Welcome to my NFL Predictions against the Spread series for Week 13. Although it’s the week after Thanksgiving, I’d like to send some greetings out to Roy Williams and the Green Bay Packers special teams. Two units that turned a decent week into an embarrassment for Week 12.
I can’t believe there are only four more of these after this. Football has come and gone way too fast. The NFC wildcard race is going to be very entertaining as everyone has a legitimate shot at qualifying, even the Buccaneers with their Swiss cheese schedule. Will a sub .500 team win the NFC West? I’m betting against it.
All stats are from NFL.com. All lines are from Cooper’s picks. Check out the AC NFL Pick ‘Em contest featuring 11 other writers and their picks HERE. Everything has been finalized except for the Titans and Jaguars contest. I will post my spread pick when its released in the comments. Good luck!
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Houston Texans at Philadelphia Eagles (-8)
The Texans against NFC East opponents: Dominated at home by the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, and needed a 17 point comeback to defeat the Redskins in overtime in Week 2. The Eagles against AFC South opponents: Dominated the Jaguars, defeated the Colts, and lost a game to Tennessee where Michael Vick didn’t play and a LeSean McCoy fumbled turned the momentum of the game around.
Moral: AFC South teams don’t match up well with the NFC East. It’s at Philadelphia, and the Texans hadn’t given up less than 24 points against anyone all season before playing the Titans. The Eagles have the NFL’s #2 offense, and their secondary will have difficulty against the Eagles speed at wideout. Basically, I like an Eagles double-digit victory here.
Against the Spread: – Philadelphia Eagles (-8) if Samuel plays. Houston Texans (+8) if Samuel doesn’t play
Straight: Philadelphia Eagles
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Buffalo Bills at Minnesota Vikings (-6.5)
Consider this: Since the Bills week 6 bye, they’ve lost overtime games to the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, and Pittsburgh Steelers, two of which were road games. They also lost a three point game to the Bears while defeating the Lions and Bengals.
My point? The Bills have lost to the Chiefs (7-4), Ravens (8-3), Steelers (8-3), and Bears (8-3) by a combined 12 points. They’ve won their games against weaker teams, however. The Vikings? A 4-7 team who is transitioning under a new head coach.
I believe Bills with points is a great deal because they’ve played competitively since the bye. No reason they can’t play a tight game with the Vikings when they did on the road at K.C. and Baltimore.
Straight-up, I’d advise taking the Vikings. First, the Vikings just have too much talent for the Bills. Second, the Vikings are still 3-2 at home and are usually more competitive in the dome. Third, the Vikings primary reason for defeats this season is based on their turnover ratio (-12). Fortunately for Minnesota, the Bills aren’t much better (-7).
Overall, I think it’s a bad match-up for the Bills. The one thing to watch out for in this game (and what might make me change later in the week): Adrian Peterson’s health. If he misses the game, Bills have a better chance.
Against the Spread: – Buffalo Bills (+6)
Straight: – Minnesota Vikings
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins (-4.5)
This one could depend on the health of the quarterbacks. Delhomme starting would basically spot the Dolphins seven points. Chad Henne did play, so I’d expect him to start next week.
It’s a tossup game. Miami only has one home victory, and they’re fighting for their slim playoff lives. The Browns are 1-4 on the road and their one road victory featured two defensive touchdown returns by a defensive linemen. It’s going to be another situation where the Browns will “find a way to win or lose.” I’m guessing that a rookie QB on the road will lead them on the wrong end.
Against the Spread: – Cleveland Browns (+4.5)
Straight: – Miami Dolphins
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Jacksonville Jaguars () at Tennessee Titans ()
The Tennessee Titans dominated the first match-up, 30-3. Vince Young’s injury problems began this game, and Collins played most of that contest with a nice performance. Don’t forget that David Garrard was injured, also. Collins only had about 110 yards passing, so the quarterback play wasn’t significant for the Titans in their first victory.
The Titans have won the past two match-ups by a combined score of 60-16. They also swept the 2008 series. I’m not sure how Chris Johnson gets seven carries in a game where Rusty Smith starts, but that won’t happen again.
The Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger will take a leave of absence for cancer treatment. With a three game home stand and only one game back of the Colts and Jaguars, I’m looking for a more spirited effort from the Titans. They still have two games remaining against a injury-ridden Colts unit, and they need to take advantage of this opportunity in 2010 to win the AFC South; they’re not giving up, and they’ve had good success against the Jaguars the past few years.
This prediction is based off Kerry Collins starting. Rusty Smith starts, and I’m probably switching to the Jaguars. Spread pick available later in the week.
