I started out great last week with a nice Thanksgiving, but then the Sunday afternoon games bit me. I finished the week with hits on Sunday night and Monday. I have a 98-68-10 record against the spread this year.
In December, weather reports become more important than ever. Those must be looked at before you make a decision. It is also important to look at division records. If one of the teams in a game has nothing left to play for, it could sway your decision in the right direction.
If you’ve been riding a team all season, it’s time to reassess the situation and reevaluate if that team’s point spreads are now inflated. Carolina and Arizona both fall into that category from this point forward.
There are no more bye weeks, so we have a full slate of games going forward. If you’re down on the season, it’s now time to make it up and get in the black before the playoffs.
We pick every NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets in Week 14 of the NFL season.
Cleveland Browns at New England Patriots (-10) - My pick is New England Patriots
After surprising a few teams after the Trent Richardson trade, the Browns fell back to Earth. They are 1-7 in their last eight games. The Patriots had a few marquee games in a row and then barely slipped by Houston. They got that out of their system, so I expect a big cover on Sunday.
Oakland Raiders at New York Jets (-2.5) - My pick is Oakland Raiders
I’m sorry if you have to watch this game on Sunday. I had to labor through the Raiders/Cowboys game on Thanksgiving and I can’t even imagine the torture of a Raiders/Jets game. I missed on the Jets early this season. I know what they are now and you would need to give me a touchdown or more for me to pick them. Considering they are FAVORED in this game and that I kind of like Matt McGloin, I’m picking the Raiders and the moneyline looks really nice.
Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5) - My pick is Cincinnati Bengals
As a Colts fan, it saddens me that I can’t find a single reason to pick them. They haven’t played well since Reggie Wayne went down. They dig themselves into a hole early and they have trouble coming back, especially against good teams. I can already visualize A.J. Green catching balls over Vontae Davis…ALL DAY, just like Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson. The Bengals will easily cover.
Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (-3.5) - My pick is Atlanta Falcons
This line is hard to find, since Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been officially ruled out. The Las Vegas SuperContest has the line at -3.5, so I’ll use that. They are assuming that Rodgers will sit this one out and I completely agree. I want nothing to do with the Packers without Rodgers. If the Packers lose, they are basically out of the playoffs. Atlanta doesn’t look awful with Steven Jackson back, so I’m picking Atlanta.
Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens (-7) - My pick is Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota and Baltimore have been all over the place this season. They are both finally looking like last year’s playoff teams. They both had a winning record in November and have bounced back to 6-6 ATS on the year. I think a touchdown point spread is a little too much for the Ravens to cover. The Ravens may win, but won’t cover.
Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Redskins (+3) - My pick is Kansas City Chiefs
I feel sorry for Robert Griffin III. The entire country already cringes when he’s running around and now he has to face the Chiefs defense. Yikes. I want nothing to do with the Redskins, give me Kansas City to cover big in Washington.
Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5) - My pick is Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I haven’t been a believer in the Bills all season. It hurt me early in the season, but they have proven me correct. They are 1-4 ATS in their last five games. Tampa Bay are 4-1 ATS with Mike Glennon as the starting quarterback in the same timespan. Buffalo is horrible on the road and I love Tampa Bay to cover in this game
Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5) - My pick is Philadelphia Eagles
The Lions have yet to string together back-to-back games. The last time they scored 40 points, they failed to score a touchdown the next week. I know that’s the smallest sample size ever, but it’s been a trend over the last few years. They look like a potential Super Bowl contender and then hit a wall the following game. It will be snowing during the game, so my method in the past has been to pick the best running back. LeSean McCoy is a better running back, so I’m picking the Eagles to cover in bad weather at home.
Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) - My pick is Pittsburgh Steelers
Miami and Pittsburgh have both fared well against the spread lately. In November, Pittsburgh and Miami were both 4-1 ATS. Pittsburgh currently has a four game winning streak against the spread. Pittsburgh was a money pit at the beginning of the season, but it has come around full circle. There is still value in their point spreads and I love Steelers to cover. I don’t trust Miami on the road.
Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos (-12) - My pick is Denver Broncos
I know the consensus is that Peyton Manning doesn’t perform well in the cold. It’s supposed to be 15 degrees at kickoff of this game, but Denver is playing Tennessee. The Colts beat them by eight points and they didn’t even play well. I know double-digit point spreads in the NFL haven’t covered well this season, but I still like it. Don’t buy into the Manning/cold paradigm, he beats teams he’s supposed to beat.
New York Giants at San Diego Chargers (-3) - My pick is New York Giants
Phillip Rivers and Eli Manning will definitely be pumped up for this game. These two teams will forever be linked after their draft day trade. I’ve bet on both teams lately. The Giants have played well since Andre Brown returned from injury and San Diego has been in every game this season. This game will be close, but I really like how the Giants have played the last month.
St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-6) - My pick is St. Louis Rams
This is an interesting game. Arizona has been underrated all season, but the tide has turned. A six point spread is a lot to cover against the Rams. St. Louis likes to show up in games they should have no chance to win. Arizona currently has an 8-4 record against the spread, so this line doesn’t have much value in it. Vegas knows bettors are creatures of habit, so we often ride a team until it’s too late. I believe this is the week to jump off the Arizona bandwagon.
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-2.5) - My pick is Seattle Seahawks
I was on the ‘I’m not sure if Colin Kaepernick is actually good’ bandwagon before the season. He was overhyped in every medium, which didn’t help his cause. They played well against Washington and St. Louis the last two weeks, but Frank Gore didn’t contribute. If the 49ers wish to compete against Seattle, they need a big game from him. I don’t see it happening, so I’m picking Seattle to cover…and I may put a few jellybeans on the moneyline.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-3) - My pick is New Orleans Saints
Carolina is on an amazing winning streak. They have have wins against San Francisco and New England, but after those wins, the collection of teams they’ve beaten is mediocre. New Orleans was embarrassed in Seattle last week, but they are back in the Superdome. I love the Saints at home when the line is a field goal or less. A motivated Saints team at home is too big of a challenge for Carolina.
Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears (pk) - [Monday] - My pick is Dallas Cowboys
Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs are both ruled out to play on Monday night. The Bears will desperately miss Briggs more than Cutler. In the past, I’ve made a living off betting against Tony Romo in primetime, but I don’t see it this week. I love Dallas to cover in Chicago.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Sweetbob is currently 98-68-10 on the season.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.