Week 14 NFL best bets and predictions
Each week, I’ll be looking through Sunday’s NFL games to try and feed my readers three winners. That continues with the three best bets I have for the Week 14 slate. Keep reading to find out what I have and make sure you also check out what my talented VSiN colleagues are playing. Those plays, along with all of our NFL content for the week, are available at our Week 14 NFL Bet Hub. You can also get all of our picks for the week on the Pro Picks page.
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It doesn’t take a world class handicapper to tell you to fade the Jets, but sometimes it’s best to just keep things simple. I’m 2-0 when betting against New York in my best bets column this year, and I feel good about going against the team again here. There was another circus held at One Jets Drive this week, as the team decided to turn back to Zach Wilson as its starting quarterback. But Wilson apparently didn’t want to accept the promotion. The quarterback denied that report on Wednesday, but his head coach wouldn’t exactly rule it out a few days prior. That’s not a great sign heading into the week — especially against a team that needs a win in order to continue fighting for the top spot in the AFC South.
The reality is that this Houston team is 13th in the league in Defensive DVOA against the run, so New York could have trouble establishing Breece Hall here. That would then put a lot on the plate of Wilson, who has somehow thrown for only six touchdowns in parts of 10 games this season. He just hasn’t been taking many shots through the air. Wilson implied that he’ll be a bit more aggressive in this game. The problem with that is that Wilson has proven to be a mistake-prone quarterback in the past. So, he could throw some interceptions if he does decide to play a little more freely. The Texans also happen to have Derek Stingley Jr. to go out and cover Garrett Wilson. Stingley Jr. is one of the better young corners in the league, so he should do well with the assignment.
It does need to be mentioned that the weather isn’t supposed to be great here, which could make it hard on C.J. Stroud to deliver in the passing game. However, I have some faith that he’ll still be able to lead a few successful trips down the field. It might only take two touchdowns from Houston to cover this number with the way New York has played offensively this season. It’s also unclear what type of effort we can expect from the Jets. With all the negativity surrounding the organization, it doesn’t feel like we’re too far away from them packing it in.
Also, since the start of last season, the Jets are just 4-14 against the spread in the second half of the season when playing a team that has a completion percentage of 61.0% or better. They simply don’t have the passing game required to stay competitive against teams that can throw.
Bet: Texans -3.5 (-110 – Play to -4)
The Ravens won two games in a row before last week’s bye week, and this is a team that just might be the best in the AFC. The only issue is that Baltimore is hosting a Los Angeles team that is on a three-game winning streak. All of a sudden, Matthew Stafford is getting hot for the Rams, as he has thrown for seven touchdowns and only one pick over the last two weeks. Kyren Williams has also looked great since returning from the IL, as he has rushed for 231 yards and a touchdown while also hauling in nine catches for 85 yards and two scores over the last two weeks. This offense is just clicking on all cylinders. That makes it hard not to like Los Angeles to keep this thing somewhat close.
Baltimore has been the best team in the league in regards to Defensive DVOA this season, but not many teams can stop Stafford and Cooper Kupp when the two are clicking. And having Puka Nacua in the mix has only made things tougher on opposing defenses. That said, I think we’re going to see Los Angeles find some success offensively in this game. And Los Angeles’ task of slowing Baltimore down will be aided by the fact that Mark Andrews remains out with an ankle injury. He was the top option in the passing game, and Lamar Jackson’s life is much tougher without him.
It’s also hard to overlook the fact that the Ravens are just 9-8 ATS after a bye week under John Harbaugh. For a team as good as Baltimore, you’d expect that record to be better. The Ravens also haven’t historically been a good bet as home favorites under Harbaugh. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a game in which Baltimore wins a super tight one.
Bet: Rams +7.5 (-120 – Play to +7)
The Chargers only scored six points in a win over the Patriots last week, but I’m expecting them to bounce back this week. Denver is just 31st in the league in Defensive DVOA this season, and the team is 28th against the pass and 31st against the run. So, the Chargers should be able to find some success against the Broncos however they may choose. But I’d especially be looking for Justin Herbert to bounce back in a big way.
The Broncos should also be able to put some points on the board here, as the Chargers are just 28th in the league in Defensive DVOA. Los Angeles also happens to be especially lousy against the pass, with the team being 27th in the NFL when defending the aerial attack. So, look for a heavy dose of Russell Wilson to Courtland Sutton in this one. That connection has been money all season long and this matchup will only make it look better.
With all of that in mind, it just feels like a game that should fly Over the total. The conditions in this one should be perfect for both offenses to go out and do their thing. These two have gone Under in most of their games this season, but they combined to score 59 points in their last meeting last season. I’m not sure I’m expecting that many points, but I do think this has sneaky shootout potential.
Bet: Over 43.5 (-115 – Play to 44)
Best Bets Record: 29-22 (+5.30 units)
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