The Saints and Chiefs have clinched their spots in the postseason already, but most of the league is still in the hunt for a playoff berth.
The Steelers had a chance to punch their ticket against Washington on Monday night but were upset by the Football Team 23-17. That allowed the Browns, who are currently sitting in the top spot for the AFC Wild Card, to draw within two games in the AFC North. The Bills picked up an important win over the 49ers to keep a slim one game lead over the Dolphins in the AFC East. The Titans and Colts are in a tight race for the AFC South, both with an 8-4 record but Tennessee holds the tiebreaker.
In the NFC there are two teams running away with their divisions in the Packers and the Saints who both hold at least a three game advantage over their nearest competition. The NFC East and West, however, should go down to the wire as virtually every team in those divisions still have a chance to finish with a division title.
As we start to see more teams secure their postseason spots, others will continue to be eliminated from contention. Let's take a look at the power rankings for Week 14 based on what we've seen so far this season.
32. New York Jets (0-12, Last Week 32 +/- 0) - Gregg Williams called an all-out blitz against the Raiders which resulted in cornerback Lamar Jackson being left on an island with Henry Ruggs III and got beat for the game-winning TD with 5 seconds left. That's so Jets.
2020 Jets Mood Ft. Bill Parcells #Jets #TakeFlight https://t.co/JeXbX4p5eb— NYJ Matt (@NYJ Matt) 1607552081.0
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-11, Last Week 31, +/- 0) - 11 game losing streak, and nearly caught a break as the Jets looked primed to get their first win of the season. But unfortunately for the Jags, the Jets lost in dramatic fashion keeping them one step ahead of Jacksonville in the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes.
30. Cincinnati Bengals (2-9-1, Last Week 28, - 2) - Outside of a 72 yard strike to Tyler Boyd for their lone score, the Bengals were smothered by Miami in a bad loss in Week 13. Without Joe Mixon they only accounted for 40 rushing yards in the game.
29. Dallas Cowboys (3-9, Last Week 26, - 3) - Zeke turned in an OK performance, but the Cowboys were handled easily by the Ravens on Tuesday evening 34-17.
28. Chicago Bears (5-7, Last Week 29, + 1) - Somehow the Bears move up a spot this week following their sixth straight loss. It's only due to the four teams behind them are in such a mess. David Montgomery turned in his second consecutive strong performance with over 100 yards of total offense and two touchdowns. Mitch Trubisky looked slightly better than Mitchell Trubisky.
Chicago Bears QB Mitch Trubisky understands the storylines about him, Mahomes, and Watson. Trubisky: "It's always… https://t.co/gxFWrEWlFK— Daniel Greenberg (@Daniel Greenberg) 1607552226.0
27. Denver Broncos (4-8, Last Week 27, +/- 0) - With Drew Lock, the Broncos looked like an NFL team again, but not a good one. 131 yards from Melvin Gordon in a losing effort was the lone bright spot.
26. Los Angeles Chargers (3-9, Last Week 24, - 2) - Officially eliminated from playoff contention with loss last week. Justin Herbert appeared to be human for the first time in his rookie campaign.
25. Philadelphia Eagles (3-8-1, Last Week 25, +/- 0) - Jalen Hurts has been announced as the starting quarterback for this week. Doug Pederson knows that his job is on the line, this move is going to determine a lot about the future of this franchise.
Fletcher Cox on liking Tweet that supports Carson Wentz starting for Eagles over Jalen Hurts: "Carson is my best f… https://t.co/Cbruk4Kt1u— Barstool Philly (@Barstool Philly) 1607560512.0
24. Detroit Lions (5-7, Last Week 30, + 6) - Interim coach, Darrell Bevell, got the W Week 13 v the Bears. Getting good performances from vets Matt Stafford (402 passing yards, 3 TDs) and Adrian Peterson (57 rushing yards, 2 TDs). With the win they draw even with Chicago T-3 NFC North.
23. Carolina Panthers (4-8, Last Week 23, +/- 0) - The Panthers are coming off a bye week and are hoping to get some players healthy for the home stretch in Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore.
