During the NFL season, Stadium sports betting analyst Nate Jacobson will break down every single point spread using lines as of Thursday morning. Here are his thoughts on the Week 14 slate.
Note: Nate will discuss all of his college football and NFL bets on the Sharp Lessons podcast that drops every Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe on Spotify and Apple for episodes and follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content.
Sides I’m Considering
49ers (-1) over Bengals: I bet against the Bengals last week as a field goal favorite against the Chargers, and I’m looking to bet against them again. I like how the 49ers’ offense matches up against the Bengals with their rushing attack and an elite tight end in George Kittle. Also, Joe Burrow is dealing with a finger injury that can impact his play, especially in chilly weather.
Browns (-2.5) over Ravens: This bet is solely a situational play on Cleveland because of unique scheduling. The Browns were on their bye last week, so their last game was a 16-10 loss against the Ravens. While Cleveland was idle last week, the Ravens lost 20-19 to the Steelers in what is always a physical game against their biggest rival. It was a costly loss for the Ravens, who lost CB Marlon Humphrey, hurting an already depleted secondary.
The Ravens closed as a three-point favorite at home against the Browns two weeks ago, so the Browns might be getting too much credit at the current point spread. But the situation is so strong that I’d consider Cleveland at anything under a field goal.
Cowboys (-4) over Washington: Washington is on an impressive four-game winning streak to get into playoff position, and now they have five games remaining — and they’re all against NFC East foes. The last three games Washington played were against below-average or average teams in the Panthers, Seahawks and Raiders. So I think now is a good spot to sell high on Washington against one of the better teams in the NFL.
Two weeks ago, Washington closed as a 1.5-point home underdog to the Seahawks and the Cowboys are a much better team than the Seahawks. With a minimal home-field advantage in Washington, I have no problem backing the road favorite at a discounted number.
Rams (+2.5) over Cardinals: These two teams played in Week 4 and the Rams closed as a four-point favorite against the Cardinals in a matchup between 3-0 teams. The Cardinals intrigued me as underdogs that week because the Rams were coming off a big win over the Buccaneers. I ended up staying off the game because the number moved too much, and Sean McVay had an 8-0 career record against the Cardinals, including four wins against Kliff Kingsbury. The Cardinals won 37-20 in a game that was never in doubt and handed McVay his first loss against the franchise.
We now have the rematch on Monday night, and the perception for both teams has changed quite a bit in two months. The Cardinals are 10-2 despite being without Kyler Murray for three starts, while the Rams have fallen on some hard times and are 8-4. I don’t think much separates these two teams, so Rams +3 would’ve been a bet for me early in the week. I still am going to consider the Rams (they would also fall into the teaser category at the current number).
Sides I Plan to Use in a Six-Point Teaser
Falcons (+2.5) over Panthers: When these teams met earlier in the season, the Falcons were a three-point home favorite against Sam Darnold and the Panthers. I bet on Carolina with the idea that neither team should be a three-point favorite against each other and the Panthers won on the road.
The Panthers now have a new QB in Cam Newton, who isn’t an upgrade over Darnold, and they just fired OC Joe Brady during the bye week. The Falcons interested me in this game at +3, but now that it’s down to +2.5, I would prefer teasing the Falcons up to +8.5 in a game that I think will be low scoring.
Broncos (-8.5) over Lions: I don’t like the idea of backing the Broncos as a big favorite. But teasing them down to under a field goal definitely interests me. This is a good week to fade the Lions off their last-second win against the Vikings that was the first victory in the Dan Campbell era.
Steelers at Vikings (-3): My initial thought was to fade the Steelers off an emotional win against the Ravens, especially since this game is on a Thursday night. But I can’t back the Vikings in the favorite role given their injuries and propensity to play close games.
Raiders at Chiefs (-9.5): The Chiefs’ offense hasn’t met their lofty expectations this season, but they played well against the Raiders in Week 10. Kansas City won 41-14 after closing as only a three-point road favorite, and Patrick Mahomes threw five touchdowns. Now, this line is well over a touchdown, so there has been an adjustment over the last four weeks. The Raiders are a very unpredictable team, so I’m going to pass on this one.
Saints (-5.5) at Jets: I’ve consistently bet against the Saints in the favorite role this season and have won a couple bets doing so. I’m hoping that the Saints have a positive injury report this week and get back key cogs like RB Alvin Kamara and offensive tackles Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk. If they do, then I can see this line going back to Saints -6, and I would be more interested in betting the Jets again.
Saints QB Taysom Hill took over as starter last week, but suffered a finger injury in the loss to the Cowboys. Hill will reportedly try to play through the injury, and that’s another reason why I would consider the Jets because I don’t think Hill will be effective.
Jaguars at Titans (-8.5): Just like the Jets, the Jaguars were another ugly underdog that peaked my interest when the point spreads opened on Sunday evening. The Titans were as high as an 11-point favorite but that number came down to under double digits by Monday morning.
The last time we saw the Titans play, they closed as a seven-point underdog at the Patriots before their bye week. Tennessee has a strong record at 8-4, but the injuries to their most important offensive weapons make them an average team right now. As bad as Jacksonville has played this season, this is a big number for the current version of the Titans to cover. I would look to bet Jacksonville if this line got back to +10 or better, but that seems unlikely after another wave of Jaguars support came in on Wednesday to knock this down to +8.5.
Seahawks (-7.5) at Texans: This is a game I want no part of. The Seahawks snapped a three-game losing streak and beat the 49ers last week as home underdogs. Now they are being asked to cover a big number as favorites on the road, while the Texans are starting Davis Mills this game.
Giants at Chargers (-10): This is a tough scheduling spot for the Chargers, who are coming off a big win against the Bengals last week to improve to 7-5 and stay in an AFC Wild Card position. Next week, the Chargers host the Chiefs on Thursday, and they’ll have a chance to sweep the season series against Kansas City.
The Giants are tempting at this number when you add in that the Chargers play a lot of close games and Los Angeles could be without key offensive weapons like Keenan Allen due to COVID. Unfortunately, the Giants are planning to start Jake Fromm at quarterback with Daniel Jones and Mike Glennon injured, and that’s why the spread is double digits.
Bills at Buccaneers (-3.5): I can make a case for both sides in this game. I have the Buccaneers as the best team in the league, so if this line got back to Buccaneers -3, there could be line value on Tampa Bay. Also, the Bills are traveling on the road with the rest disadvantage coming off a tough loss against the Patriots.
The case for the Bills is they match up better against the Buccaneers than they do against the Patriots on both sides of the ball, and Josh Allen should have a bounce-back game playing in much better weather conditions. The over interests me because Buffalo’s offensive statistics were suppressed due to playing in bad weather on Monday night.
Bears at Packers (-12.5): The current number for this Sunday night game aligns with my number. The Packers are coming off the bye and have a chance to get some key pieces back, including left tackle David Bakhtiari and CB Jaire Alexander. I would like to fade the Packers covering a huge number, but I don’t think the Bears are a team I want to bet on right now.