Update: All spreads and picks are in!
Yes, I took a one week hiatus in Week 13. There were a couple of reasons for this.
First, I was crazy busy. It got late in the week, I realized I hadn’t done the picks column yet, and I panicked. I know that many of you read this column religiously every week, and I appreciate it more than I can express. If I couldn’t get to it, I wanted to make sure someone did; and I see Kurt’s weekly NFL picks pop up in my Facebook feed every week, so I figured why not him?
Secondly, I got my ass handed to me again in Week 12. So I’d be lying if I said that my picking spirit being a bit deflated was not a cause of me putting this column off until I’d run out of time to do it.
But I haven’t quit. I’ve got my positive attitude back.
And I’m ready to show Week 14, and three additional remaining weeks of the NFL season, what it feels like to be a bitch. My bitch.
I’m 78-87-7. I will finish the season above .500. That means I have to go a minimum of 38-26 over the final 64 games of the regular season. I’ve had four week spans like that before. It’s about to happen again.
As Sam Jackson once said in Jurassic Park: Hold onto your butts.
Also, back by popular demand is my Lock of the Week. I’ll add it at the end of the column after I have had a chance to look at all of the games.
A couple of quick things to keep in mind:
- All times are ET.
- If you want updated point spread info, or some expert advice as you make your weekly picks, below are a few helpful links.
- DocSports: Week 14 NFL Odds and Lines
And with all that said, here is your Week 14 Bettor’s Guide, complete with free spread picks for each Week 14 game, as well as the over-under odds for each matchup.
NFL Week 14 Bettor’s Guide
Point Spreads – Free Picks ATS – Odds – Over-Unders
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers
- Browns-Steelers Date: Thursday, December 8 at 8:20 PM on NFL Network
- Browns-Steelers Point Spread: Steelers -14.5
- Browns-Steelers Over-Under Odds: 39
- Browns-Steelers Spread Pick: Really? My initial thought when I saw this spread was that I’m taking the Browns. It’s a division game, it’s on national TV – meaning the Browns, even with nothing to play for, will have proper motivation – and the Browns’ ability to limit opposing games at least somewhat limits scoring (even though they can be gashed on the ground). Ultimately, the safe bet is usually on the points in a spread this big. I’m taking it. Browns-Steelers free pick: Browns +14.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars
- Buccaneers-Jaguars Date: Sunday, December 11 at 1:00 PM on FOX
- Buccaneers-Jaguars Point Spread: Buccaneers -2
- Buccaneers-Jaguars Over-Under Odds: 39
- Buccaneers-Jaguars Spread Pick: Jacksonville’s defense is not nearly as bad as it looked against Jacksonville last Monday night. They ran into a buzzsaw and had a week full of distractions and coaching changes. Tampa Bay has been terrible of late, and they cannot stop the run at all. That bodes well for Maurice Jones-Drew, who should have a monster game. I think it’s enough to give JAX the win. Bucs-Jags free pick: Jags +2
Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals
- Texans-Bengals Date: Sunday, December 11 at 1:00 PM on CBS
- Texans-Bengals Point Spread: Bengals -3
- Texans-Bengals Over-Under Odds: 38
- Texans-Bengals Spread Pick: As crazy as it sounds, I think I like Cincy in this game. They are still clinging to playoff hopes, whereas Houston at least has a little bit of a cushion to not feel back-to-the-wall pressure. Cincy wins the QB matchup of Dalton v Yates, and they also win the WR matchup since Andre Johnson is out and A.J. Green continues to be awesome. These Bengals are pretty good, even if they can’t beat the big dogs in their division. I think they win this weekend though. Texans-Bengals free pick: Bengals -3
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
- Vikings-Lions Date: Sunday, December 11 at 1:00 PM on FOX
- Vikings-Lions Point Spread: Lions -10
- Vikings-Lions Over-Under Odds: 46
- Vikings-Lions Spread Pick: The oddsmakers sure are placing a lot of faith in a Lions team that was been inconsistent, undisciplined, and will be without their defensive line anchor. With the Vikings expected to get Adrian Peterson back, and Christian Ponder getting better by the week, the Vikes can keep up with the Lions on the scoreboard. I don’t know if they can win, but they can keep it within ten. Vikings-Lions free pick: Vikings +10
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
