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NFL picks, predictions for Week 15: Patriots cut off Colts; Titans slip Steelers; Dolphins keep winning

Jacob Scott

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NFL football becomes a four-days-a-week-affair starting in Week 15. 

All 32 teams are in action, and a pair of Saturday games are very interesting. The Raiders meet the Browns in a matchup of teams fighting to get off the AFC playoff fringe, and the Patriots meet the Colts in a classic rivalry in prime time. 

Those come after what should be a thrilling Thursday night matchup between AFC West rivals Kansas City and Los Angeles. The Packers and Ravens also meet on Sunday, but Aaron Rodgers (toe) and Lamar Jackson (ankle) are both nursing injuries.

Each week, Sporting News picks the NFL games straight up. A look at our track record so far:

Week 14: 8-5 Total: 127-78-1

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NFL picks, predictions for Week 15

Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5) at Los Angeles Chargers

Thursday, 8:20 p.m., FOX/NFL Network

Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes II are among the top-five passers in terms of yardage, and they will revisit the 30-24 thriller from Week 3. The Chiefs, however, are doing it with defense. They have allowed 17 points or less through a six-game winning streak. That’s good enough to travel and pick up another huge AFC West victory.

Pick: Chiefs 31, Chargers 24

Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns (-5.5)

Saturday, 4:30 p.m., NFL Network

The Browns are suddenly back in the AFC playoff hunt, but now is the time to show consistency. The Raiders won in Cleveland last year, but this Las Vegas team is on the brink with five losses in their last six games. Myles Garrett adds a pair of sacks, and Baker Mayfield keeps it moving in the right direction.

Pick: Browns 24, Raiders 20

New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts (-1.5)

Saturday, 8:15 p.m., NFL Network

It’s no longer Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. Mac Jones and Carson Wentz will have to do, and the Patriots will look to slow down Jonathan Taylor coming off a bye week. The Colts are hanging in the AFC Playoff race, but New England has won the last eight meetings. Make it nine in a row.

Pick: Patriots 29, Colts 27

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Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills (-10.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

The Bills need this one to break out of a funk where they have lost four of their last six games. The Panthers offer a chance for a get-right game knowing they have a -8 turnover ratio and struggle to run the ball. Josh Allen gets Buffalo back on track with a monster game.

Pick: Bills 30, Panthers 22

Arizona Cardinals (-14) at Detroit Lions

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

The Cardinals are coming off a short week, but they are looking to keep pace for the top seed in the NFC North. Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins are healthy again, too. That’s still a huge spread to cover on the road. The Lions are 1-5 at home, but three of those losses are by eight points or less.

Pick: Cardinals 34, Lions 21

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-7)

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

The Dolphins can run their winning streak to six games, and Tua Tagovailoa has a 100-plus passer rating with just one interception through his last three starts. New York has allowed 30-plus points in each of its last two losses. The Jets haven’t won in Miami since 2015.

Pick: Dolphins 28, Jets 17

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Dallas Cowboys (-10.5) at New York Giants

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

The Cowboys are huge favorites against the division rival Giants, and they have a chance to win for the ninth time in the last 10 meetings. New York is 3-3 at home and rivalry rules are always a factor, but the Cowboys present too many problems.

Pick: Cowboys 32, Giants 21

Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles (-4)

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

Taylor Heinicke (knee) was another quarterback who was injured in Week 14, but he is expected to play. Jalen Hurts (ankle) should be under center for Philadelphia after a bye week. These teams play twice in the next three weeks, and the winner of this one gets back to .500.

Pick: Eagles 24, Washington 20

Tennessee Titans (-2.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

The Steelers are on the brink, and that’s the kind of week when they pull an upset to stay in the playoff race. Tennessee will not abandon the run against a shaky Pittsburgh defense, and the Titans will clamp down on Najee Harris with their second-ranked run defense. Pittsburgh has won the last three meetings, so that upset chance still exists. We’re just taking the safe bet.

Pick: Titans 28, Steelers 24

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Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

The loser in this matchup of 2-11 teams will be in the mix for the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Will current coaches Urban Meyer and David Culley be there to make it? Houston won the first meeting in Week 1. Texans quarterback Davis Mills will lead the go-ahead drive late to complete the sweep of the Jaguars.

Pick: Texans 24, Jaguars 21

Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos (-1)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m., CBS

The Bengals have been one of the most-unpredictable teams this season. Cincinnati, however, is 4-2 on the road this season with some surprising victories. The Bengals also have a top-five run defense, which will force the Broncos into some uncomfortable situations. Joe Burrow does the rest and keeps Cincinnati’s playoff hopes alive.

