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NFL picks, Week 14: Straight up, and considering Survivor pool strategy

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We’re back with Week 14 NFL picks, including a look at the 49ers, straight up picks, a Survivor pool, and a look at Thursday Night Football against the spread.

We’re back for Week 14 of the 2016 NFL season. We get one of the biggest matchups of the year on Thursday Night Football, with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Oakland Raiders for AFC West supremacy. Later this weekend, the San Francisco 49ers are back home facing the New York Jets. The 49ers are 1-11, but actually a 2.5-point favorite against the Jets.

Like last week, I think this is a winnable game. The 49ers looked bad last week, but did manage a decent enough first half, at least compared to the Bears at the time. The Jets were abysmal throughout their MNF loss to the Indianapolis Colts. They benched Ryan Fitzpatrick and will go with Bryce Petty againt the 49ers.

Once again, I will not be rolling the dice on the 49ers with my Week 14 Survivor pool pick. With the pool, you can only pick a team once. You get one grace loss, so if I pick a team and they lose this week, I’m still alive. If I pick a team next week after that loss, and that latter team loses, then I’m done. I remain alive in the pool after picking the Baltimore Ravens over the Miami Dolphins last week. I still have the New England Patriots, but I am not going to use them this week at home against Baltimore. Instead, I am probably going to take the Detroit Lions at home against the Bears.

Thursday Night Football features what could be the best matchup of the season. The 9-3 Kansas City Chiefs play host to the 10-2 Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs won the first matchup between the two teams in Week 5, beating the Raiders 26-10 in Oakland. If Kansas City wins this game, they move into a tie and hold the season-sweep tiebreaker. If Oakland wins, they take a two-game lead in the division. The Chiefs are laying three in this game. I’m inclined to take the Chiefs in a tough matchup. The public is slightly favoring Oakland, and I think they’ll get burned this time around.

Here are my straight up picks for the week.

Raiders @ Chiefs: Chiefs
Steelers @ Bills: Bills
Broncos @ Titans: Titans
Washington @ Eagles: Eagles
Cardinals @ Dolphins: Dolphins
Chargers @ Panthers: Panthers
Bengals @ Browns: Browns
Bears @ Lions: Lions
Texans @ Colts: Colts
Vikings @ Jaguars: Vikings
Jets @ 49ers: 49ers
Saints @ Buccaneers: Bucs
Falcons @ Rams: Rams
Seahawks @ Packers: Packers
Cowboys @ Giants: Cowboys
Ravens @ Patriots: Patriots