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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson looks to pass against the Houston Texans on November 17, 2019.

If the NFL playoffs started today, the AFC wild-card teams would be the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts. The most likely AFC wild-card teams by the end of the season, according to the betting odds, are the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens.

The betting odds and current playoff picture are more in sync when it comes to the NFC with the Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings filling the spots.

With four games to go in the regular season, the races for the last three slots in each conference are tight and compelling. No local sports books appear to be currently offering odds on teams to make the playoffs, but they’re available elsewhere and has averaged the prices to make consensus lines.

The Vikings are currently in over the Cardinals on a tiebreaker, and the two teams’ betting odds are similarly tight — the former is +130 (risking $1 to win $1.30) to the latter’s +138. In the AFC, there’s a logjam between three teams odds-wise — the Ravens at -150, the Raiders at +110 and the Dolphins at +114.

Two longer shots still carrying slim hopes are the Patriots (+650) in the AFC and the 49ers (+400) in the NFC. It’s difficult to recommend any wagers, but will still be fun to watch how it plays out and how the numbers shift over the final few weeks.

I’ve got plenty to handicap here anyway as I look to continue going strong overall to improve on my 104-85-3 record picking every game this season including a 9-6 mark last week.

Read below for picks on every Week 14 game, separated into three confidence categories and listed in rough order of confidence. Lines are the best currently available in Las Vegas on the chosen side.

Plays (30-28)

Baltimore Ravens pick’em at Cleveland Browns The Browns played the best game of their season last week, and still only held on to beat the Titans 41-35 in a game where they had a 31-point lead and +2 turnover margin. The Ravens being on a short week is a concern but outweighed by other factors including the fact that they’ve beaten up on the Browns in the last two meetings.

Arizona Cardinals -1.5 at New York Giants Now is the time to buy low on the Cardinals, which haven’t covered in five straight games. But their schedule during the span has been ruthless; it’s been a while since they played a team as flawed as the Giants, which have conversely won four in a row against mediocre opposition.

Detroit Lions +8 vs. Green Bay Packers The Lions were only 7-point underdogs when they played at the Packers earlier in the season. Yes, they got blown out 42-21, but the point is, they have the raw talent to compete with the Packers and it’s quite possible that interim coach Darrell Bevell, auditioning for the permanent job, is better at channeling it.

Chicago Bears +1.5 vs. Houston Texans From Football Outsiders’ DVOA ratings to EPA (expected points added), and any other predictive model, these teams grade out as incredibly even. There’s no way either side should be a home underdog.

Carolina Panthers -2.5 vs. Denver Broncos Circa is a point lower on this game than anywhere else where it’s still posted, and though I may be setting myself up for another COVID-19 beat, that makes the number too attractive to pass up. The Panthers reportedly haven’t suffered an outbreak, but rather have players who could still become eligible out of practice because of contract tracing. If they’re anywhere near full strength, they should have no problem with the Broncos.

Leans (28-23-3)

Pittsburgh Steelers +2.5 at Buffalo Bills The Steelers’ point differential on the year is +123; the Bills’ sits at +27. Elevate this to a play in the event the point spread reaches +3 because the market is underestimating Pittsburgh too much after its recent spate of injuries and struggles.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -6.5 vs. Minnesota Vikings Before being too harsh on the Buccaneers for their up-and-down season, consider that they’ve played arguably the NFL’s hardest schedule. Coming off of a late bye with an easier path ahead, they might be ready to ignite heading into the playoffs.

Philadelphia Eagles +7 vs. New Orleans Saints The assumption was that Drew Brees would return this week for the Saints, and even as it’s become clear that won’t happen, this line hasn’t moved. A couple points should trim off the price when that reality sets in as kickoff draws nearer.

San Francisco 49ers -3 vs. Washington Football Team The number looks right, but this is a pretty tough spot for Washington, traveling West for the first time since Week 2 and doing so on a short week off of a Monday game. San Francisco is still as beaten up as any team in the league on the whole but has gotten slightly healthier the last two weeks.

Guesses (46-34)

Los Angeles Chargers +2.5 vs. Atlanta Falcons This game was a pick’em on last week’s lookahead lines, and 2.5 points — even across insignificant numbers — is too large of a move at this point of the season. That’s why it’s often best to close your eyes, swallow hard and back teams coming off of embarrassing losses, like the Chargers’ 45-0 defeat to the Patriots as 2-point favorites last week.

New York Jets +13.5 at Seattle Seahawks The Jets’ offense has gotten healthier, and therefore, much better. They should at least be able to score enough points on a Seahawks’ defense rated 24th in the NFL by EPA per play to not get blown out.

Tennessee Titans -7.5 at Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville comfortably has the league’s worst defense by EPA per play while Tennessee has its third-best offense. This looks like a terrific teaser leg taking the Titans down to a .5-point favorite.

Las Vegas Raiders +3 vs. Indianapolis Colts Despite winning and covering two of their last three, the Colts appear to have slightly regressed. They’ve been outgained on a per-play basis in all three games, and though they still deserve to be favored over the Raiders, it shouldn’t be by the full field goal.

Cincinnati Bengals +3.5 vs. Dallas Cowboys Get involved at your own peril in a matchup between two bottom-feeders. Dallas may be the right side at -3, but there’s no way I can justify giving an extra hook with a team that’s struggled as much as it has, let alone on the road.

Kansas City Chiefs -7 at Miami Dolphins Here’s another case where the half-point makes all the difference. The Dolphins are worth a look at +7.5 as they’re good enough defensively to limit the Chiefs but it’s hard to take any less than that given the unlikelihood of them keeping up on offense.

Los Angeles Rams -5 vs. New England Patriots Rumors of the Patriots’ demise earlier in the season were greatly exaggerated. From a betting perspective, they’re the same they’ve ever been — Peaking at the end of the year and covering spreads that are inflated by any statistical perspective. Let’s see if it can keep up against one of the NFL’s best teams.

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

Article written by #LasVegasSun