NFL Week 14 odds, picks: Titans continue hot streak by beating Raiders, Ravens beat Bills

The race for home-field advantage in the playoffs heats up this week as the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints compete for the top seed in the NFC. The Saints (10-2) host the 49ers (10-2) with the winner holding the crucial head-to-head tiebreaker for home-field advantage and a first-round bye. The 49ers still have to overtake the NFC West lead from the Seattle Seahawks (also 10-2), but they play Seattle one more time. The Saints, Seahawks, and 49ers are the three frontrunners for home field in the conference.

In the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs (8-4) can enter the race for home-field advantage with a win over the New England Patriots (10-2) while the Baltimore Ravens (10-2) can control the No. 1 seed with a win over the Buffalo Bills (9-3). Buffalo can enter the race with a win over Baltimore and a Patriots loss to the Chiefs. Don't forget the Houston Texans (8-4) are in the mix as well for a first-round bye and home field as well. 

An exciting slate of Week 14 games are on the horizon. Let's get to this week's picks! 

Dallas Cowboys (6-6) at Chicago Bears (6-6)

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (Fox/NFL Network)
Line:
Cowboys -2.5

Good news for the Cowboys this week: The Bears are not over .500. Dallas is 0-5 against above-.500 teams on the season. Both the Cowboys and Bears played last Thursday, so they  are on equal rest. The Cowboys' No. 1 ranked offense (432.8 yards, 6.5 yards per play) shouldn't have a problem moving the ball against the Bears defense, but can they score in the red zone (54.76%, 17th in NFL)? The Bears offense (4.6 yards per play, 30th in NFL) has a huge mismatch against the Cowboys defense (5.1 yards per play allowed, ninth in NFL) and they struggle to run the ball (3.4 yards per carry, 30th in NFL). The Bears may just not score enough to beat the Cowboys in this one, especially if the defense can't get to Dak Prescott (Cowboys have allowed 16 sacks, fewest in NFL). 

Pick: Cowboys 23, Bears 16 

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Carolina Panthers (5-7) at Atlanta Falcons (3-9)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Line:
Falcons -2.5

As the NFL season hits the homestretch, there are games that just doesn't matter much on the NFL calendar. The battle between the bottom two teams in the NFC South is one of them. Atlanta dominated Carolina in the last meeting, winning 29-3 and holding the Panthers to just 77 rush yards. The Falcons are ninth in the NFL in yards per carry allowed (4.0), so it shouldn't be a surprise if they can stop Christian McCaffrey again. Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen has been sacked 39 times this year, but the Falcons have just 18 sacks on the year (second fewest in the NFL). The Falcons got to Allen five times and he threw four interceptions, which is hard to see happening again. Carolina allows 5.3 yards per carry (last in NFL) and Devonta Freeman won't make that much of a difference. The Falcons also fumbled three times in the last meeting, but didn't lose any. Carolina should bounce back and split the series as the offense will roll through McCaffrey. 

Pick: Panthers 24, Falcons 21

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Indianapolis Colts (6-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line:
Buccaneers -3

The Colts are in a free fall as injuries are starting to catch up to them, slowly eliminating their chances of winning the AFC South. Indianapolis will try to run the ball even though Marlon Mack is expected to be out again (the Colts are fourth with 139 rush yards a game), which could be a problem against a Buccaneers run defense that is second in the NFL (3.4 yards per carry allowed, 76.2 yards per game). While Tampa allows 28.8 points (30th in NFL), the Colts have scored under 20 points in three of their last four games and have allowed 51 points in their last two games. The Buccaneers should throw the ball often against the Colts, who are 29th in the NFL in opponent's completion percentage (68.92%). Jameis Winston's turnovers could be a problem (20 interceptions, 11 fumbles), but the Colts have just 15 on the season. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin should have a big day against the Colts secondary. 

Pick: Buccaneers 27, Colts 18 

Miami Dolphins (3-9) at New York Jets (4-8)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line:
Jets -5.5

The Dolphins are coming off a performance which they totaled a season-high 37 points and 409 yards in a win over the Eagles, so what will they do for an encore against a team they already beaten this year? The Jets were the only team the Dolphins didn't have a turnover against, so that should change in the rematch. Miami is still last in yards per carry (3.1) and rush yards per game (62.8), which isn't good against a Jets run defense that allows just 2.9 yards per carry and 75.2 yards per game (both first in NFL). For the Jets to take the rematch in New York, they have to commit to the run against a Dolphins defense that allows 143.5 yards on the ground (31st in NFL). The Jets may average just 3.2 yards per carry (31st in NFL), but that's the way to put the Dolphins away early. Miami in cold weather games doesn't seem to go well either. 

