Week 15 NFL picks, odds and best bets

Each week, the number crunchers over at rbsdm.com plot where each team’s defense stands in terms of expected points allowed per play. In essence, if a team is in the bottom left corner of the graph shown below, its defense is pretty bad because it struggles against both the run and the pass.

The Eagles have played four of the teams in that bottom left corner — the Lions, Texans, Steelers and Giants — and have averaged 37.5 points in those four games. And as you can see from its spot in the far left, the Bears’ defense is very, very bad this season. Chicago is allowing 0.11 expected points per play, tied with Detroit for worst in the league, and 0.22 expected points per drop-back, which is the NFL’s worst mark by a fairly significant margin.

The Eagles’ defense, meanwhile, leads the NFL in expected points allowed per drop-back but struggles against the run: Philadelphia ranks 25th in expected points allowed per rush and 29th in defensive rushing success rate. Only one team — the Falcons — runs the ball more in early-down situations when the score is close than the Bears, who also run the ball more than expected in nearly every down-and-distance situation.

Bears quarterback Justin Fields ranks eighth in the NFL in rushing yards, and the Eagles are coming off a game in which they allowed Giants quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor to average 11 yards per carry. The Cardinals’ Kyler Murray (10.5 yards per carry) also found success scrambling against Philadelphia this season.

Jalen Hurts and the Eagles should have few issues scoring against a defense that can’t stop anyone, while Fields and David Montgomery should be able to run the ball against a Philadelphia defense that has struggled in that department. The Bears have become a dead over team, topping the total in seven straight, while the Eagles have gone over in seven of their past eight. That continues Sunday.

Here are the rest of this week’s matchups and point spreads.

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