Every Late NFL Game Handicapped with Picks (Week 14)

NFL Dec 11, 2022

Let's take a look at Sunday's three late NFL games (afternoon), starting at 4 pm ET / 1 pm PT....

Disclaimer:  Opinions are those of Nolan Dalla. All information here and the comments provided on this website are for entertainment purposes only.  I do not intend nor advise readers to make any wagers. Ultimately, you must make your own decisions about if to gamble, how much to wager, and which bets to make.


Kansas City at Denver
Line: Chiefs -9.5
O/U: 44

Analysis: Denver remains one of the most unusual teams in recent memory and last week’s heartbreaking last-second loss at Baltimore was yet another repeat chapter of the same old smelly story that’s been the Bronco’s disastrous 2022 season. Seriously — has there ever been a more sold defense combined with as bad an offense on the same NFL sidelines? Just look at Denver’s offensive scoring output in its last eight games: 9-10-16-10-21-16-9-9. Yet, in that same span, the most points the Broncos’ #3 ranked defense has given up was 23 (averaging just 305 YPG). I keep saying this, but when the offense is losing the time of possession and yardage battle so badly in every game, it’s amazing to look at Denver’s defensive stats. So, while most of the betting world points at the Broncos and screams, “shit team!” let’s also remember that 11/22 of these starters are doing Super Bowl-calibre work. That fact will put me on Denver +9.5 this week when they host Kansas City. Another compelling point is the Chiefs’ 1-3-1 ATS record in its last five games, and the one cover was by a half-point. Kansas City isn’t exactly blowing out opponents, so laying -9.5 is quite a stretch and clearly a betting market overreaction. Moreover, Kansas City plays a second straight game on the road following a tough loss at Cincinnati last week. Home divisional underdogs tend to be wise bets anyway, but adding the unusually high number here, the Chiefs’ recent stumbles as a favorite, and Denver’s outstanding defense, I’m grabbing the Broncos plus the points. I’ll also take Denver in the first half, plus the points. Contrary Data: Chiefs have won 12 games in a row in this series, although Denver has covered 2 of the last 3 meetings.

The Pick: Denver Broncos +9.5 (-110) / Denver–First Half +5.5 (-110)


Carolina at Seattle
Line: Seahawks -4
O/U: 44.5

Analysis: I like Carolina’s team total OVER 9.5 points in the first half. If you’ve watched recent Seattle games, you know — that defense is abysmal. Ranked #30 in the NFL, the Seahawks can’t stop anybody. They also rank #30 in the NFL in points allowed in the first half. Let’s credit Carolina for cracking the 20+ point mark (for the game) in 5 of the last 6 weeks. They’re also coming off a bye, so without much to lose, look for the Panthers to open up the offense against an opponent that’s vulnerable. It’s also been a surprise to see Carolina 5-2 ATS since they changed coaches in midseason, so the team has responded well to changes. This is especially true for the defense, as the Panthers didn’t allow a TD in the first half of their last three games. If that continues, that’s fewer long drives for Seattle and more time on the field for the Panthers’ offense to score. QB Sam Darnold is a question mark, but he did win his first 2022 start, so there’s some confidence putting up 23 points on a terrific Broncos defense and getting the win, and now facing a much softer defense with plenty of rest and prep time off the bye week. Seattle will be tempting to many bettors in this game, but they’ve dropped three straight ATS, and needed a miracle last-second TD last week to beat the scrappy Rams. Carolina could have some fight here and possibly win outright. But my money is on the ‘Cats to break the 9.5-point total and slightly inflated vig.

The Pick: Carolina-Team Total First Half OVER 9.5 (-130)


Tampa Bay at San Francisco
Line: 49ers -3.5
O/U: 37

Analysis: Both teams are coming off huge wins last week — the Bucs’ amazing comeback vs. New Orleans……and the 49ers demolishing of Miami, even without their starting QB. So, which team keeps up the momentum this week? The spread indicates San Francisco, which looked better in their win and played a much more balanced game, even with Brock Purdy coming in off the bench following Garappolo’s injury. But this is now his first NFL start, and he’s facing a really good Bucs’ defense. Laying -3.5 points seems excessive, even without Brady on the opposite sidelines. Tampa Bay looked bad for 55 minutes in last week’s win/non-cover. Things won’t be any easier against the NFL’s #1 ranked defense (both in yardage and points allowed). We have to wonder about the high of coming off a huge emotional win, now traveling across the country on a short week. We also must face the ugliest data point of all — Buccaneers are a dreadful 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 games. So, while it’s very tempting to take +3.5 and that could be the correct side, I’m not betting on a team that’s been a horrible underperformer to betting market expectations. So, I’m going to pass on the temptation to bet on Tampa Bay. I’m also going to skip putting money on a QB named Purdy, who played terrific last week, but might not enjoy a redux this time around. QBs in those spots sometimes do very well pressed into action off the bench with no forethought, but give them a week of practice to think about the pressure of starting a game, and then play like rookies again. Taken as the 262nd and final pick in the draft, the 22-year-old has gone from fighting for a spot on the team, to third-string QB, to playing, to starting, all within the span of just a few months. Oh, and he’s getting his first NFL start against Tom Brady. I’ll assume he needs no introduction. So, where’s the value? I’m having trouble finding it, so I’m going to pass on making a wager.

The Pick: No Action.