Pick: Jets 27, Dolphins 17 

San Francisco 49ers (10-2) at New Orleans Saints (10-2)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Line:
Saints -2.5

The 49ers rushed for 174 yards against the Ravens last week and still lost, falling to the No. 5 seed in the NFC playoff standings. They still can get home-field advantage, but will have to beat the Saints to keep that dream alive. New Orleans allows just 88.6 yards on the ground (third in NFL), but teams only run the ball 21.7 times off them. The Saints will be challenged by the 49ers on the ground as San Francisco will continue to run the ball (33.3 rush attempts per game, second in NFL), no matter the 4.4 yards per carry (16th in NFL). The Saints should get Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray involved in this one, as the 49ers do allow 116.7 yards per game (22nd in NFL) and 4.7 yards per carry (25th in NFL). This game will come down to the 49ers defense (4.3 yards per play allowed, 45 sacks) taking advantage of a Saints offensive line missing their left tackle and left guard. With the Saints banged up, advantage 49ers. 

Pick: 49ers 23, Saints 21

Detroit Lions (3-8-1) at Minnesota Vikings (8-4)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Line:
Vikings -14

The Vikings are coming off a tough loss to the Seahawks on "Monday Night Football," but this isn't a primetime game so Kirk Cousins should be all right against a Lions defense that allows 26.2 points per game (25th in NFL) and 7.5 yards per pass (25th in NFL).  David Blough played well in his first start, but the Lions have averaged 133.7 yards per game the last three games. A balanced attack will keep them in the game, but the Vikings will have plenty of explosive plays to give them a win here (the Vikings did have 337 pass yards and 503 total yards in the first meeting). 

Pick: Vikings 34, Lions 20 

Denver Broncos (4-8) at Houston Texans (8-4)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line:
Texans -9.5

The Texans are slowly creeping their way into a Super Bowl contender after an impressive win over the Patriots last week, their fourth in the last five games. Will Fuller and Deandre Hopkins were held to just six catches for 72 yards and the Texans were still able to throw at will against a dominant New England secondary for three touchdowns. This is a game the Texans don't have to throw as they can run the ball off a Denver defense that allows 113.7 yards per game (20th in NFL). Denver only had 134 pass yards in Drew Lock's first start and he'll get a Texans defense that allows 7.0 yards per pass (22nd in NFL). Can Denver open up the offense enough to score points of the Texans? Probably not. 

Pick: Texans 24, Broncos 17 

Baltimore Ravens (10-2) at Buffalo Bills (9-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line:
Ravens -5.5

The Bills had their statement win against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and they get 10 days to rest up to face the NFL's hottest team in the Ravens. This game could be very problematic for the Bills defense, as they allow 4.5 yards per carry (21st in NFL), not ideal against a Ravens ground game that is first in the league in yards per carry (5.6), attempts (37.1) and yards (207.8). Baltimore is going to pound to ball against Buffalo and dare the Bills to stop Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram and company. The Bills can run the ball too (137.9 yards per game, fifth in NFL) against the Ravens, as Baltimore has allowed 100-plus rushing yards in three of the last four games. The Bills struggle against teams that run the ball frequently (Eagles, Browns), which will be the case this week.  

Pick: Ravens 26, Bills 19

Cincinnati Bengals (1-11) at Cleveland Browns (5-7)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line:
Browns -8.5

There will be no winless team in the NFL this season as the Bengals shocked the Jets last week. Cincinnati scored 22 points, the most since scoring 23 against the Cardinals in Week 5. Their 233 passing yards were the most the Bengals had since returning from their bye week in Week 10. Their run defense is still the worst in the NFL (157.6 yards per game) and the Bengals allow 4.8 yards per carry (29th in NFL). Cleveland averages 4.8 yards per carry (fourth in NFL) and has averaged 126 yards per game since Kareem Hunt returned from his suspension. The Bengals pass defense also allows 8.1 yards per pass (32nd in NFL) allowing Odell Beckham or Jarvis Landry to have a big day. If Cleveland commits to the run, the Browns should win this one and stay in the playoff race.

Pick: Browns 30, Bengals 17

Washington Redskins (3-9) at Green Bay Packers (9-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Line:
Packers -13.5

The Redskins are coming off a surprising upset over the Panthers, but their pass offense is still stuck in the doldrums. Washington only threw for 114 yards last week and have averaged just 136.3 yards since Dwayne Haskins became the starter. They did have 248 rushing yards last week, but had just 267 the previous three games. Green Bay allows 7.5 yards per pass (26th in NFL) and 123 rush yards per game (25th in NFL), so there's an opportunity to score ... even for an offense dead last in the league in scoring. Green Bay's offense has been pedestrian, but Washington allows 131.6 rush yards a game. The Packers should commit to the run this week. Prior to allowing 62 yards last week, the Redskins allowed 142 rush yards a game the past five games.  

Pick: Packers 28, Redskins 16

Los Angeles Chargers (4-8) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line:
Chargers -2.5

The Jaguars have benched Nick Foles for Gardner Minshew, trying to revitalize an offense that averaged just 18.8 points and 380.8 yards in his eight starts. Jacksonville abandoned Fournette since Foles returned, averaging just 65 yards per game. The Jaguars' real problem is a run defense that allows 5.1 yards per carry (31st in NFL) and 136.6 rush yards (28th in NFL), giving up 200-plus rush yards in three of the past four weeks. This is a week for the Chargers to run Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, even though they are 27th in rush yards per game (89.1). This isn't a week for the Jaguars to pass off the Chargers (199.3 yards per game, fourth in NFL), but Jacksonville is a pass happy team the last few weeks. Perhaps that changes with Minshew, but Jacksonville will find a way to lose this one. The Jaguars allow 7.0 yards per pass (23rd in NFL) and the Chargers are at 7.1 yards per pass (10th). That's a mismatch to expose.

