wEEK 14 NFL Picks
By: Grant Poarch
You mind as well have flipped a coin last week to see which picks you should take. A week ago, I went 7-6 on the money line and 6-7 on the spread. That brings my overall record on the year to 118-75 on the money line and 100-93 on the spread. This week, I’d imagine my record will be better as all but two teams are in action. After tonight’s snooze fest, the rest of the NFL week should be riveting. We’ve got the Eagles and Cowboys in primetime on Sunday night and there will also be another chapter of the Allen-Mahomes rivalry. I can’t wait to watch some football this weekend and help y’all make some money off it as well. With that said, fade me at your own risk and tail me at your inevitable benefit. The odds listed are provided by DraftKings.
12/10: Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints (-5, O/U 37.5), 1:00PM EST, FOX
I think Saints fans are going to call for Dennis Allen’s head if the Saints drop this game at home to the 1-11 Panthers. A week ago, fans loudly booed each time Derek Carr was put into the game as they were getting spanked early and often by Detroit. While the Saints did respond nicely on offense after trailing 21-0 in a blink of an eye, Derek Carr got injured in the middle of the comeback attempt.
Carr is questionable for this game. If Jameis Winston is going to start this week, I may have a heart attack. It would be very much on brand for the Saints as of late to have a backup quarterback starting and lose to a 1-11 team. The worst part about it is that I wouldn’t even be that shocked if the Saints lose, I’d just be more disappointed than I already am in them this year.
New Orleans is definitely the better team. Their backs are against the wall. With that and being at home, I see the Saints coming out on top in this one.
Prediction: New Orleans wins, New Orleans covers -5
12/10: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons (-1.5, O/U 41), 1:00PM EST, CBS
Someone has to win the NFC South, right? Well, as of late, Atlanta has shown that they are more than capable of winning the division. After their win over New Orleans two games ago, they moved to 3-0 in the division. A win here would move the Falcons to 7-6 on the season and at worst one game ahead in the division with a tiebreaker advantage.
The last time these two played, Atlanta won a close one. That happened despite Bijan Robinson only getting one carry. I can just about promise you that won’t happen again. Not only will Robinson be used a lot, he will have a great day as well. Last week, Tampa Bay allowed Carolina RB Chuba Hubbard to rush for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
I don’t feel great in picking either side of the matchup but I’m rocking with the Dirty Birds in this one.
Prediction: Atlanta wins, Atlanta covers -1.5
12/10: Detroit Lions (-3) @ Chicago Bears, O/U 43.5, 1:00PM EST, FOX
When these two matched up a few weeks ago, the Lions had to pull one out of their behinds to come back and win. While I don’t see a similar situation happening again, Vegas sees a close one coming.
One reason for that could be how Chicago’s pass defense has played in the past two games. In their past two contests, the Bears have seven interceptions. On the other side of the ball, Jared Goff has turned the ball over frequently as of late. However, that was not the case a week ago as Detroit did not turn the ball over to New Orleans at all. This one will come down to how the Lions’ offense performs.
In the Lions last five games, they have won four of them and have scored 26 or more in four of five. Maybe 26 points is the magic number, but then again it’s probably not. Regardless, I don’t see Detroit playing as poor as they did the first time around against Chicago. Give me the Lions.
Prediction: Detroit wins, Detroit covers -3
12/10: Indianapolis Colts @ Cincinnati Bengals (-3, O/U 44.5), 1:00PM EST, CBS
If you told me at the beginning of the year that the Colts would be 7-5 and one game behind in their division, I would have told you that you were crazy. Now, who’s the crazy one? Indianapolis is coming into this one off a four game winning streak and are looking to make it five against the Jake Browning lead Cincinnati Bengals.
When this spread opened, Indianapolis was favored. Now, that has flipped in a big way with the Bengals being favored by a field goal. That may be in part because of Browning’s stellar performance against the Jaguars. In his first NFL start, Browning threw for 354 yards and a touchdown in the air as well as on the ground with no interceptions. I doubt that will happen to the same degree this week.
On the other side of the ball, the Bengals got torched in the air as they allowed over 300 yards to the combination of now injured Trevor Lawrence and C.J. Beathard. While Gardner Minshew might not be “him”, he can certainly deal with that.
