NFL Week 14 Picks: Cowboys’ Huge Opportunity; Can Bills Save Season?

Don't forget to check the forecasts!

by and

Dec 7, 2023

NFL Week 14 is here, and as you get set to make your picks, let us be the first to inform you that bad weather season is upon us.

There still is time for things to change, of course, but a quick look at NFLWeather.com on Thursday paints a grim picture for the Sunday football forecast.

There’s “likely rain” or “definite rain showers” for three games on the slate. One of those games — the Cleveland Browns hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars — also calls for some raw 40-degree temperatures.

Oh, and there will be wind, which is potentially the biggest factor when it comes to handicapping the NFL from a weather standpoint. Wind gusts of at least 14 mph are in the forecast for each of the 1 p.m. ET outdoor games.

While it’s not quite blizzard season, it is getting to be the time of year when weather has to be part of the handicapping process. Ultimately, cold, blustery weather with precipitation will affect the totals more, but it might also make you think twice before siding with a team from a warm-weather climate that plays indoors going on the road to a city like Cleveland, New York or Baltimore.

Before getting into this week’s picks, here’s how the guys fared last week.

NFL Week 14 picks record

Here are their full NFL Week 14 against-the-spread picks.

THURSDAY, NOV. 7

New England Patriots at (-6) Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:15 p.m. ET
Mike:
Patriots.
Ricky:
Patriots.

The Patriots since Week 10 have the NFL’s second-best defense (by EPA), and that’s despite the fact they haven’t scored a defensive or special teams touchdown (all year, actually). At some point, they’re due. The Steelers’ offense is almost as bad, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Pats either score on defense or get a very short field they can at least turn into a field goal. And when the total is this low (30) with a spread of a touchdown, it might just take one field goal from a short field to cover the number. –MC

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SUNDAY, NOV. 10

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at (-2.5) Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m.
Mike:
Bucs.
Ricky:
Falcons.

The Buccaneers already were dealing with several disruptive injuries on the defensive side, and now Vita Vea — a massive force in the middle of Tampa Bay’s D-line — is dealing with an ailment, as well. Those questions at all three levels could open the floodgates for Atlanta’s rushing attack. –RD

Los Angeles Rams at (-7) Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m.
Mike:
Ravens.
Ricky:
Rams.

This is a “Bull Durham” special: Don’t think, it can only hurt the ballclub. Offensively, the Ravens are the better team, and there’s no reason to believe the LA defense can slow Baltimore down. More importantly, the Ravens have one of the NFL’s best defenses, and the Rams are going on the road to play an early game outside in the wind and rain with an offense that will be running out a banged-up Puka Nacua. The Ravens are just (a lot) better. –MC

Total rushing yards (incl. overtime)

Best Odds Available
Over
Under
LA at BAL

Lamar Jackson

BAL – QB
Sunday Dec. 10
o45.5 -120
DraftKings
u47.5 -110
FanDuel

(-3) Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m.
Mike:
Bears.
Ricky: Bears.

The Lions’ defense has been shaky of late, and Justin Fields’ running ability could cause problems — much like it did in Week 11 when the Bears quarterback ran for a season-high 104 yards in a game Chicago let slip through its fingertips. –RD

(-1) Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m.
Mike:
Colts.
Ricky:
Bengals.

Weird matchup, with both teams coming off dramatic overtime wins that neither really had any business winning. Granted, Jake Browning looked great for Cincinnati, but we see all the time how difficult it is for backups or young quarterbacks to follow up impressive performances on back-to-back weeks. The Colts, meanwhile, seem like they fittingly have a horseshoe not only on their helmet but also lodged you-know-where. –MC

Jacksonville Jaguars at (-3.5) Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m.
Mike:
Browns.
Ricky:
Jaguars.

