Dajani Dimes had a nice week, as we went 9-5 against the spread and 3-2 on the top five locks of the week. I was convinced the Buffalo Bills were going to take down the New England Patriots, but I had no idea the weather was going to be so bad that it was going to alter how the game was played altogether!
Did we really learn anything from that matchup? We knew the Patriots could run the ball and we knew Bill Belichick could out-coach anyone in that kind of weather. I'm not sure how much we can really take away from Monday night. These two teams will face off again in a couple weeks. As for the Week 14 slate, I'm not going to lie, it looks pretty brutal. We have a couple of huge spreads that I'd rather not touch, but there are other big favorites that I'm going to go ahead and lay the points with. Nine out of 14 games last week were decided by double digits!
Credit to the CBS Sports Research Team for providing the information found in this column. Let's jump into the picks. Peep the season stats below.
Top five picks record: 36-29
Overall ATS record: 90-103-1
Straight up record: 117-76-1
2020 ATS record: 125-120-9 (2 official picks missed due to COVID rescheduling)
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook
Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (Fox/NFL Network)
The Vikings are not a team I love to bet on or against, but they just lost to the previously winless Detroit Lions. On top of that, star wide receiver Adam Thielen and offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw have been ruled out for this Thursday night contest due to ankle injuries, and Dalvin Cook is questionable. The Vikings have lost four of their past six games, allowing 28 points per game and 405.7 yards per game in that span. They've also allowed at least 20 points in seven straight games, which is the second-longest streak in the NFL.
I believe this game is going to be close, and could be decided by a field goal. In fact, nine of the 12 games the Vikings have played this year have been decided on the final play of the game! I'll take the points with the Steelers, who are coming off of a big win.
The pick: Steelers +3
Projected score: Steelers 23-20
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Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
I was legitimately curious if Russell Wilson was going to get back to his normal self this season after his finger injury. With the injury being on his throwing hand and Seattle's playoff hopes virtually dashed, I thought there was a chance the Seahawks would limp to the finish line. I lost a best bet fading Seattle last week, but I'm going to ride the Seahawks this week against the worst team in the NFL.
The Texans are the only team that doesn't have a path to a playoff berth, and they now also have a quarterback controversy. Tyrod Taylor was benched in the 31-0 loss to the Indianapolis Colts last week and the rookie Davis Mills doesn't exactly provide a beneficial change of pace either. Houston also decided to waive one of its best defenders in Zach Cunningham this week, even though they just signed him to a four-year contract extension worth $58 million in August of 2020. It's just a mess.
I'm not high on the Seahawks, but they can beat the Texans by double digits. The Texans are losing games by an average of 13.3 points per game, which is the worst mark in the NFL and the worst in team history -- and that's saying something.
The pick: Seahawks -7.5
Projected score: Seahawks 23-13
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET (Fox)
The Chargers are dealing with some COVID-19 issues, so maybe wait to place this bet. However, the bottom line is that this pick is a fade on the Giants. It appears Daniel Jones is out again with a neck strain, and this offense looked terrible with Mike Glennon under center last week, as New York lost by 11 to the Miami Dolphins while registering zero touchdowns. It could get worse this week, as Jake Fromm may be set to record his first career start with Glennon in concussion protocol.
We cashed on fading the Giants last week and I'll fade them again here.
The pick: Chargers -10
Projected score: Chargers 26-10
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
I don't usually make the Bengals a best bet because you never know what you are going to get out of them. I picked the Chargers last week not only to cover vs. Cincy, but win straight up, and they won by double digits. I just expected an inexplicable collapse after a 31-point win over a division rival, and that's what happened. Now, here in Week 14, I think they can bounce back and win a game.
I'm wary of Joe Burrow's injuries, but I'm more wary of Jimmy Garoppolo. He struggled last week against the Seahawks, throwing two interceptions and he took a safety. The 49ers are at their best when they are running the ball and playing good defense, but it looks like Elijah Mitchell is banged up with a couple different issues, Deebo Samuel's status for this week is still unknown and the defense is dealing with multiple injuries. I'm taking the Bengals here.
The pick: Bengals +1
Projected score: Bengals 27-24
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
A couple of weeks ago, I was really excited for this rematch. When the Cardinals and Rams met in Week 4, Kyler Murray and Co. jumped out to a quick lead and that was that. The Rams are still a solid squad, but Matthew Stafford is dealing with multiple injuries that could hamper him for the rest of the season. Sure, he looked great against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, but he looked really rough against the Green Bay Packers the Sunday before.
We made the Cardinals a best bet last week against the Chicago Bears and sure enough it hit. Murray threw for just 123 yards, but scored four total touchdowns. He's still first in the MVP race in my mind even with time missed due to injury. Last week wasn't a perfect outing, but I expect Arizona to be ready for this big divisional matchup.
The pick: Cardinals -2.5
Projected score: Cardinals 29-24
Other Week 14 picks
Saints (-5) 27-20 over Jets
Cowboys (-4) 28-23 over Washington
Titans (-8.5) 23-10 over Jaguars
Falcons (+2.5) 23-20 over Panthers
Browns (-2.5) 27-23 over Ravens
Chiefs 26-21 over Raiders (+9.5)
Buccaneers (-3.5) 30-24 over Bills
Packers 27-17 over Bears (+12.5)
Broncos (OFF) 28-17 over Lions