As we dive right into Week Thirteen, I think the schedule makers feel a little duped. Before the NFL got greedy, the league used to only have Thursday Night Football games after Thanksgiving, if they had any, that is. Presumably, these games would feature the “best of the best”. I imagine the plan still is to subscribe to that theory…after the first several weeks feature several mediocre to poor teams because every team has to play at least one Thursday game.
Tonight’s game features two NFC East teams that big things were expected of. Dallas was 13-3 last year and Washington was 8-7-1, though on the fringe of the playoffs. Welp, both teams are currently sitting at 5-6, with little to no hope for the playoffs. Certainly neither will win the division, since both are behind the Philadelphia Eagles by 5 games with 5 to play. Disappointing, to state the obvious.
That all being said, I have a sneaky feeling that this game will be a good one. I have no idea why. Just another hunch. And we know how my hunches sometime go…
Washington at Dallas (-1.5)
The Cowboys are 2-4 at home. So yes, they have already lost one more game at home than they had lost all of last year in total. They have scored a total of 22 points in the last three games. No Zeke. The corpse of Darren McFadden retired this week, if anyone cares about that as well.
The ‘Skins haven’t been a ton better, struggling against a woeful Giants team on Thanksgiving. Though they have been at least scoring some points in their losses.
You’d think maybe Dallas may finally score some points again and win at home. I think half of that may be true. We shall see…
Washington 24, Dallas 20.
Week (against the spread): 12-4
Week (straight up): 13-3
Season (against the spread): 92-84
Season (straight up): 116-60
It’s way too early to pick all the games for the week. But it’s a Holiday week. So here is my short and sweet Holiday edition…Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Minnesota (-2.5) at Detroit
The Vikings coaches have been waiting for a chance to replace the hot Case Keenum at QB. Teddy Bridgewater has returned from injury after about a year and a half on the shelf. This may be the week.
Detroit 27, Minnesota 24.
Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas (-1.5)
The Cowboys have scored 16 total points the last two weeks against the Falcons and Eagles. I have to imagine this will change on Turkey Day. Jerry Jones is indeed a big turkey, but still…
Dallas 30, Los Angeles Chargers 21.
New York Giants at Washington (-7.5)
Nice win by the Giants over Kansas City Sunday. But I’m saying that was more about the Chiefs not being as good as everyone thinks they are, than the Giants all of a sudden trending back up. The ‘Skins did choke their game away against New Orleans, but I think they rebound here.
Washington 38, New York Giants 13.
Buffalo at Kansas City (-9.5)
I expect KC to rebound, but 9.5 is too high. I’m assuming the Bills are going back to Tyrod Taylor. Don’t they have to? If they go back to Taylor, the feeling here is Buffalo keeps it somewhat close…cuz again, the Chiefs are overrated. If somehow they stick with Nathan Peterman, the Chiefs may win by a hundred.
Kansas City 27, Buffalo 20.
Tennessee (-3.5) at Indianapolis
The Titans have had 10 days to prepare, the Colts 14. Coincidentally, they both lost their previous game to the Steelers. The Colts only lost by three, while the Titans got hammered. Jacoby Brissett I think is expected to play. Not that he makes a huge difference, but he’s a lot better than Scott Tolzien. Indy is at home, but Tennesee is the better team. I think.
Tennessee 23, Indianapolis 17.
Cleveland at Cincinnati (-8.5)
Cleveland is 0-10, but have hung around a lot of their games before collapsing at the end. Cincy shouldn’t be favored by this much over anyone, even if the opponents are 0-10.
Cincinnati 20, Cleveland 14.
Tampa Bay at Atlanta (-8.5)
I thought Atlanta was done. Perhaps I was wrong.
Atlanta 34, Tampa Bay 17.
Miami at New England (-16.5)
The Pats should roll. But I’m wary of them coming back home after two weeks…and two dominant victories…and getting a little too comfy. I’m probably wrong, but 16.5 seems like a lot.
New England 27, Miami 13.
Chicago at Philadelphia (-13.5)
13.5 is also a lot. But the Eagles are clicking on all cylinders right now and I don’t feel like the Bears will put up much of a fight.
Philadelphia 34, Chicago 17.
Carolina (-4.5) at New York Jets
I’ll pretty much always pick against the Jets. That it’s only 4.5 points makes it even easier.
Carolina 31, New York Jets 17.
Seattle (-7.5) at San Francisco
The Seahawks are banged up on D and the O-Line and have zero running game. Hard to believe any of this will matter against the Niners. Hopefully, we will get to see the debut of Jimmy Garoppolo though. That’s something to watch for anyway.
