The back end of the Week 14 schedule in the NFL features three formidable matchups that could be a challenge to handicap when you go to place your bets. Playoff positioning is the name of the game now, so watch the injury report to see if your favorite quarterback or an important lineman could cost you a chance to win big in your sportsbook.
New Orleans Saints @ New York Giants
Odds: Giants -5
You never have any idea which Giants team is going to show up, and you know the Saints’ Drew Brees will be motivated after throwing five picks and seeing his touchdown streak end against Atlanta. Brees has also flourished against the Giants, averaging 263.8 yards in four meetings with the G-Men, along with 11 touchdowns and no picks. The New York secondary is suspect, so they can be exposed. But can the New Orleans defense keep Eli Manning and company quiet? Look for a turnover or two to be the difference in this NFC showdown.
Pick: Saints +5
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers
Odds: Packers -6.5
The Packers have won 21 in a row at Lambeau Field over the Lions, who continue to lose games in such strange fashion that you have to wonder how it is affecting the team in the locker room. Detroit would have beaten the Packers in Week 11 if not for four turnovers, and those kinds of mistakes have been hurting the Lions all season. It probably won’t get much better in Green Bay and the Lions may not have a good day against Rodgers, who has averaged 264 yards in eight games against Detroit with 18 touchdowns and five interceptions. The Packers also have more to play for than the Lions and they’ll come out with an inspired effort on their way to a season sweep of their NFC North rivals. Take the Packers on the NFL betting spread.
Pick: Packers -6.5
Houston Texans @ New England Patriots
Odds: Patriots -3.5
In the Monday nighter, the Texans head to Gillette Stadium to face the Patriots, who always take games like this personally. New England may have the quietest 9-3 record in the history of the league and their success has made some experts take them for granted. Meanwhile, the Texans continue to win despite not playing their best football, although they did look better in a 24-10 victory over the Titans. Houston has won just one of their three meetings with the Patriots since 2003, and if they are going to be considered a true contender in the AFC, they need a comprehensive victory over a team that used to being there. But the Patriots feel the same way and they’re going to come out and light up the Houston defense as Tom Brady powers New England to another home victory, their 16th in 20 games in Foxborough.
Pick: Patriots -3.5