Previewing NFL's Week 14 Underdog Picks
Week 13 was a crazy one in that the Cleveland Browns finally gave Johnny Manziel some reps while at the same time the Green Bay Packers were handing the New England Patriots their first loss in their last eight games. Week 13 didn't disappoint, and neither should Week 14 as many of the Super Bowl favorites are preparing for crucial games in which they're the favorite, and their opponent is possibly one of the best underdog picks of the week.
Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5
The Pittsburgh Steelers failed to complete the comeback last Sunday and fell to the New Orleans Saints 35-32. However, Ben Roethlisberger was his usual self throwing for over 400 yards and two touchdowns, but two costly interceptions were the difference as they were the only turnovers of the game for either team. This week the Steelers will face division foe Cincinnati on the road, in a game that's must-win for both squads as the AFC West is one of the most tightly contested divisions in all of football. The Bengals, although coming off a Week 13 victory, didn't play one of their best games of the season as Andy Dalton threw three interceptions while the Bengals defense forced only one. This game will likely be a close one with the eventual winner being the team who scores last, which should be the Steelers as their offense is one of the most underrated in the league with Le'Veon Bell in the backfield and Antonio Brown in the slot.
New York Giants +1
Although the New York Giants plus a single points doesn't sound like a solid underdog pick, the Giants are going up against the Tennessee Titans, a team that still hasn't decided on a starting quarterback and last Sunday elected to play both Jake Locker and Zack Mettenberger in a blowout loss to the Houston Texans. The Giants were also on the losing end of their game last Sunday, a narrow 25-24 defeat at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Eli Manning was sacked four times, a new normal for the Giants, yet he was still able to complete 70.5% of his passes for 247 yards and one touchdown. The running game for the Giants is a constant threat because of the equal distribution of run/pass plays, but they often make big plays with big gains through the air to Manning's new favorite target Odell Beckham Jr.
Baltimore Ravens +3
The Baltimore Ravens had their heart broken last Sunday when Phillip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers marched down the field late to score a touchdown for the 34-33 victory. The Ravens are still fighting for a playoff spot in the AFC North, but being a game and a half back of the Cincinnati Bengals means they must not only come within three points of the Miami Dolphins, but win the game outright. That shouldn't be too tough of a task for a squad that has scored more points this season than anyone else in their division, and is ranked fifth in the league in rushing yards per game despite losing their starting back before the season began. Joe Flacco is closing in on 3,000 passing yards for the sixth straight season, and with both Torrey Smith and Steve Smith as primary options he should have no problem winning this game, and approaching 4,000 yards as the season progresses.