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NFL picks, predictions against the point spread, Week 13

What does Jesse see in his crystal ball this week?

NFL: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Nathan Peterman
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was a winning week for me, but unfortunately not for the Giants. It was one of the worst weeks for the Giants in my tenure of being a Giants fan. Benching Eli Manning and ruining his consecutive games streak (for Geno Smith, who ever thought that sentenced would ever be typed)? And firing a head coach and general manager mid-season. It’s been that kind of year. This week the point spreads are closer than they have been recently, which hopefully means there will be a few good games.

New Orleans Saints (-1.5) at Atlanta Falcons

Alvin Kamara is having a historically good start to his NFL career for the Saints. He’s averaging 8.14 yards per touch from the running back position (with more than 1,200 yards from scrimmage). He looks legit. Mark Ingram is also having a resurgence and the run game has really helped take pressure off the defense. I think the Saints are the better team and I don’t think the Falcons and their speedy undersized front will be able to bang in the trenches with the Saints offensive line all game.

Pick: Saints

Detroit Lions (-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Lions can’t run the ball and they won’t be able to throw the ball either if Matthew Stafford doesn’t suit up Sunday. It’s tough to tell what’s going to happen and where this line will be if Stafford is unable to go. I like the Lions if he plays, and the Buccaneers if he doesn’t.

Pick: Lions

Chicago Bears (+6) at Cincinnati Bengals

I don’t think the Bengals offense is anything special. It’s not much more competent than the Giants (though they are more competent). Over their last eight games they have scored 20 points exactly four times. I just don’t think they have enough offense to be favored by so much even though I do still like their defense.

Pick: Bears cover

Indianapolis Colts (+4) at Buffalo Bills

The Bills really need this game, but it looks like their going to be rolling out Nathan Peterman, who had one of the most awful showings you’ll ever see in a NFL football game. That kind of incompetence at QB can’t be counted on to win a game. Colts don’t have the pass rush the Chargers do, but I suspect they’ll stack the box and make Peterman beat him, I just don’t think he can.

Pick: Colts

Seattle Seahawks (+2.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars

This is a very interesting game. On one side is a team that is excelling because of the brilliant play of their QB who is carrying an underwhelming team in terms of talent. On the other side is a team that is winning despite their quarterback. I typically favor the QB here, but this is a long trip for the Seahawks against a team that just aren’t going to match up well against. They struggle in pass protection every week and this week they are going up against the best pass rushing team in the league who has a secondary the like Doug Baldwin and compnay won’t be able to slip so easily.

Pick: Jaguars

Oakland Raiders (+4) at Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have struggled mightily lately, but I think they are a talented team and could right the ship here just in time to regain control of the league’s worst division.

Pick: Chiefs

Minnesota VIkings (-2.5) at Carolina Panthers

The Panthers strengths don’t match up well with the Vikings weaknesses. I don’t think they’ll be able to take advantage of the Vikings and I think the Vikings will lock them up defensively and force a poor offensive output and the Vikings will out put enough offense to win by a field goal.

Pick: Vikings

Green Bay Packers (-3.5) at Cleveland Browns

I just can’t continue to keep waiting for the Browns to surprise me with a close game. This point spread isn’t high enough to take them here.

Pick: Packers

San Francisco (+3) at Houston Texans

Can’t trust, won’t trust Tom Savage. Let’s all root for the 49ers because A) if they play well with Garapolo they might decide they don’t need a QB. B) they keep winning it only helps the Giants.

Pick: 49ers win outright

Washington (+6) at L.A. Chargers

I don’t think Washington is a great team, but I do think they are a tough team with enough talent to be in every game. I like the points.

Pick: Washington

New York Jets (-1) at Denver Broncos

I think the Jets defensive line will eat alive the Broncos offensive line and QB.

Pick: Jets

Tennessee Titans (-3) at Arizona Cardinals

I cannot figure out the Titans. They continue to win despite a negative point differential for the season. It’s very, very odd. I think they are the better team, they need the game more, they are more consistent. I guess I”ll take them, but they are tough to figure out.

Pick: Titans

Philadelphia Eagles (+2.5) at L.A. Rams

Sometimes you root and pick with your heart and not your mind. I hate the Eagles.

Pick: Rams

Dallas Cowboys (-4.5) at New York Giants

Sometimes you root and pick with your heart and not your mind. I love the Giants.

Pick: Giants

Baltimore Ravens (+5.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers

Every time the Ravens win I can’t believe they keep winning Flacco has been awful — 11 TDs, 11 INTs, 5.5 yards per attempt! How are they winning games? They have a +14 turnover differential, which I don’t think it sustainable with how Flacco has been playing. On a different note, how amazing is Terrell Suggs? He keeps on chugging along with 10.5 sacks on the season.

Pick: Steelers

New England (-11) at Miami Dolphins

I like big home underdogs, especially in divisional games.

Pick: Dolphins

Season record