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Week 13 NFL Picks with Analysis
Titans at Bills - Both teams still hanging on and alive for the playoffs, albeit, barely. The Bills have dropped 4 straight. The Titans last 3 wins have come against Tampa, Carolina and Indy. If the Bills are going to snap this losing streak, now would be the time. Bills -1.5
Chiefs at Bears - Bears miss Cutler big time. The Chiefs will likely start former Bears QB Kyle Orton who knows a thing or two about the Bears defense. But joining a team and being thrown out there to start right away means a very limited playbook to go along with a bunch of receivers not on the same page as the QB. Things take time, timing, etc. The Bears defense should dominate this game. The offense may not be that productive, but 3 field goals should be enough! Note the Bears +11 in TO margin. Bears -7
Raiders at Dolphins - The Dolphins have played some decent football over the last 6 games. In that stretch they are 3-3 with their losses coming by 3, 3 and 1 and it's the defense that is really shining as shown in their defensive yards per point number of 18, among the best in the NFL. The Raiders have won 3 straight and are in 1st place in the AFC West. Carson Palmer is getting more comfortable as each week goes by, but the Raiders injury list is a long one and includes Darren McFadden. Miami's most recent wins came against KC, the Skins and the Bills, all teams where the bottom has fallen out. This one is close. Raiders +3
Bengals at Steelers - write up here
Ravens at Browns - The Ravens should dominate here. When they click on all cylinders they are the best in the AFC. But they have had a tendency to underachieve against inferior teams this year, i.e.. Seattle, Arizona, Jacksonville. But it's stretch time. Time to separate the men from the boys. On paper, the Browns shouldn't even score in this one. Ravens -6.5
Jets at Redskins - The Jets are clinging to their playoff lives with no room for error. If they can't win this one, they don't deserve the playoffs. The Redskins yards per point numbers on offense are among the worst in the league at 19.5. That puts them in the company of the Colts (21), the Chiefs (21.6), the Browns (20.6) and the Rams (24.8). But the Jets are 30 points behind the spread their last 3 games, so be careful. Jets -3
Falcons at Texans - The Texans have signed QB Jake Delhomme for some veteran QB experience as they make their playoff push, but it's TJ Yates who will get the start this week after both Schaub and Leinart have gone down with injuries. That gives the Falcons a decisive edge at QB here. At full strength, we'd like the Texans to win this one by a TD or more. We still like them here as their running game and that #2 defense in points allowed might be enough. Texans +3 -120
Panthers at Bucs - Flip a coin. At this point in the season, your handicapping time should be spent on teams still alive.
Lions at Saints - This number is much too high. The Lions are on a 2-4 run while the Saints have won 3 straight but these two match up evenly in several categories, including being dead even in points scored and points allowed as well as yards per points. Note the Saints -5 in turnover margin while the Lions are +9. Our NFL model has a predicted final of 32-30 Saints. Gotta take the points in a shootout. Lions +9
Broncos at Vikings - When you're hot you're hot (Broncos 4 straight wins) and when you're not you're not (Vikings 3 straight losses). I guess you gotta believe! Broncos +2.
Rams at 49ers - Sam Bradford is questionable. The 49ers are not. 49ers -13.5
Cowboys at Cardinals - This game interesting only because of the drama in the NFC East between the Giants and Cowboys. These two teams actually have identical yards per points numbers, neither very good, and not "playoff like". Cowboys have been barely getting by. Don't trust them as a fav. Cards +4.5
Packers at Giants - write up here
Colts at Patriots - Imagine if you had a chance to get tickets to any game of the year, prior to the season starting and you chose this one? Manning vs. Brady, the playoffs on the line, marquee game of the week and maybe of the year. Yeah, right! Our NFL model predicts a 43-9 Pats win. We can't lay -20.5 points in an NFL game can we? Colts +20.5
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