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NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 13, 2013



NFL Picks (Preseason 2013): 10-6 (+$720)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2013): 4-11-1 (-$1,290)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2013): 6-10 (+$130)
NFL Picks (Week 3, 2013): 9-6-1 (+$20)
NFL Picks (Week 4, 2013): 11-4 (+$870)
NFL Picks (Week 5, 2013): 8-6 (+$1,060)
NFL Picks (Week 6, 2013): 4-11 (-$420)
NFL Picks (Week 7, 2013): 6-9 (-$730)
NFL Picks (Week 8, 2013): 8-5 (+$760)
NFL Picks (Week 9, 2013): 5-8 (-$280)
NFL Picks (Week 10, 2013): 9-4-1 (-$110)
NFL Picks (Week 11, 2013): 5-7-3 (-$480)
NFL Picks (Week 12, 2013): 9-5 (+$1,660)

NFL Picks (2013): 94-92-5 (+$1,910)
NFL Picks (2012): 130-145-8 (-$5,760)
NFL Picks (2011): 137-133-12 (-$1,925)
NFL Picks (2010): 144-131-8 (+$6,080)
NFL Picks (2009): 151-124-9 (+$3,370)
NFL Picks (2008): 136-125-6 (+$4,330)
If you don't quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.


Vegas betting action updated Dec. 2, 5:05 p.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 13 NFL Picks - Late Games





Green Bay Packers (5-5-1) at Detroit Lions (6-5)
Line: Lions by 6. Total: 48.5.

Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: No Line (Rodgers).
Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 12): Lions -7.5.
Thursday, Nov. 28, 12:30 ET
Discuss Week 13 Games, Talk Trash

The Game. Edge: Lions.

WEEK 12 RECAP: I just had my best weekend of the year, going 9-5 for +$1,660. I hit my November NFL Pick of the Month (Cardinals -2.5) and got everything else right, save for a pair of two-unit selections on the Jets and Browns. I'm not going to blame the Cleveland loss on Jason Campbell's injury because the Steelers were going to cover no matter what. However, I can at least take solace in knowing the sharps were all over the Jets and Browns as well.

POISONOUS TEAMS: I've vowed to avoid the following poisonous teams that were responsible for many of my two- and three-unit losses:

Rams
Buccaneers
Jaguars
Vikings
Falcons
Titans
Redskins (added)
Texans (added)

Well, how about that? They ALL covered in Week 12. I did pick Tampa, Tennessee and Minnesota, so I wasn't exactly burned by all of these.

I'd like to switch out the Buccaneers with the Texans. Tampa Bay has played well with Mike Glennon, and it also helps that the coaching staff is using Darrelle Revis correctly for a change. I still don't understand what they were thinking by having Revis play zone. Derp.

SUPER SITUATIONS: My Las Vegas Hilton Supercontest partner Matvei and I also talked about some situations that almost always win:

Seahawks at home
Saints at home
Packers at home (needs Aaron Rodgers)
Jim Harbaugh anywhere (unless he's playing another top team, i.e. Colts or Seahawks)
Tom Brady off a loss as long as he's not favored by a lot

Those situations have gone 9-2 against the spread since Week 8. The Brady post-loss factor hit on Sunday night, though things looked extremely bleak when the Broncos were up 24-0 at halftime. The 49ers hit on Monday.

BERMUDA TRIANGLE: Matvei and I also discussed something called the Bermuda Triangle. This originated with the Cardinals, who inexplicably cover at home against all non-elite teams. Very weird things happen in these games that can't be explained. Thus, Bermuda Triangle. Here are Bermuda Triangle situations:

Bet the Cardinals at home as a dog or small favorite unless they're playing an elite team.
Fade the Ravens as a road favorite.
Fade the Steelers as a big home favorite or road favorite.
Fade the Eagles at home.
Fade the Cowboys as a very large home favorite.
Bet the Bills at home

Arizona, of course, came through in a Bermuda Triangle situation for my pick of the month. The Colts never even had a chance.

PSYCHOLOGY: This is something e-mailer Daniel C. brought to my attention. The following chart shows how I am when betting one-plus units compared to my psychology selections. Perhaps I should be leaning on that more:



My psychological picks were 5-1 in Week 12, so that would make this chart look even better.

Also, Daniel C. sent me another chart that has to do with how teams fare going into and coming out of Thursday games:



The three teams favored going into Thanksgiving were 1-2 against the spread - and make it 1-3 if you count the Raiders, who opened as favorites.

Week 13 NFL Picks will be posted all day Wednesday. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

GREEN BAY OFFENSE: Mike McCarthy called Aaron Rodgers' chances of playing on Thanksgiving "slim to none." Rodgers then practiced on Tuesday, but McCarthy then changed his wording to "closer to none." It doesn't seem as though Rodgers will play on a short work week - he still hasn't been cleared - but I suppose it can't be ruled out. Nevertheless, I'll assume Matt Flynn gets the nod once more before Rodgers returns in Week 14.

Flynn energized the Packers last week, leading a tremendous comeback that ultimately concluded in a tie. Eddie Lacy was the primary catalyst though, trampling the Vikings for 110 yards on 25 carries. He was also a big factor in the passing game (6 catches, 48 receiving yards). Unfortunately, the Packers won't be able to rely on Lacy as much as a runner in this contest because Detroit's stalwart defensive front has permitted an amazing 2.01 yards per carry to the opposition over the past month.

Flynn will have to do most of the work himself. He'll get some nice gains by dumping the ball off to Lacy. He may even have some success downfield. The Lions, who already had issues in their secondary, will probably be without top cornerback Chris Houston.

DETROIT OFFENSE: Speaking of having problems in the defensive backfield, the Packers are an absolute mess back there. They've surrendered 8.16 YPA to their previous four opponents even though those teams sported quarterbacks named Christian Ponder, Eli Manning, Nick Foles and Josh McCown. Green Bay routinely blows coverages and gets beaten for long gains.

This obviously bodes well for the Lions. Calvin Johnson, who was absent the first time Detroit battled Green Bay, figures to have yet another dominant outing. Meanwhile, Nate Burleson, making his return from his pizza-related injury last week, will also beat the Packers for big gains. Matthew Stafford will find his receivers downfield amid no pass rush; outside of the Broncos, no team has allowed fewer sacks than the Broncos this season.

The Packers are also poor when it comes to stopping the run. Excluding the Cowboys, Bears and Patriots, no team has permitted more yards per carry to opposing backs than Green Bay in the past four weeks. Reggie Bush, who is way more explosive on Detroit's home turf, figures to rip off huge gains all afternoon.

