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We kept our head above water for the most part, but the scorching we've enjoyed over the last few weeks did cool off a tad in Week 13, going 7-5-1 ATS (9-4 SU) throughout the slate. As I noted last week, some dogs were bound to pull through this week after the favorites dominated in Week 12, but we had a bit of trouble pinpointing them. I pegged the Cowboys as a team that could clear the nine-point spread against the Seahawks and projected the Commanders to keep it within the number against the Dolphins, and both blew up in my face. While that was one side of the coin, I was able to identify both the Cardinals and Packers as two underdogs to snatch the points up with. 

We'll look to stay in the green as we now turn to Week 14 where I have two underdogs inside my five locks of the week that not only cover, but pull off the upset. 

2023 record

Regular season
Locks of the Week ATS
: 33-32-1
ATS: 103-82-8
ML: 124-69

All NFL odds via SportsLine consensus odds.

Patriots at Steelers

  • Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET (Prime Video)

I can't wait to sit by the fire when I'm old and gray and tell my grandkids about the great battle between Bailey Zappe and Mitch Trubisky one day. This game will be a memorable one, but probably not in a positive way. With the Patriots giving the keys to Zappe after benching Mac Jones and the Steelers having to start Trubisky over the injured Kenny Pickett, we probably are not looking at a shootout by any means. While that'd likely have you tempted to take the points here with New England, I'd suggest against it. The Patriots offense is downright horrible. They were just shut out by the Chargers and Pittsburgh boasts a better defense. T.J. Watt should feast against New England's tackles and make life very difficult for Zappe. The Patriots will also be without their best offensive player in running back Rhamondre Stevenson, further sending the unit into peril. Meanwhile, I think Trubisky -- who was 11 of 17 for 117 and a TD last week -- will play well enough to clear this number. 

Projected score: Steelers 17, Patriots 10
The pick: Steelers -6

Eagles at Cowboys

  • Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC, fubo)  

Yes, the Cowboys are a stellar 5-1 ATS at home. Yes, they have an average margin of victory of 25.2 at AT&T Stadium. I'm still taking the Eagles not only to cover with the 3.5 points in their pocket, but to win outright. While they've put together some impressive wins by how they've blown out some of their opponents, I don't think the Cowboys are battle-tested. They were able to get a win against Seattle last Thursday (their first win against an above .500 team), but it was by the skin of their teeth. And the Seahawks might not even be that great of a team. The Eagles are much more trustworthy in my mind even after their blowout loss to the Niners at home on Sunday. 

Projected score: Eagles 28, Cowboys 24
The pick: Eagles +3.5

Broncos at Chargers

Here's another dog that I not only like to cover with the points, but to pull off the upset on the road. Denver's winning streak was snapped last weekend against Houston, but I still think the Broncos are a better team than their AFC West rival Chargers, who only escaped New England with a win because the Patriots offense is nonexistent. The Broncos defense is still allowing just 17 points per game over the last six weeks and is the second-best team on third down (27.2%) over the last three weeks. That unit will now face a Chargers team that mustered just six points a week ago while Austin Ekeler remains ineffective. Give me Denver bouncing back in this spot.

Projected score: Broncos 24, Chargers 23
The pick: Broncos +3

Texans at Jets

The Jets are an absolute mess at quarterback right now. After sending Zach Wilson to the bench, the team turned the offense over to veteran Tim Boyle, who had a 63.4 passer rating in his two starts and has since been released by the team. Now, they may go back to Wilson, but he reportedly doesn't even want to come back. Robert Saleh has since disputed that report, but regardless it's a nightmare scenario for New York. And you're telling me they're going to keep it within a touchdown to C.J. Stroud and the Texans? Losing Tank Dell for the year is a rough blow, but Stroud has other capable weapons at his disposal that should help Houston clear this number. 

Projected score: Texans 23, Jets 13
The pick: Texans -6.5

Rams at Ravens

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)  

The Rams are making a nice little playoff push for themselves as of late, winning three straight and coming into Week 14 just behind the Vikings and Packers for a wild-card spot. However, this run by L.A. will hit a speed bump this week in Baltimore. The Ravens are well rested coming off the bye and have historically performed well in this setting. Under John Harbaugh, the Ravens are 13-4 ATS off the bye, which is tied for the second-best coverage percentage (76.5) in the NFL over that stretch. Meanwhile, Lamar Jackson absolutely owns NFC opponents, boasting an 18-1 record as a starter against the conference with 38 total touchdowns and just seven picks. Oh, and Baltimore sports a defense that ranks atop the league (or close to it) in almost every meaningful statistic. 

Projected score: Ravens 30, Rams 17
The pick: Ravens -7

Rest of the bunch

Buccaneers at Falcons
Projected score: Falcons 23, Buccaneers 20
The pick: Falcons -2.5

Lions at Bears
Projected score: Bears 24, Lions 23
The pick: Bears +3

Colts at Bengals
Projected score: Colts 23, Bengals 20
The pick:  Colts +1

Jaguars at Browns
Projected score: Browns 20, Jaguars 17
The pick: Browns -1.5

Panthers at Saints
Projected score: Saints 21, Panthers 17
The pick: Panthers +5.5

Vikings at Raiders
Projected score: Raiders 24, Vikings 21
The pick: Raiders +3

Seahawks at 49ers
Projected score: 49ers 28, Seahawks 17
The pick: 49ers -10.5

Bills at Chiefs
Projected score: Chiefs 28, Bills 24
The pick: Chiefs -2.5

Titans at Dolphins
Projected score: Dolphins 30, Titans 14
The pick: Dolphins -14

Packers at Giants
Projected score: Packers 24, Giants 16
The pick: Packers -6.5