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NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 14

NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 14

NFL Week 14 Opening Point Spreads and Early Line Moves
By: The Linemakers

A first look at the opening lines for Week 14 in the NFL. The Broncos (at the Raiders), Bengals (at home vs. the Cowboys) and Patriots (at home vs. the Texans) are among the teams that took early action.


Broncos (-9.5) at Raiders

Denver, who won but pushed as an 8-point favorite at home vs. Tampa Bay on Sunday, was immediately bet up to -10 and then to 10.5 for next Thursday’s AFC West clash with Oakland, who lost and failed to cover as a 2.5-point home dog vs. Cleveland.


Ravens at Redskins (pick ‘em)

Baltimore lost outright, 23-20, as a 7-point favorite at home vs. the Steelers, who started third-string Charlie Batch in place of Ben Roethlisberger. Washington is a 3-point home favorite Monday night vs. the Giants.

Chiefs at Browns (-5.5)

Kansas City, playing with heavy hearts after the murder-suicide involving teammate Jovan Belcher, beat the Panthers at home, 27-21, as 5.5-point underdogs by the time the game kicked off. Cleveland won consecutive games for the first time this season, and also got its third straight cover, in Oakland. The Browns have also covered four of their last five, but haven’t been this big of a favorite since Week 1 of the 2011 season, when they were -6.5 at home vs. the Bengals. The Chiefs took some early bets, and the line was edged down a half-point to Browns -5.

Chargers at Steelers (no line)

San Diego continues its free fall, losing at home to Cincinnati, while the Steelers, sans Big Ben, upset the Ravens in Baltimore. Might be a while before we see a line on this game — books will again wait out the Roethlisberger situation.

Titans at Colts (-4.5)

Indy, a 7-point dog by kickoff, pulled off a thrilling comeback win in Detroit. The Titans lost at home to Houston, as expected. The Colts have won and covered six of their last seven, including in Tennessee, 19-13, in overtime as 3.5-point dogs on Oct. 28. Indy is 3-1 as a favorite this year, with wins over Buffalo, Miami and Cleveland, the one loss coming early in the season vs. Jacksonville.

Jets (-2.5) at Jaguars

The Jets got an unsightly, 7-6, win at home vs. the Cardinals, and Mark Sanchez was benched in the process. Jacksonville looked even worse, losing 34-18 in Buffalo. The Jags got their first home win and cover last week vs. the Titans.

Bears (-3 even) at Vikings

Chicago lost, 23-17 in overtime, as a 3-point home favorite against Seattle. Minnesota also lost and failed to get the money as 7.5-point dogs in Green Bay. This teams met just two weeks ago in Chicago, the Bears winning handily, 28-10, and cashing as a 6.5-point favorite.

Falcons (-3.5) at Panthers

Atlanta got a win and cover over its arch-nemesis, the Saints, on Thursday night. The Panthers went down as a favorite in K.C. Carolina covered in the first matchup between these NFC South rivals as 7-point dogs in Atlanta back in Week 4, 30-28.

Eagles at Bucs (-9)

Tampa has been a cover machine but will be laying its biggest number of the season at home vs. Philly next Sunday.

Cowboys at Bengals (-2)

Cincy, who ticked off its fourth straight win and cover Sunday in San Diego, took immediate action Sunday night for its home game against Dallas, and the line was bumped to 2.5.

Dolphins at 49ers (-10)

Miami got a push as a 7-point dog at home vs. the Patriots. San Francisco was upset in overtime in St. Louis.

Saints at Giants (-6)

Any late-season momentum New Orleans had built up has been halted by consecutive losses vs. San Fran and at Atlanta. They get another quality opponent next week, the Giants, who are in Washington Monday night.

Cardinals at Seahawks (no line)

Seattle got its second road win of the year, in overtime in Chicago, and returns home, where it’s a bankable 5-0 SU and ATS this season, with wins against Dallas, Green Bay, New England, Minnesota and the Jets. When this line is posted, it won’t be a small number.

Lions at Packers (-7)

Detroit blew a big fourth-quarter lead at home against Indy, dropping its fourth game in a row. One of those was at home vs. Green Bay, although the Packers scored twice in the last two minutes, the first a touchdown by Randall Cobb to take the lead, the second a field goal by Mason Crosby to get the cash.


Texans at Patriots (-4.5)

Should be a doozy next Monday night. Early money was on New England, who were bumped up to -5 Sunday night.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 14

NFL: Streaks, Trends, Notes

St. Louis Rams at Buffalo Bills

Off a strong effort from the league’s fourth-ranked rushing attack the Buffalo Bills behind RB's Fred Jackson, CJ Spiller's combined 186 rushing yards defeated Jaguars 34-18 last week moving to 5-7 (6-6 ATS) on the season keeping their slim playoff hopes alive. Rams off a 16-13 upset win over 49ers marking back-2-back wins for the second time this season head to Buffalo 5-6-1 (8-4 ATS) on the year. Give credit where credit due, Rams have shown they can compete, especially in the NFC West posting a 4-0-1 record with a perfect 5-0 mark at the betting window. However, against the rest of the league Rams are just 1-6 (3-4 ATS). Giving up an average 106.3 yards on the ground vs non NFC West opponents Rams are vulnerable against these Bills who play their best football when they run the ball. Bills 6-3 ATS rushing 100 or more yards/game including 3-1 ATS at home and on a profitable 4-1 ATS stretch in Buffalo vs the NFC West are worth a second look.

Baltimore Ravens at Washington Redskins

After losing to the Steelers and being shredded for 276 passing yards by third-string QB Charlie Batch the Ravens cannot be trusted in this spot facing Washington and QB Griffin III getting better with every game. Skins winning three straight both SU/ATS accumulating 214.3 PYG, 175 RYG outscoring opponents 86 to 53 look primed to do a number on Baltimore's defense. Consider a 'Play-Against' Ravens entering on a 3-6-1 ATS skid overall, 2-6-1 ATS slide last nine after allowing 250 passing yards the previous game, 0-4 ATS in December games.

