Sunday Locks (NFL Week 14)
Cowboys (-4.5) @ Football Team, O/U 47.5
NFC East game. You know my rule. Take the points. Especially when the underdog is getting more than a field goal, at home, and on a 4-game winning streak. I’ll gladly take the Football Team here.
Picks: Football Team +4.5 (Deadbolt), UNDER 47.5 (Deadbolt)
Raiders @ Chiefs (-9.5), O/U 48
The first battle between these two was a total blowout in favor of the Chiefs. That doesn’t bode well for this pick, but I have to think the Raiders learned from that game considering they’re the only defense that allowed the Chiefs to score more than 22 points since Week 6. Give me the Raiders with the points.
Picks: Raiders +9.5 (Padlock), UNDER 48 (Deadbolt)
Ravens @ Browns (-3), O/U 42.5
If the Ravens want to keep control of this division, this is a game they need to win considering the toughness of their remaining schedule. But I have no confidence in them. I also don’t have much confidence in the Browns. But at home, off of their bye, and with an offensive identity I can get behind, I’m going to lay the field goal with the Browns here.
Picks: Browns -3 (Padlock), UNDER 42.5 (Padlock)
Jaguars @ Titans (-8), O/U 43.5
For the Titans to maintain control of the AFC South, this game is crucial. Julio Jones will likely be active, which is certainly a big help. The bigger help is the fact that the Jaguars are simply a bad football team. But it’s very tough to feel good about laying more than a touchdown with the Titans the way they’re currently assembled, so I have to take the points with the Jaguars here.
Picks: Jaguars +8 (Padlock), OVER 43.5 (Padlock)
Saints (-5.5) @ Jets, O/U 42.5
If I needed something else to feel good about following my “NEVER pick the Jets” rule, it’s the fact that Alvin Kamara is returning to this game. That should be plenty enough to help the Saints cover. I’ll take them.
Picks: Saints -5.5 (Padlock), UNDER 42.5 (Padlock)
Seahawks (-8.5) @ Texans, O/U 40.5
A QB change for the Texans caused me to switch my pick here. I actually really liked the Texans getting 8.5 points here with Tyrod behind center. It’s tough to have that same confidence with Davis Mills there. Despite my feeling that the Seahawks are a bad team, I have to take them here laying a bunch of points.
Picks: Seahawks -8.5 (Padlock), UNDER 40.5 (Deadbolt)
Falcons @ Panthers (-2.5), O/U 41.5
One of these NFC South teams will leave this week still in realistic playing contention. The other will not. Cam Newton’s return lost a ton of its luster the last time we saw the Panthers two weeks away after he was benched, and for good reason, in that disaster of a game. I have no faith in him throwing the ball. Give me the Falcons here.
Picks: Falcons +2.5 (Deadbolt), OVER 41.5 (Deadbolt)
Giants @ Chargers (-9.5), O/U 43
It’s looking like Mike Glennon will be behind center for the Giants. I’m not sure if that makes me feel better or worse than Jake Fromm. I’ve been wrong many times going with the Chargers this season as they’ve continued to have a wild, roller coaster ride of a season. Despite this being a lot of points, I still have to pick them. I’ll take the home team.
Picks: Chargers -9.5 (Deadbolt), UNDER 43 (Deadbolt)
Lions @ Broncos (-10), O/U 42.5
Typical Lions. They finally win a game, have a semi-winnable game to really try to get some momentum going, and then their entire roster gets sick, half with Covid, half with the flu. Brutal. I don’t know where the Lions will get their points from considering Swift, Jamaal Williams, and Hockenson are all out. But double digits is a lot for the Broncos to cover. I have enough faith in the grit of the Lions roster to cover that amount in an ugly game. Give me the Lions.
Picks: Lions +10 (Padlock), UNDER 42.5 (Deadbolt)
Bills @ Buccaneers (-3.5), O/U 54
Well, the Bills sure need to show some fight here against Tom Brady after a disappointing loss in primetime last week to Bill Belichick. I probably should bail on this team, but for some reason I can’t allow myself to give up hope. I certainly expect the Buccaneers to run the ball all over the Bills. Fortunately for the Bills, the weakness of the Bucs team is their passing defense, which plays right into their offensive strength. I’m going with the Bills here in a shootout.
Picks: Bills +3.5 (Deadbolt), OVER 54 (Padlock)
49ers (-2) @ Bengals, O/U 49
What is up with this spread? My only guess is the bookmakers think Joe Burrow’s hand injury is going to limit him. I’m not buying it. The 49ers are a mediocre team. They had their momentum squashed last week in the loss to the Seahawks. The Bengals are an inconsistent team also coming off of a loss last week to the Chargers. I’m astonished that they would be underdogs at home in this game. I’m going to pick them simply out of respect for what they’ve done this year. There’s no reason why they should be underdogs here.
Picks: Bengals +2 (Fort Knox), OVER 49 (Padlock)
Bears @ Packers (-12.5), O/U 43
The Bears stink. The Packers are great and getting healthier. This is a lot of points for a division game, especially one that’s arguably the greatest rivalry in the game. But the Packers are so simply so much better than the Bears. I think this will be a laugher. I’ll lay the points with the home team.
Picks: Packers -12.5 (Fort Knox), UNDER (Padlock)
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Zack Nicol and I have partnered to do a head to head challenge every week called LOCK OFF. We’ll pick 4 of our favorite spreads and battle it out.
This week’s LOCK OFF picks:
Zack Nicol: Cowboys -4.5, Bengals +1.5, Buccaneers -3.5, Bears +12
Craig Ebinger: Bengals +2, Packers -12.5, Football Team +4.5, Chargers -9.5