Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/6/12
If you want to play in January and February in the NFL, you have to win football games in December. The NFL season doesn’t begin in earnest until the turkey has been scarfed down on Thanksgiving, and with the first week of December just about in the rearview, it’s go time for teams on the bubble. As is the case this time of the year, the Week 14 slate has a plethora of divisional and conference matchups, just about all of them featuring some sort of playoff implications. Let’s take a look at the lines for Week 14, shall we? As always, these are coming to you via Bovada.lv. Denver (-10.5) at Oakland The Broncos are already AFC West champions, but Peyton Manning will look to carve up the Raiders defense in this rivalry matchup. Baltimore at Washington (-3) What a difference a week makes, as the upstart Redskins are favorites at home against a Ravens team that a few weeks ago was considered one of the AFC’s best team. Chicago (-3) at Minnesota  These two teams met just two weeks ago, and this is a huge game, as both teams are looking to bounce back from losses last week. Kansas City at Cleveland (-6.5) It’s impressive that the Chiefs were even able to play last week, let alone win, after the Jovan Belcher horror, but they’re not expected to follow that up with a win this week in Cleveland. San Diego at Pittsburgh (-7) The Chargers are awful, and the Steelers might have Ben Roethlisberger back for this one; the line could definitely move even more in favor the Steelers by kickoff. Tennessee at Indianapolis (-6) The Colts just keep winning, and it’s unlikely the Titans will slow them down this weekend. New York Jets (-3) at Jacksonville Points will be at a premium here; hammer the under at the very least. Atlanta (-3.5) at Carolina The Falcons continue to find ways to win, even if they aren’t sexy, and they’ll hope to kick the Panthers around some more in Carolina. Philadelphia at Tampa Bay (-7.5) The Eagles’ slide shows no end in sight, and the Bucs will be looking to bounce back after back-to-back losses against the Falcons and Broncos. St. Louis at Buffalo (-3) Um … this will be a football game between two football teams. Dallas at Cincinnati (-3) The Cowboys held on to beat the Eagles, but things will likely be much more difficult this week against a Bengals team that is probably underrated at this point. Miami at San Francisco (-10) The Dolphins have been competitive for a few weeks now, and the 49ers have struggled to cover the spread, so 10 points seems like a lot in this one. New Orleans at New York Giants (-5) The Giants are the epitome of a see-saw team — up and down — and coming off a loss last week at Washington on Monday night, they might be ready to bounce back and put the final dagger in the Saints’ hopes. Arizona at Seattle (-10) The Cardinals don’t a competent NFL quarterback, which will make winning this game in Seattle — where the Seahawks are undefeated this season — near impossible. Detroit at Green Bay -(7) The Packers aren’t winning pretty, but they’re winning, which may make this seven-point line seem a little bit bigger than that. Houston at New England (-4) The two best teams in the AFC on national TV on Monday night in December is as close to a playoff game as you’ll see in the regular season.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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