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Week 15 NFL picks against the spread

We break down NFL picks against the spread for Week 15 of the 2013 season, including the 49ers-Buccaneers matchup.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

We're back with another round of NFL picks against the spread, this time taking a look at Week 15. I'm making picks alongside my boy James from I managed to put together a solid Week 14, going 10-6 against the spread, while James was 8-8. The comeback is on!

The San Francisco 49ers travel to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 15. The 49ers have won three straight following a pair of tough losses to the Panthers and Saints. The Bucs have won four of five after opening the season with eight straight losses.

The Bucs are only 4-9, but they are a dangerous squad, primarily because of that defense. They are second in the NFL with a +13 turnover differential, and a big part of that comes from their league-leading 21 interceptions. They added safety Dashon Goldson and cornerback Darrelle Revis in the offseason, but also added cornerback Johnthan Banks. And don't forget that their other safety, Mark Barron is only in his second year. This is basically a completely revamped secondary, and they are handling their business. Colin Kaepernick will need to be aware of this dangerous group.

The 49ers can very well cover in this game. They sit as five point favorites. The 49ers need to keep things relatively simple in this one. Establish the run, don't make mistakes. It's not sexy, which also means I don't expect us to see anything too crazy. Part of that will depend on what the Bucs defense brings to the table on Sunday. Football Outsiders ranks their defense quite high, but also points to a ridiculous variance from game to game. If the Bucs get off to a slow start, the 49ers could find a time to strike quickly.

None of this is meant to completely ignore the Bucs offense. Vincent Jackson is a very difficult receiver to defend, Tim Wright is improving, and Bobby Rainey brings something to the table. The 49ers defense simply needs to remain steady and handle their business. They have the talent advantage, but Jackson, Wright and Rainey will provide a test.

Games Spread Fooch James
Chargers @ Broncos Den -10.5 Broncos cover Broncos cover
Washington @ Falcons Atl -6 Washinton cover Washington cover
Bears @ Browns Pick 'em Browns cover Bears cover
Texans @ Colts Ind -5.5 Colts cover Colts cover
Bills @ Jaguars Buf -2 Jaguars cover Bills cover
Patriots @ Dolphins NE -2 Patriots cover Patriots cover
Eagles @ Vikings Phi -4.5 Eagles cover Eagles cover
Seahawks @ Giants Sea -7 Seahawks cover Seahawks cover
49ers @ Bucs SF -5 49ers cover Niners cover
Jets @ Panthers Car -11 Panthers cover Panthers cover
Chiefs @ Raiders KC -5 Chiefs cover Raiders cover
Saints @ Rams NO -6 Saints cover Saints cover
Cardinals @ Titans AZ -3 Titans cover Cardinals cover
Packers @ Cowboys Dal -7 Cowboys cover Cowboys cover
Bengals @ Steelers Cin -3 Steelers cover Bengals cover
Ravens @ Lions Det -6 Lions cover Lions cover
TOTAL 95-94-5 99-90-4
LAST WEEK 10-6 8-8