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NFL betting tips: Best bets for NFL Week 14

Leigh Copson 7 Dec 2018
Tyler Lockett of the Seattle Seahawks (credit:Credit by bettingpro)

NFL predictions for Week 14 of the 2018 NFL season. Can the Los Angeles Rams move a step closer to the number one seeding in the NFC, and who will boost their bid for a wildcard slot when the Minnesota Vikings visit the Seattle Seahawks? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (Friday 01:20 GMT)

The Tennessee Titans kept their playoff push alive this past weekend with a much-needed win over the New York Jets – although they did make very hard work of it. The Titans were sliding out of contention after back-to-back road defeats in Indianapolis and Houston, and a third straight loss appeared to be on the cards when they trailed the Jets 22-13 heading into the fourth quarter this past Sunday. Ryan Succop was able to haul them with three though as he converted a couple of field goals, and the comeback was completed with just 36 seconds left on the clock when Marcus Mariota found Corey Davis for the game-winning score. However, the Titans cannot afford to rest on their laurels because they are still playing catch-up in the race for the final wildcard slot for the post season, and that means the visit of Jacksonville on Thursday night is a must-win outing for them. The Jaguars arrive on the back of a morale-boosting 6-0 success against Indianapolis that halted a seven-game losing streak, but there is no chance of them returning to the postseason after a dramatic drop-off from 2017 when they made it all the way to the AFC Championship Game and went agonisingly close to sealing a debut Super Bowl appearance. The defense finally showed some of its 2017 form as it shut down Andrew Luck and the Colts offense last weekend and it did hold Tennessee to two field goals when they met in Week 3, but at this point in time it is very difficult to have any confidence in Jacksonville. The Titans certainly have their faults, but they are 4-1 at home this season – a record that includes a very impressive win over New England – and that defense is more than capable of shutting down this woeful Jags offense. On the opposite side of the football they should be able to orchestrate enough points-scoring drives to take this one, so I am backing Tennessee to win a low-scoring encounter.

Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday 18:00 GMT)

Last week was one to forget for the Kansas City Chiefs as they were forced to release star running back Kareem Hunt due to an off-the-field incident, so they could not have asked for a better game to end the week than a meeting with the woeful Oakland Raiders, even if it was on the road. The Chiefs made hard work of it though as they were forced to fend off a fourth-quarter fightback from the Raiders in order to escape with a 40-33 victory, so the question is will Hunt’s exit be a hammer-blow to their chances of winning the Super Bowl this season? We are certainly going to learn more about Kansas City this weekend because they are coming up against a Baltimore Ravens team that are firmly in the playoff mix thanks to a three-game win streak with rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson at the controls. But let’s be honest – that success has not been down to Jackson who continues to make mistakes. It has been largely down to a defensive unit that has really stiffened up in recent weeks and restricted the Atlanta Falcons to just 131 total yards in a 26-16 victory last weekend. That has to be their recipe for the remainder of the season – restrict the opposition offense and not give Jackson or Joe Flacco, if he returns, too much of a target to aim for. However, that approach is problematic when you are coming up against this Kansas City team because the offense has proven it can make up for a defense that has given up over 5,000 yards and 327 points through their previous 12 games. The only way to beat the Chiefs is to get the better of them in a shootout and only the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots have managed that so far. Baltimore simply do not have the personnel on offense to pull that off here, but that defense could slow down Kansas City enough to ensure they do not blow the Ravens away here. Only three of the Chiefs’ 10 victories have been by 14 points or more this season so going for a winning margin of 1-13 points looks to be a good bet.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday 21:25 GMT)

