It’s been a tough year for all of us. In turn, picking sports games has not been made any easier by all of the unusual circumstances surrounding them. But I’m trying to finish strong after a rough start to the year. Here’s hoping for a better Week 14:
This week: 0-1
Denver at Carolina (-3.5)
Sentimentally, I want to go with Denver here. They’re coming off a spirited effort against the Chiefs, but then again, the Panthers also took the defending champs down to the wire a few weeks back. But the Panthers are in a bit of a COVID mess, something the Broncos can certainly sympathize with. Drew Lock has shown flashes this year that make you want to believe, but they’re never consistent enough. Still, these are two teams going nowhere and looking to finish strong, and I’ll take the points. Pick: Broncos.
Minnesota at Tampa Bay (-6.5)
Eventually, Tom Brady and the Bucs are going to win a home game, right? I know it’s 2020 and homefield advantage means nothing, but Brady is already riding his first career three-game home losing streak. The Bucs need a bounce back and the Vikings were incredibly lucky to escape Jacksonville last week. I’ll go home team here. Pick: Buccaneers.
New Orleans (-7.5) at Philadelphia
I picked against the Saints last week and got burned. I picked in favor of the Eagles last week and got burned. The Falcons are to blame for the former, and in my defense the Eagles did hang tough and almost got the backdoor cover at the end. But this is Jalen Hurts’ first start, and in a season with nothing really on the line, I actually like Philly to hang tough against a Saints team that just HAS to lose at some point, doesn’t it? A potential trap game for N’awlins with the Chiefs looming next week, I’ll take the Birds to at least put up a good fight at home in front of a non-existent that can’t thoroughly boo their underachieving team. Pick: Eagles.
Baltimore (-3) at Cleveland
Are the Ravens a 7-6 team (or a 7-5 one for that matter)? Are the Browns a 10-3 team (or a 9-3 one for that matter)? I’m playing the law of averages here and the fact that the Ravens have their QB back and healthy, and the Browns have been on cloud nine far too long. Baltimore waxed the Brownies, 38-6, to open the season, and while I don’t expect this game to be lopsided, I’m going with the team that might be better suited flying under the radar after stumbling as the No. 1 seed last year. Pick: Ravens.