NFL Picks: Week 14 Value Picks

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 6:17 PM GMT

We are down to the last quarter of the NFL regular season and it becomes challenging to make our NFL picks because contenders and pretenders fail and teams with nothing to play for sometimes rise up.

That is why caution is best used with NFL picks because the sportsbooks are going to reflect what might appear as value on larger underdogs, when the fact is it is uncertain if they really want to compete or get the season over. After a lousy Thanksgiving week as a NFL football handicapper, I’m confident I will rebound.



Ravens vs. Dolphins: Baltimore Covers Weaknesses against Miami
The Ravens are an underdog in South Florida after absolutely giving San Diego a gift-wrapped victory in the fourth quarter. Baltimore could not generate a much needed pass rush to protect their 31st ranked pass defense. However, I think we have some value against the NFL odds here because Miami has not shown the ability to take full advantage of the Ravens biggest defensive weakness and only averages 6.2 yards per pass attempt, which is 28th in the league. Also, the quick, but fast defensive from for the Dolphins has been shoved around the past two games for 478 yards on the ground and Baltimore should be able to move the pigskin with the run in averaging 163.6 yards per contest in their last three outings, along with the passing game.

Forget the betting odds; I’ll take the Ravens to win outright.

Free NFL pick: Baltimore +3 at BetOnline

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Steelers vs. Bengals: Cincinnati Heads towards another Division Crown
You don’t need to remind me Pittsburgh is 18-5 and 17-6 ATS in Cincinnati the last 21 years. I also understand the argument the Steelers had a bad  games coming off a bye and were stunned by New Orleans, who supposedly was due for a victory after three home losses and will be more ready for a critical division matchup.

But let’s examine the entire picture.

The Steelers defense as we have often seen is the not the same recent vintage. It’s young, makes mistakes and the veterans they still have are on the downsides of career and slower. After playing poorly in the first part of October, Cincinnati is 5-1 since (3-2-1 ATS). Yes they were fortunate to beat Tampa Bay, but that was the third of three consecutive roads encounters and they likewise could have been looking ahead.

The Bengals are 11-3 ATS at home and 8-1 ATS in there building off an away game and win by six.

Free NFL pick: Cincinnati -3 at 5Dimes

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Rams vs. Redskins: St. Louis has Identity, Washington Does Not
The Rams are a road favorite for the first time since their last contest of the 2010 season, a span covering 30 games. Nevertheless, it is a role St. Louis deserves because coach Jeff Fisher has been able to take a terrible situation like losing your top two quarterbacks for most of the season, yet find a way to be competitive and win.

Think about it, St. Louis could be on a five-game winning streak with matching covers, except for four bad minutes in Arizona and poor read by backup QB Shaun Hill on what should have been a win at San Diego in the final seconds. With three-quarters of the season in the books, Washington has no offensive identity by playing musical chair quarterbacks and the defense has holes which can be exploited.

I’ll back the better team, the better coach and the squad that is playing with purpose instead of a rudderless ship.

Free NFL pick: St. Louis -2.5 at 5Dimes

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