Look for the Colts to keep surprising people as they will pull off the road upset.
Prediction: Indianapolis wins, Indianapolis covers +3
12/10: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cleveland Browns (-2.5, O/U 30.5), 1:00PM EST, CBS
I’m not sure how this game is this close when it comes to the spread. Trevor Lawrence appeared to seriously injure himself on Monday night. There are reports that Lawrence still might play this week but he is working through a high ankle sprain in order to do so. Even if Lawrence can play, his mobility will be severely hindered. That does not bode well against a Browns defense that is massively underrated. On the other hand, If C.J. Beathard has to start for the Jaguars, count this one for the Browns.
Cleveland is due for a good game as they have not looked good in their last two as they lost by 17 to both the Broncos and the Rams. One thing that could help the Browns’ cause is that the Jaguars’ secondary was torched by Jake Browning.
This game is weird to predict because of the Lawrence injury but I’m going to take a swing and take the slight home favorite.
Prediction: Cleveland wins, Cleveland covers -2.5
12/10: Houston Texans (-3.5) @ New York Jets, O/U 33.5, 1:00PM EST, CBS
The Jets are an absolute dumpster fire right now. They haven’t scored more than 13 points in six straight games. In their last five, they are 0-5. To make things worse, they are starting Zach Wilson again this week. Will Zach Wilson be able to keep up with C.J. Stroud? I highly doubt that.
At least the Jets are going to benefit from the weather. The weather reports are saying that it will be raining all day in East Rutherford. While that may slow down the Houston offense a little bit, Zach Wilson and the Jets have to deal with the same thing. In general, I feel like the Jets have a better defense so the weather will keep things respectable.
In the end, until the Jets prove otherwise, I cannot trust New York. That’s especially true when I only have to lay 3.5 to take the other side.
Prediction: Houston wins, Houston covers -3.5
12/10: Los Angeles Rams @ Baltimore Ravens (-7.5, O/U 39.5), 1:00PM EST, FOX
In their last five games, the Ravens have covered the spread four times. Given that, you would think Baltimore is going to run away with this game. However, there’s one matchup that people might not be thinking about when they analyze how this game might go.
The key matchup in this one is going to be Matt Stafford against the Baltimore pass rush. In the Rams last three contests, Stafford has only been sacked one time. As for Baltimore, they are first in the NFL in sacks and third in QB hits. Beyond that, the Ravens allow the least amount of points per game in the league with just 15.6 given up per contest.
It sounds like Los Angeles is due for a rough game to break up their three game winning streak. This year, the Ravens look legit and I see them proving that point once again this afternoon.
Prediction: Baltimore wins, Baltimore covers -7.5
12/10: Minnesota Vikings (-3) @ Las Vegas Raiders, O/U 40, 4:05PM EST, FOX
Would you look at that? Justin Jefferson is finally making his return to the starting lineup in a game the Vikings really need to win in order to make the playoffs. My hunch is that they will win this game but things are never easy when you have to play in Vegas.
There’s no secret that Justin Jefferson changes how this game goes. Minnesota has been held under 22 points in six of the seven games that Jefferson has missed. On the other side, Vegas is allowing 21.3 points per game. So, things might have gotten ugly if Jefferson had to miss this one.
This is going to be a tough one for Minnesota to win as they have to find answers for both Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams. However, I see Josh Dobbs outdueling Aidan O’Connell to lead Minnesota to a victory.
Prediction: Minnesota wins, Minnesota covers -3
12/10: Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers (-11, O/U 47), 4:05PM EST, FOX
The 49ers are really good. Last week, I couldn’t believe how they handled the Eagles. I expect San Francisco to keep rolling as they are playing a Seattle team that has lost three in a row. During that losing streak, Seattle lost to San Francisco at home on Thanksgiving night 31-13.
Overall, San Francisco is a bad matchup for Seattle. Then again, who isn’t at this point? Christian McCaffery gives anyone a headache and even if you hold him down you can’t stop Deebo Samuel/George Kittle.
The 49ers will continue to roll here and show why they are legit contenders for the Lombardi Trophy.
Prediction: San Francisco wins, San Francisco covers -11
12/10: Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs (-1, O/U 48.5), 4:25PM EST, CBS
This one is going to be a classic. Allen vs Mahomes is a game that I will certainly not be missing. Buffalo needs this one badly as they are on the outside looking in if the playoffs started today. On the other hand, the Chiefs are comfortably in first place in their division.
