Team NESN is taking part in the historic Las Vegas Westgate SuperContest this season.
Betting analyst Sam Panayotovich and digital content editor Mike Cole are teaming up to pick five weekly NFL games against the point spread. Each winning selection receives one point and ties earn a half-point. The guys went 3-2 last week and are currently tied for 276th place out of 1,597 entries.
The betting lines are released every Wednesday and selections are due by Saturday afternoon.
Here are Sam’s and Mike’s picks for Week 14 of the SuperContest:
Baltimore Ravens +2.5 at Pittsburgh Steelers
SP: Pittsburgh shouldn’t be laying points to a better team. Baltimore was a 4-point favorite on the lookahead line and now the Ravens are catching almost a full field goal with Tyler Huntley starting at quarterback for the injured Lamar Jackson. I don’t think the point gap is that massive, plus Baltimore’s offense doesn’t change much in terms of style. Take the points.
Carolina Panthers +3.5 at Seattle Seahawks
MC: Geno Smith has the NFL’s best adjusted completion percentage and passer rating on play-action passes. Take away the threat of Ken Walker, whose ankle injury might keep him out Sunday, and the Seattle offense might struggle to generate much against an underrated Panthers defense. That should keep this close.
Detroit Lions -2.5 vs. Minnesota Vikings
SP: This is already one of the bigger wise guy positions of the week in Las Vegas. Respected bettors whacked the Lions at -1 and -1.5 once the market opened and it’s very easy for me to get on board, too. Detroit has covered five straight games thanks to an extremely efficient offense that’s propelled by an incredible offensive line. Restore the roar.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.5 at San Francisco 49ers
SP: Tom Brady and the Bucs offense struggled for over 50 minutes Monday against a very stingy Saints defense, but popped two late touchdowns to escape with a victory. It’s always tough to bet against Brady in December (and January) and getting 3.5 points is pretty damn enticing when you consider that Brock Purdy will start under center for San Francisco.
Arizona Cardinals +1.5 vs. New England Patriots
MC: It would be easy to just say “Well, it’s Bill Belichick vs. Kliff Kingsbury,” and lay the points with the Patriots, but that would be ignoring pretty much all we’ve seen from New England this season. The Patriots still can’t stop rushing quarterbacks, and few are more dangerous in that regard than Kyler Murray. Arizona’s group of pass-catchers is the sort of unit that has given the Patriots trouble this season, too, and that’s all on top of the potential of New England missing two key offensive starters (Jakobi Meyers and Damien Harris).
SUPERCONTEST RECORD: (36-27-2, 37 points)
Thank you to Winners Circle Proxy Service for helping us submit our plays all season long.