The NFL Playoff race got a little tighter in both conferences following the Week 13 results.
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⚡ Quick NFL picks for Week 14
NFL Week 14 overview
The San Francisco 49ers got their revenge for last year’s NFC Championship loss by taking down the Eagles 42-19. Philadelphia maintains control of the top seed but still has a tough stretch to close the season with ESPN analytics giving them a 47% chance to end as number one in the NFC compared to the 50% chance they give to San Francisco.
In the AFC, the Jaguars had a chance to take control of the playoff race but suffered a 34-31 overtime loss to the Bengals on Monday Night Football to prevent this from happening. This is the least of Jacksonville’s worries as quarterback Trevor Lawrence left the game with a high ankle sprain which will keep him sidelined for a few weeks.
The injury bug continues to bite across the NFL with Texans WR Tank Dell suffering a broken leg and Steelers QB Kenny Pickett spraining his ankle as well. Sunday Night Football also produced a surprising result as the Green Bay Packers took down the Kansas City Chiefs 27-19. This puts Jordan Love and the Packers in the postseason as a current Wild Card seed, but there is still plenty to determine in the final few weeks.
Week 14 marks the final week of teams being off as the Arizona Cardinals and Washington Commanders will be the final two teams to take their bye week. Here is a look at the top value on the NFL betting slate with this home stretch of the season leaving plenty still to be decided.
⭐ Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears: Lions -3 (-118) at DraftKings
The Detroit Lions enter this matchup with a 9-3 record and are leading the NFC North. They are averaging 27.3 points per game which ranks 6th in the NFL and 2nd in yards per game. Detroit bounced back from their Thanksgiving loss to the Packers and defeated the Saints 33-28 last week. There has not been any concern with the Lions’ ability to put up points, but rather their inability to get stops on the defensive end. Last season, Detroit ranked 28th in the NFL allowing 25.1 points per game while giving up the most yards per game of any team in the league. They have shown some improvement this year, allowing 23.8 points per game which is the 23rd-best rate in the league.
It will be up to the Chicago Bears to prevent the Lions from reaching double-digit wins on the season. The Bears enter with a 4-8 record and are out of the playoff hunt. On the season they are averaging 20.2 points per game, which is the 21st-best rate in the league, and are allowing 24.7 points per game, which ranks 27th. While their focus is no longer on the postseason, there is still plenty the Bears have to play for. Most notably, the future of Justin Fields is up in the air considering Chicago will have the opportunity to draft another top quarterback in this year’s draft.
While the Ohio State product still has a few flashes per game which keep you bought in, it has been a more inconsistent third season than was hoped.
This year he has tallied 400 rush yards and 12 touchdown passes, but also has thrown six interceptions and fumbled twice. Top pass-catcher DJ Moore has eclipsed 1000 receiving yards on the season, but they have struggled to find much success on the ground tallying just five rushing touchdowns combined. Chicago will also be coming off the bye for this matchup so will be well-rested.
While the Bears are still a team with some notable storylines worth paying attention to, the Lions are the better team in this matchup. Jared Goff has quietly put together an impressive season tallying over 3200 yards passing and 20 touchdowns on the year.
They also have a strong running game with David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs each making their impact felt on a weekly basis. The duo have combined for 15 touchdowns on the season. There are too many ways for the Lions to win while the Bears need things to break their way for them to have a chance in this matchup.
While momentum has slowed a little regarding Detroit’s postseason outlook, they still deserve to be considered threats in the NFC. Detroit won the first matchup this year against Chicago 31-26 with this occurring just three weeks earlier.
Expect more of the same and for the Lions to clear the three-point spread in this matchup. Detroit is the better team, has bigger goals in front of them, and is still looking to produce more consistent results as the season winds down.
Expect them to accomplish all of this in this matchup and for the Lions to cruise to a comfortable victory. You can wager on Detroit to cover the three-point spread at -118 odds on DraftKings Sportsbook.
⭐ Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys: Eagles +3.5 (-120) at BetMGM
For the first time this season, the Philadelphia Eagles took a punch to the mouth and were unable to respond. While impressive second-half comebacks have become the norm for the Eagles, they were unable to do so against the 49ers this week.
In the loss, the Eagles allowed six consecutive touchdowns to the 49ers without getting a stop and ultimately suffered a 42-19 loss in front of their home fans. Even still, they hold a record of 10-2 and rank 4th in the NFL in scoring at 27.4 points per game. They also rank 2nd in the league in first downs, 3rd in score percentage, and second in time of possession.
