Josh Katzowitz's Week 14 NFL Picks
7 Dec, 2017 by Josh Katzowitz
The Browns are 0-12. The only team in NFL history to go 0-16 was the 2008 Lions. The only other winless team in a non strike-shortened season since the league merged was the 1976 Buccaneers who lost every single one of their 14 games.
So, Cleveland is potentially about to join some exclusive company. For the last several weeks, I’ve thought the best opportunity for the Browns to pull off a win was this week vs. the Packers. Since Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone in Week 6, backup quarterback Brett Hundley has mostly struggled. He has had good moments, nearly beating the Steelers in Week 12 by throwing three touchdowns and rushing for 76 yards in last week’s victory against the Buccaneers. But it’s possible to see the Browns winning this game, mostly because Hundley is in there and Rodgers is not.
Yet, Cleveland’s run defense is also No. 6 in the league, and if the Browns can make Green Bay more one-dimensional and force Hundley to make plays, they’d have a chance. But if the Browns lose this one—and I’m picking them to do exactly that—they’ll likely have one more shot a victory at Chicago in Week 16. Otherwise, history awaits, and it’s a stain that won’t ever be removed.
1)Bet your life savings on this game*
Patriots at Dolphins
Sometimes, it’s a struggle not to put the Patriots in this spot every single time they play another AFC East opponent. This week, though, I had to do it, because I had a tough time feeling confident with any other game. And this one seems like a gimme. A word of caution, though. The Dolphins have won three of their last four vs. New England when the game is played in Miami. But that’s not enough to dissuade me from betting it all on a Patriots win.
Straight up: Patriots
Against the Spread: Patriots -11
2017 record for the “Bet your life savings” game: 10-3 S/U and 6-7 ATS
2)This game scares the hell out of me
Jets at Broncos
Remember when the Jets were 3-2, and so many pundits, including me, were marveling at how a team that was predicted to be one of the worst in the league somehow had made themselves into a solid squad? Remember when the Broncos were 3-1, and many of us thought they, once again, would have a good chance to win the AFC West? Well, since Week 5, these two squads have combined to go 2-13. So, yeah, it’s been putrid. Now, who wins this one? If the game were played in New Jersey, I’d go with the Jets and feel good about it, especially after their upset of the Chiefs last week. But it’s in Denver, so I’m not sure. I’ll go with New York, I suppose, and hope for the best.
Straight up: Jets
Against the Spread: Jets -1
2017 record for the “Scares the hell out of me” game: 8-5 S/U and 8-5 ATS
3) Fun game of the week
Ravens at Steelers
After the Steelers made their impressive comeback victory vs. the Bengals on Monday night, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was asked about how violent that particular game had been. Said Roethlisberger matter-of-factly: It’s “AFC North football.” Well, if you liked that physical nature of that game—with the exception of the helmet-to-helmet shots that resulted in fines for members on both teams—you’ll probably enjoy the Steelers-Ravens game. The Steelers are one of the best squads in the AFC North, and the Ravens are battling for a Wild Card playoff spot. Should be a fun one to watch.
Straight up: Steelers
Against the Spread: Ravens +5
2017 record for “Fun game of the week”: 9-4 S/U and 7-6 ATS
2017 record for every game picked in this column: 27-12 S/U and 21-18 ATS
NO over ATL NO -1.5
MIN over CAR MIN -2.5
DET over TB no line
BUF over IND no line
CIN over CHI CIN -6
GB over CLE CLE +3
HOU over SF HOU -2.5
KC over OAK OAK +4
DAL over NYG DAL -4
TEN over ARI TEN -3
NYJ over DEN NYJ -1
LAC over WAS WAS +6
LAR over PHI LAR -2
JAC over SEA JAC -3
PIT over BAL BAL +5
NE over MIA MIA +11
*Don’t really bet your life savings. Please.