NFL Pick'em Week 14: Man vs. Machine

Written by John Ferguson
December 6, 2019
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NFL Picks Week 14

NFL Picks Week 14We had an extended battle of Man vs. Machine here last week with the slate of Thanksgiving games and plenty of exciting Sunday matchups as well. We no longer have a winless team in the league (congrats, Bengals) and the Patriots dynasty lost another brick in the wall with their loss to the Texans in primetime.

Speaking of losses, man got another win against the machine last week as I finished 14-15 (48.3%) in ATS/OU picks combined compared to the machine's 13-18 (41.9%). This seals the deal on man winning the head-to-head battle this season by bringing my record to 9-4 against the machine. There is still a close battle when it comes to overall accuracy this season, however, as I have just a light edge there at 51.2% compared to 49.4% for the machine. So that will be the battle to watch going forward.

In case this is your first time reading this column, here is a quick recap of what we are doing with our weekly pick'em coverage. We have partnered up with the folks over at Betting Antelope who will be providing "the machine" aspect of our weekly pick'em. If you're unfamiliar with their product, Betting Antelope is an impressive machine learning model powered by SportsData.io and designed to predict moneyline, against the spread, over/under, and total team wins for NFL games. The model ingests data and trains itself each week as the season goes on, optimizing profitability by using a combination of regression and decision tree models to make picks. So this season, it's my research, opinions, and instincts vs. the machine.

Now that we have recapped everything and gotten everyone up to speed, let's get to our Week 14 picks!

For more info see FantasyData's Latest NFL Odds page here.

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3)

Matchup Notes:

  • Kyle Allen has a 21.1% deep ball passing completion percentage this season -- lowest in NFL.
  • The Panthers defense has 46 sacks this season -- most in NFL.
  • The Panthers defense has allowed 5.9 yards per carry since Week 6 -- highest in NFL; League Avg: 4.4
  • Matt Ryan has been sacked 15 times in the last two games.
  • Christian McCaffrey has evaded 76 tackles this season -- most in NFL.
  • Christian McCaffrey has averaged 141.8 yards from scrimmage per game since Week 10 -- best amongst NFL RBs.
  • Julio Jones has 14 contested catches this season -- tied for second-most amongst WRs.
  • Devonta Freeman has no rushing TDs on 124 carries this season -- highest carries per TD rate in NFL.
  • The Panthers defense has allowed 22 rushing TDs this season -- most in NFL.
  • The Falcons defense has allowed 1,654 yards (137.8 PG) after the catch this season -- most in NFL.
  • The Panthers are averaging 23.3 PPG overall this season but just 18.3 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Falcons have allowed 26.9 PPG overall this season but just 21.3 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Falcons are averaging 21.7 PPG overall this season but have only averaged 17.3 PPG at home.
  • The Panthers have allowed 26.7 PPG overall this season but have allowed 30.7 PPG over their last three games.

We get a quick rematch of a Week 11 tilt here where we saw the Falcons tear down the Panthers 29-3. The Panthers season is a complete wash at this point in the season and that was made crystal clear when they fired head coach Ron Rivera this week. Their loss to the Redskins last week was apparently the final straw and the fact that the loss brought their losing streak to four games certainly didn't help matters. For betting purposes this season, the Panthers are 6-6 ATS and 3-2 ATS on the road. The over has hit in eight of their 12 games this season and four-of-six games where they were the underdog. The Falcons are an equally disappointing mess at this point in the season making this a game where anything can really happen. The fact that the Panthers just canned their long-time coach doesn't put a lot of faith in them turning things around at this point, however.

The Falcons easily got the best of the Panthers earlier this season, but for whatever reason, this usually-dominant home team has struggled greatly in Georgia this season. You have a recipe for disaster here at home for the Falcons where their offense has scored significantly less than average and their defense has also given up more than their season average, allowing 28.2 PPG at home. Matt Ryan has gotten the life sacked out of him recently with 15 sacks in the last two games and nine last week alone. He's also been hit 26 times in the last two games combined. Pretty insane numbers, but not all that surprising given they faced the Saints and Bucs who have two of the best pass-rushing units in the league this season. Things aren't about to get any easier as the Panthers lead the league with 46 sacks this season. For betting purposes, the Falcons are 4-8 ATS this season and 2-4 ATS at home. They haven't covered the spread yet this season in three games as the favorite. The under has hit in eight of their 12 games this season and in five of their last six games. It has also hit in five of their six home games this season. The over has hit in two of the three games where they were the favorite.

My Final Prediction: Falcons win 23-20

My Pick: Push, Under 47

Machine Pick: Panthers +3, Under 47


Baltimore Ravens (-5.5) at Buffalo Bills

Matchup Notes:

  • Lamar Jackson has a passer rating of 137.8 since Week 10 -- second best in NFL.
  • Lamar Jackson has thrown 14 TDs and no INTS since Week 6.
  • Mark Ingram has a 39.2% juke rate this season -- highest in NFL.
  • Mark Andrews has nine end-zone targets this season -- most amongst TEs.
  • Josh Allen has a 74.7% protection rate this season -- second-lowest of 33 qualified QBs.
  • Josh Allen has a 25% pressured completion percentage -- second-lowest of 33 qualified QBs.
  • Devin Singletary has a 33.1% juke rate this season -- third-highest in NFL.
  • The Bills defense has allowed an average of 3.9 yards after contact per carry since Week 10 -- highest in NFL.
  • The Ravens are averaging 33.8 PPG overall this season (most in NFL) and 39.5 PPG on the road.
  • The Bills have allowed 15.7 PPG overall this season (third-fewest in NFL) and just 12.7 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Bills are averaging 21.4 PPG overall this season and 27.7 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Ravens have allowed 18.2 PPG overall this season (fifth-fewest in NFL) and just 10 PPG over their last three games.

