It's coming down to the wire on the NFL 2014-2015 season. Just four weeks remain before the playoff picture sets. So join us as we preview week 14's NFL betting menu and serve up our full serving of NFL picks for each and every game.
NFL Betting Week 13 Recap
We did exceptionally well with our SU and Over-Under NFL picks in week 14 but, unfortunately, that good form didn't spill forth onto our NFL picks against the spread, going a crippling 5-11 overall. Yikes. Our list of grievances include: Bengals failed us in a lacklustre game with the Bucs, as did the Giants who let a massive lead over the Jaguars slip through their fingers. Then there was the missed field goal by the Patriots that would have given us the cover against the Packers....and so, on. No sense in crying over spilt milk. Happily, we are still in the green with a 75-66-1 overall record over the last ten weeks. So here we go with our week 14 NFL picks.
Cowboys -3.5 vs. Bears 3.5
The Cowboys were showed up by divisional rivals Eagles last Thursday at the worst possible time, in the midst of a pivotal clash for top spot in the division. It was the same old story on the night, defensive woes that allowed the Eagles to runaway 33-10 winners. For the most part, Cowboys defense has been good this season. It stands to reason that was a one-off then and that they will look to bounce back against the struggling 5-7 SU Bears, who were thumped by the Lions 34-17 earlier on the same day. Since week 4, the Bears' defense has allowed 34.2 points per game, the worst mark in the NFL. And offense has been inconsistent with Jay Cutler calling the shots, so prone to mistakes he is. Dallas are 3-1 ATS on the road with a 7.2-point margin of victory.
Free NFL Picks: Cowboys -3.5
Ravens +3.0 vs. Dolphins -3.0
The Ravens blew a 30-20 lead over the Chargers to lose 34-33 at home and fall behind in the AFC North race. Dolphins found it tough going against the Jets on Monday Night Football, only just edging past their divisional foes 16-13 in the final minutes of the game. This is a pivotal game for both teams if they hope to advance their respective bids for a playoff spot. It could go either way. Ravens are 2-3-1 ATS on the road with a 1.7-point margin of victory while Dolphins are 3-2 ATS at home with an 8.2-point margin of victory.
Dolphins have played well to date, not to mention they have the home advantage, which could be deciding. Yet, something about their win over the Jets leaves much to be desired. If the offensive struggles that were prominent against the hapless Jets rear up against the Ravens, the Dolphin could be in a spot of trouble. Pressure is mounting down the stretch. Ryan Tannehill may be the best quarterback Miami has seen since their heyday, but he's yet to take that next step into the postseason. Joe Flacco is a proven leader and Super Bowl champion. If we're putting money on the outcome of this game, we're banking on the experience of Flacco and the Ravens to come through on our NFL picks.
Free NFL Picks: Ravens +3.0
Panthers +8.5 vs. Saints -8.5
Saints shocked all and sundry when they beat the Steelers 35-32 on the road in week 13 NFL betting. The win ties them in first place with Atlanta atop the heaving mess that is the NFC South. With the Falcons looking forward to a date with the Packers at Lambeau, it's practically an invitation for the Saints to take over, once and for all, the NFC South division this week. They are at the Superdome where they have reigned supreme, save for their last three games (let's not nitpick). Panthers are barely striking an audible chord this season. They lost 28-10 to the Saints earlier this season. Panthers are 6-6 ATS on the season with an 8.6-point margin of defeat. With a little help from the Panthers mucking it up on the field yet again, the Saints should traipse to a big win. So shade the Saints as the 8.5-point favourites over the inept Panthers on your NFL picks.
Free NFL Picks: Saints -8.5
Texans -4.0 vs. Jaguars +4.0
Back the Texans to cover the 4-point spread against the Jaguars on your NFL picks. Ryan Fitzpatrick was stellar in his first game off the bench in a fortnight, completing 24-of-33 passes for 358 yards and a career-high SIX touchdowns. He has a spring in his step now that he's got a second chance to prove himself as the Texans' No.1 quarterback. The Jaguars are after an improbable win and cover over the Giants last week, a game the Giants fritted away behind a subpar second half. Fact: Jaguars are still one of the season's weaklings with a 2-10 SU record and 3-8-1 ATS mark with an 11.9-point margin of defeat. Two in a row by the Jaguars is unheard of in recent seasons, never mind wildly optimistic. Granted the probability Fitzpatrick would have quite the same outing as he had last week is slim, but overcoming the Jaguars is in their wheelhouse nonetheless.
