Oddsmaker Greatness of the Gridiron Challenge: NFL Week 14 Picks

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I am the Gridiron Great, and I have been handicapping the NFL for a number of years. I've learned the ins and outs of what it takes to beat the bookies at this game, and I know just how difficult it can be. Do you think you can beat me at my own game? Every week that you do, you'll be entered into a grand prize drawing at the end of the season for a $1,000 Oddsmaker Sportsbook account. You can also collect a $100 account from Oddsmaker just by having the most picks correct amongst Cappers Info readers, so long as you beat me!

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There is no greater time to try to get into this competition than right now, as every week you beat me gives you another opportunity at that big cash prize at the end of the year. Let's get started right now with my Week 14 picks…

Oakland Raiders @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5) – There's something about the way that the Jags are playing right now that I like. They're running the ball well, they're playing the stoutest defense that they have played in quite some time, and they just feel like a winning team. They're really going to win the AFC South, something that even myself, the smartest of NFL pundits, never would have thought at the start of the year. This is a tough, tough test for Oakland to come all the way to the East Coast in an early start time game, and I just don't see it being able to hang for the full 60 minutes. Take Jacksonville -3.5.

Cincinnati Bengals (+9) @ Pittsburgh Steelers – This is a horrifying letdown spot for the Steelers this week at home, and the oddsmakers have put us into a perfect trap because of it. The Bengals really don't have many games left to get up for this season, and though they have lost about 174 games in a row, this is one that they are going to want to use their best in. They can throw the ball all over the field with QB Carson Palmer, and that is the one chance to win this one against the iffy Pittsburgh secondary. If Palmer gets some time, this one could be remotely interesting, especially with the Steelers in a bad scheduling spot after the SNF win over the Ravens. Cincinnati +9

New England Patriots @ Chicago Bears (+3) – Here we go again. The Bears are getting disrespected at home against a team that it might be better than. I'm sorry, the Pats aren't nearly this good. Perception is high as a kite on them because of that ridiculous 45-3 beat down that was issued to the New York Jets last Monday Night Football. This is a brutal road game and a test that will not easily be passed. Chicago just keeps finding ways to win games, whether by hook or by crook. It might have to be by crook in this one, but the Bears get it done again. Chicago +3

Cleveland Browns (+1) @ Buffalo Bills – Let me just get my snooze button out for this one, and hopefully I'll sleep for the whole three hours that it is on TV… Actually, this game is remotely intriguing to me, because these two teams, in spite of the fact that they stink, play some entertaining football at times. RB Peyton Hillis is the difference maker in this one. The Bills have not fared well against power running games all season long, and if that remains the case, they aren't going to survive for their third victory of the season against a Cleveland team that has already nailed down a few really big road wins on the year, including last week against the Miami Dolphins. I'm taking Cleveland +1.

New York Giants @ Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) – Sometimes, you just have to let sleeping dogs lie, and perhaps I should be doing just that with the Giants on Sunday, but I just love this spot for the Vikes. They're back at home once again, and QB Brett Favre (whom you absolutely know is not sitting this one out) wants to make one last charge to see if he can really get his team to claw all the way back from a 3-7 start to the season to at least finish .500. I'm also not all that convinced that the G-Men are all that good this year, as they really haven't beaten any tremendous teams with consistency. It's a rough road trip. I wish I was getting the full field goal, but I'll have to settle for taking Minnesota +2.5 instead.

Green Bay Packers (-6.5) @ Detroit Lions – Ugh, I am so sick and tired of these damn Lions! These guys feel like they are blowing me up each and every week, and now they're going it with guys like RB Maurice Morris and QB Drew Stanton. That's right. Drew Freaking Stanton. Hopefully, Mr. Clay Matthews introduces himself to Stanton a few times on the afternoon in this one. The Green Bay defense has played too well on the road this year to be toppled like this, and as long as things don't fall apart at the seam offensively, there is no reason to think that the 'O' can't put together a 400+ yard performance with at least 28 on the board against the Lions. I'll stick with Green Bay -6.5.

Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers (+7.5) – Call me crazy (go ahead…. "You're crazy!"), but I kinda think the Panthers can win this game… outright… I don't know why. I just do. This is probably the last stand for Head Coach John Fox, as this is the last truly meaningful game on the slate in all likelihood for the Panthers, and he would love nothing more than to at least make a case for his future job somewhere else if he can take this one down and give his team in black and blue something to be happy about. If all else fails, at least I have 7.5 points on my side… Carolina +7.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Redskins (+2) – For my money, this is the toughest call on the board all week long. The Bucs really, really need this game, while Washington is finished, but there is something about the way that Tampa Bay finished that game last week against the Atlanta Falcons that is disturbing to me. I just don't think that it has a great comeback to get into the playoffs in it. Head Coach Raheem Morris should be proud of his men for sticking around in the race this long, but the Bucs are finished. Take Washington +2.

St. Louis Rams (+9) @ New Orleans Saints – Preseason football doesn't mean much to me, but the most vivid memory I have of the 2010 preseason was seeing QB Sam Bradford with his head held high in Gillette Stadium as his Rams beat the New England Patriots in the third game of the preseason, the one that the starters usually play at least three quarters of. Bradford and this St. Louis team are special and deserve to get into the playoffs this year. New Orleans is going to find a way to squeak this one out, but its home struggles are going to come back to rear their ugly head once again, as St. Louis +9 proves to be the right play.

Seattle Seahawks (+5.5) @ San Francisco 49ers – Hey oddsmakers, give me a break, will ya? It's absolutely ridiculous, with the season on the line or not, that the 49ers are laying 5.5 points against anyone in the NFL, even the Seahawks, who are about as effective on the road as the Arizona Cardinals have been anywhere this year. QB Matt Hasselbeck and company were booed off the field at halftime against the Carolina Panthers, but then they stormed to 31 unanswered points to put the worst team in the NFL away. Now, they'll use that momentum to help put the biggest disappointment in the NFL away as well. Seattle +5.5

Miami Dolphins (+5.5) @ New York Jets – This one just seems to be a close game waiting to happen. The Dolphins have been a stingy team all season long, particularly on the road, and especially against really good teams like New York. The Jets think that they have moved on from that 45-3 debacle against the New England Patriots, but I'm not totally sure that they can win this one by a TD. New York will come away with a victory I think, but the play for me is on the Dolphins +5.5, as they really know that a loss in this one ends their season.

Denver Broncos @ Arizona Cardinals (+5.5) – What. Ever. Hopefully the Broncos continue to get what they deserve for hiring HC Josh McDaniels in the first place. About the only intrigue right now in Denver is the fact that Florida Gators HC Urban Meyer quit just two days after McDaniels was canned. Does anyone aside from me see the parallels here? Oh, the game? C'mon, do you REALLY care? Arizona +5.5.

Kansas City Chiefs (+7) @ San Diego Chargers – Is there going to be a squarer team on the schedule this week than the Chargers? I mean, really. San Diego has its entire season on the line, knowing that it will be mathematically eliminated from the postseason with a defeat, while Kansas City is starting to crumble just a bit and had its quarterback in the emergency room getting his appendix removed on Wednesday night. KC is winning this game, and it is finding a way to win it outright by shoving the ball right down the Chargers' throats, just like the Oakland Raiders did last week. I don't need the points, but I'll take Kansas City +7 anyway.

Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) @ Dallas CowboysRemember to make your tiebreaker picks in this game!!! The Eagles are laying 3.5 points against a team that has looked absolutely unstoppable since interim Head Coach Jason Garrett took over, but we tend to believe that it is justified. QB Michael Vick threw a second INT last week against the Houston Texans, but that was a game that was really in control for the most part from start to finish with just one hiccup in the middle in the third quarter. Philly has everything rolling right now, and as long as its defense doesn't totally collapse under the pressure of playing on MNF in "Big D," the Eagles are going to fly high and pull out a big time win. Philadelphia -3.5

Official Week 14 NFL Lines Courtesy of Oddsmaker Sportsbook
Oakland Raiders @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5)
Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-9)
New England Patriots (-3) @ Chicago Bears
Cleveland Browns @ Buffalo Bills (-1)
New York Giants (-2.5) @ Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay Packers (-6.5) @ Detroit Lions
Atlanta Falcons (-7.5) @ Carolina Panthers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2) @ Washington Redskins
St. Louis Rams @ New Orleans Saints (-9)
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers (-5.5)
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets (-5.5)
Denver Broncos (-5.5) @ Arizona Cardinals
Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers (-7)
Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) @ Dallas Cowboys

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