- Colts-Ravens Date: Sunday, December 11 at 1:00 PM on CBS
- Colts-Ravens Point Spread: Ravens -17
- Colts-Ravens Over-Under Odds: 41
- Colts-Ravens Spread Pick: Oh I’m not falling for this trap. I’m well aware of how bad Indianapolis is, and they don’t have a chance in hell of winning this game, but I certainly think a backdoor cover like they had last week is possible. The Ravens are notorious for overlooking poor opponents. They’ve done it a couple times already this year. At home, in an afternoon good, with a winless team coming in, I think we get about 50% of the Ravens. That will be good enough to win easily, but not by more than two touchdowns. Colts-Ravens free pick: Colts +17
New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans
- Saints-Titans Date: Sunday, December 11 at 1:00 PM on FOX
- Saints-Titans Point Spread: Saints -4
- Saints-Titans Over-Under Odds: 48.5
- Saints-Titans Spread Pick: The Saints are really rolling right now, but I don’t trust them outside on grass nearly as much as I do at home on turf. And Tennessee has found its running game again with Chris Johnson. The Saints can be run on, and Tennessee can at least play serviceable defense to make Drew Brees and Co earn their touchdowns. I think Tennessee keeps this close, plus I love home dogs. Saints-Titans free pick: Titans +4
Philadelphia Eagles at Miami Dolphins
- Eagles-Dolphins Date: Sunday, December 11 at 1:00 PM on FOX
- Eagles-Dolphins Point Spread: Dolphins -3
- Eagles-Dolphins Over-Under Odds: 45
- Eagles-Dolphins Spread Pick: Imagine what you would have said six weeks ago if I’d told you that in Week 14 Miami would be favored by three over Philly. Well, it’s happened. But I don’t like it. I think being away from their booing home fans, and in a road stadium that will be maybe half full, will be great for Philly. Plus, Michael Vick is back, and that should at least help somewhat even if DeSean Jackson doesn’t show up again. Mix in Reggie Bush apparently texting and calling Kim Kardashian again, and I just don’t trust Miami enough to lay points. I’ll take the Eagles. Eagles-Dolphins free pick: Eagles +3
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
- Falcons-Panthers Date: Sunday, December 11 at 1:00 PM on FOX
- Falcons-Panthers Point Spread: Falcons -3
- Falcons-Panthers Over-Under Odds: 47.5
- Falcons-Panthers Spread Pick: The Panthers have regained their confidence in victories over Indy and Tampa. While neither of those teams is any good, confidence is confidence, and Cam Newton will be riding high coming into Sunday. Since Atlanta is far less imposing on the road than they are at home, I like the Panthers to revert to their early season ways of making better teams sweat it out in the 4th quarter. Another backdoor cover for Cam and the boys! Falcons-Panthers free pick: Panthers +3
New England Patriots at Washington Redskins
- Patriots-Redskins Date: Sunday, December 11 at 1:00 PM on CBS
- Patriots-Redskins Point Spread: Patriots -9
- Patriots-Redskins Over-Under Odds: 48
- Patriots-Redskins Spread Pick: Tom Brady v Rex Grossman immediately makes me want to lay the points here. But it’s also a road game, and Washington hasn’t really been that bad lately. They also finally have a running back that Mike Shanahan might trust in Roy Helu. Plus, even if New England gets up early, they give up passing yards in droves. Why couldn’t Rexy do was Orlovsky did last week and lead a few 4th quarter TD drives in garbage time? I’ll take the home team and the nine points. Patriots-Redskins free pick: Redskins +9
Kansas City Chiefs at New York Jets
- Chiefs-Jets Date: Sunday, December 11 at 1:00 PM on CBS
- Chiefs-Jets Point Spread: Jets -9
- Chiefs-Jets Over-Under Odds: 36.5
- Chiefs-Jets Spread Pick: It’s asking a lot to trust the Jets with nine points, but I think I’m going to do it. They are starting to run the ball more productively, they are typically better in December, and they are facing Tyler Palko. I don’t think Kansas City will score much, and I think the Jets can do enough on offense to get the 17 or so points they’ll need to cover this. Chiefs-Jets free pick: Jets -9
Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos
- Bears-Broncos Date: Sunday, December 11 at 4:05 PM on FOX
- Bears-Broncos Point Spread: Broncos -3.5
- Bears-Broncos Over-Under Odds: 35.5
- Bears-Broncos Spread Pick: Tebow Tebow Tebow. Tebow, tebow tebow tebow. Tim. Tebow Tim. Tim Tebow. Hanie. Broncos-Bears free pick: Broncos -3.5
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
- 49ers-Cardinals Date: Sunday, December 11 at 4:05 PM on FOX
