By Brien O’Donal
It’s now week 13 and we are that much closer to the end of the season. I had a pretty good week with my picks so I want ride that feeling into this week. Looking at the schedule, it seems that is a possibility. The final push at the end of the season can bring out the best in some teams, but also see some collapse under the pressure. It will all play itself out in the next five weeks and then it’s on to what really matters.
All odds are courtesy of mybookie.lv on Wednesday night.
Redskins (5-6) at Cowboys (5-6)- Thursday 7:25 p.m. CT; NBC, NFL Network, Amazon Prime
Redskins -1 1/2, O/U 45 1/2
Things aren’t going well for either team this season and all they can do is chase a wild card spot. Washington is getting healthier at the right positions and Dallas is struggling without Ezekiel Elliott. A short week divisional game is never easy so a small betting line is perfect to lure us in. The Redskins know the Cowboys well and they are on the rise so I will pick them to win. I expect they will cover too but I think the scoring will reach 45 1/2 so I’m taking the under.
Vikings (9-2) at Falcons (7-4)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
Falcons -3, O/U 47 1/2
The Falcons are starting to improve and are the #6 team in the NFC playoffs at the moment while the surprising Case Keenum is leading the Vikings atop the NFC North and the #2 spot. I keep thinking that he is going to have a bad game when his opponent is tough and he keeps proving me wrong. The Falcons are beatable and I will count on the Vikings defense to do so. Julio Jones can’t put up 200 yards every week, right? I will take the over 47 1/2.
Texans (4-7) at Titans (7-4)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
Titans -6 1/2, O/U 43 1/2
The Texans defense is playing really well for being the only thing keeping this team going. The once great Houston offense has withered and died without an NFL quarterback to guide it. Deandre Hopkins is having a great season but it’s not enough. The Titans are leading the division through sheer grit and determination. DeMarco Murray has fallen off in recent weeks and their passing offense hasn’t been what they wanted it to be. It doesn’t matter because they should be able to count on Tom Savage turnovers to ensure they win this game by more than a touchdown and see that the total goes over 43 1/2.
Chiefs (6-5) at Jets (4-7)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
Chiefs -3, O/U 44
Every week the Jets are fighting hard but coming up short. All they need for a win is to catch a team on a bad day. The Chiefs seem to be having a lot of bad days over the last month and a half so I can see this Sunday being another one. Or, it could be the game they get back on track. I’m going to believe it is the latter and they get a road win. But for gambling purposes I will take the Jets at +3 and the total to be over 44.
Broncos (3-8) at Dolphins (4-7)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
Broncos -1 1/2, O/U 39 1/2
I don’t know what to do with this one. These teams are really struggling on offense and their defenses don’t have a whole lot going for them either. The Dolphins are at home and they have a slightly better quarterback. The Broncos will be missing their best cover corner with Aquib Talib’s suspension so there is opportunity for the Dolphins to get a few points they might otherwise have missed. I will pick the Dolphins to win at home while Denver still can’t find its way but I’m going to lean under 39 1/2 for the total.
Colts (3-8) at Jaguars (7-4)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
Jaguars -9 1/2, O/U 41
I have been right for staying away from the Jaguars against the spread. I will definitely keep that going when the spread is almost double digits. I think they win with defense again but I will put my money on the Colts at +9 1/2. I will take the under here.
Buccaneers (4-7) at Packers (5-6)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
No odds for this game yet.
I think Brett Hundley and Mike McCarthy may have found something last week against the Steelers. It’s the only thing that has been missing since Aaron Rodgers went down, the right game plan. Now that they know what works and can go toe to toe with a real contender they should certainly take care of the Buccaneers at home. Jameis Winston looks like he will be starting Sunday but I’m not sure if that hurts or helps them. I would expect the Packers to win by at least a touchdown and the total to be over 41.
