Week 14 and 15 are two of my favorite weeks of the NFL season. For fantasy football players, it's the beginning of the fantasy playoffs, and for NFL teams, the playoff push begins now.
This is when we typically get some of the best games of the season, and we have quite a slate of game scheduled for this weekend. Here are my five best bets in Week 14 for NFL betting fans to consider backing.
5 Best Spread Bets for NFL Week 14
1. Steelers (-10.5) at Raiders
The Steelers are coming off a disappointing loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at home in a game in which they led 23-7 to open the second half. Suddenly, they are now fighting to hold onto the division and their playoff spot.
This week, they will finish their AFC West slate as they take on the Raiders in Oakland. The Steelers have not had success against the Raiders since they returned to Oakland, losing all three matchups at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum.
However, the Raiders are arguably the worst team in the NFL, and the Steelers desperately need the win with the Patriots and Saints next on the schedule. Like last week, the Raiders may keep this competitive for a half or so, but expect this game to turn into a blowout by the second half.
This feels like a 34-14 win for Pittsburgh as they bounce back from their back-to-back losses. If the point spread makes you nervous, parlay the Steelers’ money line with another one of your favorite bets.
2. Eagles (+3.5) at Cowboys
Dallas won the first meeting between these two teams in Week 10, 27-20. In that game, it was the Cowboys who were coming off a Monday night home game and had to travel on the road to take on their bitter rival.
One would think that the Cowboys, who are coming off their biggest win of the season in Week 13, should be favored by more than 3.5 points. However, the Eagles have had success as of late in Dallas, winning three out of their last four with a point differential of plus-51.
The Eagles won't be afraid of the moment, and I expect them to win outright. Philadelphia needs this win to stay alive in the playoff hunt in the NFC, and I don't believe the 2017 Super Bowl Champions are going down without a fight. These two teams are relatively even talent wise, so getting the 3.5 points make this bet all the easier.
3. Giants (-3.5) vs. Redskins
The Redskins are in a rough spot right now. They have dropped three straight games and have lost two quarterbacks for the season during that same period. In Week 13, they had to travel to Philadelphia for their matchup on Monday Night Football with the Eagles, and now they have to play the Giants in New York just six days later.
Considering all of the injuries the Redskins have suffered at quarterback, offensive line and in the secondary, it's tough to think they will be able to win in a New York. On the Giants side, they have played well as of late, winning three out of their last four. The loss came in Philadelphia 25-22. I’m taking the red-hot New York Giants to cover at home.
4. Jets (+3.5) at Bills
Simply put, these are two of the worst teams in the NFL. Combined, they have a record of just 7-17 and have played some ugly football this season. In the team’s first matchup, the Bills crushed the Jets on the road, 41-10.
However, Sam Darnold is expected to get the start for the Jets, and I could see that giving New York a slight boost. I could see this game going a variety of ways, but I'm taking the Jets and the 3.5 points for the simple fact that neither of these two teams should be favored in a game. I'll take the points and hope for an ugly victory.
5. Seahawks (-3) vs. Vikings
The Monday Night Football matchup this week features two teams battling to win wild card spots with the Vikings traveling to Seattle. For the Vikings, this is going to be an incredibly tough matchup due to Pete Carroll’s success under the lights.
Since 2010, the Seahawks have a record of 23-5-1 in primetime games and are 14-2 at home. Carroll, the Seahawks don't lose when they are on a national stage, especially at home.
Both teams are incredibly talented, and I expect both to make the playoffs. But with Russell Wilson playing some of the best football of his career, give me the Seahawks to cover on Monday Night Football.