- 49ers-Cardinals Point Spread: 49ers -4
- 49ers-Cardinals Over-Under Odds: 40
- 49ers-Cardinals Spread Pick: I actually think this is a really tough game for San Fran, and I’m surprised they are getting so many points. Arizona has been playing everyone tough lately, and the 49ers will be without Patrick Willis. I know that San Fran killed Arizona the first time around, but I expect a different game this time. San Fran wins, but Arizona makes it a close one. 49ers-Cardinals free pick: Cardinals +4
Buffalo Bills at San Diego Chargers
- Bills-Chargers Date: Sunday, December 11 at 4:15 PM on CBS
- Bills-Chargers Point Spread: Chargers -7
- Bills-Chargers Over-Under Odds: 47.5
- Bills-Chargers Spread Pick: The Chargers are getting hot in December, as they are wont to do. The Bills are about as cold as the weather in Buffalo, which is pretty much par for the course for the last decade or so. I’m a little leery of trusting San Diego with seven points, but they showed last week against a good defense what they can do when Philip Rivers has a healthy set of weapons. I’ll roll the dice on Norv and Co to do it again. Bills-Chargers free pick: Chargers -7
Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers
- Raiders-Packers Date: Sunday, December 11 at 4:15 PM on CBS
- Raiders-Packers Point Spread: Packers -11.5
- Raiders-Packers Over-Under Odds: 52
- Raiders-Packers Spread Pick: Green Bay has been playing closer games lately…but Oakland certainly has not, at least not last week. They got killed by the Dolphins, and with no DMC this week I have a hard time placing much faith in the Raiders. I think the Packers will continue to be focused and razor sharp, at least on offense, and I just don’t know that the Raiders have answers for that kind of precision right now. Raiders-Packers free pick: Packers -11.5
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
- Giants-Cowboys Date: Sunday, December 11 at 8:20 PM on NBC
- Giants-Cowboys Point Spread: Cowboys -3
- Giants-Cowboys Over-Under Odds: 49
- Giants-Cowboys Spread Pick: The Cowboys play everyone – outside of the Rams and Bills – close. Well, the Rams and Bills suck donkey balls, and the Giants do not. So I think the Cowboys revert to their close playing ways. And with that said, I’m not even convinced that Dallas wins this game. Though the Cowboys have a better record, that may be a function of an easier schedule than actually being the better team. New York fought hard last week. I would not be shocked to see them jump up and bite Dallas this week. Giants-Cowboys free pick: Giants +3
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks
- Rams-Seahawks Date: Monday, December 12 at 8:30 PM on ESPN
- Rams-Seahawks Point Spread: Seahawks -10
- Rams-Seahawks Over-Under Odds: 36.5
- Rams-Seahawks Spread Pick: The Rams have been getting pummeled even with last year’s #1 pick and Rookie of the Year playing quarterback. Apparently, someone named Tom Brandstater will be starting at QB this week in notoriously tough to play Seattle. My head tells me to pick the Seahawks, but then again 10 points is a lot. I think a combination of the Rams’ rallying around professional pride, Seattle overlooking them, and Tarvaris Jackson not being THAT much better than Bradstater or whoever plays at QB makes me think the Rams can keep it close. Rams-Seahawks free pick: Rams +10
And now, the lock of the week!
Lock of Week for Week 14
The first one that jumped out at me was the Indy-Baltimore game, but I simply cannot place that kind of faith in Indy. Even 50% of Baltimore might because to beat Indy by 20 points. I’m also not a big fan of calling a big spread a “lock.”
It really comes down to which of the teams that I picked do I trust the most? It seems crazy to say, but I think it’s Arizona.
The Cardinals are playing better football lately, and they represent a trap game for San Fran. The 49ers just waxed the Rams to officially rebound from the Thanksgiving loss. Next week they have a huge battle with Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football, which will be a chance to avenge the Ravens loss on national TV. Nestled in between is this game against an improving Arizona squad, which San Fran will have to play without Patrick Willis, the team’s best player.
I would not be shocked if the 49ers won, but let’s put it this way: if you made me pick the game straight up I would say Arizona. So if I’m getting four points, I have to like those odds. Right?
So that’s my lock: Cardinals +4.
Best of luck in Week 14 everyone! Time to get back on the winning track.