NFL Week 14 Predictions: Latest Odds and Picks Against the Spread
With only four more games left to play, Week 14 in the NFL is full of playoff implications. We'll take a look at all 16 games on the schedule, and offer our picks against the spread.
Will the Washington Redskins keep their playoff hopes alive against the Baltimore Ravens?
Can the Dallas Cowboys do the same on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals?
Will the New York Giants rise up after a disappointing loss in Week 13 to beat the visiting New Orleans Saints?
We've got the answers to these questions and more, so follow along and find out which teams will come out ahead against the spread.
Note: All betting information courtesy of FootballLocks.com.
Broncos (-10) at Raiders
During the Oakland Raiders latest five-game losing streak, the team has lost four of the five by 10 or more points.
The last time the Raiders faced the Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning's crew beat the tar out of Oakland to the tune of 37-6.
This one's easy.
Verdict: Pick the Broncos to beat the spread.
Ravens at Redskins (-2.5)
The Baltimore Ravens are trending down these days, having squeaked past the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers by just three points in Weeks 11 and 12, and then having lost to the Steelers in Week 13.
The Washington Redskins are trending up, having won their last three games.
Joe Flacco is horrible on the road. This season, he's thrown just four touchdowns and four interceptions in six road games, and given the way the Redskins defense has come on strong of late, he's in for another bad game.
Verdict: Pick the Redskins to beat the spread.
Chiefs at Browns (-6.5)
The Cleveland Browns have strung together two wins in a row, and there's a lot to like about this young, talented team.
Brandon Weeden's no Andrew Luck, but his ability to hit his big-play wide receivers downfield complements Trent Richardson's power-running game to perfection.
The Kansas City Chiefs won just their second game in 2012 last week against the Carolina Panthers at home in the wake of the Javon Belcher tragedy, but I'm expecting the team to struggle on the road again in Week 14.
Verdict: Pick the Browns to beat the spread.
Chargers at Steelers (Off)
Titans at Colts (-5.5)
These two teams needed overtime to decide the outcome in their last meeting, way back in Week 8, and the Indianapolis Colts won by six.
Since that time, the Tennessee Titans have lost two of three games, while the Colts have continued winning—minus a hiccup against the New England Patriots in Boston.
The way Andrew Luck's been playing lately at home, and the way the Titans have played on the road, I'm expecting the Colts to win by more than one touchdown.
Verdict: Pick the Colts to beat the spread.
Jets (-2.5) at Jaguars
Rex Ryan is stubbornly refusing to see the light and will be starting Mark Sanchez again in Week 14—one week after benching him after he threw three interceptions against the Arizona Cardinals (h/t ProFootballTalk.com).
And though the Jacksonville Jaguars struggled mightily to move the ball against the Buffalo Bills on the road last week, they'll be able to run the ball down the throat of the porous defense of the New York Jets this week at home.
All this adds up to victory No. 3 for the Jags.
Verdict: Pick the Jaguars to beat the spread by winning outright.
Bears (-3) at Vikings
Brian Urlacher is out with a hamstring injury (h/t Sean Jenson of the Chicago Sun-Times), and Tim Jennings' status for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings is in doubt as he recovers from a shoulder injury.
Unfortunately for the Minnesota Vikings, Percy Harvin's status for the rest of the season is unknown (h/t 1500ESPN.com's Tom Pelissero), and it's unlikely he'll play in this game.
Combined with the way Christian Ponder has regressed as the season wears on, it won't matter if Jennings plays or not. Adrian Peterson will still get his yards, but the Bears will win.
Verdict: Pick the Bears to beat the spread.
Falcons (-3.5) at Panthers
Let me say this first: I wouldn't touch this action with a ten-foot pole.
The Atlanta Falcons should blow the Carolina Panthers out of the water, but as we've seen from them all year long, they've been getting over on teams by the smallest of margins.
It won't shock me to see the Panthers win, and it won't shock me to see the Falcons crush them.
Verdict: Stay away...but if I had to pick, the Falcons will beat the spread.
Eagles at Buccaneers (-7.5)
After getting locked up by the Denver Broncos in Week 13, rookie running back Doug Martin will run wild against the Philadelphia Eagles' Wide-9 defense this week.
Furthermore, Bryce Brown will finally hit a wall he can't run past in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers No. 1-ranked run defense, and Nick Foles won't be able to pick up the slack.
Finally, the Eagles defense has allowed opposing quarterbacks to have field days ever since Juan Castillo was fired, and Josh Freeman will continue this trend in Week 14.
Verdict: Pick the Bucs to beat the spread.
Rams at Bills (-3)
This is a tough game to call.
I love the way the St. Louis Rams are playing on defense right now, and Steven Jackson seems to be revitalized in the second half of the season.
The Buffalo Bills have won two of three, and being the home team, they'll have the advantage from the start.
The only road game the Rams have won this season was against the Arizona Cardinals, so I'm picking the Bills to win the game.
Verdict: Pick the Bills to beat the spread.
Cowboys at Bengals (-3)
The Dallas Cowboys need to win out in order to give themselves the best chance to get into the playoffs, but I'm convinced they're going to fall short—and it starts in Week 14.
Andy Dalton finally has a reliable running game, now that BenJarvus Green-Ellis is producing like the team thought he would when it signed him in the offseason. All it's going to take is a few big plays from the Bengals passing attack to put them over the top in this one.
Verdict: Pick the Bengals to beat the spread.
Dolphins at 49ers (-10)
After an embarrassing loss to the St. Louis Rams on the road in Week 13, the San Francisco 49ers are ready to exact their revenge on the Miami Dolphins this week.
The 49ers have responded well after every loss/tie this season, winning every game by six or more points.
Ryan Tannehill is in for a rough outing, as Aldon Smith and company have been getting after quarterbacks with frightening regularity as of late.
Verdict: Pick the 49ers to beat the 10-point spread.
Saints at Giants (-5)
After throwing seven interceptions the past two weeks against the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons, Drew Brees is ready to break out of his recent slump.
I'm picking the New York Giants to win the game at home, but Brees and the Saints will keep it close.
Verdict: Pick the Saints to beat the spread.
Cardinals at Seahawks (-10.5)
Ken Whisenhunt has named John Skelton as the starter for this week's contest against the Seattle Seahawks, but it doesn't matter who the Arizona Cardinals throw out there—this game is going to be a blood bath.
Richard Sherman is both expected to play, and the Cardinals offense will struggle to pass the ball without the benefit of a running game.
Look for Russell Wilson to lead an efficient offense, with Marshawn Lynch getting plenty of touches. This game won't be close.
Verdict: Pick the Seahawks to cover the 10.5-point spread.
Lions at Packers (-7)
The Green Bay Packers should win at home, but don't expect a blowout.
The Detroit Lions have lost their last three games by four points or less, as their opponents have been able to beat them late in the fourth quarter and in overtime.
Given the Packers porous offensive line, Nick Fairley, Ndamukong Suh and the bruisers up front for the Lions should get plenty of opportunities to disrupt Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense.
Verdict: Pick the Lions to beat the spread.
Texans at Patriots (-3.5)
Easily the game of Week 14, the contest between the New England Patriots and Houston Texans, is going to be epic. It's also a potential AFC Championship preview, and both teams will be treating this game as if it were a playoff game.
Given the Texans' recent struggles to defend against the pass, I'm convinced Tom Brady will have a big game.
And given the way the Patriots have been able to defend against the run in 2012, I'm expecting Arian Foster to be held mostly in check—enough for the Patriots to secure the victory, anyways.
Verdict: Pick the Pats to beat the spread.