Last week's game against the Ravens and 49ers helped give us a better feeling about who the best team in the league is right now and the Ravens came out of that matchup victorious. This brings their winning streak to an impressive eight games as Lamar Jackson continued to look virtually unstoppable. The game was as close as I had anticipated with it being just a three-point win and it was the closest final the Ravens have seen since Week 5. They have scored over 40 points in each of their last two road games but get another tough defense this week in the Bills. For betting this season, The Ravens haven't been as much of a lock to cover as they're 6-6 ATS. They're 4-2 ATS on the road and 4-5 ATS at the favorite. The over has hit in seven of their 12 games this season and in five of their six road games this season. 

It's crazy to see at this point in the season, but the Bills are just one game behind the Patriots in the AFC East. It was easy to say that the Bills' wins this season were gifted given their easy matchups against teams like the Dolphins, Redskins, Bengals, Giants, and Jets. But their most recent win against the Cowboys under the spotlight of a Thanksgiving Day game in Dallas was the kind of statement win we needed to see to know this team is for real. Their three-game winning streak will likely come to a sudden halt this week against the red hot Ravens. For betting, The Bills have been the most reliable this season and are 8-3-1 ATS which is best in the NFL at 72.7%. They're just 3-3 ATS at home but are also 4-0-1 ATS as the underdog. I have to say I am a little wary of them getting just 5.5 points though given how hot the Ravens are. The under has hit in nine of the Bills' 12 games this season which is tied for most under hits in the league, but the Ravens have been capable of covering over 40 points on their own often this season and the Bills did give up 31 points to the Eagles a few weeks back which makes me lean towards the over.

My Final Prediction: Ravens win 30-17

My Pick: Ravens -5.5, Over 43.5

Machine Pick: Bills +5.5, Under 43.5


Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (-7.5)

Matchup Notes:

  • The Bengals have allowed 1,891 rushing yards this season (157.6 PG) -- most in NFL
  • Bengals RBs have rushed for two TDs on 222 carries (111 Carries Per TD) this season -- highest carries per TD rate in NFL; League Avg: 34.2
  • Nick Chubb has evaded 74 tackles this season -- tied for third-most in NFL.
  • The Browns defense has blitzed on 32.6% of plays since Week 10 -- 2nd highest in NFL; League Avg: 18.0%
  • Sheldon Richardson (CLE) has missed 10 tackles on 25 opportunities (40.0%) since Week 6 -- highest of 45 qualified NFL defensive linemen; League Avg: 15.9%
  • The Bengals are averaging 14.9 PPG overall this season and just 12.8 PPG on the road.
  • The Browns have allowed 22.7 PPG overall this season but just 17 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Browns are averaging 20.5 PPG overall this season and 25 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Bengals have allowed 24.8 PPG overall this season but just 13 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Bengals are 5-7 ATS this season. They're 4-1 ATS on the road this season and 5-5 ATS as the underdog.
  • The Browns are 4-7-1 ATS this season, 2-3-1 ATS at home, and 3-4-1 ATS as the favorite.

The Bengals did it! We no longer have a winless team in the NFL this season and unsurprisingly, we can thank the Jets for bombing and allowing this to happen. With Andy Dalton back under center, the Bengals didn't suddenly look like they were ready to set the world on fire or anything but they did look more poised and locked in than they did with Ryan Finley under center. They get their first of two matchups against the Browns this week and haven't allowed more than 17 points in each of their last three games.

The Browns are coming off a disappointing road loss against their division rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers. They get another inter-divisional tilt against the late-blooming Bengals who are fresh off their first win of the season. Baker Mayfield exited last week's game with a finger injury and didn't look right thereafter. All signs point to him being fine to play this week which helps keep the Browns listed as heavy favorites. The Browns can still finish this season at 8-8 with two games against the Bengals and one against the Cardinals on deck. Their Week 16 tilt against the surging Ravens will keep them from crossing over that mark, however. The Browns haven't exactly been a lock for betting this season. I like them to win this week, but with Dalton back I wouldn't bank on them covering.

