Early NFL Week 14 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread: Impacts of Brock Purdy and Injuries to Lamar Jackson, Kenneth Walker III

    If you're betting on 2022 NFL games -- whether props, point spreads, or moneylines -- here are our early NFL Week 14 predictions and picks.

    We’ve gone 23-7 picking against the spread and 24-5-1 on moneylines the past two weeks. Here’s an early look at our NFL Week 14 predictions and picks for all 13 games, with the Bears, Colts, Commanders, Falcons, Packers, and Saints on byes. The following betting odds are for picks against the spread, as well as moneylines based on DraftKings Sportsbook.

    NFL Week 14 Predictions and Picks

    Each week of the NFL season features the expected, the moderately unexpected, and the completely unexpected. When betting on point spreads and moneylines, we need to focus on the first two outcomes.

    What are the highest-probability game scripts? Which interesting subplots could emerge? For example, we cannot anticipate when a little-used fullback will fall into the end zone twice in one half. But we can assess the likelihood that one team’s backfield will earn more scoring opportunities.

    With that in mind, here are our preliminary assessments of how each game might proceed.

    Los Angeles Rams (+6) vs. Las Vegas Raiders

    • Date: Thursday, Dec. 8
    • Start time: 8:15 p.m. ET

    No Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson II, or Darrell Henderson Jr. The Rams just surrendered 400+ yards to opposing teams in back-to-back games for the first time since Weeks 3-4 last season. The guy they tried to trade before this year’s deadline, Cam Akers, is now their best offensive weapon.

    The good news is that they’re facing a beatable Raiders defense. The bad news? Vegas is on fire with three narrow victories in a row, putting them squarely in playoff contention, even at 5-7. The Raiders’ offense is clicking despite their own injury woes. I’m expecting a narrow victory for the road team.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Rams
    Moneyline winner: Raiders

    Buffalo Bills (-9.5) vs. New York Jets

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 11
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    As you might remember from last week, I thought the Vikings would roll over the Jets. Credit Mike White, Garrett Wilson, Zonovan Knight, and a tough defense for keeping it close.

    However, they were down double digits in the third quarter and then again in the fourth. Minnesota’s barely middling defense does not rival Buffalo’s. White needed 57 pass attempts to stay within five points against the Vikes. I don’t see them staying within 10 of the (arguably) more balanced Bills.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Bills
    Moneyline winner: Bills

    Cincinnati Bengals (-5.5) vs. Cleveland Browns

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 11
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    My toughest decision last week was picking underdog Cincinnati to beat Kansas City. My easiest one this week is Cincinnati over Cleveland.

    Maybe that’s not fair. The Browns just scored three D/ST touchdowns against Houston, and Deshaun Watson has returned to lead his team on a late-season playoff push.

    But some research I conducted over the summer showed there’s a real rebound effect for teams (and their key playmakers) that lose to a team on the road, and then play that team again at home. The Bengals haven’t lost since their embarrassing 32-13 Week 8 loss to the Browns. I’ve got Cincy scoring 34+ in this one, prevailing by 8+.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Bengals
    Moneyline winner: Bengals

    Dallas Cowboys (-16.5) vs. Houston Texans

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 11
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    Big NFL point spreads are scary. Not like monsters under the bed. But still, they don’t generally produce pleasant feelings.

    But in six full contests with Dak Prescott at the helm, the 2022 Cowboys are averaging 37.2 points per game. On the season, the Chiefs lead all teams with 29.2 points per game.


    MORE: NFL Super Bowl Odds 2023

    I’m comfortable picking Dallas to beat Houston 30-10 at minimum. Give the points. Go all in on the Super Bowl-caliber Cowboys.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Cowboys
    Moneyline winner: Cowboys

    Detroit Lions (+1) vs. Minnesota Vikings

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 11
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    This betting line speaks volumes. It has as much to do with Detroit’s electric offense (sixth-most points per game) as with Minnesota’s overweighted 10-2 record. Since Week 1, all of the Vikings’ wins have been by eight points or less. Four victories have come in the final minute or overtime.

    So this is a true toss-up.

    That said, the Vikes are talented enough to expose the Lions’ biggest weaknesses. Consider that Minnesota’s last four outings have been against the Bills, Cowboys, Patriots, and Jets — some of the league’s least forgiving defenses.

