The life of an NFL gambler is never dull. It’s almost as if Vega knew we were starting to lose ground and gave us the week we needed as everything came out golden in Week 13 for us. Our picks went 4-0, our EW metric went 11-5 overall and YPP was 9-6. Can’t get much better than that. We’re even back to .500 with our picks on the season at 20-2-20.
The oddest part of it all is that Vegas like a boa constrictor has closed in on our numbers as the margins of difference have become slimmer every week. That, of course, only makes the job of sifting through the slim differentials that much harder, though as long as you follow the numbers things are more likely to work out than not.
The margins this week are once again right on top of Vegas for both our two metrics with few games with more of a three-point difference.
With that, we only have two picks for you this week to see if the good times can keep on rolling.
Consensus pick of the week
Jacksonville Jaguars -2.5 versus the Seattle Seahawks
It’s hard to pick against the Seahawks after their big win a week ago which took us to 4-0, especially after seeing what Russell Wilson did to the Philadelphia Eagles defense. While the Eagles defense has been good the Jags have been better and they’re coming off another impressive win, while they remain in a tight divisional race.
The Jags have the combination of defense and run game that Seattle used to be built on. With a much healthier defense, they’re actually the more talented group of the two this season. That’s a bold statement but its true given their performances this year. Jacksonville’s the top-ranked defensive unit per YPP allowing only 4.5 yards per play while Seattle is ninth - still good at 5-yards per, but the young Jags ‘D’ is at another level.
They’re also at home with the Hawks having to travel all the way to the south-east if the crowd can show up for the Jags ‘D’ that could make a difference too.
Sure, it’s hard to look past the huge abyss of difference in the two quarterbacks for these teams but consider that Seattle’s 5-6-1 on the season against the spread and coming off a big emotional win. With all the injuries I’d expect a letdown game on a travel week. The Jags have surprised all year and are 7-5 ATS.
The Jaguars simply have to beat the Hawks down in both trenches and force them to succumb due to their lacking depth.
Jacksonville remains projected to win 12.5 wins on the year which is tied for the best EW record with the Eagles. Seattle’s at 10.5, that difference plus the home field advantage gives them a -7 point spread per the metric, and YPP too has them favored. On paper, it looks risky, but once you get past the QBs it makes a whole lot of sense.
EW pick of the week
Los Angeles Chargers -6 versus the Washington Redskins
The Chargers are on a roll now after a disastrous start and have now won three in a row quite convincingly. They’re also suddenly in the driver's seat for the AFC West crown and have seen receiver Keenan Allen absolutely go off the last few games - establishing himself as possibly the NFL's best receiver.
The Redskins on their end have lost four of their last six and have been really hurt by injuries. The injury bug has weakened the defense which was playing really well earlier in the season and the offensive line’s struggled as well. The issues on the line are what’s going to be most problematic against the Chargers talented pass-rushing duo of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa.
It’s worth mentioning that prior to their Thursday night loss a week ago to the Dallas Cowboys, Washington had been competitive in just about all their games which make the six-point spread a little trickier this week. However, EW has the Bolts as -10 point favorites which given the current run of form of these two teams might be more appropriate.
While only having a 6-and-6 record on the year LA is projected to win 10 per EW which has been high on them since the preseason. That’s still in play if the Chargers win out, while Washington is only projected to win 6.5. That’s where you see the big divergence. If those numbers were isolated to just recent form the gap would be that much bigger, that's why we like Phillip Rivers and crew here.
BSN ATS’ YPP & EW Week 14 lines
You'll see the Buffalo Bills and the Detroit Lions lines aren't available yet as both teams quarterbacks are questionable as of Friday morning. We've still provided our own spreads but keep those injuries in mind when placing bets.