NFL Week 14 early odds: Rams, Saints and Seahawks all open as underdogs
If you love betting the underdog, then this might be the week to go wild.
The most surprising point spread probably comes from an NFC showdown in Los Angeles where the Rams have opened as a 2.5-point underdog to an Eagles team that will be playing on the West Coast for the second straight week. The game against the Eagles marks the first time this year that the Rams have been a home underdog. The Rams have been favored by at least two points over every other team they’ve played in L.A., including the Seahawks and Saints, two teams they played earlier this season.
The Seahawks also opened as an underdog for their game against the Jaguars. As a three-point favorite, the Jags are favored to beat an NFC team at home for just the third time since 2010. In their past 10 home games against NFC teams, the Jags have gone 1-9 against the spread (ATS), and that includes losing both games since 2010 where they were favored.
The Saints are also an underdog this week, but that probably won’t surprise anyone, especially since the they’re playing on the road on a short week against a division rival. For Thursday’s game in Atlanta, the Saints have opened as a 1-point underdog.
To see how everything else shook out, let’s get to the odds.
NFL Week 14 early odds
(All lines from Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, all games on Sunday unless noted)
Saints (9-3) at Falcons (7-5), Thursday
Opening line: Falcons, -1 points
if the Saints are going to win the NFC South, they’re going to have to figure out a way to slow down the Falcons, something they weren’t able to do last season. In 2016, the Falcons won both meetings and averaged 41.5 points in those two wins. However, it shouldn’t be as easy to score this year because the Saints have a much-improved defense. The Saints have been one of the safest bets in the NFL this year, going 8-4 ATS, which is tied for the third best mark in the league. One other thing to like about the Saints is that they’re 12-3 ATS against the NFC South since 2015, which is the best divisional mark of any team in the NFL over that span. They’re also 3-0 both straight-up and ATS against NFC South teams this season.
Opening line: No Line
Oddsmakers haven’t released a point spread for this game because, right now, it’s unclear who’s going to be starting at quarterback for the Bills. Nathan Peterman had to step in on Sunday after Tyrod Taylor injured his knee and it’s unclear if Taylor will be able to play against Indy. No matter who starts at quarterback, the Colts could have a tough time in Buffalo. For one, they haven’t won their since 2003. Also, the kickoff temperature is expected to be between 25 and 30 degrees. The Colts haven’t played in temperatures that low since 2013.
Opening line: Bengals, -6.5 points
Betting on the Bears in a road game this year has basically been the same as throwing your money in the trash can. In five road games this year, the Bears are 1-4 both straight-up and ATS. Of course, if there’s one time you should bet on the Bears, it’s when they play a team from the AFC North. Although the Bears are 1-9 against NFC teams, they’re 2-0 against the AFC North with wins over the Steelers and Ravens. As for the Bengals, Andy Dalton hasn’t lost a home game to an NFC team at any point over the past four years. Since 2013, Dalton is 6-0-1 at home against the NFC, including a mark of 5-1-1 ATS. (The Bengals also played a “home” game against the Redskins in London, but we’re not counting that since it wasn’t played in Cincinnati). The Bears haven’t won in Cincinnati since 2001.
Opening line: Packers, -6 points
The Packers have actually struggled against the AFC North this year: Not only have they gone 1-2, but that one win came in overtime over the Bengals. That being said, the Packers have been one of the safest bets in the NFL over the past few weeks. Since Week 10, the Packers have gone 3-1 ATS. As for the Browns, they’re 3-9 ATS on the season, which is the second worst mark in the NFL. The Browns have only been an underdog of 7 points or less a total of four times this season and they’ve gone 1-3 ATS in those games. One thing to keep in mind about the Browns is that even though they’ve gone 4-40 since the beginning of 2015, two of those four wins have come in the month of December, just in case you’re thinking of going a little crazy and betting the Browns to win.
Opening line: Chiefs, -4 points
The Chiefs are a four-point favorite in this game even though they didn’t win or cover a single game during the month of November. These two teams played back in Week 7 with the Raiders covering as three-point underdog in a 31-30 win. Of course, that game was in Oakland and this game is in Kansas City, which is a big difference for the Raiders, who are 1-3-1 ATS on the road this season. Overall, the Raiders are 4-7-1 ATS on the season, which is one of the worst marks in the NFL. Also, the Chiefs have won five out of six games in this series and four of those five wins have come by double digits.
Opening line: Cowboys, -6.5 points
With the Giants in total chaos, oddsmakers are giving a lot of love to the Cowboys, who are favored by at least 6.5 points in a road game against the Giants for the first time since 1997. Although it’s not clear who’s going to start this game for the Giants, the new quarterback can’t do much worse than Eli Manning when it comes to covering the spread at home. Through 12 weeks, the Giants are 1-4 ATS at home, which is tied for the worst mark in the NFL. These two teams played back in Week 1, with the Cowboys covering as a six-point underdog in a 19-3 win.
Lions (6-6) at Buccaneers (4-8)
Opening line: No Line
The reason there’s no line on this game yet is because oddsmakers aren’t sure if Matthew Stafford is going to play for the Lions. Stafford bruised his throwing hand during the second half of Detroit’s loss to the Ravens. If Stafford does miss the game, it would be somewhat surprising because he hasn’t missed a game since 2010. Jake Rudock would start for the Lions if Stafford can’t play. No matter what happens here, betting on the Buccaneers has been a bad idea this season. Tampa is just 3-8-1 ATS on the year, which is the worst mark in the NFC. The Lions have won three of four in this series and haven’t lost in Tampa since 2005.
