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Raiders vs. Chiefs Week 14 NFL Over-Under Pick from Teddy Covers: December 10th 2017

Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Week 14 NFL Over-Under Pick: Over 48.5 points (December 10th 2017)

The first meeting between these two teams was a legitimate shootout, a 31-30 Raiders victory that flew Over the total by two touchdowns.  Even before the late penalty shenanigans that allowed Oakland to steal the game with an untimed down on their final play, the Over was never in doubt.  The two teams combined to gain a full 7.0 yards per play, and the two defenses generated a grand total of one sack and zero turnovers in 133 total snaps.

We can expect both defenses to struggle getting stops in the rematch as well.   Based on Football Outsiders advanced metrics, the Raiders defense ranks #32 in the NFL; the Chiefs #30, with both teams well below league average against the run and the pass.

KC’s defense is a sieve right now, coming off a truly dismal showing against the Jets last week – zero sacks, zero turnovers forced in 85 snaps.  They allowed 38 points, 30 first downs and total 488 yards, all season highs.  In fact, Bob Sutton’s stop unit has only forced one turnover in their last four games combined, not exactly a defense  loaded with playmakers right now.  This week, KC  won’t have pro bowl cornerback Marcus Peters (suspended), offsetting the probable absence of Raiders WR Amari Cooper (ankle).  Even with Darrelle Revis in the mix, this is NOT a good pass defense right now, bad news against Derek Carr and company.

And even without Amari Cooper, the Raiders offense will get a boost with the return of Michael Crabtree from his one game suspension.  Offensive coordinator Todd Downing: “It’s great having him back out at practice.  He brings an energy and brings a personality that kind of gets guys going a little bit and makes it fun to be out there. It’s certainly awesome to have his talent back.”

The Raiders defense is every bit as bad, a squad with a grand total of ONE interception all season, and even that was lucky – Navarro Bowman made the pick while laying on the ground in the end zone; the ball tipped right to him.  And that pick came against Paxton Lynch, so they have zero INT’s against anything resembling a decent quarterback this season, remarkable for a Week 14 matchup.  Both teams rank in the bottom quartile of the NFL in sack percentage, which means that both Derek Carr and Alex Smith should have some clean pockets to throw from.  On a beautiful sunny December afternoon at Arrowhead, we should expect a Shootout.  Take the Over.

Ravens vs. Steelers NFL Week 14 Spread Pick from Larry Ness: December 10th 2017

Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
NFL Week 14 Point Spread Pick: Baltimore +5.5 (December 10th 2017)

The 7-5 Baltimore Ravens are in Pittsburgh to take on the 10-2 Steelers and for a number of different reasons, I think this on favors the visitors.

Baltimore has won three straight. Pittsburgh enters off a come-from-behind 23-20 win over Cincinnati on Monday night. Note that this is a revenge game for the Ravens after they fell 26-9 to the Steelers in the first meeting back on October 1st.

Baltimore enters off an impressive 44-20 destruction of Detroit, as QB Joe Flacco was 23 of 36 for 269 yards, two TD’s and zero INT’s.

Steelers’ veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger was 24 of 40 for 290 yards, two TD’s and an INT last week. Pittsburgh’s defense took a hit though with an inury to LB Ryan Shazier, who has 89 tackles and three INT’s this season.

I’ll point out as well that Baltimore is already 3-1 ATS on the road this year and 2-1 ATS in trying to revenge a loss against an opponent, while Pittsburgh is just 2-4 ATS this season after two or more consecutive SU victories.

While I wouldn’t be shocked by an outright upset, I’m going to recommend grabbing the points in this one.

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