With just four games remaining for each team in the NFL season, we are starting to see the playoff picture take shape. Only one team has officially clinched a playoff spot heading into this week (New Orleans). Six teams have been officially eliminated (Cincinnati, Miami, Atlanta, Arizona, Detroit, New York Giants).The rest are still fighting their way towards the postseason. So here is our NFL week #14 Sports Betting Preview.
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Baltimore Ravens (10-2) -6 at Buffalo Bills (9-3) O/U 44
The Baltimore Ravens are all but guaranteed a playoff spot at this point, it’s now just a matter of seeding. They have the AFC North all but locked up with one more win to make it official. For the Buffalo Bills, they are just one game back of the New England Patriots in the AFC East. Buffalo currently holds the top Wild Card spot in the AFC.
A win here would put the Bills just one win away from locking up a playoff spot. They still have one more meeting with the Patriots. With their other two games against Pittsburgh and the New York Jets, there is a chance the Bills don’t clinch a playoff spot until Week 17 in what could be a must-win scenario. Their two-game Wild Card lead over Pittsburgh and Tennessee could be in danger unless Buffalo can get past Baltimore.
Detroit Lions (3-8-1) at Minnesota Vikings (8-4) -12.5 O/U 43.5
Detroit has already been eliminated from playoff contention. This game is crucial for the Minnesota Vikings though. Laying an egg here against the Lions could put the Vikings in a very tough position, especially if the Rams take down the Seattle Seahawks.
Minnesota has a one-game lead over the LA Rams heading into this weekend. The Vikings are just one game back of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North (Green Bay won the first meting). The second meeting could possibly decide the division. However, a loss here to the Lions would really throw a wrench into Minnesota’s postseason plans.
San Francisco 49ers (10-2) at New Orleans Saints (10-2) -2.5 O/U 44.5
The San Francisco 49ers were the last remaining undefeated team just a few weeks ago. Now, the Niners are the 5th seed in the NFC if the playoffs were to start today. The New Orleans Saints currently own the top seed and both teams will be looking for a big win to stay on pace for a first-round bye and home field advantage.
The Saints have already won the NFC South and are guaranteed at least a no. 3 seed. A win is far more critical for the 49ers. Even with a loss and a Rams win, the Niners are still two games ahead of Los Angeles with three games to play, so San Francisco is almost guaranteed to be playoff-bound.
However, a loss here and a Seahawks win will put San Francisco is a tough spot with a tough remaining schedule (Atlanta, LA Rams, and Seattle). This game could go a long way in deciding whether San Francisco gets a first-round bye and possibly home field in the first round, or a Wild Card game on the road.
Kansas City Chiefs (8-4) at New England Patriots (10-2) -3 O/U 48.5
The Kansas City Chiefs have under-performed this season. Despite this, they are still two games up on the Oakland Raiders and should be able to take the AFC West. Although a loss here and a Raiders win could open up the door for Oakland to possibly steal the division. The Chiefs are just one game above the second Wild Card spot. If Kansas City tanks, there is a possibility that they miss out on the playoffs, even though it is unlikely. The Chiefs’ schedule gets easier after this weekend (Denver, Chicago, and LA Chargers). A win here could also keep them in the first-round bye hunt.
The Patriots need a win here to keep pace with the Ravens for home field advantage. A loss and a Bills’ win evens the two teams up for the AFC East and makes their late season meeting even more crucial. The Patriots want a win here just as badly as the Chiefs. Both teams have a lot riding on this game in terms of seeding and their chances of clinching their respective divisions.
Tennessee Titans (7-5) -3 at Oakland Raiders (6-6) O/U 47.5
The Tennessee Titans are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. They are 5-1 since Ryan Tannehill took over as the starting quarterback. What looked like a lost season now has the Titans tied with the Steelers at 7-5 for the second Wild Card spot (Steelers currently hold the tiebreaker). For the Raiders, their season is about to get out of control as a loss here all but ends their postseason hopes.
If Tennessee can get a win, they can keep pace with the Houston Texans in the AFC South. The Titans and Texans still have to meet two times this season. A loss to the Raiders drops them way back in the Wild Card hunt (especially with a Steelers win this weekend) as the Raiders would move ahead of them at 7-6. This is the only game this weekend that features a virtual must-win for both teams to keep their playoff hopes realistically alive.
Seattle Seahawks (10-2) at LA Rams (7-5) pk O/U 47
The Seattle Seahawks are now the no. 2 seed in the NFC thanks to their current winning streak. The LA Rams have looked great one week and terrible the next. It appears to be a matter of which Rams team shows up in a must-win situation. The Seahawks are looking to keep pace with the winner of the San Francisco-New Orleans game for home field advantage.
This game is absolutely a must-win for the Rams, especially if the Vikings take down the Lions. Falling two back with just three games to go is tough to overcome, especially considering their remaining schedule. The Rams still have to face the Cowboys, Niners, and Cardinals after this weekend. Heading into that stretch at 7-6 is not a positive expectation position.