Picks of NFL week 14: Forget the marquee games, bet these instead

NFLbets has spent so much time culling the impossible-to-call games from the week 14 NFL slate – we’re talking Dallas Cowboys -3 at Chicago Bears; Baltimore Ravens -6.5 at Buffalo Bills; Kansas City Chiefs +3 at New England; and Seattle Seahawks -1 at Los Angeles Rams here – that this column will likely be brief. So let’s plummet right to the barrel’s bottom, beginning with…

Washington +13 at Green Bay Packers

You guessed it: We’re saying take Washington +13 at Green Bay. If you believe in trap games, you don’t need more convincing: the last three games of this season are all against the NFC North, Minnesota can still steal the division and Green bay could still miss the playoffs altogether.

And as the Packers have stumbled to a 2-2 SU/ATS record in the last four weeks, NFL bettors have got to start considering whether this team is still a viable bet against the spread. At 8-4 ATS, Green Bay is bettered only by the becoming-believable Buffalo Bills at 8-3-1; this feels like the Packers are living on borrowed time.

Now, NFLbets realizes that Washington is hardly inspiring confidence among fandom this season at 3-9 SU, but they’re respectable at 5-7 ATS. Plus, hey, they’re on a 2-0 SU/ATS run! We realize to bet on Washington in this game requires a serious leap of faith, but let NFLbets present the scenario in which Washington keeps the score within two TDs.

The D.C. defense has naturally hemorrhaged rushing yardage and TDs, as opposing offenses are almost never playing catchup; Washington has faced the 8th-least pass attempts thus far into 2019. What’s wild about that last statistic is that, despite the paucity of passing offense seen, the Washington D is nevertheless in no. 3 overall in interceptions. If Quinton Dunbar and/or Fabian Moreau perform at Player Of The Game levels, Washington at least covers the spread.

Cincinnati Bengals +8½ at Cleveland Browns

Remember at the beginning of the season when the Browns were a top-3 to -5 favorite at sportsbooks in the “To Win AFC Championship” and “To Win Super Bowl LIV” props? NFLbets does and thus does the Browns’ current records of 4-7-1 ATS and 2-3-1 ATS at home even wackier.

And besides, the Bengals are coming off that first win, right? Momentum!

Meh, NFLbets isn’t so convinced. Aside from the possibility that the New York Jets may right now be the worst team in the NFL – they’re certainly worse than any 3- or 4-win team and did lose to the 1-win Bengals – the Browns may actually be finally playing to their potential.

Head coach Freddie Kitchens, who was clearly promoted too high too quickly, is finally calling plays for all the copious offensive weapons Cleveland boasts. Last week’s SU loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers snapped a 3-game SU/ATS winning streak, and some luck and/or coaching might’ve flipped the result ATS on three occasions.

NFLbets cannot guarantee that Kitchens will effectively call for what should be a ridiculous backfield of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, but this would certainly be the game to do so: While the Bengals have predictably faced the most rushing attempts of any NFL team, they’re bottom-5 in average yards per carry. Kitchens must know his season’s on the brink, doesn’t he? Take the Cleveland Browns -8½ vs Cincinnati.

Tennessee Titans -3 at Oakland Raiders

This line makes very little sense to NFLbets, and we’re going to chalk it up to the overrating of the East Coast-going-West factor because this is a classic example of two teams going in opposite directions. The Tians are on a 5-1 SU (4-1-1 ATS) run since installing Ryan Tannehill as starting QB, with wins against a Super Bowl contender, two division mates and the pinball-machine Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tannehill’s Titans have been outdoing their Marcus Mariota-led version by a score of 29.7-15.5 per game.

The Raiders have been wildly inconsistent all season – except for two predictable thumpings at the Chiefs’ hands – but a 3-game winning streak put Chucky’s guys at 6-4 SU and into the AFC playoff conversation. And then two ugly losses turned Oakland’s playoff aspirations from “when” to “if” right quick.

In fact, the squeaking past Cincinnati in week 11 likely represents the peak for the 2019 Oakland Raiders. NFLbets isn’t saying the Raiders can’t run up a win or two more but considering the team’s best game against a bona fide playoff contender was a 31-24 loss to the Houston Texans in week 8, we’re not ready to take them against the white-hot Titans. Take the Tennessee Titans -3 at Oakland.

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 2-2.
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week this season: 35-23.

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