Pick: Chargers 27, Jaguars 24 

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) at Arizona Cardinals (3-8-1)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line:
Steelers -2.5

The Steelers are still one of the hardest teams to figure out, even though their defense is very good. They allow just 18.8 points (sixth in NFL) and 317.2 yards (fifth in NFL), giving them a chance against any opponent, despite having little offense. The Cardinals have an opportunity to score off the Steelers as they average 4.9 yards per carry (third in NFL), but it's unclear who their running back is. The Steelers average just 6.2 yards per pass (22nd in NFL), but have an opportunity for a big day against a Cardinals pass defense that averages 8.0 yards per pass (30th in NFL) and 307.5 yards (last in NFL). Pittsburgh has put up 338 and 323 yards since Duck Hodges reemerged as the starter and isn't afraid to throw the ball downfield against a bad secondary. Unless the Cardinals figure out the running back situation, it could be a long day. 

Pick: Steelers 29, Cardinals 23

Tennessee Titans (7-5) at Oakland Raiders (6-6)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line:
Titans -3

The Titans continue to make their push for the AFC South title under the direction of Ryan Tannehill, but Tennessee can't overlook the Raiders before facing the division-leading Texans in two of their last three games. Tannehill has 12 touchdowns to four interceptions and a 113.9 passer rating since taking over for Marcus Mariota, as the Titans are averaging 29.7 points in his six starts. Tennessee is averaging 179.8 rushing yards over the last four games, facing a stiff test against a Raiders defense that allows 4.0 yards per carry (10th in NFL) and 103.6 rushing yards (11th in NFL). The Raiders should be able to throw off the Titans, as they average 7.4 yards per pass and the Titans allow 260.1 pas yards per game (27th in NFL). Tannehill leads the league with 9.1 yards per attempt, which plays a huge advantage against a Raiders pass defense that allow 7.7 yards per pass (28th in NFL). The Titans have a balanced offense that can move the ball and keep the Raiders off the field. Tannehill and Henry will keep Tennessee in the division hunt. 

Pick: Titans 27, Raiders 23

Kansas City Chiefs (8-4) at New England Patriots (10-2)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line:
Patriots -3

The Patriots have appeared vulnerable the past few games, which all came to light as their No. 1 ranked defense allowed 28 points to the Texans. The Patriots scored 22, but those final 13 points came when the game was well out of hand. The Patriots are 29th in the NFL at 3.5 yards per carry, a number they must improve if they wish to control the game against a Chiefs run defense that is 30th in yards per carry (5.1) and yards (141.3). As all the matchups in this game unfold, Patrick Mahomes is just better than Tom Brady this year. There's the difference. Mahomes will make more plays as the Chiefs pull off the upset. 

Pick: Chiefs 23, Patriots 17

Seattle Seahawks (10-2) at Los Angeles Rams (7-5)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Line:
Seahawks -2.5

The Week 5 meeting between these teams was a back-and-forth affair, and spring-boarded the Seahawks into winning six of seven since. Seattle ran for 167 yards off a Rams defense that allows just 3.7 yards a carry, but Russell Wilson had four touchdowns in the win. The Rams should be able to score off the Seahawks again. Los Angeles has given up 400-plus yards the past three times they played top-five offenses, which is what the Seahawks are at the moment. To no surprise, they are all losses. The Seahawks have averaged 405 yards per game over the last four and the Rams are 1-4 against teams with winning records. No reason to go against the Seahawks right now. 

Pick: Seahawks 31, Rams 27

New York Giants (2-10) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Line:
Eagles -8.5

The Eagles are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Dolphins while the Giants have lost eight straight games. Someone has to win, as the NFC East rivals meet for the first time this year. Eli Manning is expected to start for the Giants, with Daniel Jones nursing an injury. Having Jordan Howard will dramatically chance things for the Eagles, who have become pass happy in his absence. Establishing the run will set up Carson Wentz and the Eagles pass attack against a Giants defense that allows 8.0 yards per pass (31st in NFL). The big mismatch is the Eagles run defense against a Giants run offense where Saquon Barkley is not 100 percent. The Eagles are fourth in the NFL in yards allowed on the ground (91.0) and eighth in yards per carry allowed (4.0) while the Giants have just 95.5 rush yards a game (23rd in NFL) and just 81.4 over past five games. The Giants defense has allowed 30-plus points in four of the past five games. The Eagles offense can do the same, no matter how inconsistent they're playing. 

Pick: Eagles 33, Giants 21 

KERR'S RECORD (Week 13): 9-7
KERR'S RECORD (Overall): 118-73-1 (.618 win percentage)

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