In Week 2 of the NFL season I adopted a new method for making my picks against the spread. Since that time I’ve picked just selected games that fit my criteria and I’ve posted a 38-23 record.
Last week I suffered my worst week of the year, posting a 2-5 mark. I won on covers by the Redskins and Browns. I lost with the Raiders, Panthers, Dolphins, Rams and Jaguars. How the Dolphins and Jaguars – who had a lot to play for – lost their games so badly is beyond my explanation. If Miami had won, they’d be a game back of first place facing the Patriots this week! The Jaguars were playing a reeling 49ers squad with a chance to really push them into a favorites role for the AFC Wild Card. Ugly losses on both counts.
My picks for Week 13:
St. Louis (+9.5) vs. Chicago
Two reasons for this pick. I don’t think the Rams are near as terrible as their record and Jay Cutler is playing quarterback for the Bears. I just can’t see how they will blow out anyone if Cutler keeps throwing the ball to the team not wearing Bears helmets.
Houston (Pick’em) vs. Jacksonville
The Jaguars are by far the most frustrating team to try to understand this year. The Texans are quite possibly second. But the Texans are a much more talented team than the Jags, so I’m going to pick them to bring both these teams to 6-6.
Tennessee (+6.5) vs. Indianapolis
I don’t think the Colts have won a game by 7 or more for over a month. The Titans have been playing very good football, and I don’t think I would pick them to win straight up, but keeping it real close seems like a gimme. So I guess you should take this one with a grain of salt.
Oakland (+14.5) vs. Pittsburgh
I have a feeling the Raiders have been my Achilles heel of betting this season. When I think they’ll lose big, they win or keep it close. When I think they’ll keep it close or win, they lose badly. I think the Raiders will stay within ten of the Steelers though, with Ben Roethlisberger’s concussion playing a role in that pick.
New England (-4) vs. Miami
Yes the Patriots got blown out of the water (by the best team in the NFL) on Monday. But the Dolphins may very well pay the price for the Patriots frustration in that game. The win for the Patriots would basically lock up the division, and after seeing the Dolphins get embarrassed by the Bills last week, I don’t even know if Miami thinks they’re still in the AFC East race.
Dallas (-2.5) vs. New York Giants
Don’t know how this line is as close as it is. The Cowboys are winning lately. The Giants have been awful since they were dismantled by the Saints for their first loss. The Cowboys should have no issue picking through this secondary unless Tony Romo decides to imitate Jay Cutler or Jake Delhomme.
Minnesota (-3) vs. Arizona
What a race for homefield in the NFC! Who would ever think that there is a realistic possibility that a 15-1 team would not get homefield advantage in the conference? But if the Saints lose one game, they could be that team. And if the Saints go 16-0, the Vikings could be that team. Crazy.
But no matter who gets the starting QB nod for the Cardinals, I think the Vikings pick up the victory.
Baltimore (+3) vs. Green Bay
This could be the last hurrah for my preseason AFC Champion pick. The Ravens should be able to frazzle Aaron Rodgers enough to win this game straight up. And if the cold makes it a run the ball game, I like the Ravens even more with their three-headed monster RB tandem of Ray Rice, Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain.
So there you have it – a season-high eight picks this week. We’ll see if I can bounce back from my recent mini-slump or not in Week 13.