This is a massive matchup and could go a long way to determining who wins the NFC East and progresses into the playoffs. The Washington Redskins appeared to be in pole position a couple of weeks ago, but they lost quarterback Alex Smith to a horrific season-ending injury a couple of weeks ago and the general feeling is that this is now a two-horse race between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys – so this game is HUGE. Dallas have edged ahead of their rivals in recent weeks by stringing together a four-game win streak that started with a 27-20 victory over the Eagles in Philadelphia, and they go into this match on the back of a stunning 13-10 win over a New Orleans team that had been looking rather unstoppable going into Week 13. But can they make it five-in-a-row on Sunday? While the Cowboys have been flying, the Eagles have been fumbling around. They have bounced back from the humiliating defeat in New Orleans by winning back-to-back divisional games against the Redskins and the New York Giants, but I find it difficult to see the defending Super Bowl champions making it three-in-a-row on Sunday. That defensive unit may have been able to slow down a Washington offense led by backup Colt McCoy, but prior to that they were getting gashed and it was only a month ago that they have up 410 yards to the Cowboys as Ezekiel Elliott ran over them with 151 yards and one touchdown off only 19 carries. The arrival of Amari Cooper has also given Dallas a boost in the passing game, so when you couple that with a defense that managed to hold Drew Brees and his Saints team-mates to just 10 points a week or so ago, you have to believe that Dallas are the better shape heading into this one. Therefore I have to recommend backing the Cowboys to win this gigantic NFC East encounter and having seen Elliott rack up five touchdowns during their recent win streak, I expect him to find paydirt once again on Sunday night.

Los Angeles Rams at Chicago Bears (Monday 01:20 GMT)

Week 13 brought mixed fortunes for these two teams. The Los Angeles Rams wrapped up the NFC West title and took control of the race for the number one seeding in the conference as they pounced on a shock defeat for New Orleans, while the Chicago Bears fell to defeat in a ‘trap game’ against the lowly New York Giants. The Bears endured a nightmare start as the botched the opening kick return, ran for a loss and then gave up a pick-six in the first three plays of the game, and although they did show some spirit to fightback and force overtime with a touchdown pass from running back Tarik Cohen as time expired, the woeful play of center Cody Whitehair and quarterback Chase Daniel in OT denied them the chance to complete a come-from-behind win. Chicago were bailed out later on in the night as New England beat Minnesota to ensure Matt Nagy’s side maintained their 1.5 game lead at the top of the NFC North, but that loss in the ‘Big Apple’ has now made this matchup even bigger than it was prior to last Sunday. Chicago need a statement win to maintain their healthy grip on top spot in the division, but as we all know beating the Rams is no easy task because only New Orleans have pulled that off so far. That explosive Rams offense is facing its toughest test yet in the form of this excellent Chicago defense, but I cannot go against them leaving the ‘Windy City’ with a 12th win of the season. Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks and Co. will do their best to keep Chicago in the game, but ultimately it will not be enough to topple the Rams. The question simply is, how many will LA win by? The answer comes down to one thing – who starts at quarterback for the Bears. If Mitchell Trubisky makes his return from injury it will be a massive boost for the Chicago offense that ensures the visitors do not run away with this one, but if Daniel starts at QB then all bets are off. He looked absolutely horrible in New York and if he starts here, this may be the first time this season that the Bears lose by at least a couple of TDs. Trubisky has been back in practice though and he was throwing before the loss to the Giants, so I expect him to return here.

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (Tuesday 01:15 GMT)

If the playoffs started tomorrow then the Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings would be filling the two wildcard slots, but that may not bet the case after these two teams meet at CenturyLink Field for Monday Night Football. The Seahawks have bounced back from the back-to-back defeats against the two Los Angeles franchises to reel off three straight victories and improve to 7-5 for the season, while the Vikings are on shaky ground because three defeats in their last five games have left them 6-5-1 heading into this crucial Monday night showdown. Kirk Cousins has not lived up to pre-season expectations that he was the missing link when they lost last season’s NFC Championship Game at home to Philadelphia, and that defense, although still a very good unit, has not reached the levels it produced during the 2017 campaign. They desperately need to develop some consistency between now and the end of the season, but I just do not see them leaving Seattle with a much-needed ‘W’ here. After all, their road record this season makes for poor reading at 2-3-1, with their victories coming against poor opposition and their most recent defeats being convincing ones even if the scores do not suggest that. CenturyLink Field has hardly been the fortress it has been in recent years, with Seattle 3-2 at home, but in fairness to them there is certainly no massive shame in losing at home to the Rams and the Chargers, who boast two of the very best offenses in the NFL. Minnesota certainly do not fall into that category at this time despite having some impressive weapons in Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Therefore I am backing Seattle to come out on top in the final game of Week 14.

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NFL betting tips: Best bets for NFL Week 14

NFL predictions for Week 14 of the 2018 NFL season.

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