NFL capsules for Week 14

December 7, 2021 08:45 PM
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Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings

The Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1 SU, 5-7 ATS) will be looking for their second win in five days when they kick off Week 14 by visiting the Minnesota Vikings (5-7 SU, 6-6 ATS) for “Thursday Night Football.” The Steelers come in riding high off an exhilarating win over the archrival Ravens, as they stymied a two-point conversion in the final seconds to capture a 20-19 victory. The Vikings, on the other hand, were not as fortunate in the final seconds of their last game. They were on the losing end of the Lions’ first victory, giving up a touchdown on the final play to lose 29-27. The Vikings will be without running back Dalvin Cook and wide receiver Adam Thielen, who suffered an ankle injury early in the loss. The Vikings are favored by 4, and the total is 44.5.

Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs

The Las Vegas Raiders (6-6 SU, 5-7 ATS) look to keep their playoff hopes alive as they visit the resurgent Kansas City Chiefs (8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS). The Raiders lost a heartbreaker to Washington and need a strong finish to qualify for their first postseason since 2016. The Chiefs are favored by 10 and have won five in a row after a sluggish 3-4 start. For a team that has been notorious for not covering despite their lofty straight-up record, the Chiefs have gotten their backers to the window in three straight games. These teams met Nov. 14, with the Chiefs winning 41-14 in Las Vegas. The total is 51.5.

New Orleans Saints at New York Jets

The New Orleans Saints (5-7 SU and ATS) were once 5-3 and looking good in their quest to reach their fifth consecutive postseason. But injuries along the offensive line and to star running back Alvin Kamara have decimated the offense. Taysom Hill started at quarterback last week against the Cowboys but is dealing with a hand injury that might force the Saints to revert to Trevor Siemian under center. Meanwhile, the New York Jets (3-9 SU and ATS) might be the right defense against which to get on track, as they are allowing over 6 yards per play, dead last in the NFL. The Jets are 6-point home dogs, and the total is 43.5.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans

The Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10 SU, 4-8 ATS) will visit the beleaguered Tennessee Titans (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS), with the home team looking to jump-start an offense that has been bereft of production due to a laundry list of injuries in recent weeks. The Titans hope to get wide receiver Julio Jones back from IR, while A.J. Brown and Derrick Henry remain unavailable. The Titans are favored by 9 against a Jaguars team that has been outscored by a combined 88-31 over the last three weeks and produced just 197 yards of offense in their most recent defeat against the Rams. The total is 43.5.

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

The Baltimore Ravens (8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS) are 2-point road dogs as the Cleveland Browns (6-6 SU, 5-7 ATS) look to exact revenge from a 16-10 loss in Week 12 in Baltimore. The Browns are off a bye and in desperate need of a victory to keep pace in the crowded AFC playoff race. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has been dealing with a host of injuries and has had the bye week to recover for this critical AFC North clash. The Ravens’ typically stout defense is near the bottom of the league in yards per play allowed and suffered a series of injuries on defense in last week’s loss to the Steelers. The total is 43.

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers

It’s an NFC South clash between teams that mirror each other in straight-up and against-the-number records as the Atlanta Falcons (5-7 SU and ATS) and Carolina Panthers (5-7 SU and ATS) try to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Panthers are off a bye and fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady during the recess. Cam Newton’s return to Charlotte has been underwhelming, but for now he remains the starting quarterback. The Panthers are second in the league defensively in yards per play allowed. These teams met Oct. 31, with the Panthers winning an ugly 19-13 affair in Atlanta. The Panthers are favored by 2.5, and the total is 43.5.

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team

The Dallas Cowboys (8-4 SU, 9-3 ATS) can take a huge step toward salting away the NFC East, as they are 5-point favorites hitting the road to take on Washington (6-6 SU, 5-7 ATS). After a 2-6 start, Washington has won four straight and can win the division if it runs the table. Washington currently possesses one of the three wild-card spots. Dallas is coming off a Thursday night victory against the Saints and will have extra rest against a Washington team that traveled back from Las Vegas after a thrilling last-second victory. The total is 49.

Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans

The Seattle Seahawks (4-8 SU, 6-6 ATS) captured their first victory since the return of quarterback Russell Wilson, holding on to defeat the 49ers on Sunday. The Seahawks had found the end zone just three times in the three games since Wilson came back but were able to muster 30 points on 327 yards of offense in their victory. Generating offense has been a problem all year for the Texans (2-10 SU, 5-7 ATS), who averaged less than 3 yards per play in their shutout loss to the Colts. The Texans might be going back to Davis Mills at quarterback, as veteran Tyrod Taylor left last week’s game with a wrist injury. The Texans’ only two wins have come with Taylor starting. The Seahawks are favored by 7.5, and the total is 42.5.

Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos

The Detroit Lions (1-10-1 SU, 8-4 ATS) are looking for their second consecutive victory as they visit the Denver Broncos (6-6 SU and ATS). The Broncos are favored by 8 and looking to gain ground in a crowded AFC playoff picture in which they are on the outside looking in. They are coming off a loss to Kansas City despite outgaining the Chiefs by over 130 yards, as their only touchdown came late in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand. The Broncos are 10-2 to the Under this year. The Lions just picked up their first victory of the season but remain one of the more profitable teams in the league against the spread. Despite their poor record, the Lions have the fifth-fewest three-and-outs on offense this season. The total is 42.

New York Giants at Los Angeles Chargers

The New York Giants (4-8 SU, 6-6 ATS) visit the Los Angeles Chargers (7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS), and Jake Fromm could be making his first career start at quarterback for the road team. Mike Glennon threw for fewer than 200 yards on 44 attempts in an underwhelming performance in Miami last week and suffered a concussion in the process. Incumbent quarterback Daniel Jones is still recovering from a neck injury and is unlikely to play. Fromm was most recently on the Bills’ practice squad. The Chargers are coming off an impressive win against the Bengals and hope to have wide receiver Keenan Allen back from the COVID-19 list in time for this game. The Chargers, dead last in the league defending the run, are favored by 10, with the total at 45.

San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals

The San Francisco 49ers (6-6, 5-7 SU) are 2-point underdogs on the road as they visit the Cincinnati Bengals (7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS). Both teams look to rebound from disappointing losses, while the Bengals hope their franchise quarterback, Joe Burrow, can play through a finger injury he sustained last week. The 49ers might still be without top weapon Deebo Samuel, who is day-to-day with a strained groin. This game has major playoff implications, as both teams are squarely in the hunt for postseason play. The total is 47.5.

Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buffalo Bills (7-4 SU and ATS) will be on a short week and will have little time to recover from a physical game in which the Patriots ran the ball 46 times on “Monday Night Football.” The cold, windy conditions they endured that night will be drastically different from the elements they face this week, as they will have to deal with heat and humidity as they visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS). After a brief two-game losing streak, the Bucs have won three in a row, covering all three. The Bucs are favored by 3.5, and the total is 52.

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

The Chicago Bears (4-8 SU and ATS) remain on the fringe of the playoff picture but will be big underdogs as they hit the road to take on the Green Bay Packers (9-3 SU, 10-2 ATS). The Bears have some injury concerns at quarterback. Andy Dalton is dealing with an issue on his non-throwing hand, and Justin Fields hasn’t played in nearly a month with a rib injury. With a win, the Packers can take another step toward clinching their third straight NFC North title. They are the most profitable team in the league with a 10-2 ATS mark and are favored by 12.5. The total is 43.5.

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals

Week 14 concludes with two NFC West teams that are headed for postseason play. The Los Angeles Rams (8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS) snapped a three-game slide Sunday as they dismantled the Jaguars 37-7, holding them to under 200 yards of total offense. The Arizona Cardinals (10-2 SU, 9-3 ATS) got star quarterback Kyler Murray back on the field Sunday after he had been inactive since Week 8. The Cardinals will try to close in on the No. 1 seed in the NFC. These teams met in Week 4, with the Cardinals winning 37-20 in Los Angeles. The Cards are favored by 2.5, and  the total is 51.5.

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