RECAP: I'm not too crazy about this game. The Lions seem like the right side - they're way more than three points better than the Flynn-led Packers - but they've been terrible on Thanksgiving for the longest time, so betting them as six-point favorites seems a bit nuts. Then again, I don't have much faith in Green Bay with Flynn at quarterback, especially given that they're coming off a short week after playing an overtime game. They have to be exhausted.

Again, Week 13 NFL Picks will be posted all day Wednesday (Thanksgiving picks on Tuesday night). I'll announce via Twitter @walterfootball when each selection is posted.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I still think the Lions are the right side, but the sharps like the Packers. I'm keeping this at just one unit.


The Psychology. Edge: None.
No edge found.


The Vegas. Edge: Packers.
No surprise everyone is on the Lions.
  • Percentage of money on Detroit: 72% (54,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • History: Packers have won 15 of the last 16 meetings.
  • Lions are 1-8 ATS as a Thanksgiving host since 2002.
  • Opening Line: Lions -4.
  • Opening Total: 49.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 13 NFL Pick: Lions 27, Packers 17
    Lions -6 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Under 48.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Lions 40, Packers 10






    Oakland Raiders (4-7) at Dallas Cowboys (6-5)
    Line: Cowboys by 8.5. Total: 48.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Cowboys -9.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 12): Cowboys -5.
    Thursday, Nov. 28, 4:30 ET
    Discuss Week 13 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Cowboys.

    VEGAS RECAP: The sportsbooks won big Thursday night with the Falcons, but then took a beating the rest of the weekend. Only one highly bet team failed to cover (Chiefs). The public pounded the Steelers, Ravens and 49ers, and all of them beat the spread.

    This was bound to happen. Vegas has been kicking the public's a** all season, so they had to give some money back just before Black Friday so the degenerates could line up outside the mall and fight to the death over PS4s and XBox Ones.

    I'll be updating the Vegas betting action all week, as usual. I'll notify you of any updates @walterfootball.

    DALLAS OFFENSE: After Tony Romo put together that game-winning drive, there was so much sarcasm on Twitter. "Oh, I thought he wasn't clutch!" was tweeted 5,000 times. Romo has come through at the very end of games before. In fact, he has the most fourth-quarter comebacks in the NFL over the past few seasons. Romo simply chokes in Week 17 and beyond. We're not there yet, so he'll continue to dominate.

    I can't see the Raiders having much success in terms of stopping Romo. Excluding the Colts, Redskins and Falcons, no team has a worse YPA than Oakland over the past month. The Raiders couldn't even contain Ryan Fitzpatrick last week, which was just sad. The Cowboys spent their bye focusing on getting the ball to Dez Bryant more frequently. He responded with a big outing against the Giants, and he figures to have another one here.

    One area where the Cowboys won't have much success offensively is establishing the run. They moved the chains well on the ground with DeMarco Murray well on Sunday, but the Raiders surprisingly have the NFL's seventh-ranked ground defense.

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: The Raiders certainly don't have as many sexy names offensively compared to the Cowboys, but they could have nearly as much success moving the chains as Dallas.

    Matt McGloin has played well in two starts, showing more zip on his passes than he ever did at Penn State. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson has done a great job of coaching him up. However, McGloin isn't the primary reason Oakland's offense will thrive on Thanksgiving. That would be the ineptitude of Dallas' defense. The Cowboys' stop unit has been so incredibly woeful, especially since losing linebacker Sean Lee to injury. Lee is once again expected to be out of the lineup.

    Lee's absence has been felt in run support. The Cowboys now rank dead last against ground attacks. They've surrendered at least 131 rushing yards to each of their previous four opponents, including 202 to the Giants and 244 to the Saints. That's absolutely pathetic. Rashad Jennings has been a revelation recently, and he'll once again put forth a monstrous outing. Darren McFadden, who is expected to play, will be mixed in on occasion. Jennings and McFadden will keep McGloin in manageable down-and-distance situations, making life even easier for the undrafted rookie, who will thrive against Dallas' joke of a secondary.

    RECAP: Considering how awful the Cowboys' stop unit is, this spread is way too high. The Raiders have proven that they can score with McGloin at quarterback, so they should be able to stay within the number. Also keep in mind that Dallas is coming off an emotional, last-second win over a divisional rival, meaning it could be flat.

    Some may bet the Cowboys because of their Thanksgiving success, but they've disappointed the previous two Turkey Days. They lost outright to Washington last season and they nearly went down to the Dolphins in 2011, failing to cover the spread as a big favorite.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps were on the Raiders back when the spread was +9.5, which is why this line dropped to +8.5 even though the public is betting Dallas. I thought about bumping this up to three units, but we don't have as much value now with +8 and +8.5 hanging around.


    The Psychology. Edge: Raiders.
    The Cowboys are coming off an emotional win versus the Giants.


    The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
    Slight lean on the host.
  • Percentage of money on Dallas: 69% (52,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Cowboys.
  • Cowboys are 8-3 ATS as a Thanksgiving host since 2001.
  • Tony Romo is 8-18 ATS as a favorite of -7 or more excluding Thanksgiving (4-1 on Thanksgiving).
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -9.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 13 NFL Pick: Cowboys 24, Raiders 19
    Raiders +8.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
    Under 48 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Cowboys 31, Raiders 24






    Pittsburgh Steelers (5-6) at Baltimore Ravens (5-6)
    Line: Ravens by 3. Total: 41.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Ravens -3.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 12): Ravens -3.5.
    Thursday, Nov. 28, 8:30 ET
    Discuss Week 13 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Ravens.

    Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving! Here are some notes on these Thanksgiving games and those in years' past:

    1. The game three years ago between Detroit and New England was such a massacre that I did online shopping during the second half. I initially planned on buying stuff for my family, but then I realized that getting gifts for myself would be a lot more fun.

    I found a deal on BestBuy.com for a PS3 and two games for $200 or $250 (can't remember). It seemed like great value, so I made the purchase.

    Thirty-six months later, there's still an unopened PS3 box in my basement. Why? Well, A) I don't really have time to play video games and B) It takes too much effort to connect and figure everything out. Oh, and C) I don't like three-dimensional video games.

    But hey, it was still a great deal!

    2. As you may have heard, a little girl named Nicole Westbrook made a crappy song about Thanksgiving that went viral. I made her a Jerk of the Year for it.

    3. I won't be eating with my family for the first time in my life. My parents went away on vacation, so Thanksgiving dinner at their house was canceled. This means I won't be watching football with two of my uncles as usual. One openly roots against my picks, while the other one is always extremely intoxicated. I call him my Druncle.

