I’m going to write it off as just having a bad week. I think many of the teams will bounce back this week. Vegas catches up with teams this time of the year, especially when teams are playing in-division rivals for the second time.
I’ll rolling the dice with quite a few road teams this week. I think there are a lot of 50/50 games that could come down to the last few plays, so that explains why there are so many tight points spreads. Let’s hope for some covers this weekend.
We pick ever NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets in Week 14 of the 2016 NFL season.
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-3) – My pick is Oakland Raiders
The Raiders and Chiefs are both been late-game heroes in games. They have made some last-minute plays to cinch a win and the Chiefs have done it two weeks in a row. I was really high on the Raiders this preseason, but they have outplayed my expectations. They have bounced back from early season defensive struggles. They still struggle at times against the run, which could be an issue against the Chiefs. Kansas City has squeaked by in a lot of their wins. They don’t have the kind of offensive style that blows out an opponent. I think this game will be close late and I will be taking the points.
Arizona Cardinals at Miami Dolphins (-1) – My pick is Arizona Cardinals
I almost completely gave up on Arizona, but they surprised me against Washington. QB Carson Palmer looked like his old self and RB David Johnson had a huge game on the ground and receiving. Miami, on the other hand, did no fare well at all against Baltimore. They were never really in the game. They fell down early and forced QB Ryan Tannehill to throw interceptions. I think a similar game could be in store for Miami with Arizona coming out with a win.
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (pk) – My pick is Washington Redskins
The Eagles are a strong home team, but coming into this game on a huge slide. They have lost five of their last six games. QB Carson Wentz has hit a wall and they aren’t getting much from him right now. The Redskins also coming into this game on a losing streak after back-to-back losses on the road to Dallas and Arizona. I still think the Redskins are a much better team overall and beat the Eagles 27-20 last month. I think you will see a similar score this week. I’ll take the Redskins in this contest.
Minnesota Vikings at Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5) – My pick is Minnesota Vikings
The Jaguars were destroyed last week, but only lost by ten points to Denver. QB Blake Bortles was a little banged up and couldn’t throw the ball well. Also, RB Chris Ivory, TE Julius Thomas and WR Allen Hurns were all out with injuries. It’s still unknown if either of those three players will play this weekend. Minnesota has their own injury issues after safety Harrison Smith went down with an ankle injury. He’s a huge part of their defense, so losing him would be huge. I still think the Vikings have enough left to cover this game.
Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans (-1) – My pick is Tennessee Titans
Denver QB Trevor Siemian is questionable for this game and this line is off the board at many sportsbooks, but I did find a line. QB Paxton Lynch was good enough for the Broncos to beat the Jaguars last week, but I would say 90% of the quarterbacks in the league could have been good enough to beat the Jags last week. The Titans had a bye week last week and are currently in a three-way tie for the AFC South division lead. The Titans need their running game to get going if they hope to win and Denver has had trouble against the run in the past. I think the Titans will move the ball on the ground and cover this game.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills (+2) – My pick is Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers come into this game on a three-game winning streak. They realized that QB Ben Roethlisberger shouldn’t try to do too much in games since he isn’t fully healthy. They decided to feed RB Le’Veon Bell and run the ball down their opponent’s throats. It has worked and the Steelers have won all three games by double-digits. For the most part, the Bills have beaten teams they are supposed to beat and lose to teams they are supposed to lose. They need their running game to do damage and the Steelers have been very good against the run during their winning streak. I like the Steelers to cover on the road.
San Diego Chargers at Carolina Panthers (-1.5) – My pick is Carolina Panthers
I don’t know what it is, but I have given the Carolina Panthers a few too many second chances. I say this as I am picking them to cover this game, so I am still a bit hesitant. They were smoked at Seattle last week and honestly didn’t show up in the first-half against Oakland the week before. Carolina head coach Ron Rivera took a hard stance with QB Cam Newton last week. He was benched after failing to wear a team on a road trip. The Chargers should be able to pass the ball on the Panthers, but I think Carolina will sneak out a cover late.
