NFL Week 14 Sharp Report
A tough 1-2 week for the Sharp Report as we drop to 6-3 over the last three weeks. With just one-quarter of the season left to play, we have officially reached the stretch run, which offers some unique betting opportunities. The first being the rematches of division games, some have already happened, but most are scheduled to take place over the final four weeks of the season. Being able to analyze box scores and narratives from previous games between divisional rivals offers a unique advantage in determining who is the sharper side. The playoff races also begin to have a unique effect on which teams may or may not be motivated to rest starters; however, that usually only occurs in Week 17.
As for Week 14, there are some spots on the board that present some value to the sharp bettors based on the line movements and narratives.
Chiefs vs. Dolphins
The Chiefs are one the most publicly bet teams on Fanduel Sportsbook this week, getting almost 80% of the handle, but despite that, the line has drifted back towards the Dolphins from +7.5 to +7. Analytically speaking, the Chiefs are the better side, with a wide margin in net yards per play. The Dolphins are still among the league leaders in net points per play, which means they are good at generating scoring from areas besides their offense. While I don’t expect Patrick Mahomes to make too many mistakes on Sunday, all it takes is one, and the Dolphins defense is among the leaders in the NFL. Tua Tagovailoa has been nearly perfect in limited action with seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. If the Chiefs struggle in the red zone like they did last week against the Broncos, kicking five field goals, then Miami should be a live pooch, but make sure you get the hook.
Pick: Dolphins +7.5
Washington vs. 49ers
The action is relatively split in this game, but the public is favoring Washington getting at least a field goal, which points us to the public underdog narrative we love fading so much. When you break down the handicap here, it’s easy to lean towards Washington’s elite defensive line after an impressive performance in Pittsburgh knocking off the NFL’s lone unbeaten team. But if you look a little closer, the Steelers did The Football Team a huge favor last Monday night by flat out refusing to run the football and test the strength of that front seven.
San Francisco will not be so polite and will likely deploy its full arsenal, including utilizing now healthy receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk in the running game. On the other side, Antonio Gibson will sit out with turf toe, making Washington’s offense very one dimensional. The Washington team total might be a good bet to stay under, but the better bet is just backing San Francisco to bounce back and keep its slim playoff hopes alive.
Pick: 49ers -3.5
Steelers vs. Bills
All aboard the Bills bandwagon. Monday’s blowout win in the desert has allowed the masses to pile back on Buffalo as they look to salt away their first AFC East title in 25 years. The public has gobbled this line all the way through zero as the Bills are a slight home favorite against the previous unbeaten Steelers. Pittsburgh still holds the top spot as the number one defense in the NFL according to DVOA, while Buffalo is 16th. That being said, the Bills will not present the same challenge to the Steelers’ offense as Washington did last week. This is the first Sunday Night game in Buffalo since 2007, and it’s tough to back the more inefficient team, laying four points with no home crowd to back them up. Grab the value here with the better defense and more experienced quarterback as a slight underdog.
Pick: Steelers +2.5