The shocking fall of the Packers out of post season cost coach McCarthy his job after a terrible loss to the Cardinals in Lambeau. Green Bay were listed as a top five team for Super Bowl odds to begin the season, according to historical odds sourced by CanadaSportsBetting.ca. Now, the Saints, Rams, Patriots and Chiefs occupy the Packers spot as favorites.
Green Bay still look solid spread picks for week 14 in the NFL, likely to defeat the tumbling Falcons. The Titans, Patriots, Chiefs, Panthers and Seahawks also look like excellent ATS betting value this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville features one of the most lethargic offensive units in the league, relying almost exclusively on defense for an outside shot at winning. Last week, the Jaguars pitched a shutout against Andrew Luck and the Colts. On the down side, Jacksonville scored only six points against the mediocre defense of Indianapolis.
The other time the Jags scored six points in a game this season was in week three, during their 9-6 loss to Tennessee in Jacksonville. Similar to the Jaguars, the Titans feature an outstanding defense, ranked sixth behind Jacksonville. Tennessee doesn’t feature a terrific attack either, but this club plays far better offensively at home, dropping 34 points on the Patriots and 26 points on the Jets during two consecutive home field victories.
Jacksonville’s been decimated by injuries and serious regression from Bortles, preventing the team from repeating the superb results of last season. The Titans have won five of six home games this year, giving them an excellent chance at exceeding a -4.5 spread.
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
New England marches towards another AFC East crown like the Terminator chasing prey – slowly, methodically mowing down the competition, with the occasional dramatic setback. The Patriots have won eights of their last nine games, including a 38-7 shellacking of the Dolphins in week four to kick off the streak. Brady’s most recent victims include the Vikings last week, earning a 14-point win over Minnesota.
Belichick’s clubs tend to perform well against the spread, and this season is no different. Playing away from Gillette Field makes a difference, but not enough to prevent the Dolphins from getting overwhelmed by their division rivals. Furthermore, Miami has been inconsistent on both sides of the football, with a 25th-ranked offense and a 20th-ranked defense.
Since the Pats are fighting for playoff positioning, the team won’t give an inch to Miami. Expect New England to maintain their second-place position in the AFC with a two-possession victory over the Dolphins.
Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers
Perhaps the most disappointing team in the NFL, Green Bay no longer contends for a playoff spot after losing to the lowly Cardinals at Lambeau last week. This represents the lowest point of the Packers franchise in years, worse than Aaron Rodgers injury last season. Certainly, Aaron’s been hobbled, but the Packers as a whole simply haven’t functioned well as a pro football club. Firing coach Mike McCarthy was an act of mercy for all stakeholders, preventing a lame duck coach from souring the rest of the season.
Firing a coach tends to be the quickest way to wake up a roster in most pro sports, especially when the club no longer feels the pressure of earning a playoff spot. There’s a good chance than Green Bay will loosen up and refocus on execution of individual plays, instead of worrying about the outcome of the game.
Atlanta’s another disappointing club, quickly ejected from the NFC playoff race after losing four in a row. The Falcons defense has completely collapsed, giving up an average of 27.8 PPG this season – fourth worst in the NFL. Green Bay’s defense is mediocre, which is a step up compared to Atlanta. Aaron Rodgers will welcome a matchup against a terrible defense, airing out his frustrations. A seven-point win or better seems likely for Green Bay.
Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs
There’s no greater contrast in the NFL than these two clubs. Kansas City overwhelms every defense they play against, leading the NFL with 37 points per game. Baltimore’s defensive machine devours most offensive lines, propping up the Ravens lethargic attack. The Chiefs Patrick Mahomes is a record-setting passer, while rookie pivot Lamar Jackson has started to break rushing records as an elite running quarterback.
The overall trend of the 2018 NFL regular season revolves around a large boost in offensive production. Defense remains a vital aspect of any football team, but there hasn’t been a squad capable of preventing the Chiefs from scoring less than 26 points. Even the absence of Hunt didn’t prevent Kansas from scoring 40 against the Raiders.
Baltimore’s defense hasn’t been as lights-out on the road compared to their home performances. Kansas will feel comfortable on home soil, ready to resume their historically great production. A seven-point spread is solid value for the best offense in the league operating at home.
Carolina Panthers at Cleveland Browns
The Panthers have endured an ugly slide which threatens to eliminate them from the wild card race in a stacked NFC. Carolina hasn’t won a football game since November 4th, losing to the Steelers, Lions, Seahawks and Buccaneers. Other than a blowout against the Steelers during a Thursday night road game, the Panthers have been painfully close to winning their last three games. Carolina lost by a single to the Lions, a field goal against the Seahawks and a touchdown to the Bucs.
Cleveland hasn’t changed much since firing coach Hue Jackson, prone to the type of youthful inconsistency which loses winnable games. Four turnovers against the Texans last week handed an easy win to Houston, after a solid victory over the Bengals the previous week.
Carolina’s fighting for their playoff lives while the Browns benefit in the draft if they lose. Expect the Panthers to break their losing streak with a strong win in Cleveland.
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks
The Vikings have been a classic Jekyll-and-Hyde type of football team. Minnesota’s able to sustain a high level of pigskin, but they’re also capable of losing 27-6 to the Buffalo Bills. With one win in three games, the Vikings are close to dropping out of a wild card spot.
Seattle controls the top wild card position in the NFC after winning three in a row over the Packers, Panthers and 49ers. The Seahawks have been great on both sides of the ball, ranking ninth in both offensive and defensive point production.
CenturyLink Field is one of the most difficult places for opposing teams to play in, which will make it tough for pivot Kirk Cousins. Seattle’s defeated the Vikings in three consecutive regular season meetings, including two lopsided home victories. The Seahawks should be able to beat a relatively small 3.5 point spread.