Usually after a big week, I come crashing down to Earth like the Hindenburg a week later. Given this, I’m taking a few sharp turns attempting to see if betting against my principles will help avoid a regression to the mean. So this might mean betting some HUGE favorites (marked as such, you’ll see) and a lot fewer plus numbers. We’ll see what happens. I hope these picks help you with your Christmas shopping.
Week 14 Picks
As always, my picks will be listed from most to least confident. However, I must note that I won’t be finalizing most of the picks on my end until Sunday morning (unless I really feel good about the number I’m seeing, which does happen from time to time). For reference, I will have the team I’m picking in bold font next to the point spread.
Season Record: 60-35-2
Season Point Differential: +216.5
Last Week: 7-1
- Los Angeles Rams at Chicago Bears (+3.5)
Remember what I said about fading my principles? Forget it, I still love home dawgs.
This line is bonkers. Tricky Mitch Trubisky is expected back this week, but even if he is out, they should not be getting an extra half-point at home, even with the Rams being…. the Rams. I like the Bears as the home dawg with the hook.
- Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5)
This line opened at 9 and got shaved all the way down to 6.5 as of 12/4, before shooting up to 7 on 12/5. I like the Chiefs at 7, but was able to nab 6.5 late Tuesday night. The Ravens are getting too much credit for a sound beating of a stupid, dumb and bad Atlanta team. The Chiefs, meanwhile, are a week removed from the Kareem Hunt drama and I am looking for them to bounce back in a big way against a Baltimore team that isn’t quite as good as people seem to think going into Arrowhead with a rookie quarterback.
- Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (-4.5)
Houston should be laying at least 6 points in this game. The Colts cooled off last week against the Jaguars, and I feel that they will have similar troubles against this Houston team, again on the road. I have been all over this team in recent weeks, and I expect them to continue to roll.
- New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (+8)
There is a huge 4-to-1 ticket ratio on the Patriots heading into this game, but this line is too high given Miami’s health and recent surge and New England’s long tenured history of sadness in the state of Florida. The Dolphins, as mediocre as they are, are getting a lot of points at home against New England and they are playing for their playoff lives.
- Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-4)
This line appears inflated to me after the Jaguars shut-out the hapless Andrew Lucks last week in Jacksonville. The Titans, while they have struggled in recent weeks, should be getting more respect from the sportsbooks. Leonard Fournette is back for Jacksonville, but Tennessee is the better team with more to play with at home. This line should be six and likely would have been six or more two weeks ago.
- Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders (+11)
Hold your nose, grab a beer, and bet this line.
The Steelers haven’t won in Oakland since Ben Roethlisberger was 13 years old. While I anticipate the Steelers breaking that streak, we are still looking at a double-digit home dawg. I just have to bet it.
- Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Chargers (-14)
The Bengals are in complete disarray and I’m betting on a HUGE home favorite whereas I usually do not do such a thing. Simply put, I like the Chargers to take care of business and put these poor cats to sleep.
- New Orleans Saints (-8) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last week, we saw the Saints at 7.5-point favorites at Dallas on a Thursday night game. I bet on the Cowboys as the home dawg, and cashed handily.
However, I must ask: are the Buccaneers only a half-point worse than the Cowboys? I’m not so sure about it.
I am betting on a HUGE (and I mean HUGE) road favorite with a bad number here, but I just think this number should be 9.5 or 10. The Buccaneers are getting a little too much credit for 1) beating New Orleans in Week 1 (who cares) and 2) for winning their last two games at home (handily, I should add) against mediocre competition. This is not a bet I usually make, but I’m pulling the trigger.
Gun-to-my-head season record: 46-47-2
Carolina Panthers at Cleveland Browns (+2.5)
Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (-5.5)
New York Giants at Washington Redskins (+3.5)
New York Jets (+3.5) at Buffalo Bills
Denver Broncos (-4.5) at San Francisco 49ers
Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals (+3)
Philadelphia Eagles (+3.5) at Dallas Cowboys
Minnesota Vikings (+3) at Seattle Seahawks