    I aspire to be someone's "Druncle" someday. Once my sister has kids, I'll drink heavily on Thanksgiving and embarrass myself by tripping over a chair and knocking over all of the food. I'm going to be the best Druncle ever.

    4. I should note that I won't have my NFL Game Recaps for the Thanksgiving games up right away like I have in recent years. I'll be going to Anti-Facebook Girl's house for Thanksgiving, and I'll be meeting her family (save for her brother) for the first time. I think it would look pretty bad if I was watching TV while her family was at the dinner table.

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: The Ravens have two bits of good news concerning their offense, one for the present and the other for the near future. The latter concerns Dennis Pitta, who figures to be back in Week 14. Having Pitta on the field will really help Joe Flacco, who hasn't had much to work with this season. As for the current positive news, the Steelers will be missing nose tackle Steve McLendon, who will be out several weeks with an injured ankle. McLendon happens to be Pittsburgh's top run-defender.

    The Browns couldn't take advantage of McLendon's absence in the second half of last week's contest because they have crap running backs. Ray Rice has looked crappy for most of the season, but he's two weeks removed from rushing for 131 yards on 25 carries at Chicago. Granted, the Bears have a putrid ground defense, but the Steelers could near that level without their nose tackle. They were already ranked in the middle of the pack in terms of stopping the rush, so they'll almost certainly trend downward in that regard.

    Rice will help set up short-yardage opportunities for Joe Flacco, who plays much better at home. He'll be able to connect with Torrey Smith on many occasions; Ike Taylor, who can't cover anyone, will attempt to stop Smith. That's not going to happen.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: While the Ravens will have some success moving the chains, the Steelers will struggle in this regard. Baltimore has a dominant defense that is playing extremely well right now.

    The Ravens have taken over the sack lead for the season, as they've now brought down quarterbacks on 38 occasions. This doesn't bode well for the Steelers, whose issues in pass protection have been well-documented. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum has played well lately, which has helped Ben Roethlisberger avoid some pressure, but I don't like his chances of going up against Terrell Suggs in a rematch. Suggs has seen him once before, and he should be better prepared to beat him this time.

    Roethlisberger will have to do a lot on his own in this contest because the Ravens have a stout ground defense that will limit Le'Veon Bell. Baltimore's defensive weakness is at the safety position, so there will be some long completions to Antonio Brown, but Pittsburgh will spend much of the evening punting the football.

    RECAP: I'm taking the Ravens, as they usually win at home. The Steelers have to travel on a short work week, which helps as well. However, so many of these Baltimore-Pittsburgh contests are close. The previous four, and eight of the last 10 matchups have been decided by three points. The Ravens are favored by a field goal, and I have a feeling that's how much they'll end up winning by.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps don't really have a lean here, and neither does the public. I don't either. I feel like Baltimore will win by exactly three points.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 58% (40,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Ravens.
  • History: Home Team has won 17 of the last 24 meetings (Flacco 2-7 vs. Roethlisberger).
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 32-18 ATS vs. the AFC North.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 19-14 ATS as an underdog.
  • Ravens are 19-7 ATS in November home games since 2000.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 42.
  • Weather: .


    Week 13 NFL Pick: Ravens 24, Steelers 20
    Ravens -3 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Over 41 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Ravens 22, Steelers 20






    Tennessee Titans (4-6) at Indianapolis Colts (7-3)
    Line: Colts by 4. Total: 46.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Colts -6.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 12): Colts -3.5.
    Sunday, Dec. 1, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 13 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: None.

    HATE MAIL: Another week, another stack of hate mails. There weren't too many though. These are from the comment boards:

    Walt, you bite balls. You suck weewees. You stick your little finger in places little fingers should never be stuck. You're so bad at your job, if you were a football team you'd lose to the Jaguars. If you were a teacher, you'd be arrested for child abuse. If you were a child molester, you'd prowl for victims by helping little old ladies across the street. Actually, I've been enjoying your site for years. You give a perspective not found anywhere else, but I make my own decisions, so I can't blame you for my losses. Still, I've been wanting to try my hand at anonymous hate mail for some time, and I knew you'd take it better than my friend Jonathan did when I sent him those texts from Richie's phone.

    You had me going for a while! I was wondering what a child molester had to do with little old ladies.

    Walterfud, Cowpokes play on Thanksgiving and are looking ahead. G-men gonna want to win this one big time. They are beginning to peak down the home stretch. Romo blows this one late in the game dude.

    So, your assertion is the Cowboys were looking ahead to their game against the Raiders? Weh?

    So you're picking New England primarily because of the weather? That's just dumb.

    Yup, guess Bill Belichick's decision to give up possession in overtime was dumb too.

    For more hate mail check out the Chiefs' capsule in my NFL Power Rankings page.

    INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: It's amazing how much of an impact Reggie Wayne's absence has made on the Colts. They used to maintain one of the premier scoring attacks in the NFL. Now, they can barely find the end zone. In the first halves of their previous four games, they've posted a total of 12 points. Twelve points!

    The Colts couldn't do anything against the mediocre Tennessee stop unit two weeks ago until the second half, and their 24-point outburst was aided by a Titan turnover that set up a short field. Indianapolis should have some more success because it's at home. Besides, the offense's greatest weakness, which is pass protection, won't exactly be tested in this matchup because Tennessee's pass rush has disappeared. The Titans have mustered only six sacks in their previous four games, including just one against the Colts in Week 11.

    Tennessee does have solid corners though, so the team will be able to cover T.Y. Hilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey pretty well. Thus, Coby Fleener could have another big game against the Titans' woeful linebacking corps. The Colts will have to count on Fleener going off again - he caught eight balls for 107 yards in the first meeting - because the power running game they try so hard to establish will once again fail if they keep feeding the ball to Trent Richardson. We've all realized that Richardson sucks now. He's a sunk cost, but the Colts keep trying to use him over the superior Donald Brown, who inexplicably had three touches last week. That was a true derp moment for the Indianapolis coaching staff.

    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: There are a handful of defenses in the NFL that can't stop anyone. The Colts have one of them. In the past four weeks, they haven't been able to contain offenses quarterbacked by Case Keenum, Kellen Clemens, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Carson Palmer. The latter of those four is at least solid, so Indianapolis naturally allowed him to play like a Pro Bowler in Sunday's demolition.

