Saturday, December 9, 2017

Week 14 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are Dan Yanotchko's Week 14 NFL picks against the spread:

Dallas Cowboys -3.5 over New York Giants (4 units)

So, the Giants circus has come full circle. They have fired both head coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese and have promoted D coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to the interim head coach position. Eli Manning has been named the starter, but the bad news is that the defense still stinks.

The Giants allow opposing quarterbacks to throw for 260 yards per game and have surrendered 23 touchdowns as well. They are not that much better on the ground. Not only have they allowed 4.3 yards per carry, but they given up a league-worst 130.7 rushing yards per game.

This should be another huge Alfred Morris day as the Cowboys can keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Even at home with Eli given back the starting job, it won't be enough for the Giants here.

Green Bay Packers -3 over Cleveland Browns (4 units)

In yet another front-office circus, the Browns have replaced GM Sashi Brown with John Dorsey to make all of those draft picks they have accumulated. Not only do the Packers have a faint whiff of playoff hopes, but they just may get Aaron Rodgers back next week as well.

The Browns don't have bad numbers on defense (total defense) compared to scoring defense as DeShone Kizer has been a turnover machine. The Browns have allowed 230 passing yards per game, a 67.7% completion percentage, and 23 passing touchdowns on the year. Also, they have given up nine rushing touchdowns as well. So, 32 touchdowns in 13 weeks is simply not good.

I know the Packers are banged up on offense, but they still have some good weapons with Davante Adams and Jamaal Williams, and I just don't think Cleveland will win a game all year.

Baltimore Ravens +4.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 units)

Pretty brutal schedule for the Steelers, as they had a physical rival in the Bengals on Monday night, their ultimate rival in the Ravens this weekend, and then the Patriots are coming to town following this weekend. The Ravens haven't really done much well on offense all year, but that is ok as their defense has been carrying them the whole way.

The Ravens will have the tools to be able to slow down the Pittsburgh passing attack, as they only allow opposing quarterbacks to throw for 59.1%, and only a measly 199 yards per game. The Ravens have also had great success against the Steelers as of late, as they have gone 4-1-1 in their last six against the spread. This is a game that the Steelers will be looking past, as they have certainly circled the Patriots on the calendar. I just like the 4.5 points in a game that is always close and hard-fought between these two clubs.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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