In a week that has just 13 games with six teams on bye, it is a strange week that sees almost half of the games with spreads of six points or more, a pair of teams currently in a playoff spot (Seattle and Tennessee) as minimal home favorites against a pair of 4-8 teams, and a 5-7 team favored to beat a team that is 10-2.
Just when you think you’ve seen enough craziness, the NFL finds a way to throw you yet another curve.
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NFL Betting Odds and Lines: Week 14
Las Vegas Raiders (-250) at Los Angeles Rams (+210)
The Raiders are a solid road favorite (6 points), but the Rams are the losers of five straight and seeing one star after another drop. The Over/Under is solid (44.5 points at -107 Over, -113 Under). My question is how many points can the Rams’ depleted offense score? Not enough for this number. Take the Under (-113).
Houston Texans (+900) at Dallas Cowboys (-1400)
I’m not touching a 16-point favorite bet (I think Dallas will surpass it, but I never give away that many points). However, I’m down with the Over/Under (45.5 points at -111 Over, -109 Under) The Cowboys defense is a chore for good offenses, much less a pedestrian one. The Texans may not hit 10 points. The Cowboys will run enough to kill clock. Take the Under (-109).
Baltimore Ravens (+125) at Pittsburgh Steelers (-145)
This is always a bloodbath and the Steelers have had the upper hand when Lamar Jackson is available. He won’t be this week, which explains why the Steelers are small favorites (2.5 points at -101 Ravens, -119 Steelers). A lopsided spread bet like this means that it is likely to go to 3 points. I’m about getting my ticket in when the opportunity is better. Take the Steelers and lay 2.5 points (-119).
Cleveland Browns (+210) at Cincinnati Bengals (-250)
Joe Burrow has been dominated by the Browns in his career, but Cincinnati has won eight of its last 10 games after an 0-2 start – including the last four. The Browns have won their last two and Deshaun Watson is getting his legs under him. The Over/Under is big (47 points at -111 Over, -109 Under). The thing about this rivalry is even if one of them gets a big lead, they don’t take their foot off the gas. Take the Over (-111).
Philadelphia Eagles (-310) at New York Giants (+255)
The Eagles are given respect as a road favorite (7 points at -105 Eagles, -115 Giants). Before game time, this is going to go to 7.5. In their last 10 wins, the Eagles have covered this number eight times. The Giants haven’t seen this year’s version of Philly yet. It may be a rude awakening. Take the Eagles and lay 7 points (-105).
New York Jets (+360) at Buffalo Bills (-450)
One of Buffalo’s three losses was a 20-17 loss to the Jets on the road. The Bills had won the previous four and covered the point spread for this week (9.5 points at -109 Jets, -111 Bills) in three of them (and won by eight in the other). The Jets have been a cute story, but this is where Buffalo draws the line. Take the Bills and lay 9.5 points (-111).
Jacksonville Jaguars (+170) at Tennessee Titans (-200)
Ryan Tannehill is battling another ankle injury, which helps explain the small home favorite number (4 points at -113 Jaguars, -107 Titans). Even with a bad ankle he can turn and hand the ball to Derrick Henry. In the last four meetings (all Titans wins), Henry has rushed 99 times for 488 yards and 7 touchdowns. What should change that? Take the Titans and lay 4 points (-107).
Minnesota Vikings (+115) at Detroit Lions (-135)
Minnesota has 10 wins and has only scored 10 more points than their opponents. The Lions have won four of their last five and gave Buffalo all it could handle in the loss. The Lions are favored by 2.5 points. The Vikings two losses have come to the Eagles and Cowboys. The Lions aren’t close to them. The Vikings win ugly, but they win. Take the Vikings on the money line (+115).
Kansas City Chiefs (-425) at Denver Broncos (+350)
The Chiefs are stinging from a loss to the Bengals, but remain huge road favorites (9.5 points at -111 Chiefs, -109 Broncos). I’ve seen enough of Russell Wilson stealing money in Colorado. I’m not convinced the Broncos will score 17 points. I’m much more confident in the Chiefs’ ability to score 27. Take the Chiefs and lay 9.5 points (-111).
Carolina Panthers (+170) at Seattle Seahawks (-200)
The Seahawks’ running game is banged up, but it doesn’t change the fact the the Panthers are winless on the road and have lost the last two by double digits. Seattle is a modest favorite (4 points at -112 Panthers, -108 Seahawks). If Seattle has to pass 50 times, so what? The Panthers should be closer to a touchdown dog, not 4 points. Take the Seahawks and lay 4 points (-108).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+155) at San Francisco 49ers (-180)
Tom Brady and Brock Purdy isn’t a matchup anyone expected to ever see. It is what it is. The Bucs offense goes dormant for long stretches, especially against good defenses. The Purdy-led offense will struggle against a Bucs defense that is injury-depleted but deep. The Over/Under is extremely low (37 points at -109 Over, -111 Under). Despite their records, this is a playoff game in early December. Field position is king. Take the Under (-111).
Miami Dolphins (-170) at Los Angeles Chargers (+145)
These are two teams capable of putting up a lot of points. As such, the Over/Under is high (52 points at -112 Over, -108 Under). I’m unconvinced either team will try to run, because this game could have serious implications. If the Chargers lose, they’re likely dead. I’m not picking a winner here. I’m picking a mindset. Take the Over (-112).
New England Patriots (-125) at Arizona Cardinals (+105)
The Patriots are slight road favorites (2 points at -110 for both teams). The Cardinals have stunk it out at 4-8 (on top of their epic collapse at the end of the 2021 season). I’m not willing to make an East Coast team heading back to the West Coast and being given that kind of status, because the Patriots aren’t a team at this point built to hand out butt-whoopings on the road. Take the Cardinals on the money line (+105).
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