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers

Hard to make a case for Matthew Stafford and company when they visit Lambeau Field Sunday night. The free-falling Lions (4-8, 5-7 ATS) coming off another heart wrenching defeat have lost four straight (1-3 ATS), remain winless against the division this season (0-4, 1-3 ATS), enter the Sunday Nighter' ridding an 0-8 (4-4 ATS) December road skid vs the NFC North and Lions haven't won at Lambeau Field since '91 posting an ugly 0-21 (5-14-2 ATS) mark the past twenty-one trips into Green Bay. If that were not enough, Packers are on a perfect 11-0 (9-2 ATS) stretch vs division opponents. No denying Detroit is in a tough spot. While it's possible Lions could upset the apple cart, it's doubtful. However, Lions catching Packers looking ahead at a big game in Chicago next week just might sneak up and grab the cover. Keep in mind, Lions have lost their last three by four or less which includes a 24-20 defeat to the Packers. Home favorites laying a touchdown or more 15-26-2 ATS might want to give Detroit a second look.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 14

Week 14 NFL

Broncos (9-3) @ Raiders (3-9) —
Oakland lost last five games (0-5 vs spread), allowing 37.8 ppg; they’re 1-3 as home underdog this year, 9-14-1 since ’08. Denver won last seven games (5-2 vs spread), scoring 30+ points six times, with road wins by 11-8-22-8 points; they’re 2-1 as road favorites this year, 6-4 since 2009. Fox’s defense is creating shorter fields for his offense; eight of last 11 Denver TD’s were on drives of less than 60 yards. Broncos (-6.5) crushed Raiders 37-6 in Week 4, outrushing Oakland 165-56 (TY 503-237)- they were 10-16 on 3rd down, Oakland 1-12. Manning was 30-39/338 passing. Denver won three of last four visits here, but haven’t swept Raiders since ’06. Eight of last 10 series games were decided by 14+ points. AFC West home teams are 3-5 vs spread in division games; home dogs are 1-2. Six of last eight Denver games, five of last seven Bronco games went over the total. Note: Raiders' coach Allen has been away from team this week, due to the death of his father.

Ravens (9-3) @ Redskins (6-6) — Washington is 3-0 since its bye, beating all three division rivals, running ball for 172.7 ypg; short week for them, coming off physical win over Giants in RGIII’s first MNF appearance. Redskins are 3-3 at home but won three of last four. Last three Baltimore games were decided by a FG, with Ravens scoring only three offensive TD’s on 35 drives; they split pair with Big Ben-less Steelers, beat sliding Chargers in OT, hardly impressive. Baltimore allowed 101.8 rushing yards per game in five post-bye games, after allowing 209.3 ypg in last three pre-bye games- they won three of four series games in once/every four years local rivalry, winning 20-17/17-10 in two visits here, last of which was in ’04; average total in four games was 27.8. NFC East home teams are 4-10 vs spread in non-divisional games; AFC North road teams are 8-8. Four of last five Redskin games stayed under total.

Chiefs (2-10) @ Browns (4-8) — Cleveland is 4-3 in last seven games after 0-5 start, winning three of last four at home (wins by 10-1-6 points). Since 2008, they’re 3-8-2 as home favorites (0-0 in ’12). In three post-bye games, Browns allowed 65.7 ypg on ground, so will be up to ex-Brown Quinn to move KC thru air. Going to be tough week for Chiefs (Jovan Belcher’s funeral), as reality sets in about what happened Saturday; they played best game of year the next day, but now go on road where they’re 2-3 as underdogs, losing by 18-28-18-3 points, with win in OT at Superdome in game they trailed 24-6. Like QB Quinn, KC coach Crennel was once canned by Browns; reality is, he’s probably about to be fired by Chiefs, too. AFC West non-divisional underdogs are 6-14 vs spread, 3-8 on road; NFC North favorites are 10-13, 6-10 at home. Under is 5-0-1 in last six Cleveland games, 3-1 in last four Chief games.

Chargers (4-8) @ Steelers (7-5) — Last five Pitt games were all decided by 6 or less points, with last three vs divisional rivals; Steelers won emotional game over rival Ravens last week behind 37-year 3rd-string QB Batch. Hard to endorse laying big number with Steelers until Big Ben comes back, but San Diego has now lost four in row, seven of last eight games, as Turner regime plays out string. Bolts are lost last four road games, by 7-1-10-7 points; they’re 1-3 as underdogs this year, 2-6 in last eight games as road dog. Pitt won eight of last nine series games, winning last three by 1-11-10 points. Chargers lost last six visits here by average score of 28-17; last time they won here was in ’94 playoffs. AFC West non-divisional underdogs are 6-14 vs spread, 3-8 on road; NFC North favorites are 10-13, 6-10 at home. Under is 5-1-1 in last seven Steeler games, but 1-4 in last five Charger road games.

Titans (4-8) @ Colts (8-4) — Indy’s storybook season continued last week, Colts scoring two TD’s in last 2:39 to pull out wild 35-33 win in Detroit, its sixth win in last seven games; they’ve won seven of last eight games vs Titans, nipping them 19-13 in OT (+3.5) in Nashville six weeks ago, scoring first TD of day with 3:24 left to tie game. Colts ran ball for 171 yards, outgained Titans 457-339. Indy is 5-1 at home this year, 2-1 as favorite, with home wins by 3-3-4-3-7 points; this is first time this year they’ve been favored by more than a FG. Tennessee lost last four visits here, with three of four losses by 10+ points; they’re 2-3 as road underdogs this year, with road losses by 28-24-23-5 points (won at Miami/Buffalo). Titans are 2-8 in games where their turnover ratio is worse than +2. AFC South home teams are 2-6 vs spread in divisional games, 1-3 when favored. Under is 4-1-1 in Indy games, 4-1 in titans’ last five games.

Jets (5-7) @ Jaguars (2-10) — Dysfunctional Jets are road favorite despite not knowing which one of their three lousy QB’s will start; they ran ball for 177 yards last week, but struggled to beat a team 7-6; Cardinals were second team in last 50 years to throw 30+ passes and gain less than 75 yards doing it. Jets are 3-2 vs spread when favored this year, 1-0 on road; they’re 2-3 SU on road, winning at Miami/St Louis. Jaguars are 1-5 at home, with all five losses by 17+ points; only games they’ve won, they gave up 17-19 points. Jets scored less than 10 points in three of last five games. This is Jets’ first game on grass since Week 3 (1-1 in ’12). Home side won seven of 10 series games; Jets are 0-3 here, getting outscored by total of 69-3 in last two visits, last of which was in ’06. AFC East favorites are 8-6 vs spread, 3-2 on road. AFC South underdogs are 11-10, 5-4 at home. Three of Jets’ last four road games went over; four of six Jaguar home games stayed under total.

