NFL Week 14: Opening Lines And Early Betting Value

Dallas Cowboys players gathered around

Monday, December 5, 2016 4:25 PM GMT

The Dallas Cowboys in Week 13 became the first team in the NFL this season to clinch a playoff spot. And this Sunday, they could become the first club to clinch its division title. Here are some interesting opening Week 14 NFL lines.

Dallas Cowboys At New York Giants (+3)

Bettors and TV executives just love the Cowboys as nobody drives the needle like they do. Their 17-15 win at Minnesota last week was the most-watched "Thursday Night Football" game ever. A total of 21.8 million watched the game on NBC. The previous most-watched TNF game averaged 21.1 million viewers as the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos topped the Chiefs 31-24 on Sept. 17, 2015. This is the Sunday night game and you better get used to Dallas getting the prime-time spotlight as this is the first of three in a row for Dallas. Its Week 15 home game vs. Tampa Bay was flexed to Sunday night and the Cowboys host Detroit on Monday, Dec. 26. The Cowboys clinched a playoff spot with their win vs. the Vikings and then Washington's loss on Sunday in Arizona. Dallas has won a franchise-record 11 games in a row and would clinch the NFC East title with a win over the Giants, who are three games back. New York is the only team to beat Dallas, doing so in Big D in Week 1, 20-19. Eli Manning threw for three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score to Victor Cruz. The game ended with Dallas in position for about 57-yard field goal, but receiver Terrance Williams stupidly didn't get out of bounds after a catch and the clock ran out before QB Dak Prescott could spike the ball. New York beat Dallas in an opener for the first time in nine tries. The Cowboys are +350 second-favorites at BetOnline (behind New England) to win the Super Bowl.

NFL Early Pick: Giants +3

Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Cincinnati Bengals At Cleveland Browns (+5)

I give the Browns only two realistic chances of avoiding 0-16 infamy. You have this game with Cleveland off its bye week and then Week 16 at home against San Diego, which historically doesn't play well outdoors in the cold weather and likely will have been eliminated from the playoff chase by then. All of SBR's best sportsbooks that still have a Browns prop posted favor them avoiding going winless. The Bengals are just playing out the string and most likely without star receiver A.J. Green again. If there's one guy who knows that Cincinnati offense well and what it's likely to do it's Browns coach Hue Jackson, the former Cincinnati offensive coordinator. It's looking like Cleveland could get back Robert Griffin III this week from a shoulder injury suffered in Week 1.  He's expected to start over Cody Kessler and Josh McCown. Cincinnati has won four straight in this series. The closest of those was 31-17 at home in Week 7. The Bengals put up 559 yards on that sorry Cleveland defense, the most for Cincinnati against any opponent since 1990. Green had eight grabs for 169 yards and a TD. Kessler started that one at QB for the Browns but was knocked out injured and replaced by fellow rookie Kevin Hogan.

NFL Early Pick: Browns +5

Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Seattle Seahawks At Green Bay Packers (+3)

Arguably the marquee matchup of Sunday. Seattle continues to trail Dallas by two  in the loss column for the top seed in the NFC. The Seahawks could clinch the NFC West title with a victory at Lambeau and an Arizona loss in Miami. Seattle dominated visiting Carolina 40-7 on Sunday night for some payback for two losses to the Panthers last year, including in the divisional playoffs. However, the Seahawks saw All-Pro safety Earl Thomas suffer a fractured leg that will end his season. That's a big loss for the NFL's top defense. Thomas tweeted Sunday evening, while the game was still in progress, that he was contemplating retirement. But that was probably just the heat of the moment. Pete Carroll has always believed in playing defense with a single high safety and that guy is Thomas. While Seattle appears a playoff lock, Green Bay currently is ninth in the NFC standings so the 6-6 Packers really need this one. They have won two straight after a four-game losing streak. Aaron Rodgers has thrown multiple TD passes in seven straight games. Green Bay hosted Seattle in Week 2 last year and won 27-17. The Seahawks led 17-16 entering the fourth. Rodgers threw for 249 and two scores.

NFL Early Pick: Packers +3

Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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