For The Win: Week 14 - Footballguys

NFL Picks Against the Las Vegas Lines

Some weeks are just a train wreck from start to finish. The first clue should have been the Saints losing for the first time in over two months in Dallas on Thursday, but then five more upsets happened on Sunday. The odds of that happening were quite astronomical, but let’s look on the bright side here. Upsets happen, all the time – that’s why they play the games. The good news is that the NFL was quite charitable to put all of that mess on one weekend, so hopefully, Week 14 and on are relatively quiet for upsets. Another full slate is ahead, so let’s dig in for all 16 contests. Here we go:

Note that the lines and Over/Unders are taken from VegasInsider.com.

BYE WEEKS: Complete – no more byes.

TEAMS RETURNING FROM A BYE: None.

(Thursday) TENNESSEE (-4 to -4.5) vs. JACKSONVILLE (Over/Under 37.5)
The Titans barely survived a scare from the Jets last week, but there are so many reasons to trust Tennessee over the Jaguars. There is the short week, the fact that Jacksonville scored just six points last week, and that the Titans are still in the hunt for a playoff spot all point towards the Titans walking away from this contest as winners. Covering a little more than a field goal feels about right, and it may not take that many points to get it done. PICK: Titans

KANSAS CITY (-6.5 to -7) vs. BALTIMORE (Over/Under 51.5)
The Chiefs have to re-learn how to move their offense without Kareem Hunt, and they started to do that last week with the win over the Raiders. Kansas City pulled away from Oakland with 40 points but still gave up 33. Can Baltimore go on the road and stay within a touchdown? Lamar Jackson is bound to make a blunder or two, and that will be the difference. Chiefs 34, Ravens 23. PICK: Chiefs

NEW YORK GIANTS (-3.5) at WASHINGTON (Over/Under 41 to 41.5)
Mark Sanchez is back as the quarterback for Washington. Let that sink in for a minute. About two weeks ago, Washington was leading the NFC East and considered a contender for a playoff spot. Now they are underdogs at home to the 4-8 New York Giants. What a mess. New York is playing better of late and Saquan Barkley looks unstoppable. That might be enough. PICK: Giants

BUFFALO (-3 to -3.5) vs. NEW YORK JETS (Over/Under 38 to 38.5)
As December settles in, so do the teams not playing for much over the final four weeks. The Jets blew a big lead in Tennessee while the Bills could not keep pace in Miami last week. Both teams are unremarkable, but Buffalo has played more consistently on both sides of the ball and have a better defense than the Jets. PICK: Bills

CLEVELAND (+1 to +2) vs. CAROLINA (Over/Under 47)
One team that has been extremely hard to read and predict has been the Panthers. As soon as they started to look like a playoff contender, it all went up in smoke with four straight losses. Now we are supposed to believe that they are a favorite again on the road in Cleveland? The Browns have played good football for most of the season, and as home underdogs, they are in a great spot to not just cover but win outright. PICK: Browns

ATLANTA (+5.5 to +6) at GREEN BAY (Over/Under 48.5 to 49)
The Packers lost to Arizona, at home, when they were considered favorites by more than two touchdowns. Mike McCarthy was summarily dismissed after that abysmal performance, and it is hard to picture Green Bay bouncing all the way back in just a week. Atlanta outdoors on grass and in the cold is always a tough one, but take the points here against a deflated Packers squad. PICK: Falcons

Please note - A correction was made to the Atlanta/Green Bay Over/Under. Apologies for the typo. The correct Over/Under is 48.5 to 49.

NEW ENGLAND (-7.5 to -8) at MIAMI (Over/Under 47 to 47.5)
An AFC East clash as the Patriots head to Florida to face their longtime rivals in Miami. Tom Brady had a field day back in Week 4 as New England won in Foxboro back in September, 38-7. If anything, the Dolphins have regressed while the Patriots are gearing up for another postseason run. Patriots win by two touchdowns. PICK: Patriots

NEW ORLEANS (-8) at TAMPA BAY (Over/Under 55.5 to 56)
New Orleans heads to Tampa Bay after the Saints’ first loss in over two months last Thursday in Dallas. Drew Brees and company will be looking to turn things around against one of the weakest defenses in the league this season, so expect a lot of points from New Orleans. Tampa Bay will struggle to keep up as the Saints have played very good defense over the past month, and DeSean Jackson remains sidelined. Expect Jameis Winston to throw a few picks and for the Saints to get back on the winning track. PICK: Saints

HOUSTON (-4.5) vs. INDIANAPOLIS (Over/Under 48.5 to 49)
Houston just keeps on winning, while the Colts shuddered to a dead stop last week with a 6-0 loss in Jacksonville. The Texans have a solid offense and a dominating defense, especially their front seven that applies a ton of pressure. Andrew Luck will be under constant duress from Houston and the Texans should be able to lock up the AFC South on Sunday. PICK: Texans

