The stage is set for an exciting finish to the NFL regular season with four weeks left before the postseason arrives. Only one game separates five teams in contention for the final AFC wild-card spot while there is still a lot left to sort out at the top of the conference standings. Meanwhile, only two games separate the seven teams in the NFC wild-card hunt and there’s plenty to iron out in the NFC East race. Let’s take a look at the top five games on the NFL schedule for Week 14.
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
Odds: New England -8
If there is one team that has had New England’s number over the last few years, it’s the Dolphins. Miami has won four of its last five home games against the Patriots and covered the spread in each of those victories. Now the Dolphins absolutely need a win to remain in the thick of the AFC wild-card hunt. Meanwhile, the Patriots are one game back of the Kansas City Chiefs for the top seed in the AFC and the Chiefs have a tough upcoming schedule (vs Ravens, vs Chargers and at Seattle). The Patriots can’t afford to give them any breathing room.
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
Odds: Houston -4
Sticking with games with major playoff implications, Houston is right there with Kansas City and New England at the top of the AFC at 9-3. The Texans have won nine straight but lost their tiebreaker with New England, so they are in third place in the conference without the first-round playoff bye right now. The Colts are coming off a brutal 6-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, which took the wind out of their sails.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
Odds: Cowboys -4
Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys have won four straight games to climb to the top of the NFC East at 7-5. Now Dallas will host the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles with a chance to move one step closer to clinching a division title. This might be the last call for the Eagles in the NFC East as a loss would put them two games back in the division with three games to go.
Los Angeles Rams @ Chicago Bears
Odds: Rams -3
Chicago will get a good test against the visiting Rams this week in a matchup of offense vs defense. Los Angeles is now the front-runner to clinch the top seed in the NFC following the Saints’ loss to the Cowboys but might need to run the table in order to hang on to that No. 1 seed. Can Jared Goff and company go on the road and find their way through a defense that’s giving up just 19.5 points per game at home?
Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks
Odds: Seahawks -3
The final game of Week 14 features a pair of NFC teams fighting for a wild-card spot in the NFC. At 7-4, Seattle is currently a half-game up on Minnesota at 6-5-1 but momentum is on the Seahawks’ side. They’ve won seven of nine while the Vikings are just 2-3 in their last five.
The key to this matchup will be the Seahawks’ effective ground game vs the Vikings’ stout run defense. The Seahawks rank first in the NFL in rushing offense while the Vikings are allowing just 3.8 yards per carry; only one team is allowing less than that.