Week 14 Picks Against the Spread
Last week was a beauty, and I love the board this week so I don't expect anything different. We've got a handful of SuperLocks, and by looking at my record, you may want to tail them. It's time to pay the rent, and I'm here to finance your livelihood.
Last Week: 10-6-0
Current Record: 106-86-0
SuperLock Record: 16-7-0
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) @ Chicago Bears
Pick: Cowboys (-2.5)
Both of these teams are on long short weeks coming off of games on Thanksgiving, one where the Cowboys were handed an L while the Bears squeaked out a win against David Blough and company. I’d expect Dallas’ matchup to be easier than last weeks, and the exact opposite to be the case for Da Bears. Now, I do by no means think the Cowboys are a good team, but they should be able to take advantage of Chi Town’s porous run defense, which should set up Dak perfectly for the play-action game, helping him and the team as a whole move the ball against a rock solid secondary. As for the Bears’ offense, they don’t have one, so I’m not convinced that in prime time they’ll have what it takes to keep it to a field goal, especially with the kicker they have.
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons (-2.5)
Pick: Panthers (+2.5)
Ron Rivera just got fired, so you’d think this was a trash pick, but I’d argue it’s a good thing. The Panthers did what the Falcons can’t stomach: getting rid of the man upstairs. No, not God, I’m talking about Dan Quinn. He stinks, and we were fooled a few weeks back that their defense was actually serviceable, a proclamation that was sniffed out these past two weeks. Sure, Kyle Allen may not be able to take full advantage, but CMC alone should keep it close with the Falcons offensive inconsistencies. I’d argue that Matt should be put on ice rather than the gridiron because at this point, they have nothing to play for. They may be stuck with Russell Gage as their WR2 in this spot, which doesn’t bode well for them against a solid defense. I’d expect a 21-20 type of game and wouldn’t be shocked if the Panthers take it outright.
Baltimore Ravens (-5.5) @ Buffalo Bills
Pick: Bills (+5.5)
Betting against the Ravens isn’t a smart thing to do, but I’m and idiot and my record is looking beautiful, so there’s a disconnect somewhere along the way. All this comes down to is me believing the Bills are a pretty solid all-around football team, one that can get pressure on Lamar defensively while being able to moving the ball effectively on the other side. Though they aren’t nearly as good as the 49ers, I could see them taking a similar approach – trying to drain clock and crossing their fingers all game, hoping Lamar doesn’t leave everyone on the field begging for ankle tape. Also, the Bills, at home, in December, as playoff contenders? You better believe the stadium will be filled with wild animals and Buffalo wives wondering where their folding tables went. This game is going to be so electric it could power Elon Musks’ brain and all his creations ten times over. With all this being said, could the Ravens still go out there and beat the hell out of the Bills? Yes, but that’s not the type of world I want to live in. I’m trying to speak this into existence, and in my reality, Buffalo end up on top when it’s all said and done.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns (-8.5)
Pick: Browns (-8.5)
Cincy just dethroned the second QB picked in the 2018 draft, and now, they’re on their way to topple the top dog from that class. Not gonna happen. The Bengals won their first game of the season, further proving that NFL franchises will go to great lengths to put their future in jeopardy, but if they had a sliver of competence in that front office, they’d scream from the rooftops that they need to lose in this spot. Luckily for them, that decision won’t be theirs to make as the Browns will go out there and beat up on another shitty team. They aren’t a very good team, so when they get a chance to prove that the preseason hype was warranted, they go out there and ball. The two headed monster in the backfield should dominate and the Bengals’ secondary will have no answers for Browns’ WR1 Jarvis Landry. I’m not joking when I say this game could end 42-3. I’d make it a SuperLock pick but I’m nervous since Dalton is a thief and stole his job back, so he may be able to pick my lock.
Washington Redskins @ Green Bay Packers (-12.5)
Pick: Packers (-12.5)
It’s definitely scary rolling with two favorites giving this many points, but again, I’m not worried. The Packmen at home are a different animal, and we saw a glimpse of that last week when they walked into the Meadowlands, amid snow showers, and pummeled the G Men. If there is an ounce of precipitation, the Packers may win by a million, and that isn’t hyperbole. Even if it’s dry, I don’t see the Redskins having enough left in the tank after pulling out two hard-fought wins to keep it close with one of the Super Bowl favorites. I will say, though, that this could be a lookahead spot for the Packers as they play the Bears and Vikings the next two weeks, so they may be content just keeping a 7 to 10 point cushion throughout the game without putting too much strain on either side of the ball. Rodgers is an asshole though and has proven he shows no mercy, so I’m not all too concerned.
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings (-13.5)
Pick: Lions (+13.5)
I couldn’t take a big favorite for the third game in a row, but with my luck, the underdogs will cover in the first two and the Vikings will blow the doors off the Lions in this one. Whatever, I don’t care. I’m rocking with the Lions because they’re coming off a long week where they looked pretty competent against a strong defense whereas the Vikings just played on Monday night and couldn’t consistently string a drive together. It won’t be in primetime, so Kirk won’t be a complete liability, but I don’t have enough confidence in either he or this pass defense to keep the margin of victory to two or more tuddies.
San Francisco 49ers @ New Orleans Saints (-2.5)
Pick: 49ers (+2.5)
SuperLock city. I’m not convinced the Saints are all that good and I’m afraid their offense may get exposed by an elite defense. New Orleans’ run defense is strong, which is concerning because the 49ers’ offense runs through…the run…but I have enough confidence in Shanahan to draw some things up that will catch the Saints by surprise. If Breida’s back, then the three headed monster may be too much for New Orleans to stop. Either way, I think the 49ers are a far superior team, one that should be underdogs in very few situations, with this not being one of them.