The last time we saw the Bills they nearly beat the Eagles in Philadelphia. Without some home cooking from the officials, Buffalo likely would have won the game. As for Kansas City, they didn’t look good against the Packers. Not only did they not look elite against Green Bay, Kansas City hasn’t looked like the team they were a year ago.
The key in this game is going to be Josh Allen. If he can lead the Buffalo offense effectively and not turn over the ball then Buffalo will win this one. I see Josh Allen having a good day as he is facing a Kansas City defense that just gave up 267 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions against Jordan Love.
Prediction: Buffalo wins, Buffalo covers +1
12/10: Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers (-3, O/U 44), 4:25PM EST, CBS
If LA’s defense plays anything like they did a week ago, this one will be finished by halftime. A week ago, the Chargers didn’t give up a point against the Patriots. Even though New England’s offense is poor, pitching a shutout is no easy feat.
If Denver is going to have a chance, Russell Wilson has to take care of the ball. In their loss a week ago, Wilson threw three interceptions. Before that, he had five games in a row where he didn’t throw an interception.
Typically, the Chargers’ defense has been poor and especially bad against the pass. I see that along with Justin Herbert’s recent struggles as the reasons why Denver pulls off the road upset.
Prediction: Denver wins, Denver covers +3
12/10 (SNF): Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys (-3.5, O/U 51.5), 8:20PM EST, NBC
If this game is anything like the first matchup between these two, we are in for a classic on Sunday night. The last time these two played, Dallas was just four yards away from the go-ahead touchdown as time expired. While this should be a good game, I highly doubt this one will come down to just a four-yard difference.
The matchup to watch here is the Dallas offense against the Philadelphia defense. In four straight home games, the Cowboys have scored 40 points or more. In week 9, Dak Prescott threw for 374 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. With that, Ceedee Lamb went off for 191 yards receiving. If that happens again, I don’t see the Eagles taking down the Cowboys again.
Last week, the Eagles got torched by the 49ers and gave up four touchdowns to Brock Purdy as a result. Dallas doesn’t have the weapons that San Francisco has but that doesn’t bode well for the Eagles.
I very well may look stupid for fading the Eagles and having faith in the Cowboys in a big-time game but I’m doing it anyway.
Prediction: Dallas wins, Dallas covers -3.5
12/11 (MNF): Tennessee Titans @ Miami Dolphins (-13, O/U 46.5), 8:15PM EST, ESPN
This one is going to be a slaughter. Miami has looked unstoppable on offense and that is especially true when they play at home. I don’t see any feasible way how Will Levis is going to be able to keep up. Miami’s offense is ranked second in the league in points per game with 32 scored per contest. They have Tyreek Hill who very well could get 2,000 receiving yards this season. Who on the Titans will be able to stop him?
The answer that question is yet to be answered as the Tennessee secondary gave up 312 yards passing and two touchdowns against Gardner Minshew. They also allowed both Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce to get 100 yards receiving.
The only way the Titans can keep this close is if there is bad weather or Derrick Henry plays the game of his life. While the second of those two results isn’t far-fetched, Miami’s defense is surely going to put all their effort into stopping him.
In the end, Miami isn’t losing this one. Miami is 8-0 against sub .500 teams and the Titans aren’t going to be the one that ruins this.
Prediction: Miami wins, Miami covers -13
12/11 (MNF): Green Bay Packers (-6.5) @ New York Giants, O/U 36.5, 8:15PM EST, ABC
Would you take a look at the Packers? After an upset victory over the Chiefs, Green Bay looks well on their way to securing one of the NFC’s wild card spots. As of now, the Packers have a 67.2% chance to make the playoffs.
The way I see it, if Jordan Love continues to play well then Green Bay should get the win. He has a 100+ QBR in his last three games and that should continue as the Giants rank 29th in the league in sacks.
On the other hand, the Giants have given up the most sacks in the league. That doesn’t bode well for Tommy Devito as the Green Bay defense held Patrick Mahomes in check a week ago. With all that said, I would be surprised if the Giants are able to pull this upset off.
Prediction: Green Bay wins, Green Bay covers -6.5