I hope everyone locked in their bets last week with my selections, because if you were fortunate enough to have rolled with yours truly, it paid off for ya. I went 11-5 against the spread and even beat my straight up record of 10-6. How about that. I even gave you four bonus college picks that I went 3/4 on correctly and would’ve been perfect if not for a late Ohio State score to cover. Screwed up my CFB parlay, but I digress. I’m confident and feeling another dominant week, so stick with me in Week 14 and you will be rewarded.
Thursday Night Football: Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8) at Tennessee Titans (6-6): JAX +6, Confidence: 8
The Jags upset the Colts last week in an ugly 6-0 football game, and I don’t expect anything different this week in Nashville. Short week with two stout defenses and two underwhelming offenses and I’ll take the 6 points in a low-scoring contest that will be decided by a field goal. Titans win ugly, but Jags cover.
New York Jets (3-9) at Buffalo Bills (4-8): BUF -3.5, Confidence: 7
Really opening up with some exciting games this week. I’m not going to spend more time on this than I have to, but the formula here is real simple. I will swallow the points for a better Bills team with a much better head coach at home and Josh Allen who has been a dual-threat compared to a banged up Jets team that may or may not be aided by the return of Sam Darnold. Give me the Bills in this spot.
Carolina Panthers (6-6) at Cleveland Browns (4-7-1): CAR -2, Confidence: 6
I’m not very confident in the Panthers at all of late, how can you be? They’ve dropped four in a row and Cam Newton has been a mess throwing 4 picks last week in a loss to Tampa Bay. Ugly, but at some point the Panthers are going to have to answer to their fans if the losing continues. Riverboat Ron may be in danger of losing his job if they drop this game and eventually miss the playoffs. Christian McCaffrey has been a machine and they need to just continue getting him the ball and good things will happen. Panthers cover and win holding Baker in check.
Atlanta Falcons (4-8) at Green Bay Packers (4-7-1): ATL +5, Confidence: 7
Mike McCarthy was fired following last week’s loss to the Cardinals. We all know that by now and Aaron Rodgers will be linked up with a new head coach in 2019. That said, team’s often get a sugar-high off a mid-season firing so I will roll with the Packers to win at home under Joe Philbin, but I like the Falcons to cover here on the road and their offense to actually show up this week.
Indianapolis Colts (6-6) at Houston Texans (9-3): IND +5, Confidence: 7
The Colts are winning this game. Yeah, I know you’re looking at your screen thinking what the hell is this guy on to pick the Colts outright against the Texans who have won 9 in a row and look un-beatable. All good things must come to an end and that’s the case for Bill O’ Brien‘s Texans on Sunday. Andrew Luck will lead the Colts to a win in enemy territory to keep their playoff hopes alive under Frank Reich, so I’ll gladly take the 5 points.
Baltimore Ravens (7-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (10-2): KC -7, Confidence: 7
The Ravens are 3-0 with Lamar Jackson as a starter, but I question their ability to hang with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs on the road in hostile territory. If they get down a few scores early on, will they turn back to Flacco to throw them back into the game? Too many questions here, I like the Ravens as a potential wild card team, but they can’t hang with the Chiefs right now. I’ll swallow the touchdown here.
New England Patriots (9-3) at Miami Dolphins (6-6): MIA +8, Confidence, 8
The Patriots always struggle in the month of December when they have to travel down to South Beach to take on the Dolphins. I think this game will be much more difficult to win than next week in Pittsburgh. Adam Gase is a smart coach and has Ryan Tannehill who can exploit the Pats defense, while the Pats will have to lean heavily on the running game again. The good news for New England is Miami will be without top corner Xavien Howard, but the Dolphins are a fringe playoff team fighting for their lives at home. New England wins something around 23-20, but it’s a dog fight down at Hard Rock.
New Orleans Saints (10-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7): TB +9, Confidence: 7
Remember way back in Week 1 when “Fitzmagic” led the Bucs to a 48-40 win over the Saints? Yeah, I do and while I am in no way insinuating that the Buccaneers will beat the Saints for the second time this year and hand New Orleans back-to-back losses, this should be a shootout. Not only is Dirk Koetter coaching for his job, Jameis Winston is fighting for the right to remain the franchise QB moving forward. Drew Brees & Sean Payton will come out hells bells after a loss in which they only mustered 10 points, but I like the Bucs to keep it close and get that back-door cover. 41-34 NOLA.
