- Every week we pick each game of the NFL schedule against the spread.
- Last week, we went a respectable 10-6 against the spread, with the Dolphins, Giants, and Bengals all coming through to cover.
- This week, we like the Patriots to bounce back against the Steelers, and the Colts to keep rolling as the Cowboys visit Indianapolis.
What a week!
Week 14 finally gave us some winners, with our picks going a tidily profitable 10-6 against the spread. With three weeks remaining in the regular season, we still have time to make a late run and turn this into a winning year.
We’ll waste no time and get straight to the picks (* indicates home team).
LAST WEEK: 10-6
Kansas City Chiefs* (-3.5) over Los Angeles Chargers
The Chiefs are banged up, and the Chargers have a ton to play for, but home teams and favourites have been running hot on Thursday nights so far this season. So, we’re going to ride the trend and take Kansas City.
Houston Texans (-6) over New York Jets*
The Jets needed a 14-point fourth quarter to beat the Bills last weekend. I don’t like their chances of pulling off a similar feat against J.J. Watt.
Cleveland Browns (+3) over Denver Broncos*
Cleveland has played like a brand new team since letting go of head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Should they win on Sunday, they will have a shot at their first three-game winning streak since 2014, and they will get to do it against their former coach.
Atlanta Falcons* (-9) over Arizona Cardinals
The Falcons shouldn’t be favoured by this much against any team in football as they haven’t scored more than 20 points since Week 9. But somehow, they are expected to win this game by 10 points.
Still, I can’t help but think Atlanta shows up for the home crowd. After watching Atlanta United lift the MLS Cup, the Falcons need a statement win to show that they’re still the team to watch at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Buffalo Bills* (-2.5) over Detroit Lions
The Bills defence is solid, and likely one of the best in the league when playing in Buffalo. Detroit has struggled to move to move the ball against far worse opponents.
Green Bay Packers (+6) over Chicago Bears*
The best time to back the Packers is when they are one loss away from elimination. As things stand, Aaron Rodgers still has an outside shot at the playoffs, and I won’t be betting against him.
Oakland Raiders (+3) over Cincinnati Bengals*
Both of these teams are bad, but the Raiders have played their best football of the season over the past two weeks, while the Bengals have been in a perpetual tailspin since their 4-1 start to the year.
Indianapolis Colts* (-3) over Dallas Cowboys
The Colts have won five of their last six games en route to vaulting into the AFC playoff picture. In those five wins, Andrew Luck has never posted a quarterback rating lower than 103. He’s flown somewhat under the radar because of the big seasons from Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, and Philip Rivers, but there might not be a quarterback playing better football right now than Luck.
Miami Dolphins (+7) over Minnesota Vikings*
While their miraculous final play was the headline coming out of the Dolphins’ victory over the Patriots, it should be noted that Miami was hanging tough with New England for most of the game leading up to the fantastic finish. Ryan Tannehill is playing better than you realise.
New York Giants* (-2.5) over Tennessee Titans
The Giants have been playing like the best team in the NFC East over the past few weeks. No reason for them to let up now in front of the home crowd.
Jacksonville Jaguars* (-7) over Washington Redskins
Betting on Cody Kessler as a touchdown favourite is a bad idea. But betting on a quarterback who hadn’t thrown a pass since 2011 until last week on the road is a far, far worse one.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+8) over Baltimore Ravens*
The Buccaneers kept pace with the Saints for three quarters last weekend. Their better than you think, and should at least give Baltimore a challenge.
Seattle Seahawks (-5) over San Francisco 49ers*
The Seahawks beat the 49ers 43-16 just two weeks ago, and haven’t shown any signs of slowing down. I don’t think playing in San Francisco should prove all that bothersome for them.
New England Patriots (-1.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers*
Had the Patriots held on against the Dolphins, I’d probably be backing the Steelers in this spot, but after the Miami Miracle last weekend I don’t see Bill Belichick and Tom Brady giving away two wins in a row.
Philadelphia Eagles (+9.5) over Los Angeles Rams*
The Rams have struggled to cover big numbers all season. Even with Carson Wentz likely out with an injury, the Eagles should do enough to keep from getting run off the field.
Carolina Panthers* (+6) over New Orleans Saints
The Panthers are technically still alive in the NFC playoff race, and need to turn things around fast. Though they have lost five straight now, a home game against a division rival feels like a good spot to turn things around, and New Orleans has shown cracks over the past couple of weeks.
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