My entire life has been leading up to this moment and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve got the prestigious role of taking over the NFL Pick Six for Week 14 while Gilles is out of the office this week to welcome home his newborn child (Congrats, Gilles!).
Week 13 wasn’t kind to his picks, but I’m sure the stress of the impending big day kept him from being at the peak of his game.
Have no fear, Iain “Money” Mac is here. I’ll do my best to fill in the big shoes that Gilles left behind this week, but I’m not going to look particularly sexy while doing it as I’m leaning heavy on favorites. I don’t have a single underdog pick this week, but I do have a reason for my blandness. With underdogs sitting at 97-84-8 ATS so far this season, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a weekend that has favorites cover at a high rate.
Without further delay, here are my six favorite bets for Week 14 of the NFL season.
The Pick: Giants -3.5 vs Redskins
Just a few weeks ago it’d be tough to imagine the Giants being a road favorite against the Redskins. At the time, Washington had a firm grasp on the NFC East, but things have gone downhill for the ’Skins in a hurry. They’ve lost their starting QB and backup QB to broken legs, and now Mark Sanchez is the one behind center.
The Giants, on the other hand, have played with pride the last four weeks, going 3-1 SU and 3-0-1 ATS while scoring an average of 30 points in that stretch. New York will cover against a Washington team that’s decimated by injuries.
The Pick: Packers -5 vs Falcons
As a diehard Falcons fan, this pick is tough for me to make but I’m done backing the Dirty Birds. It’s a matchup between two of the most disappointing teams in the league this season, but I think the Packers have more to play for. This will be their first game since head coach Mike McCarthy was fired, and teams are 11-7 ATS since 2010 in the first game after letting their head coach go.
The Falcons defense gives up the fifth-most points per game and the seventh-most yards. On top of all that, this game features a dome team from the south visiting the frozen tundra in the north, which rarely turns out well for the visiting team (the Cardinals didn’t get the memo last week). The Packers are 15-5 ATS in their last 20 home games in December.
The Pick: OVER 55.5 Saints vs Buccaneers
Although this total is the highest of the week, I still feel comfortable taking the OVER. The Bucs took the win by a score of 48-40 when these two teams met in Week 1, so we know that big points can be scored. Both teams are in the top 10 in points scored per game, with the Saints still sitting tied for second despite their stinker against the Cowboys last week.
The Bucs lead the league in yards per game, with the Saints coming in at sixth. On the defensive side of the ball, Tampa Bay gives up the third-most points and the sixth-most yards. Expect Drew Brees to bounce back after his subpar performance last week. Don’t overthink this one – take the OVER.
The Pick: Lions -3 vs Cardinals
When I looked at the Sportsbook lines for this week’s games, this one jumped out at me the most. The Cardinals may have pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the year last week when they beat the Packers in Lambeau, but they still have the worst offense in the league. They’re dead last in points per game, yards per game, first downs and time of possession.
The Lions may have only one more win than the Cards, but they’ve had flashes of looking like a competent team this season. Record-wise, the Lions’ win against the Packers was the least impressive of their four considering they also beat the Panthers, Dolphins and Patriots. Detroit takes care of business in this one.
The Pick: UNDER 45.5 Broncos vs 49ers
I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t have an ample number of stats and data to back this pick up. I’m taking it straight from the gut (which might I add has been slowly dwindling since I started my weight loss bet with Rob Trites). The Broncos got hit with a stinger this week when their top WR Emmanuel Sanders went down during practice with a torn Achilles.
The 49ers have injuries of their own they have to deal with, including Matt Breida and Pierre Garcon. The Broncos have only gone OVER three times this year. We’ve got two injury-ridden teams with competent defenses facing off – seems like an UNDER bet to me.
The Pick: Rams -3 vs Bears
Despite Mitch Trubisky likely returning to the lineup for the Bears, I’m just going to go ahead and back the better team in this one. The Rams are the betting favorite to win the Super Bowl, and for good reason. They’re second in the league in points per game and yards per game. While the Bears may sit at fifth in points per game, they’re all the way down at 20th in yards per game. This tells me they may be scoring at a higher rate than they should be.
The Bears lead the league with a +12 turnover differential, but the Rams are right behind them at +11. Despite some of the hype that’s starting to build behind this Chicago team, I’m putting my money on the team that has three players in the top five of MVP betting odds.