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NFL Week 14 Best Bets Primer: The Top Over/Unders, Spreads, Teasers & Props

Last Updated: December 12, 2022
Your curated list of wagers for Week 14 of the NFL season, from moneylines and player props to overlooked underdogs.

Last week, another reminder was served that, unfortunately, injuries are part of sports betting, too, and can single-handedly determine the outcome of any wager. Lamar Jackson getting hurt played a large role in demolishing half of our betting card!

Let’s — as the Modest Mouse song says — float on to our NFL Week 14 best bets.

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NFL Week 14 Best Bets Overview 2022

All odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

Best Over/Under Bet of Week 14

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks

  • Over/Under: 44.5

Should a Carolina Panthers game be drawing an over/under as high as 44.5?

Eh, probably not. Obviously, though, this total has a lot more to do with the Seahawks, who have been one of the NFL’s higher-scoring teams while also trotting out a rather, er, leaky defense.

No matter, the Panthers don’t intimidate many on the offensive side of the ball and may present a spot for the underachieving Seattle D to finally start meeting its potential. After all, this is a group that includes names like Jordyn Brooks, Quandre Diggs, “Big” Shelby Harris and possible Defensive Rookie of the Year Tariq Woolen. They should be much better.

Well here we have a cure-all assignment, with the main target being dull Sam Darnold. At this point — his fifth-year in the league now — the book is pretty known on the former No. 3 overall draft pick, sporting a career 77.2 passer rating.

Darnold wasn’t bad in his first start of the season two weeks ago prior to the bye, when Carolina handled the Broncos fairly easily. The Panthers supplied 23 points that afternoon, which is slightly above average for a Darnold-led offense. In 50 NFL starts, teams are scoring 18.8 points per game with the 25-year-old serving as QB1.

Most notably, the presence of Darnold should ensure plenty of rushing plays as well, something that can be paramount for an under if the clock is continually moving. D’Onta Foreman has proven he can take on a hefty workload and as a result, Carolina has ran the ball 60.1 percent its last three games, ranking higher than anyone else during this span.

Delightfully, in Darnold’s aforementioned lone start of the campaign, the Panthers ran the rock an astounding 46 times compared to 19 throws — or 70.8 percent (!) of the time.

The Seahawks, on the other hand, take it to the air more times than not behind fellow New York Jets castoff Geno Smith. They’ve been one of the more productive offenses thanks to this philosophy, sitting in the top 10 of the league in both points (26.5) and total yards (360.9) per week.

This offense, however, seems to be limping a bit. Star wideout DK Metcalf (hip) is questionable going into the contest, and while he’s ultimately expected to play, there’s no doubt he’s hobbled after missing practice on Friday.

Furthermore, the backfield situation is in a flux after original starter Rashaad Penny (ankle) went down for the year. In his place, Kenneth Walker III (ankle) has performed admirably but will be doubtful for this one, as is DeeJay Dallas (ankle). Travis Homer, who is technically the fourth-stringer, looks like he’ll be starting.

Even if the Seahawks were at 100-percent full health, they’d be a solid test for what has been a rapidly-emerging defensive unit in Carolina. Across the last three games, the Panthers have yielded only 38 points combined, and in addition, held QBs to a 79.3 passer rating. That’s a stark improvement from what they were allowing them to do previously.

What I’m most amped for is how they match with the Seahawks when they’re on the verge of scoring. Only 10 teams register more red-zone opportunities than Seattle this year (3.3), but this has been a point of strength for Carolina defensively. Opponents are getting into the end zone in these situations at a 54.8-percent clip, tying them with Washington for the 13th-best rate among all 32 clubs.

Being so close to that all-important number of 45, I’m buying a half-point on the total to be spared in case of 28-17.

The Pick: UNDER 45 (-120)

Best Point Spread Bet of Week 14

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers

  • Spread: Buccaneers +3.5/49ers -3.5

The great Tom Brady has made 328 regular season starts in his storied career. His counterpart this week, rookie Brock Purdy, has 328 fewer starts than that.

Yet it is Purdy — the literal “Mr. Irrelevant” of this past April’s draft — that is a field-goal-plus favorite against Brady.

To quote the late Norm Macdonald: Wait, what?

OK, we’ll seek to capitalize on this fascinating scenario. It’s not like the Bucs are some beatdown franchise; this is a first-place club entering on a high after Brady’s latest magical comeback heroics.

The 49ers are also at the top of their division, but it remains to be seen if they can remain there in the wake of Jimmy Garoppolo’s broken foot. Sure, San Francisco boasts a top-notch defense but this newfound predicament could take some time getting through growing pains.

Purdy did look decent a week ago in place of Garoppolo, connecting on 25-of-37 passes for 210 yards, a pair of scores and a pick. At the same time, defenses can be at a disadvantage seeing a QB they didn’t really prepare for in the days preceding a game, so Purdy caught Miami off guard.

