Week 14 is a monster week in the NFL, with playoff spots and seedings riding on most matchups. From a gambling perspective it is a tough week to call. The lines for the most part are in the right area, and trying to balance all of the various motivations of teams is always tough. However, no bye weeks and only three prime time games this week means we have a massive 13 games with which to cast our net in on Sunday.
Here are this week’s NFL Picks:
Bet of the Week:
Los Angeles Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars | 4:05 pm EST
1u – Los Angeles Chargers -3.5 @ +100
- The Jacksonville Jaguars have lost their last four games by an average of 20.5 points
- Per Statschecker, the Jacksonville Jaguars are 2-4 ATS at home this season
The fact that I have made the Chargers my bet of the week tells you two things. Firstly, the slate this week is a really tough one to call, with a lot of mismatches that have led to high spreads. Secondly, that the Jacksonville Jaguars are really bad right now. Their slump started when they lost 26-3 to Houston in London and has continued after their bye week. The Buccaneers just simply handled them on the ground last week and the Chargers should be able to do the same this week.
Indianapolis Colts @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers | 1:00 pm EST
1u – Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3 @ -113
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won three of their last four games, including two wins by double-digits
- The Indianapolis Colts have lost four of their last five games
This is one of those situations where you simply throw out the numbers and instead focus on the form and on-field play of the two teams. The Buccaneers have built up some momentum the last few weeks while the Colts are in a world of trouble. We have seen the Colts stutter before this season and bounce back, but the injuries are piling up. The way to attack this Buccaneers defense is their secondary, but the Colts have no deep threat to their offense right now. The Colts also have some issues in their secondary that the high-powered Buccaneers offense should be able to exploit.
Baltimore Ravens @ Buffalo Bills | 1:00 pm EST
1u – Baltimore Ravens -5 @ -132
- The Bills have beaten just one team with a winning record so far this season
- The Ravens have won their last eight games and covered in five of the last six
I am really looking forward to this showdown between two quarterbacks with somewhat similar styles of play. Both like to use their legs to open up the offense, and both are capable of making plays that change the course of the game for their teams. However, right now I have to stay with the Ravens, especially with the weather set to be relatively mild and rain/snow free. The Bills will be disappointed to see no rain forecast for Saturday and Sunday as that would slow the field down to their advantage. The Bills are a solid team, but the Ravens are simply a juggernaut right now. I think the Ravens take control of this one in the second half, but the longer it goes, the more the Bills will begin to believe.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots | 4:25 pm EST
1u – Kansas City Chiefs +3 @ +105
- The New England Patriots have scored just 18 PPG in their last four outings
- Per Statschecker, the Kansas City Chiefs are 4-2 ATS on the road this season
It may seem crazy but picking against the Patriots in this one is the right play right now. The Patriots offense is stuck. They are struggling to move the ball consistently through the air or on the ground. Their other big problem is they rank a woeful 24th in the league in red-zone offense, scoring a touchdown on just 49% of their trips. Yes, their defense is very good, but I just simply cannot see them containing an offense with five superb weapons in Hill, Watkins, Hardman, Kelce and McCoy. This game has all the makings of send the “Patriots are done” narrative into overdrive. Interestingly, we could even see a repeat of the “We’re onto Cincinnati” press conference from a few years ago. It is always hard to count the Patriots out, but this Chiefs offense has the chance to score 30 points every time they step on the field and I simply do not think the Patriots can match them.
Tennessee Titans @ Oakland Raiders | 4:25 pm EST
1u – Tennessee Titans -2.5 @ +100
- The Titans have won five of their last six, covering the spread in those five victories
- The Raiders have lost each of their last two games by 31 points
Just pump the Titans into my veins at this point. Besides a very bizarre outing against the Panthers the Titans have been incredible since Ryan Tanehill took over. A lot is also thanks to the explosion of power that is Derrick Henry and some really good defense and special team. However, Tannehill has sparked a team that looked dead and buried in Week 6 into a playoff contender. As for the Raiders, their tough schedule may be finally catching up to them. Yes, there is a cold weather narrative to the last two weeks but losing by 31 points in both games is very concerning to me.
By Ben Rolfe