Beating the Book: Handicapping Week 14
Beating the Book: Handicapping Week 14

This article is part of our Beating the Book series.

I went 8-8 last week, but it was worse than that. I was 8-3 through the early games and lost the last five including my best bet (Cardinals) by a mile. I also went 3-2 in the Super Contest, but was 3-0 before losing the Cards and Pats bets. 

This week, I especially like the Bears, Bengals and Patriots and have a good feeling about the Colts, Dolphins and Raiders. 

For the podcast version of the article click here.


Cowboys -3 at Bears

I made this line a pick 'em, so I like the Bears getting the full three at home off the short week. Mitchell Trubisky actually played decently against the Lions on Thanksgiving too. 

Bears 23 - 20


Ravens -5.5 at Bills

I made this line only minus three. The Ravens are good, but it's hard going into Buffalo in December, and Josh Allen can run too. Take the points. 

Bills 20 - 19

Redskins +13 at Packers

I have this one at 11.5. The Redskins are handicapped by Dwayne Haskins, but they should be able to run on the Packers, and Green Bay lacks outside play-makers. Take the points. 

Packers 27 - 17

Broncos +9.5 at Texans

This is exactly where I set the line, so it's a coin flip for me. I'll sell high on Houston after their huge win over the Pats and take the Broncos. 

Texans 24 - 16

49ers +2.5 at Saints

I liked this a lot better when it opened at three, but I made this a pick 'em, so I'm still on the 49ers. The Saints are missing two key offensive linemen too. Take the points. 

49ers 24 - 23

Bengals +8.5 at Browns

I made this only three and a half now that Andy Dalton's back and Myles Garrett is out, so this was an easy call. Take the points. 

Browns 27 - 23

Panthers +3 at Falcons

I made this exactly three, so it's another coin flip. I'm not sure how the Ron Rivera firing will play out. Usually, struggling teams get a dead-cat bounce, but Rivera was well liked, so it's not obvious to me. In any event, I'll buy low and take the points. 

Panthers 27 - 24

Lions +13 at Vikings

I set the line at 12, so I suppose that puts me on the Lions, but there's no way I could feel good about it. David Blough didn't look too bad on Thanksgiving against a strong defense, so maybe he'll hold up here. 

Vikings 28 - 16

Dolphins +5.5 at Jets

Normally, I'd fade an upstart after a big win, but the Dolphins came to play against the Eagles and looked like they were having fun. Accordingly, I set this line at four, and I'm on Miami. 

Dolphins 24 - 20

Colts +3 at Buccaneers

The Buccaneers have more (healthy) talent, but I'll buy low on a well-coached Colts squad with a strong offensive line. Take the points. 

Colts 24 - 23


Chargers -3 at Jaguars

I lose when I bet on or against the Chargers no matter what, but who are they to be laying wood on the road against a non-doormat? Gardner Minshew is probably an upgrade over Nick Foles too. Take the home dog. 

Jaguars 23 - 20

Chiefs +3 at Patriots

I know the Patriots have been overrated for most of the year, but only three at home to the Chiefs who still don't look like the offensive juggernaut they were last year? I made the line four, so give me the Patriots at home off a loss. 

Patriots 24 - 17

Steelers -2.5 at Cardinals

I see this line at three in some places and would much prefer that, but the majority of the books still has it at 2.5 as of this writing. I made the line a pick 'em, so I'm on the Cardinals again as a buy-low after an embarrassing showing in Week 13. 

Steelers 17 - 16

Titans -2.5 at Raiders

The Titans look good of late, and I'm buying them as a dangerous bad-weather team should they make the playoffs. But a road trip to Oakland is a bad spot for them, and I think the Raiders will bounce back at home off the bad loss. Take the points. 

Raiders 24 - 20


Seahawks -1 at Rams

I made this Seahawks plus 2.5, so I'm on the Rams, a team I had left for dead a week ago. I don't like to flip-flop so much week to week, but Sean McVay and Jared Goff showed me something off the terrible loss to the Ravens. Moreover, the Rams/Seahawks game in Seattle was a coin flip earlier this year. Take the home dog. 

Rams 27 - 26


Giants +8.5 at Eagles

The Giants are terrible, but who are the Eagles to be a big favorite? I made the line 6.5, so anything over seven I was on the Giants. Maybe the Eagles flex their muscles and blow them out, but as with the Browns, I need to see it first. 

Eagles 29 - 23

For the podcast version of the article click here.

Last week, I went 8-8, lost my best bet (the Cardinals), and went 3-2 in the Super Contest. I'm now 93-97-2 on the year, 6-7 on best bets and 31-32-2 in the Super Contest. Last year I went 141-106-9 on the season, 10-7 on best bets, 48-36-1 in the Super Contest. From 1999-2018, I've gone 2,563-2,373 (51.9%), not including ties.

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