Week 14 in the NFL is here and Swinging Johnson has his five top plays, including his best bet, ready to roll. Let’s see what Swinger likes as we keep cashing those tickets!
Top 5 NFL Week 14 Picks
Baltimore Ravens (10-2 SU, 6-5-1 ATS) vs Buffalo Bills (9-3 SU, 8-3-1 ATS)
Sunday, December 8th, 1:00 PM ET at New Era Field
The hype train is full steam ahead with the Baltimore Ravens and their savior, Lamar Jackson, as evidenced by the NFL odds board dealing them as 5 ½ to 6-point favorites against the 9-3 Buffalo Bills. But there’s definitely sharp action on the home dog as this line opened as high as seven but has been bet down 1½ points since then. That’s certainly not public money moving that spread and I can understand why the sharps like the Bills with the points at home.
First of all, the Ravens are coming off a huge win over the best in the West, the San Francisco 49ers, and will have to go back to work on Thursday against the Jets. In between, they will play a Buffalo team that is long on defense but has struggled offensively. However, quarterback Josh Allen is making marked improvements to his game and getting much more judicious when passing the ball. Consider that over his first five games he threw seven picks but since that time he has tossed 11 touchdowns passes with only one interception over his last seven games.
This looks like a letdown spot for the Ravens after a big win and I believe that the Bills can run the ball, keep Jackson off the field, and grind out a cover in this contest. Stay sharp and bet the Bills plus the points at home in your NFL picks.
Full Game Preview: Ravens vs. Bills
Denver Broncos (4-8 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs Houston Texans (8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS)
Sunday, December 8th, 1:00 PM ET at NRG Stadium
The Texans are another team hot off the heels of a seismic victory after defeating the Patriots 28-22 last week. That accomplishment has seen this line vault from an opener of Denver -7 to as high as 9 ½ as of this writing. In addition, the Texans could very well be looking ahead to next week with a game against their divisional rivals from Tennessee.
I don’t see Houston having much luck running against a Denver run-stop unit that is better than the numbers reflect. Carlos Hyde is not a dynamic runner while the verdict is out on Duke Johnson, having been sparingly used since he came into the league in 2015 as a third-round pick drafted by Cleveland. That means Deshaun Watson will have to do much of the heavy lifting, but his top target, DeAndre Hopkins, may have issues getting daylight between him and Denver’s top cover man, cornerback Chris Harris Jr.
Second-round pick Drew Lock will be getting the nod for Denver and the rookie looked pretty good in his first career start last week when he tossed a pair of touchdowns with only one pick and completing over 64 percent of his passes in Denver’s 23-20 win over the Chargers. The oddsmakers are giving us too many points to refuse betting the road hound here, so we will take advantage of their generosity and back the Broncos this week.
Full Game Preview: Broncos vs. Texans
San Francisco 49ers (10-2 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) vs New Orleans Saints (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS)
Sunday, December 8th, 1:00 PM ET at Mercedes-Benz Superdome
We normally see the public backing a sizeable favorite, double-digit road chalk is always Joe Q. Public’s favorite entrée on the betting menu, but here we have an underdog that is getting bet heavily by the masses, which is just one reason to fade the Niners here. However, it’s more than just that. The Saints have had 10 days to prepare for what could be an NFC Championship preview and I like that advantage.
In addition, the New Orleans’s defense is getting overlooked because their counterparts from San Francisco are just so good on that side of the ball. But Drew Brees has been doing this a long time and doing it exceptionally well, which means that he will find his targets or toss it away, ala Tom Brady. I expect the Saints’ pass rush to get after Sweet Jimmy G and make life miserable for the Niners offense throughout. It’s a great spot for New Orleans and a tough one for San Francisco, particularly after a losing battle with Baltimore last week. Lay the small number with the Saints.
Full Game Preview: 49ers vs. Saints
Los Angeles Chargers (4-8 SU, 4-7-1 ATS) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8 SU, 5-7 ATS)
Sunday, December 8th, 4:05 PM ET at TIAA Bank Field
Tell me what the Bolts have done to deserve being a road favorite over any team in this league? Los Angeles has lost and failed to cover in three consecutive games but suddenly they are ready to roll over a Jaguars team that owns an identical record and has home-field advantage. Gardener Minshew might not be the second coming of Joe Montana but he is mobile and should be able to scramble away from the tremendous heat that will come via Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa.
However, the game plan will be for the Jags to run Leonard Fournette early and often. The Chargers are surrendering nearly 110 rushing yards per game and Jacksonville should be able to set up the pass off a consistent and powerful running attack. The same can be said on the other side of the ball with Melvin Gordon chewing up yards against a porous Jags’ run-stop unit so this could be a wash. However, it’s the Chargers that have to fly down to the Sunshine State and play in a hostile environment so if it’s all equal, why not grab the points?
Full Game Preview: Chargers vs. Jaguars
Kansas City Chiefs (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs New England Patriots (10-2 SU, 7-5 ATS)
Sunday, December 8th, 4:25 PM ET at Gillette Stadium
How many times has the public tried to bury the king after even the slightest stumble? Well, here we are again, the Patriots have now lost two, count’em – two, games this season in a dozen contests, and for this, they should be vilified, demonized, and ultimately euthanized as a viable Super Bowl contender. Not so fast, Slappy. The Evil Genius and Tom Terrific have seen this movie before and they rise like a horde of zombies to destroy anything in their collective wake.
The Patriots have motivation on their side and are eager to atone for their loss last week to the Texans. The Chiefs are looking to secure a division title but they don’t have much competition in that regard. Patrick Mahomes is still ailing and he’s not playing at his MVP level. The Chiefs have had problems in Foxboro in the past and they’ll have plenty more on Sunday afternoon. Lay the small number and back the Pats.
Full Game Preview: Chiefs vs. Patriots