As we get closer the end of the bye weeks, we have 14 games to choose from as most leagues begin their fantasy playoffs. Only three road teams are favorites this week, but don’t be shocked to more road teams than that come away with wins.
NFL Betting Odds and Lines: Week 14
Pittsburgh Steelers (+135) at Minnesota Vikings (-170)
All of Minnesota’s losses (and four of Minny’s five wins) have come by one score or less. The Vikings always play close games and, too often, find ways to lose when the game is on the line. As former Vikings coach Dennis Green famously said, “They are who we thought they were,” and that’s what the Vikings are. Take the Steelers on the Moneyline (+135).
Baltimore Ravens (+110) at Cleveland Browns (-135)
The Ravens are still stinging from taking a chance on a two-point conversion that failed in a 20-19 loss to Pittsburgh last week and are looking for some revenge. Cleveland has once again not lived up to their preseason hype, and Baker Mayfield will be under pressure all game, which typically leads to game-changing turnovers. Take the Ravens on the Moneyline (+110).
Jacksonville Jaguars (+340) at Tennessee Titans (-475)
The Titans are reeling on offense, having lost workhorse Derrick Henry and Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Brown. Yet, they’re still heavy favorites (8.5 points at -108 Jaguars, -112 Titans). That is more a testament to the sorry state of the Jaguars defense than anything else. While this is far from a slam dunk, take the Titans and lay the 8.5 points (-112).
Atlanta Falcons (+115) at Carolina Panthers (-140)
Divisional games are typically played closer to the vest than others because of their familiarity with one another. The Falcons offense has sputtered badly in most of their games since Calvin Ridley left the team, and they simply don’t have an offensive spark. The games for Cam Newton, who is a better runner than passer these days. This game is tied for the lowest Over/Under on the board in Week 14 (41.5 points at -115 Over, -105 Under). While Over/Under numbers this low are awfully tempting, I think it’s there for a good reason. Take the Under (-105).
Las Vegas Raiders (+320) at Kansas City Chiefs (-420)
Early in the season, the Chiefs were one of the most disappointing teams to bet on, because they weren’t putting up points as would be expected. However, they have hit another gear, and Andy Reid-coached teams tend to bring their best in December in preparation for the playoffs, which may explain why Kansas City is such a big favorite (8.5 points at -108 Raiders, -112 Chiefs). The Raiders have given them problems over the last few seasons, but this has the looks of a typical December game at Arrowhead. Take the Chiefs and lay the 8.5 points (-112).
New Orleans Saints (-250) at New York Jets (+200)
Taysom Hill infused some life in the lackluster Saints offense, but he still has nothing but No. 3 receivers to throw to and a run game that has been hobbled and cobbled. The Over/Under (42.5 points at -115 Over, -105 Under) reflects that concern. Once again, it’s a low number that doesn’t take a shootout to surpass, but a southern dome team heading north doesn’t typically end well. Even though the Saints are solid favorites, I won’t be on the Jets, so I have to settle for something I feel more comfortable with. Take the Under (-105).
Seattle Seahawks (-370) at Houston Texans (+280)
Seattle kept its slim playoff hopes alive with an upset home win over San Francisco last week and now head in to play the team I believe to be the worst in the NFL. The Seahawks are as big a favorite as they’ve been in months (7.5 points at -103 Seahawks, -117 Texans). By the disparity in those numbers, the clear indication is that 7.5 points are too many to give away. I disagree. Take the Seahawks and lay the 7.5 points (-103).
Dallas Cowboys (-210) at Washington Football Team (+170)
Numbers on the Cowboys are consistently inflated because so many people are willing to bet on them. Washington is one of the hottest teams in the league having won four straight games and put themselves in playoff position. The Cowboys remain a solid road favorite (4.5 points at -105 Cowboys, -115 WFT). I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t climbed on the Washington bandwagon over the last month of games and, while they’ve earned my respect, they haven’t earned my faith in putting money on them. Take the Cowboys and lay the 4.5 points.
Detroit Lions (+300) at Denver Broncos (-400)
The Broncos have been a difficult team to figure out, because they tend to either win big or lose big, especially when they win. All six of their wins have come by seven or more points and five of them have been by double digits. When I saw how big a favorite they were (8.5 points at -108 Lions, -112 Broncos), I thought it a little steep until I took a deeper dive into Denver’s ups and downs this season. I believe they will win at home, so I guess I have to buy into the “good Broncos” hype. Take the Broncos and lay the 8.5 points (-112).
New York Giants (+370) at Los Angeles Chargers (-520)
If this was later in the week and we knew more about the potential COVID fallout from an outbreak around the Chargers, I may feel differently, but they remain a heavy favorite (9.5 points at -103 Giants, -117 Chargers). The Chargers have a much better roster of players and need to protect their spot in the playoffs as they try to chase down Kansas City while holding off those chasing them. I have no faith in the Giants putting up enough points to keep up. Take the Chargers and lay the 9.5 points (-112).
San Francisco 49ers (-125) at Cincinnati Bengals (+102)
I will be the first to admit that I have more faith in the Bengals than just about anybody, despite their ability to get the boots put to them when they lose. They’re capable of winning by 20 or losing by 20 depending on the week. I’m still not jumping off the bandwagon. Take the Bengals on the Moneyline (+102).
Buffalo Bills (+145) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-180)
A month ago, this looked like a potential Super Bowl matchup. Now the Bills are fighting to stay in the playoffs, much less lock down a high seed. I like the potential of Tom Brady and Josh Allen playing “anything you can do I can do better.” The Over/Under is the highest for any game in Week 14 (53.5 points at -115 Over, -105 Under). Maybe it’s wishful thinking, because both defenses are good, but I like this one being an instant classic. Take the Over (-115).
Chicago Bears (+500) at Green Bay Packers (-700)
It’s hard to believe the NFL could have have flexed Bills-Bucs into this spot and instead give us this stinker. The Packers are the most prohibitive favorite of the week (11.5 points at -110 for both teams), and I don’t think that’s enough. I’m not confident Chicago will score more than 13 points, which makes this spread much more manageable. Take the Packers and lay the 11.5 points (-110)
Los Angeles Rams (+110) at Arizona Cardinals (-135)
I’m never afraid to take an underdog, but this is going to be the fourth Moneyline bet I’m going to take – impressive this late into the season. The Rams had a rough stretch of three losses, but I believe they have the most talent on both sides of the ball as any team in the league. That is reflected in Arizona being favored by less than a field goal at home. Take the Rams on the Moneyline (+110)
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