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NFL Week 14 best bets, ATS picks

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nfl week 14 best bets

As we enter Week 14 of the NFL season, each game takes on that much more meaning, especially for those teams competing for playoff spots or positioning. And with the added wild card spot in each conference, that group includes all but a handful of teams.. Ahead of a loaded Sunday slate, a few games jump out that we feel bring substantial betting value, and we will detail those spots below.

Let’s jump into our NFL Week 14 best bets and ATS picks, complete with full betting analysis.

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NFL Week 14 Best Bets, ATS Picks

Ravens vs. Browns

Baltimore and Cleveland met two weeks ago with the Ravens eking out a 16-10 victory. The Ravens went on to lose a close one to the Steelers last week, while the well-rested Browns were able to regroup during their bye week. 

That extra rest should prove an enormous advantage in a game the Browns desperately need. We witnessed how flat Pittsburgh looked in the first half at Minnesota Thursday night after its battle with Baltimore last weekend. We can expect something similar from the Ravens in this spot, as they surely expended a ton of mental and physical energy in that divisional battle.

Make no mistake, Cleveland will be hungry for this victory. The Browns are currently 11th in the AFC at 6-6, but they are just one game behind the fifth seed.  Even better news for Browns fans is that every team from sixth through tenth is either idle or set as an underdog this week. A victory for the Browns here could legitimately catapult them into a playoff position.

They will also feel like they deserved more from the first meeting with the Ravens, a game in which they picked Lamar Jackson off four times.

Jackson has quietly struggled this season, posting his worst quarterback rating since his rookie year. He’s already thrown four more interceptions through 11 games than he had in any of his other three full seasons. 

On the other side of the ball for both teams, Baltimore has stopped the rush extremely well this season, but it has been horrific against the pass, allowing the second most yards per game through the air of any team. Now, the Ravens will be without Marlon Humphrey, their key cog in their secondary, and will face Baker Mayfield, who finally had some time to allow his myriad injuries to recover a bit over the bye week. None of this amount to good news for a Baltimore team that ranks just 24th in DVOA and fifth worst in opponents’ average depth of target.

Trends to Know

Speaking of Mayfield, he is 14-5 SU as a home favorite in his career. His team is 6-1 ATS in its last seven home games against an opponent off a SU and ATS loss. On the other side, Baltimore is just 2-5 ATS in its last seven road games. And, even worse, the Ravens have covered just one of their last 16 games against .500 or better divisional opponents off a SU loss against .500 or better foes.

Ravens vs. Browns Pick

Expect Cleveland’s best on both sides of the ball here with the extra time to recover and prepare for an opponent they already know well. Favorites off a bye have covered at around a 57 percent clip over the last decade and we should see the Browns do the same here, pushing the favorite in this head-to-head series to its fifth straight ATS victory.

Our Pick: Cleveland -2.5

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Lions vs. Broncos

Denver surely did not do much to inspire public belief following its primetime loss in Kansas City last Sunday night. An offense that tallied 28 points in a win over the Chargers the previous week mustered just nine points against the Chiefs. Turnovers killed the Broncos, as the team muffed a punt that Kansas City recovered, turned it over twice on downs, and saw quarterback Teddy Bridgewater throw two interceptions — one of which was returned for a touchdown.

Those interceptions ended a streak of four straight games without a pick for Bridgewater, and particularly important for this team in relation to ATS performance.

The Broncos are 6-2 SU in games in which Bridgewater doesn’t throw an interception and 0-4 SU in games where he is picked off.

Following the last game in which he threw an interception, a 17-14 loss to Cleveland, Bridgewater responded by completing 73.1 percent of his passes with no interceptions his next time out, leading Denver to a win in the process.

Trends to Know

The Broncos quarterback boasts a 19-9 ATS record after a SU loss in his career and has gone a sparkling 13-3 ATS against non-conference opponents. There is a good chance he will respond with an interception-free game here, as Detroit intercepts the 11th fewest passes per game and had none last week in its win over Minnesota.

That’s right, the Lions finally earned their first victory of 2021, the final team to do so this season. They have deserved much better, of course, losing several times on final drives. All of that should combine to exacerbate the likelihood of a potential letdown for Detroit here. Beating a division rival on the game’s final play in Week 13 to ensure a winless season would be avoided has to be a bad team’s equivalent of winning the Super Bowl.

