Week 14 NFL Underdog Betting Picks
We passed on underdog picks last week for the first time in five years. But a few birdies and green were on the Week 13 scorecard as we chipped in two totals winners and more prop bets. All of RB Austin Ekeler's receiving props went over, along with his rushing yards for those that bet at the leading online sportsbooks.
Our record picking only underdogs remains at 21-8 ATS (72.4%) this season with 16 outright underdog winners. The five year 'Dog log for Fairway's Football Forecast is 121-87 ATS (58.2%) with 63 outright underdog winners. But in the "what have you done for me lately" mantra of NFL picks, let's get back on the tee and see if we can fire more shots down the fairway and hit the green.
Check out the early injury reports heading into Week 14 action.
NFL Week 14 Underdog Picks
New York Jets (+5.5) vs New Orleans - Jets moneyline +200 at BetUS
Houston (+8.5) vs Seattle - Texans moneyline +325 at BookMaker
New Orleans at New York
Sure it's tough to trust the Jets (3-9) and their poor quarterback play and deficient defense. But they found a way to rally and beat the better Bengals on Halloween, this is another game they can win at home. The Jets offensive stats are still better than the sh*t Saints and their troubles at quarterback. Alvin Kamara looks like he'll return for the Saints. The plus-6 is gone, but this game is another example of why more bettors lose. They like to bet against bad teams like the Jets, but the issue in this match-up is the Saints are really not much better if at all. I bet the season win total Under on the Saints, and have stuck to my guns that they are not very good even after a 5-2 start. Now riding a 5-game losing streak, the proof is in the pudding and the Saints are struggling. In New Orleans last three games, the Saints defense has allowed 32.5 points per game. That's worse than the slightly improved Jets defense in their three recent games, although we note that the Jets 6.1 yards per play defense is the league's worst this season. New York was run over last week by the Eagles No. 1 rush attack. So many injuries and issues with the Saints, and the Jets offense is playing better since Week 8 ranking 11th in EPA and 4th in success rate while the Saints are in the bottom quartile in those categories. Jets rookie QB Zach Wilson was named NFL rookie of the week last week in defeat, as his footwork, tempo and play within the system was better passing for 226 yards and 2 TDs and rushing for another touchdown. Laying this price with the Saints on the road is just a bad bet IMO, and we'll take the Jets and watch more calls, plays and turnovers go against the Saints as too much losing in New York is just not good for the NFL either.
Seattle at Houston
The big ugly 'Dog theme continues with the Houston Texans (2-10), who few will be willing to bet on this week. The Texans are another team that is so difficult to trust, and lacks more talent than probably any other team. Coming off a 31-0 home loss to the Colts with just 131 yards offense, who the hell wants to bet on the terrible Texans? Of course the leading online sportsbooks know this, and have pumped a little air into the betting line. But good luck to those who bet Seattle (4-8), who comes off a big home 'Dog win last week against the 49ers but are firmly entrenched in last place in the NFC West. The Seahawks won last week but were out-gained in total yards for the 11ths straight game. Davis Mills is likely back in the lineup to start at quarterback for the Texans as Tyrod Taylor is trying to recover from a hyperextended wrist suffered in last week's loss. Mills will make his seventh start this season, and hopefully be better and good enough. NFL home teams coming off a shutout home loss are 21-14-1 SU and 25-11 ATS since 1980, including 10-1 ATS off a loss of 30 or more points. We avoided the struggles of many rookie quarterbacks earlier in the season, but now riding the Jets and Texans and their rookie quarterbacks. Take it or leave it.
Other Week 14 match-ups and notes.
I bet the Browns at opener Pick 'em and teased, and have since added more Browns -2 and ML. Cleveland is in a great spot off a bye with Ravens coming off grueling loss to Steelers. Quarterback Lamar Jackson had 4 INTs and Ravens still beat Cleveland 16-10 in Week 12. Browns running game was shut down, but that will change this week along with better passing with the Ravens banged up and also without star CB Humphrey, who is out for the year after tearing a pectoral muscle last week. Can't use the Browns as an underdog as pick and even -1 to -2 are gone. But home run spot and effort for Browns in victory this week.
I thought I would certainly be on the WFT this week, but concerned with the match-ups of Cowboys receivers against the WFT secondary and pass defense. Washington is among the worst ranked teams in pass defense and EPA per play defense. Dallas returns some key players on defense and Rookie of the Year favorite Micah Parsons has been spectacular and can play more at linebacker where he's most effective. Also, Dallas is off another Thursday night game with rest and prep while the Football Team plays their third game in 13 days. Tempting knowing the WFT played their best game of the year and beat Tampa Bay as a 10-point home 'Dog a month ago to start their current 4-game winning streak. But pass on the pre-flop betting and pics on this game for now.
Not on the Buffalo Bills (+3.5) at Tampa Bay against the Buccaneers either, as the Bills are off the big game and loss Monday night and are up against it playing the defending Super Bowl champs. Quarterback Josh Allen is outside top 25 in completion rate and yards per pass attempt when blitzed, and the Buccaneers blitz at a league high 39% rate. The Bills running game is not efficient or effective enough, and Josh Allen may be on the move and run trying to pick up more yards.
Also considered the Lions (+10) against the Broncos in Denver. Too many points even against the loser Lions off their first win of the season and last play victory against the Vikings, who had many key players out with injury. Now the Lions have 40% of their roster not practicing Thursday as the flu bug has gone around the facility and hit many players. Monitor closer to game time.
The line has dropped on the Packers (-11.5) Sunday night vs the Bears in frigid Green Bay (near 30 degrees) as you check the NFL weekly weather reports. Pro bettors may be betting on the Bears, but not me with rookie QB Justin Fields making a road start for the first time at Lambeau Field. Still too many weaknesses on the Bears despite some better defensive performances. Justin Fields may be improving and more athletic, but I'll pass and evaluate during the game with in-play live betting.
Check back this weekend for any updates, additions and information you can bet on.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. He chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Read more great insights from FairwayJay and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay
Week 14 NFL Underdog Betting Picks