NFL Office Pool Picks Week 14 with Expert Analysis and ATS Predictions
It was a hectic Week 13 of football that included favorites going 11-3-1 straight up but just 8-7 against the spread. The playoff push is fully on the horizon, with Jimmy Garoppolo being the most impactful injury to a contender on the week. This will be the final week of teams taking their byes, with the Falcons, Bears, Packers, Colts, Saints, and Commanders each off for the week. There is still plenty to play for across the league, with four of the eight divisional leads separated by a game or less. Here is an early look at the slate of Week 14 matchups and what to expect from each game.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
Thursday Night: Las Vegas Raiders (-6) over Los Angeles Rams
This Thursday Night matchup will be made up of a pair of teams that have underperformed this year. The Raiders have won three straight to move to 5-7 on the year, while the Rams have now lost six consecutive games, including the most recent 27-23 loss to the Seahawks to slip to last place in the NFC West. Las Vegas has shown some signs of life and are averaging 29.7 points per game over their three-game winning streak, with the defense also coming alive. The Raiders have now snuck back into the mix and are two games away from a wild card position. If they want any chance of sneaking in the postseason, expect them to jump all over the Matt Stafford-less Rams. While the newly added Baker Mayfield may provide a spark if given the chance, this is an extremely quick turnaround for the quarterback. Raiders 35, Rams 17.
New York Jets (+9.5) to cover vs Buffalo Bills
Flashback to Week 9, and the Jets picked up a notable upset over the Bills by a score of 20-17, despite entering the game as 10.5-point underdogs. Vegas has not given New York much more respect as Buffalo still enters the game as 9.5-point favorites and a 9-3 record on the year. Buffalo is coming off a convincing 24-10 victory over the Patriots on Thursday Night and are 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 matchups with the Jets. Mike White tossed two interceptions in the loss to the Vikings but still showed some flashes and threw for 369 yards in the matchup. While throwing the ball 57 times seems to be too much, there is a buzz about White that makes the team believe -- as evidenced by his teammates wearing Mike White gear on the team plane. Don’t expect lightning to strike twice and for the Jets to pull off another significant upset, but count on New York to cover and for this to remain competitive. Bills 31, Jets 27.
Cincinnati Bengals (-6) over Cleveland Browns
Deshaun Watson made his long-awaited return to the football field and led the team to a 27-14 win over the Texans. It was not a stellar performance, as he understandably had some rust to shake off. He completed just 12 of his 22 attempts for 131 yards and an interception. Watson will have a more difficult task against the Bengals, who are on a four-game winning streak and have won eight of their last 10. Their last loss was to the Browns on October 31 by a score of 32-13. The Cincinnati offensive line is playing like one of the best in the NFL despite being a point of weakness during the Joe Burrow era. Over the past three games, he has been sacked on just 3.6% of his drop backs. Expect the Bengals to continue paving their path to the playoffs and secure a convincing double-digit victory.
Dallas Cowboys (-17) over Houston Texans
Seventeen points will mark the largest spread of the week with these two Texas teams on opposite ends of the spectrum. The 9-3 Cowboys are still fighting to catch the Eagles for the top spot in the NFC East but will need some help from Philadelphia for this to be the case. In contrast, the Texans sit at just 1-10-1 and rank 31st in the NFL in points scored and last in yards. They also are 23rd in points allowed and 28th in yards allowed. While 17 is a scary number, expect Dallas to put forth a dominant effort and secure a 38-13 win.
Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) over Detroit Lions
The Vikings have now moved to 10-2 and continue to win games they probably shouldn’t. Most recently they took down the Jets, despite being outgained 486-287 in the matchup. They rank 29th in the NFL in net yards per play and 30th in opponents’ yards per play. The Lions have begun to see things shift their way and have won four of their last five. On the season they rank 6th in points scored and 7th in yards tallied but dead last in both points and yards allowed. Expect this to be a high-scoring affair in which both teams put up some points but for the Vikings to find a way to win, as they have just about all season. Vikings 31, Lions 27.
Tennessee Titans (-3.5) over Jacksonville Jaguars
The 4-8 Jaguars will travel Tennessee to face off with the 7-5 Titans, who most recently suffered a brutal 35-10 loss to the Eagles. Derrick Henry was limited to just 30 yards on 11 rush attempts during the blowout. Jacksonville is also coming off a rough 40-14 loss at the hands of the Lions. It is difficult to have much faith in either team considering these results and overall inconsistent play. The Titans have the third best run defense but struggle to defend the pass, so this will be a game that will likely fall on Trevor Lawrence’s shoulders. The Titans are 8-2 against the spread against the Jaguars in their last 10 meetings. At least Tennessee can rest somewhat easily considering they faced off with the Eagles, who have made their fair share of opponents look foolish this year. Take the Titans to bounce back and secure a 27-20 victory in this one.
