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Week 14 In Review – AFC Congestion, An MVP Consideration & Wilson Is Who We Thought He Was

Week 14 has triggered a significant shift in the NFL Super Bowl odds, but shouldn’t change how we feel about Zach Wilson.

AFC Congestion

Results fell such a way in Week 14 that six AFC teams are fighting over two wild-card spots with 7-6 records.

The New York Times’ Playoff Picture Projector has crunched the numbers and sent the Denver Broncos through in 50% of their simulations leaving the Bills (42%), Cincinnati Bengals (25%), Pittsburgh Steelers (25%), Indianapolis Colts (42%) and Houston Texans (41%) to battle it out for the last spot.

The Steelers are currently 6th and sit favourably when it comes to tiebreakers. However, they face a relatively tough finish to the NFL season with the Colts, Bengals, Seahawks and Ravens still to come.

Indy also sitting pretty for tiebreakers thanks to their win over the Texans earlier in the year. With the Steelers, Falcons and Raiders to play over the next three weeks, the Colts v Texans showdown in Week 18 could prove pivotal.

C.J. Stroud’s head knock in Week 14 will determine a lot of how the Texans go from here. If he’s unavailable in Week 15 and the Texans fall to the Tennessee Titans, ahead of the Browns, Colts and another game against the Titans, they might struggle to keep in the hunt.

Most appealing for the Broncos is their remaining schedule: Lions, Patriots, Chargers and Raiders. They have the added motivation of being only one game back on the Kansas City Chiefs and 1st place in the AFC West ($9), too.

Jake Browning played well again as chatter around a possible playoff spot heats up for the Bengals. Should they pinch one there is every chance they enter the post-season with the ‘team nobody wants to play’ tag. Their team features championship quality across the field outside of quarterback. Still, Browning is doing what he needs to do for this team to win games right now and you can imagine how they might be able to pinch one in the playoffs if it all clicks.

There is no question the Bills would be a team to avoid if they’re to rise up into a wildcard spot. They need a lot to go their way though. Buffalo needs to win out over the Cowboys, Chargers, Patriots and Dolphins to overcome the tiebreakers involved. If the NFL Gods are real, they give the Bills and Dolphins something to play for when the two teams meet in Week 18.

Mahomes Loses His Cool

Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid both tried to talk around the referees as though one decision is the only reason they lost. The decision that took away what would likely have been a game-winning touchdown was correct in the end. Still, the pair entered their post-game press conference with a stripy target in mind.

Once again, however, the Kansas City Chiefs looked lacklustre overall. The receiving corps is a nightmare and there is only so much Mahomes can do on his own. It’s not unfair to say that Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills outplayed the defending Super Bowl champions and deserved the win regardless of any late-game decisions from the officials.

As a result of the 20-17 Chiefs loss, there are three teams at 8-5 in the AFC. It’s a record that is bad enough to be Mahomes’ worst through 13 games since he became a starter in 2018.

Still $1.04 to win the division, the Chiefs are preparing to face an improving New England Patriots in Week 15 as $1.22 and -9.5 favourites.

Something To Consider In The MVP Race?

We touched on how the Most Valuable Player race is shaping up last week.

TLDR: Dak Prescott is putting up monster numbers and remains as the $2.50 favourite. Meanwhile, the lazy Brock Purdy takes have gone silent for him to be on the second line of betting at $3 ahead of Jalen Hurts at $8.50.

We can go through all of the individual statistics and make a strong argument for both Prescott and Purdy, but could strength of schedule come into it?

When looking for a tiebreaker between the two, doing it against a more difficult opposition might become a factor voters consider. It’s an otherwise incredibly close call between the two. Christian McCaffrey ($46) should be mentioned a lot more than he currently is, too.

Bet Now Most Valuable Player Winner

Zach Wilson Is Who We Thought He Was

Inconsistent at best…

Fantastic for 301 passing yards in the rain while connecting on two touchdowns and going without an interception, Zach Wilson orchestrated an impressive 30-6 upset win over the Houston Texans. Still, one game doesn’t come close to wiping away the many, many bad NFL games that preceded this one. We’ve seen him play well in parts before and Robert Saleh is already suggesting that “anything can happen”with regards to Wilson’s spot on the team next season.

This is who he is, though. Inconsistent.

The Miami Dolphins -10.5 line at home to the New York Jets in Week 15 already appeals.

Look Ahead Line Miami Dolphins -10.5 @ $1.90*

New Look Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens defence disappointed in giving up 31 points but it has been a real strength of the team throughout the NFL season. As the offence catches up and Lamar Jackson continues to produce at a level that should have seen his MVP odds shorten below $8.50 by now, the Ravens are being mentioned as Super Bowl LVIII contenders a little bit more each week.

Far from perfect in Week 14, their 37-31 win over the LA Rams has inspired a little bit of confidence in the doubters. Too often the Ravens look good in games before crumbling late. Too often they fail to beat the teams they really should do so with ease.

As the Ravens went three-and-out in overtime, it felt as though this would be another one of those games.

Instead, the Ravens found the second walk-off punt return this season:

It’s a promising sign for the Ravens in their quest for Super Bowl glory. They’ve not left injury issues derail their season. Meanwhile, Zay Flowers continues to link with Jackson in a partnership that has championship-winning potential.

Baltimore produces big plays and if the defence continues to provide them with opportunities to turn those big plays into W’s, their $7 to win Super Bowl LVIII will continue to shorten.

They’ve flown under the radar for much of the season. But right now, the Ravens are 10-3 and the No. 1 seed in a stacked AFC.

Super Bowl LVIII Odds

Week 14 triggered a significant change in the market. Notably, the Chiefs losing back-to-back games has seen their price blowout from $5, to $5.50, and all the way out to $8.

The San Francisco 49ers are the best team in the NFL right now and it shows in their $3.50 to sit comfortably on the first line of betting. The gap between the 1st and 2nd line has never been bigger with the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens at $7. While the Miami Dolphins have held firm at $8, the Dallas Cowboys are coming after moving from $10.50 into $8.50 this week.

TOP 6 SUPER BOWL LVIII ODDS

TEAMCURRENT PRICELAST WEEK’S PRICE
San Francisco 49ers$3.50$4.33
Philadelphia Eagles$7$4.60
Baltimore Ravens$7$7
Kansas City Chiefs$8$5.50
Miami Dolphins$8$8
Dallas Cowboys$8.50$10

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