Josh Allen standing in tunnel

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) stands in the tunnel before a NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

  • Who will win out between the reeling Ravens and Browns in a pivotal AFC North clash?
  • Can the Bills get back on track against the Buccaneers?
  • Last week’s picks went 2-0, winning us 3.83 units and returning our season total to +11.92 (16-18 record)

Well that’s more like it! After some crappy showings, our upset picks bounced back with a pair of wins in Week 13.

After looking at the NFL’s Week 14 lines, I want to continue the theme of bouncing back, by jumping on three teams coming off losses in Week 13. Will they also be able to turn things around, or will the theme of next week’s picks be crippling disappointment? Let’s find out!

NFL Week 14 Upset Picks

Matchup Spread Moneyline Pick Units
Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns CLE -2.5 +124 Ravens 1.25
Buffalo Bills vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB -3.5 +150 Bills 1.25
New York Giants vs Los Angeles Chargers LAC -10 +360 Giants 0.5

Odds as of December 10th at DraftKings and FanDuel

Ravens Romp Browns

In yet another huge AFC North matchup (is there one of these every week now?) the Cleveland Browns are 2.5-point favorites over the Baltimore Ravens.

The Browns are in a rare spot, playing the Ravens back-to-back games with their bye week in between. Even with all that extra time to correct their errors from Week 12, it appears Cleveland will continue to make one very correctable mistake: starting a banged-up Baker Mayfield.

The Browns’ run game was completely stymied by the Ravens in their first meeting, limited to just 40 yards on the ground. Hope of things turning around after the bye were dampened by news that Jack Conklin is gone for the season. Add in the fact that Jedrick Wills Jr. has been battling an ankle injury all season and this once vaunted line is starting to show cracks.

Mayfield will need to make throws to win this game. Granted, if ever there was a time to throw on the Ravens, it’s this week. The secondary that lost Marcus Peters before the year has now lost Marlon Humphrey as well, and the lack of corner depth is impacting Baltimore’s decision-making.

The Ravens offense has been in a funk of their own lately. Baltimore hasn’t topped 20 points since Week 9 as defenses keep following the Dolphins’ blueprint and blitzing Lamar Jackson like mad. The Ravens have yet to find consistent success in those situations.

Still, when you have two reeling teams going head to head, and the better coach and quarterback are getting points, that’s seems like an easy decision. The Browns haven’t beaten the Ravens in their last four meetings. Look for Baltimore to run it to five.

Bills Beat Brady

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 3.5-point favorites over the Buffalo Bills in a matchup many had slated for Super Bowl 56 before the season.

Prognosticators can’t be feeling as good about the Buffalo side of that equation now. The Bills lost their grip on the AFC East in an ugly game where their struggles stopping the run were on full display.

While insane winds and snow may not be Bills weather for this 2021 team, they won’t have to worry about that this week in Tampa. Josh Allen has also thrived in his last three trips to Miami, throwing nine TDs to just one interception. That South Florida success should continue against a Buccaneers secondary that is still not back to full strength.

No matter the weather, the Bills still need to figure out how to stop the Bucs’ power running game with Leonard Fournette. Considering they just spent all week hearing how soft they are, a failure to do so won’t be from lack of motivation.

This is a crossroads for both Buffalo and bettors. The underlying numbers say the Bills should probably have had some better luck, from their ability to break tackles to their pass rush. They’re 0-4 in one-score games and Tom Brady has owned this franchise.

Something has to give here: perhaps it’s Buffalo’s Super Bowl hopes? Personally, I remain optimistic.

Giant Upset in LA

Despite COVID-19 hitting their receiver room hard, the Los Angeles Chargers are 10.5-point favorites over the New York Giants.

Keenan Allen has already been ruled out, but it appears Mike Williams still has a shot at playing. We won’t know officially until this is already published.

This year, we’ve already capitalized on a New York underdog playing a receiver-less team and this could be another opportunity here. Granted, the Chargers at least have homefield in this spot (for whatever that’s worth) but I still think the Giants D should hold up well here. After all, they’ve been playing well against healthier opponents tough too.

The question is whether Jake Fromm and the offense can deliver enough points for the outright win. Considering I’m only sprinkling half a unit on this, I’m clearly not that confident in this Freddie Kitchens’ bunch. But considering the Chargers struggles against the run remain, maybe this will the be the game that convinces the Giants to give Saquon Barkley way too much money?

The Chargers are just 1-4 ATS as a home favorite of a field goal or more this season, so if you don’t join me on the moneyline, at least look at the Giants on spread.

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Eric Thompson

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