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Week 14 NFL Picks

Week 14 NFL Picks

This season, I’ll be providing my picks every week for you, our readers. Last year, I was Gridiron’s top NFL Pick’em guru on Tallysight, going 167-99-1 (63%). We’re hoping to have even more success this year! Each week, I’ll give you my picks for the game, and a short write-up centered around the key reason why I’m making the pick that I am. You can also click over to see all our Free NFL picks for the week with more than a dozen Gridiron Experts picking each game.

And we’re off!

Houston (-1.5) @ Chicago

Deshaun Watson will be out for blood after fumbling away Houston’s chances at upsetting Indianapolis last weekend. Despite the loss of Will Fuller V, the Texans were quite competitive last week as they nearly pulled the upset. Chicago ultimately fell to Detroit in their contest, making it 6 straight losses for the Bears. Houston has been improving both offensively and defensively as the season has labored on. I think that Watson will outduel Trubisky in this matchup, and will take the Texans on the road. Texans 29-26.

Arizona (-2.5) @ New York Giants

New York turned in one of the more impressive performances in the league last week when they knocked off the Seahawks in Seattle. That was the 4th straight win for the Big Blue, as they welcome the Cardinals to town who have lost 3 in a row. Daniel Jones is questionable to play but would provide a huge boost to the G-Men offense if he does step on the field. The Cardinals are fading a bit after their hot start, and this might be the best defense they’ve faced all year. Kenyan Drake and DeAndre Hopkins seem to both be a bit banged up, so Kyler Murray may be asked to take on more of the burden than usual on Sunday. Murray has been pedestrian in his last 3 games, and I feel that Joe Judge will do enough to contain him. If Jones plays, I think the Giants stay hot. Look for the home dogs to pull this one off with a late score in a low scoring affair. Giants 24-23.

Minnesota @ Tampa Bay (-6.5)

Tampa Bay has stumbled a bit recently after its hot start with Tom Brady at the helm. The Bucs have dropped 3 of their last 4, albeit all against NFL powers. Minnesota, on the other hand, has won 5 of their last 6 as they try to stay relevant in the playoff race. Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook are budding stars in this league, and the Tampa Bay defense will need to contain them. Cook has only scored once rushing in his past 4 games, which is a departure from his early-season success. Both Cook and the rookie Jefferson will have to be at their best to perform against this Tampa defense. With that said, Minnesota’s defense holds the key to this game. If they can contain Brady, Jones, Evans, Godwin, Gronk, and Brown, then they have a chance. With Tampa Bay holding such a large defensive advantage, I have trouble picking Minnesota to win this one on the road… but I do think the spread is too wide right now. Give me the Vikings with the points, but Tampa straight up. Buccaneers 30-25.

Tennessee (-7.5) @ Jacksonville

Despite Tennessee’s first-half nightmare last week against Cleveland, they’re still a good team. I don’t anticipate the Titans to fall behind early in this game against the Jaguars, who have lost 11 games in a row. Should the Titans not fall behind again, they should be able to feed Derrick Henry, who is undoubtedly upset after his 60-yard performance last weekend. I think Tennessee feeds Henry with 25+ carries and the Titans roll to a win in Jacksonville. Titans 35-20. 

Dallas (-3.5) @ Cincinnati

Dallas has lost 6 of their last 7 while the Bengals have dropped 7 of their last 8 and are without their stud rookie QB Joe Burrow. Instead of Burrow against Dak Prescott, we’ll get Brandon Allen in a showdown with Andy Dalton. In last week’s game against Baltimore, Dalton was serviceable, throwing for 285 wards and two scores. Ezekiel Elliott also bounced back rushing the ball, logging 95 all-purpose yards against the Ravens. The Bengals, on the other hand, are still without Joe Mixon as well. Accordingly, they’ll turn yet again to Giovani Bernard to carry the load on the ground. With Tyler Boyd as the team’s top receiving threat, Brandon Allen’s options shrink up after Boyd and Bernard. In the end, I think Dallas touts the better offense, but Cincinnati is better defensively. Dallas should win this one, but I expect Cincy to keep it close at home. Cowboys 23-20. 