My Final Prediction: Browns win 20-17

My Pick: Bengals +7.5, Under 41.5

Machine Pick: Bengals +7.5, Over 41.5


Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers (-12)

Matchup Notes:

  • Derrius Guice has averaged 6.8 yards after contact per carry on rushes up the middle since Week 10 -- best of 40 qualified NFL RBs; League Avg: 2.0
  • Dwayne Haskins has been sacked on 23.5% of pass attempts in the red zone since Week 10 -- highest of 25 qualified NFL QBs; League Avg: 6.2%
  • Redskins WRs have no touchdowns on 29 receptions since Week 10 -- tied for highest receptions per TD rate in NFL
  • The Redskins defense has sacked opposing QBs on 24.1% of pass attempts in the red zone since Week 6 -- best in NFL; League Avg: 5.8%
  • Aaron Rodgers has thrown deep balls on 45.5% of pass attempts when under pressure since Week 10 -- highest of 30 qualified NFL QBs; League Avg: 14.0%
  • Aaron Rodgers has thrown six TDs and no INTs against the blitz this season -- tied for best of 35 qualified NFL QBs
  • Aaron Rodgers has been sacked just once on 66 pass attempts in the red zone this season -- tied for best among NFL QBs
  • The Packers defensive line has missed six tackles on 11 opportunities (54.5%) in the red zone this season -- highest in NFL; League Avg: 19.6%
  • The Packers defense has tackled opponents for a loss on just 15 of 309 rushing attempts (4.9% TFL%) this season. -- lowest in NFL.
  • The Packers defense has tackled opponents for a loss on just one of 57 rushing attempts (1.8% TFL%) in the red zone this season. -- lowest in NFL.
  • The Redskins are averaging just 14.4 PPG overall this season (fewest in NFL) but have averaged 21.7 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Packers have allowed 21.2 PPG this season.
  • The Packers are averaging 24.1 PPG overall this season and 27.3 PPG at home.
  • The Redskins have allowed 24.2 PPG this season.

The Redskins are coming into this game... hot? That just doesn't feel right. They have won their last two games though with their most recent upset over the Panthers being their highest-scoring game of the season. It also helped usher Ron Rivera out of a job. This team has some exciting young talent that will probably be horribly underutilized by this lost franchise. The party will end at frigid Lambeau Field this weekend. For betting purposes, the Redskins are 5-7 ATS this season. They're 3-3 ATS on the road and 5-5 ATS as the underdog. They'll likely get blown out this week.

The Packers were desperate for some redemption after getting beat down 37-8 by the 49ers in Week 12. They turned the tides onto the Giants last week as they won in icy conditions 31-13. They relaxed and will get to do so again this week as they should sleepwalk to a victory against the Redskins. The Packers have been a pretty good bet this season and are 8-4 ATS which is tied for the second-best record in the league. They're 4-2 ATS at home which is tied for second-best in the league and 6-3 ATS as the favorite. 

My Final Prediction: Packers win 31-17

My Pick: Packers -12, Over 41.5

Machine Pick: Redskins +12, Under 41.5


Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-12.5)

Matchup Notes:

  • Kenny Golladay has averaged 25.2 yards per reception since Week 6 -- best of 69 qualified NFL WRs; League Avg: 13.2
  • Lions WRs averaged 23.0 yards per reception last week -- best in NFL.
  • The Lions went three and out on 45.5% of their drives last week -- tied for highest in NFL.
  • The Lions defense has allowed a passer rating of 111.2 since Week 6 -- second-highest in NFL; League Avg: 90.0
  • Kirk Cousins has an 89.7% protection rate this season -- tied for highest in NFL.
  • Kirk Cousins has averaged 10.9 yards per attempt when under pressure since Week 10 -- best of 30 qualified NFL QBs; League Avg: 5.2
  • Dalvin Cook has evaded 75 tackles this season -- second-most in NFL, just one behind McCaffrey.
  • Stefon Diggs has averaged 8.8 air yards per target this season -- most amongst WRs.
  • Vikings linebackers have missed just four tackles on 72 opportunities (5.6%) since Week 6 -- best in NFL; League Avg: 15.8%
  • The Lions are averaging 23.3 PPG this season.
  • The Vikings have allowed 20.2 PPG overall this season but just 15.6 PPG at home.
  • The Vikings are averaging 26.6 PPG overall this season and 29.2 PPG at home.
  • The Lions have allowed 26.2 PPG this season.

The Lions continue to spiral out of control as they dropped their fifth-straight game on Thanksgiving against the Bears. They have now lost eight of their last nine games and there isn't a whole lot of hope in sight. It would be incredibly surprising to see Matthew Stafford return to action at this point with nothing to win this season. There isn't a gimme win on their schedule the remainder of the way either with games against the Vikings, Bucs, Broncos, and Packers on tap. The Lions have been equally disappointing when it comes to covering the spread this season as they are 5-7 ATS. They're 2-4 ATS on the road and 5-4 ATS as the underdog. 

The Vikings have remained consistent on offense and put up 30 points against the Seahawks last week. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to secure the win as they gave up a season-high 37 points to Seattle. This was the type of game the Vikings really needed to win to help their chances for a high seed in the playoffs and to be taken more seriously as one of the toughest teams to beat. They should feast this week against a lost Lions team. For betting purposes, the Vikings are 6-6 ATS this season. They're 3-2 ATS at home and 5-4 ATS as the favorite. I know the Vikes are a lock here, especially at home where they haven't lost this season. 12.5 points may seem like a lot to give the Lions, but the Vikes won by 12 when these teams met back in Week 7 by a score of 42-30 and that was when Stafford was active.