Against the Spread: – Check in comments later this week
Straight: Tennessee Titans (If Collins starts) or Jacksonville Jaguars (if Smith or Simms starts)
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-9)
The Broncos dominated the previous showing as their passing offense exploited the Chiefs passing defense. However the Chiefs are 5-0 at Arrowhead, and the Broncos can’t cheat anymore (I kid, I kid).
Three of the Chiefs home victories were by 18+. This is a must win before some huge road games against the Chargers and Rams. The Chiefs #1 rushing offense will take on the Broncos #31 rushing defense, and the Broncos #4 passing offense will take on the Chiefs #24 passing defense. The Broncos aren’t sweeping the Chiefs, but I will put enough faith in them to cover since its one of the West’s biggest rivalries.
Against the Spread: – Denver Broncos (+9)
Straight: – Kansas City Chiefs
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Washington Redskins at New York Giants (-7)
The Giants barely escaped with a victory against Jacksonville, have a regressing defense, have a history of fading away in the second half, and are feeling the effects of the injury bug. The NFC East divisional games have been awkward this season. It almost seems like home field advantage is a disadvantage. The Eagles barely reversed that jinx when they defeated the Giants in Week 11, possibly a Vick fumbled snap from not happening.
The Washington Redskins (+5) turnover ratio vs. the New York Giants (-6). Eli Manning has been turnover prone, and Ahmad Bradshaw has fumbled passes this season. The Redskins and Giants are one of the all-time great NFL rivalries, and the Giants aren’t playing that well currently. The Redskins usually play within seven points, also. Therefore, taking the Giants (-7) seems absurd on many levels.
Overall, I believe the Redskins will split with the Giants this season. The question: Which game will the Redskins win? Redskins are 3-2 on the road while they’re 2-4 at home. I’m going with the upset happening this week instead of Week 17.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Washington Redskins (+7)
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Chicago Bears (-3.5) at Detroit Lions
Amazing, right? The struggling 7-4 Giants are seven point favorites to the Redskins in a rivalry game, but the Bears are only three point favorites (despite being one of the NFL’s hottest teams) against the lowly Lions. As a Packers fan, even I am baffled by the disrespect.
The Lions lose games because of penalties, turnovers, and fundamentals (complete opposite to the Bears). The Lions were a controversial TD reception away from defeating the Bears in Week 1 at Solider Field, but the Bears have won the past five meetings. The Bears have drastically improved since that showdown while the Lions… haven’t. The speed of the Bears wideouts will cause problems for the Lions defensive backs and cause some bad coverages.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Chicago Bears (-3.5)
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (-10)
Spread pick later in the week, but here’s how it goes: The Packers have lost four games by a combined twelve points. If they can’t beat a 49ers team on a short week at Lambeau Field… come on. A +7 turnover to -6 in favor of Green Bay doesn’t hurt the cause, either.
One more thing to consider: The Packers are the “Coach killers.”
Against the Spread: – San Francisco 49ers (+10)
Straight: Green Bay Packers
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Atlanta Falcons (-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers lost the first match-up 27-21, but the game came down to Atlanta on a goal-line stand at the one. If the Buccaneers want to make the playoffs, they have to win this game or sweep a combination of @WAS, DET, SEA, and @NO. Ten wins may not cut it in the NFC (Actually, eleven might not either if everyone keeps winning).
The Buccaneers live and die by the turnover. The bad thing for them is that the Falcons are better at it (+11 to +8). In the last game, Roddy White was held to under 50 yards receiving and the Buccaneers had a kickoff return for a touchdown (and another Spurlock kickoff that set up another score), yet they still fell short. The Buccaneers did play within six points while losing the turnover battle by two. Falcons won the first down battle 26-14 and outgained the Buccaneers by nearly 100 yards.
The Falcons win these games. They have since Matt Ryan led the Falcons past the Bears a few years ago. The Buccaneers have yet to defeat a good team, and the Falcons just find ways to win. I doubt the Buccaneers get 14 points set up off their kickoff return unit this time.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Atlanta Falcons (-3)
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: New Orleans Saints (-7) at Cincinnati Bengals
The New Orleans Saints are 1-1 against AFC North teams (thanks bill) while the Cincinnati Bengals have been competitive against the Buccaneers and Falcons. Both teams have been poor at turnover ratio,
The Saints have the #3 passing offense and passing defense. Luckily for the Bengals, they’re somewhat decent in their passing offenses and defense. What has hurt these teams are their rushing offenses and defenses. However, the Saints are amongst the NFL’s best in penalties, and that’s good for a road team. I do think this will be a little closer than anticipated: A 3-10 point game.
