13 weeks are in the books for the 2022 NFL season and with the postseason fast approaching, the playoff picture is slowly but surely coming into focus. Six teams have the week off — the last week of byes for the season — and then the race to wild card weekend heats up further.
In our Week 14 NFL betting picks and predictions, we take a look at three of the weekend’s biggest showdowns in a gridlocked AFC. In a tight race for the playoffs, nothing is set in stone, but a couple of MVP frontrunners look poised to punch their postseason ticket.
Miami Dolphins (-3) at Los Angeles Chargers
One of the marquee matchups this weekend, it’s not a surprise the league opted to flex this game into Sunday Night Football. It was originally set to be the Chiefs vs. Broncos, and keep reading below as to why we’re glad to not see another Broncos primetime game.
NFL · Sun (12/11) @ 8:23pm ET
|SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California|
The Dolphins vs. Chargers odds are favoring the visitors, giving Justin Herbert and company a field goal at home. Both teams are in the thick of a tight playoff race, with the 8-4 ‘Fins looking to gain ground on division-leading Buffalo and the 6-6 Chargers chasing one of the three wild card berths.
Miami lost last week to the 49ers, their first loss since mid-October and their first loss this year when Tua Tagovailoa played most of the game. With two of the league’s premier talents at receiver, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, the Dolphins are averaging the second-most passing yards per game.
Tua is making a solid case to be considered for MVP along with Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, and Jalen Hurts. He has posted the second-highest QBR by ESPN while throwing 21 touchdown passes to just five interceptions. Although San Francisco managed to stymie the Dolphins’ offense last week, Tua and company should bounce back in the second leg of their California road trip.
Los Angeles has struggled to contain opposing offenses, which will be the difference-maker with Miami’s high-octane attack. The Chargers are allowing the seventh-most yards per game and third-most points per game. Los Angeles is currently outside of the playoff picture, tied with New England and one game behind 7th-seeded New York.
The Chargers desperately need a win to keep up in the Wild Card race, but the Dolphins will be too much to handle. In one of our best bets for NFL Week 14, take Miami laying the points in Los Angeles.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-6)
In the AFC North, it’s been a two-team race for most of the year between the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens. With former MVP Lamar Jackson potentially missing time for the Ravens and the Browns nipping at their heels, the AFC North race suddenly got a lot more interesting.
NFL · Sun (12/11) @ 1:00pm ET
|Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio|
The Bengals are riding a four-game winning streak, including an impressive 27-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs last week. At 8-4, they can keep pace in the AFC North and bury the Browns’ playoff hopes with a win here. Bookmakers are favoring Joe Burrow’s squad, with the Browns vs. Bengals odds having Cincy as a touchdown favorite.
Deshaun Watson made his first start for the Browns last week and saw his first regular-season action in over two years. There was certainly some rust to knock off for Watson against the Houston Texans. He threw for just 131 yards, one interception, and failed to lead the Browns to a single touchdown on offense.
It was all defense and special teams for Cleveland last week, who beat the league’s worst team — and Watson’s former stomping grounds — 27-14. Going up against a Cincinnati team that’s looking more formidable by the week, Cleveland needs a lot more from their offense if they hope to pull off an upset.
The first matchup of the season between these two teams was a Cleveland win, who beat the Bengals 32-13 on Halloween night. Since then, however, the Bengals have been red-hot, averaging over 30 points per game. The Bengals will have standout receiver Ja’Marr Chase this time around after he missed the first game with a hip injury.
Burrow, who has emerged as one of the league’s top MVP candidates, has thrown for 25 touchdowns to eight interceptions and has posted the league’s fifth-highest QBR this season.
Cincinnati will avenge its Halloween loss to the Browns and further cement itself as one of the AFC’s premier teams. Burrow and the Bengals have gone 4-1 against the spread (ATS) over their last five games. Laying six at home, the Bengals are one of our best bets for NFL Week 14.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (Under 43)
This AFC West showdown isn’t nearly as exciting as we had expected before the season, but division-leading Kansas City is fighting for the coveted No. 1 seed and a first-round bye. As for the Broncos, a loss would be the final nail in the coffin of an underwhelming season.
There was a lot of optimism for the Broncos this season after acquiring quarterback Russell Wilson, but Denver has fallen to 3-9 and last place in the AFC West. Head coach Nathaniel Hackett desperately needs to right the ship or the rookie coach is at risk of being one-and-done.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs snapped a five-game winning streak with a road loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last week. As the No. 2 seed in the NFL, they look to keep up with Buffalo for the first seed in the conference. The Chiefs head to Denver as a heavy favorite, with the spread approaching double digits, but we’re looking at the total with our Week 14 NFL picks.
The Chiefs top most offensive rankings, but they’ll face a strong Broncos defense that has managed to keep the score low even in losses. Surprisingly, the Broncos only have one double-digit loss this season despite scoring a league-low 13.9 points per game.
Denver is in the bottom five of nearly every offensive metric and they continued their painfully impressive Under trend last week, increasing their season-long Under record to 11-1. Even with the high-powered Chiefs coming to Mile High, this is too many points.
In one of our best picks for NFL Week 14, bet the Under in this AFC West bout.