We are back with our NFL picks for week 13. I don’t like any home teams on this week’s card, which has forced me to pick five road team. That makes me a bit weary — you know that one or two of these road dogs will pull off a surprising upset, but who will it be? Nobody knows yet. I love the Falcons, Ravens, and Jets this week. Here is what I have on tap.
ATLANTA FALCONS (-2.5) @ HOUSTON TEXANS
With the Texans starting quarterback and backup quarterback both on the IR, how does Vegas have the Texans as mere 2.5-point underdogs? The Texans will have to turn to rookie Taylor Yates, their 2011 5th-round selection out of UNC. After coming into the Jaguars game after Leinart got hurt, Yates thew 8/15 for 70 yards to hold onto the 20-10 lead the Texans had. The Texans put up 0 points in the second half. Atlanta has won their last 5 of 6 games, so I like their chances in this one against the Texans 3rd string QB. All eyes will be on Arian Foster and if they can stop him, they should win this game. I’m expecting the Falcons to dominate this game.
Prediction: Falcons 27 – Texans 17
Pick Against the Spread: Falcons -1 (Confidence: 4/5)
NEW YORK JETS (-1) @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Quite a favorable spread as I feel the Jets should be 3.5-point favorites. The line opened at -1 and has since moved to -3 at most books, but you can still find the line at -1 at some outfits.The Redskins have been awful. They just recently snapped a 6-game skid with a win over the Seattle Seahawks last week. The Jets are in the playoff hunt and need this win to keep pace with the Bengals, Steelers, Broncos, and Titans in the Wild Card race. This is a should win and a must win game for them, especially considering that the Bengals are due for a loss against the Steelers. With the Jets averaging 23 PPG compared to Washington’s 16 PPG, I like their chances. The Jets bounced back nicely after their loss to the Broncos with a win over the Bills last week in what was the best game last week.
Prediction: Jets 24 – Redskins 13
Pick Against the Spread: Jets -1 (Confidence: 4/5)
CAROLINA PANTHERS (+3) @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
In Cam Newton I trust. It was good to see Cam get a win last week and the Panthers were one of my 4/5 picks last week, so I’ll test my luck on them again this week as I’ll gladly take a field goal against the Bucs. The Panthers defense is always a liability and has cost the Panthers a ton of games this year, but the Tampa Bay offense doesn’t scare me at all. They’re averaging just 18 PPG compared to the Panthers 23 PPG average. The downside to this pick though is the Panthers sole road win was against the Colts. The Panthers are 1-4 on the road while the Bucs are 3-3 at home. However, with the Bucs losing five straight, I think the Panthers +3 is the play to make. Tampa Bay is ranked 30th in run defense and that is why I like this pick.
Prediction: Panthers 27 – Bucs 24
Pick Against the Spread: Panthers +3 (Confidence: 3/5)
BALTIMORE RAVENS (-6.5) @ CLEVELAND BROWNS
I don’t like picking four straight road favorites, but there aren’t any home teams that I love on this week’s card. I think this is a very favorable spread. The Browns average just 15 PPG and the Ravens allow just 16.5 PPG. The Browns will be shut down this week . Ray Rice and the Ravens offense will do their thing as the Ravens are averaging a very respectable 24.7 PPG and face a poor defense. This is a should win and must win game for the Ravens so they don’t give up the division to the Steelers. I’m expecting a one-sided stomping. The Ravens have beaten the Browns by 7 or more points in every game in the last three years (20-10, 24-17, 16-0, 34-3, 37-27, 28-10). The Ravens are also 5-1 ATS vs. Browns in that stretch. I love the Ravens this week.
Prediction: Ravens 27 – Browns 10
Pick Against the Spread: Ravens -6.5 (Confidence: 4/5)
DALLAS COWBOYS (-4.5) @ ARIZONA CARDINALS
I’ll post a 5th play for this week in the Dallas Cowboys over the Arizona Cardinals, but I’m slighly weary for the following reason. The Cowboys have gone 4-1 in their last 5, but against the spread, they’re 1-4 in that stretch with their only cover against the Bills at home. Arizona has turned it up a notch recently winning 3 out of their last 4 games and covering the spread in their last 4 of 5. Two of those games were against the Rams though. When the Cardinals have faced a team with a winning record, they’re 2-6 ATS in their last 8. Dallas is the much better team and should win this game by a TD, but they almost let the Dolphins beat them at home. I’ll stick with the Cowboys, but it’s not a top play.
Prediction: Cowboys 27 – Cardinals 17
Pick Against the Spread: Cowboys -4.5 (Confidence: 3/5)
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