Here is a 5-Pack of NFL value plays for this Sunday to build your bankroll on Week 14, highlighted by the marquee late afternoon contest between the Seahawks and Eagles.
The winning continued yet again for us in Week 13 as we finished 4-2 across the entire weekend, thus improving our record this 2014 NFL season to 63-46-1, 57.8%, +16.46 YTD as documented in the Sportsbook Review Forum! We now hope that we could carry that good fortune into Sunday as we are back again as usual with our Friday 5-Pack of NFL picks for Sunday of Week 14.
This week began with what has become a familiar theme this NFL season, which is the favorite covering the Thursday Night Football game and that contest going ‘over’. The Dallas Cowboys went on the road to Soldier Field in Chicago and they remained perfect on the road this season with a 41-28 triumph over the Bears as four-point road favorites. As you would expect, the contest easily went ‘over’ while smashing the closing total of 50½.
So now we are ready to move on to Sunday, where we have four sides and one total this week. Given our normal contrarian nature, it should come as a surprise to nobody that all four of our sides are underdogs, although two of them are currently just one-point dogs that have a chance to be favored by kick-off. The total is an ‘over’, going against our normal nature. And as has become the norm for us, all of these NFL odds come from Pinnacle Sports.
Sunday, December 7th
Cleveland Browns +3½ (-118) over Indianapolis Colts (1:00 ET): This hook on the field goal could be huge, as despite the Colts being the more talented team here and with Andrew Luck passing for 370 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-27 win over the Redskins last week to go over 4000 passing yards in a season for the second time in his three-year career, the Colts have not quite been the same team on the road where they are a more ordinary 3-2 with their defense allowing 30.2 points per game. And then there is also the question of motivation as Indianapolis has a rather cushy two-game lead in the AFC South with four games remaining and a chance to clinch the division at home next week vs. the second place Houston Texans regardless if this result, making this game a prime look-ahead spot. Meanwhile the 7-5 Browns are still fighting for a playoff position and are very much alive with only one non-division leader in the AFC having a better record in the 8-4 San Diego Chargers. Cleveland is just one if six teams at 7-5 however, making every game critical for the Browns. The Browns should have success running the ball here with Isaiah Crowell, which in turn should make it easier for Brian Hoyer, who remains the starter after getting yanked for Johnny Manziel last week, to attack an Indianapolis secondary that is 25th in the NFL in passing defense yielding 257.0 yards per game in the air.
St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins ‘over’ 45 (-105) (1:00 ET): An ‘over’ would not have been the first thing to come to mind in a matchup of these two teams earlier in the season, but in the immortal words of Bob Dylan, “The times, the times they are a changin’!” The Rams may be 5-7 but they have been quite impressive while covering the point spreads in their last three games while scoring at least 22 points each time, first shocking Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 22-7 here at the Jones Dome, then going out on the road and giving the San Diego Chargers a tussle in a narrow 27-24 defeat and then returning home last week to annihilate the Oakland Raiders 52-0. Yes that was “only the Raiders,” but they showed enough in their prior two games to suggest that they can score on a Washington defense ranked 27th in the NFL in points allowed at 26.8 per game, particularly with the emergence of rookie running back Tre Mason out of Auburn, who added another 117 rushing yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns in the win over Oakland last week. Also quarterback Shaun Hill can take advantage of a Washington secondary that left receivers open left and right while getting blown out by the Colts last week, especially with Stedman Bailey also emerging as a reliable target for Hill with 12 receptions for 189 yards his last two games. And the Washington offense has been much better this season when Colt McCoy has been the quarterback, as was the case again at Indianapolis as the Redskins did put 27 points on the board with McCoy actually having more passing yards than Andrew Luck with 392 and the running game producing 4.0 yards per carry when called upon.
Buffalo Bills +10 (-119) over Denver Broncos (4:05 ET): The Broncos find themselves in a horrible sandwich spot here as they completed a season sweep of the Chiefs last week to basically knock Kansas City out of division title contention, and Denver has a chance to effectively clinch the AFC West if it can also complete a season sweep of the now second place San Diego Chargers next week, so it seems quite easy for the Broncos to be less-than-focused for this relatively meaningless non-conference matchup, especially when a win next week could decide the division ever if Denver were to somehow get upset here. And it is no secret that the teams that have given Peyton Manning the most trouble over the years are teams that can put great pressure on him from their base defenses without blitzing, as Peyton can destroy any blitz. Well, the Bills fit that ilk as they lead the NFL with their 48 sacks in 12 games with Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus both in double-digits and Jerry Hughes just about there with 9½ sacks! And the Bills are one of the six AFC teams at 7-5 so every game is critical as Buffalo seeks to end a playoff drought. Moreover, Manning has not been the reason that the Broncos have been winning lately but instead it has been C.J. Anderson giving the running game a major boost as the injuries to Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman have been a blessing in disguise. However, Anderson will now be going up against a Buffalo run defense allowing just 96.5 rushing yards per game on 3.8 yards per carry.
Arizona Cardinals +1 (-104) over Kansas City Chiefs (4:05 ET): We are not so sure the Chiefs deserve to be favored on the road in this spot,, as while the Cardinals have lost two straight games they still lead the tough NFC West at 9-3 and have faced a tougher schedule than Kansas City while playing in the stringer conference, while the Chiefs could be deflated after losing their personal “Game of the Year” at home to the Broncos last week, a loss that just about hilled their chances to win the division. Besides the two Arizona losses have been without Larry Fitzgerald, and part of the reason that quarterback Drew Stanton has looked so awful in relief of the injured Carson Palmer (torn ACL) is because opposing defenses have double-teamed Michael Floyd and the mediocre complimentary Cardinal receivers have been unable to get any separation. The good news is that Fitzgerald retuned to practice this week and is now probable, and his mere presence makes the entire passing game better as it also frees up Floyd from the double-teams. More bit of good news is that Arizona should be able to run the ball effectively here also with Marion Grice as the Chiefs are dead last in the NFL in yards per rush allowed at 5.0! On the other side of the ball, Arizona welcomes back great run-stopper Matt Shaughnessy to the defense this week after he has been out since Week 5, and even without him for much of the season the Cardinals are sixth in the NFL in rushing defense allowing only 89.2 yards per game on a tiny 3.6 yards per carry. Thus it should be tough sledding for Jamaal Charles once again, and the Chiefs showed again last week how ineffective their offense is when Charles cannot get going.
Seattle Seahawks +1 (-107) over Philadelphia Eagles (4:25 ET): Are the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks back? Well, it would certainly seem so as after beating first place Arizona 19-3 at home and then going on the road and completely throttling the San Francisco 49ers by an identical 19-3 score on Thanksgiving night, Seattle now finds itself just one game behind Arizona in he division and the talks of Seattle missing the playoffs have subsided, instead replaced by talks about the Seahawks peaking as the playoffs are about to begin. Yes, settling for eight field goals vs. two touchdowns the past two games is a bit of a concern, but that was vs. two of the very best defenses in the NFL after all, and despite facing two elite defenses, Russell Wilson still went a combined 32-for-44 for 447 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers in those contests and Marshawn Lynch rushed for 104 yards on only 20 carries vs. an excellent San Francisco front seven. Meanwhile the entire nation watched the Eagles blow out the Cowboys in Dallas 33-10 on Thanksgiving Day and that win looks even better in light of what Dallas did in Chicago this past Thursday night. However, we simply feel that the Eagles are overvalued here as we do not feel the Seahawks should be underdogs given that they apparently got their groove back, as our own personal line on this game is Seattle in the -2½/-3 range.