New York Giants (4-8) at Washington Redskins (6-6): WSH +4, Confidence: 8
I will take the better all around football team at home with their advantage both on the coaching staff and on the defensive side of the ball. Sure, the Skins have been absolutely devastated by injuries especially at the QB position now having to turn to veteran Mark Sanchez, but I like the Redskins to remain competitive through the final four games of the year and win on Sunday. I’ll take them getting the points and we saw flashes of what they can do with Sanchez last Monday . They will have to play excellent defense and control the clock with the running game however. Giants have talent on offense, but I think Washington rallies and wins at home here keeping them in the hunt.
Cincinnati Bengals (5-7) at Los Angeles Chargers (9-3): LAC -14: Confidence: 9
I don’t really have any problem swallowing two touchdowns here for an imposing Chargers team at home against a beaten and battered Bengals team. Marvin Lewis will most likely finally get the ax after this season and it’s long overdue. Phillip Rivers and the Chargers are humming off a road win in Pittsburgh and now face Jeff Driskel with no AJ Green. This will be ugly at halftime. Bengals allow more sacks than they score points on Sunday, book it.
Denver Broncos (6-6) at San Francisco 49ers (2-10): SF +4.5, Confidence: 7
This game has a little added steam with Kyle Shanahan factor. The former Broncos offensive coordinator worked in Denver under his father, who is from the Denver area and had a long interview for the job when he was with the Falcons before being passed over for Vance Joseph. Now I’m sure Kyle is happy where he’s at with John Lynch in San Fran and has a franchise QB in Jimmy Garoppolo who will be healthy next season, he hopes, but this is still a game he wants to win. The Broncos don’t play as well on the road and factor that in with the devastating loss of Emmanuel Sanders at practice this week, and I like the 49ers to pull off the home upset this week. Shanahan is going to want to prove to the Broncos just what they missed out on and use his new weapon Jeff Wilson to do so along with Tight End George Kittle who is a matchup nightmare. Take SF with the points at home.
Detroit Lions (4-8) at Arizona Cardinals (3-9): ARZ +3, Confidence: 6
Another bad football game on the docket this week. Both teams have had terrible seasons, but have had some flashes. Here, I’m going with the Cardinals team at home who just rallied to beat the Packers on the road that sent their head coach to the unemployment line. It’s a young team that is still battling together and playing tough under a rookie head coach with a rookie QB. Matthew Stafford has looked really bad at stretches this year and his weapons are depleted. I’ll take the Cardinals getting points at home and I like them to pull of the upset.
Philadelphia Eagles (6-6) at Dallas Cowboys (7-5): PHI +3.5, Confidence: 7
The Cowboys are coming off a few extra days rest after beating the Saints at home last Thursday night. Their defense looked great stunting the high-powered offense of the Saints and will look to keep the momentum rolling this week. This should be a really close game and the odds are against the defending champions here after playing on Monday night then having to travel on the road. I like the Eagles here for one reason, Carson Wentz. He has extraordinary weapons on the outside in Zach Ertz & Alshon Jeffrey and finally got on the same page with Golden Tate. I’m taking the Eagles +3.5 here and I like them to win on a late score.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4-1) at Oakland Raiders (2-10): PIT -10.5: Confidence: 7
The Steelers often fall into the trap of playing down to their competition and on the road in a cross-country game against the Raiders, they may fall victim to that once more. However, coming off back-to-back losses they should surge back with a statement win before taking on the Patriots next week. Big Ben and AB connect for a few scores and the Steelers rout the Raiders. Take Pittsburgh and swallow the points. 34-16 Pitt.
Los Angeles Rams (11-1) at Chicago Bears (8-4): LAR -3, Confidence: 7
The Bears are expected to be aided with the return of Mitch Trubisky from his shoulder injury in time for Sunday night’s battle with the Rams. The forecast has a high of 30 in the Windy City that bodes well for the home Bears against a team from sunny Los Angeles. All that said even with the great Bears defense led by Khalil Mack, I will take the bright young Sean McVay to have his team ready to go and win on the road led by Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald. They may not but up their usual 30-plus points, but should still win the game somewhere in the 27-20 range on Sunday night. I’m excited for this game, but Rams will win and cover.
Monday Night Football: Minnesota Vikings (6-5-1) at Seattle Seahawks (7-5): MIN +3.5, Confidence: 7
Another road test for Kirk Cousins. The Vikings need this game if they want to remain a serious contender for the postseason this year. Minnesota was stifled in New England last week by the Patriots and the offense never left the starting gate, that cannot happen again this week. Seattle has been playing great football under Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson has been a machine. It will be a tough test for the Vikings to win on the road, but I believe they pull it off. At the very least they will cover this 3.5 point spread. Take Minnesota and the points, this one will be down to the wire on Monday Night.