Week 14 – Best Bets Against the Spread
The Texans head to Lucas Oil Stadium to face the Colts in the second game of their head-to-head divisional series. These two teams met previously on October 16th, where the Colts blew an early lead to lose in overtime 26-23.
It’s been a rough go for Houston of late. They lost for the third straight time last Sunday at Green Bay 21-13. Luckily for Houston, they are in first place in the AFC South, as they share an identical record (6-6) with the Colts, but own the tiebreaker due to their head-to-head victory.
Indianapolis has rebounded from an uneven start. They have won three out of their last four games, including blowing out the New York Jets on Monday Night 41-10. It is also worth noting that their loss two weeks ago, at Pittsburgh, was without quarterback Andrew Luck.
The odds opened with the Colts as -5.5 favorites. About 60 percent of wagers have come in on Indy so far, moving the line to Colts -6.5 across the board. This game may well be at Colts -7 by the time of kickoff.
Indianapolis are probably my favorite play of Week 14. Defensively, they’re a mess, but Osweiler may be the worst quarterback in the league. He makes mistakes week in and week out and fails to capitalize on the immense talent he has at the skill positions.
Defensively, the Texans defense has been impressive, but most of that is due to their impressive boundary corners. Luck and the Indy offense have been unstoppable as of late. I expect them to have no issues even against a tough Texans defense because they have weapons in all areas of the field.
Pick: Colts -6.5
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns +5.5 Over 42.5
The Bengals at Browns isn’t a game that many fans will be looking forward to this weekend. It’s a battle of AFC North basement dwellings, a division that has taken a step back this year. The Bengals won the previous meeting 31-17 at Cincinnati on October 23rd.
The Bengals broke a three-game losing last week by beating the visiting Philadelphia Eagles 32-14. The Eagles look like a shell of early-season form these days, making this victory on the less impressive side. Cincy is firmly out of the playoff race, with a 4-7-1 record.
Cleveland is the only team in the league without a victory. The Browns are coming off a bye week, with their latest loss coming against the Giants on November 28th. They’re a bottom five team in both offensive and defensive categories.
Robert Griffin III will start this week at quarterback. He began the season as the Browns starter but was injured back in Week 1. Considering their other quarterback options, he may well be an upgrade.
The Bengals opened as -5 favorites in this one. They have moved to -5.5 at most sportsbooks, with 80 percent of wagers coming in on Cincinnati. The total opened 44 points but has dropped to 41.5 or 42.
I have two plays in this game. The Browns +5.5 makes a lot of sense against a Bengals team that looks like they have given up on the season. Betting action is heavy on Cincinnati, but the odds have just moved slightly off the opener. In many cases, large betting action such as this would move the line closer to Bengals -7.
The Browns defense is a dumpster fire, but their offense does have some talent. Griffin also brings his unique rushing ability and has two capable receivers in Terrelle Pryor and Corey Coleman.
If Cleveland manages to stay in this game, it will be due to their offense. The Bengals defense has been leaky for weeks now, and there’s a good chance this one goes over if they can move the ball.
Pick: Browns +5.5 and Over 42.5
Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers +3 Total: 43.5
In what will be one of the most anticipated games of Week 14, the Seahawks travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers.
It hasn’t been pretty all season, but the Seahawks have managed to build a huge lead in the AFC West. They improved their record to 8-3-1, after dispatching the Carolina Panthers 40-7 on Sunday Night Football.
However, they did lose safety Earl Thomas to an injury in the victory, which will put him out for the rest of the season and postseason. Thomas missed the first game of his career the week before suffering a broken leg that will end his year.
After a rough month-long stretch, the Packers and Aaron Rodgers seem to have figured how to play football again. Green Bay has notched back-to-back wins, including last week’s 21-13 victory over the visiting Houston Texans.
However, their struggles have them looking on from the outside in the playoff race. With a 6-6 record, they are several games behind the Lions and tied in record with the Vikings in the NFC North.
Betting action has been mostly even on this game. The Seahawks opened as -3 favorites. For the most part, that’s where the line has stayed. When is the last time you remember the Packers being underdogs at home?
The opportunity is too good to pass up, particularly when Rodgers looks like the laser-armed touchdown throwing cyborg that we remember seeing every Sunday. He’s been playing extremely well lately.
Frankly, the matchup isn’t good, but Seattle notoriously doesn’t perform as well when one member of the “Legion of Boom” is out. Thomas’ injury will hurt them, and Green Bay has weapons all over the field.
Rodgers won’t be forced to go outside with Jordy Nelson and test Richard Sherman. He should have plenty of options. Rodgers also performs well in cold weather. Forecasts suggest 31 degrees with a bit of flurries.
Don’t pass up Rodgers and at the frozen tundra, getting points.
Pick: Packers +3