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-14 to -14.5) vs. CINCINNATI (Over/Under 48)
That is a big point spread with not a very large total. To break down what Las Vegas is saying, the experts expect the Chargers to score 31 points while the Bengals maybe get 16 or 17. The 31 seems pretty likely as Los Angeles has hit or topped 31 four times this year, including the past two weeks – and last Sunday was against Pittsburgh. The Bengals have been giving up a ton of points and yards for at least six weeks, and they are struggling to score without Andy Dalton (now Jeff Driskel at quarterback). Chargers win and probably cover. PICK: Chargers

DENVER (-5.5 to -6) at SAN FRANCISCO (Over/Under 44 to 44.5)
Let’s not overcomplicate this – Denver is 6-6 and has won three in a row, and their schedule is soft enough that they can run the rest of the table to the matchup with the Chargers in Week 17 and enter that game at 9-6. The 49ers are playing out the string and now will be without Matt Breida. Very easy call PICK: Broncos

PHILADELPHIA (+3.5 to +4) at DALLAS (Over/Under 43 to 43.5)
Everyone is going to be on the Cowboys in this one, for several reasons. First, Dallas just took on and won against New Orleans last Thursday, and now they get a rematch versus the Eagles at home after winning in Philadelphia just a few weeks ago. Everything is pointing towards a win for Dallas, and the Eagles are banged up at cornerback – possibly worse than any other team. A Cowboys win comes close to securing a spot in the playoffs, as Dallas would be 8-5 (and have five wins in a row) while the Eagles would fall to 6-7 and Washington at best would be 7-6 but on their third-string quarterback in Mark Sanchez). Now, Philadelphia sees every game left on their schedule as a must-win, but this one is absolutely in that category as a loss to Dallas wrecks their hopes to win the division, and two tough games loom with matchups with the Rams and Texans coming in the next few contests. The Eagles are underdogs in this matchup – a role that they embrace – and their weakness on defense is not easy for Dallas to exploit. This will be a close contest and either team can pull out a win – so take the points and run. PICK: Eagles

OAKLAND (+10.5 to +11) vs. PITTSBURGH (Over/Under 51.5 to 52)
Pittsburgh is giving up too many points here. The Steelers not only lost at home on Sunday but also lost James Conner for this matchup, which is significant. Ben Roethlisberger cannot be asked to carry the full weight of the offense. Oakland scored 33 points on Kansas City last week, so the odds are pretty good that the Raiders will stay within striking distance of the Steelers. Pittsburgh 30, Oakland 20. PICK: Steelers

ARIZONA (-2 to -2.5) vs. DETROIT (Over/Under 40.5 to 41)
This game could go either way, and neither team has much to play for, aside for draft pick slots. A win by Arizona puts them ahead (or is it behind?) Detroit as they would both be 4-9. Arizona stole a game in Green Bay last week while Detroit lost to the Rams by 14 at home The Cardinals come in on a win streak and are relatively healthy, while the Lions are down to just Kenny Golladay at wide receiver and LeGarrette Blount at running back. Ugly game ahead warning, but favor the home team. PICK: Cardinals

CHICAGO (+3) vs. LOS ANGELES RAMS (Over/Under 52 to 52.5)
Two good games close out Week 14, first with the Bears hosting the Rams. Mitch Trubisky should be ready to go, and this game is reminiscent of earlier season games for Chicago where many did not believe in the Bears on defense or on offense. Both of those are no longer true (despite last week’s tough loss at the Giants). Chicago is a contender, and just like how Dallas made a statement at home against New Orleans, look for the Bears to have a similar performance against a Rams team that has already won their division and have the inside track on home field. PICK: Bears

(Monday) SEATTLE (-3 to -3.5) vs. MINNESOTA (Over/Under 45 to 45.5)
Both of these teams are the favorites for the two Wild Card spots in the NFC, but that does not mean that both teams are going to take it easy on each other. Seattle was hitting on all cylinders against the 49ers last week, rushing the ball well and scoring four passing touchdowns despite Russell Wilson only completing 11 passes on just 17 attempts. Even the defense was efficient and scored the final touchdown last week. Minnesota had some good moments against New England, including strong games by Kyle Rudolph and Dalvin Cook, but they could not keep up with the Patriots on the road. Seattle is another tough place to visit, and the Seahawks are playing well and have good momentum. Stick with that. PICK: Seahawks

PICK(S) OF THE WEEK: Kansas City, Atlanta, Atlanta/Green Bay Over 48.5, New Orleans, Houston, Denver, Philadelphia, Oakland, Chicago

THIS WEEK'S PLAYS

The intent of this column is to give out not only the Plays for the Week in the NFL but also a rating of each one on a 1-3 Unit scale. The more units, the bigger the emphasis on that side of the game. (More units = More $$$).