Pick: Bengals 24, Broncos 23

Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers (-8)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m., CBS

The 49ers have quietly won four of their last five to get back in the NFC playoff race, and Eli Mitchell could return this week. The Falcons can get to .500 with a victory, too. Atlanta is 5-2 on the road this season. San Francisco wins, but it’s close.

Pick: 49ers 31, Falcons 26

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Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams (-6.5)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX

The Rams are working on a short week, and the Seahawks are playing better with an offense that has hit 30-plus points the last two weeks with Russell Wilson. The Rams grinded out a 26-17 victory in the first meeting, and Los Angeles has won four of the last five. That trend continues.

Pick: Rams 30, Seahawks 22

Green Bay Packers (-6.5) at Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX

Jackson (ankle) and Rodgers (toe) are dealing with injuries that impact their mobility, and that means both teams could turn up the pressure on defense. The Packers are 4-3 on the road this season, but those victories are by an average of 4.5 points per game. This will be close, but the Packers will take advantage of a late turnover to close it.

Pick: Packers 27, Ravens 24

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-10.5)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m., NBC

The Buccaneers will look to stop the tandem of Taysom Hill and Alvin Kamara, who rolled up 193 rushing yards together in Week 14. Tom Brady is 0-3 in the regular season against the Saints since coming to Tampa Bay, and New Orleans averages 36 points per game in those victories. The Buccaneers get their revenge.

Pick: Buccaneers 33, Saints 21

Minnesota Vikings (-4) at Chicago Bears

Sunday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN

Kirk Cousins is just 1-5 as a starter against the Bears since coming to Minnesota, but four of those games have been one-score nail-biters. Neither team can stop the run, so this is a chance for Dalvin Cook and perhaps David Montgomery to go large. It’s another tight one; and Justin Fields surprises by playing hero on MNF.

Pick: Bears 26, Vikings 24 

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‘Moon Knight’ Took Marvel in a Different Orbit, but It Didn’t Rise to the Occasion

Jacob Scott

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Before anyone writes that off as an anomaly, “Eternals” tackled a similar introduction of a dense mythology on the bigger screen, with equally mixed results. It’s a reminder that while film-goers have had more than a decade to get to know characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, introducing some of these lesser-known heroes can pose a more formidable challenge beyond catering to the most ardent fans.
For Marvel, there are warning signs in that, since “Moon Knight” will be followed by several series based on second-tier characters, although the next two on the horizon, “Ms. Marvel” (which is due in June) and “She-Hulk,” at least have the benefit of sharing franchises and name recognition with existing Avengers.
Ultimately, “Moon Knight’s” murky storytelling appeared to squander its principal assets, which included the cool look of the character — a costume that was too seldom used — and the presence of Isaac, who possesses additional genre credentials via the “Star Wars” sequels.

Taking its time in peeling back the layers of the character’s complicated backstory, “Moon Knight” took a weird plunge into the Egyptian mythology behind it, in ways that became increasingly confounding and surreal.

By the time the protagonist’s two halves, Steven Grant and Marc Spector, wound up in a psychiatric hospital talking to an anthropomorphic hippo in the penultimate chapter, the question wasn’t so much being able to keep up with the story as whether bothering to do so was worth the effort.

The sixth and final episode brought the plot to a messy close, seeking to stop the goddess Ammit from proceeding to “purify the souls of Cairo, and then the world.” In the customary credit sequence, the producers capped that off by introducing a third personality, Jake Lockley, also rooted in the comics. While that seemingly spelled the end for the show’s villain (Ethan Hawke), the finish — giving the god Khonshu the protégé he sought — paved the way for further adventures should Marvel so choose.

That last twist might be cause for celebration in narrower confines of the Marvel fan universe, but “Moon Knight” too often felt like it was one long Easter-egg sequence, conspicuously preaching to that choir.

Granted, Marvel has made clear that Disney+ offers the chance to explore different kinds of stories, but “Moon Knight” feels at best like a quirky showcase for Isaac and at worst a failed experiment in terms of execution and tone.

That doesn’t mean this “Moon” won’t somehow rise again, if the closely held streaming data justifies it. But the promise that surrounded this property has faded, providing further evidence that even Marvel isn’t immune from setbacks as it moves into its next phase.

