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Wise Guy Move
by Dennis Ranahan

Thirteen of the fourteen National Football League games today will be played outdoors, but for a mid-December weekend, the league has again avoided any serious weather conditions. The coldest site for the day is Green Bay, where the Packers host the Atlanta Falcons with temperatures into the 20’s. Cold weather will also persist in Cleveland, Buffalo, Chicago, Washington and Kansas City, all sites that will have temperatures in the 30’s but without the threat of rain or snow.

The only precipitation forecasted for the Week 14 schedule is in Tampa, where the Buccaneers host the New Orleans Saints.

The Houston Texans look to extend the league’s longest winning streak today when they host the Indianapolis Colts. After losing their first three games of the season, Bill O’Brien’s Texans have run off nine straight wins. They come into action today with a three game lead over the Colts in the AFC South Division and a won/loss record equal to the New England Patriots and one back of the Kansas City Chiefs in search of an opening postseason bye and home field advantage in the playoffs.

The Colts were shutout last week in Jacksonville, ending their five game winning streak. The loss, grounded Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck, who has been enjoying one of his career best seasons. Today, the Colts will need both their offense and defense if they are to end the Texans winning run on their home field.

We think the Colts will get it done in this game, and they are one of our money rated selections now posted on this site. That list of games also includes our second Premium Top Pick of the Year, our 7-rated money game.

As for the wagering public, they have the Texans (-4) over Indianapolis as their second most favorite play of the day. That selections is sandwiched between the most bet game of the day, the Kansas City Chiefs (-6½) at home against the Baltimore Ravens, and the third most bet game by the public, the Denver Broncos (-3½) over the San Francisco 49ers.

The Broncos have won three straight games to elevate their season to playoff possibilities. One of the toughest things for a team with only above average talent is to win late in the season on the road against a team they should handle easy.

The 49ers have won only two games this year, one before quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was injured against the Detroit Lions in second week action, and a romp over the Oakland Raiders five weeks ago. While the public is backing the Broncos in big numbers, the point spread on this game has dropped two points from an opening line of Denver favored by 5½.

The line move indicates there is a lot of wise guy money backing the 49ers in this one, a situation that doesn’t always point to a win but certainly a factor that would cool any thoughts of taking Denver with the shaved line here.

Our Week 14 selections are now posted on this site, and if a Bullet Play develops in the final hour leading up to the day’s first kickoff, that selection will be added at 9:45 a.m. Pacific Time.