Our own Tad Desai breaks down the best bets to beat and cover the spread with week 14 in the NFL coming up this weekend. Here’s this week’s breakdown of Beating the Spread.
Games To Go For
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys, Cowboys -3.5, O/U 44
While there is plenty to be skeptical about with the Cowboys’ recent season revival, it shows no signs of slowing down heading into a divisional matchup against the Eagles. The only thing Dallas really has to fear is this game amounts to the last stand for Philadelphia if they want any chance at staying in the playoff hunt. With that said, the same was largely true about last week’s matchup against a Colt McCoy-led Washington team and Washington kept it within a point before having to put Mark Sanchez in due to injury. That performance doesn’t inspire confidence and Philadelphia will likely continue to struggle for the rest of the season. During their four-game win streak, the Cowboys’ defense has picked off opposing quarterbacks six times including their dominance over the Saints last week. The Eagles passing attack will likely struggle against Dallas leading to a comfortable win.
Call: Cowboys Cover, Over 44
Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers, Broncos -4.5, O/U 45
While this line makes sense given the news that broke this week that Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders is out for the season, it remains one to take advantage of. Denver’s win streak includes two impressive wins over the Chargers and Steelers, both of whom are top contenders in the AFC, largely thanks to undrafted rookie running back Phillip Lindsay. His fellow rookie teammate Courtland Sutton was a large part of the reason the Broncos traded away Demaryius Thomas and he is certainly capable of taking over the top spot on the depth chart in Sanders’ absence. The Broncos defense has also allowed just two teams to score over 20 points in their last six games. This is not promising for the 49ers who are still banking their offense on rookie quarterback Nick Mullens especially with running back Matt Breida out.
Call: Broncos Cover, Under 45
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Oakland Raiders, Steelers -10, O/U 51.5
Here is the bold pick for the week. The Steelers are clearly the vastly more talented team than Oakland, who is suffering one of its worst seasons in recent memory, but the key to finding good bets is always found in the details. The Steelers have suffered two close losses in a row to the Broncos and Chargers so they’re far from invincible to close games, win or lose. The Steelers almost always underwhelm on the road under Mike Tomlin as evidenced by the fact that they haven’t won a road game this year by more than a single score, and in this game, they travel from coast to coast, never an easy task. Pair this with the fact that Pittsburgh will be without running back James Conner, their offense will be fairly one-dimensional. The Steelers may not lose but a single-digit win is well within the realm of possibility.
Call: Raiders Beat the Spread, under 51.5
Games To Stay Away From
New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills, Bills -3.5, O/U 38.5
While the Bills have been rolling since the return of rookie quarterback Josh Allen with two wins and a four-point loss to the Dolphins, they are far from a sure bet to win this weekend. The Jets are likely going to be getting their own rookie quarterback Sam Darnold back for the first time in weeks and even if they don’t, they still stand a chance. Josh McCown had the Jets in close competition with the Patriots and Titans proving they’re far from a sure-fire win despite their record. The Bills deserve to be the favorites here but the Jets still have upset potential.
Call: Stay away from betting on either team but the under is the way to go if you must.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks, Seahawks -3.5, O/U 45.5
While many have been calling Minnesota’s season a disappointment, that is a bit of knee-jerk reaction. Their only concerning loss came against the Bills when Buffalo jumped out to an early lead, with the others coming against the Patriots, Bears, Saints, and Rams all of whom are top-tier teams. Meanwhile, much has been made about the Seahawks three-game win streak but given the context of two of the teams’ seasons since then, it is far less impressive. Seattle blew out the 49ers last week with their previous two wins came by three points against the Packers and Panthers, both of whom have been on bad slides. Stefon Diggs’ potential absence from this matchup does not bode well for Minnesota, that is the only real challenge standing in the way of a Monday Night upset.
Call: Just stay away.