Early Look Ahead to Week 14
Let’s take a look at five games that I’m thinking about for Week 14 of the SuperContest. A lot can change between now and Friday after we take a deeper dive into the matchupsm but these are 5 games that are intriguing. (Lines are from the early release of Westgate lines. Subject to movement prior to Wednesday’s official line announcement)
Jacksonville -3 vs. Seattle
Could I take the Jags for a sixth straight week? I think I might because of the lack of a running game for the Seahawks. I had a Seahawks writer on my national SB Nation Radio show on Monday night, and I asked him if he was concerned that the Seahawks can’t run the ball. He said, “In 2017, it doesn’t really matter if you can’t run the football.” So I looked at the numbers, and I was pretty surprised to see that he is actually wrong. The only top-10 rushing teams not currently occupying a playoff spot are the Cowboys (Zeke suspension is huge obviously), Bills (they are one game out) and the Texans. The top three rushing teams are the Jags, Eagles and Saints. The Seahawks are currently 21st in rushing, and they will face the best pass defense in the NFL this week on the road in the Jags. I know Russell Wilson is the rushing attack for Seattle and he can create magic with his legs, but I think Seattle is in trouble against the Jags. If you are one dimensional on offense and you are facing the best secondary in the NFL on the road, I just don’t think you score enough to beat a team that is putting up nearly 25 points per game.
Houston -3 vs. San Francisco
This is a game of two teams going nowhere, but I’m wondering what QB Jimmy Garoppolo will do in his second start of the season for his new team. The 49ers admitted after the 15-14 win over the Bears that Jimmy G spent three weeks doing nothing but game-planning for Chicago. He wasn’t learning the offense as much as he was learning the plays that head coach Kyle Shannahan wanted to run against the Bears. Well, what happens when San Francisco isn’t playing the Bears? The lack of scoring, including multiple trips into the red zone with no touchdowns, is also concerning. I know QB Tom Savage isn’t good, but he does have a heck of weapon in WR DeAndre Hopkins who has already caught nine touchdowns this season. I think Houston at home gets the win, but I need to watch the Houston game against the Titans from this past week again before I pull the trigger on this pick.
Kansas City -4 vs. Oakland
The Raiders are straight awful against the pass this season, ranking 23rd overall in the league. However, the Chiefs are even worse, ranking 28th overall. I just think the Chiefs are going to break out of this slump at some point, and having one of their rivals at home at Arrowhead could be exactly what they need to get back on the winning side. I still think the Chargers will end up winning the AFC West, but I like KC’s weapons to have a big game, and I think QB Alex Smith is due for another big game throwing the ball after going for 366 yards and four touchdowns last week at New York. RB Marshawn Lynch is having a great end of the year, including running for over a 100 yards last week against the Giants and that’s a concern against a team now giving up over 380 yards per game. However, home field will be big here. This is a lean to KC, but it could flip by the end of the week.
LA Rams -2 vs. Philly
Wow, so I’m clearly liking home favorites this week so far. That’s not too surprising because my process is normally to look at the favorites first and then move to the dogs. I don’t think this is how my card will look on Friday, but if this line is under 3, I will play it for the Rams. I just don’t think the Eagles are as good as their record would indicate. They played poorly at Seattle last week, but lots of teams do that. The Seahawks +6 was a gift to teams in this contest. The Rams have choked at home in big games this year, like when they lost to the Seahawks in week 5. However, LA has two tough road games after this game, and they really have to protect their home field if they want to make the Week 15 contest at Seattle potentially a de facto NFC West title game. Philly is good, don’t get me wrong, but I think they are due for a slump, and this is it.
Miami +11 vs. New England
The Pats will be without Rob Gronkowski for this game, and that’s a big deal for this offense that is already without Julian Edelman. New England always struggles at Miami. It’s just been that way since I was a kid. The Pats have covered just once over the past four years in South Beach. Straight up, the Pats have lost three of the last four times at the Dolphins. Now, Tom Brady and co. have been a nightmare for Vegas, covering for the last six weeks, and they just beat the Dolphins by 18 at Gillette. However, without the best tight end in the game and the Miami offense coming off a good performance against the Broncos, I think the Dolphins can keep this game somewhat close. The Pats will win, but I think this is the game where the Pats fail to cover.
Don’t hold me to these picks. A lot can change, but that’s a quick look ahead to Week 14 games in the SuperContest. This is an exciting time in the season! Come back on Friday for the official picks and then on Saturday for the Fade Or Follow Podcast!
Recapping Week 13
It was great week for many of the participants in the Westgate SuperContest, including two of the Action Network’s teams, which posted perfect scores for Week 13 of the NFL season. In fact, 164 teams didn’t miss a pick this week.
My entry, Team Gamenight (34-28-3), now has 35.5 points after scoring my first 5-0 mark; it’s tied for 540th place in the contest. My team is also just now a half a point behind Team Bet The Process (35-28-2), who also was perfect this week with a 5-0 score, for the top Action Network team. It’s big news that Bet is up to a tie for 451st place because we now have two teams within striking distance of the money.
With 20 picks left, this week is extremely important, because another 5-0 mark could elevate either Team Gamenight or Team Bet The Process into a position that could make finishing in the top 50 a real possibility.