22. Atlanta Falcons (4-8, Last Week 21, - 1) - With a loss in Week 13 the Falcons are all but mathematically eliminated from contention in a most disappointing 2020 season. Raheem Morris has made a case however to be retained as HC next season.
21. Houston Texans (4-8, Last Week 19, - 2) - Houston, like Atlanta, lost this past week and with that loss are virtually out of the running for a wildcard spot as the Titans and Colts have a significant lead for the top two spots in the division.
20. San Francisco 49ers (5-7, Last Week 20, +/- 0) - Lost Monday night to Buffalo, but didn't look bad in doing so. They're a much better team than their record indicates, and when healthy they're easily in the top 10.
19. New York Giants (5-7, Last Week 22, + 3) - The Giants have won four in a row and are positioning themselves to win the NFC East without Saquon Barkley.
Coach Judge is 'optimistic' about Daniel Jones, but his game status is still TBD 📰: https://t.co/noq6qBQdkd https://t.co/a6FNqC8h9C— New York Giants (@New York Giants) 1607560233.0
18. Arizona Cardinals (6-6, Last Week 11, - 7) - The third consecutive loss by the Cardinals see their playoff hopes slipping away. The 49ers' loss to Buffalo helped the Cards avoid falling into a tie for last place in the NFC West, but it's on Kyler Murray to get this team back on track with only four weeks to go.
17. Las Vegas Raiders (7-5, Last Week 18, + 1) - The Raiders got a last second win on a Derek Carr to Henry Ruggs connection to keep them in the Wild Card race in the AFC. Darren Waller has been spectacular again this year elevating himself to the level of Travis Kelce in the realm of fantasy tight ends.
16. New England Patriots (6-6, Last Week 16, +/- 0) - Winners of two straight and back in contention for a postseason spot. Winning boring is still winning.
"Let me get this goddamn smile out of the way because I'm going to joylessly destroy everyone for the next 30 years… https://t.co/OwjJVd4DEd— Super 70s Sports (@Super 70s Sports) 1607286909.0
15. Washington Football Team (5-7, Last Week 17, + 2) - The Football Team knocked off the previously undefeated Steelers on Monday night in one of the biggest surprises of the season! One thing is for sure. This Washington squad plays some great defense. I hope we can keep moving them up this list.
14. Baltimore Ravens (7-5, Last Week 15, + 1) - A much needed matchup against Dallas allowed the Ravens to get back on track with a win after a three game slide. Cleveland has done them no favors as they keep winning and creating more separation between the Ravens and a playoff spot.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5, Last Week 9, - 4) - Coming off a bye week, Tampa Bay benefitted from losses from Seattle, Arizona, Atlanta, and Carolina. We can't imagine a season where Tom Brady isn't in the playoffs, and the Bucs enjoy a soft schedule to end the year as they'll get the Falcons twice along with Detroit.12. Minnesota Vikings (6-6, Last Week 14, + 2) - A two game win streak calls for a two position jump in our rankings this week. Still in the hunt for a WC spot. Justin Jefferson became the second rookie Minnesota wide receiver to eclipse 1,000 yards.
11. Indianapolis Colts (8-4, Last Week 10, - 1) - The Colts picked up a division win over the Texans last week and gained valuable ground on Tennessee to draw even in record (8-4), but will need to pick up a win on them as the Titans hold the tiebreaker.
10. Los Angeles Rams (8-4, Last Week 13, + 3) - We spent the first half of the season wondering how good the Rams really were after a weak early season schedule. Now atop the best division in football, they should be questioning us.
9. Miami Dolphins (8-4, Last Week 12, + 3) - Whether it's Fitz or Tua, the Dolphins keep winning games and have closed the gap with Buffalo to the slimmest of margins. Maybe Tua should grow a beard to see if he can create some Fitz-Magic of his own.
