NFL Predictions Week 14: Data-Driven Picks
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our NFL betting staff is targeting from today’s slate of games. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
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By Nick Giffen
This line is pretty crazy considering that the Lions have allowed 282 rushing yards to QBs this year — 104 of which from one game in the first meeting against Justin Fields in Detroit.
Aside from that, the Lions have given up just 178 rushing yards to QBs whose per-game averages sum up to 194 yards.
Fields ran a season-high 18 times in that first meeting, with his next-highest number sitting at 12. We also have to remember that was an indoor game on a fast surface, where Fields consistently has better splits.
Even this year, his highest run totals have come in two indoor games (averaging 81.5 yards). In the rest of his games, he’s averaged 43 rushing yards (I’m counting the home game against Minnesota as a half-game; he got injured on the first drive of the second half).
Despite playing more than half of their games indoors, the Lions allow a lower than average yards per carry on scrambles despite facing a tougher than average QB schedule.
Fields is always a threat to clear this number, but it’s going to take either high volume or monster runs. He’s stayed under this line in every single game but the first Lions game, which seems like an aberration to the rest of his season.
I have this projected closer to 52.5 yards, a full 10 yards under the prop.
Pick: Justin Fields Under 62.5 Rushing Yards (+100; DraftKings)
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Jaguars vs. Browns (& Buccaneers vs. Falcons, Texans vs. Jets)
By Billy Ward
We’re at an unprecedented low period for scoring in the NFL, with Thursday night’s game featuring the lowest total since the early 1990s. There are two games on Sunday with lower totals than any game in the six-year data set I’ve relied on to price this prop.
Those games are Texans-Jets (32.5) and Jaguars-Browns (33.5). Both have totals lower than the lowest game from 2014-2020, which came in at 35. That game saw the “no” side of this prop hit, as did 53% of games with a total in the 30s, and 64% of those with a total below 38.
This obviously means getting plus-money on props in those games is a solid value. The spreads in both contests are a bit wider than we’d ideally see, but at 3.0 and 3.5 that’s not enough reason to steer clear. The +140 line at BetMGM on Jaguars-Browns is especially egregious.
As for Bucs-Falcons, the edge isn’t quite as big, but it’s still well within a playable range. The total is a bit higher at 41, but the two-point spread does a lot of the heavy lifting here. Games with a spread of two or less have a fair value of +129 in my sample – but the majority of those had higher totals.
If we look exclusively at games with a total between 40 and 42 and a spread of two or less, the fair value on this prop is around +108, making the +130 line solid value.
As always, I recommend taking all of these bets together. The likeliest outcome is hitting two out of three, and it’s hard to pick and choose which ones to take.
Picks: Either Team to Record 3 Unanswered Scores (No): Bucs vs. Falcons +130 (BetMGM/DraftKings), Texans vs. Jets +125 (BetMGM/DraftKings) Jaguars vs. Browns +140 (BetMGM)
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Jaguars vs. Browns (& Panthers vs. Saints)
By Nick Giffen
I typically don’t play one of the shortest-odds teams for highest or lowest scoring games, but I’m always willing to make an exception when the data shows value.
This game has the second-lowest consensus total, and when we compare it to the other game between the Texans and Jets, there are some factors that give the edge to Jacksonville-Cleveland as the lower scoring game.
First, our PRO Projections make the total for Houston/New York 34, while Jacksonville/Cleveland sits at 31.1.
Second, the Luck Rankings have Jacksonville/Cleveland with a Luck Total of -4.2, which is nearly a Luck Under, compared to -0.1 for Houston/New York.
C.J. Stroud and Trevor Lawrence grade out pretty similarly, with Stroud having the slightly easier matchup. Additionally, Lawrence is banged up after suffering an ankle injury on Monday Night Football, leaving him a shorter week to heal up.
Zach Wilson and Joe Flacco grade out similarly, especially knowing they were on the same Jets team last year. And if Dorian Thompson-Robinson gets the starting nod for Cleveland, he ranks just as poorly as Wilson. However, Wilson gets the better matchup against Houston’s 21st-ranked pass defense by DVOA, whereas the Browns QB will face the eighth-ranked Jaguars.
As for the rest of the games on the Sunday slate, only Rams/Ravens and Panthers/Saints have a total below 40.
Rams/Ravens has a +3.1 Luck Total, while Panthers/Saints a -2.4 Luck Total. That puts the Panthers/Saints in a spot where I don’t mind backing them as well to produce the most futility on Sunday at +800.
The next two lowest totals – Vikings/Raiders at 40.5 and Falcons/Buccaneers at 41 – have positive Luck Totals.
Every other Sunday game total is a full 10 points or more higher than Jaguars/Browns.
Picks: Jaguars at Browns: Lowest Scoring Game – Sunday Only +350 (FanDuel)
Panthers at Saints: Lowest Scoring Game – Sunday Only +800(FanDuel)
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By Billy Ward
Moss was last week’s DFS darling after reclaiming his starting role due to a Jonathan Taylor injury. He ran for just 51 yards in that game, a 31-28 overtime win against the Titans.
However, he did see 19 carries, an encouraging sign of how the Colts plan to use him. More importantly, he has a polar opposite matchup this week against the Bengals.
The Titans are the top-rated run defense in the league by DVOA, but the Bengals check in at 29th. Based on DVOA numbers, that’s a difference in efficiency of about 23%, which would go a long way if he gets another 20 or so carries.
Our NFL Props has Moss projected for 85 rushing yards, well ahead of the two players with shorter odds to lead the slate in rushing. That’s Christian McCaffrey (79) and Josh Jacobs (72).
Based on our projections, Moss should have a line closer to McCaffrey (+475), so the +900 for Moss is strong value.