Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:52 AM

Hot & Not Report - Week 14

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Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under - O/U

It was another “splitsville” week for backing the lowest scoring NFL team over their past three games (Denver) and fading the highest scoring one (Buffalo) as neither of them were ever really in all that much danger of losing those ATS wagers.

Half of last week's piece dealt with futures odds and I've gone further with that this week in it's own piece for those that are interested in another historical approach involving potential Super Bowl teams and what non-conference division they've matched up this year.

With the way the schedule has been so chaotic this year, Super Bowl contenders matched up with non-conference divisions was a common denominator that made sense to look into and there have been some interesting results since the NFL realigned back in 2002.

This piece will focus more on actionable trends for Week 14 games specifically, as last week's premature awarding of the Raiders win over the Jets was definitely tested this week but ultimately got there.

Following suit it suggests that backing the Las Vegas Raiders again this week makes a lot of sense, and as small home 'dogs vs. Indianapolis, the price is definitely in a very considerable range.

I teased a similar situation that was bitten by the bye weeks in Week 13, but Week 14 brings two teams into that spot, and that's where we will start.

Who's Hot

Fading a team who's last game was against the Kansas City Chiefs this year has produced a 7-2-1 ATS record this year, and 7-3 SU as well.

Similar to teams parlaying a win over the New York Jets with a win the following week, teams that have battled KC this year (all but one has lost to the Chiefs) tend to parlay that game with another ATS or SU defeat as well.

Even the Raiders, who benefited last week (and potentially this week) in playing the Jets, have gone 0-2 both SU and ATS following their two contests with KC, losing 45-20 to Tampa Bay following their shocking upset win over KC (and a bye week) earlier in the year, and followed up their second game with the Chiefs with a 43-6 loss to Atlanta the next time out.

The three sides to not lose an ATS ticket after facing the Chiefs were Baltimore (pushed on -14) when they topped Washington early on, Denver – when they beat the Chargers 31-30 on the final play of the game – and the New York Jets of all teams, when they choked away that MNF game late against the Patriots. That's it. Every other Chiefs opponent has gone out and been an ATS money burner the following week.

Who Could you Follow in Week 14?

  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Carolina Panthers

So what does that mean for this week?

Well, even after a bye week – like the Raiders in Week 6 – it puts QB Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a fade spot this week as they host the Vikings. Early action has seen an early uptick in the Bucs going from -6 to -6.5 currently, as this Minnesota team that I've been high on since before the year, continues to push forward towards a potential playoff spot.

Minnesota's on a 0-3 ATS run themselves these past three weeks, but they've squeaked out two wins in those three games (inexplicably losing to Dallas in the other one) and have now won five of six SU overall. This will be the first time the Vikings are catching points in this poor 0-3 ATS run, and even with my slight Vikings bias for future reasons, I do believe taking the points with them makes plenty of sense this week.

The other team to fade in this post-KC role would be the Denver Broncos, who like Tampa have garnered some early support this week, likely in part to what their defense did in containing Patrick Mahomes and company on SNF. Denver's gone from an opener of +4 to +3.5 as they visit the other NFC South team off a bye week – Carolina – in a non-conference game between a pair of 4-8 SU squads.

Carolina's on a 7-3 ATS run over their last 10 games as it is, so backing them won't be hard for those that prefer to ride those things, and it too is another play that seems to make a lot of sense to me this week.

Who's Not

Backing teams after they scored 40+ points in their previous game is on a 3-9 ATS run in the last 12 opportunities, dating back to the start of Week 6.

Washington bucked this trend on MNF with their win (SU and ATS) over Pittsburgh, but that's still only the third win for these 40+ teams in weeks.

In fact, Week 13's action had five teams fit the bill after high scoring Week 12 performances – Houston, Washington, Tennessee, Atlanta, and Green Bay – and two of the three ATS wins here came from that week alone (Washington, Green Bay). Prior to that this scenario was on a 1-6 ATS run in backing these squads since the start of Week 6.

Overall this year the numbers are a little better in this situation as NFL teams scoring 40 or more are 8-11 ATS overall this year, with a 10-8-1 O/U record to boot.

So it is a scenario that wasn't always applicable early in the year, but after an off-season with minimal practice and no preseason games, the way most teams looked in the first month of this season is quite different than the way the majority of them look currently.

Who could you fade in Week 14?

  • New England Patriots
  • Cleveland Browns

Week 14 brings us two more teams to fit this bill, as the Patriots and Browns would be the organizations to fade, and both will bring their talents to prime time affairs this week.

New England goes on Thursday Night Football with their second straight game in Los Angeles – this time against the Rams – and already we've seen an opener of L.A. Rams -6.5 get bet against to its current standing of -5.

A 45-0 win for the Patriots will do that in this fickle market, especially when it's a quick turnaround with absolutely no travel to deal with.

The no-travel never happens for a road team on TNF so that's an interesting dynamic to consider this week, but as the last seven weeks have shown in this league, just because a team puts up 40 one week, it doesn't mean they are assured a SU or ATS win the following week.

The Browns are another interesting case as they host Baltimore on Monday Night Football, looking to finally get past a Ravens team that's done nothing but put a beat down on Cleveland in their first meeting.

Baltimore's 38-6 win over Cleveland back in early September was impressive all the way around, but the way things have looked recently for both organizations of late, it's almost like they've flipped roles.

But as has been the theme of this piece it seems, Cleveland's the fourth team in a great fade spot that has got nothing but early support this week, even with Baltimore being a sight unseen in Week 13 as of this writing. Cleveland opened up in the +2 range as a home 'dog and we are now seeing pick'em prices pop up as everyone only wants to remember what they've seen last and not put in the time or work to take in the bigger picture of the situation.

That's always been the nature of the beast known as the NFL betting market though, but I'll go out on a limb now and suggest that backing Minnesota, Carolina, L.A. Rams, and Baltimore in Week 14 will finish with a winning ATS record.

Having the majority looking the other way in all four contests makes playing on those teams that much more appealing to me.

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