Philadelphia Eagles (-7) over New York Giants
The Eagles will be riding high coming off their convincing 35-10 win over the Texans in which AJ Brown got his revenge and Jalen Hurts continued to build his MVP resume. In contrast, the Giants will be coming off an ugly 20-20 tie with the Commanders and now sit at 7-4-1 on the season. New York has plenty to play for as they are narrowly holding onto their spot in the playoffs. They have a tough remaining schedule, which includes facing the Eagles again, so the Giants cannot afford to let a chance slip. Even still, Philadelphia continues to check every box for what they need to do to win and looked to be unstoppable last week. Count on this divisional matchup to remain close but for the Eagles to ultimately pull away and secure a 31-20 win.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5) over Baltimore Ravens
Don’t count out Mike Tomlin from keeping his streak of never having a losing streak alive as the Steelers have now moved to 5-7 on the year. Baltimore sits at 8-4 after a last second touchdown by Tyler Huntley pushed them past the Broncos by a score of 10-9. Lamar Jackson suffered a PCL sprain in his knee during the matchup and does not look likely to suit up this week. This is the first matchup of the season between the AFC North foes and one that is important to each team. The Steelers defense has woken up in recent weeks and are allowing the fifth-fewest yards per game during over the past four weeks. As Pittsburgh clings onto their chance of the playoffs, look for them to play with desperation and get the victory over the shorthanded Ravens. Pittsburgh 24, Baltimore 17.
Kansas City Chiefs (-9) over Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos continues to find new ways to lose games with a last second loss at the hands of Tyler Huntley and the Ravens entering the conversation for worst loss of the season. Denver now sits at 3-9 on the season and are averaging a league-worst 13.8 points per game. The Chiefs have struggled this year as big favorites but still hold a 9-3 record and lead the NFL in points and yards on the season. Expect Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the team to put forth too many points for the Broncos to keep up with and for this to slip into blowout territory. Chiefs 33, Broncos 9.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) over San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers looked to be climbing the ranks of biggest contenders in the NFL but suffered some tough news as Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a broken foot, which puts the rest of his season in doubt. They will now turn to rookie Brock Purdy to take the reins under center and will have a difficult task against the Buccaneers, who produced a throwback Tom Brady walk off win against the Saints on Monday night. The San Francisco defense will continue to keep them in the game as they lead the league in both points and yards allowed. Tampa Bay holds a narrow lead in the NFC South with their 6-6 record and have their eyes set on the postseason. Take the Bucs to pick up the narrow win in what will likely be a slugfest of a game. Tampa Bay 17, 49ers 9.
Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) over Carolina Panthers
The Seahawks have lost some momentum from their hot start to the season but still hold a record of 7-5 on the season. They narrowly took down the Rams by a score of 27-23 without Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, and Matt Stafford last week. Even still, they rank 5th in the NFL in scoring and 9th in yards on the season. They will also be playing with plenty to prove as they sit just one game behind the 49ers in the NFC West. It has been surprising to see the Panthers win two of their last three, but this is still a team difficult not have much faith in. Take Geno Smith and the Seahawks to pick up the win by a score of 24-13.
Sunday Night: Miami Dolphins (+3) over Los Angeles Chargers
The Dolphins dropped to 8-4 on the season after a 33-17 loss to the 49ers in which they did not produce much offense. San Francisco put forth a masterful gameplan to contain the high-powered Miami offense, but the Chargers may lack the personnel to replicate this. Los Angeles sits at 6-6 and have lost three of their last four. They rank 30th in the NFL in points allowed and 26th in yards. This matchup will be between the 5th and 6th overall picks in the 2020 draft for the second time in the young quarterbacks’ careers. While Justin Herbert has a bright future in the NFL, and has taken some strides forward this season, expect Tua to outduel him in the matchup. Dolphins 35, Chargers 24.
Monday Night: Arizona Cardinals (+1) over New England Patriots
The Patriots have lost two consecutive games to fall to 6-6 and now sit outside the playoff picture. They will travel to Arizona to face off with the 4-8 Cardinals, who are also on a two-game skid and look set to miss the postseason. New England’s offense has become big play dependent, and this is not ideal considering the lack of playmakers. The Matt Patricia experiment at offensive coordinator seems to be failing as some questionable decisions have been made in recent weeks. They will have a chance to fix this against an Arizona defense that is allowing 26.8 points per game. However, they have struggled against mobile quarterbacks throughout the year. This loss will likely eliminate the Patriots from playoff contention, and expect this to be the case. Arizona 27, New England 17.
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