Another week, another final score predicted down to the point — plus we got back on track with our Lock of the Week. Can we keep the positive momentum going? We’ll do our best with our NFL Week 14 picks and predictions. Note that all lines are as of Wednesday and courtesy of Caesars.
NFL Picks and Predictions: Lock of the Week
Seahawks -3.5; Seahawks -195, Panthers +162; O/U 44
It’s been a shaky month for Pete Carroll’s bunch. After back-to-back losses to the Buccaneers and Raiders (which bookended Seattle’s bye), the Seahawks nearly lost to John Wolford and the dreadful Rams in Week 13.
And they would have if not for the heroics of Geno Smith, who was lights out, completing 71.2% of his passes with three touchdowns (the last of which coming with 36 seconds left to DK Metcalf) and 9.2 yards per attempt.
Geno — who is fourth in EPA+CPOE composite (.157) behind only Tua Tagovailoa, Patrick Mahomes, and Jalen Hurts — will find the sledding a bit tougher Sunday, particularly if Kenneth Walker III is impacted by his ankle injury.
The Panthers are a much-improved team since replacing Matt Rhule with Steve Wilks. After starting 1-5, Carolina has gone .500 since Oct. 23, and the defense has led the way. The Panthers have allowed 28 points in their three wins over that stretch.
The flipside? They’ve given up 92 in their three losses — and those games were against teams whose offenses are not as explosive as Seattle’s. It’s hard to see how Carolina scores enough to keep up.
Beasley: Seahawks 27, Panthers 16
Miller: Seahawks 27, Panthers 20
Robinson: Seahawks 27, Panthers 18
NFL Picks and Predictions: Upset of the Week
Steelers -2.5; Steelers -145, Ravens +122; O/U 37
This line would have made absolutely no sense even four weeks ago. But a lot has changed in the last month.
Pittsburgh’s defense is a different group with the return of T.J. Watt, ranking ninth in EPA per play in his four weeks back. Plus, Steelers rookie Kenny Pickett has started to figure things out. He hasn’t thrown a pick in his last four games after throwing eight in his first five.
But he isn’t really taking many chances, either. Pickett ranks 24th in air yards per completion (5.2). Accordingly, the Steelers have scored just 106 points in their five wins — which probably won’t be enough against the Ravens, even with Tyler Huntley under center.
Lamar Jackson is unlikely to play with a knee injury, and Huntley needed 32 attempts to total 187 passing yards. But we expect a full week of preparation to help. The Ravens are built to run, regardless of which quarterback is playing.
Plus, Baltimore’s defense has been much improved, allowing just 95 points over the last six games (five of which were Baltimore wins).
Beasley: Ravens 20, Steelers 18
Miller: Ravens 23, Steelers 20
Robinson: Ravens 23, Steelers 21
More NFL Picks and Predictions
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Los Angeles Rams
Raiders -6; Raiders -250, Rams +205; O/U 44.5
After claiming Baker Mayfield, the Rams might have some hope for the rest of the season, but he’s unlikely to start against the Raiders and wouldn’t help much if he did. The offense is broken — not only are they missing their top receiver, they still haven’t resolved their issues along the offensive line and can’t run the ball very effectively. John Wolford is a great story but not a great quarterback.
Derek Carr hasn’t been having the best season with the Raiders, but they have been more consistent on offense than the Rams and have more opportunities for explosive plays, especially with the remote possibility that either Darren Waller or Hunter Renfrow are activated off of IR.
Defensively, the Rams look a little bit better with a more consistent run defense and the best pure defensive tackle in the NFL helping the pass rush. They still can give up chunk gains — which the Raiders specialize in — but there is more hope there for Los Angeles. Las Vegas has been a sieve defensively, though it’s difficult to imagine Wolford taking advantage of it.
— Arif Hasan
Beasley: Raiders 27, Rams 20
Miller: Raiders 24, Rams 17
Robinson: Raiders 24, Rams 14
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans
Titans -3.5; Titans -195, Jaguars +162; O/U 41.5
The Jaguars got steamrolled by the Lions in Week 13 and might not get a chance to get the bad taste out of their mouth this Sunday. Doug Pederson told reporters this week that Trevor Lawrence is dealing with a foot injury after taking a hard hit against Detroit and may not be available to face the Titans.
A game with upset potential would become far less interesting if Jacksonville is forced to roll with C.J. Beathard under center. Tennessee’s defense is reeling after giving up 35 points to the Eagles last week, but they would easily be able to stifle a Beathard-led offense, especially given that the former 49er hasn’t started a game since 2020.
Meanwhile, Derrick Henry needs to get back on track after being held under 100 yards rushing in four consecutive games. The Jaguars’ defense is much better against the run than the pass, but with Titans rookie receiver Treylon Burks potentially sidelined by a concussion, Tennessee has more reason than ever to brute force a run-heavy game plan.
