Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) gestures to his teammates during pregame warmups prior to the start of the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

NFL BEST BETS, DEC. 12

Patrick Werkmeister

Now that it is Week 14 of the NFL, the playoff picture is finally starting to lock in as the regular season enters the home stretch of December. Although some have already definitively staked their postseason claim, even the best teams can lose on any given Sunday during the grind of the regular season. However, if the stars align correctly any team who’s still in the hunt could get in. December football is where the cream rises to the top and I think that will be reflected in some of the wins on Sunday. With that in mind, here are the best bets for this NFL slate.

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Saints (-5) @ Jets
In this interconference matchup, Taysom Hill and the New Orleans Saints travel to MetLife Stadium to face off against Zach Wilson and the New York Jets. The Saints opened as six and a half-point road favorites in this one and the current line favors them by five and a half-points. Although New Orleans is 1-4 ATS in their last five overall games, they are also an impressive 15-5 SU in their last 20 games on the road. Additionally, New York is 1-6 SU in their previous seven games vs NFC opponents. Last week, the Jets lost to the Eagles led by backup QB Mike Glennon 33-18 whereas the Saints were defeated by the Cowboys, 27-17. However, New Orleans will finally get back their superstar running back Alvin Kamara. The Saints are tailor-made to bounce back and cover against such an inferior team like the Jets. With the Saints stifling overall defense, the Jets will have to have some success through the air with rookie Zach Wilson to have a chance in this one. As long as Hill looks manages the game unlike he did last week with four interceptions, they should have no problem securing a victory on the road. Take New Orleans to cover in what should be a rout of the Jets.

Cowboys (-6.5) @ Football Team
For this NFC East showdown, Antonio Gibson and the Washington Football Team host Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys opened as five point road favorites but are currently favored by six and a half-points. While Dallas is 6-2 ATS in their last eight games as a favorite, Washington is 1-3 ATS in their last four games vs division opponents. In Week 13, the Cowboys swiftly defeated the New Orleans Saints whereas the Football Team was just able to slip by the Raiders, defeating them 17-15. Even with a banged up roster, the Cowboys are still able to win the games they should and this one is no different. Week 13 made it the fifth win in a row for the WFT, but they are now facing a buzzsaw with the Cowboys, whereas their competition the last three weeks has been subpar at best. Although they were able to get the W, Washington found themselves in a physical dogfight all game with Las Vegas whereas the Cowboys are coming off extended rest. Whenever QB Dak Prescott has had rest of 7 or more days he has gone 11-2 ATS in those games. Additionally, for his career, Prescott is an impressive 19-8 ATS vs NFC East opponents. Dallas is in a strong position to cover in this match, even though they’re on the road, they’ve been a top 3 team ATS this year. They should easily cover this margin. Take the Boys minus the points. 

49ers @ Bengals (+2.5)
From Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers look to steal one on the road against Joe Burrow and the Bengals. Cincinnati opened as two and a half-point home favorites, but that line has flipped and they are currently three and a half-points. While Cincy is 1-4 ATS in their last five games, they have bounced back quite nicely this year where they are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games after a home loss. In Week 13, they were blown out by the Los Angeles Chargers, whereas San Fran was narrowly defeated by their division rivals, the Seattle Seahawks. Despite suffering an injury to his non-throwing pinky finger last week on the first play, Burrow was still able to throw for 300 in the loss. A combination of his natural ability to bounce back and the 49ers atrocious pass defense are some things to keep in mind when picking this one. With no Joe Mixon, the blueprint for victory is for them to air it out with their all-star receivers. Despite their intimidating offense, Kyle Shanahan and his offense have taken a step back after it was confirmed star rookie running back Elijah Mitchell suffered a concussion in their loss. Although they haven’t looked great this year, they will be very motivated to cover as home underdogs. Take the Bengals plus the points. 

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