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (+5.5) – My pick is Cincinnati Bengals
Man, I’m picking a bunch of road teams this week. I said this last week, but I felt that losing star WR A.J. Green for a bit could be good for the Bengals. They are a deeper team that they realize and maybe it will cure QB Andy Dalton’s tunnel vision since he will need to check down to his progressions more. I still wish RB Jeremy Hill would fix his issues since he will get plenty of carries. He had 23 carries for 33 yards last week, which is beyond horrible. I don’t think the Browns have enough left in their gas tank, even against an in-state rival. I have to take the Bengals to cover…but could be interesting if QB Robert Griffin III starts for Cleveland.
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-6) – My pick is Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are a completely a different team with and without QB Andrew Luck. They were built this way back when Peyton Manning was their quarterback and nothing has changed. The Colts were awesome against the Jets on Monday night. Luck was healthy and throwing darts all over the field. The Texans are having issues on offense and have lost three-straight games. QB Brock Osweiler is struggling and need huge games from their backfield in order to stay in games. I think the Colts will pull out a cover and take a share of the lead in the AFC South.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (-7.5) – My pick is Detroit Lions
The Bears beat the 49ers last week and San Francisco might have had the worst offensive performance by a team this season. QB Colin Karpernick was sacked five times and only passed for four yards. The weather was pretty bad, but there’s no excuse for that. The Lions are rolling and are impressing me every week. If the Bears had a more experienced quarterback, I would probably pick them, but Matt Barkley is starting, so the Lions should cover this one.
New York Jets at San Francisco 49ers (-3) – My pick is New York Jets
Uhhhhh….who the hell will watch this game? Blaine Gabbert versus Bryce Petty…sounds like an episode of ‘Gossip Girl’ to me. I’m not going to bet on this game in real life, but for the purposes of picking this game for the site, I have to go with the Jets. Both teams are awful and you couldn’t pay me to watch this game.
Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams (+6) – My pick is Atlanta Falcons
I used to heap praise on the Rams defense, but after the last two weeks, that ain’t happening anymore. The Patriots dissected the Rams last week and nothing worked on either side of the ball. I expect a little better of a performance this week, but the Falcons can really put up the points in bunches. I have no faith in the Rams keeping up, so I’m taking the Falcons to cover.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5) – My pick is New Orleans Saints
This will be an interesting game. The Saints have been competitive in about every game, but something didn’t really click last week in their loss at home to Detroit. Tampa Bay is on a four-game winning streak after starting out the season very weak. Their defense has improved and QB Jameis Winston is taking care of the ball. I think this will be another close game, but I have to take the points.
Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers (+3) – My pick is Seattle Seahawks
This game could honestly go either way. The Seahawks only scored five points against Tampa Bay two weeks ago, but then scored a forty-burger against Carolina last week. Green Bay is on two-game winning streak, but those wins came against Philly and Houston, who aren’t exactly playing great right now. QB Aaron Rodgers has played better than he was earlier this season, but I don’t have a ton of faith in a one-dimensional Packers team against Seattle. I have to take the Seahawks to cover on the road.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (+3) – My pick is Dallas Cowboys
The Giants are the only team to defeat the Cowboys this season. They won a 20-19 barnburner in Week 1. The Cowboys are a much better team now that both rookies QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott have more experience under their belts. The Giants have had a great season so far as well, but they were dealt a blow last week when DE Jason Pierre-Paul suffered a sports hernia. The Giants had a nice set of pass-rushing bookends with Olivier Vernon and JPP. Teams can now double Vernon’s side and/or keep the running back on his side to help. I think the Cowboys will get payback and cover on the road.
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots (-7) – My pick is New England Patriots
The Ravens looked great last week, but they kind of just hard the perfect gameplan for the Dolphins. If you get an early lead on Miami, QB Ryan Tannehill can’t throw well enough to get them back in the game. The Dolphins will just fall farther behind, which is what happened. The Patriots have had some big games against Baltimore in the past, so both teams are familar with each other. There won’t be many surprises and I think Bill Belichick will do what he always does against them, take away targets and force QB Joe Flacco to win the game through the air. Flacco will not bode well and the Pats will cover at home on Monday Night Football.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Sweetbob’s NFL picks against the spread record in previous seasons:
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