— Dallas Robinson
Beasley: Titans 21, Jaguars 20
Miller: Titans 17, Jaguars 16
Robinson: Titans 23, Jaguars 18
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants
Eagles -7; Eagles -320, Giants +250; O/U 45.5
The Eagles responded to a few down games — including their first loss — against the Commanders and Colts by posting 75 combined points against the Packers and Titans. Philadelphia’s most recent wins proved just how capable they are of adapting their offensive plans to their opponents’ weaknesses, as they ran for 363 yards versus Green Bay before passing for 386 against Tennessee.
The Giants’ defensive liabilities are numerous, so the Eagles should be able to take whatever path offers the least resistance. An already weak New York secondary has been decimated by injuries to Adoree’ Jackson and Xavier McKinney, so Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown could have another field day through the air.
The one thing Big Blue does well is generate pressure, but they’ve had to blitz at the NFL’s highest rate to get there. Philadelphia has the league’s best offensive line, and the unit communicates so well that accounting for extra rushers shouldn’t be an issue.
— Dallas Robinson
Beasley: Eagles 27, Giants 18
Miller: Eagles 24, Giants 18
Robinson: Eagles 31, Giants 15
New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
Bills -9.5; Bills -455, Jets +345; O/U 44
The Bills are coming off three straight victories but will enter Week 14 knowing star edge rusher Von Miller won’t return for the rest of the year. Holding onto the AFC’s top seed — and getting a first-round bye — is incredibly important, given the strength of the conference. Buffalo needs to avenge their Week 9 loss to the Jets to stay ahead of the Chiefs in the playoff picture.
Josh Allen posted one of his worst performances of the season in that defeat. He completed just 52.9% of his passes against Gang Green, and it was his only outing this year without a touchdown pass. However, Allen did rush for 86 yards and two scores against the Jets, so taking to the ground and avoiding New York cornerbacks Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed could be in the cards again.
The Jets will need to win the turnover battle (as they did in Week by picking off Allen twice) and rely on their running game to beat the Bills. Mike White turned back into a pumpkin against the Vikings after balling out against the Bears, and the Buffalo defense — even without Miller — won’t offer many opportunities for a rebound game.
— Dallas Robinson
Beasley: Bills 27, Jets 21
Miller: Bills 24, Jets 18
Robinson: Bills 27, Jets 20
Houston Texans vs. Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys -17; Cowboys -2000, Texans +1050; O/U 45
If you think that the Houston Texans will score 10 points against the Dallas Cowboys, the over might be a decent bet. Since Dak Prescott’s return, the Cowboys are averaging a league-best 37.2 points per game. Houston’s defense struggles against the run, making Dallas a bad matchup for them.
Prescott and the Cowboys’ passing attack didn’t look particularly sharp against the Colts, but we’ve seen that same Colts defense stifle both the Chiefs and Eagles this season. Dallas could also receive another boost in the form of Tyron Smith returning to the starting lineup if things go well this week in practice after being activated into his 21-day practice window.
If the Texans were hoping for improvement at QB after benching Davis Mills, they were sadly mistaken. In two starts, Kyle Allen has thrown four interceptions and completed just 59% of his passes. They decided to return to Mills against Dallas, although it’s doubtful they see an uptick in production against Dallas’s defense.
— Dalton Miller
Beasley: Cowboys 33, Texans 13
Miller: Cowboys 36, Texans 10
Robinson: Texans 33, Cowboys 10
Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions
Lions -2.5; Lions -135, Vikings +115; O/U 53
The Lions have been one of the most exciting teams over the last several weeks, a sentence that must be as odd to read as it was to type. But Jared Goff is playing efficient football, and they have an excellent offensive line and receiving corps, with the likelihood that Jameson Williams could become a big contributor this week. With an explosive running game and good YAC artists, there are a lot of chances for the Lions to make big plays.
The Vikings’ offense has been struggling, though it should be noted they did just finish a four-game stretch against the top defenses in the NFL. Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook are still home-run threats but will require a more consistent Kirk Cousins to truly enable that.
For Minnesota, the concern will be with how well-crafted Detroit’s defensive line is and how poor the Vikings’ interior offensive line is. Last time, the Lions shut down Jefferson. That probably won’t happen again but is worth considering. On the other side of the ball, the Vikings have more talent than production on defense. If Goff can avoid late-game turnovers, a persistent Vikings threat, this game might go the way of Detroit.
— Arif Hasan
Beasley: Lions 27, Vikings 26
Miller: Vikings 27, Lions 25
Robinson: Vikings 29, Lions 27
Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Bengals -6; Bengals -267, Browns +215; O/U 47
Wouldn’t you know the guy who hadn’t played professional football in 700 days at the most difficult position to play in sports struggled in his first game back? Texans fans absolutely blasted Deshaun Watson with insults while the QB took snaps, and that disdain isn’t going anywhere any time soon. The rest of the Browns’ season will be about Watson getting his sea legs back underneath him for a 2023 playoff push.
