For all the legitimate criticism the NFL gets (ranging from its handling of domestic violence issues to concussions to the Colin Kaepernick situation), there’s one thing you can’t ever rip the NFL for: being dull and boring.

While you can already engrave the Golden State Warriors on this year’s NBA Championship Trophy and pencil the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Astros and a handful of other teams into the 2019 MLB playoff field, questions abound about who we’ll see in the NFL postseason next month.

The Tennessee Titans further muddied an already-complicated playoff picture in the AFC Thursday with their blowout of Jacksonville, moving to 7-6 and within half a game of the Ravens for the second wild card. Miami, Indianapolis and Denver all lurk half a game back of the Titans, making it possible that we have a five-way tie for the # 6 seed in the AFC after this weekend. Meanwhile, the NFC has 6 teams who have either 7 or 6 wins going into this weekend’s action. Heck, you can’t even quite stick a fork in the 5-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, although Tampa’s certainly got its hands full Sunday when it plays host to the New Orleans Saints.

After the Chiefs started the season with 9 wins in their first 10 games, you’d think they’d have a solid grasp on the #1 overall seed in the AFC. But after the Chargers’ rally to beat Pittsburgh last Sunday night in Steeltown, K.C. finds itself in a dogfight for the AFC West title, let alone a first-round bye in the playoffs. Over in the NFC, the Rams and Saints look like sureshots to take the #1 and #2 seeds, but both the North (which the Bears led by a game over Minnesota) and East (where Dallas is a game in front of both Philly and Washington) are completely up for grabs.

With all of that excitement across the league with a month to go, we almost don’t even need betting to make the games more enjoyable. Almost. If you’re like me and still need to get your gambling fix, check out these 4 NFL predictions for Week 14 that won’t just make the games more interesting but could also line your wallet with a bit of extra cash as well.

All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from at 9 a.m. eastern on December 7 , 2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

1. New York Jets +3 (+105) at Buffalo Bills (Sunday, 1 p.m. eastern)

I know New York’s mired in a six-game losing streak, has yet to win on the road this year and has a dead man walking at coach in Todd Bowles. And I know the Bills have been surprisingly competitive this year, winning two straight before coming within a whisker of an upset victory last week in Miami. But this is just too many points for the Bills to be laying against a division rival.

In fact, this is the first time Buffalo’s been favored over anybody all year. The shortest lines the Bills have faced this season have come in the last 2 weeks, when they were 3-point dogs at home to Jacksonville and then 3.5-point pups last week in Miami. Buffalo’s been plucky when catching points, but everything changes when you’re actually expected to win.

Betting Prediction

The Jets are in revenge mode from a demoralizing 41-10 loss to the Bills a month ago at home, when Buffalo started Matt Barkley at QB. And underdogs have held the upper hand in this AFC East rivalry over the last few years, not only going 6-1 against the spread in the last 7 meetings but also posting 6 outright wins. In what should be a tight defensive battle between in-state rivals, I’ll grab the points with the J-E-T-S.

Place Your Bet Here

2. Green Bay Packers -5 (-110) over Atlanta Falcons (Sunday, 1 p.m. eastern)

Do midseason coaching changes really accomplish much in the NFL? I don’t think they do much to help a team make the playoffs, since the season’s so short that once a coach gets canned, that team is usually out of postseason contention anyway. And the Packers’ chances at a wild card in the NFC set sail last week when they lost at home as 2-touchdown favorites against Arizona.

But Green Bay’s decision to hand Mike McCarthy his walking papers immediately after the game should have an immediate impact on the Pack. Management made it clear that a loss like that at Lambeau Field simply isn’t acceptable, sending a pretty strong message to a Packers team that has drastically underachieved – particularly offensively. Right in the middle of the crosshairs is Aaron Rodgers, who will start feeling a lot more heat if the Pack attack continues to struggle now that McCarthy is gone. With some feeling like Rodgers won the power struggle against his conservative coach, I expect A-Rod to come out in this one with something to prove.

Betting Prediction

On the other side of the field, I don’t see the Falcons putting up much resistance. This is a team that looks like it can’t wait for a disappointing season to end, not only losing its last 4 games but also dropping 3 of them by double digits. Even the vaunted Falcons offense looks like a shadow of its former self, failing to rack the 20-point plateau in 4 straight outings. The motivated home team laying a short price against a disinterested visitor from the South, playing in cold weather? I’ll sign up for that all day.