Here's a look at Tua Tagovailoa from #Dolphins practice today. He's no longer wearing the tape/brace on his thumb. https://t.co/bNqls7oyur— Ruthie Polinsky (@Ruthie Polinsky) 1607541217.0
8. Seattle Seahawks (8-4, Last Week 5, - 3) - DK Metcalf stiff-arming the Giants' James Bradberry was a highlight play, but New York walked away with the win, and the lead in their division. Seattle lost the game and the division lead they entered Week 13 with. Another shaky performance from Russell Wilson, but the return of Chris Carson helped a struggling running game in his absence. Ultimately the Seahawks need to improve on defense if they have championship aspirations.
7. Tennessee Titans (8-4, Last Week 7, +/- 0) - Even with a loss and Indianapolis picking up a win to draw even in season record, the Titans still hold the tiebreaker advantage and maintain a small margin of error over the final four weeks of the season. Derrick Henry will be the key to how far Tennessee can go. Ryan Tannehill has played all-pro caliber football at times this season, and that's the guy they'll need if teams are able to put the clamps on Henry the way Cleveland did for most of the game in Week 13.
6. Cleveland Browns (9-3, Last Week 8, + 2) - Cleveland guaranteed their first winning season in over a decade with their win over Tennessee and also helped to silence some of their critics that have knocked their weaker schedule. They're currently holding the top WC spot in the AFC and have a favorable schedule to end the year before meeting Pittsburgh in Week 17.
The Dallas Cowboys are being replaced with the Cleveland Browns for a Primetime game... Only 2020. https://t.co/Tx7j1I10w9— NFL Memes (@NFL Memes) 1607568086.0
5. Buffalo Bills (9-3, Last Week 6, + 1) - Beat the 49ers on Monday to stay a game ahead of Miami and they lead the league in 3rd Down Conversions. The Bills will be a tough matchup for anyone in the playoffs.
4. Green Bay Packers (9-3, Last Week 4, +/- 0) - Aaron Rodgers tossed 3 TDs in an easy win over the Eagles on Sunday. Rodgers is now 5th in the NFL in passing yards (3,395) and first in passing TDs (36). Aaron Jones had a breakout game, his first since returning from injury a couple weeks back.
"Whoever catches Aaron's next [TD], keep the ball." It was destiny for @tae15adams to catch @AaronRodgers12's 400t… https://t.co/T2Wjc8GKpF— NFL (@NFL) 1607574600.0
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1, Last Week 1, - 2) - Washington handed the Steelers their first loss of the season, but the Steelers are still a legitimate threat to beat anyone. They have the pedigree to make a deep playoff run, getting James Conner healthy will be key in just how far they go.
2. New Orleans Saints (10-2, Last Week 3, + 1) - The Saints keep winning and have clinched a playoff berth riding a nine game win streak. Taysom Hill has been excellent during Drew Brees' absence, but the future hall-of-famer is close to making a return. New Orleans can now be conservative about bringing him back to make sure he's ready for playoffs.
Taysom Hill https://t.co/EEWC2vN9mK— ⚜️Mook☃️ (@⚜️Mook☃️) 1607279112.0
1. Kansas City Chiefs (11-1, Last Week 2, + 1) - The Chiefs reassume the top spot in our rankings. Even though it's felt like they should've been here for a few weeks now, we simply couldn't disrespect the Steelers during an undefeated streak. Until further notice, the Chiefs are your Super Bowl favorites.
He was still in college. 🤯 https://t.co/J2xGEftbxZ— Arrowhead Pride (@Arrowhead Pride) 1607623260.0
In Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the Warriors defended the home floor to take a 3-2 lead in the finals over the Boston Celtics. Largely, this is because Boston was careless with the basketball. The Warriors tallied nine steals and forced 18 turnovers by the Celtics. In contrast, the Warriors only got the ball stolen twice and turned the ball over just six times Monday night. While Stephen Curry was guarded ferociously and was held to just 16 points on 7-of-22 shooting (and 0-9 from downtown), his teammates stepped up.
Andrew Wiggins had another huge double-double, scoring 26 points (12-23 FG) and hauling in 13 rebounds. Finally, if the Celtics hope to win in Game 6, they will need to stay awake in the fourth quarter. Over the last two games, Boston has fallen asleep at the end of the game while the Warriors managed to sneak away with two consecutive victories.
