I'm participating in this charity media NFL picks contest through RichardGardner.Com. I did a post before week two showing what the contest is all about: Link.
I don't feel like doing the math to see how many games have been played so far this season, but I've picked 98 of them correctly against the spread, which has me tied for second place in this contest.
The lines for three games are not yet available, and I'll update the post with my picks for those games when the lines are up. I just wanted to get this post up before the Thursday night game starts.
Anyway, here's my week 13 picks against the spread(the team I pick to cover in bold)...
New York Jets(-1.5) @ Buffalo Bills
The Jets are looking for revenge after the Bills went into their place and won 16-13 in week six. Rookie Mark Sanchez has been terrible since his very impressive September, and the aforementioned game against the Bills is the one that really started his struggles. Sanchez threw no touchdowns, five interceptions, and completed just 10 passes(meaning he threw half as many interceptions as completions).
However, Jets running back Thomas Jones was able to run for a whopping 210 yards on 22 carries in that game, and the Bills run defense hasn't exactly figured it out since those days. Their run defense ranks last in the league, allowing 4.8 yards per carry. The Jets likely won't let Sanchez blow this one again, and should be able to still dominate the Bills on the ground.
Philadelphia Eagles(-5.5) @ Atlanta Falcons
This might be the toughest game to pick all week when you consider the health question marks on each squad going into it. For the Eagles, wide receiver DeSean Jackson is likely out, and running back Brian Westbrook's out as usual. Jackson is the most important player to the explosiveness of this offense and allows them to do so many more things. His loss would be a major hit. As for the Falcons, quarterback Matt Ryan is out, running back Michael Turner is likely out, Roddy White is banged up, and they have a new kicker in Matt Bryant. So, aside from Tony Gonzalez, basically any crucial part of their offense is hurt.
I like the Eagles to win, but think the Falcons at least keep it close. Chris Redman can manage this offense, and Jerious Norwood is a home run capable running back that adds a receiving dimension Turner doesn't.
Denver Broncos(-4.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Broncos are a difficult team to figure out, but there's no doubt they're quite a bit better than the Chiefs. Heck, few teams aren't. Even with the Chiefs' offense basically being Jamaal Charles right now(and he's damn good; about time he got a lot of touches), I think they stay within four points of the Broncos at home in this rivalry game.
New Orleans Saints(-9.5) @ Washington Redskins
The Saints have a great chance to go undefeated, while the Redskins are an absolute disaster. The Saints have won nine games by at least 10 points. Why should you think they won't do the same to the Redskins?
Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers(-14.5)
Just seeing the names of these two teams together... it's so hard to go with the Raiders in any fashion. But, I'm not too confident in the Steelers covering over two touchdowns right now against anybody. They've only done it once all season, and lost in Kansas City in week 11. The Raiders even won there.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers(-6.5)
Jake Delhomme sounds doubtful to play in this one. Even with Matt Moore taking his place, that can only be a good thing for the Panthers. A very, very good thing. Additionally, they already beat the Buccaneers by seven in Tampa Bay this year. I expect them to do the same this week at home.
Detroit Lions @ Cincinnati Bengals(-13.5)
Part of me thinks the Lions play pretty well in this game, and the Bengals take the week off like they did in Oakland. But then I remember they're the Lions. Bengals by 14.
St. Louis Rams @ Chicago Bears(-9.5)
God do I hate taking the Bears here. For one, I'm a diehard Bears fan and hate this team more than Rosie O'Donnell hates fat free yogurt. But, they're playing the Rams, who I still think is as bad as any team in the league. I like the Bears by 10-14, but the pessimistic Cubs fan in me says the Rams could win by at least the same amount.
Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts(-7.5)
Believers(like myself) in the Colts love this line. After starting 0-6, the Titans named Vince Young the starting quarterback, and won the next five games. And it certainly hasn't just been him leading the Titans up the standings, as sensational second-year running back Chris Johnson would have my MVP vote right now.
I just think the Colts are too damn good. They beat the Titans 31-9 in week four in Tennessee, and the Titans' 31st-ranked pass defense won't be able to stop Peyton Manning.
New England Patriots(-5.5) @ Miami Dolphins
The Patriots are very beatable right now, and the Dolphins will be able to run the ball in this game with their wildcat attack, even without Ronnie Brown(on Injured Reserve). The Patriots win, but the Dolphins make a game of it.
San Diego Chargers(-11.5) @ Cleveland Browns
The Chargers have won six straight and the Browns are an embarrassment. Enough said.
Dallas Cowboys(-1.5) @ New York Giants
Even at 8-3, I'm still doubting the Cowboys. Don't get me wrong, they're a solid football team, but I don't think the Giants are all that much worse(if at all). I mean, the Giants already beat the Cowboys in Dallas. I think the Giants win by 1-4 points.
Minnesota Vikings(-4.5) @ Arizona Cardinals
The Vikings might be the best team top to bottom in the NFL. However, this is a Sunday night game in Arizona, and the Cardinals are hungry for a win after their heartbreaking loss in Tennessee. I'm not going to go ahead and say the Cardinals do win, but they'll keep the game within four points. That is of course assuming Kurt Warner plays, as he's expected to. If it's Matt Leinart under center, I'd take the Vikings to win by at least a touchdown.
Baltimore Ravens @ Green Bay Packers(-3.5)
I think this is a three-point game and think it's a coin flip as to who wins. Each team absolutely needs this game to stay in the playoff race, and each team will bring their A-game. When they do, they're both very good teams.
The Packers have the league's top-ranked defense, but their offensive line is a mess. The Ravens will blitz like crazy on Aaron Rodgers and should be able to get to him often.
UPDATE: The Sunday games are about to start and I forgot to update this... oops. Anyway, here's my other picks:
Houston Texans(-1.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
San Francisco 49ers(-1.5) @ Seattle Seahawks
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