NFL Week 14 Picks

NFL Dec 10, 2021

Last week's picks went 3 wins, 2 losses, and 1 push.  Those results were good enough for a net win of +$470.

I'll take my overall numbers, so far.  After 13 complete weeks of betting, that's 116 picks, 14 games above the .500 mark, and a 56.1 percent win rate.  Any professional handicapper would be happy with these numbers over the long run.

Many handicappers have shared their frustrations about the 2021 season being so challenging.  But I think it's been very difficult to win for some time, at least for a decade now.  The oddsmakers generally post accurate lines (especially on the NFL), and no one really has any insider information despite the wild claims and outright fraud in so much of sports prognostication.

So, what makes one handicapper better -- that is, more successful -- than another?  Some might say it's being lucky, and sure, that does play a role in the short run.  However, anyone who can produce in the 56 percent range so far as wins from season to season isn't just getting lucky.  There's a skill-set at work.  I just hope my numbers continue, or better yet, might improve.

Before looking ahead at NFL Week 14, here's a quick look back.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS (Lay amount/Win amount):

Minnesota / Detroit UNDER 46.5 -- Risking $330 to win $300 -- LOST

Atlanta Team Total UNDER 20 (Game) vs. Tampa Bay (-125) -- Risking $375 to win $300 -- WON

TEASER:  Arizona -1.5 vs. Chicago / Miami -.5 vs. NY Giants (-120) -- Risking $600 to win $500 -- WON

Pittsburgh Steelers Team Total UNDER 20 (Game) vs. Baltimore -- Risking $220 to win $200 -- PUSH

San Francisco -3 vs. Seattle -- Risking $330 to win $300 -- LOST

New England Team Total OVER 9.5 (First half) vs. Buffalo -- Risking $330 to win $300 -- WON



64  Wins

50 Losses

2  Pushes


Note that each of these picks were placed on Monday, which means lines in some cases have shifted.  It's important to grab key numbers in betting, taking a half point here or there when you're convinced the numbers could move.  In totals and team totals betting, most early week numbers are based on favorable weather conditions and no injuries (which might surface later in the week--particularly with COVID protocols), so UNDERs are usually a better value earlier in the week.  Totals can drop significantly when harsh weather movies in, but rarely moves up more than a point or so.  Consider last MNF game when the NWE-BUF total plunged from 46.5 down to 40 at game time due to heavy winds.

Accordingly, this report is also being posted early.


Kansas City Team Total UNDER 30 (-125) vs. Las Vegas

Why would I place a bet against the red-hot Chiefs to score lots of points playing at home?  Well, this team total simply looks a bit too high -- at 30.  In their 7 homes games, so far, Kansas City has cracked the 30-point mark just once, and that was Week 1 against Cleveland.  Even in their five straight wins, four played at Arrowhead Stadium, none surpassed 22 points, and the average Chiefs' offensive score was 19 PPG.  What's happened is -- the Chiefs are winning with terrific defense.  Given typical weather conditions in Kansas City in mid-December, which could deteriorate, I'm probably freerolling a decline of 1-2 points, as well (Note: I made this early wager on Monday).  The Raiders defense can be exploited, and Kansas City did put up 41 on the Raiders a few weeks ago in Las Vegas, which is a legit concern.  Nonetheless, I expect this game to be a bit closer and the Chiefs to continue winning low-scoring games at home.

Washington +4.5 (-110) vs. Dallas

Can anyone tell me why the Cowboys are favored by -4.5 in this game, on the road, versus a division rival that's won 4 straight games and is now very much in the playoff hunt?  Dallas has dropped 3 of their last 5.  I'd make this line Dallas -2.5.  Washington's defense is now coming into form and the offense, led by QB Taylor Heinicke continues to improve.  At the very least, he doesn't commit dumb mistakes.  Perhaps the line is based on presumptions that QB Dak Prescott and the passing attack can exploit Washington's below-average pass defense.  Prescott is also 7-1 against WFT for his career.  However, I think this number is based on the stats from 2 months ago when Dallas was playing consistently well, and Washington was struggling.  That's no longer the case but the market is failing to adjust.  WFT head coach Ron Rivera always seems to have his teams prepared, even though he's always lacked star power on his rosters.  Look for the rival Cowboys to spark another good effort from Washington here which is playing for their playoff life.  I'm not quite sure the WFT will upset Dallas, but getting +4.5 is way too generous to pass up (Note this number moved down to +4, which remains a good bet).

