2014 Quick Hitters (Week 13 NFL Picks)
The tricky Oakland Raiders kept me from the ultimate and almost impossible perfect sheet this past weekend. I’ll definitely take the 14-1 record in to my Week 13 NFL Picks. Fading the NFC South worked magic for me as all three teams blew winnable games, culminating with the Saints letting a lot of pickers down on Monday Night. We’re seeing history with that division and thank you to the AFC North for backing me and winning all three of your games. I’m not sure I can improve this week, but we do have all 32 teams playing with a season-high three Thursday games. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!
*Remember that my picks are straight up (MONEYLINE) and vegas lines are merely used to determine whether I’m choosing an upset, favorite or even pick.
Here are my results on the year:
Overall Record: 116-59-1 (0.659)
Last Week’s Record: 14-1
Record in Thursday Games: 9-3
Record in Sunday Games: 92-45-1
Record in Sunday Night Games: 4-8
Record in Monday Games: 11-3
Record in Upset Picks: 10-13
Record in Even Picks: 24-16
Record in Favorite Picks: 82-30-1
Record in “Toss-Up” Picks: 55-37
Record in “Moderate Confidence” Picks: 53-19
Record in “Lock of the Week” Picks: 8-3-1
*Even picks are classified as opening lines under 2.5 points.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (Thanksgiving Thursday Football)
Vegas Odds: Dallas (-3)
The Pick: Dallas as a FAVORITE
Reason: The Cowboys have the best offensive line in football and that should be enough for Tony Romo/DeMarco Murray in a great Turkey game. I also don’t trust Mark Sanchez in any type of important division game, so I’ll take the team who has the more consistent unit to work with. The Eagles will make it close, but I expect the Cowboys to take control of the NFC East.
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (Thanksgiving Thursday Football)
Vegas Odds: San Francisco (-1)
The Pick: San Francisco at EVEN
Reason: I still don’t think the Seahawks are as bad as everyone thinks. Sure, their offense isn’t anything to write a book about, but it never has been. The only reason I like the 49ers in great game is because Seattle had a very physical game with the Cardinals last week. On a short week and on the road, I’m not sure the Seahawks can get anything going against San Francisco. The result of this one will make the division race that more interesting.
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans
Vegas Odds: Houston (-6.5)
The Pick: Houston as a FAVORITE
Reason: Wow, I don’t want to see this game. I also have no idea who is going to play quarterback for the Texans and why we should care. Tennessee is so bad right now that there’s no reason they should win any more games, so that they can get the highest draft pick possible. I’ll take the home team who has JJ Watt.
San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens
Vegas Odds: Baltimore (-4.5)
The Pick: Baltimore as a FAVORITE
Reason: Outside of the maybe the Patriots, the Ravens are the most balanced team in the NFL. They’ve lost their best corner and somehow are still reeling off victories in a super tight AFC North race. Baltimore is a great home team and rarely misses a cover in their backyard.
New York Giants at Jacksonville Jaguars
Vegas Odds: New York Giants (-1.5)
The Pick: Jacksonville at EVEN
Reason: Here’s my upset of the week even though it only qualifies for an even line. The Jaguars defense is extremely underrated and everyone is so high on Odell Beckham after the best catch of the last century. Watch the Jaguars sneak up and give everyone a little surprise with their second win of the year behind strong defense. I’ll be happy if I can say I predicted at least one Jaguars victory!
Cincinnati Bengals at Tampa Bay Bucs
Vegas Odds: Cincinnati (-4)
The Pick: Cincinnati as a FAVORITE
Reason: Unless I see a good chance of bad Andy Dalton showing up, I’m sticking with the Bengals. Meaning that anytime the Bengals play a mediocre defense that they should beat, I’m rolling with the striped team. Also another chance to fade the awful NFC South.
Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings
Vegas Odds: Minnesota (-2)
The Pick: Minnesota at EVEN
Reason: I don’t like this game one bit and would probably stay away if I could. These two defenses are ten times better than their offenses, so this one could be a very low-scoring game. At the same time, it’s entirely possible the game opens up because we have inconsistent bad teams. I’ll take the home team after flipping a coin.
