negative differential in 2020.
The Broncos beat the Panthers last week and covered the spread in the process, but Denver is just 1-5 ATS across its last six games following a straight-up win.
Bills at Broncos Pick: Bills -5
Bills at Broncos Prediction: Buffalo 27 – Denver 20
Carolina Panthers (4-9) at Green Bay Packers (10-3)
Kickoff Start Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
TV: NFL Network
Live Stream: NFL.com, NFL App, Yahoo! Sports
Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
NFL Playoff Scenarios
The Packers have already clinched a postseason berth via the NFC North title, but still have work to do in order to secure the conference’s No. 1 overall seed. The club controls its own destiny, simply needing to win out over the next three games to earn a first-round bye and homefield advantage on the NFC side of the 2021 NFL Playoff bracket. Green Bay is projected to move one step closer to successfully pulling off that feat with a win over Carolina today and should be favored in its final two matchups of the campaign, which are against the Titans next week and at Chicago in the season finale.
Carolina is still technically alive in the 2021 NFL Playoffs race, but its chances of earning a berth are incredibly small. The franchise will be officially eliminated from contention with either a tie or loss tonight against the Packers or an Arizona Cardinals loss or tie. The Panthers would need to not only win out, but also have a large number of results outside their control fall in their favor over these next three weeks to lock up a postseason berth, which is basically a pipe dream at this point.
Point Spread: Green Bay has been installed as an eight-point favorite in Week 15, a betting line that recently dropped a half-point after staying relatively stable over the last few days. Credit the public for this shift, as those who believe the Panthers can cover have been ponying up more money than the Packers backers. With approximately 12 hours left until the game kicks off, Carolina has garnered slightly fewer overall bets (47%) than Green Bay but is responsible for 58% of the money wagered against the spread.
Total: The over-under on this Packers-Panthers bout is going off at 51.5 points. The public has been pushing these odds up since they first went up on the board at 50, with many taking the over and hoping for a high-scoring Saturday night. The number of tickets is slightly favoring the over with 59% of all bettors rooting for a barn burner, while the big bettors have been hammering the line as well to the tune of 78% of all the cash risked on total going to the over.
Moneyline: Those who want to get a paid out for a Packers win without involving the point spread will need to stake $4 to return a single dollar at -400 odds. The Panthers are a +320 underdog, which means the implied probability of an upset in this Week 15 game is just 24%. Green Bay has been given an 80% chance of emerging with a “W” on Saturday based on the moneyline odds.
Packers vs. Panthers point spread: Packers -8
Packers vs. Panthers total: over-under 51.5 points
Packers vs. Panthers moneyline: Packers -400, Panthers +320
Olivier Reiner posted the most recent injury reports for both Green Bay and Carolina leading up to the Week 15 contest between these programs:
The Panthers and Packers have squared off five times since the start of the 2011 campaign, a series that Green Bay leads with a slight 3-2 SU edge. Carolina has been the more profitable side during that span, however, holding a 3-2 ATS advantage. The Packers won and covered in the most recent matchup, a November 2019 game that resulted in 24-16 home victory for five-point favorite Green Bay.
Both teams involved in this Saturday matchup have been profitable to bet on during the 2020 NFL season. The Packers are tied for the second-best cover percentage in the league with an 8-5 ATS record, while the Panthers are just behind at 7-5 ATS. Each team has covered in two of their last three games, although Carolina is just a tad hotter with a 3-2 ATS record over its last five compared to Green Bay at 2-3 ATS in the same span.
Neither organization has skewed too far towards a particular total this season, with each just slightly leaning towards the over with identical 7-6 records towards it. The Panthers and Packers tend to top the total when they share the field though, as seven of their last eight games have gone over. It is worth noting that their most recent matchup failed to breach the 49-point line set by oddsmakers, the first time since 2004 that a game in this series went under.
Green Bay has performed well at Lambeau Field this season, going 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS at home (all as a favorite) leading into Week 15. Carolina has been even better against the number as a road team in 2020, posting a 5-1 ATS record (all as an underdog) that trails only the New York Giants for best visiting cover percentage in the league. The Panthers have not had nearly as much straight-up success on the road, however, mustering just two wins in six trips.
Panthers at Packers Pick: Panthers +8
Panthers at Packers Prediction: Packers 30 – Panthers 24