Seattle 34, San Francisco 14.
New Orleans at Los Angeles Rams (-2.5)
The Rams played a good team last Sunday in Minnesota and were shut down. The Saints came back against the ‘Skins, as noted above. The Saints have won eight in a row now. This week, it’s the Saints’ turn to get shut down…a little anyway. I still can’t believe these teams are a combined 15-5 this year.
Los Angeles Rams 30, New Orleans 27.
Jacksonville (-4.5) at Arizona
Blaine Gabbert everyone! The Jaguars defense has given up 24 fewer points than anyone else in the league. So why am I going against the 7-3 Jaguars this week? Maybe because I am writing this on a Tuesday…
Arizona 20, Jacksonville 17.
Denver at Oakland (-4.5)
Two teams that have imploded this year, so who do you pick? Two words will guide you: Paxton Lynch.
Oakland 24, Denver 13.
Green Bay at Pittsburgh (-14.5)
The Pack have obviously not been the same since Aaron Rodgers went down. Brett Hundley has not looked good…an understatement, I know. They have injuries elsewhere. The Steelers routed the Titans and have had 10 days between games. But they haven’t actually blown a ton of teams away en route to their 8-2 record. 14.5 seems like a lot here, but again, simply a hunch.
Pittsburgh 31, Green Bay 17.
Houston at Baltimore (-7.5)
Not buying into the Ravens. Even at home against the Texans. I guess they will still actually win the game though.
Baltimore 17, Houston 14.
Week (against the spread): 9-5
Week (straight up): 10-4
Season (against the spread): 80-80
Season (straight up): 103-57
…no comments necessary to start:
Jacksonville (-7.5) at Cleveland
The Jags have beaten up on bad teams this year for the most part. Cleveland is a bad team.
Jacksonville 27, Cleveland 13.
Tampa Bay at Miami (-2.5)
Tampa has certainly underachieved this year, but I am not sure how Miami can be favored against anyone.
Tampa Bay 23, Miami 17.
Arizona (-1.5) at Houston
Blaine Gabbert versus Tom Savage. Ugh…
Houston 17, Arizona 14.
Washington at New Orleans (-7.5)
Spread initially seemed a little high to me, but then again the ‘Skins gave up 38 to Case Keenum last week and now have to face the explosive Saints in their dome at home. Then the number made more sense.
New Orleans 42, Washington 24.
Kansas City (-10.5) at New York Giants
The G-Men got blasted by the previously winless 49ers last week. It’s over…
Kansas City 37, New York Giants 10.
Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota (-2.5)
The Rams are 7-2 and are putting up a ton of points. Great story. But the schedule hasn’t actually been loaded with quality opponents either. The Vikings are 7-2 as well…and are a quality opponent.
Minnesota 27, Los Angeles Rams 24.
Baltimore (-2.5) at Green Bay
A few years ago, this would have been a marquee matchup. Sunday? Not so much.
Baltimore 21, Green Bay 16.
Detroit (-2.5) at Chicago
Could be a better game than we think. Then again, could be a snoozer too.
Detroit 27, Chicago 20.
Buffalo at Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5)
Sean McDermott didn’t come to Buffalo to be 5-4. What?!! 5-4 is AWESOME for Buffalo these days! Tyrod Taylor is no Hall of Famer, but the switch to some dude named Nathan Peterman at this point in the season appears to be a head scratcher.
Los Angeles Chargers 20, Buffalo 10.
Cincinnati at Denver (-2.5)
I normally would have no problem picking Denver here as I would be convinced that they would turn it around and get back on track. But 5 losses in a row and 92 points given up the last two weeks are hard to ignore. They may be quitting on their coach on top of everything else. But then I notice the Broncos are playing the Bengals. Such a dilemma.
Denver 27, Cincinnati 21.
New England (-6.5) “at” Oakland
In Mexico City. The Pats may be hitting their stride. I don’t know what Oakland is doing.
New England 38, Oakland 24.
Philadelphia (-3.5) at Dallas
Dallas got pasted by the Falcons last week. The Eagles are absolutely rolling right now. This pick won’t make any sense to anyone. I’m still trying to figure it out. Total gut feeling.
Dallas 31, Philadelphia 27.
Atlanta at Seattle (-2.5)
Seattle has some injuries in their secondary. But despite the Falcons big win at home against Dallas last week, still not buying in.
Seattle 30, Atlanta 24.
Week (against the spread): 1-0
Week (straight up): 1-0
Season (against the spread): 72-75
Season (straight up): 94-53