Bears (8-4) @ Vikings (6-6) — Chicago lost three of last four games, Minnesota lost four of last five, so obviously critical game here; Bears (-6.5) drilled Vikings 28-10 at home two weeks ago, their sixth straight series win, converting 11-19 on 3rd down, using turnovers to score TDs on short drives of 34-13 yards in game they led 25-3 at half. Minnesota didn’t score on two of three drives inside red zone, averaged only 3.2 ypa. Four of Bears’ last five series wins were by 14+ points- they won last two visits here, 40-14/17-12. Vikings are 5-1 when they score 21+ points, 1-5 when they don’t; they’re 5-1 at home, with only loss a Thursday game vs Bucs. Minnesota ran ball for 240 yards last week at Lambeau, but turned ball over twice, 7th time in last eight games they had 2+ giveaways. Home teams are 4-4 vs spread in NFC North games, home dogs are 1-1. Chicago’s last four road games went over the total.

Falcons (11-1) @ Panthers (3-9) — If Falcons win #1 seed in NFC, they could get to Super Bowl without playing any more outdoor games after today. Atlanta (-7) snuck past Panthers 30-28 in Week 4, despite scoring only one TD on four red zone drives; they’ve won last five series games, scoring 30+ points in all five- they won 31-10/31-23 in last two visits here. Falcons had three extra days to prepare after finally beating rival Saints last game; they’re 5-1 on road, 2-1-1 as road favorites, winning by 16-24-7-13-1 point, with loss in New Orleans. Carolina lost four of last five games, getting beat at somber Arrowhead last week; they’ve lost last five home games, by 29-4-5-22-6 points. Panthers are 4-3 as underdogs this year, but 1-3 at home. NFC South home underdogs are 3-2 vs spread in divisional games this year. Six of last eight Falcon games stayed under total; three of last four Carolina games went over.

Eagles (3-9) @ Buccaneers (6-6) — Philly (only wins by 1-1-2 points) is playing out string; can’t expect big effort from them here, after playing in primetime last two weeks. Eagles lost eight games in row, allowing 26+ points in last seven, 30+ in last four (gave up 12 TD’s on 29 drives in last three games); they’re 2-4 as a dog this year, 2-2 on road, losing away games by 21-2-15-25-5 points, with only win 17-16 at Cleveland in Week 1. Bucs allowed 26.2 ppg in last five games, losing last two; they’re 3-3 at home this year, 2-1 as home faves, winning home games by 6-28-10 points- they’re 5-0 when allowing less than 21 points. Eagles scored 10.8 ppg in four road games on grass. Teams last met in ’09; Eagles are 2-3 in five visits here, with last one in ’06. NFC East non-divisional underdogs are 7-5 vs spread, 6-3 on road; NFC South favorites are 10-8, 6-7 at home. Five of last seven Iggle games, seven of last nine Tampa games went over the total.

Rams (5-6-1) @ Bills (5-7) — St Louis is 4-0-1 in division games, 1-6 outside NFC West; they’re 1-5 away from home, and a dome team playing in western NY in December, but they’re also finding ways to win (three defensive TD’s in last two games, all by Jenkins) and just played rival 49ers tough twice in four weeks (1-0-1). Bills ran ball 46 times last week, passed it only 17, so up to sturdy Ram defense to contain Spiller and make former Ram Fitzpatrick beat them thru air. Buffalo covered four of five tries as a favorite this season; they’ve won five of last six games in seldom-played series, with average total in last five meetings, 57; don’t forget Fisher’s Titans tore Bills’ fans hearts out with Music City Miracle in ’99 playoffs. NFC West underdogs are 12-6 vs spread, 8-5 on road; AFC East favorites are 8-6, 5-4 at home. Five of last six St Louis games, four of last five Buffalo home games went over total.

Cowboys (6-6) @ Bengals (7-5) — Well-coached Bengals (Gruden/Zimmer top coordinators) won/covered last four games, allowing 10.5 ppg (two TDs on last 45 drives); they’re just 3-3 at home, but won 31-13/34-10 in last two at home-- contention has sparked fan interest. Can’t ignore fact that in last four games, just in second half of those games, Dallas has scored 28-23-28-28 points, so they make great adjustments at halftime and put points on board. Pokes are 3-3 SU on road, 2-1 as road dogs, with losses by 20-2-6 points- their defense has fallen off, allowing 142-183 rushing yards last two games, creating few chances for offense. Six of last seven Dallas TDs came on drives of 75+ yards, though defense did chip in with clinching TD at end of Philly game last week. NFC East underdogs are 7-5 vs spread, 6-3 on road. AFC North favorites are 8-9, 4-5 at home. Six of last nine Dallas games went over total; four of last five Bengal games stayed under.

Dolphins (5-7) @ 49ers (8-3-1) — Miami lost four of last five games after promising start, but only one of losses was by more than 7 points (were -4 in turnovers in 37-3 home loss to Titans); Dolphins are 2-4 on road, 3-2 as road underdogs, losing away games by 20-3-3-5 points. Problem is, they’ve had only one takeaway in last five games (-8), and lost field position by 21-10-10-3 yards in last four games. 49ers got upset in St Louis last week; they’re 3-3 as home favorites this year, winning at Candlestick by 8-42-7-25 points, losing to Giants, tying Rams. After being +28 in turnovers LY, they’re only +5 this year, which is still good- they’ve had field position edge in last six games. Mobile QB Kaepernick has infused run game that gained 123-144-148 yards in his three starts. Miami is 6-5 in seldom-played series, 3-2 here, with last visit in ’04. NFC West favorites are 7-6 vs spread, 5-4 at home; AFC East underdogs are 8-7, 5-6 on road. Under is 6-1-1 in last eight Miami games, 1-3 last four 49er games.

Saints (5-7) @ Giants (7-5) — Sean Payton was once fired as Giants’ OC, felt he took special delight in pounding them as head coach (won last three meetings, scoring 30-48-49 points), he will be missed here. Saints lost last two weeks to slide out of playoff contention, but have four extra days to prep here, with Giants having played on Monday, NO last Thursday. Saints are 2-4 on road, with losses by 8-1-20-10 points, with wins at Tampa/Oakland. Giants lost three of last four games; they’re 2-4 as home favorites this year, 4-2 SU, winning by 7-14-4-28 points, losing to Cowboys/Steelers. Expect big Blue to pound ball vs defense that allowed 120-144-124 yards on ground last three games. Home side won seven of last eight series games, with Saints losing four of last five visits here. NFC South underdogs are 9-5 vs spread, 9-2 on road; NFC East favorites are 4-13, 3-8 at home. Six of Saints’ last nine games went over; last four Giant games stayed under.

