I knew there was something fishy about that game at Lambeau Field last week. Sure, the Green Bay Packers had to rattle off five wins in a row for a chance at the playoffs, but who was to say they actually would?
The confidence in the visiting Arizona Cardinals certainly wasn’t through the roof, but this rendition of the Packers by two touchdowns? Nah.
I also really liked Dallas against the spread at home and backed the Bills and Buccaneers to beat their respective spreads. It equated to a beautiful 4-0 sweep and if you rolled with my NFL picks you were certainly profitable.
It’s not even necessarily about getting the games right. It’s about looking at how Vegas sets things up and gauging what prices are simply too good to pass up. I won’t always have a perfect record, but I do think the logic will be there.
Let’s see where the top NFL betting sites are directing our bets as I take a look at some stellar value at BetOnline for week 14:
Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers
Once again, I see no reason to trust the Packers. Aaron Rodgers has not been himself for much of the season, this team just fired Mike McCarthy and they have virtually nothing to play for.
Besides, who loses to the Cardinals at home with the season on the line?
If Green Bay can’t win that game, why is Vegas loving them to beat the Falcons by six? It makes no sense to me. In fact, it makes such little sense, that while Atlanta at +6 feels like a lock, I refuse to stop there.
I’d take the Falcons at -116 to keep it within a touchdown, but I get the feeling Atlanta wins this one and possibly pretty easily. I know they haven’t been too great themselves, but a trip to Green Bay to battle the listless Packers will probably cure what ails them.
Los Angeles Rams @ Chicago Bears
This is probably the game of the week, as the mighty Rams of Los Angeles (tops in our week 14 NFL power rankings) head up to Chicago to battle the Bears. I know Chicago’s defense is pretty good, but stopping one of the best offenses in the league after giving up 30 points to the New York Giants, well, feels like it’s asking a lot.
The potential return of Mitchell Trubisky could give the Bears a jolt and I do note that they’re at home. However, I’m not so sure they’ve faced anyone as talented as the Rams all year.
Chicago is a very interesting home dog in this spot, but at what point do you get the Rams with a -165 moneyline or anything close to it? That certainly isn’t a price you normally jump for joy over, but when these stacked teams offer even an inch of value you need to take it.
L.A. by three is fine, but nobody will be shocked if that’s a push or the Bears beat the spread in a tight one. Just give me the win at a palatable -165 considering it’s one of the best teams in football.
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
Trap games are very real in sports and I think Andrew Luck and the Colts just endured one in Jacksonville last week. It was the worst of its kind, as the Colts couldn’t muster a single point in a brutal 6-0 loss.
Normally that wouldn’t be a big deal, but the Jaguars really haven’t been their elite selves on defense in 2018 and Indy had so much to play for. That’s a bummer, but the good news is they still have a lot on the line and they can’t afford to trip up again in week 14.
Houston is running wild behind nine straight wins and they’re at home, but let’s not forget how evenly these teams matched up earlier in the year. They battled their way into OT and if the Colts would have just swallowed their pride, that game would have ended in a tie.
I still like Houston to get away with another one in front of their home crowd, but the +4.5 point spread is too generous in a game that will probably be decided by a last-second field goal.
Carolina Panthers @ Cleveland Browns
For my last pick of the week, let’s forget about picking spreads or lucking into a winner. Instead, let’s bank on the harsh reality that the Panthers badly need a win, yet need to travel to Cleveland to get it.
Also, let’s consider the Panthers have a pretty dynamic offense and that Baker Mayfield has flashed sheer brilliance as a starter in Cleveland.
Collectively, this bleeds into a pretty explosive game. Both of these defenses certainly are capable of shutting teams down, but they have done so sporadically. Cleveland will get up to play a good team at home, but I really don’t see either side backing down.
I’d tentatively favor the Panthers as the more talented and more experienced squad, but four straight losses are starting to look really ugly on them. Instead of getting cute with trying to predict how this game ends, I’ll just ride the Over at a nice -110 price.
The Over is 7-5 in Carolina games and 6-6 in Cleveland games this year. The Panthers are also averaging over 25 points per game and the Browns put up over 22 per game. That’s hilariously right around this Total, but with both defenses coughing up over 25 points per game, I see the makings of a back-and-forth shootout.
Baker vs. Cam. It’s gonna be a heck of a thing.