Cincinnati -1 (-110) vs. San Francisco

Both teams stank it up last week.  The Bengals got routed at home while the 49ers were trounced by Seattle's offense, which finally woke up and won a game.  The key here is Cincinnati remains at home after a disappointing effort while San Francisco must go on the road yet again.  All else being equal, give me the home team in these situations.  I certainly like the Bengals QB matchup better, and laying just -1 on a game that probably deserves at least -2.5/-3 strikes me as a solid value.  I won't bother posting lots of meaningless and contradictory stats since these teams match up pretty closely, but this is a gut feeling that Cincinnati with a solid running game (Mixon should be healthy after missing half the game last week) will win at home.  There's some concern with betting on Cincinnati with Joe Burrow's finger injury, but he insists he's healthy and will play.

TEASER: Seattle -1.5 (vs. Houston) / Green Bay -6 (Vs. Chicago) at -120

This is the standard two-team 6-point teaser.  The first leg is the Wong-inspired play based on simple math.  Seattle teased down across the 7, 6, 4, and 3 and now laying a point-and-a-half to Houston almost looks too easy.  I'm wary of putting too much stock in the Seahawks' strong home win last week versus San Francisco.  I'm unconvinced Seattle is as good as they showed, but playing Houston, there should be more than enough talent to get the win and cover of a small number.  The Texans are 1-5 at home and have averaged just 13 points in those five losses (the sole win was versus Jacksonville in Week 1).  I don't see them beating Seattle, which--even at 4-8--remains in the playoff race. /// In the second leg of the teaser, I'll take Green Bay, well-rested and arguably playing as well as any team in the NFL right now.  The line for this SNF game is Packers - 12 versus Chicago.  There's always a chance the Packers will take the Bears lightly, so I'm buying some added cushion with the teaser and moving this number to less than a touchdown.  I also love the fact Green Bay is 10-2 versus the spread this season, which is the NFL's best bet.  Meanwhile, Chicago has lost 5 of 6, the only win being a 2-point victory against Detroit.  It seems head coach Nagy's firing is all but certain, so it's hard to see how the Bears keep this one close.

Arizona - 3 (EVEN) vs. LA Rams

The MNF game features the Cardinals playing the Rams in what could be the battle to decide the winner of the NFC West.  Give me the team that's played far more consistently this season, despite several stars benched with injuries against an underperforming star-studded roster led by a QB with a history of imploding in big games.  The Rams have dropped three straight before finally righting the sinking ship against awful Jacksonville at home last week, which I throw out as a result with any value.  The Rams don't have an impressive win in 10 weeks, yet we're laying only -3 (and no vig).  Let's also remember Arizona spanked LA earlier in the season, winning by 17.  In a rare MNF home game, look for the Cardinals to put away their only remaining threat in the division and essentially lock up one of the byes in the NFC with a win.  Oddly enough, the Cardinals have been a beast on the road (undefeated) but have lost 2 in a row at home.  I also expect this to add to the motivation to put everything into this game.  Arizona is 5th in total defense, allowing 5 fewer points per game, which could prove to be the difference.  The Rams' 24th ranked rushing offense also likely means they will have to win through the air, and I'm glad to fade Matt Stafford on that prospect anytime.

SUMMARY OF THIS WEEK’S BETS (Lay amount/Win amount):

Kansas City Team Total UNDER 30 (-125) vs. Las Vegas

Washington +4.5 (-110) vs. Dallas

Cincinnati -1 (-110) vs. San Francisco

TEASER: Seattle -1.5 (vs. Houston) / Green Bay -6 (Vs. Chicago) at -120

Arizona - 3 (EVEN) vs. LA Rams


This is the early report for NFL Week 14.  Check back later for more (possible) wagers.