Against the Spread: – Cincinnati Bengals (+7)
Straight: – New Orleans Saints
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers (-13)
The Raiders needed a couple blocked punts and a defensive touchdown at the end of their last meeting to pull off a victory. Now, the Chargers are hitting their stride while the Raiders are playing terribly. The Chargers are 4-1 at home. They have included victories of 38-13 (Jaguars), 41-10 (Cardinals), 33-25 (Titans), and 35-14 (Broncos). Their only defeat was a three point loss to New England. Safe to say, the Chargers are dominant at home and improve during the second half of the season. The Raiders have fallen off since their bye week with big margin defeats to the Steelers and Raiders.
I think this game will be closer just because it’s such a huge rivalry. Saying that, I still think like the Chargers by at least three touchdowns, and that’s being generous.
Straight& Against the Spread: – San Diego Chargers (-13)
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Dallas Cowboys () at Indianapolis Colts (-5.5)
Three defeats in a row just seems impossible for Peyton Manning. The Cowboys have had three extra days of preparation, but that secondary is terrible. Are they really going to play zone on Peyton Manning, just like they did on Brees? Come on…
Shootout here, but Manning will be too much for Kitna and the Cowboys defense. Cowboys defense is only one of four teams that allows over 101 QB rating to opposing QBs.
Against the Spread: – Dallas Cowboys (+5.5)
Straight: Indianapolis Colts
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: St. Louis Rams (-3) at Arizona Cardinals
Sam Bradford talked about having to win road games to be a playoff team. They got their first one in Denver, and they have a tremendous chance to return to .500 at Arizona.
The Cardinals will be on a short week. The Rams lost 17-13 to the Cardinals in Sam Bradford’s debut. Bradford has improved greatly, and the Cardinals… well, their quarterback situation hasn’t.
The Rams (+4 turnover ratio) vs. the Cardinals (-8). The Cardinals were blown out at their house by Seattle not too long ago, so home field means little to them (they actually had a better road record last year, too). Cardinals are also 29th in rushing defense, so they’re probably vulnerable to Stephen Jackson (helping out Bradford). The Cardinals have allowed 35 sacks (2nd in NFL) while the Rams have 31 defensive sacks (2 behind the leader).
Cardinals have turnover prone QBs behind a terrible OL, no rushing game, and bad defense. Cardinals match up poorly with the Rams. I like the Rams in a 10-14 point victory.
Straight & Against the Spread: – St. Louis Rams (-3)
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks (-6)
It’s another long road trip for the Panthers, and Seattle tends to play better at home (well, they did). Seattle is 1-4 in their past five games. This has featured losses against the Raiders (33-3), Giants (41-7), Saints (34-19), and Chiefs (42-24).
The Panthers are coming off a defeat in which Jonathan Stewart averaged over eight yards per carry, and his backup (Goodson) averaged nearly five. If the Panthers can run the ball, the Seahawks could have difficulty. The Seahawks are 29th in offense whereas the Panthers are 32nd. However, the Panthers 14th ranked defense is better than Seattle’s 30th ranked defense.
The Panthers could win this game. If it weren’t for the second consecutive long road trip and my perception (albeit, decreasing) of Seattle’s homefield advantage, I’d probably take the Panthers. The Seahawks gave up 270 rushing to the Chiefs, but the Panthers don’t have a game-managing presence like Matt Cassel. Expect a close game in Seattle, maybe 24-20ish.
Against the Spread: – Carolina Panthers (+6)
Straight: – Seattle Seahawks
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-3)
The Ravens defeated the Steelers in Pittsburgh this season, but the Steelers were playing their fourth string quarterback. They’ve won the last two match-ups, and they’re undefeated at home this season.
I just don’t see the Ravens sweeping the Steelers. I also see the Ravens as more of a 6-2/7-1 type of home team, not 8-0. The Steelers have had some bad Sunday Night performances since last season, but I believe they can pull of a minor upset in one of my favorite rivalries games in all of sports.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Pittsburgh Steelers (+3)
Week 13 NFL Predictions against the Spread: New York Jets at New England Patriots (-3)
Statistically, the Patriots are one of the NFL’s worst defenses. They’re ranked 31st in yards allowed and are amongst the worst in time of possession allowed. Not good when you’re playing the Jets, the NFL’s #2 rushing offense.
The Jets handled the Patriots with ease in the first match-up. Even with Moss, the Jets shutdown Brady and the passing attack. However, Brady hasn’t lost a regular season home game since 2006. Until he does, I can’t pick against him. Not in the regular season.
I will admit: If any team can end it, it’s Rex Ryan’s Jets.
Straight & Against the Spread: – New England Patriots (-3)
More From Associated Content
George Strait & Brett Favre “Give It Away” Parody (Lyrics)” Brett Favre Giveaway
Cooper’s Picks. November 30, 2010.
NFL Stats, November 30, 2010.