Meanwhile, the Bengals are arguably one of the best teams in the entire NFL. After starting 0-2, Cincinnati is 8-2 and has the league’s second-most efficient offense since Week 3. One of their two slip-ups came against the Browns in Week 8, but they’ll look to rectify that in Week 13.
— Dalton Miller
Beasley: Bengals 28, Browns 19
Miller: Bengals 30, Browns 16
Robinson: Bengals 25, Browns 20
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos
Chiefs -9.5; Chiefs -455, Broncos +345; O/U 43
The best offense in football matches up against one of the best defenses in the game in this AFC matchup. But maybe we’ll just close our eyes during the horror show we’re going to see when the ball flips hands.
Russell Wilson and the Broncos haven’t been the worst offense in the NFL at moving the ball, but they are the worst at scoring points. Despite ranking fourth in turnovers per drive, the Broncos rank dead last in points per drive and points per game. They struggle to run the football, and the Wilson trade and subsequent contract extension have been an abject failure to date.
But seeing this Denver secondary face the relentless Chiefs passing attack will be a sight to behold.
— Dalton Miller
Beasley: Chiefs 24, Broncos 19
Miller: Chiefs 24, Broncos 10
Robinson: Chiefs 30, Broncos 13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Francisco 49ers
49ers -3.5; 49ers -190, Buccaneers +158; O/U 37.5
After playing like an unstartable quarterback for 3.5 quarters, Tom Brady reminded audiences why he’s considered the greatest quarterback of all time. That probably won’t matter against a much better defense in San Francisco. Sure, they won’t light the world on fire offensively, but all they need is somewhat efficient distribution from Brock Purdy to their corps of skill players to get the job done.
Instead, Brady -– who has had trouble connecting with both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin — will need to do a better job navigating the pressure that the 49ers will bring despite the state of his offensive line. After that, he has to find and avoid star safety Talanoa Hufanga. The Buccaneers have scored more than 22 points once all season, so it seems unlikely.
San Francisco will be up against an underrated defense with Tampa Bay, but the injury report might be key here. The Buccaneers cover well and tackle well, so it’s difficult to figure out where the advantages might be, but they also aren’t as tough as the best defenses in the NFL. If they can put up points with Purdy at the helm, that will tell us a lot about what head coach Kyle Shanahan can accomplish when the chips are down.
— Arif Hasan
Beasley: 49ers 20, Buccaneers 17
Miller: Buccaneers 17, 49ers 16
Robinson: 49ers 24, Buccaneers 20
Miami Dolphins vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Dolphins -3; Dolphins -170, Chargers +143; O/U 52
Oh, the narratives. Tua Tagovailoa, the fifth pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, goes head-to-head with Justin Herbert, the guy taken one pick after him. This is the first meeting between these talented young passers since their rookie year, a game won by Miami in which Tua outplayed Justin.
That’s ancient history. A far more timely issue: What happened to Tua in Week 13? He threw picks in back-to-back passes against the 49ers, putting together his worst game of the season.
The good news for the Dolphins?
The Chargers’ defense isn’t anywhere close to the 49ers’ defense. Only two teams have allowed fewer points per drive than San Francisco (.269). Only two teams have allowed more than Los Angeles (.420).
So yeah, we expect Tua to surrender to the flow and smoke the Chargers Sunday night — assuming the NFL’s No. 25 scoring defense (24.1 points per game) makes enough stops.
— Adam H. Beasley
Beasley: Dolphins 28, Chargers 23
Miller: Dolphins 30, Chargers 20
Robinson: Dolphins 30, Chargers 25
New England Patriots vs. Arizona Cardinals
Patriots -1; Patriots -125, Cardinals +105; O/U 44.5
This is probably as close to a must-win as you’ll get in Week 14. The Patriots have lost two straight to fall a game out of the playoffs, and their remaining schedule after Monday is daunting.
The Patriots finish with the Raiders, Bengals, Dolphins, and Bills — teams that are a combined 12 games over .500. A third-straight loss would make New England’s playoff chances a very long shot.
Fortunately for the Pats, they’re playing a terrible team whose coach deserves to be fired. The only reason he might keep his job is that Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill is relatively cash poor.
The Cardinals rank 27th in point differential, 28th in offensive efficiency, 30th in DVOA, and last in net points per drive. They’re a bad team playing out the string. The Patriots are a mediocre team playing to keep their season alive.
— Adam H. Beasley
Beasley: Patriots 24, Cardinals 20
Miller: Patriots 23, Cardinals 17
Robinson: Patriots 25, Cardinals 17
Season standings through 13 weeks
Adam Beasley: 114-79-2 straight up, 88-100-7 against the spread
Dalton Miller: 114-79-2, 83-105-7
Dallas Robinson: 127-66-2, 92-96-7