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(33-29-3 against the spread this season)

By Danny Picard

BOSTON — I went 3-2 against the spread last week. I’m still hovering around that .500 mark. Too close for comfort. I’m due for a big Sunday.

Here are my picks for Week 14:

BALTIMORE RAVENS (-7.5) over Los Angeles Rams

-If the playoffs began after Week 13, the 9-3 Ravens would be the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoff picture, and the 6-6 Rams would be on the outside looking in at the NFC playoff picture. The Ravens have the best defense in the NFL, allowing just 15.6 points per game. And so, I just don’t see an average Rams team going into Baltimore and winning this game. The only question will be, can the Ravens — who are coming off the bye — cover the spread? I’m going to say yes, because the Ravens are truly one of the best teams in the league, with a top defense and a dynamic quarterback, while the Rams are average at best in every single category. That said, LA has won three straight, so they can’t be taken lightly. But, an average West-Coast team coming to the East Coast for a 1 p.m. kickoff against the best defense in football is a recipe for disaster. Feel free to tease this down to -6.5 if that makes you feel better. Give me Baltimore by 10.

DETROIT LIONS (-3) over Chicago Bears

-With the Eagles losing to the 49ers last week, the 9-3 Lions are now just one game behind Philly for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Right now, Detroit is the No. 3 seed, behind the No. 2 seed 49ers because San Francisco owns the conference-record tiebreaker. The point in mentioning all that is to show what’s at stake for the Lions the rest of this season. They’ve proven they are for real. And now, they should be able to take care of the 4-8 Bears, who are coming off the bye. Before the bye, Chicago beat Minnesota in an awful-to-watch 12-10 game on Monday Night Football. Before that, the Bears lost to the Lions in Detroit, 31-26. It wasn’t Jared Goff’s best game, as he threw three interceptions, but he was still good enough to out-score Chicago 17-6 in the fourth quarter to pick up the win. Justin Fields is 1-3 in his career against the Lions. He’ll be 1-4 after this weekend. I’ll take Detroit to go into Chicago and win by a touchdown.

BUFFALO BILLS (+1.5) over Kansas City Chiefs

-I don’t ever go near Super Bowl “futures” bets, but I happened to stumble upon the 6-6 Buffalo Bills’ odds of winning Super Bowl LVIII this coming February. And Vegas has them at +3500. They have the Jacksonville Jaguars with better odds to win the Super Bowl, at +2400. I realize the Bills have nobody to blame but themselves for this, having lost three of their last four, but +3500? A $500 bet on Josh Allen and the Bills, right now, to turn things around and win it all would win you close to $20K. So the question becomes, can Josh Allen and the Bills turn things around? Well, if they’re going to do that, we’ll know by this weekend, as they head to Kansas City to take on an 8-4 Chiefs team that’s coming off a 27-19 loss to the Packers in Green Bay. Kansas City is currently the No 3 seed in the AFC, but they haven’t looked like themselves as of late, losing three of their last five. I think the Chiefs are vulnerable here, especially with the Bills in a do-or-die situation. The Bills will be well rested, coming off the bye. And they nearly beat the Eagles two weeks ago. Buffalo is still a really good team. I think they go into Arrowhead and steal one. And when they do, that +3500 to win the Super Bowl will fall dramatically. Bills win by a field goal.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (+3.5) over Dallas Cowboys

-This game has the highest over-under of the week at 51.5. So with that, I love the 10-2 Eagles as an underdog here against the 9-3 Cowboys in Dallas. Sure, Philly is coming off a loss to the 49ers, and Dallas has won four straight. But look who Dallas has beaten on this win streak: the Giants, Panthers, Commanders, and Seahawks. Not a single playoff team. And Dallas’ last loss? That’s right, to the Eagles in Week 9, in Philadelphia. Jalen Hurts is clearly banged up right now, as he can barely use his legs the way we’re used to seeing. But his arm still works. And for the projected point total to be so high, I can promise you that all those points won’t be scored by just the Cowboys. This is an NFC East showdown, so I expect it to be close anyways. However, I also expect Dak Prescott and the Cowboys to choke in the big moment, per usual. Give me Philly to win on Sunday Night Football. Worst-case scenario the Eagles lose by a field goal and still cover with the half-point.

GREEN BAY PACKERS (-6.5) over New York Giants

-Don’t look now, but here come the 6-6 Packers. Green Bay has won three straight, including a huge win last week over the Chiefs. Jordan Love is playing out of his mind right now for the Packers. In the last three wins over Kansas City, Detroit, and the Chargers, Love has thrown eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. His confidence alone has given Green Bay a real shot to get into the playoffs. Right now, the Packers are in as the No. 7 seed, but they have a handful of teams right there around .500, battling with them for a Wild Card spot in the NFC. The Giants are 4-8 and will go with rookie Tommy DeVito under center once again. New York has actually won two straight, but if you’ve watched them this season, you know, the Giants are a bad football team. I expect the Packers to go into MetLife on Monday night and win big. I’ll take Green Bay by two touchdowns.

Follow Danny on instagram @DannyPicard.


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