Taphorn’s Twelve Pack: NFL Week 14
Week 13 Record: 5-1; +5 units; Year-to-date Record: 46-31-1; +11.0 units
6 Bets I Like
1. Dallas Cowboys -4 at Washington Football Team. Mike McCarthy missed the second of the Cowboys two straight Thursday games with COVID, but the coach is coming back this week and has guaranteed a win. Along with the head man, Dallas gets back two starters on the defensive line and a few extra days rest for guys like Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott. Washington is one of the hottest teams in the NFC right now, but Dallas should get this done. Bet amount: 1 unit.
2. Seattle Seahawks -8.5 at Houston Texans. Seattle has not been good this year, there’s no denying that. But last week they finally looked competent against the 49ers and Davis Mills is back to starting at quarterback for Houston. This one could get ugly. Bet amount: ½ unit.
3. Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs -10. A two-score spread for the home team here, but Mahomes and the Chiefs are in the playoff picture and could be hunting for a one seed. Andy Reid’s team is going to start their December run, and the Raiders are victim #1. Bet amount 1 unit.
4. Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers -11.5. Aaron Rodgers vs. the Bears. Enough said. No Khalil Mack on the Chicago defense and a 22-5 record as a starter against his NFC North rivals, sets up well for Mr. Rodgers in his own neighborhood. Packers win easily. Bet amount: 2 units.
5. New York Giants at Los Angeles Chargers -9.5. The Chargers had their way with the Bengals last week causing multiple turnovers. The Giants are banged up at the quarterback position right now so even after firing Jason Garrett their offense is still likely in trouble. Bet amount: ½ unit.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans -8.5. This is typically a game followed by a Sportscenter highlight of Derrick Henry running through the Jaguars defense for 80+ yards. Unfortunately for Tennessee Henry, along with Julio Jones and AJ Brown, are injured and unavailable for this game. Despite that, Mike Vrabel should coach circles around Urban Myer even with a banged-up roster. Bet amount: 2 units.
6 Bets to Avoid
1. New Orleans Saints -5.5 at New York Jets. This game might feature 10 interceptions if Taysom Hill starts at quarterback again. The Saints defense should give Zach Wilson fits on the other side of the ball. Expect an ugly one in the Meadowlands.
2. Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns -2.5. The Ravens are struggling mightily right now. Lamar Jackson seems to be forcing things and is turning the ball over much too often. Bake Mayfield may have healed some over the bye week, but his play has still been average all year.
3. Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos -10. The Lions got the monkey off their back, finally with the help of some very suspect last second defense by Minnesota. The Broncos defense has been anything but suspect lately, which shouldn’t please Jared Goff and the Lions offense.
4. San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals +1.5. It’s truly a matter of which Bengals team shows up on a week to week basis. One week they could be the AFC’s one seed, the next they’re turning the ball over every chance they get. The 49ers killed their momentum last week against the Seahawks, but are still alive for an NFC wildcard berth. This game could go a number of different ways.
5. Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3. The Bills played in what can generously be called an ugly game last Monday. The Patriots resumed their big brother status in upstate New York last week with a win on only three passing attempts. If New England is big brother, Tom Brady is the father and Bills fans won’t be thrilled playing him in a game that will undoubtedly feature more than three pass attempts.
6. Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals -2. In a loaded NFC the Cardinals sit on top. Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins returned last week looking like they never missed a beat which should scare the rest of the league. The Rams need this one to keep their hopes of a division title alive.