The Pittsburgh Steelers have clawed their way back into the AFC playoff race with six wins in their past seven games, but apparently, oddsmakers haven’t been that impressed, because the Steelers didn’t open as a favorite against the 3-8-1 Arizona Cardinals.
In the early odds for Week 14, the Steelers and Cardinals game opened as a pick’em. If that point spread seems a little off to you, apparently, most bettors agree, because most of the early money was placed on the Steelers to win. Within 45 minutes of the opening line being released, the line moved one point in favor of the Steelers. At one point on Sunday, the Steelers were favored by as many as 2.5 points, before the line eventually settled down to Steelers -1.5.
Although it might seem tempting to bet on the Steelers, they’ve actually been one of the worst teams to bet on when they’re playing out west. Since Mike Tomlin took over as coach in 2007, the Steelers have played a total of 14 games in either the mountain or pacific time zone and they’ve gone just 4-10 straight-up in those games.
To find out the other lines and trends for Week 14, let’s get to the early odds.
Week 13 is almost in the books and there’s a lot to go over. Fortunately Will Brinson, John Breech, Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough are here to break everything down on the Pick Six Podcast. Listen below and be sure to subscribe right here for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.
Oh, and if you’re thinking about laying any money on this week’s slate of games, you need to make sure to check out the statistical model over at SportsLine. This model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up more than $7,000 for $100 players on its top-rated NFL picks since its inception four years ago. It has nailed its recent top-rated NFL picks, entering Week 14 of the 2019 NFL schedule on a blistering 21-11 run that dates back to last season. It’s also on a 83-54 roll on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season. To check out the picks for Week 14, make sure to click here.
Alright, now let’s really get to the odds.
NFL Week 14 early odds
(All lines are from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, all games on Sunday unless noted. All betting trends reflect regular season games only)
Opening line: Cowboys, -3
Although the Bears have won three of their past four games, they’ve actually been horrible over the past few months when it comes to covering the spread. Since the beginning of October, the Bears are just 1-7 ATS. Overall, they’re 3-9 ATS on the season, which is the worst mark in the NFL. Of course, if there’s one time you want to bet on the Bears, it’s when it’s cold outside. The Bears have gone 6-0 both straight-up and ATS in their past six games where the kickoff temperature was below 40 degrees (It’s expected to be around 37 degrees at kickoff). The Cowboys won’t be intimidated by cold weather though, because they’re 5-0 ATS since 2017 when the kickoff temperature is below 40-degrees (4-1 straight-up). The Cowboys are also 6-1 straight-up when they’ve played teams that are .500 or below this season.
Opening line: Falcons, -2
If there’s one team you want to stay away from in this game, it’s probably the Panthers. Not only has Carolina lost four straight games overall, but they’re also just 1-7 both straight up and ATS in their past eight games against the Falcons. That total includes a Week 11 game where the Panthers lost to Atlanta 29-3 as a 3.5-point favorite. The Panthers have also been pretty bad in December road games, going 1-4 both straight-up and ATS in their past five. As for the Falcons, they’re just 4-8 ATS on the season, which is the second worst mark in the NFL.
Opening line: Ravens, -6
When it comes to covering the spread, the Bills have been the best team in the NFL this year, going 8-3-1. One reason to like the Bills is that they’ve done a good job of covering large spreads at home. The past four times they’ve been an underdog of six or more in Buffalo, they’ve gone 4-0 ATS (2-2 straight-up). As for the Ravens, they’ve been the hottest team in football over the past several weeks. Not only have they won eight straight, which is the longest winning streak in the NFL, but they’re also 5-1 ATS in their past six games. The Ravens have also been one of the NFL’s best road teams recently, going 7-2 both straight-up and ATS in their past nine games away from Baltimore.
Opening line: Browns, -7.5
It’s not normally a good idea to bet on the Bengals, but if there are two situations where it’s starting to seem safe, it’s when they play on the road or when they play against the Browns. Although the Bengals are an UGLY 0-10 straight-up in their past 10 road games, they have managed to go 8-2 ATS. The Bengals are also 8-1 ATS in their past nine games against the Browns (6-2 straight-up) and 6-1 ATS in their past seven December games (3-4 straight-up). If there is one reason to like the Browns, it’s probably because they are 7-3 ATS in their past 10 games against AFC North teams, including Sunday’s loss to the Steelers in a game where they didn’t cover. The Browns are 2-5 ATS over the past 10 years when favored by a touchdown or more.
Opening line: Packers, -14
The frozen tundra of Lambeau Field has generally been viewed as one of the best home-field advantages in football, but it hasn’t been lately, with the Packers going 2-6 both straight-up and ATS in their past eight December home games. As for the Redskins, they’ve quietly become a somewhat safe team to bet on. Not only have they won two games in a row, but they’re also 4-2 ATS in their past six games. Of course, none of this means you should bet against the Packers, who are 8-4 ATS on the season, which is tied for the second best mark in the NFL. In Aaron Rodgers‘ career, the Packers are 4-0 straight-up and 2-2 ATS when favored by two touchdowns or more. One thing to note in this game is that the Redskins haven’t won in Green Bay since 1988.
Opening line: Vikings, -14
One reason to like the Vikings in this game is because not only have they won four straight games against Detroit, but they’ve covered in all four of those games. The Vikings are also the only team in the NFC that’s still undefeated at home this year, going 5-0 straight-up and 3-2 ATS. That being said, the Vikings haven’t done a good job of covering large spreads, going 0-4-1 ATS in the past five games where they were favored by 10 or more. As for the Lions, they’ve lost four straight on the road and have gone 0-3 ATS in their past three games away from Detroit. One thing to keep in mind in this game is that the Lions will likely be rolling with third-string quarterback David Blough as their starter.