Cardinals (4-8) @ Seahawks (7-5) — Lindley was 10-31/72 yards last week, making him second QB in last 50 years to throw 30+ passes and gain less than 75 yards. Arizona’s lack of competent QB play has turned a 4-0 start into a 4-8 debacle; they’re 3-2 as road underdog, losing away games by 14-7-14-4-1 point. In last three weeks, Cardinals lost games where they were +5/+3 in turnovers, which rarely happens. Seahawks won/covered all five home games; they were underdog in three of them- they’ve got home wins by 20-2-1-10-21 points. Wilson’s first NFL start was 20-16 (-1.5) loss in desert in Week 1, when Seattle scored only 13 points in four red zone drives, and averaged 3.8 ypa. Home side won five of last six series games; Redbirds lost seven of last nine visits here, losing 22-10/13-10 in last two. Underdogs are 6-1-1 vs spread in NFC West divisional games, 2-0-1 on road. Six of last eight Arizona games stayed under total; four of last five Seattle games went over.

Lions (4-8) @ Packers (8-4) — Green Bay had 13-yard edge in field position, snuck past Lions 24-20 (-3.5) in Detroit three weeks ago, its third series win in row and 13th in last 14 tries. Lions lost last 18 visits to Lambeau, though last two years they lost by 2-4 points. Last time Detroit won at Lambeau I was unmarried and had hair (1991). Now I’m bald/divorced. Lions scored 31-33 points last two weeks, lost both games; in second half of last four games, they’ve allowed 21-17-20-21 points, just in 2nd half!!! Detroit is 2-4 SU on road, 2-1 as road dog, losing away games by 8-3-6-10 points. Packers trailed last three games at half, kicking three FGs (no TD’s) on last four red zone drives; they allowed 147-240 rushing yards in last two games, and are 3-3 as home favorites, winning at Lambeau by 13-1-9-14-9 points (lost to 49ers). NFC North favorites are 4-4 vs spread, 3-3 at home. Five of last six Detroit games went over total; four of last five Green Bay games stayed under.

Texans (11-1) @ Patriots (9-3) — Easy to overlook that New England is +24 in turnovers this year (+11 in last four games), a remarkable number; 49ers were +28 LY, and they have chance to beat that. Third week in row on road for Houston, historically a red flag for any team, but Texans are 6-0 on road, with pair of 6-point wins and an OT win at Detroit. Top two teams in AFC square off in possible playoff preview; Texans’ offense is geared towards good weather- they snuck past Bears 13-6 in sloppy night game four weeks ago. Have to wonder about Houston defense after Jaguars/Lions scored 37-31 points in games 2-3 weeks ago, Wes Welker blew out his knee last time teams met, a 34-27 Houston win in season finale few years ago; Patriots won two of three series games, winning 40-7 in only meeting here in ‘06. AFC East favorites are 8-6 vs spread, 5-4 at home; AFC South underdogs are 11-10, 6-6 on road. Nine of last ten New England games went over total; three of Texans’ last four road games stayed under.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 14

NFL Poolies Betting Cheat Sheet: Week 14

Check out our NFL poolies' cheat sheet for all your football wagering needs in condensed form. Quick-hitting betting notes on all of Week 14's action.

Baltimore at Washington (-1, 47.5)

Baltimore owns a two-game lead in the AFC North but is coming off a disappointing loss to the Ben Roethlisberger-less Steelers. Under John Harbaugh, the Ravens have won 15 consecutive games following a loss – the longest streak of its kind. During those games, the Ravens outscored opponents, 441-249, and won by an average margin of 12.8 points. Linebacker Terrell Suggs (biceps) is questionable and Baltimore will have to wait one more week before Ray Lewis (triceps) is eligible to return. The Redskins knocked off the New York Giants on Monday to keep their slim playoff hopes alive and have won three straight. These teams have played under the total in their last four meetings.

Kansas City at Cleveland (-6.5, 38)

Cleveland is expected to have all 53 players on the active roster available and healthy for the first time this season. The Browns were one of the top teams in the NFL in pass defense last season and have started to get stronger in that area in 2012 since CB Joe Haden returned to the lineup on Oct. 14. All four of Cleveland’s wins have come since Haden’s return. Keeping the focus on the field is the biggest challenge for Kansas City after Jovan Belcher’s murder-suicide last weekend. Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson (hamstring), who leads the team with 97 tackles, did not practice on Wednesday and is questionable. The Browns are 4-1 ATS in their last five overall.

San Diego at Pittsburgh (-9.5, 41)

The Steelers will have quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder) back under center when they host San Diego. The Steelers have won seven of the past eight meetings with the Chargers - and 14 straight in Pittsburgh - and San Diego coach Norv Turner is 0-6 against Pittsburgh. San Diego hasn’t cracked 300 total yards in its past three games and QB Philip Rivers is having perhaps his worst season as a starter, having thrown 15 interceptions against 18 touchdowns. Pittsburgh has held seven straight opponents under 300 total yards, allowing an average of 234 yards during that stretch. The Steelers are 1-5 ATS in their last six against teams with losing records.

Tennessee at Indianapolis (-5, 48)

Fresh off a stunning last-second victory over the Detroit Lions, Andrew Luck and the Colts take aim at their third consecutive victory when they host the Titans. The Colts have won six of seven to move one game ahead of Pittsburgh and Cincinnati for the No. 5 playoff seed and are riding a four-game home winning streak. A change in offensive coordinators did nothing to change the fortunes of Tennessee, who were held out of the end zone until the final 94 seconds of last week's 24-10 loss to Houston. The Colts are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games and 5-0 against the number in their last five against teams with a losing record.

New York Jets at Jacksonville (2.5, 38)

Rex Ryan thought long and hard about giving Mark Sanchez another start this week after throwing three interceptions in an ugly performance against Arizona last week. Sanchez and the Jets visit Jacksonville with their playoff hopes a long shot and their offense in shambles. Sanchez has turned the ball over 45 times in the past three seasons, second most in the NFL and he ranks last in the league in passer rating. With Maurice Jones-Drew, Jalen Parmele and Rashad Jennings injured, the Jaguars are planning to give former fullback and fourth-string RB Montell Owens the start Sunday. Jacksonville is 1-5 ATS in its last six home games.

Chicago at Minnesota (2.5, 39)

With LB Brian Urlacher likely to miss the rest of the regular season with a hamstring injury, the Bears will look to keep pace with the Green Bay Packers atop the NFC North when they visit the skidding Vikings. Chicago has dominated the series of late, winning six consecutive meetings against a Minnesota team that has dropped two straight and four of its last five games. One of those losses was a 28-10 defeat at Chicago on Nov. 25. The Vikings are also dealing with the loss of a star player after putting WR Percy Harvin (ankle) on season-ending injured reserve. The Bears are 6-0 ATS in their last six meetings.

