Week 14 of the 2013 NFL season is on the horizon, making this an ideal time to check out the latest lines for each game and make your betting decisions.
There are plenty of great games on tap, many with spreads that look beatable if you make the right plays.
Here’s a look at the updated spread for every contest and my picks for the winner of each, plus a closer look at three teams that should definitely cover in Week 14.
|Away Team||Home Team||Spread||Prediction (ATS)|
|Houston Texans||Jacksonville Jaguars||HOU -3.5||JAX|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Washington Redskins||KC -3||KC|
|Minnesota Vikings||Baltimore Ravens||BAL -6.5||BAL|
|Cleveland Browns||New England Patriots||NE -10||CLE|
|Oakland Raiders||New York Jets||NYJ -2.5||NYJ|
|Indianapolis Colts||Cincinnati Bengals||CIN -6||CIN|
|Atlanta Falcons||Green Bay Packers||N/A||N/A|
|Detroit Lions||Philadelphia Eagles||PHI -2.5||PHI|
|Miami Dolphins||Pittsburgh Steelers||PIT -3||PIT|
|Buffalo Bills||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TB -2.5||TB|
|Tennessee Titans||Denver Broncos||DEN -12||TEN|
|St. Louis Rams||Arizona Cardinals||ARI -6||STL|
|New York Giants||San Diego Chargers||SD -3||NYG|
|Seattle Seahawks||San Francisco 49ers||SF -2.5||SEA|
|New Orleans Saints||Carolina Panthers||NO -3||NO|
|Dallas Cowboys||Chicago Bears||CHI -1||DAL|
Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5) over Houston Texans
The Jags are the right play on Thursday Night Football, and you would be foolish to consider backing the road chalk in this one.
Jacksonville is on a tear right now, having won two in a row and three of its last four heading into this showdown. While the Jags have yet to cover as a home ‘dog at EverBank Field, that will certainly change against the lowly Texans.
Remember, the Jags went on the road and held Houston to a mere two field goals in a 13-6 victory in Week 13. They have already proven themselves against this AFC South opponent and should have no issues making it a sweep come Thursday.
Any lingering doubts that this Jags team is just getting lucky and hasn’t turned it around were erased during their gutsy performance against the Cleveland Browns last week.
After conceding a 95-yard touchdown in the final minutes, Jacksonville rallied for a late touchdown strike of its own to score a victory on the road.
Houston’s players simply don’t have that type of collective heart or desire this year, as evidenced by some of their statements to the media.
You just can’t get behind a squad like that as a road favorite, so take the points and, possibly, the moneyline here.
St. Louis Rams (+6) over Arizona Cardinals
The Rams always seem to play the Cardinals close and are currently in the midst of a three-game winning streak against their NFC West rival. It’s going to be tough to push that run to four in a row, but St. Louis looks to be a safe bet to cover this spread.
Arizona is getting a bit too much respect coming off a road loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, as the team beat itself without turnovers and poor offensive line play.
It won’t get any easier this Sunday in Glendale, given that the Rams boast one of the most opportunistic defenses and toughest pass rushes in the NFL. The St. Louis “D” has forced 23 turnovers in 12 contests, the fifth-highest mark in the league.
Considering the Cardinals have given it away 24 times in the same span—tied for the fourth-highest amount in the NFL—it just isn’t a great matchup on paper.
Turnover differential is a key stat, and it’s easy to back the side that is plus-eight in that department, while also getting points over the side that is minus-one and giving almost a touchdown away.
Take the ‘dog here in a rivalry contest that will almost assuredly be decided by a field goal or less.
New Orleans Saints (-3) over Carolina Panthers
The Saints suffered a devastating, embarrassing loss to the Seattle Seahawks during a nationally televised Monday Night Football contest this week, but they will have a chance to atone for it come Sunday.
Once again appearing on prime time, New Orleans returns to the Big Easy to host the surging Carolina Panthers on Sunday Night Football.
This team is simply unbeatable in the confines of the Superdome, going 6-0 in the building and winning big.
Which team will cover?
You may remember the last time the Saints were humbled before returning to NOLA—when they lost 26-20 to the New York Jets back in Week 9. The team quickly ripped off back-to-back victories against quality opponents, blowing up the Dallas Cowboys 49-17 and gutting out a 23-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
Carolina has won eight straight going into this one but were fortunate to come away on top in two of the more recent games. Both the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins had a chance to overcome the Panthers with last-second touchdown passes that ultimately came up just short.
Assuming one of those passes connected, the Panthers would likely be a bigger underdog and not receiving as much respect in this NFC South matchup.
There has been nothing more sure in the NFL this year than the Saints at home, so back the chalk and feel very comfortable you will be cashing a ticket at the end of the day.