We’ve reached Week 14 of the NFL season. The final week of the regular season for most fantasy leagues. It feels like just last week that summer was turning into fall, and we were drafting our teams, but here we are. To everyone sweating a playoff spot, I wish you good luck, and may your matches be decided on the field, not in the blue medical tents. How will this week’s games play out? Let’s get to the NFL Week 14 betting lines!
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Another rough week, but we soldier on. Time to put the pedal to the metal to get on the plus side for the season. ELO goes plus for the week to maintain its recently accomplished .500 season.
Last week: My picks, 1 – 4; Analytics, 3 – 2; Best Bets, 1 – 1
Green Bay at Chicago – “This game could get loose in the second half. I like the over, as well.”
By the second half, I meant the fourth quarter, when the Packers woke up from their sleep-walking. Justin Fields threw two late picks to give the Packers the cover. However, Christian Watson’s end-around TD did score the Best Bet over a W.
New York Jets at Minnesota – “If he can keep Justin Jefferson from dominating the game, the Jets should have the edge here.”
Sauce did his job. Justin Jefferson was good but didn’t dominate. The problem was the Jets (i.e., Mike White constantly failing to get touchdowns in their red zone trips.
Washington at New York Giants – “The extra rest after playing on Thanksgiving and home field should be enough to get the Giants back on track.”
Does a tie count as being back on track? It counted for the cover but cost the New York Money Line Best Bet. Props to ELO, which called the game a Pick ‘Em.
Seattle at Los Angeles Rams – “They can’t take advantage of the Seahawks Achilles heel run defense, and DK Metcalf owns Jalen Ramsey….”
DK did, in fact, maintain his ownership, but the Rams were able to get something, not much, but something from Cam Akers. That was enough to pull down the cover.
New Orleans at Tampa Bay – “How does a team this bad get multiple prime-time games?”
Remember, that was the Saints we were talking about. The fact that it took the Bucs 59+ minutes to lock this up as the home team on Monday night says all you need to know about them right now.
Season: My picks, 29 – 45 – 3; Analytics 38 – 36 – 2; Best Bets, 13 – 17 – 1
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NFL Week 14 Lines
(Standard disclaimer – All opinions are my own and may or may not reflect those of this website. “Analytic Lines” are ELO point spreads from fivethirtyeight.com, and “Vegas Lines” are courtesy of thelines.com, current as of the writing of this article. Predicted Line (“PL”) is my early week estimate of where the Vegas line would be set. Chosen games are those with a multiple-point variance between the Vegas and Analytic Lines.)
Game of the Week
Minnesota at Detroit – Analytic Line: DET (+3), Vegas Line: DET (-2), PL: DET (+1.5)
This week’s split decision game. Much has been made of the Lions being favored over the 10-2 Vikings. ELO obviously isn’t buying it. I’m not sure I am, either. The Vikes aren’t playing up to their record, but at some point, we have to acknowledge they may just be in the middle of a charmed season.
Pick: Minnesota (+2); Best Bet: Minnesota Money Line (+110)
Make It A Parlay
Jacksonville at Tennessee – Analytic Line: TEN (-9), Vegas Line: TEN (-3.5), PL: TEN (-4.5)
The week’s biggest delta between ELO and Vegas belongs to the Jags and Titans at 5.5. The hook makes me nervous in a division game, but with the Titans needing to get back on track after being eviscerated by the Eagles and Jacksonville in the second of back-to-back roadies, the pick has to be Tennessee. The Jags are 0-4 in road games since their “breakthrough” road win in LA in Week 3.
Pick: Tennessee (-3.5); Best Bet: Tennessee Money Line (-190)
Tampa Bay at San Francisco – Analytic Line: SF (-0.5), Vegas Line: SF (-3.5), PL: SF (-6.5)
The “Brock Purdy is a field goal plus favorite over Tom Brady, who would have thought?!?!” narrative is nonsense and completely misses the point. Purdy was good enough to come off the bench and steward the Niners to a win over a better team than the Bucs last week. Tampa’s not good, traveling to the west coast off a Monday night game, and beat up on defense and the O-Line. Anyone expecting a classic Brady game here feeds into a narrative situation that no longer exists.
Pick: San Francisco (-3.5); Best Bet: Forty Niners Money Line (-180)
Carolina at Seattle – Analytic Line: SEA (-5.5), Vegas Line: SEA (-3.5), PL: SEA (-4)
The process would be to go against the Panthers traveling cross-country to play in Seattle, but that process was wrong when Atlanta won doing just that in Week Three. Maybe Week Three was “Fluke Week,” but that doesn’t explain Seattle losing at home to the Raiders two weeks ago. I’m inclined to take the points and run.
Pick: Carolina (+3.5)
Miami at Los Angeles Chargers – Analytic Line: LAC (+1.5), Vegas Line: LAC (+3.5), PL: LAC (+5.5)
Miami going to the west coast in back-to-back weeks is a rough go, but the Chargers have all of zero home-field advantage. Also, LA has to play without Derwin James, which should open up the middle of the field for in-breaking routes from Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. So even with the week’s highest over/under at 53.5, I expect this game to go full shootout.
Pick: Miami (-3.5); Best Bet: Over 53.5