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Betting Against the Spread: NFL Week 14 Numbers You Need to Know

Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford

For this week's against the spread article, I'm going to give you some thoughts and numbers to be aware of when wagering on these Week 14 NFL games. There's always an injury or an ATS number that comes into play, so why not arm the reader with the info they'll need in order to win on Sunday?

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Note: All games are on Sunday, Dec. 11 and times are ET.

Denver Broncos (8-4) at Tennessee Titans (6-6), 1 p.m.

The Titans are coming off a late bye week and are in the thick of the AFC South race. Marcus Mariota has been one of the hottest QBs, but he's running into one of the best defenses in the NFL. Tennessee, meanwhile, allows more than 270 yards per game through the air, but it’s up to Denver (and whoever is at QB) to take advantage. The Broncos’ running game has struggled recently, and it will be interesting to see how recently acquired Justin Forsett and Devontae Booker share the playing time in the backfield.
Injury to watch: Denver QB Trevor Siemian

ATS number to consider: Tennessee is 5-25 ATS the last three seasons against conference opponents.

San Diego Chargers (5-7) at Carolina Panthers (4-8), 1 p.m.

The Panthers limp home after an embarrassing effort in Seattle. Nothing is going right for the defending NFC champions on or off of the field, as much of the talk this week has been about Cam Newton's one-play benching. It's just not the same Carolina team, as the defense has been gashed repeatedly through the air. You could say the same thing about San Diego, a team that is hard to figure out. The Chargers already have road victories against Atlanta and Houston so it wouldn't be a complete surprise to see them win in Charlotte too.

Line movement: Panthers -1.5 open to Panthers -1

Injuries to watch: Carolina LB Luke Kuechly, DE Mario Addison

ATS number to consider: San Diego is 14-8 ATS over its last 22 road games including 4-2 ATS this season.

Houston Texans (6-6) at Indianapolis Colts (6-6), 1 p.m.

People are going to be really high on Indianapolis after the dominating win on Monday night against the Jets, but some of it is fool’s gold. The Colts’ defense is still rather porous, but I don't know if Houston can take advantage. The Texans average fewer than 200 passing yards per gamer and have rendered DeAndre Hopkins modestly pedestrian. Houston has scored just 46 points over the last three weeks. The Texans beat the Colts 26-23 in overtime at home back in Week 6.

Line movement: Colts -6.5 to Colts -5.5

Injuries to watch: Houston CB Johnathan Joseph, LB Jadeveon Clowney

ATS number to consider: Indy has won 23 of its last 29 in this series, but have covered just 14 of those games against the spread.

Cincinnati Bengals (4-7) at Cleveland Browns (0-12), 1 p.m.

Cleveland is coming off a late bye week and is going back to Robert Griffin III at quarterback. I've continually tried to back the winless squad in certain situations this season, but the Browns have let me and Vegas down as they are 2-10 ATS. The Bengals snapped a four-game winless streak last week by beating the Eagles at home. They still struggle to run it and for one week Andy Dalton wasn't the problem. Cincinnati beat Cleveland 31-17 back in Week 7.

Line movement: Bengals -5 to Bengals -5.5

Injury to watch: Cleveland QB Robert Griffin III

ATS number to consider: Cincy has not covered in a single road game this season.

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) at Buffalo Bills (6-6), 1 p.m.

The Steelers are in a not too friendly situation here. This will be their third road game in the last four weeks and they play at Cincinnati next week. Pittsburgh's defense is hot, allowing just 30 points to the Browns, Colts and Giants. Buffalo is getting ready to open up a three-game homestand, but the Bills just last week blew a second-half lead at Oakland and wound up losing 38-24. The Bengals have done pretty well against the run, so it may be up to Tyrod Taylor to lead the way on offense.

Line movement: Steelers -1 to Steelers -2

Injuries to watch: Bills WR Robert Woods, TE Charles Clay

ATS number to consider: Pittsburgh is 7-1 ATS the last nine December games.

Arizona Cardinals (5-6) at Miami Dolphins (7-5), 1 p.m.

Desperation won out for the Cardinals last week as they beat the Redskins, but are back on the road for the third time over the last four weeks. Arizona has struggled on the east coast, losing at Atlanta 38-19 and at Carolina 30-20. Miami's winning streak ended in spectacular fashion last week by way of a 38-6 beatdown courtesy of Baltimore. Everything went wrong last week, which is why this may be a good time to get back on the bandwagon, as the home team may be undervalued.

Line movement: Miami -2.5 to Miami -1

Injury to watch: Arizona S Tyrann Mathieu

ATS number to consider: Miami is 0-10 ATS in its last 10 December games.

Chicago Bears (3-9) at Detroit Lions (8-4), 1 p.m.

The Lions have won four straight and need to take care of business here with road trips to New York and Dallas coming up next. Detroit has held four straight opponents to fewer than 20 points. The Lions can't run the ball very well, but Matthew Stafford has done his part to pick up the slack, including just three turnovers over the last seven weeks. Chicago beat San Francisco handily last week, but the game was played in a snow storm and I’m not convinced that was the real Bears defense that held the 49ers to just six passing yards. This is a huge number with a Bears team that has covered four of their last five games.

