NFL oddsmakers continue to grow bolder as the season comes to an end.
Week 14 is another good example, with only four spreads featuring a three-point differential or less. With the disparity between pretenders and contenders growing and droves of data from the last 13 weeks to work with, oddsmakers aren't afraid to stretch a spread and see how things play.
Luckily for would-be bettors, most of the same information is available and simply in need of analysis. Those who take the time to do so early in the week can catch exploitable lines before they move, too.
Below, let's look at the full Week 14 list of odds and point out a few easy spreads to pounce on as the rush to build a quality season-long bankroll continues.
Week 14 NFL Odds
Jacksonville at Tennessee (-4.5) | O/U 37.5
Atlanta at Green Bay (-6) | O/U 48.5
Baltimore at Kansas City (-7) | O/U 53
Carolina (-1.5) at Cleveland | O/U n/a
Indianapolis at Houston (-5) | O/U 48.5
New England (-8) at Miami | O/U 47
New Orleans (-8) at Tampa Bay | O/U 56
N.Y. Giants at Washington (-1) | O/U n/a
N.Y. Jets at Buffalo (-3.5) | O/U n/a
Cincinnati at L.A. Chargers (-14) | O/U 48.5
Denver (-6) at San Francisco | O/U 43.5
Pittsburgh (-11.5) at Oakland | O/U 51.5
Detroit (-2.5) at Arizona | O/U 40.5
Philadelphia at Dallas (-3.5) | O/U n/a
L.A. Rams (-3) at Chicago | O/U 52.5
Minnesota at Seattle (-3.5) | O/U 45
Baltimore at Kansas City (-7)
The Baltimore Ravens continue to show encouraging signs of life in the AFC North—but one could argue they aren't close to being in the same weight class as the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Ravens have now won three games in a row, though the major red flag with the development is the level of competition faced while doing so. Beating three teams sporting a maximum of five wins apiece in the form of Cincinnati, Oakland and Atlanta isn't much to write home about.
To make matters worse, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Ravens could make Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson split time at quarterback:
Quarterback splits usually don't work, and neither guy was blowing away the competition on his own anyway, with Flacco only throwing 12 scores and Jackson rushing to best bad opponents.
The Chiefs don't have any such problems and don't require a ton of analysis, by comparison. Patrick Mahomes is already one of the NFL's best thanks to a combination of his talent and Andy Reid's offensive acumen. Mahomes has thrown 41 touchdowns against 10 interceptions, while the Chiefs have won five of their last six, the only exceptions on the season outright three-point losses to New England and the Los Angeles Rams.
While the Chiefs are without Kareem Hunt in the backfield now, the offense still found a way to rush for 5.8 yards per carry last time out in a win over Oakland—not the best competition, but a good chance for Reid to rework the scheme to compensate.
This should come to a head against Baltimore, an overachieving team with offensive issues—the Ravens will be unable to keep pace in one of the toughest places to play.
Prediction: Chiefs 24, Ravens 14
New England (-8) at Miami
It's something of a wonder this line isn't bigger.
The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins first met back in Week 4, a 38-7 win for the Patriots. Since, the Patriots have lost just a single game on the march to 9-3.
The Dolphins have won three times since then, including an odd upset of Chicago and wins over bad New York Jets and Buffalo teams.
And no, there isn't an upset angle here because the Patriots won't be playing starters this time of year—they have everything to gain:
Miami will be on the receiving end of a full-frontal assault from Tom Brady and his 20 touchdowns against eight interceptions, which has scored 24 or more points in all but one game dating back to the win over the Dolphins. The offense has hit on 38 or more points four times over that span as Josh Gordon and
Cordarrelle Patterson have been weaved into the attack.
The Dolphins had to deal with life without Ryan Tannehill for weeks before his return two games ago, which still hasn't provided much of a spark as they are 1-1 over that span. He's thrown five touchdowns against one interception over the two games, but hasn't been able to overcome a defense ranked 29th by allowing 399.4 yards per game and 25.0 points.
Miami simply plays .500 football at 6-6 with a spotty offense, no pass rush (20 sacks) and a leaky defense. The only thing throwing a possible wrinkle into this is locale and knowledge of the opponent, but the latter point goes both ways and the Patriots have too much at stake to not pull away.
Prediction: Patriots 28, Dolphins 10
Cincinnati at L.A. Chargers (-14)
There's no need to fret too much over the biggest line of the week.
The Cincinnati Bengals are extra done by this point, with Andy Dalton and star wideout A.J. Green lost for the season. The latter is a newer development and will undergo season-ending surgery, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Feel free to add in injuries to both offensive lines, the secondary and one of the league's worst linebacker groups to the equation here. The Bengals have lost six of their last seven and even with head coach Marvin Lewis taking over as defensive coordinator, still rank 32nd in yards allowed per game (433.1), rushing yards allowed per game (153.3) and points per game (30.9).
Now would be the time to introduce Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who has completed 69.7 percent of his passes with 28 touchdowns and six interceptions this year and just helped the team put up 33 points on the Pittsburgh Steelers away from home.
At this point, Rivers picking apart the Bengals is a given, just as he did against the Arizona Cardinals:
Those Chargers overall are 9-3, with Rivers playing MVP-caliber football and the defense only improving thanks to the return of Joey Bosa.
Did anyone mention this one takes place in Los Angeles?
The Bengals look like one of the teams downtrodden on the way to major franchise changes. The Chargers look like a team ready to blow them out by halftime to rest starters and assure health going into the playoffs.
Prediction: Chargers 35, Bengals 10
Odds via OddsShark