Just when you thought we had it all figured out, a team won a football game throwing three passes, and another scored 33 points throwing 15 passes! What year is it? I don’t even know anymore!
Today, let’s take a look at the Week 14 slate. Every week, I’ll be providing my projections on the outcome of each game, and then contextualizing what to do with that information: best bets, teasers, parlays, survivor picks, and much more!
These projections started with me using projected PFF grades to decipher the true talent of every team. From there, I utilized those projections to establish each team’s offense and defense rank, which allowed me to derive how talented each team is compared to the average team with a neutral field; as the season goes, I’ll be analyzing PFF data and other key metrics to continue to update each team’s offense and defense ranking. Adding in an adjustment for home field, and, what do you know, each game had a projection! The combination of the foundation of it starting objectively, and then the mixture of subjective analysis to make it less of a “blind” projection, will hopefully lead us to where we want to go. You can consider these, based on the subjective touch, predictions instead of pure projections, but, hey, it gets us in the same place!
Enough rambling; it’s time to get to the point of this article! Let’s completely preview Week 14 from a betting perspective!
All Stats via Pro Football Focus
Week 14 Personal Projections
LV at KC (Over 48)
What is going on with the Chiefs’ offense?
Patrick Mahomes and co. have scored over 22 points just one time in their past six games. Remember, this is a team that used to exceed 30 points with absolute ease! Luckily, this could be a major rebound spot for them. According to Dwain McFarland of Pro Football Focus, the Raiders run zone coverage more than any other team in the league. Meanwhile, 57% of that is cover-three, which is Mahomes’ favorite defense to pass against. Hey, maybe it’s not a coincidence that the last time these two teams played, the Chiefs scored 41 points!
As for the Raiders, they have struggled as of late offensively, while the Chiefs have thrived defensively. Yet, Las Vegas still ranks 4th in yards/play this season, while Kansas City’s defense ranks 30th in yards/play allowed. What is stumping the Raiders is the league’s second-worst red-zone offense, but, luckily, that should regress positively over time. Derek Carr has gotten back to being an aggressive quarterback with an average depth of target over ten yards the past two games, and he still ranks second in big-time throw rate this season.
Have faith in an offensive explosion here. Between Kansas City’s success against cover-three and Carr’s resurgence, there is a lot pointing to a shootout here. With that in mind, 48 points does not seem like much at all; the Raiders should certainly exceed their 19.5-point total. Take the “over” here.
LV (+9.5) at KC
Ah, the classic double-dip here.
I get that the Raiders have trended in the wrong direction, whereas Kansas City’s defense has performed better as of late. However, let us keep in mind that the Chiefs have faced the:
- Jordan Love-led Packers
- Raiders (ignore!)
- Cowboys without Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb (for the second half)
In other words, their “resurgence” may not be as impressive as it seems. I’m very encouraged by Carr’s increased aggression in recent weeks, and if the Raiders can hit on a few chunk plays, this is going to become a close game. Remember, this was a tight game before DeSean Jackson has a miserable fumble the last time these two teams played each other. There is always the chance that Kansas City’s offense doesn’t get back on track in this game, and if that happens, beating Las Vegas by double-digits again will be a tall task. Thus, double-dipping with the over and Las Vegas (+9.5) makes sense here.
LAR (+8.5) at ARI
BAL (+8) at CLE
ATL (+8.5) at CAR
These three games feature road teams that should be able to keep it within three points but are getting less than that key numbers. This is where teasing them through seven points makes sense. It’s hard to see blowout potential between the ineffective Browns offense or Panthers offense, while the Rams/Cardinals matchup is as even as it gets. Whereas we’ve leaned on favorites as of late, let’s turn the tables this week. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if these underdogs won straight up.
Parlay (Four Games and Eight Games)
LV at KC (Over 48)
LV (+9.5) at KC
DAL (-4) at WSH
GB (-12.5) vs CHI
SF (-1.5) at CIN
BAL at CLE (Over 42)
PIT at MIN (Over 43.5)
ATL (+2.5) at CAR
I’m forcing myself to deliver an eight-game parlay, which is a worse option than the four-game parlay this week. For the fourth straight week, I’m fading Taylor Heinicke and the Washington Football Team, but cannot overlook the quarterback mismatch between him and Dak Prescott this week. Meanwhile, as long as the Packers aren’t laying 14 points, they offer some value against the Bears, who may have the league’s worst offense outside of the Texans, while the 49ers have the better offense and defense over the Bengals, based on yards/play. From there, we’re looking at some low overs between teams with struggling defenses (Ravens, Vikings, Steelers), and it’s hard to see the now run-heavy Panthers blowing out the Falcons. Still, though, the four-team parlay is the way to go this week.
GB vs CHI
DEN vs DET
The Packers, favored by 12.5 points, are the obvious survivor pick this week, even if they still get to face the Lions. Speaking of the Lions, they travel to Denver this week, giving us a chance to use the Broncos in a season where we probably haven’t. The Chargers, facing the Giants, are another survivor pick, but they still get to face Detroit. As you can see, we’re still fading the Lions, even after their first win!
Parting Bold Predictions
Derek Carr and Patrick Mahomes Combine For Six Passing Touchdowns
The Raiders Score 30 Points
Every Red Zone Attempt in Raiders/Chiefs Results In a Touchdown
Remember, these are BOLD predictions! All of these align with my previous betting picks, but allow us to get a bit spicy here. Enjoy an exciting week of football, and please remember to bet responsibly!
(Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)