My Final Prediction: Vikings win 30-14

My Pick: Vikings -12.5, Over 43

Machine Pick: Vikings -12.5, Under 43


San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints (-2.5)

Matchup Notes:

  • Jimmy Garoppolo has a 51.7 % deep ball passing completion percentage this season -- highest in NFL.
  • Raheem Mostert has created 2.03 yards per attempt this season -- most in NFL.
  • George Kittle has averaged 18.2 yards per reception since Week 10 -- best of 31 qualified NFL TEs.
  • The 49ers defense has allowed just 7.1 yards per completion since Week 10 -- best in NFL; League Avg: 11.2
  • The 49ers defense has allowed 126.5 passing yards per game since Week 10 -- best in NFL; League Avg: 226.4
  • Alvin Kamara has a 36.5% juke rate this season -- second-highest in NFL.
  • Michael Thomas has 19 red-zone targets this season -- second-most among WRs.
  • Michael Thomas has caught 11-of-14 contested targets (78.6%) this season -- second-highest contested catch rate amongst WRs.
  • Jared Cook has eight end-zone targets this season -- tied with Travis Kelce for second-most amongst TEs.
  • The 49ers are averaging 29.1 PPG overall this season but just 24.3 PPG on the road.
  • The Saints have allowed 20.7 PPG this season.
  • The Saints are averaging 24.8 PPG overall this season and 31.3 PPG over their last three games.
  • The 49ers have allowed 15.2 PPG this season -- second-fewest in NFL.

Lamar Jackson Fantasy.jpgThe 49ers find themselves in another marquee matchup this week after losing just their second game of the season last week against the Ravens, 17-20. It was about as impressive of a loss you could ask for from a team but no one can stop Lamar Jackson and the Ravens right now. The Saints are a completely different type of offense compared to the Ravens right now but are still hot in their own right. Their run defense has been one of the toughest in the league this season meaning that the 49ers will need Jimmy G in top form. For betting this season, the 49ers are 7-4-1 ATS this season. They're 4-2 ATS on the road and 4-0 ATS as the underdog.

As mentioned, the Saints have been on a roll lately with three wins in a row. They have also averaged just over 30 PPG during that span. The defense has been a hot and cold unit this season as they've bounced back and forth from holding opponents to low scoring to allowing around 26-27 PPG. They are due for a higher scoring allowance this week, but luckily their strength is in their run defense which is where the 49ers have had the most success on offense this season as well. If the Saints can keep Jimmy G in check, they won't need the offense to do quite as much against the 49ers all-around elite defense. The Saints have been a good bet this season and are 8-4 ATS which is tied for the second-best record in the league. They're 3-3 ATS at home and 4-3 ATS as the favorite.

My Final Prediction: 49ers win 28-24

My Pick: 49ers +2.5, Over 44.5

Machine Pick: Saints -2.5, Under 44.5


Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (-5)

Matchup Notes:

  • The Dolphins have allowed 1,722 rushing yards this season -- second-most in NFL.
  • Dolphins RBs have no touchdowns on 66 receptions this season -- tied for highest receptions per TD rate in NFL.
  • Dolphins RBs have averaged just 2.9 yards per carry this season -- lowest in NFL; League Avg: 4.2
  • The Dolphins have allowed opponents to pressure their QB on 19.4% of dropbacks since Week 6 -- second-highest in NFL.
  • Sam Darnold has a passer rating of just 60.3 in the red zone this season -- lowest of 33 qualified NFL QBs; League Avg: 92.1
  • Ryan Griffin has averaged 2.58 yards of separation per target this season -- most amongst TEs.
  • The Jets defense has tackled opponents for a loss on 45 of 198 rushing attempts (22.7% TFL%) since Week 6 -- best in NFL; League Avg: 12.4%
  • The Jets defense has allowed just 2.9 yards per carry since Week 6 -- best in NFL; League Avg: 4.4
  • The Dolphins are averaging 16.7 PPG overall this season (fourth-fewest in NFL) but have averaged 27 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Jets have allowed 23.3 PPG overall this season but just 14 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Jets are averaging 17 PPG overall this season (fifth-fewest in NFL) but have averaged 24.7 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Dolphins have allowed 31.4 PPG overall this season (most in NFL) and 36.3 PPG over their last three games. 

The Dolphins got their third win of the season last week playing major spoilers against the playoff-contending Eagles. They put up a season-high 37 points in the game and despite losing two of their last three, their scoring has been trending up each week. The 27 PPG they have averaged over their last three games are more than teams like the Patriots, Cowboys, Texans, and Rams to name a few. The problem is that their defense is back to giving up the most points in the league as well as each of their last three opponents has gone over 30 points. The Dolphins get a chance to finish the season rather hot here with matchups against the Jets, Giants, and Bengals on deck before an inevitable Week 17 loss to the Patriots. They got their first win of the season against this very same Jets team back in Week 9. I wouldn't be surprised to see this team finish out the season with a 6-10 record after being heavy favorites for an 0-16 finish early in the season. For betting, the Dolphins are 6-6 ATS this season and have been the underdog in every game. They're also 3-2 ATS on the road.