Let's take a look at some of tonight's best bets for this huge NBA Finals Game 6.
Please Note: All betting odds were correct today as of 2:00 pm EST from Caesars Sportsbook
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Best Bets of the Night
Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics -4 (GSW Leads 3-2)
NBA Finals Best Bet #1: Boston Celtics -4 (-110)
It’s difficult to envision the Boston Celtics collapsing in the fourth quarter in three consecutive games. The Celtics may briefly watch the tape from Game 5 but they are going to have to shake it off and move forward immediately. Boston’s carelessness with the basketball Monday night should produce a much-needed wake-up call that will allow the team to make smarter passes and take fewer risks on offense against a Golden State defense that has surged over the last two games.
While Steph will likely score more than 16 points in Game 6, Jaylen Brown must have a bounce-back performance after going 5-of-18 for 18 points in Game 5. Though the Celtics shot above 40% from the field on Monday night, they turned the ball over at an uncharacteristic rate, finishing the night with 18 turnovers. Some of those were unforced errors while the Warriors earned nine steals as well.
At home in Game 6, the Celtics will play better and bring this 2022 NBA Finals series to a blockbuster Game 7 at the Chase Center. For NBA fans wishing for a seven-game series in the 2022 Finals and bettors looking to cash in on Game 6, Boston will win by at least four points at home in a win-or-go-home scenario. Jayson Tatum has yet to play his best basketball this series with Andrew Wiggins playing lethal defense but tonight will be the night that he finally drops 30+ points. Although Steve Kerr seems to think his squad is ready to close out the series, he may have to think again given how well Boston has bounced back from losses this postseason.
Don’t forget that the Celtics were in a three-game to two-game deficit against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals yet found a way to come out victorious. They may not be able to win two straight against Golden State but it’s tough to imagine the Warriors defeating the Celtics in three consecutive matchups. Boston wins by a few possessions: 110-104.
NBA Finals Best Bet #2: Over (O/U) 210 Total Points (-110)
Though only 204 points were scored between both teams in Game 5 (BOS 97 - 107 GSW), Game 6 will be a higher-scoring contest for multiple reasons. First, Jaylen Brown will have a bounce-back night. After being held to 18 points on 27.8% shooting from the field on Monday, Brown will almost certainly play more efficiently and score more in Game 6. Additionally, Boston had way fewer scoring opportunities due to their whopping 18 turnovers. Ima Udoke will make sure his starters take care of the ball in a game that can decide Boston’s fate. Marcus Smart and Al Horford have come up huge as role players but Tatum needs to really shift into an entirely new gear. Don’t be surprised if that happens tonight.
The story through Games 4 and 5 has been the same. Golden State has stepped it up on defense, managing to out-rebound the Celtics in both contests. Robert Williams III might have something to say about that tonight. In Game 6, the Celtics should be more cautious with the ball and therefore have more opportunities than they did over the last two contests. Meanwhile, the Warriors are always expected to drop at least 105+ points.
NBA Player Props
Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics -4 (GSW Leads 3-2)
Prop #1: Andrew Wiggins To Record a Double-Double (+225)
Throughout these NBA Finals, Andrew Wiggins has been on an absolute tear. Just over the last two contests where he finished both with double-doubles, he’s recorded 29 rebounds and 43 points. He has adapted his style of play and is spending more time down low in the post to help the Warriors out on the glass. Wiggins is putting significant pressure on Robert Williams III, Al Horford, and Jayson Tatum to rebounds the ball more efficiently. Not only is Wiggins keeping his scoring numbers up, he’s drastically improved on the defensive end to record 49 rebounds (9.8 rebounds per game in the Finals) through the first five games of this series. Wiggins’ shift to focus on rebounding and keeping the pressure down low has worked brilliantly for the Warriors over the last two games, both of which they won. In Game 6, expect him to continue to do what has been working, giving him a great chance to produce a third consecutive double-double in the NBA Finals. Perhaps he can even win the NBA Finals MVP Award if he continues to play at this level. Wiggins has been the true x-factor for the Dubs in this series.
Prop #2: Jaylen Brown Over 24.5 Points (-110)
After a rough shooting night in Game 5 where Brown only converted on five of his 18 shots from the field, he should wake up and score 25+ points in Game 6 at TD Garden. While you may want to stick away from three-point shooting props involving brown right now, he’ll hit the over in points tonight at the TD Garden. Brown has only scored over 24 points in one of five games this series (27 points in Game 3) but the Celtics do much better when Brown and Tatum perform like the perennial All-Stars that they are.
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In Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Finals, Stephen Curry and the Warriors executed exactly where they didn’t in Game 3 to tie up the series 2-2. Notably, Golden State dominated down low Friday night after being outrebounded and suffocated by the Celtics in Game 3. As a team, the Warriors recorded 16 offensive boards for a total of 55 rebounds for the night. For instance, Draymond Green struggled Wednesday night to finish the night with only four rebounds and three assists before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
In Game 4, Draymond dominated down low for eight rebounds, eight assists, and four steals without getting himself into foul trouble (only three PFs for Green in Game 4 after fouling out in Game 3).
Best Bets of the Night
Game: Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors - 4 (-110)
Similar to Game 3, both teams shot the ball rather evenly. The Warriors finished the night with 44% shooting from the field, and 34.9% from downtown. The Celtics converted 40% of the field goal attempts and 39.5% of their shots from deep. One factor which helped Golden State keep up with the Celtics throughout the game was terrific rebounding. Andrew Wiggins stepped it up off the glass to produce a 17-point and 16-rebound double-double. What really caused the Celtics to lose in Game 3 was a complete offensive collapse in the fourth quarter.
With seven minutes remaining in the game, the Celtics had a 91-86 lead over Golden State. That means Boston was outscored 21-6 in the second half of the fourth quarter to lose Game 4 107-97. With Golden State back home, expect their offense to shoot better than they did on the road and secure a home victory in Game 5.
Bet: Golden State Warriors -4 (-110)
Throughout the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the Warriors shot 49.4% from the field and 40.7% from downtown in 11 games played at home. For their nine road games, the Warriors were less efficient on average averaging 47.2 FG% (2.2% less efficient from the field) and 34.9% (-5.8% less efficient from 3PT range). The numbers reveal clearly that for the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the Warriors have been more efficient scoring. With the prospect of taking a 3-2 lead over the Celtics, its likely that Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have another big night in front of the home crowd.
Bet: Over (O/U) 212.5 Total Points (-110)
While only 204 points were scored in Game 4, expect Game 5 to be a much higher-scoring game. In addition to the Warriors shooting much better from the field, the team seems to have found some efficiency against the bigger Celtics down low. These two factors could push the Warriors to score 120+ points in Game 5. In turn, Jayson Tatum who scored 23 points (8-23 FG) will bounce back to have a 30+ point game. Both he and Steph are scoring big these NBA Finals.
While the defense was the main story of Games 3 and 4 at the TD Garden, scoring buckets will be the principal feature of Game 5 at the Chase Center. With him and Stephen Curry averaging more than 34 PPG through these finals, you can count on Game 5 in Golden State to be a high-scoring game.
NBA Player Props
Game: Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors - 4 (-110)
Prop: Jayson Tatum, Over 26.5 Points
Jayson Tatum, like the rest of the Celtics, started hot but finished ice cold. If it wasn’t for the fourth quarter where Tatum shot the ball multiple times unsuccessfully. This negatively impacted his shooting numbers from Game 4 where he finished the night with 23 points (8-23 FG) converting only 34.9% of his shots taken. After a disappointing Friday night, Tatum will shoot more efficiently in Game 5. Since he still scored 23 points on an off-night, you can count on Tatum to score 30+ points in Game 5 even if the Warriors defeat the Celtics.
