Who to Bet on Entering Week 14 of the NFL: Early Leans

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We look at the opening lines and decide who to bet on before the lines change!

Minnesota Vikings +2.5 (-110) @ Detroit Lions

I don’t think the Vikings are getting enough credit for the record they’ve put together to date. Last week I took the Lions +1 against the Jags in my Early Leans preview. It’s the most confident I’ve been on a pick all season. Jared Goff is actually a really good quarterback at Ford Field, now boasting an impressive 17:3 touchdown to interception ratio. DeAndre Swift looked the healthiest he’s been since week 1, and first round pick Jameson Williams finally made his highly anticipated professional debut. I freakin LOVE that guy – he’s going to be one of the best wide receivers in the NFL! He wasn’t involved in the game plan though. I’ve been screaming from the hilltops how much I respect Dan Campbell and how hard his team plays for him.

Fast forward a week, and the Lions are nearly a field goal favorite against a 10-2 Vikings team. Their only two losses have come to Super Bowl contenders in the Eagles and Cowboys, . There’s a big mental difference between being an underdog as opposed to the favorite. I’m not certain Detroit is ready for that. I could definitely see the Lions winning this game, which I anticipate being a shootout, but I just can’t pass on the points here.

Tennessee Titans -3.5 (-110) vs Jacksonville Jags

It was surprising to see the Titans get stomped by the Eagles last week. Especially considering how good head coach Mike Vrebal has been against the spread as an underdog. Basically, A.J. Brown single handedly beat them! You know he had that game circled on his calendar. What was the aftermath of that beatdown? The Titans parted ways with general manager, Jon Robinson, even as a the top team in the AF South. It’s been rumored that Mike Vrebal wasn’t happy with Robinson’s decision to trade A.J. Brown, or the overall talent on the roster he’s assembled in general, and I’m sure Vrabel had some influence in the Titans decision to fire him. You really can’t blame Vrabel either! There’s very few coaches out there who have been able to do more with less.

In my opinion, this all adds up to the perfect get right spot for Tennessee, who I expect to come out fired up for their head coach. The Jags are a better team than their record indicates, and should be able to take advantage of the Titans through the air (who hasn’t), so I could see bettors pushing this line down to 3, but I’m confident grabbing it at this number. I expect a huge game from King Henry in this one, so I’ll be keeping an eye on prop bets for him, and will likely be sprinkling some money on the over as well.

New England Patriots -1.5 (-110) @ Arizona Cardinals

Have I mentioned how bad of a coach I think Kliff Kingsburg is? This play purely comes down to coaching for me, which is the equivalent of a Lamborghini racing a Fiat. The Cardinals defense is the worst in the NFL at defending TEs. This means ole Billy Boy will likely be throwing out a ton of two tight end sets, which aligns with his philosophy of running the football and controlling the clock. This also simplifies the game plan for quarterback Mac Jones. On the flip side (although I haven’t checked whether it’s a Double XP weekend for Call of Duty), I expect the Patriots defense to make life difficult for Kyler Murray, and focus on not allowing DeAndre Hopkins to beat them.

Arizona is an atrocious 1-6 playing at home this season, and after getting flat out embarrassed by the Bears in Foxborough the last time we saw New England playing in primetime on Monday Night Football week 7 (shoutout to the game when it became apparent Justin Fields could actually be a good NFL quarterback), I’m betting on a much more focused Patriots team in this one.