    Fitzpatrick looked great as well in Week 11. He went 22-of-28 for 222 yards and a touchdown despite the fact that Kendall Wright and Nate Washington both had crucial drops. He continuously torched the Colts on crossing patterns that they can't defend. He also dealt with very little pressure, as Indianapolis can match Tennessee's six sacks in the past four games.

    Chris Johnson also had an outstanding performance versus the Colts in that Thursday night affair. He broke free for two big gains and ultimately rushed for 80 yards on 13 carries in the first half. Johnson had just four attempts after halftime, which is something the Titans will have to rectify. Everyone runs on the Colts, who have surrendered an average of 100.3 rushing yards to each of their previous four opponents.

    RECAP: It's a bit upsetting that the sportsbooks have finally adjusted the spread for the Colts. This line would've been -9 two weeks ago. Everyone has now seen how bad Indianapolis is, yet the public is still backing them.

    I'm not going to bet on this game because we're getting zero line value, but I like the Titans. I'm a fan of siding with teams that lost in these stupid divisional matchups that are two weeks apart, as the loser can quickly make adjustments. I only wish we were getting +7, or something.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps are on the Titans. The public likes the Colts. However, there's not much value with Tennessee. Once again, this would have been +9 two weeks ago.

    SUNDAY NOTES: If you like the Titans, you can get them at +4 on Bovada.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
    Some people still believe in the Colts.
  • Percentage of money on Indianapolis: 65% (49,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Colts.
  • History: Colts have won 17 of the last 21 meetings.
  • Mike Munchak is 6-11 ATS playing a team with a winning record.
  • Andrew Luck is 7-0 ATS off a loss.
  • Andrew Luck is 9-4 ATS at home.
  • Opening Line: Colts -4.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 13 NFL Pick: Colts 23, Titans 20
    Titans +4 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 45 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Colts 22, Titans 14






    Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9) at Cleveland Browns (4-7)
    Line: Browns by 7. Total: 39.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Browns -9.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 12): Browns -4.5.
    Sunday, Dec. 1, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 13 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Jaguars.

    If you haven't seen this yet, we have a new NFL Pick Em Contest on this Web site. It's free entry, and there are monthly and seasonal prizes: $350 for the year, and $100 for each month. There's no reason not to enter. Click the link to register!

    By the way, you can check out the Pick Em Leaderboard here.

    CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Poor Browns fans. They had a ton of hope with Brian Hoyer, yet that was taken away from them. They had some hope with Jason Campbell, but he's gone as well. Now, Brandon Weeden starts again, which will mean nothing but more misery and pain.

    Weeden is a joke. He sucks on every level. He doesn't inspire confidence from his teammates, he's painfully inaccurate, and he makes horrific decisions. He'll probably be good for some underhanded or backhanded passes in this contest. Perhaps he'll try a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-type hookshots. That'll be fun, and at least the 10 Cleveland fans who go to this game will be entertained.

    Weeden would've had a shot against the Jaguars about a month ago, but Jacksonville has made some adjustments to its defense to be at least competent. One of the changes was inserting third-round rookie corner Dwayne Gratz into the lineup. Gratz has been solid in his three starts, so he might have a chance against Josh Gordon. Elsewhere, fellow rookie safety John Cyprien has performed better since the bye. He was downright awful in the first half of the season, but has upgraded his play. This all spells trouble for the Browns, who can only move the chains by passing the ball because they don't have any semblance of a running game.

    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: Speaking of rushing attacks, the Jaguars finally established Maurice Jones-Drew this past week. Jones-Drew gained 84 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries, marking the first time he's eclipsed 4.1 yards per rush in any game this season. Perhaps this is a sign that Jones-Drew has finally overcome his severe leg injury. Then again, it could be that Houston just quit. We'll find out this Sunday because the Browns have the NFL's third-ranked ground defense.

    If Jones-Drew can't run, it'll be up to Chad Henne to move the chains consistently. This would normally be a big problem, but it'll be even worse against a stop unit like Cleveland's because Joe Haden will be able to shut down Cecil Shorts, leaving Henne with no viable options. This is exactly what happened two weeks ago when Jacksonville battled Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals. Shorts was limited to a pair of receptions, prompting him to complain to the media afterward. We could hear a similar tirade from him after this contest.

    Count on the Browns putting lots of pressure on Henne. The Texans trailed for most of this past Sunday's contest, yet they were even able to sack Henne on four occasions. Cleveland has a better pass rush than Houston.

    RECAP: I'm not going to bet on the Jaguars, but I believe they're the right side. The Browns should not be favored by this much with Weeden at quarterback. This line is actually kind of ridiculous - I have it at -4.5 - but wagering on the worst team in the NFL is typically not a lucrative proposition, especially when the public is on the same side.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: There's both sharp and public money on the Jaguars, so the sportsbooks have a liability on Cleveland. This is a strange spread and a stupid game that I don't want any part of.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Chad Millman noted that the sharps are taking the Jaguars, confirming what I wrote Saturday. However, there's no public money on the Browns, so this might be one occasion in which you may not want to follow the sharps because Vegas will stand to lose a ton of money.


    The Psychology. Edge: Jaguars.
    It seems like the Jaguars would have an edge here. I don't see too many Cleveland players being excited about Brandon Weeden being the quarterback again.


    The Vegas. Edge: Browns.
    The Jaguars are a public dog again.
  • Percentage of money on Jacksonville: 67% (20,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Jaguars are 17-41 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
  • Browns are 7-11 ATS as favorites since 2008.
  • Opening Line: Browns -7.
  • Opening Total: 40.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 13 NFL Pick: Browns 24, Jaguars 23
    Jaguars +7 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Over 40 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Jaguars 32, Browns 28






    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-8) at Carolina Panthers (8-3)
    Line: Panthers by 7.5. Total: 39.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Panthers -11.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 12): Panthers -9.
    Sunday, Dec. 1, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 13 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Panthers.

    I wouldn't say my weekly random NFL notes cluttered these picks pages, so I'll keep them here. What I'm also going to do is store all of them in a Random NFL Notes section so that you can go back and read previous entries in the future.

    Some random NFL notes I can't put anywhere else:

    1. My friend and LVH Supercontest partner Matvei texted me some funny one-liners during Sunday's games. I'd like to share them with you:

  • "Do you think the Packers look so unprepared because their head coach has to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers during the week?"

    We've joked about how much Mike McCarthy sucks at preparing for his opponents, so the comparison to Mike Brown works. By the way, I'm no NBA expert, but why did the Cavaliers hire Brown? He couldn't win a championship with LeBron, so what made the Cavs' owner think Brown could have success without LeBron?