Place Your Bet Here

3. Indianapolis Colts +4.5 (-110) at Houston Texans (Sunday, 1 p.m. eastern)

Buy low, sell high. It’s not just a winning motto in the stock market, it’s also a great way to profit in NFL betting. And by taking the Colts in this matchup, we’re buying Indy stock at a lower-than-anticipated price while also fading Houston when the Texans’ perceived value couldn’t be higher.

The last time we saw Indianapolis, the Colts were getting blanked 6-0 by the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars. Meanwhile, Houston rolled the visiting Cleveland Browns 29-13, rolling out to a 23-0 lead by halftime and then hitting cruise control the rest of the way. With bettors most influenced by what they’ve seen last, I’m not surprised to see the Texans laying more than a field goal here. But that’s opened up a lot of value on the visitor, especially one looking to atone for an ugly performance last time out.

Well, the result looked ugly on the scoreboard, at least. In reality, the Colts didn’t play THAT bad last week in Jacksonville, collecting 19 first downs while allowing only 11. What won’t show up in the boxscore was Indy’s drive deep into Jacksonville territory in the first half, when the Colts took a field goal off the board after a Jags’ defensive penalty, then twice turned the ball over on downs near the goalline. Considering that Indy had averaged more than 30 points per game in its previous 6 outings, I’m not so sure that the Colts’ offense has suddenly lost its ability to score.

Betting Prediction

Houston’s rolling right now, winning 9 straight. But let’s consider the caliber of teams the Texans have played during that stretch: Cleveland, Tennessee, Washington, Denver, Miami, Jacksonville, Buffalo, Dallas and Indianapolis. It’s entirely possible that none of those teams end up making the playoffs (although the Cowboys’ chances look pretty good), and the Texans only beat 5 of those 9 teams by more points than this spread (4.5). Last time these teams met, they went into OT in Indianapolis before Colts coach Frank Reich gifted the Texans a win with a poor decision to go for it on fourth down in his territory. Indy’s also not intimidated by traveling to Texans, winning 3 of its last 4 visits and going 3-0-1 against the spread in the process. With so much on the line in this divisional affair, I think it goes down to the wire and the Colts stay within this number.

Place Your Bet Here

4. Kansas City Chiefs -6.5 (-115) over Baltimore Ravens (Sunday, 1 p.m. eastern)

For as great as the Chiefs have been this season, the oddsmakers haven’t really given them that much point spread respect. It took until a Week 8 home date against the Denver Broncos that the bookies favored K.C. by more than a touchdown, despite the fact that the Chiefs were 7-0 against the number through their first 7 games. Once K.C. started having to lay more than a touchdown, however, the Chiefs stopped covering point spreads. They’re 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games, and they were favored by 14 points or more in 2 of them.

Maybe that explains why the early action in this game has been on the Ravens, dropping this line from an opener of +8.5 down through the key number of 7. Other than the mantra that a ‘good defense beats a good offense’, there’s no other reason I can think of that K.C. shouldn’t be laying at least a touchdown in this matchup at Arrowhead.

Respect Baltimore’s defense all you want, but I don’t see the Ravens slowing down Patrick Mahomes and this explosive Chiefs attack. Even in their first game without Kareem Hunt last week in Oakland, the Chiefs hung a 40-burger on the host Raiders — a team that limited Baltimore to just 174 passing yards the previous week. If you throw out a 26-14 win over Arizona in a clear letdown spot a few weeks ago, the Chiefs have scored 30 or more in 10 of 11 games this season — the exception coming when they were “held” to 27 points in Denver. The bottom line here is that the Chiefs are going to score, and I don’t see how the Ravens keep up.

Baltimore did score 26 points last week against Atlanta, but 1 of the Ravens’ 2 touchdowns was a defensive score. 2 weeks ago against the Raiders, 14 of Baltimore’s 31 points came on a defensive touchdown and a special teams score. Other than that, the Ravens’ offense really isn’t doing much, often settling for field goals whenever they do move the ball into the red zone. You don’t make friends with salad, and you don’t beat the Chiefs by kicking field goals.

Betting Prediction

Baltimore badly needs a victory as it battles for a wild card spot in the AFC, if not the AFC North title. But don’t sell the Chiefs’ motivation short here either. Not only does K.C. have the Chargers breathing down its neck in the AFC West (LA is only 1 game behind the 10-2 Chiefs), but Kansas City is also coming off a less-than-impressive defensive effort at Oakland a week ago. In their first home game since releasing Hunt, the Chiefs make a statement here with a dominant effort.

Place Your Bet Here

Related Articles
Leave Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *