We’re entering the final stretch of games that will determine the playoff field for the 2021 NFL season. While the NFC is starting to thin out, the AFC is still a mess with nine teams jockeying for three wild card positions.
While the playoff field works itself out, a new surge in COVID cases is also wreaking havoc on the NFL, so be sure to keep an eye out for players testing positive.
Having a licensed physical therapist interpret the NFL Week 15 injury reports provides you with the information you won’t find anywhere else. It also helps you make clear-cut decisions on tight lines and take advantage of injury mismatches before the odds change.
Below are the top NFL Week 15 injuries to consider when placing your Week 15 NFL betting picks.
Please note that all NFL Week 15 odds and lines are current as of 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, December 16.
NFL Week 15 Injuries & Betting Tips
Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills (Left Foot Sprain)
Buffalo Bills vs Carolina Panthers
Josh Allen suffered a left foot sprain midway through the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. While the Bills came up short in that game, the outlook on Allen’s foot appears promising.
Initial reports indicated that he suffered turf toe, but the team clarified that he suffered a foot sprain. This is the area of the foot that provides structural support during push-off for running and jumping. Allen is considered day-to-day with an injury that takes NFL players take roughly six days to return to play.
- Read our full Week 15 Bills vs Panthers betting picks & tips
Allen may be limited with running and deep passes, but overall should still be quite effective and suit up against the Panthers. While Carolina is just 2-8 over its last 10 games, Buffalo is still fighting for a postseason berth at 7-6.
Look for the Bills to right the ship at home against the reeling Panthers, making my betting pick 1 unit on the Bills to cover the -10.5 spread (-110) at Caesars.
Sportsbook Play of the Day
Before diving into our NFL Week 15 betting tips, you should know that Caesars Sportsbook is one of the best around. Take advantage of Caesars’ outstanding welcome bonus which matches your first bet (win or lose) up to $1,001 when you use our promo code .
Additionally, users who place $100 in bets on NBA games are eligible to receive a FREE NBA jersey.
Read Chris Wassel’s Caesars Sportsbook review for more insight and get your welcome bonus below, or continue reading this analysis for our NFL Week 15 injury updates.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens (Right Low-Ankle Sprain)
Baltimore Ravens vs Green Bay Packers
Lamar Jackson was carted off the field on Sunday with an ankle injury that potentially appeared to be more serious than reports later indicated. Coach John Harbaugh later noted that the former MVP suffered a low ankle sprain against the Cleveland Browns.
While it’s highly likely that Jackson plays Sunday against Green Bay, I do not expect him to demonstrate the ability to scramble as easily. If the Packers put pressure on him, that will force Jackson to throw off his back foot, which could lead to inaccuracy and potential turnovers.
- Read our full Week 15 Ravens vs Packers betting picks & tips
Green Bay is 11-2 against the spread and with Jackson limited offensively, this makes my NFL bet of the day 1 unit on the Packers to cover the -5.5 spread (-110) at Caesars.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals (Right MCL Sprain)
Arizona Cardinals @ Detroit Lions
DeAndre Hopkins suffered a right MCL knee sprain late in Monday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams when a Rams defender landed on his right leg.
This injury comes at a terrible time for the 10-3 Cardinals, as the latest reports have Hopkins missing 2-4 months. This means he’ll be unavailable for the remainder of the regular season as well as the playoffs.
- Read our full Week 15 Cardinals vs Lions betting picks & tips
Arizona will soldier on without him against a resurgent Lions team that has seen four of its last five games decided by three points or less. While I don’t believe Detroit poses a real threat in this game, they’re 8-5 against the spread this season and aren’t as bad as their 1-11-1 record suggests.
This makes my betting pick 0.5 units on the Lions to cover the +13 spread (-110) at Caesars.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (Left High-Ankle Sprain)
Philadelphia Eagles vs Washington Football Team
Jalen Hurts is attempting to suit up after missing one game with a high-ankle sprain originally suffered during Week 12. Hurts will try to return following a Week 14 bye and is currently splitting practice reps with backup QB Gardner Minshew.
Hurts has a history of high-ankle sprains dating back to his time at Alabama, which aren’t uncommon for players who frequently run the ball as he does. He should be in better shape after two weeks off, albeit not at full strength.
- Read our full Week 15 Eagles vs Washington betting pick & tips
Minshew has proven to be a capable backup and regardless of who starts, Washington is missing significant personnel due to injuries and COVID.
Whoever starts under center, Philly has the clear edge in this contest. My betting pick is 1.5 units on the Eagles to cover the -7 spread (-115) at Caesars.
T.J. Watt, DE, Pittsburgh Steelers (Groin Strain)
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Tennessee Titans
T.J. Watt suffered yet another groin injury — his second of the year — during last Thursday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings. It isn’t clear whether this is a recurrence of the same groin injury he sustained in Week 2.
With a groin injury, Watt will likely have difficulty in taking that first step as he looks to bend around the offensive tackle. He may also have to rely on hand-fighting more to win rather than using his footwork, potentially slowing him down.
- Read our full Week 15 Steelers vs Titans betting picks & tips
The Steelers aren’t quite out of the playoff hunt yet, but they’re holding on for dear life at 6-6-1. This game is close to a pick ‘em with the Titans slightly favored on our NFL gameday odds.
I believe the lack of pressure from Watt will allow Tennessee to walk away with a win on Sunday, making my pick 0.5 units on the Titans Moneyline (-125) at Caesars.
Quinnen Williams, DT, New York Jets (Left AC Joint Sprain)
New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
Quinnen Williams suffered a left AC joint sprain that briefly forced him out of Sunday’s loss against the New Orleans Saints. Williams was able to return as the Jets still had a shot at winning until the Saints pulled away in the fourth quarter.
An AC joint sprain is when there is an injury to the area where the clavicle and acromion of the scapula connect, providing the framework of the shoulder to allow the scapula to remain stable during overhead activities.
Accordingly, Williams will have difficulty maintaining leverage once his arms get above shoulder level and struggle with cross-body movements such as shedding blocks.
- Read our full Week 15 Jets vs Dolphins betting picks & tips
These injuries can be played through with a harness and injection, which it appears Williams will attempt to do in the midst of a career year.
The Jets and Dolphins are very familiar with each other as division opponents which means scoring may be frequent, making my betting pick 1 unit on the Over 42 (-110) at Caesars.
Other Week 15 Notable Injuries
- Chicago Bears OT Jason Peters suffered a high-ankle sprain after his leg was rolled on during Sunday Night Football against the Packers. With the Bears out of the playoff picture, rookie Teven Jenkins may see increased playing time.
- Washington Football Team TE Logan Thomas had further tests on his left knee that revealed a left ACL tear after much flip-flopping between a tear and a bone bruise. He was already placed on IR and an on-time return in 2022 is very much in doubt.
- Detroit Lions rookie CB Jerry Jacobs suffered a torn left ACL in Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos, ending his season. A return to the field in Week 1 for 2022 is very questionable.
- Houston Texans RB Rex Burkhead suffered a groin strain in Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks and is considered day-to-day.
- San Francisco 49ers LB Fred Warner suffered a low-ankle sprain in Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals and is expected to play against the Atlanta Falcons.
- Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Eckler is questionable with an ankle injury for Thursday Night Football in a must-win game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Kyle’s Injury Report Betting Record: 45-31, +2.12 Units