Line movement: Lions -9.5 to Lions -7.5

Injuries to watch: Detroit WR Marvin Jones, LB Tahir Whitehead

ATS number to consider: Since 1992, Detroit is 28-50 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points.

Minnesota Vikings (6-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10), 1 p.m.

This could be a low-scoring game considering each team has strong defenses and lackluster offenses. Minnesota has put up 13 and 15 points in its last two games as the lack of a running presence is forcing Sam Bradford throw a little more than the team would like. Jacksonville has lost seven straight games, but the last five have come by single digits. One of the issues is that Blake Bortles has taken a huge step back. The Jags’ defense has done its part, holding four of their last five opponents to fewer than 200 passing yards.

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Line movement: Vikings -3

Injuries to watch: Jacksonville RB Chris Ivory, WR Allen Hurns, TE Julius Thomas

ATS number to consider: The Vikings have gone under in 16 of the last 22 road games.

Washington Redskins (6-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-7), 1 p.m.

The Redskins play their third straight road game against an Eagles team that is coming off a horrific loss to the Bengals. Washington's running game has disappeared the last two weeks, but Kirk Cousins is putting up very good numbers. The defense has allowed 31 points in each of the last two road contests. The Redskins also are in the midst of a five game over streak. Philadelphia has now lost three straight and five of its last six, as Carson Wentz is being asked to handle too much of the load. The secondary is terrible and should be roasted by the Skins if Cousins gets time.

Line movement: Redskins Pick

Injuries to watch: Eagles RB Ryan Mathews and Redskins TE Jordan Reed

ATS number to consider: The Eagles are 12-21 ATS in their last 33 games against conference opponents.

New York Jets (3-9) at San Francisco 49ers (1-11), 4:05 p.m.

It’s Snoresville for this matchup, although sometimes these types of games have the best value. You've got a Jets team that gave up at home flying west on a short week. They are starting Bryce Petty at QB, but I have a feeling there will be plenty of Matt Forte. On the other side you have a 49ers team that is playing no defense and is coming off a game in which the offense totaled six passing yards in the snow. These two have combined to win just four games, but they've covered six.

Line movement: 49ers -1 to 49ers -2.5

Injury to watch: Jets S Calvin Pryor

ATS number to consider: San Francisco has won just six of its last 17 games against teams with a losing record.

New Orleans Saints (5-7) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5), 4:25 p.m.

New Orleans has lost three of its last four and has given up 21 points or more in five straight games. This is the first matchup between these two teams over a two-week span as they will play again on Christmas Eve in New Orleans. Tampa Bay has won four in a row (including at Kansas City, vs. Seattle and at San Diego) and you can point to a vastly improved defense for one of the reasons why. Mike Evans is rapidly moving up the charts as a wide receiver. For as porous as New Orleans’ defense has been, the Saints have actually played five unders in their last seven games.

Line movement: Tampa Bay -2.5

Injury to watch: Tampa Bay RB Doug Martin

ATS number to consider: These two have played 20 unders in their last 34 matchups.

Atlanta Falcons (7-5) at Los Angeles Rams (4-8), 4:25 p.m.

The Falcons hit the road after a real tough home loss to the Chiefs. Atlanta’s defense has been under siege a bit the last few weeks. The good thing is that the Rams don't generate much offense, having scored just 41 points the last three weeks. Los Angeles’ defense has held up relatively well, limiting New England to just 26 points at home last week. This is a big number to lay on the road, especially with a shaky defense.

Line movement: Falcons -5.5 to Falcons -6.5

Injuries to watch: Rams DE Robert Quinn, WR Tavon Austin

ATS number to consider: The Falcons have gone over in 10 of their 12 games including all six as a favorite.

Seattle Seahawks (8-3) at Green Bay Packers (6-6), 4:25 p.m.

Two of the NFC's blue bloods are playing in Lambeau Field. Seattle has won four of its last five with the offense peeking at the right time led by a healthier Russell Wilson. The Seahawks finally have been able to run it well enough to keep defenses off balance. Green Bay has won two straight and now people are wondering if the Packers are turning it around after losing four in a row. If there's a team that will take advantage of the absence of Earl Thomas, it's Green Bay. These two teams played each other last year, with the Packers winning 27-17 at home.

Line movement: Seattle -3

Injury to watch: None really

ATS number to consider: Green Bay is 63-37 ATS in December games since 1992.

Dallas Cowboys (11-1) at New York Giants (8-4), 8:30 p.m.

The only team that has beaten the Cowboys this season gets a chance for the sweep at home on Sunday night. New York beat Dallas 20-19 in the opener despite being outgained. The Cowboys had just 101 rushing yards on 30 carries in that one. Since then Dallas has not lost and is clicking as a team. I continue to undervalue the Cowboys’ defense, even though they have held opponents to 19 or fewer points in eight of their 12 games. The Giants saw their six-game winning streak end in Pittsburgh and it could be attributed to finally playing a good team on the road. They had not played a true road game over a five-week period, which included their game in London against Los Angeles. I'm not a buyer in New York especially with inconsistent Eli Manning at the helm.

Line movement: Dallas -3

Injury to watch: Giants RB Shane Vereen

ATS number to consider: Dallas is 9-3 ATS this season and 5-1 ATS on the road.

— 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.