Atlanta at Carolina (3.5, 48)

Atlanta has taken the last five meetings with Carolina, including a 30-28 home win in Week 4. The Falcons have already clinched the NFC South title, and now they can start working on ensuring the road to the Super Bowl goes through Atlanta. Any positive momentum Carolina gained from its Monday night win at Philadelphia in Week 12 was squandered in last week's 27-21 loss at Kansas City. The Panthers have been pedestrian on both sides of the ball most of the season, and the defense was especially lackluster against the Chiefs, allowing 158 rushing yards and 355 total yards. Carolina is 0-5 ATS in its last five home games.

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay (-9, 47.5)

The Buccaneers have damaged their playoff chances after dropping two straight games, but the Eagles are now residing at the bottom of a canyon following eight consecutive losses. Eagles coach Andy Reid has declared rookie QB Nick Foles as the team's starting quarterback for the rest of the season. Philadelphia's troubles led to Reid firing defensive line coach Jim Washburn earlier in this week. He was replaced by Tommy Brasher, who held the job under Reid from 1999-2005 prior to retiring. The Bucs are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six overall.

St. Louis at Buffalo (-3, 42)

St. Louis shocked San Francisco in overtime last week, marking the second time this season the Rams took the powerful 49ers into extra time. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins has scored three TDs in the past two games, more than the Rams offense has generated. Quarterback Sam Bradford remains inconsistent and his top target, Danny Amendola, is once again questionable with a foot injury.  The Bills gained a season-best 232 rushing yards last Sunday vs. the Jags to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. A once-porous defense has also improved. In the past three weeks Buffalo has allowed just 244.0 yards per game. The Rams are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games.

Dallas at Cincinnati (-3, 46)

While the Bengals sit two games removed of AFC North-leading Baltimore, the Cowboys' deficit is just one behind the New York Giants in the suddenly competitive NFC East. Dallas secured its third win in four tries by scoring 21 fourth-quarter points en route to a 38-33 victory over reeling Philadelphia on Sunday night. And the Bengals are looking to record to push their winning streak to five games after securing a victory over San Diego last week. Cowboys QB Tony Romo will need to be on alert against a Cincinnati defense which leads the NFL with 39 sacks. The Bengals are 4-0 ATS during their current four-game winning streak.

Miami at San Francisco (-10, 39)

The Dolphins have dropped four of five but played well in the past two weeks, beating the Seahawks and losing by seven to the Patriots. Miami will be without LT Jake Long, the former No. 1 overall pick who suffered a torn triceps last week. The controversial switch from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick at quarterback hit its first speed bump in the overtime loss to St. Louis. Kaepernick committed a huge blunder when his errant pitch led to the tying touchdown with three minutes remaining. He was also sacked three times but ran for 84 yards and threw for 208 yards to earn his fourth consecutive start this Sunday. The 49ers are allowing a league-low 14.3 points per game but the Dolphins are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games against teams with winning records.

New Orleans at New York Giants (-4.5, 53)

The last two weeks have been a disaster for the Saints, with QB Drew Brees throwing a total of seven interceptions in losses to the 49ers and Falcons. Brees was picked off five times and did not have a touchdown pass in a 23-13 loss at Atlanta on Nov. 29, breaking his NFL-record string of 54 straight games with at least one TD pass. The Saints need to win all four of their remaining games to have a shot at a postseason berth and still have games against playoff hopefuls Tampa Bay and the Dallas. New York will lean on running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and David Wilson against the New Orleans run defense. The New Orleans rushing defense has been dreadful, allowing opposing backs to shred them for an average of 153.8 yards this season. The home team is 7-1 ATS in their last eight meetings.

Arizona at Seattle (-10, 36)

Seattle is in position for the final wild-card spot and hopes one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL will help solidify that. The Seahawks, who are 5-0 straight up and ATS at CenturyLink Field, have a one-game cushion over four teams - Washington, Dallas, Minnesota and Tampa Bay.  Arizona, which has lost eight straight since a 4-0 start, has spun its quarterback carousel again. Coach Ken Whisenhunt announced Wednesday he will go back to John Skelton, who was 1-4 as a starter before being benched for rookie Ryan Lindley. These teams have played under the total in their last four meetings.

Detroit at Green Bay (-7, 50.5)

The Lions haven't won a game at Lambeau Field since 1991. That's s streak of 20 straight losses, 21 counting a playoff game in 1994. But injuries are rearing their head for Green Bay, which is expected to be without wideout Jordy Nelson (hamstring), LB Clay Matthews (hamstring) and RB James Starks (knee) on Sunday night. The Lions are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games versus NFC North foes.

Houston at New England (-3.5, 50.5)

In addition to their 12-game win streak in December, the Patriots also have an NFL-best 42-5 record in the final month of the year since 2001, which includes a perfect 4-0 in 2011. New England has finished undefeated in December four times during that span, including 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011. Additionally, New England is 19-1 in the last four games of the regular season since 2007. The Texans are without CB Brice McCain, their best slot defender, due to a broken foot and could march out top corner Johnathan Joseph at less than 100 percent. Joseph missed the last two games due to a tender hamstring. The Patriots are 4-0 ATS in their last four Monday night games.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 14

Week 14 Tips
By Kevin Rogers

Four weeks remain in the regular season as three division titles have been clinched so far. The Broncos, Patriots, and Falcons have wrapped up division championships, while the Texans are in the playoffs at 11-1. New England and Houston hook up on Monday night in Foxboro, but there are plenty of teams in the AFC trying to solidify a playoff spot in the coming weeks. We'll start with the battle of the Beltway as Baltimore tries get on track against a hot Washington club.

Ravens at Redskins (-2½, 47½)

Washington picked up a key victory on Monday night, edging the Giants, 17-16 as short home underdogs for its third consecutive win (all against division opponents). The 'Skins play their third home game in four weeks as the Ravens make the short trip down I-95 for an interconference showdown. Baltimore threw away an opportunity to distance themselves from Pittsburgh in the AFC North race, but the Ravens were tripped up by their rivals.

The Steelers rallied from a 13-3 deficit with Charlie Batch at quarterback to stun the Ravens, 23-20. Baltimore failed to cover as eight-point favorites, dropping to 3-7 ATS the last 10 games and 9-3 SU overall. John Harbaugh's club has won four of the previous five road contests, as three of those victories came by three points. In those five away games, the Ravens have cashed the 'under' four times, while scoring 16 points or fewer on four occasions.