Now he must entangle with a group that is one of seven in the NFL yielding fewer than 200 passing yards on average. Furthermore, Tampa demonstrates an ability to get to the opposing quarterback, having the fourth-most sacks with 38.

Oh sure, the 49ers are oozing talent on the offensive side of the ball, between Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle. But if there’s lackluster QB play — as can be expected with a rookie signal-caller in his first experience starting — then that kinda limits what they can do.

On the other hand, the Bucs are a well-oiled machine. Unsurprisingly, Brady is enjoying another satisfying season and that shall remain status quo as long as Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are there.

Another wrinkle to this high-profile affair? Brady grew up in the Bay Area, having attended Serra High in San Mateo before moving on to Michigan for his collegiate days. Shockingly, Brady has only played one road game against the 49ers (!!) in his 23 seasons, and while that was six years ago, it can still be telling that the future Hall-of-Famer threw for 280 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Brady is returning to a place of great personal meaning and one he’s barely even visited during his NFL lifespan. With that in mind, he surely will not disappoint.

The Pick: BUCCANEERS +3.5 (-118)

Best Teaser Bet (4 teams, 13 points) of Week 14

The biggest spread of the 2022 NFL season will be emanating this week from Jerry’s World, where the high-powered Cowboys are massive 17.5-point favorites.

Opposing them? The Houston Texans, of course. If this were any other trash club, I’m not sure the line even inflates beyond two touchdowns. This is a really bad football team that forced the coaching staff to go to backup quarterback Kyle Allen a few weeks back. Kyle Allen, the backup to Davis Mills. And now, the Texans are returning to Mills after his brief hiatus. Simply put: It’s a mess under center in Houston.

The spread is so significant that even winning by a margin of three or four still wouldn’t do the job, which is a rare predicament for four-team, 13-point teasers. Nevertheless, Dallas has been rolling through everyone and we’ll simply seek out a decisive victory from them against the worst team in pro football.

Also from the 1 p.m. ET window, there is the gross task of undertaking a position that backs general bad guy Deshaun Watson. Although the former Clemson Tiger looked rusty in his return from suspension a week ago, remember that it was Watson’s first game in just about two calendar years.

When on his game, there’s no question Watson is an upper-echelon talent. Sure, it will take time to get back to that point, but as he plays closer to his normal form, he’s still someone that can be trusted to not get blown out by more than 17 points.

After that, we have the AFC-leading Chiefs to lean on versus the last-place Broncos. Even if Denver were to somehow plate twice as much as its putrid scoring average (13.8) on the year, that’s still not enough to match the usual fireworks that Kansas City cranks out on a weekly basis.

Oh, and MVP frontrunner Patrick Mahomes is a perfect 9-0 whenever he’s seen the Broncos — here, he even has the luxury of losing by three for the bet to move forward!

Our teaser lastly commands the desired result from this week’s Monday Night Football affair, which will see Arizona host New England. Seeing as how the Cardinals are actually getting points in this home date, they always make sense to tease when able to lose by two TDs.

Aside from the fact that Kyler Murray and Co. rarely get blasted in Glendale, this is actually still a pretty good team despite their current 4-8 record. Combine that with the Patriots’ tendency to rarely blow people out post-Tom Brady, therefore making this a fine final detail to include.

Best Prop Bet of Week 14
  • Rhamondre Stevenson Over/Under 17.5 Carries

As already highlighted weeks ago, Rhamondre Stevenson is an absolute beast that will be foraying through a very, very promising future in the coming years.

It only took him until his sophomore campaign to gain sizable control of the Patriots backfield, a feat that shouldn’t go unnoticed when Bill Belichick is involved.

With Damien Harris (thigh) expected to miss Monday night’s affair against the Cardinals, look for Stevenson to be even more featured. And that’s something we’ll gladly bet on with his wide array of talents.

Stevenson is the unquestioned lead dog anyway but when Harris is out of the picture, the Oklahoma product is good for at least 15-16 carries. We’ll only need a touch more than that, and given the anticipated game script of New England and Arizona embarking on a close clash, I’m betting Stevenson exceeds this mark.

One of the game’s higher-usage backs will see, well, higher usage in this particular matchup. Fortunately, he’s built like an old-school workhorse tailback and justifies the heavy reliance on his legs.

The Pick: OVER 17.5 Carries (-130)

NFL Best Bets Record for the 2022 Season
  • Over/Unders: “5-8”
  • Spreads: “5-4-1”
  • Teasers: “3-7-1”
  • Props: “8-8”
  • Overall Record*: “21-27-2,” -16.32 units

*Each over/under is graded to win 2 units; everything else for 1 unit

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Matt Zylbert

Twitter @MattZylbert