Vikings (10-2) at Panthers (8-4)
Opening line: Panthers, -1 point
Betting against the Vikings has been a horrible idea this year. In 12 games, the Vikings have gone 9-3 ATS, which is tied for the best mark in the NFL this season. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has also had some serious success against the Panthers, going 2-0 since he was hired in 2014. The Vikings have also been nearly unbeatable against NFC teams this year, going 8-1 straight-up and 7-2 ATS. If you need another reason to take the Vikings, they’ve covered in seven straight games.
Opening line: Texans, -3 points
This game will mark only the second time the 49ers have ever played the Texans in Houston. The only other meeting came back in 2009 in a game the Texans won, which actually isn’t that surprising because the 49ers have been bad against AFC teams over the past few years. Since 2014, the 49ers have gone 2-11 against the AFC and 2-10-1 ATS, which is the worst mark of any NFC team over the span. On the other hand, always think twice before betting against Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers quarterback has made three career starts and he’s 3-0 both straight-up and ATS in those games.
Opening line: Pick’em
When it comes to covering the spread, no team has been worse than the Broncos. Through 12 games, the Broncos are 2-9-1 ATS, which is worse than every team in the NFL, including the Browns (3-9). If you’ve been betting on the Broncos over the past eight weeks, then you’ve lost a lot of money because they’re 0-8 ATS during their eight-game losing streak. Of course, betting the Jets in a road game may not be the best idea, either. New York is just 1-3-1 ATS away from home this season. One weird thing to keep in mind here is that the Jets have been surprisingly good in December road games, going 5-1 in their past six games.
Opening line: Titans, -2.5 points
Although University of Phoenix Stadium has been open since 2006, the Titans have never played a game there in franchise history. Of course, that’s probably for the best because the Cardinals tend to dominate AFC teams at home. Since the beginning of the 2013 season, the Cardinals have gone 8-1 at home against AFC teams, with the only loss coming last season when the Patriots beat them 23-21. Now, that doesn’t mean you should run out and bet that Cards and that’s mainly because Arizona has been horrible at covering the spread this season. The Cards are just 3-8-1 ATS on the year, which is tied for the third worst mark in the NFL.
Redskins (5-7) at Chargers (6-6)
Opening line: Chargers, -6 points
The Chargers have actually been pretty bad at covering as a home favorite this season. This game will mark the fifth time the Chargers have been a favorite at home and they’ve gone 1-3 ATS in those games, which includes Sunday’s game when they didn’t cover against the Browns. In those same four games, the Chargers are just 2-2 straight-up. That being said, the Chargers have been one of the safest bets in the NFL over the past two months with L.A. going 6-2 ATS in its past eight games. Athough the Redskins haven’t beaten the Chargers in California since 1998, they have been pretty successful on the West Coast this year. In road games against the Seahawks and Rams this season, the Redskins won both games straight-up as an underdog.
Eagles (10-2) at Rams (9-3)
Opening line: Eagles, -2.5 points
After covering in eight straight games, the Eagles’ streak finally came to an end on Sunday night in Seattle. For some reason, the Eagles always seem to struggle out west. Including Sunday’s loss, the Eagles have gone 2-6 in the pacific time zone since 2009. That doesn’t mean you should bet against the Eagles though. Philly is 9-3 ATS this season, which is tied with the Vikings for the best mark in the NFL. At 8-4 ATS, the Rams are just one game worse. The Eagles have absolutely dominated this series for nearly three decades. Since 1990, the Eagles have won 10 of 11 regular season games against the Rams. One thing to keep in mind here is that the Eagles have a history of shutting down Sean McVay. Before taking the Rams’ job, McVay was the Redskins offensive coordinator from 2014 to 2016 and in those three seasons, the Redskins went just 1-5 against the Eagles.
Seahawks (8-4) at Jaguars (8-4)
Opening line: Jaguars, -3 points
If there’s one thing you don’t ever want to do, it’s bet against Russell Wilson when he’s playing an AFC team. in his past 10 games against the AFC, Wilson has gone 9-1 straight-up. On the other hand, as good as the Seahawks have been against the AFC, the Jaguars have almost been that bad against the NFC. Since drafting Blake Bortles in 2014, the Jags have gone 2-12 both straight-up and ATS against the NFC, including 1-6 at home.
Ravens (7-5) at Steelers (9-2)
Opening line: Steelers, -7 points
The Steelers have been rolling through AFC North teams recently with wins in eight of their past nine games and that includes some recent dominance over the Ravens. Since Christmas Day 2016, the Steelers have gone 2-0 both straight up and ATS against the Ravens. The Steelers have also been pretty good in home prime-time games, going 8-1 straight up in their past nine. Not to mention, the Steelers are nearly unbeatable in December, going 14-1 in their past 15 games played in the month (not including Monday’s game against the Bengals). As for the Ravens, since 2015, they’re 10-4-1 ATS against AFC North teams, which is the best divisional mark for any AFC team over the span.
Patriots (10-2) at Dolphins (5-7), Monday
Opening line: Patriots, -10.5 points
Over the past six weeks, the Patriots have covered every spread Vegas has thrown at them. Not only are they 6-0 ATS since Week 7, but they’ve covered spreads of 6.5, 7.5 and 17 points during that span. If there’s one time where you might want to think twice before betting the Patriots though, it’s when they play in Miami. Over the past five years, the Patriots are just 1-4 ATS and this year will be extra challenging. The 2017 game marks the first time since 2007 that the Pats have been a double-digit favorite in Miami. One thing to keep in mind here is whether Rob Gronkowski plays in this game. The Patriots tight end could be facing a suspension for the late hit he put on Buffalo’s Tre’Davious White on Sunday.