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets (-4.5)
Pick: Jets (-4.5)
I have one reason and one reason along for this pick, and I don’t care to expand any more on it than I have to because I know it’s a terrible strategy. The Dolphins have been riding high, and before last week, so were the Jets. After getting pounded, you’d expect Darnold and the entire squad to roll over, which is why I’m rolling with them. Again, terrible strategy, but look where this thinking has gotten me so far.
Indianapolis Colts @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5)
Pick: Buccaneers (-2.5)
I love the Buccaneers. I don’t know why, but I do. Their offense is fun to watch, their run defense is swarming, and their secondary is non-existent. Every game is a barnburner and this should be no different. This is actually my second SuperLock pick because, well, it makes too much sense for it not to be. Their offense can score on anyone, and the Colts’ offense runs primarily through the ground game. Tampa hasn’t allowed much to backs all year long, even stonewalling CMC twice this year, so if Indy can’t develop that part of their game Sunday, and because of their lack of weapons in the passing game, I just don’t see how they keep it within a field goal, especially with Adam Vinetari (somehow) handling kicking duties.
Denver Broncos @ Houston Texans (-8.5)
Pick: Texans (-8.5)
Typically I wouldn’t roll with the Texans coming off a big win, but the Broncos are as well and they are a much worse team. Drew Lock came out firing, but cooled down drastically as the game went on, and now that the Texans have 60 minutes of film on him, he won’t be such an unknown commodity. Yes, what they have to scout him isn’t a lot, but it should be enough for Houston to turn in a better defensive performance than the Chargers did. As for Denver’s defense, it is very good, but Watson made the Patriots look incompetent less than a week ago, so I’m not discounting their offense against any defense. They should put up points in any spot, and if that’s the case here, I’m not sure Denver’s O will do enough to keep it within nine.
Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Jaguars (+2.5)
The time is now. I’m done with the Chargers. DONE. This isn’t a sad attempt at a reverse jinx, either. They stink, plain and simple. I don’t even want to talk about it. Jags by a million.
Tennessee Titans (-2.5) @ Oakland Raiders
Pick: Titans (-2.5)
My love for the Chargers and my hate for the Titans has has swung in completely different directions as of late. I love the Tennessee Titans, and dare I say it? I even like Derrick Henry. This team is dangerous with an actual QB (who is actually a WR) at the helm and there is zero chance the Raiders stand in the way of this cruise ship; I just hope it doesn’t go down the Titanic route. Their defense will have Derek Carr praying the rosary at halftime and the freak athlete duo of A.J. Brown and Derrick Henry will put the Raiders defense into a tailspin. The only reason I’m not locking this one in is because crazy shit can go down in the black hole, and I’m not going to risk my reputation on that.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots (-2.5)
Pick: Chiefs (+2.5)
I could say this is a revenge game from the AFC championship last year, but to me, it’s more than that. The Patriots just got exposed by the Texans, who, offensively, are a rung below the Chiefs, and New England’s offense hasn’t done much of anything all year. What worries me is Bill is a mastermind and could have likely thrown last game because he knew they’d still have a grasp on a bye for the playoffs and didn’t want to show Houston anything in their playbook, but I don’t want to live in a world where Belichick is 15 steps ahead (but we are in that world, so that should tell you how much I want to be here). I feel like this pick is to easy to make, so I want to fade it, but because I want to fade it, I want to fade the fade and roll with KC. My brain works in mysterious ways, so I’m hoping this is one of the few times where it’s right.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5) @ Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Cardinals (+2.5)
The Steeler’s defense is elite, but we’ve seen Arizona score against top notch squads, including the 49ers twice. They are coming off a big loss in a divisional game, so it’s a prime bounceback spot for Kyler and crew. As for the Steelers’ offense, it isn’t great…at all…so I’m not worried about them ever really running away with it. I’d expect them to try and kill clock all game and wouldn’t be surprised if it ends 14-13. This is going to be painful to watch, so I’ll just roll with the home dogs with a better QB at the helm.
Seattle Seahawks (-0.5) @ Los Angeles Rams
Pick: Seahawks (-0.5)
SuperLock. That’s all I have to say, but since I’m a nice guy, I will expand on my thoughts. The Rams stink, and just because they beat up on the lowly Cardinals doesn’t mean they should be put in the same conversation as the Seahawks, even at home. They have way too many holes on both sides of the ball for me to be comfortable rolling with them in a pickem, and with how strong Seattle has looked, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a blowout. In a divisional game, I’d expect Russ to exert his dominance on little brother in Primetime.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles (-8.5)
Pick: Giants (+8.5)
I love this pick. Both teams stink, but because the Eagles have a great collection of names on paper, they are still perceived to be worlds better than the Giants, and I’m not so sure that’s true. the only teams Philly has beaten by this margin are the Jets and Bills, ironically both being New York teams, and the Giants are likely the worst team of those three which would make you believe the Iggles have a shot to blow them out. Nope. This is Eli’s last hurrah and he’s going out with a bang. In primetime, with everyone watching, he will face the noise and come out of Monday night with one last W under his belt. Like a Phoenix, he will rise from the ashes to take down whichever bird steps in his way, and in a week, will return back to the ashes once Daniel Jones’ ankle is no longer swollen. Book it; Giants by a trillion.