NFL Picks Week #14 (2022 regular season)
NFL PICKS (WEEK #14)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
Written Tuesday December 6th, 2022 at 8 pm Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed)
In this article, I’ll give you my top 3 NFL picks for Week 14, along with three unofficial picks, also called leans. In case you don’t know me yet, I’m Professor MJ and I have been teaching statistics to university students in Quebec City, Canada. Welcome to the best sports betting website!
PICK #1 (4 STARS): NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -1 AT ARIZONA CARDINALS
The last 14 times the Patriots suffered a double-digit home loss, they rebounded with a 12-2 record ATS (“Against The Spread”). Bill Belichick knows how to fire up his team following a poor performance. In the current case, New England lost by a 14-point margin at Gillette Stadium against the Bills last week.
Both teams have not fared very well recently on Monday Night Football. Indeed, the Pats hold a 1-4 record ATS versus a 2-10 record ATS for the Cardinals in these circumstances.
Arizona has done an atrocious job at home from a betting perspective. In fact, over their past 12 games at State Farm Stadium, they have presented a 3-9 record ATS.
These two teams rank similarly on the offensive side of the ball in terms of the “Expected Points Added” statistic (also called EPA), both on the ground and through the air.
However, the Patriots stand out with their superior offensive line, and there is no debate that they have a much better defense. Indeed, New England has the third-best defensive unit, according to the EPA statistics, while Arizona sits in spot #20.
Which teams needs this win the most? Clearly, the Patriots. They are still in the playoff race, as evidenced by their 26% chance of making the postseason, based on FiveThirdEight.com. Meanwhile, Arizona has less than a 1% chance of reaching the NFL playoffs this year.
Mac Jones has not been lighting up the scoreboard, but he has not turned the ball over in four straight games. Now facing a mediocre Cardinals defense, he and the running game should find a way to edge Arizona. Give me the Patriots laying one point on the road at the Cards.
PICK #2 (3 STARS): DETROIT LIONS TEAM TOTAL OVER 27.5 POINTS
Let’s take a look at the number of points scored by the Lions in their seven home games so far this season:
- 35 points vs Eagles;
- 36 points vs Commanders;
- 45 points vs Seahawks;
- 27 points vs Dolphins;
- 15 points vs Packers;
- 25 points vs Bills;
- 40 points vs Jaguars;
In other words, Detroit has exceeded 27.5 points in four of seven home games. They failed by a single point against Miami. I have no idea what happened against Green Bay, who does not have a top-rated defense. Finally, they still scored 25 points against one of the top units in the league, the Buffalo Bills.
Now, the Vikings rank 21st in terms of points allowed per game. What about yards allowed per game? Minnesota is 31st out of 32 teams. There is no doubt in my mind that Detroit will move the ball well in a favorable environment at home.
Please also note that the Lions don’t have much injuries on the offensive side of the ball. D’Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Browns are back at full strength after being banged up a little bit.
Jared Goff tends to fall apart when he gets pressured. He is very bad at avoiding pressure. Now, according to FootballGuys.com, the Lions have the 6th-best offensive line, while Minnesota ranks 23rd in terms of pressure rate.
I like the Lions to score a minimum of 28 points this Sunday at Ford Field.
PICK #3 (1 STAR): MIAMI DOLPHINS -2.5 AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Put simply, the Dolphins have the better offense and the better defense as well.
Moreover, the mindset is probably more positive on Miami’s side. After losing three of their past four games, the Chargers only have a 30% probability of making the playoffs and their fans are calling for Brandon Staley’s head. He was supposed to be a defensive mastermind, but his team has allowed 5.4 yards per carry, which is the highest number since 1960. The team is not living up to expectations, and you can see them falling apart.
After winning five straight games, Miami lost 33-17 in San Francisco against Brock Purdy. The last 16 times the Dolphins surrendered more than 30 points, they stormed back with a 13-3 record ATS.
Meanwhile, L.A. has not fared well at home against teams with a winning record. In fact, they hold a 7-20 record ATS in that situation over the past few years.
Miami has the edge in coaching. And they are healthier as well. Give me Miami -2.5 points at SoFi Stadium in Sunday Night Football.
For entertainment purposes, here are some leans:
- Jaguars +3.5 at Titans (Jacksonville fits 2 betting systems that I trust. First: betting a road underdog following a road loss. Over a four-year span, it has generated a 160-97-5 record ATS. Next, it also seems like a smart idea to back bad teams in divisional road matchups after a loss by a margin of more than 7 points. In this case, the Jags were humiliated 40-14 in Detroit last week. To top it all off, we have the revenge factor going our way since Jacksonville lost both meetings with the Titans during the 2021 regular season. Derrick Henry has average 34 rushing yards over the past two games.);
- Bills -9 vs Jets (I absolutely love betting a strong team that was the victim of an upset to a weaker divisional opponent earlier in the year. That’s the case here since New York beat Buffalo 20-17 in Week 9. Moreover, the Bills get three extra days of rest after playing last Thursday. I have seen many statistical studies showing how elite NFL teams tend to make very good use of additional time to gameplan. After a great game against the Bears, Jets QB Mike White had an up-and-down performance against Minnesota. Now facing an even tougher defense, things do not bode well for him. Last year, the threw four interceptions against Buffalo.)
- Ravens +3 at Steelers (Despite Lamar Jackson’s injury, give me Baltimore as three-point underdogs in Pittsburgh. The Ravens lost both meetings against Pittsburgh last week, so they will be looking for payback. In their past eight visits to Heinz Field, the Ravens present a 5-2-1 record ATS. The Steelers are 1-5 ATS when facing a team with a winning record. Tyler Huntley has proven to be a serviceable backup in the past. He can run, and he was very accurate last week by completing 27-of-32 passes against a fierce Broncos defense. I believe Baltimore will either win this game, or lose by a very small margin.).
Best of luck with your betting plays this weekend, my friend!
(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)