The Jets continue to make no sense as a team this season and are probably the most unpredictable team in the NFL right now. After scoring exactly 34 points in each of their last three games against the Giants, Redskins, and Raiders, they struggle to put up six points against the Bengals and give them their first win. Now they face the Dolphins again whom they also gave their first win back in Week 9. The Dolphins have been trending up and we're back to not knowing which direction the Jets are heading. For betting this season, The Jets are 5-7 ATS. They're 3-3 ATS at home and 0-3 ATS as the favorite.

My Final Prediction: Dolphins win 23-21

My Pick: Dolphins +5, Under 46

Machine Pick: Dolphins +5, Under 46


Indianapolis Colts at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)

Matchup Notes:

  • The Colts have thrown the ball 48.7% of the time this season (tied for fourth lowest) and 60.2% last season (fifth highest).
  • Colts TEs have been targeted 10 times in the red zone since Week 10 -- most in NFL.
  • Jameis Winston has thrown 31 interceptable passes this season -- most in NFL.
  • Ronald Jones, Peyton Barber, and Dare Ogunbowale all rank inside the top five for the highest stacked box percentage this season.
  • Mike Evans has 879 air yards this season -- most amongst WRs.
  • Mike Evans has 15 end-zone targets this season -- most amongst WRs.
  • Chris Godwin has 14 contested catches this season -- tied for second-most amongst WRs.
  • The Buccaneers defense has allowed 3,382 passing yards this season -- second-most in NFL.
  • The Colts are averaging 21.8 PPG this season.
  • The Bucs have allowed 28.8 PPG overall this season and 31 PPG at home.
  • The Bucs are averaging 28.3 (fourth-most in NFL) PPG overall this season but just 23.8 PPG at home.
  • The Colts have allowed 21.4 PPG this season.

The Colts quickly slid from first place in the AFC South to third place after back-to-back losses against the Texans and Titans. The offense has been dealing with a rash of injuries as they've been without their top wideout, T.Y. Hilton, and their top RB, Marlon Mack. They also lost TE Eric Ebron recently. Mack is pushing towards a return to action as early as this week and rookie wideout Parris Campbell is looking to return as well, but his involvement could be limited. The Bucs have been incredibly generous to opponents at home this season, but I'm not sure the Colts have a 30-point game in them right now which could be needed if the Bucs are firing on all cylinders. For betting purposes, the Colts are 6-5-1 ATS this season. They're 3-1-1 ATS on the road and 3-2-1 ATS as the underdog.

The Bucs are coming into this with a little momentum on their side having won their last two games and three of their last four. They only turned the ball over once last week which should be considered a win when your QB is Jameis Winston. Their defense has been strong the last two weeks with five sacks and two INTs last week and six sacks and one INT against Matt Ryan the week prior. This team has struggled to win at home this season going just 1-3 there. The Colts just allowed 31 points to the Titans last week though, and we know the Bucs have the high-scoring ability in them. The Bucs have been volatile when it comes to betting, especially at home. They are just 4-8 ATS overall this season. They're 0-4 ATS at home (worst in NFL) and 1-3 ATS as the favorite.

My Final Prediction: Buccaneers win 27-24

My Pick: Push, Over 47.5

Machine Pick: Bucs -3, Under 47.5


Denver Broncos at Houston Texans (-9)

Matchup Notes:

  • The Broncos defense has allowed just two rushing TDs on 199 carries (99.5 carries per TD) since Week 6 -- third-best carries per TD rate in NFL; League Avg: 31.5
  • The Broncos defense has not forced any fumbles (331 carries) this season -- highest in NFL; League Avg: 66.1
  • Broncos RBs have no touchdowns on 66 receptions this season -- tied for highest receptions per TD rate in NFL
  • The Broncos defense has allowed a completion percentage of 71.9% since Week 10 -- highest in NFL; League Avg: 62.0%
  • Deshaun Watson has a 68.2% red zone completion percentage this season -- second-highest in NFL.
  • The Texans secondary have missed 31 tackles on 138 opportunities (22.5%) since Week 6 -- highest in NFL; League Avg: 14.3%
  • The Texans defense has allowed 195.0 rushing yards per game since Week 10 -- highest in NFL.
  • The Broncos are averaging 16.5 PPG this season -- third-fewest in NFL.
  • The Texans have allowed 22.6 PPG overall this season and 26.7 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Texans are averaging 24.4 PPG overall this season but just 18.3 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Broncos have allowed 19.8 PPG this season.

The Broncos sent the Chargers down to the basement of the AFC West last week with their win. Drew Lock was serviceable in his first game and got a lot of help from second-year breakout WR Courtland Sutton in the game. Their defense continues to be an underrated unit as they have held four of their last five opponents to 20 points or less but will get a real test this week as they travel to Houston. While the Broncos have found ways to win this season, this game will not be one of them. For betting purposes, the Broncos are 7-5 ATS this season. They're 3-3 ATS on the road and 6-3 ATS as the underdog.

The Texans are coming off one of the biggest statement wins of the season as they beat the Patriots 28-22 in primetime. Deshaun Watson was in elite form in this one as he needed to carry the team on his back with the running game finding nowhere to go against the Pats stout run defense. After a game like that, the Broncos should be a cakewalk. For betting, the Texans are 6-6 ATS this season. They're 2-4 ATS at home and 1-4 ATS as the favorite.