Opening line: Saints, -3.5
If there’s one thing the 49ers haven’t been able to do since hiring Kyle Shanahan, it’s win games when they’re an underdog. Since Shanahan was hired in 2017, the 49ers are 5-17 straight-up when they’re an underdog, including Sunday’s loss to the Ravens (They’re 12-10 ATS in those games). Those numbers are even worse on the road, with the 49ers going 1-11 straight-up as an underdog away from Levi’s Stadium. As for the Saints, it might be worth betting the money line, because they always seem to win at home, but don’t always seem to cover. In their past 20 home games, they’ve gone 17-3 straight-up (11-9 ATS). The Saints are also 8-2 ATS in their past 10 games overall.
Opening line: Jets, -6.5
The fact that the Dolphins are a big underdog here is somewhat surprising, and that’s because they’ve been dominating the Jets. Not only have the Dolphins won six of their past seven games against the Jets, but they’ve also gone 5-1-1 in those games, which includes a 26-18 win in Week 9 when Miami covered as a 3.5-point underdog. The Dolphins have also been one of the best bets in the NFL over the past few weeks, going 6-2 ATS in their past eight games (3-5 straight-up). As for the Jets, they’ve been one of the worst December teams in football over the past few years, going 1-9 straight-up in their past 10 December games. That total includes Sunday’s loss to the previously 0-11 Bengals.
Colts (6-6) at Buccaneers (5-7)
Opening line: Buccaneers, -3.5
Betting on the Colts to cover against an NFC team has been an easy way to make money over the past few years. In their past 16 games against the NFC, the Colts have gone 12-4 ATS. That includes a record of 5-1 both straight-up and ATS in their past six. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Bucs are just 3-7 straight-up in their past 10 home games against AFC teams. Although the Bucs have won two straight games, they’re just 2-6 ATS In their past eight games this season.
Opening line: Texans, -8
If there’s one time when the Texans seem to struggle to cover the spread, it’s when they’re favored big. In the past six games where they’ve been favored by eight or more points, Houston is just 1-5 ATS (4-2 straight-up). As for the Broncos, they’ve done a good job of covering over the past few weeks no matter what the spread is. Including Sunday’s win over the Chargers, the Broncos are now 6-2 ATS in their past eight games. One thing you probably don’t want to bet on is an upset, and that’s because the Broncos are 2-16 straight-up over the past 10 years when they’re an underdog of a touchdown or more.
Chargers (4-8) at Jaguars (4-8)
Opening line: Chargers, -3
Since making their trip to London in November, the Jaguars have turned into a total disaster. Not only have the Jags lost four straight, but they’ve also failed to cover in each of those games. As for the Chargers, since October 2018, they’ve gone 8-3-1 ATS in road games and 8-4 straight-up in those games. The Chargers have also been a pretty safe bet in the eastern time zone, going 4-1 both straight-up and ATS in their past five games.
Opening line: Titans, -3
The Raiders will be playing at home this week, which is good news for a team that has had some serious success playing in Oakland. Not only have the Raiders won seven of their past eight home games, but they’re also 7-2 ATS in their past nine. As for the Titans, playing on the west coast has been a total nightmare for them. Since 2010, the Titans are 1-5 straight-up in the pacific time zone. The Titans are also just 4-11 straight-up in their past 15 December road games, although they did beat the Colts on Sunday.
Opening line: Patriots, -3
If there’s one coach in the NFL who’s had some serious success against the Patriots, it’s Andy Reid. Since Reid was hired by Kansas City in 2013, the Chiefs have played a total of three regular season games against New England, and in those games, they’ve gone 2-1 straight-up and 3-0 ATS. Of course, the one problem with betting against the Patriots is that they almost always cover at home. In their past 25 home games against AFC teams, the Patriots have gone 23-2 straight-up and 18-6-1 ATS.
Steelers (7-5) at Cardinals (3-8-1)
Opening line: Pick’em
Although Mike Tomlin’s 4-10 record out west might give you pause if you’re thinking about betting on the Steelers, one thing that might make that worry go away is the fact that he’s been nearly unbeatable in the month of December, going 20-5 straight-up in his past 25 December games. As for the Cardinals, they’ve been one of the worst home teams in football over the past two seasons, going 2-11-1 straight-up at University of Phoenix Stadium since the start of the 2018 season.
Opening line: Seahawks, -2.5
The fact that the Rams are an underdog isn’t good news for the Rams, and that’s because in their past four games as an underdog, they’ve gone 0-4 straight-up and 1-3 ATS. In their past 15 games as an underdog, the Rams are just 2-13 straight-up. As for the Seahawks, if there’s one team you want to bet on in primetime, it’s almost certainly them. Since the start of the 2013 season, the Seahawks are 22-4-1 straight-up in primetime games, which includes and ATS mark of 18-7-2. One other thing to note is that the over has hit in the past four meetings between these two teams, and the over/under for this week’s game opened at 47 points.
Opening line: Eagles, -8
The Eagles have absolutely dominated this series over the past five years, winning nine of their past 10 games against the Giants dating back to 2014. However, they haven’t exactly been covering. In those 10 games, the Eagles have gone 6-4 ATS. The Eagles are also just 1-4 ATS in their past five games where they were favored by a touchdown or more. As for the Giants, they don’t win on the road very often, but they have somehow been finding a way to cover. In their past 13 road games, the Giants are just 4-9 straight-up, but they’ve gone an impressive 10-3 ATS.