  • "Do they never show sideline shots of the Chargers defensive coordinator because he's actually a scarecrow?"

    I'd say a scarecrow is an upgrade. At least scarecrows keep things away. The Chargers can't stop anyone.

  • "What's worse for the Vikes - that they lose this game, or that Rick Spielman signs Matt Flynn in the offseason?"

    All Viking fans just screamed a collective, "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!" upon reading that.

  • "Talk about a Pyrrhic victory for the Jags - pretty much sets up 2-14 next year too."

    This wasn't a funny text. It was just sad. The Jaguars ruined their chance to land Teddy Bridgewater by achieving a pointless win. It's amazing how inept they are.

    2. The Jaguars don't just suck at both winning and losing. Here's another example. Jonas L. sent me this e-mail:

    Perhaps it is time to make NFL shop the Jerks of the week. They have for the last 1-2 months been sending me, and probably everybody else as well, mails regarding special offers on a lot of Jaguars gear. It is an abomination. Partly because it is Jaguars gear, but mostly because it is Jaguars gear with the old logo on it.



    This got me thinking... I don't think I've ever seen anyone wearing any article of clothing with a Jaguar logo on it. Not once. And I don't think I will in the future with Bridgewater heading elsewhere.

    3. Let's make it a Jacksonville trifecta. Facebook friend Jon D. sent me a message: "I'm at a bar and there is a Jacksonville Jaguars fan. I didn't know they existed!"

    I was naturally excited. My reply: "They're very rare. I hope you took pictures!"

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: A couple of things have sparked Tampa's three-game winning streak. One was the coaching staff's proper utilization of Darrelle Revis. I'm not sure why they thought using Revis in a zone was a wise move, but they've shifted away from that dumb thought process. Revis has shadowed opposing No. 1 receivers recently, and has consequently returned to Pro Bowl form.

    Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, Revis suffered a groin injury against the Lions. It doesn't sound like he'll be able to suit up for this contest, meaning Steve Smith should be able to get open. This will obviously be a big boost for Cam Newton, who hasn't really been able to go to the receiver of his choosing very much the past two weeks because of Aqib Talib and Brent Grimes.

    Something else that'll help Newton is loads of time in the pocket. The Buccaneers have one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL; only seven teams have accumulated fewer sacks than them this year, and they've mustered only seven sacks in their previous four contests. They also happen to be poor against the run, ranking 24th in that department in terms of YPC (4.29). In other words, the Panthers should be able to move the chains however and whenever they please as long as Revis is out of the lineup.

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: The other thing that has ignited the Buccaneers has been Mike Glennon's play. Glennon has endured some rough moments since taking over for Josh Freeman, but check out his numbers the past four weeks: 64-of-88, 785 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception. That's good for a completion percentage of 72.7 and a YPA of 8.9. That's pretty sick.

    The last time Glennon struggled was against the Panthers back in Week 8. He threw for 275 yards and a touchdown with no turnovers, but he maintained a 5.4 YPA in the process, often checking the ball down. He has grown since, but Carolina's strong defense could still cause problems for him. The Panthers have a fierce front that will apply tons of pressure on Glennon, who took four sacks at Detroit last week. The Buccaneers still won that contest, but it was kind of a fluke victory in that they achieved just 10 first downs.

    The Buccaneers will also have problems establishing the run. They mustered only 46 yards on the ground the last time they took on Carolina. Bobby Rainey has been a pleasant surprise, but he'll be going up against a defensive front that limited the Dolphins to a meager 16 rushing yards on 13 carries.

    RECAP: I think this is a tough game to handicap. The Panthers are coming off a last-second victory at Miami and will be looking ahead to battling the Saints in Week 14. They crushed the Buccaneers in Week 8, so will they have the same motivation to beat them down again?

    So, the Buccaneers seem like the right side, right? The public agrees. However, this spread is much lower than it was at the Hilton last week - Carolina was favored by 11 - so we don't have much line value. Also, Tampa is going up against a brutal trend that says to fade all victorious teams after scoring 21-plus points but securing 10 or fewer first downs. It makes sense logically because winning in this fashion indicates a fluke result. Thus, it shifts the spread, decreasing line value.

    I'm siding with Tampa because of the look-ahead factor, but this is a non-bet for me.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: It's looking like there's some sharp action on the Panthers. You can bet that there will be even more if it falls to +7. However, this is a bad spot for Carolina, so I'm staying away.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The sharps took the Buccaneers when this was above +7, but now other sharps are taking Carolina -7. This is one game to avoid as far as I'm concerned.


    The Psychology. Edge: Buccaneers.
    The Panthers just had a great, last second-win at Miami. They have the Saints next week.


    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Carolina: 54% (43,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Buccaneers.
  • History: Panthers have won 3 the last 5 meetings.
  • Panthers are 19-26 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 or more since 2001.
  • Panthers are 36-47 ATS at home since 2003.
  • Opening Line: Panthers -9.5.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: .


    Week 13 NFL Pick: Panthers 20, Buccaneers 16
    Buccaneers +7.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 39 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Panthers 27, Buccaneers 6




    Chicago Bears (6-5) at Minnesota Vikings (3-8)
    Line: Pick. Total: 50.5.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Bears -2.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 12): Vikings -1.
    Sunday, Dec. 1, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 13 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: None.

    As with the random NFL notes, I'm going to have all of my Random College Football Notes on one page as well.

    Random College Football Notes:

    1. I'd be remiss if I didn't discuss Jameis Winston. I'm not going to pretend like I know what happened. If he did what he's being accused of, he's a scumbag. However, we live in a country where you're innocent until proven guilty, which makes me pissed off that pretentious Heisman voters have said they won't pick Winston to win the Heisman because of these allegations.

    I understand their trepidation - the Heisman is a character award as well - but what if Winston is innocent of all charges? From all accounts, the accuser's story has tons of holes, so why can't Winston win the Heisman and be stripped of it if he's guilty? I think that makes the most sense. He shouldn't be robbed of the trophy if he didn't do anything wrong. I think it's stupid to presume guilt when there's not overwhelming evidence.

    2. Dave P. posted the following on my Facebook wall last week:

    Some pretty shady stuff at the end of that Northern Illinois game if you ask me. UNI favored by 8.5-9 and up 7, 34-27 with 1:30 left and Ball St with 0 timeouts. They could've just knelt on the ball and ran out the clock. Instead Lynch runs one in and UNI goes up 14, 41-27. The over/under was 72.5. Ball St then throws a pick 6 but it looked like to me the guy went out of bounds at the 1. Play not even reviewed. Game goes over the total.

