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Week 14 NFL Picks: Predictions on Vegas' Mid-Week Betting Odds and Lines

Published by Bleacher Report on Wed, 09 Dec 2015

Good fortune smiled on the Green Bay Packers in their Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions.The Packers were outplayed throughout the game by the Lions, who were going for a season sweep against Green Bay for the first time since 1991.As the clock ticked down in the fourth period, it was clear that the Lions were all but assured of that sweep, because the Packers had just one offensive play left, and they were 61 yards away from the end zone.After Aaron Rodgers took the snap, he rolled to his left and drew the Detroit defense with him. If he had stayed on the left side, he never would have been able to reach the end zone with the throw that followed. But Rodgers came back around to his right, and he bought enough time for his receivers to get downfield.He hurled a long pass into the end zone, tight end Richard Rodgers caught it and came down with possession, and the Packers achieved an improbable win that has left the team in first place in the NFC North.Now Rodgers & Co. return home to play the punchless Dallas Cowboys. Tony Romo is once again sidelinedthis time for the remainder of the season.The Cowboys once again are going with Matt Cassel at quarterback, and he helped the Cowboys earn a Week 13 Monday night win over the Washington Redskins.But the Cowboys struggle to move the ball, and they have a hard time scoring. The Cowboys rank 26th in yardage gained and 27th in moving the ball through the air.That's good news for the Packers. While Green Bay does not have a stellar defense, they have enough with Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to handle a mediocre (to be kind) offensive attack like the Cowboys'.The Packers offense has not been at its best (21st in yards gained), but Rodgers and his teammates will take advantage of the gift they received in Detroit. The Packers are 7.5-point favorites, according to Odds Shark, and they will take advantage of the three-and-outs that the Cowboys will provide.Green Bay will score early and often. It will get the win and cover the spread.Bengals and Steelers will put on high-scoring battleThe Pittsburgh Steelers are feeling as good about themselves as they have all year. After beating the Indianapolis Colts 45-10 in Week 13, their offense is functioning near peak efficiency.As the Steelers look at their schedule, they are facing a trip to division-leading Cincinnati this week. The Bengals are playing for possible home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs, while the Steelers are playing to fight for their playoff livesThe Steelers will go into Paul Brown Stadium feeling very good about themselves. They have won 12 of their last 14 road games against the Bengals, and that kind of performance results in confidence.The Steelers will score, but so will the Bengals. Andy Dalton is having an outstanding season, and his rapport with A.J. Green and Marvin Jones gives the Bengals the ability to hit the downfield play. He also has shown an affinity for tight end Tyler Eifert in the red zone.The Steelers have rare firepower with Ben Roethlisberger throwing to Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton.This should be a back-and-forth game with plenty of touchdowns. These teams will not have to settle for field goals, and they will cruise past the 49.5-point total.Pats will get back on winning track at HoustonThere are many fans who will look at the results and see that the Patriots have lost back-to-back games against the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles and wonder what went wrong.They will also be convinced that the Patriots are not the same team that won the Super Bowl a year ago and started the season on such a hot streak.Injuries may have hurt the Patriots, but they are not dwelling on what has gone wrong. Head coach Bill Belichick is getting his team ready and working them hard to prepare for the Texans.They will get a consistent effort, and it may be hard for the Texans to say the same thing. Bill O'Brien's team had been playing better in recent weeks, but it got outworked in Week 13 by the Buffalo Bills and dropped a 30-21 decision.There are two other major advantages for New England. Tom Brady is still starting at quarterback, and he has a distinct advantage over Brian Hoyer.But the biggest difference may be on special teams. New England was the top-ranked team in the league prior to a disastrous showing against Philadelphia in which the Pats gave up a punt block and a punt return for touchdowns.The Pats fell to sixth, according to Football Outsiders' rankings after that performance, but the Texans are dead last. Look for the Pats to do something spectacular with their special teams play.The Pats are three-point favorites, and they will win by at least a touchdown.
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