With four weeks left in the NFL season, teams are fighting for position.
Some are clamoring for a playoff spot. Others are trying to stay as close to perfect as possible in order to secure a first round bye. The rest are looking forward to next April and the 2018 NFL Draft.
Week 14 presents another great slate of games to gamble on, including a few matchups pitting the top teams of the NFC against each other, and other games that may go on to decide a division title. After a middling week of 7-9 against the spread last weekend, this week we look to get back to our winning ways and take the books for all they got.
Below are our best bets of Week 14 of the NFL season.
All lines courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
LAST WEEK: 7-9 OVERALL: 99-87-7
New Orleans Saints (PK) at Atlanta Falcons (Thursday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
The pick: Falcons PK
The logic: The Saints are one of the hottest teams in football right now, but the idea of the Falcons losing two straight at home seems like a good one to bet against.
Indianapolis Colts (NO LINE) at Buffalo Bills (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Colts
The logic: Still no line on this game as it’s unclear whether or not Tyrod Taylor will be able to play after going down with a knee contusion last week against the Patriots. While he participated in limited practice on Thursday, bettors or either getting a half-healthy Taylor on Sunday or another game from Nathan Peterman, so I’m just closing my eyes and backing Indy regardless.
Chicago Bears (+6.5) at Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Bears +6.5
The logic: The Bengals five wins have come over the Browns, Bills, Colts, Broncos, and Browns. That’s not a team I want to lay a touchdown with.
Green Bay Packers (-3) at Cleveland Browns (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Packers -3
The logic: The Browns had a nice cover last week, but I think the Packers do enough here to keep them winless. With the return of Aaron Rodgers potentially just a week away, Green Bay can get this win and keep their postseason hopes alive. Meanwhile, Browns fans are already planning a parade to celebrate their eventual 0-16 season.
Oakland Raiders (+4) at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Raiders +4
The logic: The Chiefs have been in free-fall ever since their dramatic last-second loss to the Raiders back in October. Now, the teams meet again with the Chiefs having lost four straight and ceded control of the AFC West to a three-way tie at the top. I like Derek Carr and the Raiders to keep the Chiefs nightmarish run going this week.
Dallas Cowboys (-4) at New York Giants (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Giants +4
The logic: The Cowboys appeared to fix their Elliott-less offensive woes last week, scoring 38 points on the Redskins without their most dynamic offensive star. That said, I think the Giants will be legitimately energized to now be rid of Bob McAdoo, and Eli Manning will want to play well after his benching that many felt was unnecessary and undeserved. Back the home dog.
Detroit Lions (NO LINE) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Buccaneers
The logic: No line here because it’s still unclear whether or not Matthew Stafford will be able to play for the Lions after an injury to his throwing hand. So far he looks on pace to go, but he won’t be at 100%, and you can bet that Tampa Bay will go after him in the backfield and try to make his day awful. Backup Jake Rudock made his debut last week, completing three of five passes for 24 yards and an interception in his short time on the field. Sounds like a spot to fade.
Minnesota Vikings (-2.5) at Carolina Panthers (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Panthers +2.5
The logic: Tough spot for the Vikings to win two straight road games against talented teams. And if the prophecy is to come true and Aaron Rodgers is going to lead the Packers back to win the NFC North, then Minnesota has to start losing games now.
San Francisco 49ers (+3) at Houston Texans (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: 49ers +3
The logic: I’m all-in on Jimmy Garoppolo. He looked great for the Niners last week despite never scoring a touchdown, and apparently his teammates were so excited after the win that they were offering him their seats on the team bus. I don’t think any of the Texans are as excited for their dear leader Tom Savage.
New York Jets (-1) at Denver Broncos (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
The pick: Jets -1
The logic: Pretty sure the Broncos would lose to the Browns if the two teams met right now.
Tennessee Titans (-3) at Arizona Cardinals (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
The pick: Cardinals +3
The logic: The Titans continue to unimpressive, and the Cardinals just took down their fellow AFC South competitors in the Jaguars a few weeks back. No reason Arizona couldn’t do it again.
Washington Redskins (+6) at Los Angeles Chargers (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
The pick: Chargers -6
The logic: The Chargers have won three straight and control their own destiny to the postseason after an 0-4 start to the year. Philip Rivers and company can’t afford to slip up here.
Philadelphia Eagles (+2) at Los Angeles Rams (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
The pick: Eagles +2
The logic: The Eagles had everything go wrong for them against the Seahawks last week, and still kept the game relatively close. I believe in this team and think they’ll learn from the win and be able to bounce back. And after how many Philly fans showed up the last time the Eagles were in Los Angeles, there’s a chance this one ends up feeling like a home game for the Birds.
Seattle Seahawks (+2.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
The pick: Seahawks +2.5
The logic: The Jaguars are going to run through Seattle’s offensive line like it’s swiss cheese forcing Russell Wilson out of the pocket, where he is at his best.
Baltimore Ravens (+5.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
The pick: Steelers -5.5
The logic: Pittsburgh took down the Ravens 26-9 when the teams met earlier in the season, and even with Baltimore’s huge win last weekend over the Lions, I see no reason the Steelers can’t take care of business again at home in a game that is crucial towards their postseason positioning against the Patriots.
New England Patriots (-11.5) at Miami Dolphins (Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
The pick: Dolphins +11.5
The logic: Last week I decided I was going to stop betting against the Patriots and start making money instead. It worked out, but this week I’m going back to overthinking things. The Patriots have lost outright in three of their past four trips to Miami, and betting double-digit home underdogs is always a good look, especially in a night game.
Also, the Patriots are in the second game of a three-game road stretch, and will have a short week heading into Pittsburgh next week for a game that will likely decide which team gets homefield throughout the AFC playoffs. Easy place for New England to get trapped, especially without Gronk to rely on to pick up a crucial first down.
Yep, I’m betting on Jay Cutler against Tom Brady in primetime. No way this backfires.
Now check out our Week 14 Power Rankings