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Rapid Capping For NFL Week 14 - With Picks

The column is for those short on time who want to handicap the NFL with confidence in just a few minutes. Below I break down every game in just a few lines with my picks and leans for each one.

(Lines, as of Thursday. Stafford is expected to play for Detroit and the Lions are 3- point faves. Nathan Peterman is expected to start for the Bills and they are also 3-point faves.)

First, a few notes: 

  • The worst ATS we have on record is the Falcons who failed to cover in nine straight games in the same season both in 2015 and in 1984. The Broncos have failed to cover eight straight. 
  • Totals in non-conference games are 29-19 O/U for the season. There are six non-conference games this week. 
  • Favorites went 7-9 ATS in the NFL in Week 13 after a stretch of going 53-23-8 ATS.

Lions at Bucs OFF – No line early on with bruised hand for Matt Stafford. Jake Rudock is the backup for Stafford. Lions O-line hasn’t been good this year. No run game and have given up third-most sacks in the NFL (39). Stafford has started 108 consecutive games. Tampa Bay’s defense also plays much better at home. 2-3 ATS at home vs 1-5-1 ATS on the road this season. Bucs throw a lot – third-most in the NFL – and going up against a Lions secondary that’s not very good. 

Raiders at Chiefs -4, 47.5 – Chiefs have failed to cover four in a row. This would be the worst betting streak in the NFL if not for the Broncos (eight in a row). Tough schedule caught up to them maybe and an offense struggling without a great running game. Here’s the mismatch, though: the Raiders have the worst opponent QB passer rating in the NFL (108.2) and believe it or not, Alex Smith has the second-best QBR in the NFL (107.2). I like the Chiefs. The UNDER is also 8-1 in the last nine meetings in KC. 

Packers at Browns +3.5, 40.5 – Browns are 4-45 SU since Thanksgiving 2014. Another fun way to look at this game? Browns are +145 to win a game this season. Best chance to win after this is against the Bears but that’s in Chicago on Christmas Eve. This is the fourth-lowest spread of the season for the Browns and they failed to cover the other three. Pack have covered three of last four and have scored at least 23 in three of last four. Browns have only scored 24 points twice this season. Super Computer has Browns winning. DeShone Kizer has six TDs, 15 INTs and a 58.1 QBR. 

Bears at Bengals -7, OFF – Bengals coming off a heartbreaking loss. So are the Bears. Bengals had 173 yards in penalties, which is a big factor, though. Fourth-most penalized team in the NFL in yards per game. Bears are sixth-least. Bears pass D getting worse every game with D decimated by injuries. Lost five straight and failed to cover four of those. Also the worst passing offense in the NFL going up against the fourth-best passing D at home in the NFL. Thinking low-scoring game. 

49ers at Texans -3, 42.5 – Big line movement early week on this one from -1.5 to -3. Sharp money seeing that Houston really should have three covers in a row despite two straight losses. Unlucky to lose the cover vs the Titans. Niners giving up just 191 yards passing over their last three and Houston is a passing team. Four of last five for both teams have gone UNDER but I think we might see an OVER here with a low number.  

Colts at Bills OFF – This Colts defense is playing much better lately, which is why four straight have gone UNDER. Held Jacksonville to just 96 rushing yards. I like that a lot if Tyrod Taylor can’t play; he’s questionable with a knee injury. I like UNDER here. 

Cowboys at Giants +4.5, 41.5 – I’d be a little careful of this game. Could be a good crowd with Eli starting and McAdoo gone. Giants have also lost nine straight at home to NFL opponents so basic professional pride is a factor for them. The Cowboys are getting a healthy O-line going, though, and they exploded for 38 points against the Skins last week. The Giants have also lost the yardage battle in nine straight games. Leaning Cowboys but won’t be betting this one. 

Jets at Broncos +1.5, 41 – Market corrected this spread of Broncos -1.5. The Broncos are the worst bet in the NFL with eight straight blown spreads. Jets surpassed their season win total last week but they are still getting underrated at 7-4-1 ATS this season. The QB play is so bad for Denver. 

Titans at Cardinals +3, 44 – I think this will be a sharps vs squares game with sharps on the home dog. The Titans have been a little lucky to cover their last two against divisional opponents and could easily be 0-4 ATS in their last four. The Cardinals aim to win with passing because they kinda have to and that’s the weakness for the Titans again this year. They were 28th last year in passing yards against and just 25th this year. Good schedule spot for Arizona also with its third straight home game. 

Redskins at Chargers -6.5, 46 – The OVER is 8-4 for the Redskins this season. It’s a little weird – they don’t give up a ton of yards but they give up a lotta points. They’re a break-but-don’t-bend defense. Turnovers are a big reason for it where they rank 28th in the league and give up nearly two per game. They also have 12 interceptions. Chargers have 15 turnovers and 10 forced fumbles, so this game could get whacky. I like OVER.  

Ravens at Steelers -7, 43.5 – In a divisional game that could be tough, things like special teams matter. And the Ravens are the best kick return team in the NFL while the Steelers are the worst. Steelers are also the 29th-ranked punting team in terms of yards per punt while the Ravens own the most downed balls inside the 20 (31). Ravens have also beaten three pass-heavy teams in a row and lead the league in interceptions by four with 20. This feels like a lotta points to give the Ravens. 

Eagles at Rams -2.5, 49.5 – Philadelphia no longer the second fave to win the Super Bowl after the loss to Seattle in Week 13 as a 5.5-point favorite. This is as tough as a two-game stretch gets for a team – two West Coast road games in a row vs teams in playoff contention. Fully expect we’ll see some sharp money here on the Rams for a team getting points that has covered six of its last seven. The Eagles had their eight-game ATS streak snapped last week. I like Eagles on a teaser. 

Vikings at Panthers +3, 41 – Well, it looks like bettors are finally believing the Minnesota Vikings. This is the No. 2 total defense and the No. 2 defense against the rush. They’re now 31-10 ATS when the spread is -3 to +3. This has been an easy one for me every week – take the Vikings. 

Seahawks at Jaguars -3, 39 – I think we’ll see a lot of Seattle money here getting points after the win over the Eagles. I am leaning Jags, though. Jags are the No. 1 passing defense in the NFL, which is Seattle’s strength on offense and not sure the Seahawks can rely on the run to win with this struggling O-line. This total is low for a reason – UNDER is 6-2 in last eight Seahawks games and 5-1 in Jags’ last six. 

Patriots at Dolphins +11.5, 47 – Are oddsmakers giving out free money again with the Patriots here? Pats have covered six in a row and they are 21-6 ATS in their last 27. I’d be a little bit careful with this one, though … Miami plays much better at home this season, scoring about four more points per game. I wouldn’t read too much into them dismantling the Broncos last week. Denver is so bad this season. Pats are 20-5 with no Gronk, including 9-0 since the start of last season.