By Bill Williamson | | 4 mins
Top AFC West Bets You Should Consider Backing in NFL Week 14
The Chargers are 9-3 after a huge win in Pittsburgh on Sunday Night in front of a national audience. The Chargers were criticized for not having a signature win, but they got it against the Steelers.
The Chargers came back from a 23-7 halftime deficit. The Chargers came back to win, 33-30. Over the years, the Chargers have become known for losing these types of games. Instead, it was the Chargers that delivered down the stretch and stole a victory.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs just dealt with the biggest adversity of the season. Kansas City cut star running back Kareem Hunt on Friday after a video was released, showing Hunt attacking a woman.
The AFC West will be closely contested down the stretch, and here’s how fans of NFL betting should approach this week.
AFC West Best Bets
Chargers (-14.5) over Bengals
The Chargers are firmly in control of the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs. Yet, they are only a game out of the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a quarter of the season remaining.
This may be a celebration game for the Chargers as they come home from the big win over the Steelers. The Bengals are dead-men walking with quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green out for the season.
The Bengals have no offense and their defense allowed an NFL high 371 points. This smells like a Chargers’ blowout. Take the Chiefs at -14.5.
Broncos (-6) over 49ers
The Broncos are a reminder that the NFL regular season is long, and teams can, indeed, improve during the course of the season.
Three weeks ago, the Broncos were one of the NFL’s most boring teams. At 3-6, the only question in Denver was whether or not the Broncos were going to jettison coach Vance Joseph. However, the post-bye Broncos have been excellent. The Broncos are right on the cusp of AFC wild-card race.
Making things even more exciting for Denver is its schedule in the final quarter of the season. Their next three games are against the 49ers, Browns and Raiders. Those teams are a combined 8-27-1. The Broncos may have gotten some bad news Wednesday. Receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who has 71 catches this season, was helped off the practice field with an reported Achilles injury.
The Broncos are rolling. The 49ers are floundering. The 49ers have been outscored by 45 points in the past two games. Denver seems focused on both sides of the ball. Rookie running back Phillip Lindsay has been dominant. San Francisco is allowing 108.2 rushing yards a game. Go with Denver -6.
Chiefs-Ravens (Over 53.5)
Hunt was an integral part of the team, but Kansas City had no choice but to cut him and did the right thing. As credit to the Chiefs offense, they scored 40 points at Oakland despite cutting Hunt after the entire practice week was completed.
Kansas City is 10-2 and have a one-game edge over the New England Patriots and AFC West foe Los Angeles Chargers for the home-field advantage in the AFC. This should be a race for the rest of the season.
An over/under of 53.5 points is enormous considering one of the participants has the No. 1 ranked defense in the NFL. But the Chiefs are a pinball machine They’re games go over. Yes, Baltimore has a stout defense. But the Chiefs offense is stupid.
Kansas City has way too many weapons and way too many ways of exploding for points. Go with the over until proven otherwise.
Raiders-Steelers Under (51.5.)
The Steelers are without running James Conner this week. That means they will be a heavy-pass team again. They have thrown the ball 148 times and run it just 59 times in the past three games. Pittsburgh is 1-2 in those games. It should be able to handle Oakland, but the Steelers will be less daunting on offense.
Oakland is 2-10. If the Raiders’ win its final four games, it will tie its 6-10 mark that got Jack Del Rio fired last year in favor of Jon Gruden, who is making $10 million this season. Oakland will lose, at least, 10 games this season for the 12th time since 2003.
Oakland put up points against the Chiefs last week, but every time it has performed well on offense, it has stumbled in the next game. I can see the same thing happening against the Steelers, who have a much better defense than the Chiefs. Go with under 51.5.