Prop: Andrew Wiggins, Over 6.5 Rebounds
One of the major adjustments made by the Warriors in Game 4 was boosting their presence off the glass. Andrew Wiggins recorded 16 of Golden State’s 55 rebounds Friday night.
Through the first four games of the NBA Finals, Wiggins has recorded a total of 34 rebounds. That means Wiggins is averaging 8.5 rebounds per game in the 2022 NBA Finals. Especially because the Warriors know how effective he was producing much-needed rebounds in Game 4, Wiggins will look to have a similar presence down-low in Game 5.
In Game 3, both teams shot almost equally well from the field and from downtown. However, Boston took more shots from the field and dominated off the glass to take Game 3 116-100. Boston’s defensive energy was on full display Wednesday night as they outrebounded and drew countless fouls from the Warriors. Boston’s defense was the story of Game 3. Will Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry overwhelm the Celtics in Game 4?
Let’s take a look at some of tonight’s best bets for Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Finals.
Best Bets of the Night
Game: Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics Game 4 (BOS Leads 2-1)
In Game 3, both teams shot virtually as efficiently from the field. The Celtics converted 48.3% of their shots (43-89 FG) from the field and went 37.1% from downtown. Golden State finished the night with a 46.2 FG% (36-78 FG) as a team, converting 37.5% from beyond the arc. The main reason for the Celtics’ victory was fantastic defense. For instance, Robert Williams III who isn’t 100% healthy, played 26 minutes to produce 10 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks. The Celtics dominated the Warriors off the glass to record 47 rebounds as a team with 15 of them recorded on the offensive end. In contrast, the Warriors totaled 31 rebounds on the game and only had six offensive rebounds. In addition, the Warriors committed 23 personal fouls allowing the Celtics to go to the line 24 times (Celtics were 17-24 FT) and had 16 turnovers as a team. For the Warriors to bounce back in Game 4, they will need to be more aggressive down low and less sloppy on the floor.
Bet #1: Golden State Warriors, +4 (-110)
The Warriors shot the ball well in Game 3, but were simply overwhelmed by the Celtics defense and the energy at the TD Garden Wednesday night. Golden State recorded 39 combined turnovers (16) and personal fouls (23) which demonstrates how sloppy they were with the basketball. This gave Boston a possession advantage throughout the game, ultimately allowing the Celtics to take 11 more field goal attempts and finish the night with seven more made FGs than the Warriors. Offensive efficiency is not the issue for the Warriors. Rather, they will need to ramp it up on defense in Game 4 to make the game interesting. Draymond Green fouled out of the contest after being shut down all night. Green was held to just two points, four rebounds, three assists, and two turnovers in 35 minutes on the floor before getting a sixth personal foul in Game 3.
Bet #2: Over (O/U) 215 Total Points (-110)
Though the Warriors were held to 100 points of offense on Wednesday night, they shot the ball well. Golden State was limited as a team for FGAs as a result of Boston’s defense. In Game 4, Golden State will have an answer to put up more points on the board than they did in Game 3. In turn, the Celtics will keep things interesting. Expect this Game 4 to be a high-scoring contest. Both teams have been scoring big throughout these playoffs, and that doesn't seem to be changing right now during the Finals.
NBA Player Props
Game: Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics Game 4 (BOS Leads 2-1)
Prop #1: Klay Thompson, Over 19.5 Points
Klay Thompson started the night shooting very well but cooled down towards the end. He went five for a whopping 13 attempts from downtown Wednesday night. He finished the night 7-of-17 from the field for 25 points. This comes after a terrible Game 2 performance where Klay went 4-of-19 from the field and only one-of-eight from beyond-the-arc. Tonight, Klay will shoot better tonight after an average Game 3 performance and bad Games 1 and 2.
Prop #2: Jaylen Brown, Over 2.5 Threes
Jaylen Brown has been knocking his shots from downtown as of late. In the last two games, he’s recorded at least three threes. He’s gone 7-of-17 (41.1%) from downtown through Games 2 and 3 combined. In the second of two home games at the TD Garden, it’s likely that Brown knocks down at least three buckets from beyond-the-arc tonight in Game 4.