    Nothing like some weekday MACtion! This conference only exists so the Carribean drug lords and slave traders can fix these games and win money. It doesn't matter how shady these games are because no one outside of the betting community cares.

    3. I wasn't paying attention to this game, but I saw a blurb on Rotoworld that the North Carolina-Old Dominion contest was shortened by 10 minutes, making it the first time that the fourth-quarter clock had been shaved off. This was factually incorrect - the same thing happened earlier in the season in the Miami-Savannah State blowout back in September - but the reason I'm pointing this out is because college football can be a big joke at times. I get why Old Dominion and Savannah State are battling the "big boys" despite being 1-AA teams - they just want money for their program - but why are North Carolina and Miami taking on these cupcakes? Can't they at least schedule opponents in 1-A? It's so dumb because these games just aren't competitive.

    It's really a no-win situation. If they're victorious, even by 60 or 70, they're just doing what they're supposed to. They might even get some flak for running up the score. If they lose, well, then they just embarrass themselves like Florida did versus Georgia Southern.

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: I wrote earlier that there are a handful of teams that can't stop anyone. That includes the Bears, who might have the worst stop unit of them all. It's embarrassing how they give up rushing yardage so willingly. Benny Cunningham reached 109 yards on just 13 carries. Recall that Brandon Jacobs was an unstoppable force against them as well. The Bears have surrendered 6.04 yards per carry to the opposition over the past month. In fact, the last team not to gain 123 yards or more against them on the ground was New Orleans back in Week 5, and that's simply because the Saints aired it out so effortlessly.

    If the Bears couldn't contain Jacobs or Cunningham, how in the world are they going to stop Adrian Peterson? The reigning league MVP is hitting his stride, as he rushed for 146 yards against the Packers last week. It personally wouldn't surprise me if he had double that amount in this contest even though that would approach the NFL single-game record. That's how bad Chicago's ground defense is.

    Of course, the Bears can't do anything else well defensively. If you exclude their victory against the Packers, they have the fewest sacks in the NFL. They're also 27th against the pass in terms of YPA (7.90). Christian Ponder isn't good, but he has proven that he can have success against crap defenses like Washington and Green Bay. Chicago obviously belongs in that pantheon.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: The Vikings have issues defensively as well, mainly in their secondary. They've really missed Harrison Smith, who has been out since Week 6. Making matters worse, rookie corner Xavier Rhodes may miss this week's contest as well because of a concussion. Rhodes has played well at times, so his absence will be felt, especially against Chicago's two dominant receivers.

    The good news for Minnesota is that it'll be the last time that won't have to deal with Jay Cutler, who is expected back next week. However, Josh McCown hasn't been that much of a downgrade. He has moved the chains consistently and has remained turnover-free for the most part. He won't have much trouble against a Minnesota secondary that is 21st versus the pass in terms of YPA (7.37).

    The Vikings aren't as bad when it comes to stopping the run as the Bears are, though they still have issues against it. They're 11th for the entire season (3.89 YPC), but they've had trouble containing the rush lately. They've give up an average of 124.7 rushing yards to their previous three opponents. Matt Forte got dinged last week, but he'll be ready to suit up and take advantage of Minnesota's struggling stop unit.

    RECAP: The Vikings seem like the right side. The host dominates this rivalry, plus the Bears stink. Chicago has covered just two games all year, and one was that crap Monday night game in which Aaron Rodgers got hurt. It also doesn't hurt that the public is pounding the Bears. The Vikings are crappy as well though, so I'm keeping this to one unit.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps are all over the Vikings, a team that is playing better football lately. They know the Bears stink despite their 6-5 record. I'm keeping one unit on the host.

    SUNDAY NOTES: The consensus spread is Vikings -1, but you can find pick -105 at Bovada. The one point isn't a big deal, but laying -105 juice is pretty good.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Vikings.
    The public still likes the Bears.
  • Percentage of money on Chicago: 68% (29,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Vikings.
  • History: Home Team has won 18 of the last 21 meetings (Bears won 7 of the last 8 meetings).
  • Bears are 12-30 ATS in December road games the previous 42 instances.
  • Opening Line: Vikings -1.
  • Opening Total: 48.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 13 NFL Pick: Vikings 24, Bears 21
    Vikings PK (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Under 50 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Vikings 23, Bears 20




    Arizona Cardinals (6-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-5)
    Line: Eagles by 3.5. Total: 48.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Eagles -4.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 12): Eagles -2.5.
    Sunday, Dec. 1, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 13 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Cardinals.

    If you've followed this site for a while, you might remember that I like to respond to my spam mails. Three years ago, a man named Jon Wire from the "United Bank of Africoan" promised me an ATM card of some sort, so I responded as a man named Mister Compassion Chuck Norris, who was raised by wolves. The following season, I received e-mails from Richard Held and Loon Bruce, who told me I won a Facebook Award, which comes with a "lump sum pay out of (750,000.00 GBP)." Pretending to be Matthew Millen Kim, I sent out my application and fake money.

    As for 2012, I messed around with a spammer pretending to be a black woman named Mulyana. I assumed Steve Urkel's identity and had many exchanges with Mulyana. Click the link to see all of that.

    A man named Mark Pepe e-mailed me. I eventually convinced him to call someone in the Eagles' organization to ask for Riley Cooper. I also did the same thing to another spammer by pretending to be Aaron Hernandez. Check out the Spam Mails page to see it.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: The Giants were riding a four-game winning streak before colliding with the Giants last week and being exposed as slight frauds. Yes, they won four games in a row, but they had beaten all backup quarterbacks plus a banged-up Terrible Pryor, which inflated their defense. I bring this up because the same thing has happened to the Eagles on the other side of the ball. The offense has been so explosive, but check out whom Philadelphia has defeated and where those teams are ranked in terms of yards per attempt: Raiders (24th), Packers (26th), Redskins (31st). Nick Foles has looked great, but he hasn't exactly been tested yet.

    Foles will finally be faced with a challenge, as Arizona is sixth in pass defense according to YPA. The Cardinals' secondary includes Patrick Peterson, who is capable of eliminating one side of the field. He'll erase DeSean Jackson, so Foles will have to keep throwing to Riley Cooper. This sounds fine, as Foles has enjoyed success targeting Cooper, but the No. 2 wideout will have more difficulty getting open against a stronger defensive backfield. Also keep in mind that Arizona's fierce pressure will make life more difficult for Foles.