My Final Prediction: Texans win 27-17

My Pick: Texans -9, Over 42

Machine Pick: Broncos +9, Under 42


Los Angeles Chargers (-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Matchup Notes:

  • Philip Rivers' targets have dropped 25 passes this season -- third-most in NFL.
  • Philip Rivers has 69 red zone attempts this season -- second-most in NFL.
  • Mike Williams has averaged 15.7 air yards per reception this season -- most in NFL.
  • Hunter Henry has averaged 7.5 air yards per target this season -- most amongst TEs.
  • Leonard Fournette has created 421 yards this season -- third-most amongst RBs.
  • The Jaguars defense has allowed 17 rushing TDs this season -- second-most in NFL.
  • The Chargers are averaging 20.3 PPG this season.
  • The Jaguars have allowed 24.3 PPG overall this season and 34.3 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Jaguars are averaging 18.3 PPG overall this season but just 14.7 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Chargers have allowed 20.1 PPG this season.

The Chargers hit a new low last week as they fell to last place in the AFC West. Their season has been a wash for some time now and with threats of them starting Tyrod Taylor over Philip Rivers, the coaches are basically just scrambling to keep their jobs. There is still a boatload of talent on this offense and the Jags recent struggles could be the get right matchup the Chargers have been searching for. The Chargers have been an unreliable team for betting purposes this season and are 3-7-2 ATS this season which is the second-worst record in the league ahead of only the Bears. They're 2-3-1 ATS on the road and 1-6-1 ATS as the favorite. The Jags could win this game straight-up which makes the Chargers even more unreliable to cover a three-point spread.

The Jags have gone nowhere since Nick Foles returned to action, which prompted the team to revert back to the power of Minshew-mania. Even this magical man couldn't salvage the game last week, but maybe a matchup against a sinking Chargers team is just what the Jags need to get right as well. With both teams struggling greatly right now, it's really hard to predict the outcome. They could both continue to struggle and get nowhere in a back and forth, low-scoring affair or one team will play slump buster and ball out. For betting, the Jags are 5-7 ATS this season. They're 2-3 ATS at home and 3-5 ATS as the underdog.

My Final Prediction: Jaguars win 26-20

My Pick: Jaguars +3, Over 43

Machine Pick: Chargers -3, Under 43


Tennessee Titans (-3) at Oakland Raiders

Matchup Notes:

  • Ryan Tannehill has a 52.2% pressured completion percentage this season -- highest in NFL.
  • Derrick Henry has created 498 yards this season -- most amongst RBs.
  • Derek Carr has an 89.7% protection rate this season -- tied for highest in NFL.
  • Derek Carr has a 68.6% red zone completion percentage this season -- highest in NFL.
  • Josh Jacobs has 13 breakaway runs (15+ yards) this season -- tied for most in NFL.
  • The Titans are averaging 23 PPG overall this season and 36 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Raiders have allowed 27 PPG overall this season but just 20.4 PPG at home.
  • The Raiders are averaging 19.8 PPG overall this season but just 9.7 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Titans have allowed 19.5 PPG overall this season and 23 PPG over their last three games.

The Titans are one of the hottest teams in the league over the last three weeks as they strung together crucial wins against the Chiefs, Jags, and Colts. Ryan Tannehill has propelled the team into an instant contender. They really control their own destiny within their division this season as they still have two games left against the first-place Texans. Before that though, they get an ice-cold Raiders team who hasn't managed to score more than nine points in the last two weeks. As long as the Titans don't look past this game towards their Week 15 tilt against Houston, they'll be alright. The Titans are 6-5-1 ATS this season. They're 3-3 ATS on the road and 3-3-1 ATS as the favorite.

The Raiders were the worst road team in the league last season as they struggled to average in the neighborhood of 12 PPG on the road. It seems those struggles have followed them this season as they have scored a combined 12 points in their last two games while the defense has allowed 74 points. Derek Carr seems to have hit a wall after looking to have taken a big step forward earlier in the season and this offense just can't find it's rhythm. A surging Titans team is the last thing they need right now, but at least they're back at home where they last won three in a row. The Raiders are 6-6 ATS this season. They're 3-2 ATS at home and 5-4 ATS as the underdog.

My Final Prediction: Titans win 27-23

My Pick: Titans -3, Over 47

Machine Pick: Push, Under 47


Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (-3)

Matchup Notes:

