Week 14 picks
Cumulative total: 23–23–1
Last week was not up to snuff. 7–8 is unacceptable. Luckily, I’m still 3 games above .500 on the year and I’ve got ample opportunity to turn it around with a full slate of 16 games this week. In other news, December is in full swing, so happy holidays to everyone! 2020 is almost behind us!
Patriots @ Rams 8:30PM Est. Thu.
Remember what happened the last time these two teams played? Bill Belichick held Sean McVay’s squad to three points. And that team had a healthy Todd Gurley. Coming off of another excellent coaching performance in LA, I think Bill Belichick rekindles some of that defensiveSuper Bowl magic and Cam Newton can put up enough points to win a low-scoring slug fest.
Pick: Patriots +3.5 🅇
Texans @ Bears 1:00PM Est. Sun.
This game is a classic example of a team that should be much better than it’s record and a team that is exactly its record. The Texans have Deshaun Watson and respectable talent in all phases of the game, and had it not been for Bill O’Brien messing up the early part of the season likely would have been in the wild card race. The Bears have a quarterback problem, and are on a 6 game losing streak. The one place where I hesitate here is with the game being in Soldier Field, but I think the Texans can still pull out a rough game.
Pick: Texans -1 🅇
Cowboys @ Bengals 1:00PM Est. Sun.
To think that this game was supposed to be on Sunday night football just a few days ago — the Joe Burrow-less Bengals and Dak Prescott-less Cowboys against each other in a game where the only thing on the line is a draft pick. Ultimately, these teams are about equally bad on defense, but I think Dallas’ talented offensive weapons can make the difference.
Pick: Cowboys -3 ✅
Chiefs @ Dolphins 1:00PM Est. Sun.
Did anyone else see what Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill did to the Bucs defense? Well, that, and the Dolphins defense being ranked 10 spots below the Buccaneers, makes me think that no matter how many points Miami puts up against the inconsistent Chiefs, the Kansas City can still win by a touchdown.
Pick: Chiefs -7 🅇
Cardinals @ Giants 1:00PM Est. Sun.
Time for some trivia! This weeks question: How many wins to the Giants have against teams that aren’t in the NFC East? The answer: 2. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have been playing an incredibly difficult schedule in a division with 4 preseason playoff contenders, and still have a better record than Big Blue. Arizona should be able to win by a field goal, even in the Meadowlands.
Pick: Cardinals -3 ✅
Vikings @ Buccaneers 1:00PM Est. Sun.
Tom Brady off of a bye and a bad loss to a rival? I think that spells a heat check for a hot Minnesota team trying to turn it around after a rough start. In a game where the Vikings are travelling the full width of the country and playing in the warm weather, give me Tampa Bay.
Pick: Buccaneers -7 ✅
Broncos @ Panthers 1:00PM Est. Sun.
Another game with massive draft implications and zero other reason to watch it. My pick here comes down to going with the better quarterback and the home team: the game’s in Charlotte, and I’m always going to trust Teddy Bridgewater more than Drew Lock, who’s thrown 13 interceptions in 13 weeks.
Pick: Panthers -4 🅇
Titans @ Jaguars 1:00PM Est. Sun.
An NFC South battle, but not much of a battle in any other aspect of the game. I expect Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill to steam roll the Jaguars (1–11!), and even though the game’s in Florida winning by a touchdown should not be a challenge for Tennessee.
Pick: Titans -7.5 ✅
Colts @ Raiders 4:05PM Est. Sun.
After getting embarrassed by the Falcons and just barely escaping the Jets, I expect Jon Gruden to motivate this Vegas team, who we should remember beat KC earlier this year. Meanwhile, Indianapolis is going on the road, and all this line is asking is for the Raiders to get within a field goal. I think they do.
Pick: Raiders +2.5 🅇
Jets @ Seahawks 4:05PM Est. Sun.
16.5 points! What?! This seems like one of those trap lines. It’s not. The Seahawks are going to look to make a statement, Jamal Adams is up against his former team, and the game is in Seattle. Oh, and the Jets just happen to not have won a game under Adam Gase’s coaching this year.
Pick: Seahawks -16.5 ✅
Packers @ Lions 4:25PM Est. Sun.
Aaron Rodgers always seems to find a way to beat the Lions. But: the Lions are at a surprising five wins this year, actually have a decent amount of talent, and showed encouraging signs under a new coach last week in Chicago. I think Detroit has a real shot to win a home game here, and they’ll likely be within a TD.
Pick: Lions +7.5 ✅
Saints @ Eagles 4:25PM Est. Sun.
No matter how this game turns out, it will be intriguing to watch. Taysom Hill vs. Jalen Hurts. Nothing like that quarterback matchup has ever graced our television screens before. That said, an Eagles team that couldn’t put up points with a former MVP candidate and said putting in Jalen Hurts would be giving up the season probably won’t be able to hold up against the Saints defense, and I think Hill and his weapons will do enough to cover.
Pick: Saints -7.5 🅇
Falcons @ Chargers 4:25PM Est. Sun.
What’s so frustrating about the Falcons is that they have two different versions: the one that can’t recover an onside kick and the one that demolishes the Raiders team that beat the Chiefs. On the other side of the ball, the Chargers can’t seem got get anything right, and Anthony Lynn seat is scalding hot right now. That should make it easier for the good side of Atlanta to shine.
Pick: Falcons +1.5 🅇
Football Team@ 49ers 4:25PM Est. Sun.
Let’s talk about Washington’s wins this season: the Eagles, Cowboys (twice), Bengals, and… the Steelers. That last one places some doubt on this game, but I think that it’s fair to call the Steelers win a product of several different random circumstances including Pittsburgh coming off of many delays and an emotional game against the Ravens. San Fransisco probably can do enough at home to win by a field goal.
Pick: 49ers -3 🅇
Steelers @ Bills 8:15PM Est. Sun.
Two teams with names! Two teams with winning records! Two division leaders! Wow — this game should be among the best this week. Ultimately, I think that Mike Tomlin and the Steelers pass rush can cook something interesting up for Josh Allen, and in a game where Pittsburgh has a 1-seed and a bounce back from losing to Washington to play for, I’ll take the Steelers.
Pick: Steelers +2.5 🅇
Ravens @ Browns 8:15PM Est. Mon.
We’re all guilty of underrating the Browns this year, who are two games better than the Ravens this year and have a quarterback who’s been rolling over the past few weeks. The Ravens are going on the road and coming off a difficult stretch where they could barely practice, yet they’re still favored. I think Cleveland takes this one in a tough divisional battle.