After suffering a three-game losing streak, Mike Shanahan's team has won three straight games to reach the .500 mark at 6-6. In the favorite role, the Redskins own a 1-3 SU/ATS record, including home losses to the Bengals and Panthers. Following a 5-1 start to the 'over' this season, Washington has now cashed the 'under' in five of the last six games.

Chargers at Steelers (-8, 41½)

Pittsburgh's chances at a Wild Card berth has been recharged after upsetting Baltimore, but things took a more positive turn when Ben Roethlisberger was cleared to play this Sunday. Roethlisberger sat out the last three games with a shoulder injury, which was suffered in a Week 10 home victory over the Chiefs. The Steelers struggled to put up points with Batch and Byron Leftwich taking over at quarterback, scoring just 47 points in three games.

San Diego is playing out the string right now at 4-8, while head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith will be let go at the end of the season. The Bolts have dropped eight of their past 10 games, as the only two victories came over the lowly Chiefs in this stretch. The Chargers covered just three times since a 2-0 start, as one of those ATS wins came with a last-minute touchdown at Denver to cash as 7½-point 'dogs in a 30-23 defeat.

The Steelers are listed as a favorite of at least seven points for the second time this season, as Pittsburgh failed to cash as 12½-point 'chalk' in the overtime win over Kansas City last month. The 'under' has been the play for Pittsburgh at Heinz Field, hitting in the first five home contests for the Steelers. Since 1983, the Steelers have won 12 of 13 home meetings with the Chargers, as the lone San Diego victory in this span propelled the Bolts to Super Bowl XXIX in the 1994 AFC Championship.

Titans at Colts (-5½, 47)

Indianapolis continues to have a magical season with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, as the Colts go for their ninth win. The Colts have been the master of winning close games, coming off another miraculous triumph at Detroit last Sunday, rallying from 12 points down in the final four minutes. Indianapolis will go for the season sweep of Tennessee, who squandered a late lead the last time these teams met in Nashville.

The Titans held the Colts to just six points in the first 56 minutes of regulation back in Week 8, but Luck led Indianapolis to the tying touchdown and ultimately the winning touchdown in a 19-13 overtime victory. Bruce Arians' club owns an 8-4 ATS mark, but this is the longest number the Colts are laying all season. The Colts have been involved in plenty of low-scoring games at Lucas Oil Stadium, hitting the 'under' five of six times.

Tennessee continues with the Jake Locker experiment at quarterback, as the former University of Washington standout is just 2-5 in seven starts. The Titans have scored more than 14 points just three times in those seven games, while the defense and special teams combined for three touchdowns in a Week 3 overtime win over the Lions. For what it's worth with Peyton Manning gone, the Titans have lost each of their last four visits to Indianapolis.

Cowboys at Bengals (-3, 45½)

In perhaps the most intriguing matchup on Sunday's card, both Dallas and Cincinnati try to stay alive in their playoff races. The Bengals go for their fourth straight victory following a 3-5 start, which includes three consecutive triumphs in the favorite role. Granted, Cincinnati beat three teams out of playoff contention in Kansas City, Oakland, and San Diego, but the Bengals did start this hot streak with a domination of the defending champion Giants at home.

Marvin Lewis has struggled in the role of a home favorite throughout his career, including a 1-2 ATS record this season. The Bengals' defense has stepped up during this winning streak, allowing 13 points or less in each game, while cashing the 'under' each time. Since the start of last season, Cincinnati has won five of six games against NFC opponents, including a 2-0 record in 2012.

Dallas has failed to cover each of the last three weeks, but the Cowboys are notoriously dreadful as a favorite. Jason Garrett's team pulled out home wins over the Browns and Eagles over the last three weeks, but a loss on Thanksgiving to Washington may cost Dallas a postseason berth. The offense is clicking recently by scoring 31 points or more in three of the last four games, as the 'over' is 3-1 in this span.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 14

Vegas Money Moves - Week 14
By Micah Roberts

Ben Roethlisberger has missed the past three games and the Steelers line against the Chargers was left off the board until official word came in regarding his injured shoulder. If Big Ben was a go, we we're looking at Steelers -8½ and if Charlie Batch had to take over again, we were might have seen Steelers -4.

On Thursday, it was announced that Big Ben would play and Las Vegas sports books quickly posted the Steelers -7½ with a total of 41. A few books took immediate action on the Steelers and have bumped the side up to -8.

There was also other news Thursday regarding the Chargers. It seems that San Diego coach Norv Turner's nine lives have finally been used up. Apparently Turner and GM A.J. Smith will be let go at season's end. It's amazing that duo has been able to hang around as long as they have with so many underachieving seasons together.

November has typically been the month that Turner saved his job each year, making a big push for the playoffs and being fortunate that the AFC West was so weak, that a record at .500 or slightly better allowed them to get in. But they were left out last season and after winning their first game in November this season, they proceeded to lose their next four.

The Chargers have lost seven of their last eight games and don't look to be close to breaking that streak anytime soon. Their biggest problem this season has been protecting quarterback Philip Rivers. They have used a make-shift offensive line that rarely gives Rivers time to throw. It won't get any easier with the Steelers pass rush on Sunday.

Here's a look at some of the line movements at Las Vegas sports books for Week 14.

The Redskins were posted Sunday at pick 'em at home against the Ravens, but that was before their impressive win against the Giants. The Redskins were re-posted -1½ on Tuesday and then bet up to 2½.

The Browns have won two games in a row and will be favored for the second consecutive week. They opened as 5½-point home favorites against the Chiefs and have been bet up to -6½.

The Colts opened as 4½-point home favorites against the Titans and have been bet up to -5.

The Jets beat the Cardinals last week thanks to finally benching Mark Sanchez, but Sanchez is back as the starter this week at Jacksonville. The Jets opened as 2½-point road favorites and, surprisingly, were bet up to -3 (EVEN).

The Bears floundered last week at home against the Seahawks and opened as three-point favorites at Minnesota. Some sports books have gone to -2½. William Hill sports books offered a prop on Adrian Peterson reaching 2,000 yards this season with YES getting +175, NO -200. Peterson leads the NFL with 1,446 yards rushing and has four games remaining. Whether he gets the record or not, Peterson's come back has been one of the most impressive recoveries ever seen. Didn't the Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose have the same injury?

The Falcons opened 3½-point favorites at Carolina and the number hasn't moved. Cam Newton is coming off his best back-to-back games of the season and nearly beat the Falcons the first time around.

