NFL 2018 Season - Week 14
 

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Road Bumps
by Dennis Ranahan

Most of the Week Three Sunday National Football League venues will be met with sunny weather while rain is in the forecast at three sites, Philadelphia, where the Eagles host the Indianapolis Colts; Baltimore, where the Ravens entertain the Denver Broncos; and Washington, where the Redskins host the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers are coming off a couple intriguing matchups where they required the largest fourth quarter comeback in team history to nip the Chicago Bears in opening week action, 24-23, and fought the tough Minnesota Vikings to a 29-29 tie last Sunday at Lambeau Field.

The Packers open their road regular season schedule today, and they are favored over the Alex Smith led Redskins.

Washington has split their first two games, downing the Arizona Cardinals on the road in their opener and losing last Sunday at home to the Indianapolis Colts. At home, for a second straight week, and with the Packers only outscoring their opponents by a single point in two home games, points clearly to the underdog Redskins winning the money today. They get three points on the spread … and more than likely, won’t need them.

The Philadelphia Eagles bring back Carson Wentz today, his first game action since being injured last December in a contest against the Los Angeles Rams. Wentz was on target to challenge for the Most Valuable Player Award last year before his season ending injury turned the Eagles offense over to Nick Foles, who guided the Eagles to their only franchise Super Bowl title.

Without any live game action in nine months, and playing on a wet field, does not bode well for expecting Wentz to return and guide the Eagles to a flurry of points. Both the Eagles and Colts come into this game with severe injuries on both sides of the ball. While Philadelphia is the defending Super Bowl Champion, this season appears set up to be mostly disappointing for the fans in the City of Brotherly Love.

Seven teams come into this week’s play with two wins and no losses, and seven teams have no wins and two losses. Two of the teams looking for their first victory of the year meet in Houston today when the Texans host the New York Giants. Might the Texans be the most overrated team in the league?

Houston had a losing mark last year, and it was chalked up to a series of crippling injuries including losing two stars off their defense and quarterback Deshaun Watson. Before being lost at mid-season, Watson appeared on track to collect the Rookie of the Year Award after guiding the Texans to five straight games in which the team scored 30 or more points.

Problem is, even while Watson was putting on his offensive show, the Texans lost three of those five games in which they scored more than 30 points. In his five seasons as head coach, Bill O’Brien always seems to have problems on one side of the ball or the other that keeps his team from contending with the best in the league.

Today, even with back-to-back losses to open the season, they are a touchdown favorite at home against the Giants. That spread is more tied to what people think the Texans can be than what they really have been. They ended last year with only four wins, and it doesn’t require advanced math to realize they are only 4 and 14 in their last 18 games.

Until their team’s performance catches up with their expectations, laying a touchdown on the spread with them is a low percentage proposition.

The public has checked in with their three favorite plays of the week based on the volume of dollars wagered, and those three public plays are the New England Patriots (-7) over Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs (-6) over San Francisco 49ers, and Philadelphia Eagles (-6) over the Indianapolis Colts.

Our money rated plays are now posted on this site, and if a Bullet Play develops in the final hour leading up to the day’s first kickoff at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, that game will be added to the list of recommendations at 9:45 a.m.