Andrew Luck and the Colts look to sweep the Titans.
Before kickoff happens in Week 14 of the NFL season, let's get caught up with the latest picks against the spread.
One team to watch for is the Indianapolis Colts, because Andrew Luck and Co. have a favorable matchup in the Tennessee Titans. Not to mention, victory gets Indy a little closer to a playoff berth after going 2-14 in 2011.
In short, that would be one impressive turnaround.
So, to see how the Colts and the rest of the games pans out, here are last-minute score predictions of Week 14.
Note: All spreads are courtesy of FootballLocks.com.
Can the Baltimore Ravens stop Robert Griffin III?
That is the question, because RG3's dual-threat ability is capable of taking over this game from the start.
Even when healthier early in the season, though, Baltimore struggled defensively. So, it's a matter of the Ravens stepping up against an explosive offense, which hasn't happened consistently in 2012.
Plus, the status of Terrell Suggs is now known. Per Albert Breer of NFL Network:
Per club source, Terrell Suggs is OUT today.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) December 9, 2012
Washington against the spread
Redskins 21, Ravens 17
Two teams that run the ball well, the winner will set up play-action and not turn the ball over.
Unfortunately for the Kansas City Chiefs, they still struggle with turnovers and the passing game.
As for the Cleveland Browns, the pass rush will get pressure and provide additional possessions to Brandon Weeden. The end result are more carriers for Trent Richardson to control the pace.
Cleveland against the spread
Browns 21, Chiefs 10
The San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers are two teams headed in opposite directions.
For one, the Bolts turn the ball over too much offensively and aren't consistent in the red zone.
Pittsburgh on the other hand, remains in the AFC playoff picture and is getting Ben Roethlisberger back.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will start against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, returning to action after missing the last three games with a shoulder injury.
That said, the Chargers defense won't get pressure or force turnovers to pull the upset.
Pittsburgh against the spread
Steelers 28, Chargers 0
The Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts is an intriguing matchup, because neither defense has proven to stop the run.
Indy, however, possesses a competitive advantage with Andrew Luck and his ability to spread the field.
Tennessee does not have a consistently reliable passing game, so isolating Chris Johnson will force the Titans into being one-dimensional. As a result, the Colts gradually extend their lead in the second half.
Indianapolis against the spread
Colts 24, Titans 3
With Chad Henne under center, the Jacksonville Jaguars have definitely improved overall.
The New York Jets, though, have yet to find that difference-maker at quarterback.
Well, the Jaguars passing game helps provide balance, because the Jets also fail to stop the run. Even with Jacksonville's suspect defense, New York is not explosive enough to set the pace or control the tempo throughout.
Jacksonville and the points
Jaguars 23, Jets 13
There are some key injuries that will impact the matchup between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.
Per the Bears' official website, Brian Urlacher and Tim Jennings are out.
And according to Brian Hall of FOXSportsNorth.com:
Everyone around the Minnesota Vikings was holding out hope that injured receiver Percy Harvin would be able to return this season, but coach Leslie Frazier said Thursday that Harvin just had not made enough progress and needed to be shut down.
Therefore, it will come down to the overall effectiveness of Adrian Peterson. Minnesota can run to set up the pass, and we've seen the Bears vulnerable against balanced teams: See San Francisco and Houston.
Minnesota and the points
Vikings 14, Bears 9
We know the Atlanta Falcons field an explosive offense led by Matt Ryan.
The concern of this game is whether Cam Newton can get the Carolina Panthers to match pace.
Considering that Carolina's defense allows a 67.3 completion percentage, whereas the Falcons just intercepted Drew Brees five times, don't expect much from the Panthers. Atlanta is far too opportunistic defensively and forces turnovers to get Ryan additional possessions.
Atlanta against the spread
Falcons 31, Panthers 14
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers present one impressively balanced offense with Josh Freeman, Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson.
The Philadelphia Eagles are quite the opposite.
[Michael] Vick will miss his fourth game when the Eagles travel to face the Buccaneers on Sunday. [LeSean] McCoy will be out for his third straight. Nick Foles and Bryce Brown will start once again for the injured quarterback and running back.
Secondly, the Eagles defense has yet to slow anyone down with pressure or forced turnovers. The Bucs, if anything, are efficient offensively and move the rock all over Philadelphia.
Tampa Bay against the spread
Buccaneers 30, Eagles 14
The St. Louis Rams and Buffalo Bills will come down to which ground game impacts more.
Here, it's not so much about yards as it is forcing the defense to stack the box.
The rushing attack is each offense's stronger area and neither can move the ball by being one-dimensional. Buffalo, however, has an advantage because the Bills have proven to be explosive at times.
St. Louis on the contrary, has yet to see its offense take over games with an explosive attack.
Buffalo against the spread
Bills 20, Rams 7
Anticipate the Cincinnati Bengals challenging the Dallas Cowboys downfield quite often in Week 14.
Not only is this needed because of receiver A.J. Green, but Dallas has only recorded five picks this season.
In addition, Cincy stretching Dallas out will set up the run even more. Flip to the Bengals defense with their pass rush against Tony Romo's inconsistent pass protection and Big D falls in Ohio.
Cincinnati against the spread
Bengals 27, Cowboys 16
Per the 49ers' official Twitter feed:
Harbaugh confirmed Colin Kaepernick will start Sunday against the Dolphins.— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 3, 2012
As a result, this is a game where Colin Kaepernick must hit another level, because the Miami Dolphins possess a solid pass rush and run defense.
So, the ‘Niners will have some issues with pass protection and the ground game.
Fortunately, the Dolphins are suspect in coverage and the 49ers have an array of reliable receiving targets. Factor in San Francisco’s defense and the 49ers avoid the upset.
Miami and the points
49ers 24, Dolphins 16
It’s reasonable to expect the Drew Brees and Eli Manning as the difference-makers of this game.
After all, each offense is capable of thwarting the opposing defense and racking up tons of yards and points.
Because of the passing threat, though, the better ground game is a distinct advantage.
New York averages 4.5 yards per carry and the Saints allow 5.1 per rush. For as well as New Orleans can also run the rock, Big Blue fields the better front seven to win the line of scrimmage.
New York against the spread
Giants 27, Saints 21
The Arizona Cardinals are a bit fortunate entering Week 14.
According to Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times:
Cornerback Brandon Browner will begin a four-game suspension this week for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
The suspension was announced early Wednesday afternoon. He will miss Seattle's final four regular-season games, but will be eligible to return for the postseason.
Nevertheless, we can’t get too over-hyped about this for Arizona. The Cardinals are still ridiculously weak regarding pass protection and at running the ball. Seattle’s defense is strong up front and will get quarterback pressure.
Include Seattle’s offense of balance between Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch and the Cardinals get steamrolled.
Seattle against the spread
Seahawks 30, Cardinals 10
The Detroit Lions have an opportunity to salvage their season against the Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay, though, is still opportunistic defensively and the Lions remain a one-dimensional offense. Also, until Detroit proves to slow down Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have the advantage regarding efficiency and ball control.
Green Bay against the spread
Packers 34, Lions 20
Per usual, Tom Brady will be the key factor for the New England Patriots.
And that is also required, because the Houston Texans have been exposed defensively.
Courtesy of quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers, Chad Henne and Matthew Stafford, the Texans are suspect against the pass. Therefore, expect Brady to attack Houston consistently and get Houston on its heels early.
New England’s defense stacks the box against Arian Foster, which forces Matt Schaub to match Brady’s pace. In short, checkmate Patriots.
New England against the spread
Patriots 38, Texans 31
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