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Start-up Pony.ai says it’s the first self-driving company to get a taxi license in China

Jacob Scott

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Autonomous driving start-up Pony.ai can collect fares for robotaxi rides in parts of two major Chinese cities as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start-up Pony.ai announced Sunday it received a taxi license, the first of its kind in China.

The license allows Pony.ai to operate 100 self-driving cars as traditional taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the company said.

The Chinese start-up, which is backed by Toyota, received approval from Beijing city late last year to charge fees to operate a commercial robotaxi business in a suburban district of the city. It is not the same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also received approval in the same Beijing district last year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license required 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other countries, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents, among other factors.

The start-up said it plans to launch commercial robotaxi businesses in two other large Chinese cities next year. The company is already testing self-driving cars in those cities and in California. 

Robotaxis in China currently have a human driver present for safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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How to watch Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies: TV channel, NBA live stream info, start time

Jacob Scott

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Who’s Playing

Memphis @ Minnesota

Current Records: Memphis 2-1; Minnesota 1-2

What to Know

The Memphis Grizzlies’ road trip will continue as they head to Target Center at 10 p.m. ET this past Saturday to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis will be strutting in after a win while Minnesota will be stumbling in from a loss.

The Grizzlies are hoping for another victory. They beat the Timberwolves 104-95 this past Thursday. The victory came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 39-21 deficit. Memphis’ success was spearheaded by the efforts of power forward Brandon Clarke, who had 20 points in addition to eight rebounds, and shooting guard Desmond Bane, who shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points and six boards.

Barring any buzzer beaters, Memphis is expected to win a tight contest. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread as they are currently on a two-game streak of ATS wins.

Memphis’ win brought them up to 2-1 while the Timberwolves’ defeat pulled them down to a reciprocal 1-2. A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Grizzlies come into the game boasting the second most points per game in the league at 115.6. But Minnesota is even better: they rank first in the league when it comes to points per game, with 115.9 on average. Tune in for what’s sure to be a high-scoring contest.

How To Watch

When: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET Where: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota TV: ESPN Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.) Follow: CBS Sports App Ticket Cost: $76.96

Odds

The Grizzlies are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Grizzlies as a 3-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Memphis have won 19 out of their last 28 games against Minnesota.

Apr 21, 2022 – Memphis 104 vs. Minnesota 95 Apr 19, 2022 – Memphis 124 vs. Minnesota 96 Apr 16, 2022 – Minnesota 130 vs. Memphis 117 Feb 24, 2022 – Minnesota 119 vs. Memphis 114 Jan 13, 2022 – Memphis 116 vs. Minnesota 108 Nov 20, 2021 – Minnesota 138 vs. Memphis 95 Nov 08, 2021 – Memphis 125 vs. Minnesota 118 May 05, 2021 – Memphis 139 vs. Minnesota 135 Apr 02, 2021 – Memphis 120 vs. Minnesota 108 Jan 13, 2021 – Memphis 118 vs. Minnesota 107 Jan 07, 2020 – Memphis 119 vs. Minnesota 112 Dec 01, 2019 – Memphis 115 vs. Minnesota 107 Nov 06, 2019 – Memphis 137 vs. Minnesota 121 Mar 23, 2019 – Minnesota 112 vs. Memphis 99 Feb 05, 2019 – Memphis 108 vs. Minnesota 106 Jan 30, 2019 – Minnesota 99 vs. Memphis 97 Nov 18, 2018 – Memphis 100 vs. Minnesota 87 Apr 09, 2018 – Minnesota 113 vs. Memphis 94 Mar 26, 2018 – Memphis 101 vs. Minnesota 93 Dec 04, 2017 – Memphis 95 vs. Minnesota 92 Feb 04, 2017 – Memphis 107 vs. Minnesota 99 Nov 19, 2016 – Memphis 93 vs. Minnesota 71 Nov 01, 2016 – Minnesota 116 vs. Memphis 80 Oct 26, 2016 – Memphis 102 vs. Minnesota 98 Mar 16, 2016 – Minnesota 114 vs. Memphis 108 Feb 19, 2016 – Memphis 109 vs. Minnesota 104 Jan 23, 2016 – Minnesota 106 vs. Memphis 101 Nov 15, 2015 – Memphis 114 vs. Minnesota 106

Injury Report for Minnesota

No Injury Information

Injury Report for Memphis

Dillon Brooks: Game-Time Decision (Foot) Santi Aldama: Out (Knee) Killian Tillie: Out (Knee)

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