Denver @ Carolina (-2.5)

Despite a glimmer of hope, Christian McCaffrey is doubtful to play in this contest, and with DJ Moore on the COVID-19 list, Carolina will have to overcome a bunch of adversity on Sunday. Instead, Robby Anderson and Mike Davis will need to shoulder the load for Carolina and provide a spark for Teddy Bridgewater’s offense. Denver’s defense has been quite stingy this year, despite a tough schedule, and has been very productive rushing the quarterback. This stinginess was on display as they held Patrick Mahomes & the Chiefs to only 22 points in last week’s loss. If Denver can get to Teddy Bridgewater and stay in his face for most of the afternoon, I think the Broncos stand a chance here. It’ll all be contingent on Drew Lock and the offense performing better than they have this season. Lock & Co. ranks 31st in the NFL, averaging only 18 points per game. I think that the Panthers get it done, but that the Broncos will keep it very close. Panthers 26-22.

Kansas City (-7) @ Miami

This should be a fun matchup, as a rising star QB, Tua Tagovailoa, faces the league’s best QB in Patrick Mahomes. Tua has played admirably in his rookie season, dropping only 1 game as a starter and leading the Dolphins to an 8-4 record. Having won 7 of their past 8 games, Miami might be the hottest team in the league… if it wasn’t for the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes & company haven’t lost since October 11th, and sit at 11-1 on the season. Clyde Edwards-Helaire seems to be healthy for Kansas City, after not logging a snap in their game against Denver last week, which should provide a boost to an already potent offense. While Miami’s defense has been its strong suit, the team hasn’t faced anything like this Kansas City offense just yet. While Miami is a great Cinderella story this year, I don’t think they’re quite ready to stand in the ring with the heavyweights just yet. Look for Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce to play their part and keep this game out of reach for Miami. Chiefs 33-23. 

New York Jets @ Seattle (-13.5)

The Jets’ chance to win a game was last week against the Raiders. The departed Gregg Williams made sure that didn’t happen. With Denzel Mims out, and Jamison Crowder banged up, I don’t see the Jets keeping this competitive in Seattle. Seahawks 30-12.

Indianapolis (-3) @ Las Vegas

The Colts were lucky to get a win last week, as Deshaun Watson fumbled on the goal line for Houston. Las Vegas was also very lucky to get a win in New York, as the Jets seemed poised to win, only to lose the game in the most “Jets” way possible. The Raiders haven’t looked great in their past 2 games, with a loss at Atlanta and the close-call against the Jets. If it wasn’t for Darren Waller’s breakout game, there’d be very little to be excited about offensively for Las Vegas. On the other hand, the Colts have shown they have a bunch of ways to attack offensively, and a stout defense to boot. If the Raiders can rush Philip Rivers effectively, they might stand a chance; however, if the Raiders from last week show up again, this could get ugly. I think they’ll play better football this week, but I’m not sure it’ll be good enough to beat Indianapolis. Colts 28-22.

Green Bay (-7.5) @ Detroit

The Lions pulled off a thriller in Chicago last week, while the Packers continued to soldier on through their schedule with a win against the Eagles. Aaron Rodgers threw his 400th career touchdown to Davante Adams and the Packers seemingly put a halt to the Carson Wentz era in Philly. With Adams and Aaron Jones at his disposal, Rodgers leads an incredibly stout offense that ranks 1st in the league with 31.6 points per game. On the other side of the ball, the Lions rank 31st in the NFL in points allowed. They should get D’Andre Swift back from the COVID list, but I’m just not convinced that Detroit can score enough points to keep up with this elite Green Bay scoring attack. Packers 33-24. 

