Week 14 is underway, and TRO is here to lay out its picks against the spread:
TRO is back, making its picks against the spread after taking 2 weeks off. We went 3-1 on our First Four Downs, 5-6 from the Field, totaling 8-7 from our Week 11 picks. We didn't publicly launch any Week 12 picks, but we were on the Panthers spread against the Dolphins and the Packers spread against the Rams, and in Week 13 we were on the Cowboys spread against the Saints. We're back to picking every game, and here's who we like this Week:
TRO'S FIRST FOUR DOWNS:
1st Down: San Francisco 49ers @ Cincinnati Bengals (+1.5)
via Dylan Buell / Getty Images
We like the Bengals to bounce back after a game in which they stumbled out the gates against Los Angeles. Cincy will start stronger, and play a more complete game. They'll be at home again, and all they have to do is win to cover. Both of these teams really need this game to keep their playoff positioning alive, and we trust Joe Burrow more than Jimmy Garoppolo. The Niners should get Deebo Samuel back, but they will be without Elijah Mitchell, and potentially Dee Ford.
2nd Down: New York Giants @ Los Angeles Chargers (-9.0)
via the Athletic
The Giants had to activate Jake Fromm from the practice squad, and appear to be leaning towards starting him on the road against the Chargers. A cross country trip for the Giants against a clicking Bolts team should lead to a very comfortable victory for Los Angeles.
3rd Down: Detroit Lions (+10) @ Denver Broncos
via Paul Sancya / Associated Press
We don't think Detroit will go on some magical run to finish the season, they'll probably lose this game still, but they are competent enough to cover against a reeling Denver team. The Broncos are not explosive enough on offense to pull away by more than 10 points.
4th Down: Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns (-2.5)
via Getty Images
Cleveland got its Bye Week at the best possible time. They got a chance to get healthier, and Baker Mayfield got some much needed rest. The extra week of preparation will go a long way against a Baltimore Ravens team that continues to pick up additional injuries week after week. The home atmosphere in an absolute must-win game should be enough to push Cleveland to at least 3 point win.
Las Vegas Raiders (-10.0) @ Kansas City Chiefs
We know the Raiders got blown out last time these two teams played, but they simply need this game too much to let it spiral out of control to a 2+ possession game.
New Orleans Saints (-5.0) @ New York Jets
We've cashed in on the Saints 5 game losing streak from the beginning, but it's time to take the Saints against an inferior New York Jets team.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+8.5) @ Tennessee Titans
No real explanation for this one other than simply a hunch. Tennessee has disappointed against inferior opponents, and have been up and down offensively without Derrick Henry.
Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers (-2.5)
This is a must-win game for each team. The Panthers already stuck it to the Falcons, in Atlanta with Sam Darnold playing quarterback and no Christian McCaffrey. Despite Cam Newton's performance last week, he's still a sizable upgrade from Darnold, and his dual-threat capabilities will give Atlanta trouble.
Dallas Cowboys (-4.5) @ Washington Football Team
Washington tends to play Dallas close, but we think they're riding too high on this win streak. Dallas has too much firepower, and will be hungry to fend off any trouble from their division crown.
Seattle Seahawks (-8.5) @ Houston Texans
The Seahawks finally got a nice win this year last week, as Russell Wilson appears to be settling back down with each passing week following his finger injury. Houston is going back to Davis Mills at quarterback this week, which should give the Seattle defense a boost. They shouldn't have any trouble winning by 10+.
Buffalo Bills (+3.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buffalo has been hard to gauge this year, and it's impossible to evaluate their performance with last week's weather. This should be a fun game, and we think that extra half point will go a long way. Tampa might still win, but it won't be by more than 3.
Chicago Bears (+12.0) @ Green Bay Packers
Justin Fields is back and fully healthy. The Bears will scrap and claw a bit keeping this game within 10 points.
Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals (-2.0)
A wild NFC West throw down in the desert. We will take Arizona at home by at least 3 with Kyler Murray healthy. The Cardinals also might get Chase Edmonds back, restoring their two-headed monster of a backfield.