NFL Week 15 Upset Predictions & Picks | Biggest Upsets for Week 15

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2021

Week 15 of the NFL season is upon us. Now that we are well into December, we have a much better idea of which teams are contenders and which are pretenders.

Now that we have a solid sample size of games to judge teams on, team-adjusted stats like DVOA have a ton of value. We also have to be aware of how injuries have affected teams to this point.

As always, context is key.

With that in mind, let’s dive into some NFL Week 15 upset predictions and best bets.

Please note that all NFL gameday odds and lines are current as of 5:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 16.

NFL Week 15 Upset Predictions

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears

Monday Night Football this week features division rivals Chicago and Minnesota in their first matchup of the season. While neither team is exactly a powerhouse, the Vikings can attest to some semblance of competence despite a record with only 2 more wins than Chicago.

Thanks to superstars Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook, the Vikings’ offense is strong. Kirk Cousins has held his own this season, performing like a top-10 QB.

Cousins’ 27 touchdowns to 5 interceptions are as pristine a ratio you can ask for, and while you may retort that it is thanks to his talented weaponry, Cousins’ career-low sack rate is also a testament to how well he has performed individually.

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Oddly enough, the Vikings’ defense is what has held the team back this season. What is typically their bread and butter is now their kryptonite. The Vikings rank 20th in total defensive DVOA and, importantly, for this particular matchup, 26th versus the rush.

With Justin Fields at the helm, Chicago has executed a high-powered rushing attack, regardless of David Montgomery or Khalil Herbert playing out of the backfield.

The Bears’ defense is quite suspect as well, but they do get the benefit of playing at home with Minnesota down WR2 Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook’s shoulder potentially ripping off once more.

Upset Prediction: Bears 27, Vikings 23

Vikings vs. Bears Upset Picks

Upset Pick: Bears Moneyline (+200) at Caesars

Wager: 2 Units

The Bears at home versus an understaffed Kirk Cousins in primetime is setting up decently for an upset. Minnesota is coming off of an extended rest due to playing last Thursday. However, given that this game is on Monday, the Bears should also be rested.

Upset Pick: Over 44 Total Points (-110) at Caesars

Wager: 1 Unit

Again, the defenses are suspect on both ends, despite near-elite production in recent history.

The Bears are down multiple coordinators, including OC Bill Lazor, who was running some clever plays with mid-season additions Jakeem Grant and Damiere Byrd. But, if those plays are in the “new" playbook and are working, it’s tough to imagine even a mediocre coach like Matt Nagy going away from them.

Also, Minnesota plays at the 7th-fastest pace (Chicago is ranked 20th), which should keep this game moving quickly.

Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears

With Justin Fields at the helm for Chicago, the Bears have been able to successfully establish the run against opponents, which they’ll look to do against the Minnesota Vikings. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)

Cincinnati Bengals @ Denver Broncos

This wouldn’t exactly be a “big" upset, but the Bengals are 2.5-point underdogs in Denver. Of course, the altitude is always a concern for any team flying in, but it can be a mitigating factor depending on when they land and practice.

The only thing that may concern me is Joe Burrow’s ailing finger that seemed like an issue in the early portion of last Sunday’s game versus San Francisco. There have not been many reports of the issue since, as these kinds of things could be kept under wraps.

The good news is that Joe Mixon, who was limited last week, is likely not dealing with his illness and should be a full go.

Cincinnati is down starting CB Chidobe Awuzie, who has been a stellar offseason pickup, which could hurt against the talented WR trio of Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and Tim Patrick, but it’s just a matter of whether Teddy Bridgewater is comfortable pushing the ball downfield consistently.

The Broncos just whooped the Detroit Lions, yet won’t get much belief on their end from me, especially with budding RB Javonte Williams ailing and that aforementioned WR corps hardly producing.

Upset Prediction: Bengals 24, Broncos 17

Bengals vs. Broncos Upset Picks

Upset Pick: Bengals Moneyline (+130) at Caesars

Wager: 2 Units

Cincinnati is better than Denver on both sides of the ball. Their offense is significantly more dynamic given how well star WRs Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins are performing, along with rejuvenated RB Joe Mixon.

Quarterback Joe Burrow looks like he didn’t lose a step one year removed from tearing multiple knee ligaments and not to mention their defense, which ranks 12th relative to Denver’s 21st.

Upset Pick: Under 44 Total Points (-110) at Caesars

Wager: 1 Unit

Despite both teams possessing neutral run-pass splits (smack-dab in the middle of the league in rush and pass attempts), they are bottom-5 in pace and possess strong enough run games to run out the clock if they build a strong enough lead.

Thanks for reading our NFL Week 15 Upset Predictions! For more NFL betting tips, check out our NFL Week 15 Best Bets and NFL Week 15 Prop Bets.


Kev Mahserejian

Kev Mahserejian is an NFL/NBA/MLB analyst at The Game Day, residing in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 2017 and began creating sports content soon after. Kev currently writes fantasy and betting pieces while also hosting his podcast The Operating Room with various guests from the sports industry to discuss topics primarily regarding fantasy. He also writes for RotoBaller and is quite active on his Twitter @RotoSurgeon.

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