Week 14 NFL Picks ‚Äď Picks and Predictions by TJ Calkins

December 10, 2020

Thanks for stopping back for the NFL Picks of Week 14. We now have clear site of playoff races in both conferences and can somewhat comfortably separate contenders from pretenders. I also have to offer apologies for the review piece from NFL Week 13 not coming out. When games are scheduled past Monday, it tightens the week up considerably. We can run through those right now.

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Wins ‚Äď Colts -3.5 and Saints -3.5
While neither of these games produced blowout final scores, neither team was lacking a cover any time after the first quarter of their respective games. Neither cover came with style but both soundly got the job done.

Losses ‚Äď Bears -3 and Cowboys +8.5
The Bears put on one helluva choke job against the Lions. They held a 10 point lead at three different points in the game, including with 11 minutes left, and that margin of lead held until the 2:24 mark remaining in the game. Yes the Bears allowed two scores in that last two and a half minutes to blow the cover and then then push as well. The Cowboys were undone by their idiot kicker missing three field goals, after playing quite competitively.

The 2-2 week brings us to 25-30-2 on the season.

Our prop plays had an explosion last week. Those went 7-1 with the only loss being due to the early Antonio Gibson injury, from which he did not return.

The 7-1 week brings us to 34-27 on the season.

Let’s get to this week’s plays.

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Betting Play: Over 52

1PM EST
Opening Line: Titans -9.5 and 53.5
Current Line: Titans -7.5 and 52

The Titans go on the road for what *should* be an easy win against the Jaguars, but the Titans defense does not allow thing to come easy for them this season.

They are 4-1 on the road this season, and we have seen this happen in their home games as well, the offense is often forced to win in shootouts because the defense allows essentially everyone to score on them. Since week 1, road opponents are averaging 28 points per contest, and clearly the scoring of the Titans is keeping pace, given the 4-1 mark.

The Titans are averaging 35 points in those games. While the Jaguars season is over and considering they have not gotten a win since week 1, it should be noted the offense keeps trudging along and keeping points on the scoreboard. They have scored at least 20 points in five of their last six games and have kept four of those contests within one score.

What this means is we likely see Tennessee have to force that same scoring pace that they are accustomed to needing on the road. The Jags resiliency gets a good spot, as the Titans have allowed at least 24 points in each of their last four games and are allowing 31 per game in that span.

While I initially thought I would lean the Titans way before diving into this game, the over is absolutely the best point of attack. The Titans still may cover, but the Jaguars are still going to put up a fight on offense. Less so on defense, only the Cowboys and Lions have allowed more points this year. Take the over.

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Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants

Betting Play: Giants +3

1PM EST
Opening Line: Cardinals -3 and and 45.5
Current Line: Cardinals -3 and 45

Like two ships passing in the night, these two teams are on completely diverging trajectories, and just a month ago, the Cardinals would likely have been double digit favorites in this matchup.

As Kyler Murray’s output has decreased, so has that of the Cardinals wins. Murray has been average at best as a passer, and when he has been taken away as a runner, the team suffers. They have lost three straight and four of five. They are now essentially out of the divisional race and are just clinging to wild card hopes when it comes to the playoffs.

The Giants on the other hand, after a 1-7 start, have won four straight and now sit atop the NFC East at 5-7 and would have a home playoff game if the playoffs started today. The Giants defense has been quietly good all season, but they have turned it up a notch in recent weeks.

They allowed 20 points just once on the win streak and opponents are averaging just 16.5 points per game. They should also have Daniel Jones back under center for an offense that has gained competence after an abysmal start to the season. I mentioned the struggles of Murray and the Cardinals, and it should be noted the only win in their last five games came on the play of the year by Deandre Hopkins, bringing down the hail mary to beat the Bills.

Combine the Cardinals struggles with an east coast trip for an early start time in cold weather against a streaking team, and we have the recipe for more of the same. If I were setting this line I would favor the Giants, and think we have to take the value of the underdogs here.

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