In case you wanted a reminder, you bought it Monday evening in Buffalo: Soccer climate is right here.
In a league that has seen its enjoying circumstances develop into more and more homogenized (by design), “Monday Night time Soccer” in Week 13 was a spectacle. The New England Patriots jumped of their time machine and schemed up a recreation plan from the times of leather-based helmets to outlast the Bills and solidify their spot atop the AFC.
Once more, it was a not-so-subtle reminder that absent a roof over a stadium, outdoors components can have an effect on the best way a recreation is performed and due to this fact must be thought-about when handicapping because the NFL races down the stretch towards the playoffs.
NESN.com’s Mike Cole and Ricky Doyle have run the fashions, checked the forecasts and flipped the cash to make their Week 14 against-the-spread picks for each recreation on the slate.
However first, right here’s how they fared final week.
Now, listed below are their Week 14 ATS picks, with traces courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
THURSDAY, DEC. 8
Pittsburgh Steelers at (-3) Minnesota Vikings, 8:20 p.m. ET
Mike: Steelers. Admittedly preferred this much more earlier than the Dalvin Prepare dinner information, however the lack of Adam Thielen is a giant one for Minnesota. Extra importantly, the Vikings look nearly lifeless, whereas the Steelers have life after a dramatic divisional win.
Ricky: Steelers. Pittsburgh simply gained’t go away quietly — the antithesis of Minnesota, which retains coughing up any momentum whereas failing to achieve its potential. The Vikings’ protection ranks dead-last in rush EPA, so the Steelers ought to lean on Najee Harris and the bottom recreation to win ugly on the highway.
SUNDAY, DEC. 12
(-4.5) Dallas Cowboys at Washington Soccer Group, 1 p.m.
Mike: Cowboys. Washington’s protection has had points defending the move, and it’s wanted to blitz quite a bit to generate strain. Dak Prescott has a passer ranking over 105 towards the blitz, and if WFT brings the additional man, it’s going to go away a questionable secondary on islands to try to cease a really deep receiving corps.
Ricky: Cowboys. Dallas is the extra rested workforce, having performed back-to-back Thursday video games, and is getting more healthy on either side of the ball. Washington has achieved a wonderful job of controlling the clock throughout its four-game successful streak, however all 4 opponents had extra yards per play, suggesting the protection stays weak regardless of its obvious turnaround. Count on the Cowboys to maintain drives and knock WFT down a peg.
Las Vegas Raiders at (-9.5) Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, 1 p.m.
Mike: Raiders. Hate this decide a lot, as I’m formally in my very own head in regards to the Chiefs. That mentioned, KC is in a difficult spot, enjoying the second of three straight divisional video games with an enormous Thursday evening matchup towards the Chargers looming. Vegas someway finds a option to hold round.
Ricky: Raiders. The Chiefs are establishing a brand new identification earlier than our eyes, persevering with to win video games because of their protection as their high-powered offense stalls. That truly would possibly show useful come playoff time, with KC constructed to win in a wide range of methods, but it surely additionally makes for some uneasy wagering. Going to take the factors, considering perhaps Vegas sneaks within the again door late.
Baltimore Ravens at (-3) Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m.
Mike: Browns. Nearly strictly a scheduling lean, as these two groups met two weeks in the past and performed an unpleasant, bodily recreation. Cleveland then went and had its bye — much-needed given Baker Mayfield’s bodily situation — whereas Baltimore needed to go play a brutal recreation in Pittsburgh. It is a spot during which the Browns ought to strive (and sure succeed) to punish a banged-up Baltimore bunch.
Ricky: Browns. One thing is simply off in regards to the Ravens, who haven’t appeared spectacular, even of their victories. The identical might be mentioned for the Browns, clearly, however as Mike highlighted, it’s going to be awfully tough for the Ravens to drag a rabbit out of their hat this week in Cleveland. The Browns additionally want this recreation to maintain their playoff hopes alive.
Jacksonville Jaguars at (-8.5) Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m.
Mike: Titans. Ryan Tannehill has had some ball safety points this season, however Jacksonville has pressured simply six turnovers, which is so low it appears like some type of accounting error. The road really has moved towards Jacksonville, however I’m gonna simply ignore that and count on the Titans, who’re good, to steamroll the Jaguars, who’re unhealthy.
Ricky: Jaguars. Is there ever a superb motive to take Jacksonville? That is extra about what we’ve seen from the Titans’ offense, which understandably has sputtered with out Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown.
(-7.5) Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Mike: Texans. Means again in Might, the Westgate made Seattle a 7-point favorite on this recreation, and regardless of a reasonably robust season, the Seahawks really are laying extra right here. It’s potential Houston is totally lifeless, however I believe the Texans’ move rush comes alive for at the least yet another recreation and is within the backfield sufficient to disrupt Russell Wilson and preserve it manageable.
Ricky: Texans. That was a pleasant, uplifting residence win for the Seahawks final week towards the 49ers, a workforce they’ve now overwhelmed twice this season. Seattle’s different two victories: Week 1 towards the Colts, who nonetheless had been discovering their footing with Carson Wentz below heart, and Week 8 towards the Jaguars, who stink. Simply not prepared to put greater than a landing on the highway right here, even towards an opponent as weak because the Texans. The Seahawks are 1-7 ATS of their final eight video games as highway favorites.
(-5.5) New Orleans Saints at New York Jets, 1 p.m.
