Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM
Sunday Blitz - Week 14
GAMES TO WATCH
Ravens (-6, 44) at Bills – 1:00 PM EST
This matchup has plenty of ramifications for seeding in the AFC playoffs as the winner holds a crucial tiebreaker advantage. Baltimore (10-2 SU, 6-6 ATS) looks like a runaway train by winning eight consecutive games, while handing San Francisco its second loss of the season in last Sunday’s 20-17 home victory. The Ravens had their five-game ATS hot streak snapped as they failed to cash as 5 ½-point favorites, but Baltimore has excelled on the road this season with a 5-1 mark away from M&T Bank Stadium.
The Bills (9-3 SU, 8-3-1 ATS) are the top Wild Card team in the AFC entering Week 14, while surprisingly sitting one game back of the Patriots for first place in the AFC East. Buffalo dominated Dallas on Thanksgiving day, 26-15 as 6 ½-point road underdogs to improve to 4-1 SU and 4-0-1 ATS in the ‘dog role this season. Since losing at Cleveland four weeks ago, the Bills are riding a three-game winning streak, while hitting the UNDER in four of the past five contests.
These teams hooked up in the 2018 season opener in Baltimore as the Ravens destroyed the Bills, 47-3 as 7 ½-point favorites. MVP candidate Lamar Jackson did not start at quarterback in that blowout for Baltimore, as the Ravens have won seven of his career nine road starts with the two losses coming at Kansas City.
Best Bet: Ravens 20, Bills 17
49ers at Saints (-2, 44 ½) – 1:00 PM EST
Home-field advantage isn’t necessarily on the line at the Superdome on Sunday, but the winner is in an excellent position to own the top NFC seed. San Francisco (10-2 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) is fresh off its first road loss of the season in a 20-17 setback at Baltimore. In spite of the loss, the Niners improved to 4-0 ATS in the role of an away underdog, while facing its third straight opponent that currently owns a record of 9-3 or better. San Francisco has cashed the UNDER in four of six road contests, while yielding 20 points or fewer five times.
The Saints (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS) wrapped up their third consecutive NFC South title by knocking off the Falcons on Thanksgiving night, 26-18 as seven-point road favorites. New Orleans moved to 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS as a single-digit favorite, while the Saints are 8-2 ATS since failing to cover in the first two games of the season. The Saints have topped the 30-point mark in four of six home contests, as Sean Payton’s team has compiled an 11-2 record in the past 13 regular season games in the Big Easy.
The Niners, Saints, and Seahawks all enter Sunday at 10-2 apiece as New Orleans owns the tiebreaker over Seattle. San Francisco still faces Seattle on the road for a second time in Week 17 after losing at home to the Seahawks last month. The Saints defeated the Niners, 41-23 in Santa Clara in 2016, while San Francisco is making its first trip to the Superdome since beating New Orleans in overtime back in 2014.
Best Bet: 49ers 23, Saints 19
Chiefs at Patriots (-3, 49 ½) – 4:25 PM EST
The much-anticipated rematch of the epic AFC championship game from last January between Kansas City and New England takes place on Sunday at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots (10-2 SU, 7-5 ATS) outlasted the Chiefs in overtime, 37-31 as three-point road underdogs to capture their third consecutive AFC title, while also pulling off the season sweep of Kansas City. New England grabbed the regular season matchup in Foxborough, 43-40, but the Chiefs cashed as slim 3 ½-point underdogs.
The stakes are high for the Patriots this time around, as they are tied with the Ravens for the top spot in the AFC playoffs, although New England loses the head-to-head tiebreaker with Baltimore. Bill Belichick’s team is coming off their second bad Sunday night road loss in less than a month in last Sunday’s 28-22 setback at Houston as three-point favorites. Tom Brady threw two late touchdown passes, but the Pats dug themselves a 28-9 hole that was nearly impossible to get out of.
The Chiefs (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS) likely won’t possess home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but picked up some major breathing room for the top spot in the AFC West. Kansas City blasted Oakland last Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, 40-9 to easily cash as 11-point favorites, while owning a two-game edge over the Raiders with four contests remaining. Patrick Mahomes has failed to pass for more than 182 yards in each of the last two games for Kansas City, but the Chiefs enter Foxborough with a 5-1 record this season on the road.
Best Bet: Patriots 31, Chiefs 24
Kevin Rogers (1-4 last week, 33-32 this season)
Raiders +2 ½
Eagles -9 ½
Chris David (3-2 last week, 35-30 this season)
Browns -8 ½
Raiders +2 ½
BEST TOTAL PLAY
UNDER 47 – Seahawks at Rams
Seattle outlasted Los Angeles, 30-29 in the first meeting earlier this season to eclipse the OVER of 49. The total dropped two points for this matchup at the L.A. Coliseum as the Rams’ defense has been sharp of late by allowing 17 points or less in five of the past six games. The Seahawks have given up 10, 20, and 24 points after yielding 30 points in the previous contest this season. The last four meetings between these NFC West have finished OVER the total, but the Rams have scored 17 and 6 points in two primetime home games this season.
BIGGEST LINE MOVE
When the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas released early lines for Week 14 on November 26, the Browns were listed as 10 ½-point home favorites over the Bengals. Adjustments were made following Cleveland’s loss at Pittsburgh and Cincinnati grabbing its first win of the season last week as the Browns are currently a seven-point favorite. These Ohio rivals are meeting for the first time in 2019 as Cleveland swept the series last season, but the Bengals are 7-1 ATS in the past eight matchups.
TRAP OF THE WEEK
The Cardinals were blown out by the Rams at home last week, as Arizona welcomes in Pittsburgh. The Steelers are feeling good about themselves after rallying past the rival Browns last week to improve to 7-5 and being in line for a Wild Card berth. Arizona has lost five straight games, while Pittsburgh is 6-1 the last seven contests. However, the Cardinals feature the better quarterback in Kyler Murray as opposed to Pittsburgh’s Devlin Hodges, who is making only his third career start. Arizona is a 1 ½-point underdog, as the Cardinals are 3-2 ATS in the role of a home ‘dog.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW
The Jaguars don’t save their best football for December. It’s not like Jacksonville fared well in November this season, but the Jags are 2-5 SU/ATS in their last seven December contests since 2017. In those seven games, Jacksonville has been limited to 17 points or fewer each time, while hitting the UNDER six times. The Jags host the stumbling Chargers on Sunday as three-point underdogs, as the total sits at 43.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.