Week 14 of the NFL season is here. Time to place your bets.
Joe Fortenbaugh: 49ers -2.5 vs. Seahawks. The public is going to pound the 11-1 Seahawks in the wake of the team’s 34-7 dismantling of the New Orleans Saints on Monday night. But a road showdown at San Francisco is a far cry from a primetime tilt at CenturyLink Field. While Seattle is busy making preparations for hosting the NFC Championship game, San Francisco is still fighting for a playoff spot and is out for revenge after dropping its last two against the Seahawks by the combined score of 71-16. The Seahawks are operating on a short week here, and it’s worth noting that the favorite is 5-1 ATS over the last six meetings between these two squads, while the home team is 7-2 ATS over the last nine.
Tom Mantzouranis: Rams +6.5 at Cardinals. The Cardinals' defense has gotten a lot of love as it built buzz with a four-game winning streak that just ended in Philadelphia, but don't sleep on the Rams, either. They have the league's 18th-ranked defense for the season, but they've been much better of late, allowing only one team to top 100 rushing yards in the last five and boasting a +5 turnover differential in the same time. The unit also features one of the league's breakout players in Robert Quinn. He'll make life miserable for Carson Palmer, who's averaged three sacks absorbed per game this year and has been dropped 11 times in the last three games alone. Oh, and Palmer is dealing with an injured elbow. In a defensive battle, take the team getting almost a touchdown, and double down by betting on the under (41.5).
NFL Week 14 Betting Odds
|(Odds courtesy of COVERS.com)|
Stay Away From
Fortenbaugh: Broncos -12 vs. Titans. This reeks of a flat spot for the Broncos, who just completed a three-game stretch of battles against Kansas City (twice) and New England. Meanwhile, Tennessee is 5-1 ATS over its last six road games and 6-2-1 ATS over its last nine matchups following a loss. That being said, there’s money to be made on this game. Play the over at 49.
Mantzouranis: 49ers -2.5 vs. Seahawks. Joe is a wise man, and he's also a bolder man than I. I suspect he's right about the motivational factors at play for both the 49ers and the Seahawks, and I think Seattle will struggle with San Fran's power running game more than it has against other offenses. That being said, in Seattle or not, that team was a steamroller last week, the 49ers are playing better, and tough divisional matchups between great teams like this are always a coin-flip proposition (see: Ravens-Steelers before this year). I'm staying away.
Best Of The Rest
Fortenbaugh: Saints -3 vs. Panthers. The betting public couldn’t be more down on the Saints following the team’s humiliating 34-7 loss at Seattle, which is exactly why I love this play. This is a must-win spot for a team that is 4-0 ATS over its last four games following a loss and 21-6 ATS over its last 27 home games. Never bet against Drew Brees and Sean Payton when playing at home in primetime.
Eagles -2.5 vs. Lions. I grabbed Philly -2.5 early in the week knowing this line was headed north. Detroit is an indoor football team coming off its first Thanksgiving win in 10 years, so I fully expect the Lions to fall flat on their faces in the cold winter weather that will engulf Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.
Chargers -3 vs. Giants. Big Blue’s five wins have come against teams with a combined record of 22-36-2. In addition, this is a sandwich spot for the Giants, who just played a road divisional game against Washington with a marquee home showdown against the Seahawks on deck. So Tom Coughlin’s crew will casually fly west for a non-conference meeting with a resilient San Diego team that is 7-2 ATS over its last nine games following a loss.
Mantzouranis: Saints -3 vs. Panthers. The Panthers are the hottest team in the league, and for good reason, but they're not without their flaws, and this matchup isn't the best one for them. The Saints are going to be fired up to avenge last week's embarrassment, and you may have heard that they're pretty good in their own building, especially in primetime.
Chargers -3 vs. Giants. Eli Manning is 0-2 against the Chargers since his fateful draft-day tantrum, but he's played really well in both games. Philip Rivers has only played in one of those games, but he's been the much better quarterback this year. The Chargers have won just one of the last five, and they're only 3-6 ATS at home of late. Still, they're the better team, and they catch the Giants at bad time, flying cross-country and possibly looking ahead to the Seahawks next week.
Cowboys at Bears, over 48.5. Lots of very good skill position players and two bad defenses. Congrats if you have Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery going in the fantasy playoffs this week.
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