NFL Betting Guide: Week 14
numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets
with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting
on the total, game line, or moneyline. For those new to numberFire, we
use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting on any
given night. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager
relative to what you would normally bet.
For example, if you would usually bet $110 to win $100 on a -110
spread wager, if we give a 3-star ranking, we suggest risking three
times that amount: $330 to win $300.
Using our model as a guide, let’s take a look at the best bets for tonight.
Giants Moneyline (+134): 4-Star Rating out of 5 Giants +3.0: 2-Star Rating out of 5
Giants +3.0: 2-Star Rating out of 5
While the records in the NFC East still aren’t what any dictionary would use as the definition of “good,” that isn’t to say that all of the teams in the division have been playing poorly for the entire season. Enter the New York Giants.
Sure, the team from Jersey started the season at what looked like an abysmal 1-7. Well, I suppose the end result of that first half was abysmal, but the team was not playing as poorly as their record would have suggested. Five of those seven losses came by just one score, including a two-point loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and they were giving up just 24.9 points in those contests, which tied for the 14th fewest in the league.
Since then, the team has transformed into a dominating defensive presence.
Big Blue has given up an average of just 16.5 points per game in the last four weeks — all wins. Last week they marched into what looked like a surefire loss against the Seattle Seahawks. The ‘Hawks, who had gone 5-0 at home with an average of 33.0 points scored in those wins, could muster only 12 points against the Giants’ stalwart D. The Giants have generated 10 takeaways in their four-game win streak, turning the ball over just twice in that span.
The Cardinals have won only four out of their past 15 East Coast games (and three of their past four), going 5-10 against the spread (ATS) in those contests. Our model sees that pushing to 5-11 as we give the Giants a 59.1% chance of covering the spread and a 54.7% chance of winning outright. We mark the bets as four- and two-star plays, respectively.
Football Team Moneyline (+158): 2-Star Rating out of 5 Football Team +3.5: 2-Star Rating out of 5
Football Team +3.5: 2-Star Rating out of 5
A neutral site didn’t do the San Francisco 49ers any favors in Week 13 as they ended up losing to the potential AFC East winners — the Buffalo Bills — 34-24 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. For the Niners’ sake, hopefully they’ve been able to adapt to the desert in the past week, because that’s where they’ll be once again in Week 14 as they host the surging Washington Football Team.
Led by likely Comeback Player of the Year Alex Smith, the Football Team has won three straight and four of their past six games, most recently taking down the then-unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers, 23-17. The once laughable team is now tied for the best record in the NFC East and, amazingly, is in contention for a Wild Card spot should they not take their division.
The resurgence has been led by what numberFire’s metrics have as the sixth-ranked defense. WFT has given up just 203.8 passing yards per game, the third-best mark in the league. They’ve accumulated four or more sacks in four of their past six games; in that time, they’ve recorded a touch more than 3.3 sacks per game, the second-best mark in the league.
Their last three losses have come by three points or fewer, and they have a positive point differential despite being two games under .500. They’ve gone 5-1-1 ATS in their past seven games, covering in those contests by an average of 9.4 points.
numberFire’s model projects a nail-biter in this game, with the Niners — losers of five of their six home or neutral games — getting a 0.6-point victory. Coupling the tight projection with WFT’s moneyline odds (+158), the expected return of a $100 bet on the Football Team to beat the Niners is $123.45, making it a strong two-star play despite them not being pick to win by our model. We give the Football Team a 61.2% chance of covering the current 3.0-point spread, another two-star play.
Over 42.5: 5-Star Rating out of 5
Outside of diehard Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals fans, will many people be watching this game between teams who are a collective 5-18-1? No, but you might be if you’re putting down your hard-earned cash on it.
The teams come into this week as bottom-10 defenses. Coupled with offenses that also rate in our bottom-10, Dallas and Cincy are our fifth- and fourth-worst teams, respectively. Must. See. Television.
Those offenses — particularly the Bengals’ — may get a boost from the atrocious defense they’re facing. The Cowboys’ 32.8 points per game allowed is the worst since the 1980 Indianapolis Colts gave up 33.3. The only other team with at least 31 points per game allowed in that span was the 2008 Detroit Lions, owners of an 0-16 record. Yikes.
It’s not surprising that the over is a strong 8-4 in Cowboys games this season, hitting in each of their past four contests. The over has gone 9-6-1 this season when the over has hit in a team’s previous four contests.
Our model likes the over to hit and do so easily in this game, projecting the teams to combine for 50.4 points in a game that currently has a 42.5 total. With an expected return of $137.71 on a $100 bet, we mark the over in this game as a five-star play, the best bet on the slate.