- NFL betting is back with just five weeks to go in the regular season.
- This week’s NFL betting card relies on modest favorites at good numbers.
- Tom Brady and the Bucs had been favored in 28 straight games before this week.
Another Sunday is almost here, so it’s time to bet on NFL again.
As I do at the end of every week during the fall, I’m sharing three of my favorite NFL betting lines from the upcoming Week 14 games. Tail or fade at your leisure.
NFL Best Bets: Week 14 NFL Predictions
After I’ve handicapped the whole board each week, I will publish my three best plays from the wider canon of NFL odds.
I’ll provide a short explanation of why I like each bet, so you don’t have to go on faith alone.
If you prefer an audio version of this weekly article, you can always subscribe to The Lion’s Edge, my weekly handicapping podcast for BetMGM. More on that in a little bit.
One rule to keep in mind: Any time there’s an underdog in the range of +3 to +7, I’m almost always sprinkling a quarter-unit moneyline play on top of the spread play.
In Week 13, the column posted its first losing week (1-2) in several weeks, so I’m confident the picks will bounce back this week. The column’s season record is now 21-16.
Browns at Bengals (-5.5)
Setting aside the absolutely brutal loss I took on Houston +7 in last week’s picks column, my overall feeling on Deshaun Watson was correct.
Last week in Houston, Watson looked like a guy that hasn’t played in two years. That’s probably because, uhh, Watson hasn’t played in two years.
The Browns got the win anyway, despite being outplayed on offense by the Houston Texans because Cleveland managed to scratch together three non-offensive touchdowns.
They will have no such luck this week against divisional rival Cincinnati, which is playing its best football. The Bengals will be out for revenge after a bad loss on Monday Night Football at the end of October.
Watson will need to be dramatically better on Sunday for the Browns to be remotely competitive in this game. I think he needs more than a week to make those kinds of adjustments.
Play: Bengals -5.5
Vikings at Lions (-1.5)
The Lions bandwagon is filling back up after five straight covers. Detroit is 4-1 straight up and 5-0 ATS since the start of November.
Here, though, is a tricky spot. Detroit hosts divisional rival Minnesota without genuine Wild Card relevance on the horizon. Minnesota has all but locked up the NFC North at this point but can posture for a top seed in the NFC playoffs if it continues to win.
A majority of marketwide tickets are taking the short points with the Vikings, yet the line has moved toward Detroit since it opened. Sharps have seen the same thing I have over the last few weeks – the Lions have made big improvements since September and are playing playoff-caliber football.
I will acknowledge that I’m feeling a little nervous about this spot, as Detroit is now due for a setback. Minnesota could easily pull another game out of its rear in this spot, and nobody would think twice about it. “Typical Detroit,” they would say.
But I’m going to trust my fundamentals, which generally dictate that when a five-win team is favored over a 10-win team, you should lean into the weirdness of the five-win favorite.
Play: Lions -1.5
Buccaneers at 49ers (-3.5)
This is my favorite play of the week and possibly one of my favorites of the entire season.
While researching this game, I discovered that Tampa Bay hasn’t closed as an underdog in any game, regular season or playoffs, since Week 3 of 2021. That’s 28 straight games as the favorite.
That’s how insatiable the public appetite is to lay advantage with Tom Brady and the Bucs.
Finally, in this spot – an injured, underwhelming, poorly-coached team playing on short rest – the Bucs are priced as a dog.
The rarity of the Bucs playing as an underdog is a massive clue about which side is going to win this game. Mr. Irrelevant or not, San Francisco is clearly the right side.
Play: 49ers -3.5
NFL Parlay for Week 14
Here’s a little two-way favorites parlay that pays out even odds (+100).
- Seahawks -200
- Eagles -300
NFL Week 14 Predictions
Want to check out the full NFL Week 14 podcast? Don’t forget to subscribe to The Lion’s Edge for intelligent, weekly insights into trends and betting tips across the online sports betting world. It’s available on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
You can also listen to it in the web player below.