With just a month remaining in the NFL's regular season, it's fair to say that things are getting interesting. The league is chock-full of high-stakes games in Week 14, and even though the oddsmakers are definitely honed in on the NFL landscape right now, there is still money to be made.
This week is somewhat strange since almost every home team is favored. Home teams obviously have the advantage, but there is usually a more even dispersal as far as the lines are concerned. If nothing else, that should make for a very interesting week of betting.
Here are the three biggest locks against the spread to consider in Week 14 if you're interested in netting yourself a little extra holiday cash.
|Away Team||Home Team||Spread||Pick ATS|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Washington Redskins||KC (-3)||KC|
|Minnesota Vikings||Baltimore Ravens||BAL (-6.5)||MIN|
|Cleveland Browns||New England Patriots||OFF||NE|
|Oakland Raiders||New York Jets||NYJ (-3)||OAK|
|Indianapolis Colts||Cincinnati Bengals||CIN (-6.5)||IND|
|Detroit Lions||Philadelphia Eagles||PHI (-3)||DET|
|Miami Dolphins||Pittsburgh Steelers||PIT (-3)||PIT|
|Buffalo Bills||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TB (-2.5)||BUF|
|Atlanta Falcons||Green Bay Packers||OFF||ATL|
|Tennessee Titans||Denver Broncos||DEN (-12)||DEN|
|St. Louis Rams||Arizona Cardinals||ARI (-6)||STL|
|New York Giants||San Diego Chargers||SD (-3)||SD|
|Seattle Seahawks||San Francisco 49ers||SF (-3)||SF|
|Carolina Panthers||New Orleans Saints||NO (-3)||NO|
|Dallas Cowboys||Chicago Bears||PK||DAL|
Spreads courtesy of Vegas Insider
Detroit Lions (+3 @ PHI)
In what promises to be one of the most intriguing and competitive games on the Week 14 slate, the Detroit Lions will travel to Philadelphia to take on the surging Eagles. The Lions are clinging onto a one-game lead in the NFC North, although it's virtually two games since they have beaten the Chicago Bears twice. The Eagles are in even direr need of a victory because they are tied with the Dallas Cowboys atop the NFC East.
Both teams boast plenty of explosive players on the offensive side of the ball. The Eagles are led by quarterback Nick Foles, running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver DeSean Jackson, while Detroit counters with Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson.
When they are banging on all cylinders, the Lions are the more complete team as well. That is likely why most fans believe they have the best chance of beating the Seattle Seahawks on the road come playoff time, according to NFL on ESPN:
That doesn't necessarily mean that they'll beat the Eagles, but this is the type of road game that they need to win in order to prove that they're for real. The difference-maker in this game will come on the defensive side of the ball.
The Eagles are worst in the league against the pass, which should lead to big things from Stafford and Megatron. Also, Detroit's defensive line led by Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley was dominant against the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving, so expect Foles to have some issues on Sunday.
San Diego Chargers (-3 vs. NYG)
Which team is most likely to cover the spread in Week 14?
Although the San Diego Chargers and New York Giants are both 5-7, they have taken very different routes to get to that point.
The Bolts have been competitive all season long as they have defeated top teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts, but they have fallen just short on several occasions as well. The Giants looked dead in the water after starting 0-6, but they have gone 5-1 since.
The G-Men would seem to have the edge in terms of momentum since San Diego has lost three of its past four games, but the Chargers' quality of opponent has been much higher overall.
This game is particularly interesting since it features two quarterbacks who were traded for each other at the 2004 NFL draft in the form of Eli Manning and Philip Rivers. While Manning has had the better career with two Super Bowl wins, Rivers is enjoying a resurgent season, as evidenced by these rankings courtesy of NFL Stats:
Philip Rivers Rankings: 1st in Comp. % 4th in Pass Yards 5th in Pass TDs 16th in INTs 5th in Passer Rating #Chargers— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) December 1, 2013
Rivers has been absolutely fantastic, while Manning has been inconsistent, which perfectly illustrates New York's plight this season. Manning could potentially turn things around this week against San Diego's subpar defense, but he is still susceptible to turning the ball over with great regularity.
Due to the way Rivers and offensive weapons such as Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates, Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews are playing right now, the Bolts figure to get the job done at home.
Oakland Raiders (+3 @ NYJ)
Based on the way the New York Jets have been playing as of late, it's hard to believe that they could be favored over any other NFL team. The oddsmakers somehow believe that Gang Green holds a three-point advantage over the visiting Oakland Raiders, however. The Raiders are far from a top team in the league, but they have actually been playing quite well as of late, and they're capable of moving the ball on offense unlike the Jets.
Oakland has gotten surprisingly good play from the quarterback position recently in the form of undrafted rookie Matt McGloin. The Penn State product didn't receive much interest after an up-and-down collegiate career, but he is definitively outplaying the highly touted Geno Smith.
New York's heir apparent to Mark Sanchez was the second quarterback taken in April's draft, but he has been downright awful. This stat courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info certainly confirms that:
Geno Smith has 6 single-digit Total QBR games in 12 starts this season. Peyton Manning has zero such games in 108 starts since 2006.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 3, 2013
Smith was replaced by journeyman Matt Simms in the second half of last week's loss to the Miami Dolphins, but he didn't fare much better, so Rex Ryan has decided to go back to Smith.
The Jets defense is good enough to keep Oakland off the scoreboard for the most part, but that means little unless New York can score in its own right. The Raiders receiving three points in this game is like an early Christmas present. Don't be rude. Just accept it and be merry.
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