If you’re looking to combine sports betting and DFS, DraftKings Sportsbook Pools might be for you. It combines your knowledge of sports betting with the upside of a DFS-style prize pool. Pick the winner for each of 14 NFL games on Sunday against the spread and the higher you finish on the leaderboard, the more money you earn. Check out the contest at the DraftKings Sportsbook Pools page or by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.
Let’s take a look at all 14 NFL contests slated for Sunday’s DraftKings Sportsbook Pro Football Week 14 Spreads Pool, including my five personal favorites.
Minnesota Vikings @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6.5)
The Pick: Buccaneers -6.5
The stock on the Bucs could not be any lower at the moment. They’re sitting at just 7-5 on the year, but their results have not been that unimpressive recently. The Bucs lost by three to the Chiefs and three to the Rams and their only blowout was against the Saints. This team still grades out very highly according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA – they have Tampa Bay ranked as the third-best team in football – so I think this is the perfect time to buy low on them.
Not only are the Buccaneers coming off a bye, but Tom Brady has historically been one of the best quarterbacks against the spread after losing his previous contest. He owns a mark of 4-0 against the spread this season and 40-14 against the spread dating back to 2003. That makes him the most profitable QB in that situation by a wide margin.
On the other side, the Vikings struggled last week with the lowly Jaguars, so I’m not expecting a much better performance this week. They have relied heavily on Dalvin Cook recently, but they’re not going to have that luxury vs. the Buccaneers. Minnesota currently ranks first in the league in rush defense DVOA, so Kirk Cousins is going to have to move the ball with his arm. I’m skeptical that he can do that.
Tennessee Titans (-7.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Pick: Jaguars +7.5
The Jaguars have managed to cover in back-to-back weeks, and I think they’re in another great spot this week vs. the Titans. Mike Glennon isn’t the type of quarterback that you want to build your franchise around, but he’s shown the ability to complete some passes in optimal circumstances. That should be the case vs. the Titans. They were already one of the worst defensive teams in the league – particularly in terms of rushing the passer – and now the Titans have to try to find success without Jadaveon Clowney. They were unable to do it last week vs. the Browns, allowing Cleveland to rack up 41 points in essentially three quarters.
Of course, the Titans should be able to move the ball in this game as well. The Jaguars’ defensive unit is arguably the worst in the league and they struggle against the run and the pass. Derrick Henry has had some of the best games of his career against Jacksonville, and the threat of the run game will open up the play-action game for Ryan Tannehill.
Still, the results from the first game between these two teams make me optimistic that the Jags can cover. They outgained the Titans, 480-354, and ultimately lost by three points at home. That game was with Gardner Minshew under center, but Glennon doesn’t represent a huge downgrade in this matchup.
Denver Broncos @ Carolina Panthers (-3.5)
The Pick: Panthers -3.5
The Broncos are coming off a valiant performance last week vs. the Chiefs. They put their heart and soul into that contest — Denver even owned a slim lead at halftime — but the Broncos ultimately lost by just six points. Denver was able to cover the spread but just couldn’t get across the finish line.
That was clearly a “kitchen sink” spot for the Broncos. They’re not going anywhere this season, so they put max effort into trying to beat one of their biggest rivals on the road. It was quite literally their “Super Bowl.”
With that game in the rearview mirror, how in the world are they supposed to get up for this matchup vs. the Panthers? Even the best teams in football let their foot off the gas from time to time, and the Broncos are clearly not one of the best teams in football. I’m expecting them to come out flat this week.
That does not bode well against the Panthers, who are coming off a bye last week. Favorites off of the bye haven’t fared well this season — they’ve gone just 6-12 against the spread in that situation — but targeting those teams has still been extremely profitable in the long run. Favorites have gone 166-131-9 against the spread dating back to 2004, which is good for a +9.1% return on investment. That is an elite number as far as NFL betting goes.
Green Bay Packers (-7.5) @ Detroit Lions
The Pick: Lions +7.5
The Lions are finally free. If you choose to believe the rumors about Matt Patricia, firing him felt more like toppling a dictator than changing head coaches.
The Lions still needed to get a little help from the Bears to ultimately secure a victory last week, but the offense played better than they have in ages. Matt Stafford passed for a season-high 402 yards and three touchdowns despite the fact that Kenny Golladay and D’Andre Swift were still out of the lineup. The fact that he did it against the Bears’ typically stingy pass defense is even more impressive.
It’s possible that was just a one-game aberration, but I don’t think you can underestimate the kind of lift that losing a truly hated head coach can do for an organization. I’m expecting this team to play much better down the stretch.
The Packers have been dominant virtually all season, and they were able to record another comfortable victory last week vs. the Eagles. Aaron Rodgers leads the league in both touchdown passes and adjusted yards per attempt and he would likely be looking at his third MVP award if not for that Mahomes fella.
Still, I’m optimistic that the Lions can cover in this contest. Rodgers has historically been much better at covering the spread at home than on the road, especially as such a large favorite. He’s been favored by at least a touchdown in 13 career road games and he owns a mark of just 5-8 against the spread.
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Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) @ Los Angeles Chargers
The Pick: Chargers +2.5
This game is a classic example of the public overreacting to just one game. The Chargers have had some impressive results this season, losing close contests to the Chiefs, Bucs and Saints, yet all the public can remember is the 45-0 drubbing that they took last week at the hands of the Patriots.
More importantly, the Chargers are getting a couple of points of spread value following that contest. The advance line on this game was a pick ’em, but the current spread sits at Falcons -2.5. That means this line is saying that the Falcons are approximately five points better than the Chargers on a neutral field, which is tough for me to get behind.
The Chargers have had two major flaws this season — head coaching and special teams — and both came back to bite them last week. The Patriots are excellent in both of those areas, so they were able to exploit those weaknesses. Bill Belichick had Justin Herbert confused for what seems like the first time all season, and the Pats also were able to score 14 points on a punt return and a blocked field goal that they returned for a touchdown.
The Falcons are much less equipped to dominate those areas of the game. They rank just 22nd in special teams DVOA, and I don’t think I’m going out on a huge limb by saying that Raheem Morris is not Belichick.
The trends also point to the Chargers being a solid buy-low target. Historically teams that are coming off a loss of at least 35 points have posted a record of 61-37-5 against the spread in the following week. That is an elite figure, and it makes sense when you think about it. The public often wants nothing to do with those teams, so the spread has to become inflated in their favor.
Here are the teams I’m targeting for the rest of the Sunday games. Remember, we’re looking to beat the competition and climb up the leaderboard, so I’ll be looking to gain leverage on the field and fade the public in situations where I don’t see a huge edge on the spread.
Houston Texans (-1.5) @ Chicago Bears
Pick: Bears +1.5
Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) @ New York Giants
Pick: Cardinals -2.5
Dallas Cowboys (-5.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Cowboys -5.5
Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5) @ Miami Dolphins
Pick: Dolphins +7.5
New York Jets @ Seattle Seahawks (-13.5)
Pick: Seahawks -13.5
Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) @ Las Vegas Raiders
Pick: Colts -2.5
Pick: 49ers -3.5
New Orleans Saints (-7.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles
Pick: Saints -7.5
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills (-2.5)
Pick: Steelers +2.5
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.
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