I have to be honest: At the end of the 1 p.m. ET slate, I thought my pursuit of a third cash in the big Vegas pick 'em contests in nine years was over. I went 0-2 with losses by Denver and Washington, and neither game felt particularly close, even though the Broncos had a chance to cover late. But I picked up two wins in the afternoon slate, and reversed to feeling like I was smooth sailing toward another 3-2 with only the Jaguars needing to cover on Monday. We know how that went.
Still, 2-3 isn't season-ending, as I'm still only 1.5 points out of the money line and expecting some comeback toward me if I can average 3-2 weeks the rest of the way. Of course, I could make it a lot easier if I deliver a 5-0 performance this week, and I do have a good feeling about most of my picks even if the one I'm about to discuss is moving in the wrong direction.
I've been SportsLine's No. 1 NFL against-the-spread expert over the last six years, going 535-450-30 against the spread to put me up more than 35 units on those picks at SportsLine since 2017. I've also delivered a 56.5% hit rate on my Vegas contest picks over the last eight seasons, which is exactly what you're getting below. And that run includes two finishes in the money, including finishing 18th out of 2,748 entries back in 2017.
If you're a SportsLine subscriber, you can get all my picks, which in a typical NFL week number can near double digits, at the same time as I make them by downloading the app and signing up for alerts on my expert page. That's crucial, as you might not have access to the same lines from the Las Vegas contests, which don't move after they're posted mid-week. This week, I'm probably letting my pessimism with my favorite team cloud my judgment with one of my picks: the Kansas City Chiefs -1.5 vs. the Buffalo Bills.
Pros jumped on Buffalo at 2.5 earlier in the week, dropping this line down before it locked for the contest and making me pretty sure I'd b including the Chiefs in my picks. It's now looking like it might trend toward pick 'em with Isiah Pacheco ruled out and the Bills looking relatively healthy coming out of the bye. But I'll remind you that relatively healthy for the Bills defense still means missing Tre'Davious White, Matt Milano and DaQuan Jones, and the Bills' defensive issues began as soon as that trio went down with season-ending injuries. I don't trust this unit to slow down Patrick Mahomes playing in front of a home crowd very much, especially with Rashee Rice emerging as a long-needed weapon at receiver. On defense, the Chiefs are getting a huge piece back this week with Nick Bolton avoiding an injury tag, and considering his replacement Drue Tranquill is out, losing Bolton would've been more impactful than missing Pacheco in this matchup. The market is telling us the Bills are the better team here with this game in Kansas City, and I cannot get behind that at all. I'd still make this line Chiefs -3 with Pacheco out, which makes them a play for me in the contest.
Get the rest of my Vegas contest picks for Week 14 below..
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