Mike: Jets. Taysom Hill wasn’t an efficient thrower earlier than he had a splint on his finger and already has admitted it’s a “work in progress” to determine how one can successfully achieve this. Even with Alvin Kamara again, I’m not anticipating a lot from the New Orleans offense. Additionally, the Jets’ offense really has been barely above league common since Zach Wilson’s return.
Ricky: Saints. Kamara’s return would possibly coincide with the returns of left sort out Terron Armstead and defensive finish Marcus Davenport, giving New Orleans a significant increase alongside the road of scrimmage on either side. The Jets’ protection additionally has been brutal towards the run (thirtieth in rush DVOA), so Hill’s deficiencies as a passer shouldn’t matter all that a lot.
Atlanta Falcons at (-2.5) Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m.
Mike: Panthers. Carolina likes to blitz — solely three groups have achieved it extra — and nobody has thrown extra interceptions towards the blitz than Matt Ryan. Carolina ought to construct its defensive recreation plan round that and stopping Kyle Pitts, and it ought to preserve the Falcons in verify sufficient for the Panthers’ personal low-powered offense to do sufficient to cowl the quantity.
Ricky: Falcons. The Panthers’ offense has appeared markedly worse this season with out Christian McCaffrey. Now, they’re beginning Cam Newton, who was terrible earlier than Carolina’s bye, with a brand new offensive coordinator. An excessive amount of unpredictability (and too low a ground) to be laying factors.
New York Giants at (-10) Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m.
Mike: Giants. Regardless of a powerful win final week, the Chargers usually can’t be trusted — however particularly not as 10-point favorites. Assuming Saquon Barkley’s ankle harm isn’t an enormous concern, he ought to have a pleasant “Oh, yeah, he’s fairly good” recreation towards LA’s shaky run protection.
Ricky: Chargers. Jake Fromm would possibly begin at quarterback for the Giants. He’s by no means thrown an NFL move, so who the heck is aware of what you’re getting from him?
Detroit Lions at (-8.5) Denver Broncos, 4:05 p.m.
Mike: Broncos. I used to be able to take Detroit as a result of “Why would I need to lay greater than a landing with the Broncos?” However I dug a little bit deeper and realized when the Broncos win, they win by a median of 14 factors. I believe they’re going to win, in order that factors me towards them masking, too.
Ricky: Broncos. Enjoyable win for the Lions final week. Now again to getting punched within the mouth, this time on the highway in Denver towards a Broncos workforce that’s 19-4 SU in its final 23 video games towards opponents with dropping information.
Buffalo Bills at (-3.5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m.
Mike: Bills. The excellent news for Buffalo is there gained’t be 50 mph wind gusts this week in Tampa. The Bills are in a superb bounce-back spot towards a Tampa Bay protection that’s within the backside half of the league when adjusted for rubbish time. Josh Allen will seem like an MVP once more as Buffalo retains it shut in a shootout.
Ricky: Bills. Simply looks like per week the place the Bills are on excessive alert, whereas the Bucs are extra apt to let their guard down with a Sunday evening showdown towards the Saints looming in Week 15. Buffalo is 4-0-1 ATS in its final 5 video games after a SU loss. Alternatives will probably be there for Allen to sling it.
(-1) San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals, 4:25 p.m.
Mike: 49ers. Cincinnati’s accidents are mounting, and it’ll be without linebacker Logan Wilson this week, actually hurting its means to defend the center of the sector. And, nicely, look at where 49ers tight end George Kittle was making hay in a monster recreation final week. It’s clearly not that easy, however this looks like a superb matchup exploitation alternative for Kyle Shanahan.
Ricky: 49ers. Bengals QB Joe Burrow has had turnover issues this season, throwing an NFL-high 14 interceptions, and now’s coping with a jacked-up pinky finger. Not nice.
Chicago Bears at (-12.5) Inexperienced Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m.
Mike: Bears. It’s fully potential the Packers win 31-10 right here, however I really assume there will probably be some rust and ineffectiveness coming off the bye. Inexperienced Bay appears like a workforce that is aware of what’s necessary over the following two or three months, and masking the quantity towards the Bears is an unlikely a part of that equation.
Ricky: Packers. The Bears (and their lame-duck coach) principally have gotten smoked any time they’ve performed a superb workforce this season. And the Packers are a superb workforce — that’s additionally coming off a bye, at residence, on Sunday evening, towards an inconsistent rookie quarterback who’s getting back from harm.
MONDAY, DEC. 13
Los Angeles Rams at (-2) Arizona Cardinals, 8:15 p.m.
Mike: Cardinals. The LA offense simply hasn’t appeared proper with out Robert Woods, going from the second-ranked passing assault by EPA with him to No. 18 since he went down. The Rams’ third-down offense from eleventh to twenty third. Mix that with Matthew Stafford’s accidents and Sean McVay’s more and more predictable late-season ineffectiveness, and it is likely to be a quiet evening for the Rams.
Ricky: Cardinals. Is everybody snoozing on Arizona? It’s beginning to really feel that manner as a result of all of the Cardinals have achieved this season is win — and canopy, going 9-3 ATS, the second-best mark within the NFL. The Rams beat up on the Jaguars in Week 13, however that’s been their M.O.: Bully weak opponents who can’t match their star energy. The Cardinals have each the high-end expertise and (maybe extra importantly within the context of this matchup) the depth to fend off their flashy divisional adversary.