In Week 14, we continue our NFL handicapping by inspecting various guiding home/away trends in order to determine our weekly NFL picks.
Panthers vs. Saints -10.0
How the mighty have fallen. Panthers entered the 2014-2015 NFL season as the NFC South champions after clinching the title with 12-4 SU record, a game ahead of the Saints (11-5 last year), but enter week 14 NFL betting with a horrendous 3-8-1 SU record on the season, which includes a 1-4-1 record on the road. Somehow, the Panthers have managed a fairly modest 6-6 ATS mark on the season nonetheless, albeit highlighted by an 8.6-margin of defeat though. What's more, they benefit from good value as the 10-point road pups. Particularly as the Saints, who went undefeated at home last season, have stuttered to a 3-3 SU record and just a 2-4 ATS record with a 1.8-margin of victory at the Superdome. That said, when looking at the Panthers recent form, it's hard to see them covering even such a hefty spread. Since the week 6 tie with the Bengals, the Panthers have been blown off the field by double-digits, save for a 13-9 loss to Seattle and a 19-17 loss to Atlanta, and last week the Vikings handed them a 31-13 loss. Over this stretch of six games, they were outscored 174-to-87 for an 87-point differential or a 14.5-point margin of defeat on average. To look at just their road form over this stretch is to discover and even greater discrepancy, outscored 114-to-51 for a 63-point differential or a 21-point margin of defeat.
If the Panthers' road form continues on such a poor vein of form, there's nothing to stop a desperate Saints' team that is 5-7 SU and looking to advance into the playoffs to deposit a convincing win at the Superdome where they've reigned supreme for the most part.
Free NFL Picks: Saints -10.0 at BetOnline
Chiefs -1.0 vs. Cardinals
When we looked at the opening lines for this game Chiefs were trading anywhere from +1.5 to Even money on the spread. Just a few days ahead of this highly anticipated Sunday clash, the Chiefs have jumped fence onto the favourable side as the 1-point road chalk in NFL odds. Underscoring their sudden favourable market outlook is a solid 4-2 ATS record on the road this season highlighted by a 1.7-point margin of victory, improving their run of form on the road to 11-4-0 ATS since 2013, which is the best ATS record on the road currently, highlighted by a 7.4-point margin of victory. Cardinals, however, counter with a 5-1 ATS record on the season and an 8.2-point margin of victory, extending solid home form to 10-4 ATS since 2013, third best in the league behind Cincinnati and New England, with an 8.6-point margin of victory.
Clearly, the home and away trends of both teams are well balanced, almost cancelling each other out. Something is going to have to give when they collide on Sunday, obviously. As it stands, there isn't much advantage either way, which could mean this game is best left as a PASS on your NFL picks. That said, it's clear the NFL betting public is shading the Chiefs. And if we were to put down money on this game, we'd back the Chiefs as well.
Free NFL Picks: Chiefs -1.0