Week 13 wasn’t ideal for my picks against the spread. I’m currently 43 games over .500 on picks straight up and 11 games under .500 against the spread.
Here is my record after thirteen weeks:
My overall record SU: 117-74
My overall record ATS: 90-101
Let’s jump into Week 14.
Jaguars (+3.5) vs. Titans
Pick, straight up: Titans
Pick, against the spread: Titans
Marcus Mariota has a history of stepping up his performance when the primetime lights are on him. He’ll really be the key to this game as the Jaguars once vaunted defense has been flat as of late. The Jaguars are returning Leonard Fournette to the lineup after a 1 week suspension. They also have Cody Kessler as their current starting quarterback. In the comforts of their home stadium, this one is lining up to be a Titans win.
Rob Carr – Getty Images
Chiefs (-8.5) vs. Ravens
Pick, straight up: Chiefs
Pick, against the spread: Chiefs
This game means a lot to both the Chiefs and the Ravens. The Chiefs can clinch playoff berth and maintain top seeding with a win. Meanwhile the Ravens can keep their post-season dreams alive. The burden will fall on the Ravens to stop Patrick Mahomes and this Chiefs offense at home. They’ve lost each of their games where they’ve allowed 300 or more scrimmage yards to an opponent. The Chiefs haven’t had a game with less than 330 scrimmage yards this entire season.
Colts (+3.5) vs. Texans
Pick, straight up: Texans
Pick, against the spread: Colts
The Texans are playing like the hottest team in the NFL right now. Andrew Luck and the Colts laid a dud against the Jaguars in Week 13. While it’s unlikely they play that poorly two weeks in a row, I have a hard time believing they can go on the road and beat the Texans. With Luck looking like his old self again, I think he can will this to a close game.
Falcons (+4.5) vs. Packers
Pick, straight up: Packers
Pick, against the spread: Falcons
Neither of these teams have been very consistent, but my eye is on the Packers in this one. Either they’ll look revitalized with head coach Mike McCarthy getting fired, or they’ll look even worse than they did before. Joe Philbin took over in the interim. He doesn’t exactly have the greatest recent track record as a head coach.
Jets (+3.5) vs. Bills
Pick, straight up: Bills
Pick, against the spread: Bills
I’ll say it. Josh Allen is making the Bills team exciting and fun to watch. He’s making the types of plays and throws that he needs to make to win football games. The Jets don’t currently have a lot of good going for them, so I don’t expect them to march into Buffalo and upset the Bills Mafia.
Giants (+1) vs. Skins
Pick, straight up: Giants
Pick, against the spread: Giants
This is a game the Giants should win, but they’ve lost several of those this season. It’s probably why the line is so close. The Skins are down to Mark Sanchez as their starter after injuries to Alex Smith (prayers up) and Colt McCoy. Eli Manning might be putrid this year, but he’s not as bad as Sanchez.
Saints (-7.5) vs. Bucs
Pick, straight up: Saints
Pick, against the spread: Bucs
It’s been a while since the Bucs handed the Saints a loss in Week 1. Things have changed on both teams. Even though the Bucs are playing at home, I expect the Saints to come in better prepared so they don’t go home embarrassed.
Steve Mitchell – USA TODAY Sports
Patriots (-7) vs. Dolphins
Pick, straight up: Patriots
Pick, against the spread: Dolphins
Playing the Dolphins at home late in the season has always been a struggle for the Patriots. The big swing from that bitter New England cold to humidity and warmth of Miami is harsh on the players. The Patriots have even dropped some road games this year against teams they probably should beat. The Dolphins however have 14 players listed on the injury report. They’re not anywhere close to full strength, which is where you need to be when you face the Patriots.
Panthers (-2.5) vs. Browns
Pick, straight up: Browns
Pick, against the spread: Browns
I’m all in on the Browns winning games, especially at home, and against an inconsistent team like the Panthers. Baker Mayfield needs to do a better job protecting the football this week. If he does that they’ll have a chance to win with ease.
Broncos (-3.5) vs. 49ers
Pick, straight up: Broncos
Pick, against the spread: Broncos
Even with losses of Chris Harris Jr. and Emmanuel Sanders, this Broncos squad is much better than the 49ers. They should be able to win on the road, though I won’t be shocked if the 49ers keep it competitive.
Bengals (+14.5) vs. Chargers
Pick, straight up: Chargers
Pick, against the spread: Chargers
This is a really big spread. Typically I’d take the Bengals against the spread, but I don’t trust that they can go on the road and beat the Chargers. Without Andy Dalton and AJ Green (both on IR) it’s the replacements going against the Chargers this week.
Lions (-2.5) vs. Cardinals
Pick, straight up: Cardinals
Pick, against the spread: Cardinals
Last week I was right on the money with the Lions game. This week I expect the Cardinals to win at home, even with the Lions favored. They at least have the defense to frustrate Matt Stafford.
Eagles (+3.5) vs. Cowboys
Pick, straight up: Cowboys
Pick, against the spread: Cowboys
Picking the Cowboys at home in this one. Even with a win last week, I don’t trust the Eagles to go into AT&T Stadium and force a choke job by the Cowboys.
Steelers (-13) vs. Raiders
Pick, straight up: Steelers
Pick, against the spread: Raiders
The Raiders proved last week against the Chiefs they can put up points if you don’t play your best defense. The Steelers have really struggled in that department, especially the secondary. Expect the Steelers to win, but the Raiders will make this one close at home.
Rams (-4) vs. Bears
Pick, straight up: Rams
Pick, against the spread: Bears
Unless Trubisky plays the Rams will likely outscore the Bears. Even with their dominant defense.
Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports
Vikings (+3) vs. Seahawks
Pick, straight up: Seahawks
Pick, against the spread: Seahawks
The Vikings are entering dangerous territory. If they want to keep their playoff hopes alive they need to keep rattling off wins. The Seahawks are playing really solid football right now. Especially after all the questions about the dismantling of the Legion of Boom and the injury to Earl Thomas. It’s going to take a lot for the Vikings to get a win on the road in Seattle. Their defense will have to perform much better and Kirk Cousins will need to have a clean, turnover free game.