    Foles won't be able to lean on the ground game very much. LeSean McCoy could still be a factor in the passing attack, but he'll get very little on the ground. Arizona is even better against the rush than the pass, ranking second in the NFL in terms of YPC (3.31).

    ARIZONA OFFENSE: Philadelphia's defense also has seemed to improve, but that's a bit of a farce as well. The Eagles have battled the hobbled Pryor, the horrible Scott Tolzien and the out-of-sorts Robert Griffin during their three-game winning streak. Carson Palmer doesn't exactly exude confidence from a betting perspective, but he has played solid football lately, throwing eight touchdowns to just two interceptions in his previous four games.

    I don't trust Philadelphia's secondary enough to contain Larry Fitzgerald or the emerging Michael Floyd, so the defensive front will have to rattle Palmer. The Eagles have registered eight sacks during their trio of victories, so they could have success in that regard. Then again, Bruce Arians has done a magnificent job of masking his team's offensive line weakness.

    As with the Eagles, Arizona has a game-breaking running back of its own. Andre Ellington isn't getting as many touches as he needs to, but he has still proven that he can go the distance on any play. Philadelphia is just mediocre versus the run.

    RECAP: The Eagles finally snapped their home losing streak prior to the bye, but that was against lowly Washington. Arizona is a much better football team. I'm taking the Cardinals because they have the superior squad in this matchup, though this isn't a great spot for them coming off that massive blowout. The Eagles also just had their bye, though it remains to be seen how Chip Kelly will fare after an extra week of preparation.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: It seems like everyone is pretty much split on this game. I have no lean.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Chad Millman said the sharps are taking the Cardinals. Just an FYI if you want to follow them.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Eagles.
    Yet another public dog.
  • Percentage of money on Arizona: 63% (11,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
  • Eagles are 7-23 ATS at home since 2010.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 48.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 13 NFL Pick: Cardinals 26, Eagles 24
    Cardinals +3.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Over 48 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Eagles 24, Cardinals 21




    Miami Dolphins (5-6) at New York Jets (5-6)
    Line: Jets by 1.5. Total: 40.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Jets -2.5.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 12): Jets -2.5.
    Sunday, Dec. 1, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 13 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Jets.

    Video of the Week: Football players get tons of flak for not being the brightest group of people in the world. Take Emmitt Smith, for example. However, Emmitt and company look like geniuses compared to Ryan Lochte in this interview.

    Lochte might be an idiot, but I find that these news anchors are both terribly rude. Lochte is a national hero because he swims fast, after all. Besides, it's not Lochte's fault that chlorine depletes brain cells. I should know. I swim a mile for exercise 4-5 times per week, and look what has happened to my picking ability over the past few seasons. I'm only a couple of years away from being a Lochte-like vegetable.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Rex Ryan announced that Geno Smith will remain the team's starting quarterback despite being atrocious in consecutive games. Smith has committed six turnovers the past couple of weeks, while converting just 17 out of 45 attempts. That would be a completion percentage of 37.8.

    The public just saw that the Dolphins' defense handled Cam Newton pretty well, so Smith is doomed for a third awful outing in a row, right? Not necessarily. Smith has 22 give-aways this season, but only seven have come at home. Even better, he has relinquished possession of the football just once in the previous two times he's been a host despite battling the Saints and Patriots.

    If Smith can take care of the football, the Jets will definitely have some offensive success. They'll be able to establish the run with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell; Miami's defense is 25th against the rush in terms of YPC (4.29) and has been much worse in that department recently (4.88 YPC previous four games).

    MIAMI OFFENSE: While the public sees a big advantage in favor of the Dolphins on the other side of the ball, the Jets own perhaps an even greater mismatch here. New York puts a ton of interior pressure on opposing quarterbacks with Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson. The Dolphins, of course, have offensive line issues. Richie Incognito is gone, while Mike Pouncey isn't healthy. This makes the situation already worse than it already was; Ryan Tannehill still leads the NFL in sacks taken with 44.

    The Dolphins won't be able to establish much of a ground attack to keep the Jets' pass rush honest. New York actually has the No. 1 run defense in the NFL. The last time any opponent has accumulated more than 64 rushing yards against them Week 7. Before that, it was Week 3. Miami will be forced to use its superior running back in Lamar Miller because the plodding Daniel Thomas is out, but the team won't luck into rushing success in this contest.

    There's a glimmer of hope for Miami though because the Jets' defensive problem is their inability to cover receivers, thanks to shoddy cornerback play. Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones torched them last week, and Mike Wallace could pick up where they left off. Tannehill and Wallace finally clicked this past Sunday, so perhaps that's a sign of things to come.

    RECAP: It's too early to tell, but I have a feeling the sharps will be all over New York, as the public predictably likes Miami.

    The Jets, who have the better defense, play strong football at home. They've taken down the Saints and Patriots as hosts. Their only loss on the season at the Meadowlands was against the Steelers, and that happened because they were cocky off their Monday night victory in Atlanta. The Dolphins, meanwhile, lost their most-recent road affair at Tampa Bay. Casual bettors are pounding them because they looked so good against Carolina, but the Panthers were sleepwalking following their huge Monday night victory over New England.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Bob Scucci, a bookmaker, said the Jets would be his pick if he had to choose one side this week. He revealed that the sharps are on New York.

    SUNDAY NOTES: Nothing to add here. I still like the Jets.


    The Psychology. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Vegas. Edge: Jets.
    Equal action.
  • Percentage of money on Miami: 56% (17,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
  • History: Road Team has won 8 of the last 11 meetings.
  • Underdog is 46-21 ATS in the Dolphins' last 67 games.
  • Opening Line: Jets -3.
  • Opening Total: 38.5.
  • Weather: .


    Week 13 NFL Pick: Jets 17, Dolphins 13
    Jets -1.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
    Under 40 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Dolphins 23, Jets 3




    New England Patriots (8-3) at Houston Texans (2-9)
    Line: Patriots by 7. Total: 48.

    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Patriots -6.
    Walt's Calculated Line (After Week 12): Patriots -3.5.
    Sunday, Dec. 1, 1:00 ET
    Discuss Week 13 Games, Talk Trash

    The Game. Edge: Patriots.

    The Adventures of Tom Brady's Haircuts is back for a second season! As with everything else though, I'm moving it to its own separate page. See what's going on this week with this picture here:



    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: Tom Brady's early-season struggles seem like so long ago, don't they? Brady was awful during an extended stretch, thanks to an injured hand and a lackluster supporting cast. However, Brady is now healthy, while all of his weapons have returned to him. The Broncos had no answer for him despite the fierce wind, and Brady pretty much did whatever he pleased once his team stopped fumbling the football.

