Being a successful sports bettor is not about betting on the best team but betting the best number.
Scoring the optimal odds for your wager can sometimes be a race to the window – or your mobile – to get the spread or total you want before it changes. Or, sometimes it’s a waiting game until just before kickoff, projecting how the public players will manipulate the numbers.
Covers’ Senior Industry Analyst Jason Logan gives you a heads-up on the best “Bet Now/Bet Later” games on the NFL Week 14 board, so download the new Covers Live App and punch these odds into your line alerts.
SPREAD TO BET NOW: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-3, 49)
The Chiefs’ 2019 stock has never been higher after a thrashing of rival Oakland at home in Week 13. And, the 2019 stock on the Patriots has never been lower, after a losing effort at Houston this past Sunday night. Those contrasting results has the line for this AFC Championship Game rematch trending toward the visitor.
Kansas City opened as high as +3.5 for this trip to Foxborough and that half-point hook didn’t last long, quickly getting bet down to a field goal. Some online markets opened K.C. +3 and action on the Chiefs moved it to +2.5 before buyback on Belichick’s boys pushed it back to three.
As it stands, with those Week 13 results still fresh out of the oven, plenty of books are moving to New England -2.5. So, if you like Kansas City in this revenge spot on the road, take K.C. now at +3. The “Pats off a loss” trends will make their rounds later in the week (41-16 ATS off a loss since 2003), so if you did miss out on a field goal there’s a slight chance it may pop back up.
SPREAD TO BET LATER: DENVER BRONCOS AT HOUSTON TEXANS (-10, 41.5)
Nothing inflates a number like a win over New England. The Texans are riding high off a very impressive showing versus the Patriots on Sunday night, and that has pushed the opening spread for this matchup with Denver from Houston -8 (set before SNF) to -10.
If you’re not sold on the Texans or are buying into a letdown spot, hold your horses and see if this creeps over the key number of 10. Denver is coming off a last-second win over the Chargers, thanks to a late pass interference call that set up a game-winning field goal. But, the Broncos have a rookie QB at the helm in Drew Lock, who makes his first road start in NRG Stadium this Sunday.
Denver has been one of the sneaky-good bets in the second half of the schedule, going 6-2 ATS in its last eight outings. The Texans have been a bad bet at home (2-5 ATS last seven at home) and are inconsistent in their efforts, with a 1-6 ATS record in their last seven when covering the spread the game before.
TOTAL TO BET NOW: UNDER 43 DALLAS COWBOYS AT CHICAGO BEARS
If you’re planning on an uneventful Thursday night matchup between the Boys and Bears, you may want to get down on the Under now. The total for the mid-week showcase opened as high as 44 and has been chopped down a full point and likely will keep ticking down before kickoff.
The Cowboys are coming off an embarrassing effort versus the Bills at home on Thanksgiving, scoring just 15 points a week after being limited to only nine in a bad-weather game at New England. Dallas comes to Chicago, where game-time temperatures will hover around freezing and winds could reach gusts of up to 20 mph. Star receiver Amari Cooper is nursing a knee injury and there are also rumblings that he’s planning to bolt from Dallas this offseason. Hmmm…
Chicago, on the other hand, is THE Under team in the NFL. Save for a sudden outpouring from the Lions’ third-string QB on Thanksgiving, the Bears have played Under the total in eight of their dozen games this season, including a 1-5 O/U mark inside Soldier Field. The defense is especially stingy in the Windy City, allowing only 16 points against on home soil.
TOTAL TO BET LATER: OVER 43 PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS
A lone touchdown from Kyler Murray was all Arizona could muster in a blowout loss to Los Angeles in Week 13. That awful offensive effort is skewing the total for Week 14’s home date with the Steelers and should have fans of the Over pushing pause on their action until this number dips lower.
The total for Sunday opened at 43.5 and is starting to dwindle with money coming in on the Under, sitting at 43 points at some books. Pittsburgh isn’t lighting up the scoreboard by any means, but the offense looks a little more dangerous with “Duck” Hodges under center and the Cardinals “stop unit” is that in name only: giving up scores of 30, 36 and 34 in its last three games.
The Cardinals offense is much better than whatever that was in Week 13, averaging almost 23 points per game since Week 5. Pittsburgh's defense is playing well - giving up just 18.8 points per contest on the season - but has benefited from a home-friendly stretch, that saw the Steelers in Heinz Field in four of their last six outings. Arizona has gone Over the total in four of its six homestands and won’t need much from either team to top this total, especially after it drops lower throughout the week.