The Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins represent four very different team profiles entering Week 14 of the NFL season. Let’s take a closer look at their four matchups and find out why those sides are our ATS plays of the week for fans of NFL betting.
The line: Chiefs -6.5 with Karamba
The Chiefs are still winning, but their defense is showing signs of strain. The Chiefs gave up 54 points to the Los Angeles Rams (which included some defensive scores by the Rams, but was still a large number conceded by Kansas City’s defense).
This past weekend, the Chiefs allowed 33 points to the Oakland Raiders, coming off a week of rest. One might have thought that during their week off, the Chiefs would have been able to find solutions on defense, but they didn’t. They are getting less disciplined.
All the while, the Ravens have won three games in a row with their backup quarterback, Lamar Jackson, replacing Joe Flacco. The Ravens’ defense dominated the Atlanta Falcons’ offense this past weekend, and it has been playing its best football of the year over the past month. Their defense is allowing a league-best just 211.7 yards per game over their last three.
This has the makings of a game in which the Chiefs’ vaunted offense runs into at least a small degree of turbulence, maybe a modest amount – especially with Kareem Hunt now gone – and the Ravens’ offense figures out ways to keep the game close. A touchdown feels like a large spread for this game. Take the Ravens and the points with Karamba.
The line: Packers -5 with 888Sport
This game is a wild card, but why are the Packers favored if they have been terrible the past three weeks, losing three games in a row to tumble out of the NFC playoff picture? It’s because the Falcons have been even worse.
Atlanta has lost four straight games, and the Falcons’ offense has been outplayed in consecutive weeks by the Cleveland defense, Dallas defense and Ravens defense. The Falcons have unraveled even more than the Packers.
What makes Green Bay such an attractive pick here is that Mike McCarthy, the longtime Packers coach who – in recent weeks – was not getting along well with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, was fired after Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Joe Philbin, who gets along much better with Rodgers, will be the interim coach in December. This could be just what Rodgers needs to return to being his best self. Take the Packers -5 with 888Sport.
The line: Panthers -2 with Betfair
The Panthers have lost four in a row. Why pick them? They’re the more talented team here. And taking a look at the losses, the last three were by one score where the Panthers had a shot late in the game.
Turnovers have been a big problem, as Cam Newton threw four interceptions this past weekend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Even so, Carolina lost on the road by only seven points. This team has seven giveaways in their last four and is a -6 in that realm.
If Newton can simply cut down on turnovers – not even eliminate them, but simply reduce them – the Panthers should have enough to win this game. Take the Panthers -2 with Betfair.
The line: Patriots -7 with 888Sport
The Patriots are a much better team than the Dolphins, but the Patriots have a weird history of playing poorly in Miami. They’ve lost four of their last five there and Tom Brady’s stats in South Florida are quite staggering.
Brady is 85-32 on the road in the regular season against 30 of the NFL teams. In Miami, he is 7-9. Those nine losses are shocking as he only has 19 losses in 132 home games. He has thrown 15 interceptions in Miami; he’s never had 15 interceptions in an entire season in his career.
Miami is actually 5-1 at home this season while New England is just 3-3 on the road. The Patriots probably win but Miami should keep it close. Take the Dolphins +7 with 888Sport.
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