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Beating the Book: Chris Liss Handicaps Week 14

Chris Liss

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.


These 16-game slates usually have a few good games to choose from. I particularly like Seattle at home against the Rams, though I'm not sure what the actual line will be (I got that line from a site that posts every game even with injuries), the Redskins at home against the Pats and the Bengals at home against the Texans.

THURSDAY NIGHT

Browns +14 at Steelers

I hate these kinds of games because I feel obligated to take the dog, but dread watching the favorite have the cover salted away by the second quarter. Still, I'm sticking with Cleveland who plays decent pass defense and could keep this a low-scoring game. Back the Browns.

Steelers 16 - 9

EARLY GAMES

Buccaneers -1 at Jaguars

The Jaguars could not have looked worse on Monday night, and Blaine Gabbert was so terrified of the rush, he was throwing the ball into the ground even when no defenders were near him. Still, that makes the Jaguars a good buy-low as home dogs against a very weak Tampa Bay defense, and the Bucs still might not have Josh Freeman back. Back the Jaguars.

Jaguars 20 - 19

Patriots -8.5 at Redskins

The Patriots can cover a big number easily, but this is huge on the road against a Washington team that plays passable defense and has moved the ball well of late. Plus, for whatever reason Mike Shanahan's teams have always fared well against Bill Belichick's. Back the Redskins who keep it close.

Patriots 24 - 23

Texans +2 at Bengals

The Texans were the better team, but this is the type of game where the loss of Matt Schaub could be felt. Back the Bengals who win at home to stay in playoff contention.

Bengals 19 - 16

Chiefs +9.5 at Jets

I haven't had a great read on the Jets all year, and this game is a tough one for me. My initial instinct is to take the Chiefs as a sizeable dog, especially against a pretty average offense. But I have an odd Jets hunch, and I think I'm going to roll with it. Back New York.

Jets 19 - 0

Vikings +7 at Lions

The Vikings showed up last week against Denver, while the Lions imploded in New Orleans. I think it might be time to buy the Lions low (and I've thought they were overrated most of the year). The Vikings don't defend the pass of late, and the Lions typically do. Back Detroit.

Lions 27 - 17

Saints -3.5 at Titans

The Saints don't travel well, and they also don't play very good defense, especially against the run (4.9 YPC allowed). I think Tennessee will keep it close and possibly win outright. Back the Titans.

Titans 27 - 23

Eagles +3 at Dolphins

Maybe Michael Vick's return will give the Eagles a lift, but the Dolphins are playing well every week and have simply been a far better team the last six games. Back Miami.

Dolphins 24 - 20

Colts +16.5 at Ravens

I was leaning Ravens initially, but this is too many points, even at home. Plus Dan Orlovsky gives Indy a chance. Back the Colts.

Ravens 27 - 13

Falcons -3 at Panthers

The Falcons don't travel well, and they don't do a great job defending the pass. Moreover, Michael Turner might not be 100 percent due to a groin injury. The Panthers play hardly any defense whatsoever, but I'll take the points at home. Back Carolina who wins outright.

Panthers 24 - 23

LATE GAMES

Bears +3.5 at Broncos

I'm really torn between "always bet on Tebow because the sharps don't understand him," and "sell high while you still can." The Bears have always defended Michael Vick and Aaron Rodgers well, and they seem like the type of team that could do a good job against Tebow. Back the Bears who cover, but lose.

Broncos 16 - 13

49ers -3.5 at Cardinals

The Cardinals are playing better of late, Patrick Willis is likely to be out, and I like taking home dogs in division rivalry games. Back the Cardinals.

Cardinals 15 - 13

Bills +7 at Chargers

I should really sell the Chargers high off their one decent game, but I have a Chargers hunch for some reason. Maybe it's that they're completely out of contention and therefore unable to choke. Or maybe their replacement offensive linemen have finally started to jell. Or maybe it's that I overrated the Bills off their one decent game against the Jets two weeks ago. Either way, I'm holding my nose and taking San Diego.

Chargers 28 - 20

Raiders +11.5 at Packers

This is probably the right line, but I have a bias against both double-digit favorites and teams that are undefeated late in the year as every team wants to be the one to knock them off. Back the Raiders.

Packers 31 - 30

SUNDAY NIGHT

Giants +3 at Cowboys

The Cowboys barely beat the Redskins (thanks to Graham Gano missing field goals), barely beat the Dolphins at home and lost in Arizona. The Giants had been reeling, but they played the Packers even last week. That's enough for me to take the points. Back the Giants.

Giants 23 - 20

MONDAY NIGHT

Rams +5.5 at Seahawks

Sam Bradford and A.J. Feeley are both banged up, but it's hard to see either as substantially better than replacement level at this point anyway. Still, the Seahawks typically play better at home, and after a shocking win over the Saints, the Rams have firmly re-established themselves as league doormats again. Back Seattle.

Seahawks 24 - 10

We were 9-7 last week to put us at 92-95-5 on the season. From 1999-2010 we've gone 1565-1387 (53%, not including ties).

You can follow me on Twitter at @Chris_Liss