NFL Week 14 odds roundup: Chiefs favorites over Raiders among betting lines

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The Kansas City Chiefs have struggled to beat the spread at home and the Oakland Raiders are riding a fairly lengthy against-the-spread streak on the road. Nevertheless, the Chiefs are listed as three-point favorites on the NFL lines against the Raiders with a 46.5-point total in the Thursday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Chiefs are just 1-7 against the spread in their last eight home games at Arrowhead Stadium whereas the Raiders are 8-0 ATS in their last eight road games, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

Kansas City beat the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13, as the likes of OLB Derrick Johnson, CB Marcus Peters and FS Eric Berry showed they can contain a top offense. Oakland’s Derek Carr leads the NFL’s fifth-best offense. Chiefs QB Alex Smith is not flashy but efficient and Oakland, 30th in total defense, is prone to giving up a lot of yards.

The Dallas Cowboys are favored by three points on the road against the New York Giants in the Sunday Night Football matchup. Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is up against a Giants defense which is much improved, but regressed in Week 13 by allowing Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell to rush for 118 yards. Dallas is 4-2 SU in its last six road games against the Giants, whose poor offensive line might hamper Eli Manning’s best efforts.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are favored by two points on the road against the Buffalo Bills. Snow is in the forecast. The Steelers have given QB Ben Roethlisberger excellent pass protection, and when the Bills pass rush is stopped their defense is beatable. Buffalo is getting WR Sammy Watkins back to complement star RB LeSean McCoy and the fact Buffalo is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games as a home underdog should not be overlooked.

With the AFC South lead at stake, the Indianapolis Colts are six-point favorites against the Houston Texans. Colts QB Andrew Luck has never lost at home to Houston, which likely needs to get pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney (elbow, wrist) back on the field to have a chance. Texans RB Lamar Miller was absolutely shut down against Green Bay in Week 13, but could bounce back against a mediocre Colts defense.

The Seattle Seahawks are 2.5-point road favorites against the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay is 4-1 ATS in their last five games as an underdog and QB Aaron Rodgers, along with WR Jordy Nelson and TE Jared Cook, pose a strong test for a Seahawks defense that has plugged in FS Steven Terrell for glue guy Earl Thomas (broken tibia). Russell Wilson may actually have a ground game, judging by Thomas Rawls’ 104-yard effort last week against the Carolina Panthers.

And the New England Patriots are seven-point favorites against the Baltimore Ravens in the Monday Night Football matchup. Tom Brady, without Rob Gronkowski but still complemented by the likes of Julian Edelman and LeGarrette Blount, is facing the NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense. Ravens QB Joe Flacco is coming off a strong performance and his team is not only 5-0 ATS in its last five Monday games, but has always competed well at Gillette Stadium.

O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing draws ‘hundreds of letters’ regarding case

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O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing in Nevada on Thursday drew nationwide attention, and the Board of Parole Commissioners demonstrated that by showing the “hundreds of letters of support and opposition” for Simpson.

The commissioner noted that a majority of the opposition letters asked the board to consider Simpson’s 1995 acquittal in the murder case of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman and the subsequent civil case that ordered Simpson to pay $25 million to the victims’ families. But the letters were not considered in the case, in which the board paroled the former football star after he was sentenced to nine years in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping in 2007 when he attempted to retrieve memorabilia that he claimed belonged to him.

The commissioner displayed what appeared to be five stacks of letters and said that the board “always encourages public opinion.” The parole hearing received widespread public attention, broadcast live nationally and drawing hundreds of reporters.

Simpson could be released as early as October.

Parole commissioner makes awkward-yet-hilarious slip up in O.J. Simpson’s hearing

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O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing Thursday captured moments of remorse and regret from the former Heisman running back but also a moment that was awkward, embarrassing and, frankly, comedic.

When the chairman of the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners, Connie Bisbee, was verifying Simpson’s information, she made an unfortunate slip.

“We have that you are currently — well very recently you turned 90 years old,” Bisbee said to Simpson. After she realized she added a full 20 years to the 70-year-old Simpson’s actual age, Bisbee quickly apologized and corrected herself.

Laughing, Simpson responded “I feel like it, though.” The courtroom burst out laughing in a short moment of comedic relief.

It was announced shortly after the hearing that Simpson’s parole had been granted. Simpson is on track to be a freed man this year.