NFL Pick 6: Week 14 Edition
Coming off our best week of NFL Pick 6 at 5-1, we now look ahead to maybe the most important 10 hours of football on Sunday. Real playoff implications, fantasy playoff implications, and most importantly, betting implications. Let’s get into our 6 of the week.
Against The Spread
PICK: Falcons -3 vs. Panthers, Confidence - 4 / 5.
This one feels too easy. The Panthers just fired Ron Rivera in probably a controversial disconnect between the locker room and the owners of the team considering how highly everyone on the team was speaking about Rivera to the media. Normally a coach’s firing wouldn’t push my opinion on a game too hard, but this one just seems like it’s going to have a more negative impact than people are expecting. On top of the firing, the Panthers have looked very bad since their bye week losing 5 of 6 games, one of which was a 29-3 blowout loss to the same Falcons at home. Now the Panthers have to go on the road and play a Falcons team that will get Julio Jones, Austin Hooper, and Devonta Freeman all back from injuries that had been staggered throughout the year. The Falcons are also likely to be playing for Dan Quinn’s job as there have been rumblings of displeasure since every sequential season has had fewer wins. The Panthers can play well at times, but given they just lost at home to the Redskins, their coach got fired, AND I only have to give up 3 points, this is a no brainer.
PICK: Buccaneers -3 vs. Colts, Confidence - 3 / 5.
I like this pick mostly because of the way the team's matchup on both sides of the ball. The Colts are 4th in rushing attempts and 4th in rushing yards but just 14th in yards per attempt, suggesting their rushing attack is the focal point of the offense, but it can struggle. Defensively, the Bucs clear weakness is their secondary which has allowed near 330 yards passing a solid 8 times this year. The Bucs have been fantastic at stopping the run, which is the main focus on offense for the Colts, having allowed just 3 teams to top 100 total rushing yards and no one has gotten over 150 on the ground. This means the Bucs are capable of limiting your offense and making you one-dimensional, which will help this week as the Colts will be without TY Hilton yet again, which has proven problematic for the Colts as they’ve topped 200 yards passing in just 2 of their last 7 games. On the other side of the ball, the Colts defense is solid, but they have proven vulnerable given the opposing offense. For example, Mahomes had 288 passing, Ryan had 304, Watson had 291 and 297, and Rivers went for 310. Notice that all of these quarterback’s offenses’ are passing first, much like Tampa Bay. The Bucs will have some freedom on offense, while the opposite will be the case for the Colts.
PICK: Dolphins +5 @ Jets, Confidence - 3 / 5.
This is an interesting line as I think it’s a little harsh on the Jets. I get it, the Dolphins were the meme of the NFL for the first half of the year, but now they’re 3-2 in their last 5 including one of those wins being at home vs. the Jets by 8 points. The Jets looked terrible last week having lost by 16 to the winless Bengals and gathering just 270 total yards of offense on the league's worst defense in yards allowed. The Jets will also be without Le’Veon Bell as he’s been ruled out with an illness. The Dolphins have scored 20 or more points in 4 of their last 5 and now will see a Jets defense that has been okay, but now lose their best defensive player in Jamal Adams as he’s ruled doubtful having not practiced all week. I have a hard time believing this game will be settled by more than a field goal, let alone that the Jets can win by 6 or more.
PICK: Jaguars +3 vs. Chargers, Confidence - 3 / 5.
If the Bucs and Jags had played an extra quarter after Gardner Minshew came into the game, I think it would’ve ended up a lot closer than it actually did. Minshew not only offers more to the team with his added versatility, but he’s also been the better quarterback. Minshew has a higher QBR at 91 to 84, a better interception percentage, touchdown percentage, yards per game, yards per attempt, yards per completion, you get the point. I think Minshew brings life and excitement to both the stadium and the locker room, while also being the better QB. The Chargers have lost 3 straight divisional and sequential games, with 9 turnovers on offense in those 3 games. The Chargers’ secondary is good, but I think they’ll struggle on the ground, as well as the play-action and read-option plays the Jaguars can now threaten with a mobile quarterback against a subpar rushing defense. The turnover-prone Chargers offense won’t help here in a difficult road game where I see the Jaguars winning outright.
PICK: Packers -12.5 vs. Redskins, Confidence - 3 / 5.
Despite last week’s result, the Redskins are still a terrible offense and terrible team overall. They’re either last or in the bottom third of the NFL in practically every meaningful statistic like yards per game and points per game as an example (both last). The Packers are 8-4 against the spread this year and 5-1 at home. The Packers at Lambeau in December are dominant, and to add even more fuel to the fire, even at 9-3 they still have the potential to lose out on a first-round bye and even the division lead. The Redskins are still the terrible offense we knew they were before they put up 29 on Carolina, as even in their 2 back to back wins, they’ve totaled 590 yards of offense combined, and Haskins has thrown for just 258 yards passing combined. The Packers are quite the opposite and have turned the ball over on offense just 8 times in all 12 games so far. This makes me struggle to think the Redskins will have much opportunity to keep pace with the Packers to cover the spread.
PICK: Ravens -5.5 @ Bills, Confidence - 3 / 5.
This will be an interesting game as it’ll be judgment day for the Bills defense through seeing how well they hold up against the league’s best offense. The obvious strength of the Bills is their defense, and while it has been top-tier, I do think it has some flaws in this matchup. First, the Ravens run the ball, a lot, and stopping the run is probably the main weakness of the Bills defense. Second, the Ravens offense is difficult to limit because of its versatility thanks to Lamar Jackson, as I’ve said 100 times. Finally, the Bills are one of the toughest defenses against the passing game, but we’ve yet to see how they fare against an offense like the Ravens. By this, I mean triple tight-end sets, designed quarterback runs, read-options, several change-of-pace running backs, and a deep threat to top it all off. The Ravens can throw the kitchen sink at you while most other NFL teams have a clear strength offensively that you can look to limit with the hope of limiting the offense as a whole. I think the Ravens use their running game to abuse an average rushing defense and control the ball the majority of the game, leading to a win by a touchdown.