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Greg Cote's Week 14 NFL picks

Greg Cote, Miami Herald on

Published in Football

This tops handful of terrific Week 14 matchups. National Birds and Male Bighorn Sheep are NFL's two best teams based on point differential, both are gunning for NFC's No. 1 seed, and we also get first career meeting of Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, top two picks in 2016 draft. Rare to see a 10-2 team getting 21/2 points, making Philly too tempting to pass up, making this one of seven upset picks for us this week (including Thursday), which may be a record. The difference here, to my eye: Eagles' ground attack is excellent, and L.A.'s run defense is not. By the way, Jay Ajayi, not good enough for the Dolphins, is averaging 7.9 yards per carry for Philadelphia.

UPSET OF THE WEEK

PACKERS (6-6) at BROWNS (0-12)

LINE: GB by 31/2.

COTE'S PICK: CLE 23-20.

TV: 1 p.m., Fox.

 

"AAAWWWK!" screams the Upset Bird. "The Browns win a game! The Browns win a gaaawwwk!" Winless no more after Sunday, the Earthtones avoid joining the 2008 Lions as only team to go 0-16. Cleveland's run-stopping is good enough to force the game into Brett Hundley's hands, but some of this is just a hunch that Brownies, who've been competitive in four of six home games, are simply due a break and a bounce. "Seven upset picks this week," marvels U-Bird. "I demand overtime pay. Overtime paaawwwk!"

OTHER GAMES

Patriots (10-2, -11) over At Dolphins (5-7), 31-23: I'm no slave to trends, but some you simply cannot ignore. One is that few teams in recent history are better in prime-time than New England, and few are worse than Miami. Patriots are on a 16-3 run under the lights while Dolphins are on a 4-14 stumble--including 0-3 this season by combined score of 112-40.

@Bills (6-6, off board) over Colts (3-9), 20-13: Game was off betting boards because Buffs QB Tyrod Taylor was iffy (knee), and it's a steep falloff to rookie Nathan Peterman or Joe Webb. Like the Williams in any case, though, with heavy dose of LeSean McCoy vs. Nags squad that is 1-5 on road.

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