As the NFL season enters Week 14, many teams are facing games that are crucial to their playoff chances. Eight teams have been eliminated from postseason contention, but 21 teams have a top six seed or are no more than one game out of a playoff spot.
The betting odds at Las Vegas casinos have four teams favored by at least 9.5 points, and five teams favored by a field goal or less. The favorites got the better of the underdogs in Week 13, covering nine of the 16 betting lines. Below are picks against the spread for every game in Week 14.
Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) at Chicago Bears
A Dallas defense that overachieved in the first half of the season is playing closer to what many had originally expected. The Cowboys have allowed at least 28 points in three of their last four games, including contests against the Cardinals and Giants, who have mediocre offenses. Chicago’s poor defense will give Dallas a good chance to win, but it won’t be easy for them to do so by more than a field goal.
Prediction ATS: Chicago
Baltimore Ravens (+3) at Miami Dolphins
Ryan Tannehill has taken a major step forward in his third year, and he could have a big day against Baltimore’s 31st ranked pass defense. Since Week 4, Miami is undefeated as a favorite, suffering losses by 10 total points to the Packers, Lions and Broncos. They should be able to take care of business against the Ravens, who are just 2-5 against winning teams.
Prediction ATS: Miami
Pittsburgh Steelers (+3) at Cincinnati Bengals
Despite Andy Dalton’s struggles, the Bengals are just a half-game out of the top seed in the AFC. Cincinnati is great at home, failing to cover just three of their last 13 games as home favorites, via Odds Shark.
Prediction ATS: Cincinnati
Indianapolis Colts (-3.5) at Cleveland Browns
Starting Bryan Hoyer at quarterback could be a mistake for the Browns. The signal caller has struggled in 2014, ranking 27th in passer rating and 33rd in completion percentage. All of Indianapolis’ wins have come by at least seven points, and they’ve covered the spread in each victory. Sunday should be no different.
Prediction ATS: Indianapolis
Houston Texans (-5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars needed a lot of luck to beat the Giants in Week 13, and they’ll need similar bounces to get their first winning streak of the year. All but one of their losses has come by eight points or more, and Blake Bortles could be in trouble with J.J. Watt coming after him for four quarters.
New York Giants (PK) at Tennessee Titans
The Giants were defeated by the Jaguars, but it was a fluky loss, with Jacksonville returning two fumbles for touchdowns. That’s unlikely to happen in Week 14, and New York is on the verge of breaking their seven-game losing streak, suffering three straight defeats by a total of just 10 points. Tennessee is 1-9-1 against the spread in their last 11 home games.
Prediction ATS: New York
Carolina Panthers (+9.5) at New Orleans Saints
The Saints have been an enigma in 2014, losing three games in a row at home, followed by a road win in Pittsburgh. There is little mystery with the Panthers, though, who are one of the NFL’s worst teams. They haven’t won since Week 5, and have covered just one point spread in the last six games. Six of their eight losses have been by at least 18 points, so they could be in for another blowout.
Prediction ATS: New Orleans
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+9.5) at Detroit Lions
Even though the Buccaneers are in last place in the worst division, they are better than their 2-10 record might suggest. None of their last five losses have come by more than 10 points, and Detroit’s No.25 scoring offense will make it hard for the Lions to win by double-digits.
Prediction ATS: Tampa Bay
St. Louis Rams (-3) at Washington Redskins
The Rams have alternated wins and losses since Week 6, and they’re on pace for a loss in Week 14. They might be overvalued, coming off a 52-0 win.
Prediction ATS: Washington
New York Jets (+6) at Minnesota Vikings
The Jets aren’t likely to rush for 277 yards for a second week in a row. If Geno Smith is forced to make plays, the worst starting quarterback in the NFL could have a difficult time against the No.6 pass defense.
Prediction ATS: Minnesota
Buffalo Bills (+10) at Denver Broncos
The Bills don’t have a good chance to beat the Broncos, but their defense has the ability to keep them in every game. Buffalo ranks second in scoring defense, and they’ve allowed more than 23 points in just one game. Denver could have trouble pulling away if they commit a few turnovers, and the Bills rank second in takeaways.
Prediction ATS: Buffalo
Kansas City Chiefs (+1) at Arizona Cardinals
Arizona has lost two games in a row, but they are a different team at home. The Cardinals are undefeated at University of Phoenix Stadium, and Drew Stanton has had some strong games in front of the team’s home fans. The Chiefs don’t have an explosive offense, and they could have trouble scoring against a unit that allows an average of just 15 points per game in Arizona.
Prediction ATS: Arizona
San Francisco 49ers (-8) at Oakland Raiders
Even though the Raiders have just one victory, the 49ers probably shouldn’t be eight-point road favorites against any team. San Francisco has trouble moving the ball, scoring more than 17 points just once in their last six games. The 49ers have one victory of more than six points since the season opener, and Oakland could have a chance to steal the game in the fourth quarter.
Prediction ATS: Oakland
Seattle Seahawks (+1) at Philadelphia Eagles
Seattle’s defense, which is healthy and rounding into form, could give Mark Sanchez some trouble. He struggled in his one game against a top passing defense, and while Chip Kelly’s offense should be able to move the ball somewhat, it won’t be the offensive juggernaut that it’s been all season. The Seahawks should be able to establish their running game and score enough points to steal a road victory.
Prediction ATS: Seattle
New England Patriots (-3.5) at San Diego Chargers
The Patriots are the best team in the AFC, but they are a different team away from Gillette Stadium. New England is just 3-3 on the road, and San Diego has suffered just one home loss. The Patriots might come away with a victory, but the Chargers have a lot of value, getting more than a field goal. New England is just 2-7 against the spread in their last nine games as road favorites.
Prediction ATS: San Diego
Atlanta Falcons (+12.5) at Green Bay Packers
Green Bay has won their last two games by just eight total points, but Monday’s contest should be one of the week’s biggest blowouts. Four of their six home wins have come by at least 21 points, and Atlanta has lost five times by double-digits. Pitting the league’s best quarterback against the worst ranked pass defense is a recipe for disaster for the Falcons.
Prediction ATS: Green Bay
Season Record: 97-94-1