  • Patrick Mahomes has thrown seven TDs and no INTs against the blitz this season -- tied for best of 35 qualified NFL QBs.
  • Patrick Mahomes has two INTs on 352 attempts (1 INT per 176.0 attempts) this season -- second-best of 27 qualified NFL QBs.
  • Tyreek Hill has averaged 2.25 yards of separation per target this season -- second-most amongst WRs.
  • Travis Kelce has 15 red-zone targets this season -- most amongst TEs.
  • The Chiefs have allowed 1,696 rushing yards this season -- third-most in NFL.
  • Tom Brady has 84 attempts in the red zone this season -- most in NFL by 15 attempts.
  • Tom Brady has not thrown any TDs on 50 pass attempts in close and late situations this season -- tied for highest pass attempts per TD rate of 33 qualified NFL QBs.
  • Julian Edelman has 20 red-zone targets this season -- most amongst WRs.
  • Patriots RBs have averaged 73.9 receiving yards per game this season-best in NFL; League Avg: 40.3
  • The Chiefs defense has allowed 179.9 yards from scrimmage per game to RBs since Week 6 -- highest in NFL.
  • The Patriots defense has not allowed any rushing touchdowns on 67 carries since Week 10 -- best carries per TD rate in NFL; League Avg: 33.2
  • The Patriots defense has allowed a passer rating of just 57.3 this season-best in NFL; League Avg: 91.0
  • The Patriots defense has allowed opponents to catch just 218 of 385 passes (56.6% Reception Pct) this season-best in NFL; League Avg: 66.2%
  • The Chiefs are averaging 29 PPG this season.
  • The Pats have allowed just 12.1 PPG this season -- fewest in NFL.
  • The Pats are averaging 26.8 PPG overall this season but just 17.3 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Chiefs have allowed 22.1 PPG this season.

We get an exciting rematch of last season's AFC Championship game this week as the Patriots host the Chiefs. The Chiefs are coming off their recent demolishing of the Raiders where they won 40-9 last week. Patrick Mahomes seems free and clear of the injury concerns that plagued him earlier this season and should be in prime form for this contest. The Chiefs have scored at least 24 points in all but one game this season and will look to use the blueprint laid out by the Texans and Ravens this season on how to best the Pats. The Chiefs are 7-5 ATS this season. They're 3-2 ATS on the road and 1-1 ATS as the underdog.

The Patriots offense looks like it is on fumes already before the regular season is even over and that translated to just their second loss of the season against the Texans in primetime last week. Both of their losses this season have come on the road, making this home matchup against another strong offense led by a young stud QB a little more promising for TB12 and crew. I don't usually bet against the Pats at home, but the Chiefs have the firepower to pull off an upset here. The Pats are 7-5 ATS this season and have been the favorite in every game. They're also 3-2 ATS at home.

My Final Prediction: Chiefs win 27-24

My Pick: Chiefs +3, Over 49

Machine Pick: Patriots -3, Under 49


Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Arizona Cardinals

Matchup Notes:

  • Diontae Johnson has averaged 2.87 yards of separation per target this season -- most amongst WRs.
  • James Washington has averaged 15.1 yards per target since Week 10 -- second-best of 69 qualified NFL WRs.
  • The Steelers defense has pressured the opposing QB 146 times (12.2 per game) this season -- most in NFL.
  • The Steelers defense has allowed one rushing TD on 163 carries since Week 6 -- best carries per TD rate in NFL.
  • Kyler Murray has been sacked 41 times this season -- most in NFL.
  • The Cardinals have allowed 1,654 yards after the catch this season -- most in NFL.
  • Kenyan Drake has seen a light box on 69.3% of his carries this season -- third highest in the NFL.
  • The Steelers are averaging 19.7 PPG overall this season but just 14 PPG on the road and 14.3 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Cardinals have allowed 29.2 PPG overall this season (second-most in NFL) and 33.3 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Cardinals are averaging 21.2 PPG this season.
  • The Steelers have allowed 18.8 PPG overall this season and just 14.7 PPG over their last three games.

The Steelers are one of the most vanilla teams in the league in this season but for whatever reason, it's working as they just keep getting gifted wins. They've won six of their last seven games and got a little help from Baker Mayfield injuring his hand in last week's matchup. This team is somehow in the playoff hunt despite playing third stringers pretty much all around on offense this season and will look to take advantage of a team led by a struggling rookie QB this week. The Steelers are 8-4 ATS this season which is tied for the second-best record in the league. They're 3-2 ATS on the road and 3-2 ATS as the favorite.

The Cardinals have lost five straight and couldn't take advantage of that late bye week to help them reset their season. They got tore up 34-7 against their division-rivals, the Rams, last week as their offense could just never get going. They have now allowed at least 30 points in each of their last three games. Kyler Murray has been banged up which could be hurting him, but it could also just be a case of the dreaded rookie wall for him and Kingsbury. The Cardinals are 7-4-1 ATS this season. They're 3-3 ATS at home and 7-3-1 ATS as the underdog.

My Final Prediction: Steelers win 23-21

My Pick: Cardinals +3, Over 43

Machine Pick: Cardinals +3, Under 43


Seattle Seahawks (-1) at Los Angeles Rams

Matchup Notes:

  • Russell Wilson has thrown just five interceptable passes this season -- fewest in NFL.
  • DK Metcalf has 14 end-zone targets this season -- second-most amongst WRs.
  • Seahawks WRs have been targeted 4.8 times per game in the red zone since Week 6 -- highest in NFL.
  • Rashaad Penny has averaged 4.1 yards after contact per carry (31 carries) on rushes up the middle this season -- best of 41 qualified NFL RBs.
  • Jared Goff has thrown two TDs on 139 pass attempts (one TD every 69.5 Pass Attempts) since Week 10 -- highest pass attempts per TD rate of 32 qualified NFL QBs.
  • Rams RBs have caught just 27 of 45 passes (60.0% Reception Pct) this season -- lowest in NFL; League Avg: 76.6%
  • Rams WRs have averaged 6.1 yards after the catch this season -- tied for best in NFL; League Avg: 4.3
  • The Rams defense has hurried the opposing QB 76 times this season -- most in NFL.
  • The Seahawks are averaging 27.4 PPG this season -- fifth-most in NFL.
  • The Rams have allowed 20.8 PPG overall this season and 27.2 PPG at home.
  • The Rams are averaging 23.6 PPG overall this season but just 19.4 PPG at home.
  • The Seahawks have allowed 24.4 PPG overall this season but just 19.5 PPG on the road.

