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Betting Against the Spread: NFL Picks Week 14


The NFL is a crazy fickle beast with week-to-week turns that many TV shows would love to have. Eagles fans went from loving Chip Kelly to hating him and now back to loving him. The NFC East is still a muddled mess, but now the Cowboys are in the mix just one game behind the three-team mash up at the top. All I do know is the wins keep coming for us and this league continues to be real friendly for me.

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Record: 30-19-1 (3-1 last week)

San Francisco 49ers (4-8) at Cleveland Browns (2-10)

Johnny Manziel is back under center for the Browns, who host the 49ers on Sunday. Blaine Gabbert had his coming out party last week in a road win at the Bears, as he ran for a touchdown and threw for another one. Now the 49ers hit the road for the second straight week and take on a wallowing Cleveland team. There was talk this week of locker room issues with the Browns although they may go away now that Manziel is under center. There aren't a lot of ATS numbers that go the Browns’ way in this one. I don't care. SELECTION: Browns Moneyline

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Detroit Lions (4-8) at St. Louis Rams (4-8)

Two teams going in different directions play in St. Louis. The Lions have won three of their last four, but we're less then a few seconds away from making it four in a row and putting themselves back into the playoff conversation. But then Aaron Rodgers ripped out the hearts of Detroit fans with a game-winning Hail Mary to tight end Richard Rodgers on the final play of the game. Even so, the Lions’ defense has been smoking hot, allowing a total of 70 points over their last four games. St. Louis has lost five straight, scoring just 54 points over that span. Case Keenum and Nick Foles have been terrible under center and it's ruining Todd Gurley, who has nowhere to run. St. Louis' defense has played well despite the numbers and the amount of time the unit has been on the field. The Rams have gone under in nine of their 12 games, including five of seven as an underdog. SELECTION: Under 41

Dallas Cowboys (4-8) at Green Bay Packers (8-4)

Aaron Rodgers saved what could have been a terrible tailspin last Thursday in Detroit. Green Bay had lost four of five and were on the way to another before Rodgers’ Hail Mary throw landed in the hands of Richard Rodgers. Now the Packers get a Dallas team that also needed some late-game heroics on Monday night to get out of Washington with a much-needed victory. You've got a Cowboys offense that did just enough against the Redskins now heading to Green Bay. Matt Cassel is not the answer at QB and because of that, teams are stacking the box against the run. The Packers are hard to beat at home and that's with a full week of prep. I usually don't like these big numbers, but the situation is real good. SELECTION: Packers -7

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New York Giants (5-7) at Miami Dolphins (5-7) (Monday)

Oh so close once again for New York, as the Giants fell in overtime to their crosstown rival the Jets last week. The G-Men have now lost three in a row and four out of five as they head to Miami to play the Dolphins. These two teams are some of the hardest to figure out considering their talent levels and how consistent they've been. The Giants have allowed four of the last five opponents to throw for more than 300 yards. Miami's offense is sputtering right now despite the pieces to make things work. The Dolphins managed just 219 yards against the Ravens in an ugly 15-13 home win. New York has a huge home game next week against Carolina. I don't think the Giants will be looking ahead, but it's another reason to go with the home team in this one. SELECTION: Miami +1.5


— The Bills seem like a really good spot play for this Sunday. Philadelphia is coming off an improbable win over New England in Foxborough. The Eagles now have three straight at home beginning with Buffalo. Upon closer inspection of last week's win, the Eagles’ offense is still broken, managing 248 yards on 57 plays against the Patriots. It was the defense and special teams that provided most of the fireworks. The concern for me with Buffalo is that this is the fourth road game in the last five weeks and the money is pouring in so much on the Bills that the home team is almost worth a look. Philly has a lot of flaws, but as last week showed, it doesn’t mean the Eagles still can’t win in spite of them.

— The Titans at the Jets was one of those games that I felt like I could make a case for each side and each total. Darrelle Revis' (concussion) status is a big part of this decision, as New York’s secondary has been terrible without him. Tennessee doesn't have the weapons to make the Jets pay outside of Delanie Walker. Marcus Mariota has had his good games and his bad ones. I could see a lot of points in this one, but I could also see a close game with a lot of punts. I made a case to myself where the upstart Titans put it all together and keep things close. Problem was that I just as easily could see them getting blown out of the building in the Jets’ third straight "home" game.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.