Sunday, November 30, 2014

NFL Picks: Week 13

Photo courtesy of USA Today
I started this week by tweeting (@WilliamBotchway) all of my Thanksgiving Day picks. After it looked like I was in for a rough day after the first quarter of the early game, I actually started off pretty well:

Then things changed:


UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.

RAVENS (-6) over Chargers. Both of these teams have been killed by injuries over the course of the year, but the Chargers haven't looked right for a while. The Ravens are a littler bit more intact right now.

BILLS (-3) over Browns. This week's "I'm going with the home team because I don't know what else to do" winner: the Buffalo Bills. And yes, they'll actually be playing in their home stadium this week.

Titans (+7) over J.J. WATT. I already feel nervous about laying 7 points against Zach Mettenberger. Maybe that's a good sign for his career. Maybe that's because the other quarterback is Ryan Fitzpatrick. I'm not really sure yet.

COLTS (-9.5) over Washington Professional Football Team. Washington is a mess, and the Colts will continue to feast on terrible teams.

Giants (-3) over JAGUARS. I don't ever want to pick the Giants, especially on the road, but this line is too low for me to avoid. The Jags aren't nearly as terrible as their record may indicate, but they're clearly worse than the Giants.

VIKINGS (-2.5) over Panthers. This is the closest the NFC South will come to a victory today, and I don't really think it's that close. The Vikings are better, and playing at home. What's not to love about this pick?

STEELERS (-4) over Saints. Good team at home -4 over bad team who is even worse on the road? Sign me up.

Raiders (+6.5) over RAMS. Thank you for your offer, Shaun Hill -6.5, but nah.

Bengals (-3.5) over BUCCANEERS. I guess the Bengals are back on track. Which of course means that we're in for Mike Evans torching them for 250 yards as the Bucs roll over Cincy, but I'm not going to make that prediction.

Cardinals (-1.5) over DIVISION LEADING FALCONS. So, by my picks this week, the NFC South leader on Tuesday will remain the Falcons at a blazing 4-8 record. I hope they're all proud that they're collectively on the verge of history. It's so bad that someone seriously wrote this article two days ago, and wasn't kidding.

R-E-L-A-X (-3) over Patriots. Both teams are playing great right now, but the Packers look especially dominant at home. In their five home games so far this year, they've scored 31, 42, 38, 55, and 53 points respectively, all while never allowing more than 24 points (to my Jets, of all teams). They've been great all year and unstoppable recently. The Pats are on a roll now as well, but I don't see anyone rolling through Lambeau for a win.

CHIEFS (+1.5) over Broncos. It's easy to write off the Chiefs in this game, because the last time we saw KC, they were being outplayed by the Raiders. But, over the course of the season, they've been really good, and match up very well with Denver. Justin Houston, as well as Tamba Hali, should keep Manning under pressure all game, and as we saw against the Rams, the Broncos aren't set up to deal with great pass rushes anymore.

JETS (+7) over Dolphins. Simply a lot of points to give the Jets at home.

Last Week: 8-7

This Week: 1-2

Season: 82-92-2

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