Week 14 of the NFL season gets underway on Friday afternoon with the Steelers taking on the Vikings. Check out our preview and tips for the key games of the week from Tom Kelly below.
Week 13 was a very not good week, with a 4-10 result. Our season record has dropped to 91-103 after a promising start. The middle part of the season has been a battle, but there’s no better time to turn it around and finish strong. It’s a 14 game slate this week with 4 teams enjoying the final byes of the season.
NFL Week 14 Betting Tips
Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings
U.S. Bank Stadium, Friday 12:20pm AEDT
The Steelers managed to sneak a crucial win over AFC North rivals the Ravens last week, taking their record to 6-5-1 and staying in touch with the Ravens at the top of the division. That arrested a form slump having lost their previous two badly and drawn with the lowly Lions the week before that. They now face a challenging run over the next 3 weeks before finishing with divisional battles agains the Browns and Ravens. Ben Roethlisberger continues to look limited by age and injury, but is doing just enough in tandem with key weapons Diontae Johnson and Najee Harris. Injuries on the defensive side of the ball are slightly concerning, but it’s still a strong unit.
The Vikings fortunes are fading, with a bad loss to the Lions now sending them to 5-7 and almost out of touch with the Packers in the NFC North. With 3 divisional matchups to come, they’ll need to do everything right to have a chance at the postseason. Making that task harder is the injury to Adam Thielen, who is out this week. Dalvin Cook is a chance to return from his own injury, but he is ably covered by Alexander Mattison in any event. The defensive unit is an issue, having not kept any team under 20 points in their last 7 games.
Neither team is setting the world alight, with both able to compete against anyone, but also able to be beaten by a team like the Lions. The Thielen situation hurts the Vikings, but I do think the Cousins-Jefferson pairing is far superior to the Roethlisberger-Johnson connection. In the end I’m comfortable just leaning on the Vikings on the strength of being at home.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Lambeau Field, Monday 12:20pm AEDT
The 4-8 Bears have only won one of their last 7 (against the Lions), and have little to play for now. They should get Justin Fields and Allen Robinson back on the field, as well as David Montgomery continuing to gain match practice after earlier injury issues. Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet have been solid in recent games, so the team will hope brining back their stars will help this youngsters to continue to grow. The defensive unit remains banged up and has struggled to contain good teams.
The Packers are 9-3 and can just about stitch up their postseason position with a win in this divisional matchup. They beat the Bears 24-14 earlier in the season, and have showed good form throughout. Coming off the bye, Aaron Rodgers got a chance to freshen up his toe injury, not that it affected his play. More importantly, Aaron Jones got some extra time to overcome his knee issue after being limited in his return before the bye. Randall Cobb is out, but Valdes-Scantling and Lazard can step into bigger roles.
As much as I’m confident that the Packers win this one, I think the line is a little too big and the Bears can keep it close enough to finish around 10 points back.
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals
University of Phoenix Stadium, Tuesday 12:15pm AEDT
In one of the games of the week, the 8-4 Rams are trying to get the momentum going again having lost three straight before breaking the slump against the lowly jaguars last week. They won’t get a better chance to make an impact then a matchup with their division leaders, with a direct chance to half the 2 win lead the Cardinals hold. The Cardinals won this same matchup 37-20 earlier this season. Darrell Henderson should be back on the field last week, but he’ll likely share the role with Sony Michel who dominated the Jaguars last week. The passing game continues to look strong with Stafford & Kupp as the centrepiece. The defensive side of the ball will need to play better having conceded 28, 31 & 36 points in the three straight losses, as well as the 37 to the Cardinals already.
The 10-2 Cardinals have managed to keep things ticking over without Kyler Murray, and he was impressive on his return last week. James Conner has been enjoying the lead RB role for a month now, with Chase Edmonds likely to return soon but probably not for this game. DeAndre Hopkins continues to play through a hamstring issue, limiting his effectiveness but still acting as the teams main target. Still, all of Green, Kirk, Moore & Ertz can have a big impact in any given game, and the defensive outfit has been strong all season.
It’s a tough one because the Rams could well be moving back towards their hot form at the start of the season, but at home I’ll side with the Cardinals who’ve played good football all season and taken care of business regardless of the opponent.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings - See Above
Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs - Chiefs -8.5 ($1.89 at Sportsbet)
New Orleans Saints at New York Jets - Jets +5.5 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans - Jaguars +8.5 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns - Browns -2.5 ($1.85 at Sportsbet)
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers - Falcons +2.5 ($1.89 at Sportsbet)
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team - Washington +4 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans - Texans +7.5 ($1.89 at Sportsbet)
Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos - Broncos -9.5 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
New York Giants at Los Angeles Chargers - Giants +10.5 ($1.87 at Sportsbet)
San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals - Bengals +1.5 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Buccs -3 ($1.83 at Sportsbet)
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers - See Above
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals - See Above