The games are a bit more interesting as we turn the calendar to December and Week 13. Some big spreads but a few in the "Wong Teaser" sweet spots. Plenty of fun to be had this week.

* ONE UNIT PLAYS *

  • KANSAS CITY (-6.5) vs. BALTIMORE
  • ATLANTA (+6) at GREEN BAY
  • ATLANTA at GREEN BAY (Over 48.5)
  • NEW ORLEANS (-8) at TAMPA BAY
  • HOUSTON (-4.5) vs. INDIANAPOLIS
  • PHILADELPHIA (+4) at DALLAS
  • OAKLAND (+11) vs. PITTSBURGH
  • CHICAGO (+3) vs. LOS ANGELES RAMS
  • PHILADELPHIA “FOR THE WIN” (+170) at DALLAS
  • CHICAGO “FOR THE WIN” (+150) vs. LOS ANGELES RAMS
  • 5-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (4.1-1 ODDS):
    • NEW ORLEANS (-2) at TAMPA BAY
    • HOUSTON (+1.5) vs. INDIANAPOLIS
    • DENVER (+0.5) at SAN FRANCISCO
    • KANSAS CITY (-0.5) vs. BALTIMORE
    • ATLANTA at GREEN BAY (Over 42.5)
  • 6-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (6.1-1 ODDS):
    • NEW ORLEANS (-2) at TAMPA BAY
    • HOUSTON (+1.5) vs. INDIANAPOLIS
    • DENVER (+0.5) at SAN FRANCISCO
    • KANSAS CITY (-0.5) vs. BALTIMORE
    • ATLANTA at GREEN BAY (Over 42.5)
    • PHILADELPHIA (+10) at DALLAS
  • 7-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (8.9-1 ODDS):
    • NEW ORLEANS (-2) at TAMPA BAY
    • HOUSTON (+1.5) vs. INDIANAPOLIS
    • DENVER (+0.5) at SAN FRANCISCO
    • KANSAS CITY (-0.5) vs. BALTIMORE
    • ATLANTA at GREEN BAY (Over 42.5)
    • PHILADELPHIA (+10) at DALLAS
    • ATLANTA (+12) at GREEN BAY
  • 8-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (12.75-1 ODDS):
    • NEW ORLEANS (-2) at TAMPA BAY
    • HOUSTON (+1.5) vs. INDIANAPOLIS
    • DENVER (+0.5) at SAN FRANCISCO
    • KANSAS CITY (-0.5) vs. BALTIMORE
    • ATLANTA at GREEN BAY (Over 42.5)
    • PHILADELPHIA (+10) at DALLAS
    • ATLANTA (+12) at GREEN BAY
    • CHICAGO (+9) vs. LOS ANGELES RAMS
  • 9-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (18.25-1 ODDS):
    • NEW ORLEANS (-2) at TAMPA BAY
    • HOUSTON (+1.5) vs. INDIANAPOLIS
    • DENVER (+0.5) at SAN FRANCISCO
    • KANSAS CITY (-0.5) vs. BALTIMORE
    • ATLANTA at GREEN BAY (Over 42.5)
    • PHILADELPHIA (+10) at DALLAS
    • ATLANTA (+12) at GREEN BAY
    • CHICAGO (+9) vs. LOS ANGELES RAMS
    • OAKLAND (+17) vs. PITTSBURGH

** TWO UNIT PLAYS **

  • DENVER (-5.5) at SAN FRANCISCO
  • 6-POINT TEASER: 1ATLANTA (+12) at GREEN BAY (Over 42.5)
  • 4-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (2.65-1 ODDS):
    • NEW ORLEANS (-2) at TAMPA BAY
    • HOUSTON (+1.5) vs. INDIANAPOLIS
    • DENVER (+0.5) at SAN FRANCISCO
    • KANSAS CITY (-0.5) vs. BALTIMORE

*** THREE UNIT PLAYS ***

  • 2 TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER:
    • NEW ORLEANS (-2) at TAMPA BAY
    • HOUSTON (+1.5) vs. INDIANAPOLIS
  • 3-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (9-5 ODDS):
    • NEW ORLEANS (-2) at TAMPA BAY
    • HOUSTON (+1.5) vs. INDIANAPOLIS
    • DENVER (+0.5) at SAN FRANCISCO

RESULTS

Last Week

  • OVERALL: 8-8 (50%)
  • PICK(S) OF WEEK: 2-3 (40%)
  • WEEKLY TOP PLAYS: 5-21 (19.2%)

Season

  • OVERALL: 95-90-7 (51.4%)
  • PICK(S) OF WEEK: 41-32-3 (56.2%)
  • WEEKLY TOP PLAYS: 314.8-129-2 (70.9%)

Good luck this weekend!

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