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The lines are out and the bets are going in
The 2013-2014 NFL season is already getting ready for Week 14. After a decisive Week 12 which saw all teams reach equal footing and an action-packed Week 13 filled with surprises, it is now time to look towards the major games of another week and at the betting possibilities offered by leading online bookmakers.
The stakes are getting high as we get closer to the playoffs and a few intense battles will take place on Week 14 as some of the big teams will meet on the grass, including a match between the two leaders in the AFC division.
Indianapolis Colts (8-4) @ Cincinnati Bengals (8-4)
Without a doubt one of the highly anticipated games of Week 14, the AFC North leaders Colts will travel to Cincinnati to play the AFC South leaders Bengals. Both teams have some room to breathe in their respective divisions as the Colts are ahead by 3 wins and Ravens are 2 behind the Bengals. However, it will be a great test for both teams, especially for Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck, who is now fifth in scoring defense and sixth in the league in yards allowed each game. Luck has been struggling a bit since he lost Reggie Wayne in Week 7 and he will have to make it work on Sunday against a tough opponent.
According to online bookmakers, the hosts are favorites to win against the Colts at a 5.5-point spread.
Prediction: Bengals take the win and cover the spread against the Colts
Seattle Seahawks (11-1) @ San Francisco 49ers (8-4)
The Seahawks have been flying high all season and have almost secured the home-field advantage going into the playoffs. With the closest rivals in the National Conference being the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers at 9-3, both in NFC South, Seattle can now go 2-2 in their last four games and still finish the regular season as No. 1 in NFC.
Russell Wilson made MVP waves on Monday after throwing 310 yards and running 47. He will be the one to watch on Sunday although Colin Kaepernick has improved lately for the Niners and got some help from Michael Crabtree on Week 13.
When these two teams last met, the Seahawks dominated the 49ers and ended the game at 29-3. Now, the story should be different and the outcome will most likely be a lot closer than that, although Seattle remains far in the lead; they are the best team in the league after all.
Most bookmakers have not released the odds for this game yet but it looks like the opening line is at 2.5, with San Francisco being slight favorites.
Prediction: Seahawks take the win in a close match
Carolina Panthers (9-3) @ New Orleans Saints (9-3)
If there were any questions regarding Ron Riviera and his security as a coach for the Panthers, they have been laid to rest by the great run Carolina has been having this season. The game on Sunday night will help determine the winner in the division and break the tie, at least for now.
The Saints got demolished on Week 13 by the Seahawks with a clear 34-7 win for Seattle. Now they need to bounce back and if any team in the league can, it is New Orleans. However, it will not be easy as the Panthers are 2nd in the NFL with 39 sacks.
Having the home-field advantage gives the Saints a small edge according to bookmakers, which put them as -4.5 favorites.
Prediction: Panthers win by at least five points