Lions (6-5) at Ravens (6-5)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
Ravens -2 1/2, O/U 43
I really hope Alex Collins plays in this game. Baltimore’s running back combo has improved over the course of the season and given them a little bit of life. I don’t really know what’s going on with the Lions. I expected better out of them but they can’t run the ball to save their life. The Ravens have one of the better pass defenses in the league and that can counter what Detroit does well. I will take the Ravens to win and I think they do it by a field goal. I will bet on the total over 43 points.
Patriots (9-2) at Bills (6-5)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
Patriots -9, O/U 48 1/2
The Patriots are rolling right now and I made the mistake of betting the other way against the spread last week. I lost. I didn’t like it but I will learn my lesson and bet on them to cover the spread this week against a Bills team that clearly is not the same team that started the season like a winner. I’m going to say the Pats put up a bunch in a divisional game and go over 48 1/2.
49ers (1-10) at Bears (3-8)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
Bears -3, O/U 40 1/2
It is officially time for the Jimmy Garoppolo show. He did fine in relief last week and I think he will be what Kyle Shanahan needs to get a little more out of his offense. The Bears defense is the best part of their team and will offer some resistance but I think in the end the 49ers get another victory. I will bet on the over 40 1/2 for this one.
Browns (0-11) at Chargers (5-6)- Sunday 3:05 p.m. CT; CBS
Chargers -14, O/U 42 1/2
The Browns are probably going to keep working hard on securing that #1 overall draft pick because it will give them plenty of leverage to pair with the pick they got from the Texans. Of course I won’t pick them to win this week and since they turn the ball over a lot and the Chargers defense is pretty good at taking it away I will take the -14 points and the over 42 1/2.
Giants (2-9) at Raiders (5-6)- Sunday 3:25 p.m. CT; Fox
Raiders -9, O/U 42
They want you to bet the Raiders because Geno Smith is starting at quarterback for the Giants and he sucks. They are going to be without Janoris Jenkins too. The Raiders will be without Michael Crabtree and possibly Amari Cooper so it’s not like they are going to just steamroll New York. So, with this one being an “anything can happen” game I will hit the line at Raiders -9 but the under 42.
Panthers (8-3) at Saints (8-3)- Sunday 3:25 p.m. CT; Fox
Saints -4 1/2, O/U 48
This should be fun. The Saints were on a big winning streak until they ran into an up and coming Rams team and fell back to Earth. The Panthers seem to be quietly keeping pace in the NFC South and it could be a good time to snatch a win on the road. But I don’t think they will. I will take the Saints to win but my money will go on the Panthers at +4 1/2. I will definitely pick the over 48.
Rams (8-3) at Cardinals (5-6)- Sunday 3:25 p.m. CT; Fox
Rams -7, O/U 45
I know it’s a divisional game and the Cardinals proved they can eke out tough wins like they did against a tough Jaguars defense last week but the Rams are more than just a defense. Their offense can put up points–a lot of points–and this one might get out of hand quickly. I’m taking the Rams at -7 points and I will take over 45 for the total.
Eagles (10-1) at Seahawks (7-4)- Sunday 7:30 p.m. CT; NBC
Eagles -6, O/U 47 1/2
The Eagles are the best team in the NFC and will face off on the road against a former top contender. The Seahawks defense has lost some key players but still took care of business against the 49ers last week and nearly beat the Falcons the week before. They will put up a good fight but the Eagles are just too much for any team with issues. They know how to put up points too so I don’t think -6 is too big of a number. I will take them to win and cover the spread. And since the Russell Wilson can perform well in a shootout I will take the over 47 1/2.
Steelers (9-2) at Bengals (5-6)- Monday 7:30 p.m. CT; ESPN
Steelers -5 1/2, O/U 43 1/2
The Steelers escaped a surprisingly good game with the Packers last week but still proved one thing: they can put up points with the best of them. The Bengals still have their original quarterback but aren’t getting any better results than Green Bay. Maybe the Bengals will give us another good game since they will be facing a divisional foe. Their offensive line isn’t good though and the Steelers defense can make things happen with the pass rush. I am picking Pittsburgh to win another prime time game and probably win against the spread too. I will take another over as well.