With winter weather sweeping over the northern United States, the weather at NFL games will need to be monitored by bettors in Week 15. With five games flirting with below-freezing temperatures, there’s plenty of opportunities for the forecast to make an impact. We’ve rounded up the matchups potentially impacted by adverse conditions in this NFL weather report.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
The first of two Saturday games with weather concerns, the cold weather and the winds should stick in the minds of bettors. Not that either team is going to be particularly pass heavy, with Baltimore down to a third string QB and Deshaun Watson being bad in his first two games back.
With two unreliable pivots under center, both teams will become even more rush-heavy with the wind. The Browns will be fine with this given they have the better running backs, but the cold and the wind probably means this will be a slower paced, much more conservative game.
Forecast: 32F at kickoff, with winds up to 16MPH.
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Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
Here, how the Dolphins handle the cold of Buffalo could really make a difference. It was reported that the Dolphins wanted sideline heaters on Sunday Night against the Chargers, which doesn’t inspire confidence for them in sub-freezing temperatures in Buffalo.
The lower the winds the better for the Bills, because they’re more reliant on big passes and specifically big air yards passes. The Dolphins’ quick, short passing offense is likely not to be too impacted, especially if Tyreek Hill can have better footing in the snow than the defensive backs who don’t know where he’s intending to go.
Forecast: 29F at kickoff, with snow falling during the game and all day before it and 11MPH winds.
UPDATE: Lake Effect Snow Warning until 1 p.m. Sunday in Buffalo
Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears
This game will be a showcase for the rushing quarterbacks on both sides of the ball, especially if the winds stay high. If Fields and Hurts are having trouble to make their passes, both of them will probably just tuck it and run.
Given the Bears’ inability to have a reliable passing game, the more win the better for them. The Eagles’ offense can adapt to the lack of their long passing game – as they did against the Colts, when they decided that Hurts wasn’t going to pass. Running that again could keep this game close, especially if Fields can break a few long runs.
Forecast: 28F at kickoff, with winds up to 13MPH.
Detroit Lions at New York Jets
Here Detroit will be hoping for lower winds, because if they hold up they could be in some trouble. Jared Goff and the Lions’ quick passing game could be at risk if the wind screws up the timing routes that make that offense tick.
With an injured Mike White or a return of either Flacco or Zach Wilson on the cards, the Jets will be perfectly happy with wind ruining the passing games of both teams, because they would lose less. For the Lions, the less wind, and the warmer weather, the better.
Forecast: 37F at kickoff with 12MPH winds.
Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers
The Packers should have the edge in this game, with Rodgers an expert in this sort of weather. Baker Mayfield isn’t exactly a cold weather rookie, having played in Cleveland, but Rodgers knows exactly how the weather can have its impacts.
If the weather is merely cold, this probably won’t have much of an impact, but if the cold turns into snow or some higher winds, then Green Bay’s already inconsistent passing game might become downright unreliable.
NFL Weather Forecast: 12F at kickoff with 8MPH winds.