The Buccaneers opened as 9-point favorites Sunday night over the Eagles, before the Eagles showed some offense in their Sunday night game against the Cowboys. The line was re-posted at -7 and has been bet up to -7½.

The Bills laying 3-points at home against the Rams hasn't found any takers on either side.

The Bengals opened as 2-point home favorites against the Cowboys on Sunday night. After the Cowboys win over the Eagles in the SNF affair, the Bengals were posted at -2 1/2 and then bet up to -3. The Bengals have won and covered four games in a row, and the UNDER has come in all four times as well.

The 49ers opened 10-point favorites against the Dolphins and have been bet up -10½. The total has been bet up from 38½ to 39. Colin Kaepernick makes the 49ers more volatile than the conservative Alex Smith at quarterback. Kaepernick can make the sensational plays, but he's more apt to making mistakes which makes the 49ers a tough team to back any more, or side with the UNDER.

The Saints have lost two games in a row and will be traveling to New York to face the Giants this week. The Giants were early six-point favorites before their Monday night loss. They are currently -5.

The Seahawks opened as 10½-point home favorites against the Cardinals. The Cards will be hoping to avoid their ninth straight loss, but Seattle is not the ideal place to gain confidence as the Seahawks have won and covered all five home games this season.

The Packers opened as 7-point home favorites against the Lions and have been bet against, down to -6½. The Lions are currently on a four-game losing streak.

The big game of the week is Monday night between the 11-1 Texans and 9-3 Patriots. The Patriots opened up as 4½-point home favorites and Texans money has dropped the number to 3½. The Texans haven't lost on the road this season, but the Patriots have beat their last six opponents by an average of 40-20. The total dropped from 51½ to 51, despite the Patriots going OVER the total in nine of their past 10 games.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 14

Total Talk - Week 14
By Chris David

Week 13 Recap

The ‘under’ went 9-7 last week and all of the results were never in doubt or at least most of them were. For those bettors taking the ‘under’ in the Seattle-Chicago matchup, we feel for you! The Bears led 14-10 late in the game only to see Seattle take a 17-14 lead in the final minute. Sure enough, Chicago miraculously forced the extra session with a field goal (17-17) and due to the new overtime rules, the ‘Hawks pushed the envelope and scored a touchdown in the extra session for a 23-17 win. The combined 40 points slipped ‘over’ the closing number of 37. On the season, the ‘under’ holds a slight edge at 97-95-1 and the numbers would be more in favor if it wasn’t for so many late-game explosions.

Line Moves

The smart money went 2-2 last week. Since we’re in the final month, weather is starting to come into play and both of the primetime games are expected to get some precipitation. Here are the early line moves of 1½ points or more at CRIS:

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay: Line opened 45½ and jumped to 48
Miami at San Francisco: Line opened 40 and dropped to 38½
Detroit at Green Bay: Line opened 52½ and dropped to 50
Houston at New England: Line opened 53 and dropped to 51

Under the Lights

As mentioned above, both of the final two primetime games have already seen their totals drop. Is it do to the expected poor weather or maybe it’s due to the ‘under’ posting a 27-14 (66%) record in games played under the lights this season? A lot of bookmakers have been complaining about the NFL favorites cashing but they’ll never admit how much these totals have helped them stay ahead. Despite the trends and weather, both of these games are still hovering around 50 points but all four teams have the ability to light up the scoreboard.

Detroit at Green Bay: Green Bay stopped Detroit 24-20 at Ford Field two weeks ago and the game never threatened the closing number of 53½. The Packers were in a groove offensively midway through the season but they only scored 24, 10 and 23 the last three weeks, which all resulted in ‘under’ tickets. Detroit (8-3-1) has been a solid ‘over’ bet this season, and it seems like its defense is getting much worse. The last two matchups at Lambeau Field watched the Packers notch shootout victories (45-41, 28-26).

Houston at New England: I believe you can argue either ‘over’ or ‘under’ in this matchup. The Texans love to grind the football and probably understand that if they have a shot to win, they’ll need to keep the Patriots’ offense off the field. Houston’s defense is legit but the last time they saw a great quarterback, the unit gave up 42 to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. New England has Tom Brady and they saw their nine-game ‘over’ run come to an end last week against Miami (23-16). The 23 points was tied for the second-lowest scoring output this season by the Pats. These teams have only met three times and all three encounters have gone ‘over’ the number.

Divisional Rematches

Taking the ‘over’ in the second divisional meeting has been a solid investment this season but as I’ve said before, all things balance out in the long run and the results are starting to swing the other way. Before Week 13, the ‘over’ was 10-2 in the rematch games but the ‘under’ came out on top with a 4-2 mark last weekend. When you include Thursday’s outcome between Denver and Oakland, the ‘under’ has now gone 5-2 in the last seven rematch games. Gamblers are looking at five more of these situations on Sunday and what’s intriguing is that the first battle watched the ‘under’ go 4-1 in these games.

Tennessee at Indianapolis: The Colts win a 35-32 shootout over the Lions and the oddsmakers come out with a total of 48 ½ points, which has already dipped to 47½. Once again, the opener was inflated and even the current number is too high in my opinion. The ‘under’ has cashed in four straight in this series and eight of the last 10. On Oct. 28, the Colts beat the Titans 19-13 in overtime. Indianapolis has seen the ‘under’ go 5-1 at home this season, plus the Titans (4-1) have leaned to the ‘under’ in their last five games.

Chicago at Minnesota: This matchup is a quick turnaround with Chicago beating Minnesota 28-10 two weeks ago at Soldier Field. Even though this game barely stayed ‘under’ the closing number of 38½ points, the Bears led 25-3 at the break and pulled off the gas. The rematch will be played indoors and with a higher total (39½), which always raises eyebrows. The Vikings are going to face a banged-up Bears defense that has been forcing many turnovers lately, plus they’re suspect against the run. However, not having WR Percy Harvin definitely hurts an offense that has posted 10 and 14 the last two weeks. Make a note that Chicago has watched the ‘over’ go 4-1 on the road this season.

Atlanta at Carolina: The Falcons rallied past the Panthers 30-28 in Week 4 and the ‘over’ (48) was an easy winner. Despite that shootout, Atlanta has watched the ‘under’ cash in 67% (8-4) of its games. On the other hand, Carolina has seen the ‘over’ cash in four straight largely because the defense can’t stop anybody and Cam Newton does enough to muster up some points. Atlanta has won five straight against Carolina and we mention that because it has scored 30-plus points in every game during this stretch. For whatever reason, Matt Ryan plays good against the ‘Cats.

