NFL Week 14 Picks & Predictions: The Bets Our Experts Locked in Early, Including Chiefs vs. Patriots
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) under center against the Houston Texans in the first quarter at NRG Stadium.
- Betting early in the week is often the best way to beat closing lines, and get the most value out of your picks.
- Our experts reveal the early NFL bets they made for Week 14 below.
NFL spreads usually open up on Sunday evenings for the following week — and after they do, they’re almost immediately on the move. The early bets serve as a signal to bookmakers for what the “true” odds should be, and sportsbooks aren’t shy about adjusting on the fly if the market is telling them they missed the mark.
Betting earlier in the week is a key way you can beat the closing line, which should be your goal as a bettor.
Our NFL experts picked three games early in an attempt to beat the market:
- Matthew Freedman discusses Ravens at Bills (Odds: Ravens -5.5)
- John Ewing hits on Chiefs at Patriots (Odds: Patriots -3)
- Mike Randle analyzes Titans at Raiders (Odds: Titans -3)
Matthew Freedman: Ravens -5.5 at Bills
I have a lot of respect for the Bills, who have a good home-field advantage, but the Ravens are just too good for me not to back at anything under -6.
The Ravens haven’t lost since the first month of the season, and seemingly every other week they defeat one of the league’s top teams. The Bills, meanwhile, have beaten only one team that currently has a winning record, and that was the Titans — when they were quarterbacked by Marcus Mariota.
The Ravens are No. 1 in the league with a 55% rush success rate (per Sharp Football Stats), and I expect they will run with relative ease against the Bills, who rank 24th overall in Pro Football Focus‘ run defense grade.
On offense, the Ravens can sustain and finish drives. On defense, they have averaged just 12.6 points allowed since creating the cornerback trio of Jimmy Smith, Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey. I don’t think the Bills on defense will be able to stop quarterback Lamar Jackson or keep up with him on offense.
I’d bet this to -6.
Freedman is 499-373-21 (57.2%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.
John Ewing: Patriots -3 vs. Chiefs
The Patriots are 10-2 and have outscored their opponents by 177 points — the best point differential in football. It is weird to say it, but despite New England’s success this season, Bill Belichick & Co. have actually underperformed based on Pythagorean expectations.
According to Pythagorean expectations, the Pats should have 10.4 wins. That 0.4-win difference between expected and actual wins isn’t much, but it does point to value on Brady and Belichick.
Historically, winning teams that have underperformed their points expectations have been good bets late in the season.
A $100 bettor following this strategy would have returned a profit of $2,952 since 2003.
This is not the only historical data on the side of the Patriots this week. After a dismal performance on Sunday Night Football, gamblers should expect New England to bounce back. Since 2003, Tom Brady has gone 35-13 (73%) against the spread after a loss.
Our Bet Labs simulations also like New England in this matchup making the Patriots 3.5-point favorites. All signs point to value on the Pats at the key number of 3.
I like the Patriots at anything -3 or better.
Ewing is 313-285-16 (52.3%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.
Mike Randle: Raiders +3 vs. Titans
Always take advantage of the knee-jerk overreaction when betting the NFL. The Raiders have looked terrible in consecutive losses at the Jets and Chiefs, losing by a combined score of 74-9.
The Titans have won three games in a row including last week’s 31-17 upset at Indianapolis.
This is the perfect spot to grab the home underdog at the key number of +3.
Oakland is 5-1 at home this year, including 4-1 against the spread as a home underdog. The Raiders have been decent against the run, allowing the 13th-fewest rushing yards to opposing running backs. Their defense is significantly better at home, allowing only 20.5 ppg and more than 13 points less than on the road.
Oakland rookie running back Josh Jacobs has also been significantly better at home and should receive ample opportunity as the center of the Raiders’ offensive attack.
Oakland needs this one desperately to stay in the playoff race, and the Raiders have much tougher at home on both sides of the ball. Head coach Jon Gruden’s squad averages more points per drive (2.07) and sacks (1.67) per game at home.
The Titans have played well, but this is a prime letdown spot after a huge divisional road win at Indianapolis. I’ll gladly take the three points in game Oakland could very well win outright.
I’d bet this down to Oakland +2.
Randle is 212-205-5 (50.8%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.