NFL Week 14 Betting Lines
One of the most potentially underrated games of the entire season will lift the lid for Week 14 when the Minnesota Vikings host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night. Many gamblers see the Vikings as a stock that went bad but is due for a major rebound. Minnesota may have overdone their 2020 defensive rebuild. But the good news is that those young players they put into the lineup now have valuable NFL experience. Offensively, quarterback Kirk Cousins continues to be a source of frustration. He is just good enough to keep fans hanging but has yet to lead Minnesota back to the NFC Championship Game, where the Vikings last were in 2017. Cousins was considered the final piece of the Super Bowl puzzle when he arrived in 2018, but it hasn't materialized. Pittsburgh is deemed to be complete again with the arrival of running back Najee Harris; the first round pick out of Alabama.
BYE WEEK: Indianapolis, Miami, New England, Philadelphia
One of the best games of the weekend takes place in the early window of Sunday's card, where the Cleveland Browns will host the Baltimore Ravens. AFC Playoff and North Division leadership are likely to be a stake. Cleveland took a big leap forward last year, but gamblers wonder if it was a portent of even bigger things to come or a fluke. Baltimore remains a top-level AFC contender. The big question is if head coach John Harbaugh can re-engineer an offense to jumpstart the 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player Lamar Jackson. Last year the Ravens' star quarterback was held in check by adjusted NFL defenses.
One of the great and ancient rivalries in pro football is the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs. The two teams will be meeting at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, where the Raiders scored a stunning upset win over the Chiefs last year. Most experts and gamblers are writing off the Raiders and mindlessly touting the Chiefs for the AFC title. Often when folks can't see something happening, they can end up getting blindsided. Raider Coach Chucky Gruden enters his fourth season feeling some heat. He hasn't moved the needle much at all.
Speaking of historic rivalries, Sunday Night Football on NBC brings us the renewal of the NFL's oldest rivalry when the Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears. One wonders what George Hallas and Vince Lombardi would think of today's video game-style of play. Gamblers wonder who will be under center for the Bears. Justin Fields is the people's choice, but coach Matt Nagy knows he can't rush the rookie until he is ready. Can Mitchell Trubisky rise to the occasion and improve enough to save his job? And what will be the state of mind in Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood? The Packers Super Bowl window is closing, and there is no time to waste.
ESPN Monday Night Football offers an NFC West rivalry matchup with major playoff and divisional implications when the Arizona Cardinals host the Los Angeles Rams. The Cardinals were one of the most improved teams in the NFL last year, especially on defense. While the Rams have a new quarterback, veteran Matthew Stafford, who arrived in a trade of Jared Goff. By this point in the season, we will know if Rams coach Sean Payton was justified or out of his mind by making that trade.
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