This will not be an easy matchup as Philadelphia will face their NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys also enter as a legitimate threat to win the NFC with their 9-3 record and having won their last four games. Dallas’ most recent loss occurred in Week 9 against the Eagles.
On the season, the Cowboys lead the NFL in scoring at 32.3 points per game and are 4th in points allowed by giving up just 18.3 points per game. Dak Prescott has entered the MVP conversation throwing for over 3200 yards, 26 touchdowns, and just six interceptions on the year. If the Cowboys want to have a chance at winning the division and getting the top seed in the NFC, this is a massive game.
This is sure to be a hard-fought matchup with plenty on the line. But the Eagles’ defining trait under head coach Nick Sirianni and quarterback Jalen Hurts has been their ability to pick themselves up off the map and fight again.
Expect the loss to the 49ers to serve as a wake-up call to the Eagles as they have gotten away with some sloppy play over the past few weeks without picking up a loss. In addition to the mentality change brought on by the loss, the Eagles also signed Shaquille Leonard to provide some much-needed help at linebacker.
While there is some concern with how much Leonard has left in the tank, starting LB Nicholas Morrow allowed 175 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns in his coverage responsibilities against the 49ers last week so any change is being welcomed.
Don’t expect either team to roll over and for this to come down to the wire. This is a game that feels destined to be decided within a field goal margin and the 3.5-point spread is too large of a margin.
While the +145 moneyline is appealing and feels like great value considering how good the Eagles have been this year, the extra security of the 3.5-point spread is the safer play. You can wager on this at BetMGM Sportsbook at -120 odds before the hard-nosed NFC East football kicks off.
⭐ Green Bay Packers vs New York Giants: Packers -6.5 (-110) at BetRivers
The Green Bay Packers look like a drastically different team than from the first few weeks. After starting the season 2-5, the Packers have won four of their last five games to move to 6-6 on the season. This also includes winning their past three games against the Chargers, Lions, and the Chiefs.
Most of this can be attributed to the continued growth of Jordan Love and the youthful receiving core around him. Love has looked much more confident in recent weeks fitting throws in tighter windows and carrying himself in a way that is infectious to teammates. In the last three weeks alone, Love has thrown for eight touchdowns without an interception. On the season, Green Bay ranks 17th in scoring at 21.5 points per game and is allowing just 20.3 points per game which ranks 9th in the league.
They will face off with the New York Giants who have won their past two games after a disastrous start to the season. Overall, New York holds a record of 4-8 on the year and the team will continue to roll with Tommy DeVito as the starting quarterback despite Tyrod Taylor returning to practice.
On the season as a whole, they rank 31st in the league in scoring at just 13.3 points per game and are allowing 24.3 points per game which is the 26th-best rate. The torn ACL that was suffered by Daniel Jones following the slow start derailed all hopes on the season, but the Giants are still a better team than they have looked. The back-to-back wins the past two weeks will provide something positive to build off, but there should be no doubt that their ceiling is limited as a team.
Expect the Packers to continue on their journey to the playoffs by securing a victory in this one. As things currently stand, Green Bay is set to be the 7th seed of the playoffs with a few more victories providing the potential for them to further climb. Jordan Love has looked like a seasoned veteran lately and is playing at a much higher level than Tommy DeVito is capable of reaching.
With a better roster on both sides of the ball, the 6.5-point spread is far too short. Green Bay has not gotten the national attention their play has deserved yet but expect this to change in the coming weeks.
New York having won its past two games may have given them some respect by the oddsmakers, but this is a perfect place to capitalize on it. Expect the Packers to continue their winning streak and for them to cover the 6.5-point spread in this matchup. You can wager on this at -110 odds on BetRivers Sportsbook.
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About the author
Sean Barnard has worked in sports media for the past five years. He has spent time as the 76ers Lead Writer for Philly Sports Network, Associate Editor at CluchPoints, Eagles Beat Reporter for YardBarker, and more. He also owns and operates his own Podcast Network called Pick Swap Media and is a radio host on Fox 102.5 The Gambler presented by iHeartMedia. Sean has written over 1500 articles and recorded over 500 podcasts and is just getting started. Based out of the Philadelphia region in the United States, Sean is a lifelong passionate sports fan who can be reached on Twitter at @Sean_Barnard1 where he rattles off basketball breakdowns and other news.
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