    But Detroit’s yielding the second-most yards per carry and rushing scores, as well as the sixth-most passing yards per game. Minnesota has the firepower to go toe-to-toe with their NFC North opponent, and I believe victory is likely.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Vikings
    Moneyline winner: Vikings

    Tennessee Titans (-3.5) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 11
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    Can Tennessee continue to win behind Derrick Henry and a solid defense? Perhaps. I’m honestly struggling with this point spread, believing the Jags can keep it close, but not at all convinced they can win. For now, I’m comfortable hedging on a narrow Tennessee victory.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Jaguars
    Moneyline winner: Titans

    New York Giants (+6.5) vs. Philadelphia Eagles

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 11
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    Philly began last week as 6.5-point favorites over the Titans at home. Now they have the same line on the road against the Giants. Can Saquon Barkley carry New York?

    I have my doubts. Barkley’s reduced effectiveness in the passing game is concerning, as he’s gained only 61 scoreless yards on his last 22 receptions. A mostly one-dimensional Barkley cannot keep pace with the Eagles.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Eagles
    Moneyline winner: Eagles

    Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 11
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    This point spread surely will swing dramatically in the coming days, depending on Lamar Jackson’s injury prognosis. If Jackson can return, the Ravens probably will be favored. Otherwise, Pittsburgh should be at least four-point favorites. For now, I’m comfortable taking the improving Steelers.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Steelers
    Moneyline winner: Steelers

    Denver Broncos (+9.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 11
    • Start time: 4:05 p.m. ET

    Have you run out of adjectives to describe the collapsing Broncos? So have I.

    Amidst their injuries and generally poor play, it’s important to note that most successful dual-threat QBs have begun their often rapid regression around 30-31 years old. Russell Wilson is 34. The Chiefs will find a way to rebound after losing to the Bengals, and it won’t be pretty for a Denver franchise searching in vain for answers.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Chiefs
    Moneyline winner: Chiefs

    San Francisco 49ers (-3) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 11
    • Start time: 4:25 p.m. ET

    A fascinating betting line. Can Brock Purdy do enough to help “lead” the Niners to victory? Backed by a near-elite backfield, great receivers, and an elite defense, I’d say absolutely — especially against the frequently underperforming Bucs with a ravaged offensive line. As long as Purdy isn’t forced to try to do too much, the 49ers should prevail by 5+.

    Against-the-spread prediction: 49ers
    Moneyline winner: 49ers

    Seattle Seahawks (-4.5) vs. Carolina Panthers

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 11
    • Start time: 4:25 p.m. ET

    Seattle escaped LA with a victory on Sunday. Facing off against the Panthers should prove a bit easier. Not that Carolina is a walkover. But a home tilt against Sam Darnold and a barely mediocre defense? I like the Seahawks’ odds of winning by double digits.

    MORE: Seahawks Running Backs Are Adds Off the Waiver Wire in Week 14

    And yes, we might wonder what will happen if the injured Kenneth Walker III can’t suit up. I’m not overly concerned. DeeJay Dallas is talented and versatile enough to go toe-to-toe with D’Onta Foreman if given the reps. A former fourth-round pick, Dallas could shine against a defense giving up 4.8 yards per carry to opposing RBs.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Seahawks
    Moneyline winner: Seahawks

    Los Angeles Chargers (+3) vs. Miami Dolphins

    • Date: Sunday, Dec. 11
    • Start time: 8:20 p.m. ET

    If Mike Williams returns, we’ll see the Chargers at or near their best. Miami has struggled on defense, and LA has struggled, period. But with Jaylen Waddle banged up, there’s an opening for the home team to reclaim their standing as a playoff contender. Regardless of Williams’ status, I like the Chargers posting 30+ on the Fins and securing the W.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Chargers
    Moneyline winner: Chargers

    Arizona Cardinals (+1.5) vs. New England Patriots

    • Date: Monday, Dec. 12
    • Start time: 8:15 p.m. ET

    There are 20 or more reasons to take New England to win and cover. The 4-8 Cardinals? Not so much.

    But the 6-6 Patriots are in trouble. Tough matchups against the Bengals, Dolphins, and Bills loom. This Arizona game arguably is their easiest remaining on the schedule.

    Yet, the Cards have had DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown on the field together for only one game. Rookie Trey McBride will only get better, James Conner is healthy, and Kyler Murray remains one of the NFL’s best rushing QBs. Aside from missing Zach Ertz, this is one of the best teams the Cardinals could have hoped to field in Week 14.

    It surely will be a tough battle. The Pats’ defense is legit. While the Cards’ defense is not, their offense is . . . or at least can be now that they’re almost fully charged. I like Arizona eking out the win.

    Against-the-spread prediction:  Cardinals
    Moneyline winner: Cardinals

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