Friday, December 9, 2016

NFL Picks, Week 13


The majority of the country (in terms of map coverage, not necessarily number of households) will see 
Pittsburgh at Buffalo / Denver at Tennessee (CBS, 1 PM)
Washington at Philadelphia  (FOX, 1:00 PM) 
Seattle at Green Bay (FOX, 4:25PM)

The entire country will see 
Dallas at New York Giants (NBC, 8:30)
Baltimore at New England (ESPN, 8:30 *Monday*)

Home teams in CAPS.

KANSAS CITY (-3.5) over Oakland

Denver (+1) over TENNESSEE

If Trevor Siemian plays, and indications are he will, I see Denver winning this game (Who could have anticipated me writing those words at the start of the season???) While I lean towards the Titans being the most talented team on paper in the AFC South, every time they've come up against a game they need for division/playoff positioning, they've turtled. Denver's defense will rise to the occasion, and the offense will be good enough.  

San Diego (+1.5) over CAROLINA
Carolina's effort in the Seattle game was sorry, they clearly want to be done with this season as quickly as possible. For all of San Diego's faults, their "give-a-crap" meter isn't one of them.

Houston (+6) over INDIANAPOLIS
I know, I know. I'm backing Brock Osweiler after 5-6 straight weeks of mocking him. I do think Indy wins this game to take control of the South (at least for this week), but these teams are separated by a razor's edge. They're both very flawed operations, just in different ways. This will come down to a late field goal.

CLEVELAND (+5.5) over Cincinnati
I'm still on the Browns not finishing 0-16 train. I believe they have enough talent to win a game, and I believe their coaching staff is good enough to help them steal one. And while I think some malaise has set in and we've seen it in their efforts over the last month, this game may be their best chance to avoid the 0-fer, which should perk them up.

Pittsburgh (-2) over BUFFALO
I trust the Steelers offense more than any other unit in this game.

Arizona (-1) over MIAMI
The Cardinals are finally (too late) making the playoff push we all expected to see from Day 1 this season. The Dolphins are starting their end of season sputter after a bad start followed by a strong mid-season push. You've been able to set your clock to the late season Dolphins fade for years, and it looks like Adam Gase needs more than one offseason to break that cycle.

DETROIT (-8) over Chicago
Look, it would be quintessentially Lions to drop this game to the Bears just as everyone is starting to hop onto the bandwagon, but the Bears are just not good enough a team to win this game.

MINNESOTA (-3) over Jacksonville
Minnesota's defense against Blake Bortles. Need I say more? Yes? Okay, how about Minnesota's defense against a quaterback who has more career pick-sixes (11) than wins (10)?

TAMPA BAY (-2.5) over New Orleans
Tampa is the stronger team, and the game isn't in the Superdome.

Washington (-2) over PHILADELPHIA
Carson Wentz is (predictably) faltering as teams get more tape on him, and the Eagles defense is collapsing under the weight of supporting the whole team. Add in a strong Washington offense and Philly's slide isn't stopping this week.

New York Jets (+2.5) over SAN FRANCISCO
Yes, the Jets are just playing out the string, and yes they got clobbered by the Colts by 31 points on Monday. But the 49ers were blown out by the Bears, probably the 3rd-worst team in the league last week! This is a BAD team, and as long as the Jets haven't completely checked out, they should be able to win this one.

Seattle (-3) over GREEN BAY
Is Seattle as good as they showed last Sunday night? Absolutely not, as I said above, the Panthers gave up once things got hard. But I don't see Green Bay's defensive front being able to completely overwhelm Seattle's offensive line, and when that doesn't happen, Seattle's offense has been able to put up some pretty nice numbers. Add in a mostly healthy defense and a gimpy and human Aaron Rodgers, and I see Seattle handing Rodgers his first home December loss in 8 years.

Atlanta (-6) over LOS ANGELES
Good, quality offenses who can survive LA's fearsome front four tend to carve up the Rams. It helps that the Rams' offense isn't much of a threat to put up significant points. Atlanta should be one of those teams on Sunday. 

Dallas (-3) over NEW YORK GIANTS
The Giants aren;t as good as their mid-season winning streak made them appear, and despite the fact that they're the only team to have beaten Dallas this year (in week 1), Dallas has gotten much better since then, and Eli is still as inconsistent as ever. 

Baltimore (+7) over NEW ENGLAND
Too many injuries for the Patriots, and we know the Ravens can come into Gillette and get a result.  

This week: 1-0 (Whoo-hoo!)
Last week: 8-7 (.533)
Season: 92-91-8 (.503)

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