Sorry that these posts are a little sporadic at the moment. I should be back to normal from week 16 and will be able to give full previews of the playoff games with more indepth research once it gets around to that time of season. Without further ado, onto the quick week 14 predictions.
Cardinals (-2.5) at Giants
Arizona have been losing a lot of tight games this season and the loss last week was pretty disappointing. The key for them today is to have too much talent for a defense that plays hard and is pretty well coached and to be able to stop the rushing attack of the Giants with Gallman having a surprise breakout year. The Cardinals have been bad against the run lately so I’d say they wouldn’t be able to stop the Giants on the ground but they should have some success in the air and I can see them getting around 24 points.
This is actually an extremely tough one to call and I’m actually leaning towards giving New York the edge since I can see their defense being able to make more stops than Arizona and the offense to possibly dominate the clock. This isn’t a confident shout, but I like the upset here.
Giants 24-21 Cardinals
Cowboys (-3) at Bengals
I’m not going to waste too much time on this one. Cincinnati are built better for tanking and I can see them outanking the Cowboys who at least have something to play for in their division and Elliott coming back into form. Expect him to have a big day in a surprisingly easy Cowboys win potentially though there’s still no way I bet this game.
Cowboys 21-14 Bengals
Broncos at Panthers (-4)
I thought this number would be nearer to 6 for Carolina even with no McCaffrey. I like both teams to have a lot of success on the ground and this likely comes down to which QB takes care of the ball better and I much prefer Bridgewater on that front to Lock. Lock throws too many interceptions and this is the sort of game that they will lose because of that trait. Carolina can win this by a touchdown in the end.
Panthers 24-17 Broncos
Texans (-1.5) at Bears
This is a pretty fair spread. Both teams are fairly similar when it comes to defense in that they play the run ok but have struggled in the air as of late and this just comes down to which QB you prefer, Watson or Trubisky. I’d take 6 points for the QB match up alone, take off 3 for the Bears being at home and I feel the line should be Houston -3. So I’ll take them to win this with a late field goal and cover the spread.
Texans 24-21 Bears
Chiefs (-7) at Dolphins
This is probably the fairest spread I’ve seen so far. I’m going to lean Miami with little confidence though. I think Mahomes is far superior to Tua but this feels like a statement game for Miami. They get the 2 worst teams in the league as a warm up for this one so there should be confidence with them, especially on D since they have been getting to the QB as of late which is the key to beating Mahomes. For Kansas this feels like a bad time to play this game, they’ve just come off a divisional slugfest and have the Saints on the road next week. They could get caught cold here if they’re not careful and end up in another dogfight which they will survive, but not by much.
Kansas 24-21 Miami
Vikings at Buccaneers (-7)
This could look very stupid in a few hours time but I have this as my upset of the week. The Tampa D is still overrated, it’s horrendously coached and nobody is particularly noticing that Cousins is starting to lose his bottler tag with drives like the game winners lately against Jacksonville and Carolina. The Minnesota D is playing a little better at the moment than at the start of the season and I believe there’s a coaching advantage as well for Minnesota. I can see Cook being more use in the screen game than on the ground but he can still get his fill. For me this could be a shootout and I fancy Minnesota to end up on the right side of it.
Vikings 31-28 Buccaneers
Titans (-7.5) at Jaguars
It’s Derrick Henry time. He in my eyes is going to absolutely dominate this game. The Jags have struggled against the run lately and for me this is just a case of Tennessee controlling this game on the ground. Their main weakness is having no pass rush but for me Mike Glennon doesn’t have the same chance of exploiting that hole in the team as Mayfield did last week. This is one of my more confident plays of the week and I can see Tennessee winning by 2 TDs here even with Glennon throwing a TD or 2.
Titans 30-17 Jaguars
Colts (-2.5) at Raiders
This is another game which looks evenly matched on paper. In my opinion this should probably be a pick em spread with the Raiders at home so even though the +3 is gone, there’s still some value with the Raiders. The Colts have been a little worse against the pass lately than earlier in the season and that doesn’t bode well against this receiving corps of the Raiders while Vegas may struggle against the Colts running game here. The QBs in this matchup are both good but at the same time I don’t trust either of them in the clutch with mistakes still plaguing their game so I wouldn’t be confident in my Raiders selection, but they are the better value play.
Raiders 28-24 Colts
Jets at Seahawks (-14.5)
This is just a case of how interested the Seahawks are in putting on a show. For me this will be similar to the Jets-Chiefs game earlier in the season where they didn’t even try and go for the back door cover since they were on the road so I can just see them losing by 20 here and then going home. Also I can see the defense being a little worse throughout the 60 minutes now that Williams has been fired so the Seahawks will cruise here in my eyes in a fairly boring game.
Seahawks 27-7 Jets
Falcons at Chargers (-1.5)
On paper, the Chargers should be favoured by a TD considering the injury situation and generally more talented team anyway. But I’m really tempted to pick the Falcons here for 2 reasons, number 1 is that they seem to be less in the tanking mood from the Chargers and number 2 is that Anthony Lynn may be an even worse head coach than Adam Gase. Poor clock management and errors in basic fundamentals have plagued this team all year and I can see them throwing this one away somehow. This is a no bet though since on paper the Chargers should be winning this.
Falcons 24-20 Chargers
Packers (-8) at Lions
I think this should be Packers -7 so I’ll take Detroit here. They tend to play the Packers close at home and they can take advantage of the poor run defence the Packers have with their 1-2 punch rushing attack. If Golliday was playing then I’d have liked the upset but with him out the Packers will likely find a way to win. This one should be close going into the 4th but Green Bay will do enough to win by around a score.
Packers 26-21 Lions
Saints (-8) at Eagles
Jalen Hurts gets the start here and to be honest, I’m not sure how much better his production will be than what Wentz was doing since the Eagles O-line looks to be the bigger problem in that offense. The Saints D has been stout lately and I can’t see Philadelphia scoring more than 14. The most exploitable area of either team looks to be the run D of Philadelphia and with Kamara and Murray playing well as of late, I like the Saints to cover even if this game doesn’t go over 40 points.
Saints 24-14 Eagles
Washington at 49ers (-3)
This is another case of evenly matched teams, but Washington have a big injury in Gibson who’s 1 of their 2 offensive stars and that tilts the game in favour of the 49ers and makes it around a 49ers -5.5 game for me so I’m very happy to take them here. People will over read into the Washington win over Pittsburgh and assume they’re a better team than they are.
49ers 24-17 Washington
Steelers at Bills (-2.5)
Money is pouring in for Buffalo after their demolition job over the 49ers and they are the new hipster team for all the analysts. Now they get overbet and honestly I’m willing to take them on here. The defense gives up a lot of yards and Pittsburgh will have an easier game on offense this time. You could also make an argument that the Bills have not faced a good defense in a while which makes me want to go with the Steelers to win here. This is another litmus test of how good Allen is and while I believe in him in the long run, this may not be his day.
Steelers 24-20 Bills
Ravens (-3) at Browns
The Ravens are getting fitter and have a good record against the Browns when Lamar has been playing to boot so they’re a fairly confident selection here. This line should be around -4.5 for the Ravens with the guys they are getting back this week. Both teams will likely rely on the ground game and I can see the Ravens having a few more tricks up their sleeve here and they will have a coaching advantage here to boot. Mayfield will probably cough up the ball at least once and that will also be a key factor here.
Ravens 27-21 Browns