There’s a lot of buzz about the over/under for Patriots-Steelers (30), but this total is insanely low (31), as well! Such is life when you could be looking at C.J. Beathard vs. Joe Flacco or Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Anyway, some cracks are growing in Cleveland’s defense, which makes me leery about laying more than a field goal here. –RD

Carolina Panthers at (-5) New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m.
Mike:
Saints.
Ricky:
Panthers.

The Panthers got the new-coach bump last week and played competitively before ultimately losing to the Bucs. The Saints are better than Tampa Bay, even with Jameis Winston at quarterback, and you have to wonder whether last week was Carolina’s best effort as it now gets set to play out the string with a relatively untalented roster. –MC

(-3) Minnesota Vikings at Las Vegas Raiders, 4:05 p.m.
Mike:
Raiders.
Ricky: Vikings.

This pick comes down to two factors: 1) Minnesota’s defense will be the best unit on the field. 2) The Vikings’ offense is due for positive regression — after reaching a new low in Week 12 — by virtue of welcoming back Justin Jefferson, the most impactful wide receiver in the NFL. –RD

Seattle Seahawks at (-10.5) San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m.
Mike:
49ers.
Ricky:
Seahawks.

San Francisco has just owned the Seahawks recently, winning their last four meetings by an average of 16 points, including an 18-point snoozer in Seattle on Thanksgiving night. There’s some concern about a letdown after an emotional win in Philadelphia, but as long as the Niners have their full complement of weapons, it’s hard to get in front of them, even if it’s double digits in the division. –MC

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Buffalo Bills at (-1.5) Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 p.m.
Mike:
Bills.
Ricky:
Bills.

This has been a betting sweet spot for the Chiefs under Patrick Mahomes — favorites by less than a field goal — so there’s a good chance I’ll be kicking myself Monday morning. But the Bills are starting to run the ball effectively, which could pose problems for Kansas City’s defense and keep Mahomes on the sideline more than the Chiefs would like. –RD

Denver Broncos at (-2.5) Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m.
Mike:
Broncos.
Ricky:
Broncos.

Liked this a lot better with the full field goal, but Denver should win this game outright. The Broncos’ turnover luck finally caught up with them last week, and their winning streak came to an end in Houston. Despite losing that turnover battle 3-0, the Broncos still clawed their way back into the game. The Chargers saved their season in New England, but it wasn’t impressive whatsoever. Give me Sean Payton dunking on Brandon Staley in their first matchup here. –MC

Philadelphia Eagles at (-3.5) Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 p.m.
Mike:
Cowboys.
Ricky:
Cowboys.

See last week’s breakdown of 49ers-Eagles, because the Cowboys should find similar success in this matchup. Philadelphia’s defense ranks 31st in EPA/play since Week 8. Only Cincinnati has allowed more yards per drive in that stretch. And the Eagles are surrendering touchdowns at an NFL-worst rate (33.9% of drives) in that timeframe. This has a chance to be a signature win for this year’s Cowboys team. Don’t screw it up. –RD

MONDAY, DEC. 11

Tennessee Titans at (-13) Miami Dolphins, 8:15 p.m.
Mike:
Dolphins.
Ricky: Dolphins.

This very much goes against the whole narrative that Mike Vrabel is great as an underdog. However, this is probably Vrabel’s worst Titans team, and this matchup is just bad. The Titans’ defense has been bad just about all year, and it has been especially bad against the pass. Miami might be able to exploit that. Just a bit. The Dolphins’ defense is also quietly turning into one of the best in football. –MC

(-6.5) Green Bay Packers at New York Giants, 8:15 p.m.
Mike:
Giants.
Ricky: Giants.

The Packers are going from six-point home underdogs on Sunday night against the Chiefs to 6.5-point road favorites on Monday night against the Giants. That is a crazy swing — despite the obvious talent difference between Kansas City and New York — and therefore I must sell my Green Bay stock at the height of its market. It helps, too, that the Giants are coming off a bye and have a knack for making games ugly, if nothing else. –RD

Thumbnail photo via Rich Storry/USA TODAY Sports Images

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