Week 14 NFL Picks: Stone-Cold Locks Against the Spread

Alex KayCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 21:  Tight end Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates a touchdown in the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons during a game at the Georgia Dome on November 21, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Week 14 of the 2013 NFL season begins on Thursday night, with a prime-time affair between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans.

While the two teams involved may not be the most intriguing, one of the surest bets on the board is available to take. We’ll get to what exactly that is in a minute and much more.

Let’s take a look at the spreads for every game on the slate, my predictions for the winner of each, plus a closer peek at a couple of stone-cold locks.

Week 14 Lines and Predictions
Away TeamHome TeamSpreadPrediction (ATS)
Houston TexansJacksonville JaguarsHOU -3.5JAX
Kansas City ChiefsWashington RedskinsKC -3KC
Minnesota VikingsBaltimore RavensBAL -6.5BAL
Cleveland BrownsNew England PatriotsNE -10CLE
Oakland RaidersNew York JetsNYJ -2.5NYJ
Indianapolis ColtsCincinnati BengalsCIN -6CIN
Atlanta FalconsGreen Bay PackersN/AN/A
Detroit LionsPhiladelphia EaglesPHI -2.5PHI
Miami DolphinsPittsburgh SteelersPIT -3PIT
Buffalo BillsTampa Bay BuccaneersTB -2.5TB
Tennessee TitansDenver BroncosDEN -12TEN
St. Louis RamsArizona CardinalsARI -6STL
New York GiantsSan Diego ChargersSD -3NYG
Seattle SeahawksSan Francisco 49ersSF -2.5SEA
New Orleans SaintsCarolina PanthersNO -3NO
Dallas CowboysChicago BearsCHI -1DAL
ScoresAndOdds.com

 

Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5) over Houston Texans

Dec 1, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts (84) against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Jags are simply the better side here and getting points only makes this bet sweeter ahead of Thursday Night Football.

You are able to wager on a red-hot squad playing at home against an opponent that it beat convincingly on the road just two weeks ago. Jacksonville has won two in a row and three of its last four, finally turning a corner under head coach Gus Bradley.

The Texans can’t say the same with Gary Kubiak in charge, as this downtrodden franchise has lost 10 straight games, including an embarrassing 13-6 showing against the Jags in Week 12.

Even Houston's star players are criticizing this group—as wideout Andre Johnson flat-out stated “We suck” in reference to his offense. Veteran safety Ed Reed was also cut from the team for his comments a few weeks ago.

Take the points and watch as the Jags parlay their momentum into another solid performance. They should easily cover the spread and are well worth playing on the moneyline for increased value.

 

New Orleans Saints (-3) over Carolina Panthers

Forget the short rest, the Saints are dominant in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and will not be stopped by a vulnerable Carolina squad.

After being humbled on Monday Night Football by the Seattle Seahawks, this Saints team is heading back to the Big Easy to prepare for their NFC South rival. It just happens to be another prime-time showdown, this one coming during Week 14’s edition of Sunday Night Football.

Anyone who hasn’t been backing New Orleans inside the Superdome is downright crazy this year, as the home-field advantage rivals even Seattle’s.

The Saints are 6-0 this year and have put together some amazing performances in their building, including a 49-17 drubbing of the Dallas Cowboys and a gutsy 23-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Nov 18, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich (50) sacks Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) during the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Patriots 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Je
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

While the Panthers have won eight straight, they have not looked unbeatable in that span. They let games against the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins go right down to the wire and easily could have dropped one or both contests.

Cam Newton hasn’t proven himself as an elite quarterback on the road yet, and it is hard to see him trading blows with Drew Brees. On the road Newton’s performance has waned: his completion percentage drops over seven points, his touchdown to interception ratio is significantly worse and he’s taken 15 more sacks in his road contests than at home.

In a noisy Superdome against a hungry Saints team with a wild crowd behind them, Newton is just not going to make the plays required to get this one done. Back the home team and get paid after this rivalry matchup.