Free NFL Picks: Texans -4.0
Colts -3.0 vs. Browns +3.0
The clash between the Colts and Browns is shrouded in speculation about whether it's finally Johnny Football's time. If that is the case, there's an argument to be had about the Browns throwing the towel in on the season, giving up on the quarterback that led them to a 7-5 SU record (10-5 SU since last season). Drastic changes don't always pan out at this late stage of the season. It wouldn't be an optimistic approach to a clash with Andrew Luck and the Colts and speaks to a concerning mindset in their camp.
Nevertheless, whichever quarterback they field, he'll have his hands full keeping up with Luck. The franchise quarterback just deposited a virtuoso performance against the Redskins, showing up his NFL draft counterpart RGIII mercilessly even though he was sat on the sidelines taking notes. Colts are better at home than they are on the road, but we're hanging our hat on Andrew Luck delivering on the Colts' favourable NFL odds on the road.
Free NFL Picks: Colts -3.0
Giants vs. Titans (Even)
Like many NFL bettors, we were seduced by the Giants as the road favourites in Jacksonville last week. It proved a trap that burned many, including us. It's just the sort of thing to discourage many against the Giants on week 14's NFL betting board. Yet, this is the ideal game for the Giants to bounce back on (yes, we're actually saying that). They have nothing left to play for but pride now. The Titans are simply at the bottom of the NFL pile with a 3-8-1 ATS record and 10.4-point margin of defeat. They barely have a passing defense to speak off and the worst rushing defense in the league. If Eli Manning and the Giants don't win and cover, then the world will come off its axis.
Free NFL Picks: Giants Even
Jets +5.0 vs. Vikings -5.0
Minnesota Vikings have been money in the bank against lesser teams for the most part, including last week's 31-13 win over the Panthers in which they handily covered as the nominal 3-point home favourites. With another home game against an NFL weakling, the Vikings loom as the smart NFL pick against the spread. Jets are 3-8-1 ATS with a 10.4-point margin of defeat and 1-2-1 ATS on the road with a 13.5-point margin of defeat. Take the Vikings at -5.0 to cover.
Free NFL Picks: Vikings -5.0
Steelers +3.0 vs. Bengals -3.0
Pittsburgh Steelers just dropped a home game to the inconsistent Saints, continuing to frustrate NFL bettors at inopportune moments. Still, the Steelers haven't faltered in back-to-back games this season and, it's also worth noting, they almost pulled off the come-from-behind win against the Saints as they scored 14-points in the final quarter to draw within field goal range in the 35-32 loss. The Cincinnati Bengals smack disingenuous on the NFL odds board, slightly overrated and overvalued. Bengals barely beat the Bucs last week. In fact, Lovie Smith not made a coaching error, the Bengals would have lost. Bengals are riding a three-game winning streak on the road ahead of this game, but they've just not been convincing against quality teams this season. Big Ben and the Steelers will look to bounce back and close the gap on their divisional foes.
Free NFL Picks: Steelers +3.0
Rams -1.5 vs. Redskins +1.5
Rams are after a 52-0 win over the Raiders in week 13 NFL betting that came out of nowhere. They'd done nothing like it the entire season, so there was no reason to assume they would eviscerate the Raiders so. Rams have now won three of their last six games and covered four, three in a row since beating the Denver Broncos 22-7 three weeks ago. Redskins are just a mess. They have lost four SU in a row and failed to cover three of their last four games. The team is playing poorly from top to bottom. What's more they've mishandled their quarterback position in the worst way possible. Confidence is at an all time low. So is this spread. Take the Rams as the 1.5-point road favourites. They have more gumption and pluck than the Redskins and look to be seriously underrated right now.
