NFL Betting Odds: Week 14 Line Movements and Last-Minute News
As we approach the final few weeks of the season, I have to give a shout out to Jason Garrett. I'm not too sure what kind of blackmail he has on Jerry Jones that's enabling him to keep his job for the duration of this season or in failed seasons of the past, but it has to be something juicy. If his name was John Doe and he didn't clap excessively for no reason, he likely would have been canned a long time ago given the fact that the Cowboys roster is chock-full of high-end talent, yet they continue to disappoint year in and year out.
Yet here I am, willing to say that I'm excited about the prospect of backing the NFC East winner as a home dog in the wild-card game come playoff time. Call me a sucker, but a prime-time home underdog that nobody believes in might just be the best bet of the entire season.
As always, here are some line moves or potential game-changing injury notes for Week 14.
Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills (+5.5, 43.5): With a bunch of other great matchups on Sunday's card, I feel as if this Ravens vs. Bills game isn't getting the respect it deserves. Baltimore comes into this game with first place in the AFC in their sights, while Buffalo has had a stellar 9-3 season so far to date. They look bound for the playoffs, and playing a great opponent like Baltimore in front of their home crowd should have them fired up and ready to go. Buffalo has had an extra three days to prepare for Lamar Jackson and the explosive Ravens' offense, so we can see why this point spread has dropped a 1.5 points from its opening line of Ravens -7. The Ravens have played five high-caliber opponents over their last seven weeks, with a game against the Bengals and a bye week mixed in. This could be a game where they run out of gas against a solid defensive team like the Bills, or it could be one of those games where the Bills simply can't keep up offensively. As for the total, it opened up at 43.5 and has held steady all week.
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (-7, 41): This game is going to be glorious for all the wrong reasons. It would be a typical Cleveland thing to do for them to lose this game outright to the 1-11 Bengals , thus screwing up Cincinnati's shot at the No.1 overall pick and creating more pressure on themselves in terms of making a coaching change or roster shakeup. However, we just can't quit the Browns because of the offensive weapons they possess. For whatever reason - maybe the health of Baker Mayfield - the line has dropped to Cleveland -7 from the opening of Cleveland -10.5. We know that the Bengals are starting Andy Dalton under center once again, but are we sure that's to the benefit of the team? The Bengals still can't run the ball. And if Cleveland can stay out of their own way, their secondary should be able to create turnovers and put the offense in a great position to succeed. The total for this game opened up at 43 but has since dropped two full points to 41.
Indianapolis Colts at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3, 47): Despite owning the worse record of these two teams, the Bucs are trending in the right direction having won two straight games. We've seen plenty of good from the both sides of the ball on the Bucs' side, but we still see the lapses in judgement from Jameis Winston. Nevertheless, the Bucs are the play in this game, and the bettors agree with me. This game opened up as Tampa -1 but has quickly been bet up to Tampa -3 despite reports that Marlon Mack will likely suit up for the Colts. The Colts have fallen on hard times of late, losing two straight games and putting themselves further out of reach of a playoff spot. They would likely need to win out and get some luck from the teams they are chasing in the wild-card race if they are to have any shot of sneaking in. We see why this point spread move in favor of Tampa happened, and we agree that it's the right move. Tampa is relatively healthy and should be able to score points on a Colts defense that's given up 51 points over their last two games. From a totals perspective, the line opened at 50.5 but has since been bet down to 47.
Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams (PK, 47): And last but not least, one of the better games of the week takes place on Sunday night football when the Seahawks travel to LA to take on Jared Goff and the Rams. Look, this game opened up at Seahawks -3, and I agreed with that line. Since then, bettors have pounded the Rams to the point where the game is now a pick'em, and I am now in agreement on that's where the line should be. The Seahawks have played daunting football over the last month or so, and I believe they run out of gas against a rejuvenated (so it seems) Rams squad. Goff is a different quarterback at home than he is on the road. And with the confidence-boosting win over the Cardinals last week, we can see this Rams team making a late push for a playoff spot. As for the total, this line opened up at 46.5 and has since moved up a half-point to 47, and we can see this game playing well into the 50s.
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