Arizona at Seattle: Looking back at Week 1 now, the Seahawks are probably still upset that they lost to the Cardinals, 20-16. Seattle had four shots inside the five-yard line at the end of the game but came up empty and rookie QB Russell Wilson heard the criticism. Fast forward 13 weeks, Wilson and the ‘Hawks are close to making the playoffs while the Cardinals have lost eight straight after starting 4-0. The difference, Seattle has the QB and Arizona doesn’t. The Cards offensive woes have helped the ‘under’ go 9-3. This week’s number (35½) is the lowest on the board and arguing for an ‘over’ is tough especially when you look at Seattle’s tendencies too. The Seahawks are 0-3 in the division and they’ve scored 16, 13 and 6 points. Wilson and Seattle have played better but for whatever reason, the NFC West teams have his number, at least they did in the first go ‘round.

Detroit at Green Bay: (See Above)

Fearless Predictions

Week 13 watched the bankroll add another $190 of profit, pushing the season total to $860. We could’ve pulled off the sweep but the Bucs-Broncos total got a late coring boost, which has become a regular occurrence in Tampa Bay games this season. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end - Good Luck!

Best Over: Chicago-Minnesota 39

Best Under: Arizona-Seattle 35½

Best Team Total: Over 18 Minnesota

Three-Team Total Teaser (9-Point, +100):
Over Chicago-Minnesota 30
Over New Orleans-N.Y. Giants 44
Over Atlanta-Carolina 39

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 14

Cowboys at Bengals: What Bettors Need to Know

Dallas Cowboys at Cincinnati Bengals (-3, 46)

The Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys are making their respective pushes toward the postseason. The Bengals will look to record their second five-game winning streak in two years when they host the Cowboys in the Queen City on Sunday. Andy Dalton overcame a two-interception performance by running for a 6-yard score in Cincinnati's 20-13 triumph over San Diego last week.

While the Bengals sit two games removed of AFC North-leading Baltimore, the Cowboys' deficit is just one behind the New York Giants in the suddenly competitive NFC East. Dallas secured its third win in four tries by scoring 21 fourth-quarter points en route to a 38-33 victory over reeling Philadelphia on Sunday night. Tony Romo tossed three touchdown passes in the win to become the franchise's leader in that department.

LINE: Bengals -3, O/U 46

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the mid-50s with an 85 percent chance of showers. Winds will blow out of the SE at 13 mph.

ABOUT THE COWBOYS (6-6): DeMarco Murray rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown in his return from a six-game absence due to a sprained right foot. With the legitimate threat of a running game, Romo may find the passing lanes more attractive by way of using play-action. Favorite target Jason Witten has 30 receptions in his last four games while talented wideout Dez Bryant has collected six touchdowns in that span.

ABOUT THE BENGALS (7-5): BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who has rushed for 100-plus yards in three straight games, is on pace for a career-high 1,180 yards. Like Dallas, a vaunted rushing game will create holes for Dalton as well. That could only spell good news for former Georgia wideout A.J. Green, who will likely be reunited with Cowboys cornerback and Southeastern Conference rival Morris Claiborne (Louisiana State). Green has failed to score in his last two contests following a nine-game touchdown streak.


* Bengals are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall.
* Under is 4-0 in Bengals' last four games overall.
* Cowboys are 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall.
* Under is 7-2 in Cowboys last nine road games.


1. Cowboys NT Josh Brent was arrested on charges of intoxication manslaughter after flipping his car Saturday morning in an accident that killed his teammate and passenger Jerry Brown, who was signed to the team's practice squad in October. Brent did not make the trip to Cincinnati.

2. Romo will need to be on alert against Cincinnati, which leads the NFL with 39 sacks.

3. C Phil Costa became the 10th Dallas player - and sixth starter - to go on injured reserve. Costa partially dislocated his ankle versus Carolina on Oct. 21 and failed to completely recover.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Weeek 14

Saints at Giants: What Bettors Need to Know

New Orleans Saints at New York Giants (-4.5, 53)

Eli Manning and Drew Brees are supposed to be two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. The results have not matched the narrative of late. The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants have dropped three of their last four games and have squandered a healthy lead in the NFC East. Just one game up in the division, the Giants will be looking to pad their lead when they host Brees and the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

The Saints had won five of six games following an 0-4 start, giving their fans some hope of a late move into playoff contention. But the last two weeks have been a disaster, with Brees throwing a total of seven interceptions in losses to the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons. Manning’s touchdown-to-interception ratio has been a big concern to the Giants as well, with the Super Bowl MVP going three straight games without a TD pass before engineering a win over Green Bay in Week 12. He found the end zone again on Monday but led only one field goal drive in the second half of a loss to Washington.

LINE: Giants -4.5, O/U 53

WEATHER: Forecasts are projecting temperatures in the mid-40s with a 50 percent chance of showers. Winds will be light out of the NE at 3 mph.

ABOUT THE SAINTS (5-7): Brees was picked off five times and did not have a touchdown pass in a 23-13 loss at Atlanta on Nov. 29, breaking his NFL-record string of 54 straight games with at least one TD pass. The week before, Brees had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in a 31-21 loss to San Francisco. Brees has been forced to take chances this season because of New Orleans’ league-worst defense, which has surrendered an average of 440.5 yards and 27.3 points. The rushing defense has been particularly poor, allowing opposing backs to shred through for 153.8 yards. Brees’ own rushing attack has not been much help, either. The Saints need to win all four of their remaining games to have a shot at a postseason berth and still have games against playoff hopefuls Tampa Bay and the Dallas Cowboys.

ABOUT THE GIANTS (7-5): New York started off strong and is lucky to be in a division with no other dominant teams, keeping them a game up in the East. The Giants have split the season series with Washington and Dallas but still have tough road games at Atlanta and Baltimore coming up over the next two weeks. Manning seems to be pulling out of his funk and has a chance to put up big numbers against the New Orleans’ secondary. Manning threw for 406 yards and a pair of TDs in a loss at the Saints last season. New York could also lean on running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and David Wilson against the New Orleans run defense.


* Saints are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Under is 4-0 in Giants’ last four games overall.
* Giants are 1-6 ATS in their last seven vs. a team with a losing record.
* Saints are 5-0 ATS in their last five December games.


1. Brees threw for 363 yards, four TDs and 0 INT, and also ran for a score in the 49-24 win over the Giants last season.

2. New York T Sean Locklear is out for the season after suffering a knee injury on Monday. He will be replaced by veteran David Diehl.

3. New Orleans TE Jimmy Graham has a TD reception in 12 of his last 16 games.

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