The Seahawks are on a roll as they have won five straight. Their most recent win against the Vikings carries a lot of weight when it comes to looking at potential playoff seeding this season. The Seahawks are neck and neck with the 49ers in the NFC West right now and seem to be getting stronger as the season goes on. Their running game had its best performance of the season last week as they totaled 218 rushing yards as a team. They have found fresh legs and a new approach with Rashaad Penny lightening the load for Chris Carson. Even with the spread basically being a pick'em, the Seahawks feel like at least a three-point favorite to me against the Rams. The Seahawks are 7-5 ATS this season. They're 5-1 ATS on the road which is tied for second-best in the league and 4-5 ATS as the favorite.

The Rams have a pretty solid recipe for disaster at home this season as their defense has given up more points than their season average there while their offense has scored less. To make matters worse, the Seahawks defense has also been more stingy on the road this season averaging just under 20 PPG allowed this season. Jared Goff is coming off his second-best game of the season having thrown for 424 yards and two TDs against the Cardinals last week. Before that, he had a rough three-game stretch against tougher defenses where he had no passing TDs and five INTs. He threw for 395 yards with one TD and one INT when these teams met back in Week 5 where the Rams lost by just one point. For betting, The Rams are 8-4 ATS this season which is tied for the second-best record in the league. They're 2-3 ATS at home and 1-1 ATS as the underdog.

My Final Prediction: Seahawks win 27-24

My Pick: Seahawks -1, Over 47

Machine Pick: Seahawks -1, Push (O/U)


New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-9.5)

Matchup Notes:

  • The Giants defense has tackled opponents for a loss on 16 of 75 rushing attempts (21.3% TFL%) since Week 10. -- best in NFL; League Avg: 11.8%
  • Giants RBs have rushed for one TD on 120 carries since Week 6 -- second-highest carries per TD rate in NFL.
  • The Giants have allowed a QB Hit on 14.1% of dropbacks since Week 6 -- highest in NFL.
  • The Giants defense has allowed passes of 40+ yards on 14 of 387 attempts (3.6%) this season -- highest in NFL; League Avg: 1.7%
  • Zach Ertz has 13 red-zone targets this season -- second-most amongst TEs.
  • Eagles TEs have averaged 114.3 receiving yards per game since Week 10 -- best in NFL.
  • Miles Sanders has averaged 6.6 yards from scrimmage per touch since Week 6 -- second-best of 35 qualified NFL RBs.
  • 33.3% of the plays ran against the Eagles were in the red zone in the first half last week -- highest in NFL.
  • The Giants are averaging 19.2 PPG this season.
  • The Eagles have allowed 23.7 PPG overall this season but just 18 PPG at home.
  • The Eagles are averaging 22.8 PPG overall this season but just 16.7 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Giants have allowed 28.2 PPG this season -- fourth-most in NFL.

Alshon Jeffery.jpgWe get a heated, long-standing division rivalry here for primetime this week as the Eagles host the Giants. With Daniel Jones in a walking boot midweek, it looks like the Giants will be forced to hand the ball back over to Eli Manning. Manning's triumphant return couldn't have come at a better time really. The Giants are slowly sinking into the depths of having the worst record in the league with the Bengals getting their first win last week. They'll also be going up against a cold Eagles team who just allowed 37 points to the Dolphins last week. It's the perfect setting for Manning to come in, grab a win or two in relief, and ride off into the sunset. For betting, the Giants are 4-8 ATS this season. They're 3-3 ATS on the road and 3-6 ATS as the underdog. 

As mentioned, the Eagles have been a mess as of late and hit a new low with their loss to the Dolphins last week. Luckily for the Eagles, the Cowboys have been an equally hot mess as these teams keep just handing the rights over to the top spot in the NFC East to each other. The Eagles could put a nail in the Cowboys coffin by stringing together back-to-back wins here against the Giants this week and the Redskins next week before they face the Cowboys in Week 16. The Eagles are 4-8 ATS this season. They're 2-4 ATS at home and 2-4 ATS as the favorite.

My Final Prediction: Eagles win 30-26

My Pick: Giants +9.5, Over 45.5

Machine Pick: Eagles -9.5, Over 45.5


John Ferguson

John Ferguson is an avid Fantasy Football fanatic with 10+ years of experience in friends and family leagues, paying public leagues, and DFS Tournaments. Ferguson specializes in draft strategies, trade negotiations (Buy Low/Sell High) and DFS value picks amongst other parts of fantasy football analysis. When Ferguson isn’t spending time skimming over stats while at the beach, he follows the Oakland Athletics closely as a diehard fan and enjoys spending quality time with his beautiful wife and three children. A native of Monterey, California, Ferguson now calls Quintana Roo, Mexico home.