New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers
Vegas Odds: Green Bay (-4)
The Pick: Green Bay as a FAVORITE
Reason: I’m guessing the public will be all over the upset here as the Patriots have been the best team in the league by a comfortable margin. It could be my regional bias or maybe not, but I know what the Packers can do at Lambeau in frigid weather. I’ll take Aaron Rodgers over Tom Brady in this spectacular game on Sunday.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday Night Football)
Vegas Odds: Denver (-1.5)
The Pick: Denver as a FAVORITE
Reason: I’m not usually a fan of picking short road favorites or picking against the Chiefs at home. In this situation though, I have to take the Broncos because replacing strong safety Eric Berry, who was tragically diagnosed with lymphoma, is going to be tough for Kansas City. The Broncos excel through the air, so they will unfortunately be able to take advantage of this terrible news.
MODERATE CONFIDENCE PICKS
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (Thanksgiving Thursday Football)
Vegas Odds: Detroit (-5.5)
The Pick: Detroit as a FAVORITE
Reason: Round one of the Turkey Day games could be the easiest to decide as the Lions are clearly the better team. The better team doesn’t always win and the Bears do have some good offensive weapons if you want to play devil’s advocate. But forget all of that as the Lions have football’s best defense and they can neutralize any kind of moves Jay Cutler wants to make.
Washington Redskins at Indianapolis Colts
Vegas Odds: Indianapolis (-8)
The Pick: Indianapolis as a FAVORITE
Reason: I would take Washington and the points, but I would not take them to win this game. I like Alfred Morris to be able to run the ball and keep Andrew Luck/Colts’ offense off the field. However, I can’t see the Redskins defense stopping Luck when he is on the field. I also wouldn’t back Colt McCoy in a pick’em pool as a road underdog.
Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills
Vegas Odds: Pick’em
The Pick: Buffalo at EVEN
Reason: I actually think the Browns are a decent team minus their quarterback Brian Hoyer. Hoyer continues to make very questionable decisions, yet I also don’t feel Johnny Manziel and his immature antics are the answer. The reason I won’t take the Browns in this one is because the Buffalo defense is nasty. Add that to a moral boost from returning home and I like Buffalo in this even game.
Oakland Raiders at St. Louis Rams
Vegas Odds: St. Louis (-6.5)
The Pick: St. Louis as a FAVORITE
Reason: I would like Oakland a lot better if running back Latavius Murray didn’t leave the win over the Chiefs with a concussion. I thought he was a huge reason the Raiders were able to pull the upset. The Rams have fooled some into thinking they’re a decent team, but I’m not buying quite yet. If they can put forth a dominating win over the Raiders, it would make me believe a little more that this is a team on the rise.
Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons
Vegas Odds: Pick’em
The Pick: Arizona at EVEN
Reason: Drew Stanton can’t score points on a lot of teams, but I’m pretty sure he can against the Atlanta Falcons. I still expect the Cardinals to stumble because their offense is below average. I just don’t see it happening this week though as the Falcons seem to be throwing games away with horrible coaching right now.
New Orleans Saints at Pittsburgh Steelers
Vegas Odds: Pittsburgh (-3)
The Pick: Pittsburgh as a FAVORITE
Reason: Keep fading those Saints and the NFC South. New Orleans will lose this game and still have an inside shot at winning the division with a losing record. Pittsburgh needs the win in their tight AFC North race and they’re quite frankly the better team. Drew Brees is considerably worse in outdoor stadiums, so that doesn’t help either.
LOCK OF THE WEEK PICK
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (Monday Night Football)
Vegas Odds: Miami (-4.5)
The Pick: Miami as a FAVORITE
Reason: It’s possible Miami could come out flat because they spent so much energy in the close loss at Denver. However, it’s Geno Smith and the New York Jets we’re talking about. This team looked completely unmotivated in a neutral field game with the Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins defense is nasty and should get at least a couple of turnovers. Not that they need them as the offense has been fairly respectable too. Two weeks in a row that I’m putting my Lock of the Week on a road team.
Week Thirteen Pick Summary: 11 Favorites, 0 Upsets and 5 Even Picks
Let me know where you agree and disagree in week thirteen. Good luck and most importantly enjoy the games!