Week 15 NFL Saturday capsules: For the DIY bettor


True, we provide you with all you need to make smart bets. But some of you would just rather do it yourself. We get it. So here you go. Sort through each game and come to your own conclusions. Good luck!

Saturday games

Minnesota Vikings (7-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-6): Nick Mullens starts for the 18th time in his career and first with the Vikings, who turn to a fourth QB this season in the thick of a playoff chase in the NFC. Neither team can afford a loss with a logjam of teams with mediocre records surrounding them in the standings. Benched was Joshua Dobbs after a punchless offense survived to win 3-0 at Las Vegas in Week 14. Mullens has a stout defense working behind him and All-Pro WR Justin Jefferson (chest) plans to play in a reunion of sorts with former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase. Chase had no issues connecting with backup Jake Browning. Browning produced 34 points in each of the past two games and is on a record pace for completion percentage — 75.5 in three starts — while rookie Chase Brown has emerged as a legitimate wingman to Joe Mixon in a more productive backfield.

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) at Indianapolis Colts (7-6): A wild-card intersection might become a postseason off-ramp for the loser of this game depending on how dominoes fall Sunday. The Colts lost for the first time since the end of October last week at Cincinnati and cracks are starting to appear in the run defense. Indianapolis has been hit for at least 125 rushing yards in six of the past seven games. Pittsburgh, what with a backup quarterback and milquetoast offense, is primed to deploy a ground-and-pound approach using a conservative running game to back the Steelers’ stout defense. Indianapolis won’t have top back Jonathan Taylor (thumb) again, but the combination of Gardner Minshew and WR Michael Pittman Jr. has been filthy. Pittman has at least eight receptions in six consecutive games.

Denver Broncos (7-6) at Detroit Lions (9-4): Sean Payton brought the Broncos back from the brink of self-combustion by lending a stronger voice to defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. Denver has a string of eight consecutive games holding opponents to 22 or fewer points with 18 takeaways in the past seven games and 15 sacks in the past three. Lions coach Dan Campbell sees the dashboard warning lights, but believes the easy fix to most of what ails Detroit is the turnover battle. The return of safety CJ Gardner-Johnson should spark the secondary, but more consistent play from QB Jared Goff has been the focus for Campbell and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. Goff threw two picks and was sacked four times in the Lions’ loss at Chicago last week.

— Sunday and Monday games will be added Friday afternoon following the release of injury reports.

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