NFL Week 15 survivor picks
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If you're one of the 17 people across the continent who are still in a survivor pool, you deserve a spirited round of applause.

You also don't need me to spend the entire article discussing why the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, or Kansas City Chiefs are the safest picks in Week 15. You know those teams are safe, but if you're alive this late in the season, you've almost certainly picked them already.

Instead, your options are limited. You'll likely have to sweat out a pick of the Oakland Raiders to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars while your opponent picks the Arizona Cardinals to beat the Cleveland Browns. Bless your poor, poor soul this weekend.

So, we're going to do things differently. We'll dive into every game on the schedule, pick a winner, and provide a short but compelling explanation. Let's start with the confidence rankings.

Week 15 confidence ranking

Confidence rankings (CR) are out of 10 based on the author's picks

AWAY HOME (SPREAD) WINNER (CR)
Jets Ravens (-15) BAL (9.5)
Falcons 49ers (-11) SF (9)
Broncos Chiefs (-9.5) KC (8)
Patriots Bengals (+9.5) NE (7)
Colts Saints (-9) NO (7)
Jaguars Raiders (-6.5) OAK (6)
Bills Steelers (-2.5) PIT (6)
Seahawks Panthers (+6) SEA (6)
Bears Packers (-4.5) GB (4)
Buccaneers Lions (+3.5) TB (3)
Eagles Redskins (+6)  PHI (3)
Browns Cardinals (+2.5) ARI (2)
Rams Cowboys (+1) LAR (2)
Texans Titans (-3) TEN (1)
Dolphins Giants (-3) MIA (1)
Vikings Chargers (+2.5) LAC (1)

1. Baltimore Ravens (vs. New York Jets)

Because home favorites of 14 or more are 55-2 straight up this decade. Because favorites of 10 or more on Thursdays are 13-1 since the start of the 2010 season. Because the Ravens are 18-0 all time under John Harbaugh as home favorites of at least 10 points. Because the Jets are a mess and Baltimore isn't slowing down for anyone.

2. San Francisco 49ers (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

Because the Falcons haven't won a road game outside of their division since beating the Redskins in Week 9 of last season. Because the Falcons have given up 6.2 yards per play this season away from home (30th in the NFL). Because the 49ers have allowed just 4 yards per play at home (best in the NFL).

3. Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Denver Broncos)

Because Andy Reid insists Patrick Mahomes is healthy. Because the Chiefs own the tiebreaker over the Patriots and are gunning for a first-round bye. Because the Broncos are 0-6 at Arrowhead as 'dogs of at least a touchdown.

4. New England Patriots (at Cincinnati Bengals)

Because if the Patriots can't win convincingly here, their dynasty might actually be over, and there's no killing this dynasty. Because there's no better tonic for the New England offense than a Bengals defense allowing a league-worst 6.3 yards per play. Because Cincinnati's 31st-ranked scoring offense won't trouble the NFL's best scoring defense.

5. New Orleans Saints (vs. Indianapolis Colts)

Because the Saints are 13-3 under Sean Payton as home favorites of at least a touchdown when coming off a loss. Because the Colts needed 167 and 180 rushing yards in their only two road wins this year, but the Saints can stop the run.

6. Oakland Raiders (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)

Because the Jaguars have seemingly quit on Doug Marrone like no team has ever quit on a coach before. Because if you think the Raiders are going to lose their final game in the Black Hole, you're out of your mind.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Buffalo Bills)

Because quarterback Devlin Hodges gives the Steelers a legitimate offense to pair with a stifling defense. Because James Washington is an emerging star at receiver. Because James Conner and Juju Smith-Schuster are expected back from injuries. Because Bills QB Josh Allen has shown no ability to make big-time throws in big-time games against big-time teams. Because the public loves the Bills but sharp money is on the Steelers.

8. Seattle Seahawks (at Carolina Panthers)

Because even though the Seahawks aren't as good as their record indicates, the Panthers are a Jaguars-like mess right now. Because Seattle is 24-3 in the Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson era as a favorite coming off a loss.

9. Green Bay Packers (vs. Chicago Bears)

Because the Bears have only beaten the Packers once in December at Lambeau in the last 30 years - and that was as seven-point favorites in 2005.

10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Detroit Lions)

Because the Buccaneers saved their best football for when it doesn't matter. Because Jameis Winston is still playing for a job. Because the Lions are depleted on both sides of the ball.

11. Philadelphia Eagles (at Washington Redskins)

Because Carson Wentz and the Eagles should be able to outplay Dwayne Haskins with the NFC East on the line. Because the Redskins have lost 15 of their last 16 games as home 'dogs of more than three points.

12. Arizona Cardinals (vs. Cleveland Browns)

Because the Cardinals feel due for a win. Because Arizona impressed against the Steelers last week and was a red-zone turnover away from winning that game. Because the Browns lost their last two road contests against Brandon Allen and Mason Rudolph.

13. Dallas Cowboys (vs. Los Angeles Rams)

Because the Rams are hitting their stride and can smell a playoff berth. Because the Cowboys are dejected and Jason Garrett is on his way out the door.

14. Tennessee Titans (vs. Houston Texans)

Because home-field advantage tends to be massive in December divisional tilts. Because I trust Mike Vrabel and the Titans over Bill O'Brien and the Texans in a close game.

15. Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Minnesota Vikings)

Because all logic states that the Vikings will win comfortably and the public is all over them, yet the line has dropped from -3 to -2.5. Because the sharps are on the Chargers, and this is the sort of game the public tends to lose in December.

16. Miami Dolphins (at New York Giants)

Because Brian Flores is a much better coach than Pat Shurmur. Because the Giants seem a lot more committed to the tank than the Dolphins are.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

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NFL Week 15 survivor picks
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