It’s only natural that a Lions team, with a rookie head coach, might have a difficult time entering play locked in this week, particularly against a better and more desperate Broncos squad.

Note: Be sure to check out our two favorite NFL Week 14 upset picks.

Denver has been dominant against first and second-year head coaches this season, going 4-1 SU and ATS, including a perfect 3-0 SU and ATS mark as favorites. The Broncos scored 23 or more points against four of those teams, while allowing 13 or less to each of those same four opponents. Now, Denver’s eighth ranked defense, which is 10th best against both the pass and rush and has allowed the third fewest points per game in the NFL this season, will get to face off against the league’s fourth worst passing and scoring offense.

Their victory last week was actually the first time the Lions had scored at least 20 points since Week 1. They promptly lost by 18 points in Week 2, conceding 35 points on the road. With Denver fourth best in the league in fewest drives resulting in points, as well as the number of points scored per drive, it’s hard to imagine Detroit lighting up the scoreboard. If that assumption holds true, Denver should move to a perfect 7-0 SU and ATS when holding an opponent to 16 or fewer points this season.

Lions vs. Broncos Pick

Interestingly, this will actually be the first time the Broncos have been favored since Halloween. All six of the team’s wins this season were by seven or more points, with five of the six coming by double-digits. Denver is also 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games as favorites of more than four points against an opponent off a SU underdog win. The Broncos are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 tries against sub .500 foes, as well as 12-5 ATS after their last 17 ATS defeats.

Finally, it is worth noting that Denver has covered 10 of its last 11 games after mustering 14 or fewer points in its previous outing. Look for Jared Goff to move to 0-10 SU and 4-6 ATS in his career as an underdog of more than seven points here as the favorite in this head-to-head covers its fifth straight meeting.

Our Pick: Denver -10

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Bills vs. Buccaneers

While the Bills were busy losing for the third time in their last five games with an embarrassing loss to a bitter division rival, the Bucs were warm and cozy at home in Florida after having dispatched the Falcons 30-17 the day before. That marked a third straight game in which the defending champions tallied at least 30 points, upholding the expectation of the league’s top scoring unit.

The Bucs offense will need to be on its game again this week as the Bills score the fifth most points per game (28.0), despite the mirage the windy Monday night mess may have created for bettors. In fat, the Bills actually score the second most points per game on the road this season (31.0), which should allow them to trade punches with a Tampa Bay offense that has piled up an insane 38.4 points per game at home this season, never scoring fewer than 30 points.

When oddsmakers have set high game totals for these two teams this season, a lot of points have followed. Buffalo has had three games with totals set at 49 or more.  All three games have gone over the number, producing 58, 56, and 65 total points. For Tampa Bay, three games have been set with totals of 52.5 or higher, all sailing well over the posted number. Those three contests returned 60, 58, and 69 total points.

Trends to Know

Tampa Bay has played 11 of its last 15 games as a home favorite over the total, as well as 12 of its last 16 following an ATS victory. The Buccaneers have also helped send four of the last five games over the number against winning opponents.

The Bucs, with just the 20th best pass stopping defense, have struggled against the deep ball all season and could be vulnerable to Josh Allen’s big arm. Allen-led offenses have averaged 24.5 points per game during his career, but that production has spiked to 26.8 points per game when playing against NFC opponents.

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Buffalo, which lost 14-10 to New England last Monday, has played six of its last eight games over after allowing 14 or fewer points in its prior outing. The Bills have also played six straight over as an underdog, including four straight as a road underdog. They are over-machines away from home, in general, taking part in just one under in their last eight road games.

Some may be concerned that these two defenses, which produce the second and third most turnovers per game, might stall some scoring drives with takeaways. However, we think any turnovers are more likely to create short fields the other way. After all, Tampa Bay has the league’s fifth best red zone touchdown scoring percentage overall, while Buffalo boasts the NFL’s seventh best rate in that category when away from home.

Bills vs. Bucs Pick

Expect a back and forth shootout here in a game both teams need to win for playoff positioning. A loss for Buffalo could put the AFC East out of reach and may even jeopardize the team’s ability to make the playoffs. Tampa is still shooting for the highly-coveted bye in the NFC, sitting a game behind Arizona and a conference record tiebreaker back of Green Bay.

Our Pick: Bills/Bucs Over 53.5 points

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