NFL picks against the spread, Week 14: Mixing in road favorites and underdogs
I’m back with my Week 14 NFL picks against the spread. We are going all favorites this week.
We’re back for another round of my 2014 SuperContest picks, and the ugliness continues. A week after a rough 1-4 performance, I “bounced back” with a 2-3 week. That has dropped me below .500 for the first time since Week 1, with a 32-33 record in the Westgate SuperContest. I am struggling to do much of anything, but hopefully Week 14 brings at least a little bit of luck. I decided to go with four favorites and a road pick ‘em this week. We’ll see if chalk pulls through for me.
The SuperContest includes more than 1,400 participants picking games each week to see who can come out on top by the end of the season. As always, our partners at OddsShark have staked me and a handful of other participants in the SuperContest. You can track all of us here, and you can follow the standings here. The contest runs all season long, but starting next week, participants who registered before Labor Day (that includes me) start a mini-contest covering the best record over the final three weeks of action. Maybe that is where I will get back into the swing of things. Yeah, that’s what will happen!
Here are my picks for Week 14, with home teams in caps.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-9.5) over Carolina Panthers: The Saints are struggling lately, having dropped three-straight home games. However, they are coming off a big road win over the Pittsburgh Steelers that keeps them right in the thick of the NFC South’s stumble to the finish (I mean, race to the division title). Betting on somebody because “they’re due” is probably never a good idea, but I’m rolling the dice on it anyway. The Saints’ offense is still good enough to put up a lot of points, and the Panthers have been fairly awful this season. Carolina is 2-4 against the spread in their last six games, and 1-4 ATS in their last five road games. I’ll stick with the Saints by double digits.
Kansas City Chiefs (PK) over ARIZONA CARDINALS: The Cardinals were looking like the team to beat in the NFC West, but the loss of Carson Palmer might be too much for them to overcome (not sure anybody anticipated that!). Drew Stanton has not been awful, but he has not done nearly enough for them as they have now lost two straight to Seattle and Atlanta. Those were road games, but add in the loss of Andre Ellington and Tyrann Mathieu, and the Cardinals injury woes could prove to be too much to overcome.
DENVER BRONCOS (-10) over Buffalo Bills: Double-digit spreads are never fun, but there are a few teams this season I will almost always grab at home in such a situation. The Patriots have been one of them, and the Broncos are another. The Broncos could not get such a cover against the Chiefs earlier this season, but the Bills are inconsistent enough that I don’t think they can hang with the Broncos. The Bills actually have some good history with the Broncos, having covered in five of their last six games, but I’ll roll with Peyton Manning and company this week.
San Francisco 49ers (-7.5) over OAKLAND RAIDERS: This was a tough one to consider given that the 49ers’ offense is struggling to do much of anything this season. However, in the Jim Harbaugh era, the 49ers have been a very solid road team. They are 11-3-2 ATS in their last 16 road games. The Raiders showed some things the last few weeks, before driving into a ditch in their Week 13 loss to the St. Louis Rams. They could very well bounce back, but if the 49ers can get consistent pressure on Derek Carr, the defense should be enough to help the 49ers get the cover.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-1) over Seattle Seahawks: This is essentially a pick ‘em between two teams playing some very solid football. Both are riding two-game winning streaks with Philadelphia on top of the NFC East, and Seattle only a game back in the NFC West. I went with Philadelphia because I simply do not trust the Seahawks on the road. They did look excellent on the road in beating the 49ers last week, but this Eagles’ offense is considerably better than the 49ers’ offense. I’ll take my chances on that fact.