    I don't see the Texans having much of an answer for Brady. Their defense is in shambles right now, as it has recently been inept versus Chad Henne and Matt McGloin. The linebacking corps is struggling in particular, which is not a surprise considering Brian Cushing is out for the year. This just means Houston will have trouble tackling Brady's targets once they catch short passes.

    Houston also has problems stopping the run. The defense has allowed at least 100 rushing yards to its previous three opponents. The Patriots move the chains on the ground extremely well - when they're not coughing up the ball, that is. It sounds like New England will move away from Stevan Ridley for now and employ more of a committee look, perhaps headed by Brandon Bolden, the safest of the three "big backs." If that's the case, Bolden figures to have a big game.

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: As bad as the Texans' defense is, the offense is even worse. Case Keenum looked so promising in his first couple of starts, but that has proven to be a mirage. Keenum has shown that he can't recognize blitzes. He also takes a couple of brutal sacks for losses of 15 yards or more each week. You can bet that Bill Belichick will have some creative schemes planned for him.

    Some players on this side of the ball have appeared to quit. I don't know what Ben Tate's doing, but he's not running hard. He was even benched at halftime in favor of the mediocre Dennis Johnson. New England has major issues stopping the run, but I'm not confident in Johnson's ability to exploit that liability. Meanwhile, DeAndre Hopkins has been sidelined twice in the past two weeks because of bone-headed blunders. Gary Kubiak gave him one more chance on the final drive this past Sunday, and Hopkins repaid his head coach with a crushing drop.

    RECAP: This is an awful spot for the Patriots. They're coming off an emotional overtime victory against their biggest rival. How can they possibly get up for the lowly Texans, who just lost to the Jaguars?

    So, I'm taking Houston, right? Well, I would, if the Texans were actually a competent team. But they're not. They're absolutely horrible, and many of their players have checked out. They can't be wagered on until they show signs of life.

    Before I move on to the late games, I realize I haven't give you any big-unit plays yet. Don't worry; they're coming.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I don't like to change my pick during the week, but I'll do it if one of three things occur: a key injury, a favorite moving to an underdog (or vice versa), or something that I just overlooked earlier. I said that the Texans have checked out. Well, they could really get up for this game, much like Atlanta with New Orleans last Thursday. The Patriots knocked Houston out of the playoffs in January, so I'm sure the Texans will see this as their Super Bowl. The sharps agree. They LOVE Houston.

    SUNDAY NOTES: There is so much money on the Patriots that something shady is bound to happen. This is a huge sharp play.


    The Psychology. Edge: Texans.
    The Patriots are coming off an emotional overtime win. The Texans will want revenge for their playoff loss.


    The Vegas. Edge: Texans.
    No surprise where the public is going.
  • Percentage of money on New England: 86% (33,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • Tom Brady is 155-52 as a starter (119-83 ATS).
  • Tom Brady is 10-4 ATS in domes.
  • Texans are 35-20 ATS after two or more consecutive losses.
  • Texans are 9-5 ATS as home underdogs since October 2006.
  • Opening Line: Patriots -7.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: Dome.


    Week 13 NFL Pick: Patriots 24, Texans 20
    Texans +7 (1 Unit) -- Correct; +$100
    Under 48 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Patriots 34, Texans 31



    Week 13 NFL Picks - Late Games
    Atlanta at Buffalo, St. Louis at San Francisco, Cincinnati at San Diego, NY Giants at Washington, Denver at Kansas City, New Orleans at Seattle



    Prop/Teaser/Parlay Picks
    A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week
    (Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted whenver winners are announced.) Picks carried over on a week-to-week basis will be in black.


  • Prop/teaser/parlay picks posted in Week 13 NFL Picks - Late Games



    Fantasy Football Rankings - Aug. 21


    2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24


    2015 NFL Mock Draft - July 23


    2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1


    NFL Free Agents


    NFL Picks - Feb. 2




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    2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790)
    2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260)
    2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650)

    2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
    2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%)
    2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%)
    2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%)
    2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%)
    2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%)
    2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900)
    2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860)
    2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195)
    2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5)
    2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135)
    2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30)

    2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035
    2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775
    2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865
    2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200
    2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590
    2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685

    2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%)
    2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400)
    2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720)
    2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640)
    2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810)
    2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870)
    2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560)
    2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900)

    Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,022-1,851-112, 52.2% (+$12,405)
    Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 649-587-31 (52.5%)
    Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 270-234-10 (53.6%)
    Career Over-Under: 1541-1537-46 (50.1%)
    Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-14-1 (61.1%)
    Career NFL Picks of the Month: 30-16 (65.2%)



    My Team-by-Team ATS Record
    This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.

    Cowboys: 9-7
    Bears: 7-7
    Bucs: 8-8
    49ers: 8-9
    Eagles: 7-10
    Lions: 11-5
    Falcons: 5-10
    Cardinals: 10-5
    Giants: 7-9
    Packers: 8-8
    Panthers: 8-9
    Rams: 7-9
    Redskins: 9-7
    Vikings: 7-9
    Saints: 13-4
    Seahawks: 9-10
    Bills: 12-4
    Bengals: 8-8
    Colts: 11-6
    Broncos: 8-11
    Dolphins: 11-5
    Browns: 3-13
    Jaguars: 7-8
    Chargers: 11-6
    Jets: 8-8
    Ravens: 9-6
    Texans: 10-5
    Chiefs: 6-11
    Patriots: 10-8
    Steelers: 6-10
    Titans: 5-7
    Raiders: 9-7
    Divisional: 51-44 (2011-12: 90-93)
    2x Game Edge: 14-22 (2011-12: 41-40)
    2x Psych Edge: 35-26 (2011-12: 57-54)
    2x Vegas Edge: 40-38 (2011-12: 89-104)
    2x Trend Edge: 24-23 (2011-12: 48-55)
    Double Edge: 9-10 (2011-12: 17-23)
    Triple Edge: 1-0 (2011-12: 1-1)
    Quad Edge: 0-0 (2011: 0-0)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
    2003 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 20 | XXXVIII
    2004 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2004 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XXXIX
    2005 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2005 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XL
    2006 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2006 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLI
    2007 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2007 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLII |
    2008 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2008 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIII |
    2009 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIV |
    2010 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2010 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLV |
    2011 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2011 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLVI |
    2012 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2012 Season:
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    Super Bowl XLVII NFL Pick
    2013 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2013 Season:
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    Super Bowl XLVIII NFL Pick 2014 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 |
    2014 Season:
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