Week 14 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Underdogs That Will Cover Your Bet
Underdogs had another fantastic showing in Week 13 of the NFL season, covering against the spread in nine of the 16 games.
Considering how this season has unfolded, you could make a rather safe argument that at least five underdog teams will cover spreads in a given week. Week 14 is no different.
Using our weekly model of betting trend analysis and the recent performances of the teams involved, we can safely predict a few teams that will likely cover their underdog spread.
In the following slides, we present to you the underdogs we think have the safest odds of covering your bet in Week 14 of the NFL season.
Note: All lines taken from ESPN.com's aggregation of sites.
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (+10)
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There's nothing safe or reassuring about the Raiders' five-game losing streak, especially from a betting standpoint. Oakland has finished 0-4-1 against the spread over the last five, with the one push coming Sunday against the Browns as a home underdog (+3).
But maybe, just maybe the conditions are right for the Raiders to pull off a cover Thursday night against a football team that they have almost zero chance of beating.
The Thursday night games have generally produced a lesser quality of football this season, likely because minds and bodies are still bruised and tired from the week prior. That can level the playing field slightly. Plus, big home underdogs in prime time, especially in tough division games, can be very good bets overall.
Ten points isn't a ridiculously high line for the Broncos, but there's enough reason here to think the Raiders can eventually get Thursday's final in the cover range.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-7)
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Sunday's blown cover from the Lions was one of those betting moments where you again realize how ridiculous wagering on the NFL can be. Covering for the better part of 57 minutes, Detroit gave up both the cover and win in a stunning collapse late.
While that matchup with the Colts always looked like a good bet for the Lions, so does Sunday's Week 14 clash with the Packers. In this series, and even in Green Bay, seven points is too high of a line.
These two teams have kept the final score under seven points in four of the last five meetings, including each of the last two games at Lambeau Field. The Lions have also played three consecutive playoff teams—Green Bay, Houston and Indianapolis—within four points over the last three games.
Maybe Detroit is ready to collapse under its own weight, but this team isn't playing nearly poorly enough to give seven points to a division rival.
St. Louis Rams at Buffalo Bills (+3)
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Playing in Buffalo in December is never easy for a road team, especially one as streaky as the Rams. But believe it or not, the betting trends have really taken a liking to Jeff Fisher's club in 2012.
The Rams are a rock-solid 8-4 against the spread this season, including 4-1 away and 4-1 as the away underdog. St. Louis finds itself giving Buffalo three points on the road Sunday.
The egg the Rams laid against the Jets is my one concern here. Otherwise, the Rams have played very well over the last month (tie in San Francisco, 14-point win in Arizona, beat San Francisco in overtime), and the Bills are just 3-2 against the spread at home.
Baltimore Ravens at Washington Redskins (-1.5)
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The intel report on this game doesn't offer much, but it offers anything, it's that the Redskins might be in trouble. The Ravens are just 3-2 against the spread away from home, while Washington is 3-3 ATS at home but just 1-2 as the home favorite.
Still, Vegas can see the Redskins' three-game winning streak and Baltimore's home loss to the Charlie Batch led Steelers in this line.
But let's not forget the letdown effect, especially in this case.
The Redskins are coming off a Monday night win against a division rival in a game they had to win. Now they play a 9-3 football team still capable of getting a first round bye in the AFC, and on a short week? Sounds like trouble to my betting ears.