Atlanta (-2) @ Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert and the Chargers will welcome the Falcons to LA in this affair. However, the Falcons will be missing a key weapon, as Julio Jones will miss this contest with an injury. Atlanta has played better of late under Raheem Morris, having gone 4-3 after an 0-5 start to the season. On the other hand, Los Angeles has dropped 5 of their last 6 games with their lone win coming over the Jets. Most recently, the Chargers were embarrassed in New England, losing 45-0. Putting aside that Patriots game, though, LA has played some very quality opponents to very close outcomes. While the young rookie Herbert hasn’t found his winning stride just yet, I think he’ll get the job done against the Falcons sans Julio. Look for him to lean on the healthy Austin Ekeler, elite Keenan Allen, and Hunter Henry to make just enough plays to put the Chargers over the top. Chargers 27-25. 

Washington @ San Francisco (-3)

In this showdown of 5-7 teams, there have been some impressive results as of late. Just last week, the Washington Football Team ended the Steelers’ bid at a perfect season, while just two weeks ago, the 49ers upset the Rams on the road. San Francisco seems to have Raheem Mostert back to (mostly) full strength, while the Football Team has enjoyed the comeback of QB Alex Smith. Smith has led Washington to 3 straight wins and has kept them in contention in the lowly NFC East. You can bet that he wants to win this game against his former employer in the worst way. With the Football Team’s defense ranking 7th in points allowed this season and the 5th most sacks, they’ll make things quite tough on Nick Mullens and his offensive weapons. Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. should do some damage on the ground, and Mullens will have to rely on Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel yet again with George Kittle still missing time. Washington comes into this game banged up, though, and will be missing RB Antonio Gibson. This leaves Terry McLaurin and the breakout Logan Thomas as the only real threats on the field for Washington. While I think the Football Team will keep it close, I’ll take San Francisco to get the job done. 49ers 24-20. 

New Orleans (-6.5) @ Philadelphia

Jalen Hurts will take the reins for this Eagles offense with Carson Wentz losing his starting role. Unfortunately, Hurts will have to contend with one of the league’s hottest defenses. New Orleans has been on fire as of late, winning 9 games in a row and barely surrendering any points in the process. In their past 5 games, New Orleans has allowed only 44 points total… that’s less than 9 points per game. That’s not exactly an ideal scenario for a rookie making their first career start. Not to mention, Taysom Hill, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas are a fearsome trio to contend with. I just don’t see the Eagles’ path to victory in this one with the Saints playing football the way they are. Saints 30-20. 

Pittsburgh @ Buffalo (-2)

Ben RoethlisbergerAfter their loss to the Washington Football Team, the Steelers come into this contest as underdogs. Buffalo has won 5 of their last 6, but the Steelers surely see this line as a slap in the face. Although they did lose last weekend, it’s important to remember that the Steelers tout the league’s best defense, ranking 1st in points allowed. The receiving trio of Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, and Juju Smith-Schuster has given Ben Roethlisberger plenty of weapons, and it looks like Pittsburgh will also get James Conner back from the COVID list. Buffalo continues to solider along with the league’s 7th ranked offense. The Pittsburgh defense is so fearsome due to its ability to rush the passer, having posted 44 sacks through 12 games. They also lead the league with 16 interceptions. I do believe that Pittsburgh will bounce back and will win a thriller on the road over Buffalo. Steelers 24-23. 

Baltimore (-2) @ Cleveland

It’s been a long few weeks for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. After a loss to the Titans, the Ravens’ game schedule was turned upside down by COVID-19. However, they bounced back with a 34-17 win over Dallas in Week 13. On the other side, the Browns are scorching hot, having won 4 in a row, including last week’s 1st half domination over Tennessee. While they faded in the second half, Baker Mayfield led a strong Browns attack along with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. With the Cleveland defense playing much better, I think they have a chance to upset the Ravens here at home. Baltimore just isn’t playing at the level it did last year, and if Myles Garrett and Co. can contain Lamar Jackson, I give the edge to the Browns here at home. Browns 25-23. 

Enjoy the games! Until next week…

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