Best Bets - Week 14 Sides
December 7, 2017
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NFL Week 14 Best Bets – Sides
When you look across the entire NFL betting board for Week 14 games, the feeling of this week potentially being one of those “tricky” ones the league sees often a few times a year tends to take hold. We've got two games still currently without point spreads, and including TNF's game in Atlanta, eight games feature spreads in the +/- 3 range.
That's a big number of games fitting that range and when that's the case it may be better to lean towards an “against the grain” approach because toss-up games like this could end up going either way.
So with that being said, this week's Best Bets in the NFL take those words to heart as there are two home teams that are laying points in that -3 or lower range that nobody really seems to want this week. And that's just fine by me.
Odds per - Intertops.eu
Best Bet #1: Jacksonville Jaguars -2.5
The Jaguars sit at 8-4 SU and in a share of 1st place in the AFC South entering the week. But despite winning four of their last five overall and having one of the best defensive units against the passing game in the league, the majority of bettors have shown already that they've got no problem fading the Jaguars this week.
That's because in today's “what have you done for me lately society,” Jacksonville's opponent this week are the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle just ended Philadelphia's nine-game win streak on national television last week and can surely go out on the road and beat Jacksonville right? Well nearly 90% of the ATS money according to VegasInsider.com believes that to be the case as the Seahawks are being bet ATS and SU like this game doesn't have to even be played.
However, this is a brutal sandwich spot for Seattle after that primetime showdown against the Eagles, and before another big time game with a home game against the 1st place Rams on deck. Seattle does catch a bit of a break with this being a 4:25 pm EST start time, but the cross-country flip to Florida doesn't help much, and neither does this matchup really.
Seattle's best strength offensively is Russell Wilson (in general), but specifically through the air attack. Much is made of Wilson being the leading rusher on the team as well, but even with the Jags defensive weakness being against the run, Seattle's got zero threat of a running game outside of Wilson, so putting a spy on him most plays should negate some of Wilson's production in that aspect.
That leaves the passing game where Jacksonville is supremely confident in their backend DB's to make plays, and that's if their top tier pass rush doesn't get their first. No matter which way you slice it, the matchup is simply not one that bodes well for Seattle.
And yes, backing Blake Bortles to not only win but cover a point spread as well has to be concerning to some degree, but Seattle's defense can be had – especially now with all their injuries – and there is no chance Seattle's D brings the same kind of intensity we saw from them against Philly (and probably next week vs. LA Rams) on the plane with them for this non-conference game. It won't be a Jacksonville rout, but if the oddsmakers are going to need a small home favorite to cover, I've got no problem joining them in that regard for this contest.
Odds per - Intertops.eu
Best Bet #2: L.A Rams -2.5
Speaking of the Rams and Eagles, they meet in L.A this week as it's the first time we get to see the top two picks from 2016 battle one another. The fact that it's not only Wentz vs Goff, but this game has serious playoff implications in the NFC, this is going to probably end up being the most heavily bet game during the 4 pm EST slate and you've already got a decided majority showing their hand.
As of now, about 80% of bettors on this game are backing the Eagles both SU and ATS as the Philadelphia bandwagon continues to roll on with it's most loyal passengers asserting that last week's loss in Seattle was nothing more than a bump in the road. But although last week was a brutal spot for Philadelphia, this week's spot isn't much better.
For one, you've already got a bit of reverse line movement on this game in favor of L.A after they opened up in the -1 to -1.5 range. The line isn't likely to hit -3 as oddsmakers will know even more Philly money will pour in then, but a move like that shouldn't be glossed over by anyone, even those wearing Eagles decal beer goggles.
Secondly, fading a team after they had a long winning streak snapped is always a situational spot I've believed in in NFL betting and the Eagles fit that role as well. Yes, Philadelphia actually played quite well in Seattle a week ago in outgaining the Seahawks through the air and on the ground, but now with that unbeatable bubble being burst, you can also say that the one “lay an egg” game every NFL team seems to have every year is still out there to be had for Philadelphia. Who's to say that won't happen this week against a very good Rams team against a Philly team that's probably excited to get back to the East Coast.
So with the Rams on a money-making tear of 6-1 ATS in their last seven, at home and looking to make a statement against a NFC rival that many have already anointed as the Super Bowl participant in a few months, I expect the best from the Rams this week. They've got an explosive offensive attack that can easily keep pace if this game turns into a shootout. The one concern is the idea of L.A looking ahead to their rematch with Seattle on deck, but with the hype and magnitude this game already has, most of those concerns should subside rather quickly.
Public underdogs are not ones that have a great success rate in NFL betting, and I'm betting the Eagles in that role this week end up causing quite a few bankrolls to take a hit Sunday evening with a loss in L.A.
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