December 3, 2014 Staff Writer

NFL News

NFL Week 14 Betting Picks

The race for playoff spots hits high gear as the NFL regular season enters its final month. Seven teams are in the hunt for the final Wild Card berth in the AFC, while division title races remain far from decided in the NFC. Underdogs had another strong showing in Week 13, going 8-8, with seven underdogs claim outright wins. Here is a sneak peek at some of the top NFL betting picks for Week 14.

Dallas Cowboys @ Chicago Bears

Game Line: Dallas -4 | OU 51

The 8-4 Cowboys travel to Chicago on a 2-3 SU slide, 1-4 ATS, after being thrashed 33-10 by Philadelphia at home on Thanksgiving Day. Looking tired, the Cowboys were beaten badly on the ground by the Eagles, who racked up 256 rushing yards and a pair of TD runs. Dallas is a perfect 5-0 SU on the road this season, but has lost three straight SU to the Bears including a 45-28 loss at Chicago in Week 15 last season.

The 5-7 Bears are coming off a brutal 34-17 loss in Detroit on Thanksgiving, but have been outstanding recently at home in a pair of 21-13 wins over Minnesota and Tampa Bay. After holding opponents to under 100 rushing yards in each of their last three, the Bears look ready to contain a Cowboys ground game that has sputtered in their last two.

Free Pick: Take Chicago and the points. Chicago 21-19

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals

Game Line: Cincinnati -3.5 | OU 47

The AFC North-leading Bengals appear to have rediscovered their mojo heading into the first of two against the 7-5 Steelers in the next four weeks. Cincy is 5-1 SU in their last six, while allowing just 17.8 points per game, holding opponents to 75 or fewer rushing yards in their last three, and to under 200 passing yards in three of their last four.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for 1847 yards and 16 TDs in Pittsburgh’s last five, but has thrown five picks in their last three outings, in which they went 1-2 SU and 0-3 ATS. The OVER has been an NFL online betting winner in six of the Steelers’ seven SU wins. Conversely, the UNDER has gone 6-2 in the Bengals’ eight SU wins, including their last three, and with Cincy’s recent stingy play without the ball, will likely be the difference on Sunday.

Free Pick: Take Cincinnati and give the points. Cincinnati 26-19

Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints

Game Line: New Orleans -10 | OU 49.5

The 5-7 Saints return home as heavy favorites on the NFL betting lines against the 3-8-1 Carolina Panthers. New Orleans needs a win to keep pace with Atlanta atop the underachieving NFC South and will be looking to end a three-game SU and ATS losing streak at home.

Fortunately for the Saints, they meet a Panthers squad in freefall, winless in seven with four SU losses by double digits, while scoring just 14.5 points per game in their last six. After giving up 30.75 points per game in their last three, Carolina looks in no position to stop the Saints, who have tallied an average of 429.6 total yards in their last five and had little difficulty defeating the Panthers 28-10 on the road in Week 9.

Free Pick: Take New Orleans and give the points. New Orleans 32-16

Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins

Game Line: Miami -3 | OU 45

The 7-5 Dolphins continue their charge towards an AFC Wild Card spot as slim favorites over the 7-5 Ravens on the NFL betting odds. Miami is 5-2 SU in their last seven and 4-1 ATS as favorites, including wins in their last two at home, while holding opponents to 20 or fewer points in six of their last seven.

The Ravens are 4-0 SU and ATS in their last four against Miami, but are 0-4 SU and ATS in their last four against teams with winning records. Indeed, Baltimore has wilted against stiff competition, surrendering 30.75 points per game in their four losses against winning clubs, while allowing just 14.5 points per game in their last four against sub-.500 squads, setting the stage for another big home turf performance by the Fins.

Free Pick: Take Miami and give the points. Miami 27-21

Buffalo Bills @ Denver Broncos

Game Line: Denver -10 | OU 48

Pegged as double-digit underdogs in the NFL betting odds for the first time this season, the surging Bills visit Denver in search of a third straight win, SU and ATS, to continue their unlikely run at an AFC Wild Card. The 7-5 Bills may have turned a corner in a pair of impressive SU and ATS wins, while allowing just 13 total points and holding opponents to a combined 533 total yards.

Buffalo visits an inconsistent Broncos squad that has won two straight SU, but has been a disappointing NFL betting pick, just 2-3 ATS in their last five. QB Peyton Manning remains the force driving the Broncos offense, but with an NFL-leading 48 sacks, the Bills will give Manning and his offensive line all they can handle, forcing Denver to win on the ground or, as they did last weekend, with lots of field goals.

Free Pick: Take Buffalo and the points. Buffalo 26-24