Free NFL Picks: Rams -1.5
Bucs +9.5 vs. Lions -9.5
Detroit Lions are after a 34-17 win over the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football betting, bouncing back nicely after a disappointing trip to the Foxboro. Detroit are 8-4 SU and 6-6 ATS on the season with a 2-point margin of victory. At home, they are 4-2 ATS with an 8.7-point margin of victory. The NFL betting line seems too high at 9.5-points to be giving the Lions, who aren't known for blowing opponents off the field. But the Bucs could help them towards that end. Bucs are 5-7 ATS with a 7.8-point margin of defeat. Lions defense is one of the best in the league and they will have a field day with the Bucs' slumping offense that manages just 18.3-points per game.
Free NFL Picks: Lions -9.5
Bills +10.0 vs. Broncos -10.0
After failing to cover against the Miami Dolphins at Mile High, the Broncos descend on Arrowhead to beat the Chiefs and cover as the nominal road favourites. So rejuvenated, in firm control of the AFC West division, the Broncos will not want to let up. The Bills present a tough obstacle make no mistake. Their defense could give Peyton Manning headaches. But the Broncos need a big win to move further ahead of the chasing pack in their section.
Free NFL Picks: Broncos -10.0
Chiefs vs. Cardinals Even
Chiefs are after back-to-back SU and ATS losses in the last two weeks. So too are the Cardinals. Something is going to have to give when these two outfits collide, all while mindful of their playoff bids. Betting on this match has the feeling of giving up on one of these two teams for the postseason. It's unfortunate, but that just may well be the case. For our money, we're hanging our hat on Alex Smith and Jamal Charles coming through for the Chiefs. The pressure is building on Drew Stanton and the Cardinals and as the second-string quarterback he's been found wanting over the last fortnight.
Free NFL Picks: Chiefs Even
Seahawks vs. Eagles Even
Seahawks and Eagles collide in a must-see game on Sunday's NFL betting menu. The second-placed Seahawks in the NFC West are the nominal 1-point underdogs at some cyber shops and at Even money at other cyber shops, yet they have the feeling of a favourite somehow. Why else would 65% of public money be backing them against the spread. Eagles, meanwhile, are top of the NFC East division and behind a statement-making win over divisional foes Cowboys. Nobody is expecting the Eagles to come up trumps at the expense of the defending champions, least of all bookies. But what is a week of NFL betting without an upset to raise a few eyebrows. It's going out on the limb here, but the Eagles are at home where they are 8-4 ATS with a 7.5-point margin of victory. Seattle is the popular NFL pick, and we can't disagree on that score. But the Eagles could prove the sharp NFL pick.
Free NFL Picks: Eagles Even
Niners -7.0 vs. Raiders +7.0
San Francisco 49ers are faced with a must-win game if they hope to stay alive in the playoff race. The Niners lost a pivotal clash with Seattle and failed to cover as the mere 1-point faves. Raiders are still reeling from a 52-0 loss to the Rams, the worst defeat in 50 years for their franchise. Niners haven't beaten teams by big margins this season when they've been winning, so the 7-point spread seems generous. But this is a game that could go against the grain for the Niners, not least because it's hard to see how the Raiders will recover from the beat down in time.
Free NFL Picks: Niners -7.0
Patriots -3.0 vs. Chargers +3.0
Patriots are after a heartbreaking 26-21 defeat to the Packers at Lambeau in week 13 NFL betting. Packers defense really stepped up to deny the Patriots their eighth straight win on the season, but Patriots missed a field goal that would have given them their sixth straight cover and, in turn, denied us the cover on our NFL picks. Chargers are after a big win over the Ravens last week, all while covering as the 5.5-point road dogs. But that was their first positive result against a winning team since September. Back-to-back wins and covers against solid teams by the Chargers isn't something that we'd recommend for your NFL picks, not when it involves betting against the Patriots and Tom Brady. Shade the Patriots on your NFL picks.
Free NFL Picks: Patriots -3.0
Falcons +11.0 vs. Packers -11.0
This has to be the most straightforward game of the week's NFL betting menu. Packers are a force to be reckoned with at the Lambeau, proving their merit recently at the expense of the hot Patriots. Falcons are a disappointment this season, underachieving something huge across the board. The only reason why they are still in contention is because their entire division is a mess; it's an epidemic in the NFC South. Packers are 7-4-1 ATS overall with a 9.4-point margin of victory and a whopping 5-0-1 ATS at home with a staggering 23.2-point margin of victory. One has to be concerned for the Falcons.
Free NFL Picks: Packers -11.0