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Dan Caesar’s Week 15 NFL picks

Dan Caesar St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Raiders at Chiefs

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Oakland 2-11, 0-6 away. Miami 7-6, 3-3 home.

Line: KC by 10 O/U: 41 1/2

Synopsis: Oakland has won two of three after not winning all season, but the wins were at home – including over Kansas City as Latavius Murray ran wild – and the Chiefs will be looking for revenge at home. It will help if key running back Jamaal Charles, who suffered a sprained ankle last week, is at full speed because the Raiders are No. 24 against the run.

Pick: Chiefs 30-16

Jaguars at Ravens

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Jacksonville 2-11, 0-6 away. Baltimore 8-5, 4-2 home.

Line: BAL by 13 1/2 O/U: 45 1/2

Synopsis: Baltimore makes the playoffs if it wins out, and is in a good spot as Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles has been sacked 19 times in the last four contests and the Jags are 0-6 on the road. The Ravens’ ground game, led by Justin Forsett, is clicking. That bodes well against the NFL’s No. 28 run defense.

Pick: Ravens 33-17

Steelers at Falcons

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Pittsburgh 8-5, 4-2 away. Atlanta 5-8, 3-3 home.

Line: PIT by 3 O/U: 55 1/2

Synopsis: Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell has 711 yards from scrimmage over his last three games and faces the NFL’s worst ‘D’ (410.8 yards a game allowed). But Pitt is inconsistent and Atlanta’s offense is potent, though Julio Jones, the NFL’s leading receiver, is battling a hip ailment.

Pick: Falcons 33-30

Texans at Colts

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Houston 7-6, 4-3 away; Indianapolis 9-4, 5-2 home.

Line: IND by 7 O/U: 49 1/2

Synopsis: Indianapolis wins the AFC South if it prevails, and faces a foe that is 0-12 in Indianapolis. But the Colts have been plagued by turnovers (10 in their last three outings). They’ll try to remedy that problem as QB Andrew Luck guides the NFL’s top aerial attack against the No. 27 pass defense.

Pick: Colts 30-20

Bengals at Browns

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Cincinnati 8-4-1, 4-2 away. Cleveland 7-6, 4-3 home.

Line: CLE by 1 O/U: 44 1/2

Synopsis: Browns QB Johnny Manziel finally gets the call but teams whose QB makes his first NFL start, as he does, are 23-51 the last 7+ seasons (2-3 this year). He’ll face the NFL’s 29th-rated defense, a team that allowed 42 points last week to Pitt. But he’ll look like a rookie.

Pick: Bengals 27-20

Dolphins at Patriots

Kickoff: 10 a.m. (CBS)

Records: Miami 7-6, 4-3 away. New England 10-3, 6-0 home.

Line: NE by 7 1/2 O/U: 48 1/2

Synopsis: New England seeks to avenge opening-day loss in Miami and unleashes an attack averaging 30.8 points on the league’s No. 2 pass defense. Miami is just 22nd vs. the run, but its linebacker corps is beat up.

Pick: Patriots 30-20

Bucs at Panthers

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Tampa Bay 2-11, 2-5 away. Carolina 4-8-1, 2-4 home.

Line: CAR by 3 O/U: 41 1/2

Synopsis: Carolina is minus QB Cam Newton, recovering from injuries he suffered in a car accident last week, giving the start to journeyman Derek Anderson. Tampa Bay has scored more than 17 points in just one of its last eight outings but could rise here.

Pick: Buccaneers 23-20

Redskins at Giants

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

Records: Washington 3-10, 1-6 away. New York 4-9, 2-4 home.

Line: NY by 6 1/2 O/U: 47 1/2

Synopsis: Looks like Colt McCoy is back at QB for Washington, as Robert Griffin III remains benched despite McCoy generating zero points last week vs. Rams. Meanwhile, N.Y.’s offense is on the upswing with rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and RB Andre Williams.

Pick: Giants 27-20

Packers at Bills

Kickoff: 10 a.m. (Fox 28)

Records: Green Bay 10-3, 3-3 away. Buffalo 7-6, 4-3 home.

Line: GB by 4 1/2 O/U: 50 1/2

Synopsis: Green Bay has won five in a row and Aaron Rodgers couldn’t be much hotter – 16 TD passes, no interceptions, 1,560 passing yards in that stretch. Buffalo has NFL’s No. 6 pass ‘D’ and is at home. But even if the Bills slow the Pack, do they have enough offense to keep pace? Nah.

Pick: Packers 24-20

Vikings at Lions

Kickoff: 1:25 p.m.

Records: Minnesota 6-7, 2-4 away. Detroit 9-4, 6-1 home.

Line: DET by 7 1/2 O/U: 41 1/2

Synopsis: Detroit has won two in a row and WR Calvin Johnson is back to form, with 19 catches for 304 yards and three TDs combined for his last two games. But he will be facing the NFL’s No. 6 pass defense. Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater has been playing better.

Picks: Lions 30-24

Jets at Titans

Kickoff: 1:05 p.m.

Records: New York 2-11, 0-6 away. Tennessee 2-11, 1-5 home.

Line: NY by 3 O/U: 42 1/2

Synopsis: These clubs have a combined record of 4-22 but N.Y. has a potent ground game (149.7 yards a game, No. 2 in the NFL) and faces the league’s worst run ‘D’ (141.5 yards a game permitted). Tennessee goes back to QB Jake Locker because Zach Mettenberger has a shoulder injury.

Picks: Jets 27-17

Broncos at Chargers

Kickoff: 1:05 p.m.

Records: Denver 10-3, 3-3 away. San Diego 8-5, 5-2 home.

Line: DEN by 4 1/2 O/U: 51

Synopsis: Denver has gone to a ground-oriented approach recently as C.J. Anderson has shined. But QB Peyton Manning should get a boost with the expected return of tight end Julius Thomas (ankle). San Diego knows how to play Denver tough. Upset possible.

Pick: Chargers 30-27

Cowboys at Eagles

Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. (NBC)

Records: Dallas 9-4, 6-0 away. Philadelphia 9-4, 6-1 home.

Line: PHI by 3 1/2 O/U: 55 1/2

Synopsis: Showdown that should go a long way to determining the NFC East winner has Dallas trying to pay Philadelphia back for a Thanksgiving basting in Big D in which the Eagles shut down the Cowboys’ potent attack. It shouldn’t be that easy this time. Look for Dallas to get RB DeMarco Murray going early and the ’Boys should do better against QB Mark Sanchez. However, until they prove they can stop the Eagles’ potent ground game, it’s tough to get too excited about a Dallas team that has allowed an average of nearly 30 points in its last three outings.

Pick: Eagles 33-27

Saints at Bears

Monday: 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Records: New Orleans 5-8, 2-4 away. Chicago 5-8, 2-4 home.

Line: NO by 3 O/U: 54 1/2

Synopsis: Underachievers meet but at least New Orleans is alive in the woeful NFC South. Saints have the No. 3 offense to unleash on the NFL’s 29th-rated defense.

Pick: Saints 33-27

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