It’s a Jolly Holiday — NFL Week 13 PicksPosted: November 28, 2014
We are not gamblers. That doesn’t mean we can’t pretend. Some of these choices have actual thought put into them. More of these choices were made with gut, intuition, and a little thing called grit.
Employ these recommendations at your own peril. Gambling is ungentlemanly.
[Home team in caps. All lines per VegasInsider.com consensus.]
Derek: Our picks will continue to be slightly out of the ordinary this week, due to the holidays. Will shan’t be joining us due to said holidays, so you’re stuck with me this week. We promise everything will be back to normal next week. Onward!
INDIANAPOLIS (-9.5) vs. Washington
The Redskins are tempting because Colt McCoy is back, and he’s undefeated this year. But, the Colts are at home, and they’re way better. I mean that as the Indianapolis Colts, not as a nickname for the Redskins because Colt is starting. Could the Redskins change their name to the Colts and put a picture of Colt McCoy on their helmets? Could they get away with that? Anyway, Colts. Indianapolis Colts.
HOUSTON (-7) vs. Tennessee
Ryan Fitzpatrick, the only consensus Gentleman of the Week in Sports Monocle history, is back this week. I missed him. I hear his beard has been trimmed, which is a bummer. Here’s hoping he has just enough Yosemite Sam left in him to cover. Texans.
BUFFALO (-3) vs. Cleveland
I keep half-typing an explanation for why I’m picking Cleveland, but then I have visions of Sammy Watkins pulling down 10 catches for 250 yards and three touchdowns. Josh Gordon seems like he’s capable of doing the same thing, though. Tough call. I’ll take the points.
BALTIMORE (-6) vs. San Diego
The six point spread a little scary, but the Chargers are making a cross-country trip for a 10 a.m. PT start and they haven’t covered since Week 5 against the Jets. I’ll take the Ravens.
NEW YORK GIANTS (-3) vs. Jacksonville
It’s been a long time since the Giants have played a bad team. They’ve actually done quite well against teams under .500, going 3-0 with double-digit victories over the Falcons, Redskins, and Texans. I think they let off some steam here. Giants.
CINCINNATI (-3.5) vs. Tampa Bay
The Bucs are so much worse at home. I don’t get it either, but it’s true. Not only are they winless at home, but they’re also 0-5 against the spread. I’ll take the Bengals.
ST. LOUIS (-6.5) vs. Oakland
I had this game as the Raiders’ first win, but the Chiefs went and ruined everything. Now I don’t know what to believe. The Rams likely would have won last week were it not for some shady officiating at the end. They’re playing well, which worries me (since they’re the Rams), but the Raiders still aren’t great and will be without all-world running back Latavius Murray. I’ll take the Rams.
PITTSBURGH (-4.5) vs. New Orleans
I’m not picking an NFC South team unless they’re playing another NFC South team. Pittsburgh.
MINNESOTA (-2.5) vs. Carolina
I’m not picking an NFC South team unless they’re playing another NFC South team. Vikings.
Arizona (-2) at ATLANTA
I’m not picking an NFC South team unless they’re playing another NFC South team. Cardinals.
GREEN BAY (-3) vs. New England
Ugh. This game is the worst. On one hand, I want the Patriots to lose by 30 so they can be taken down a peg or two. On the other hand, it’s that time of year when I have to start rooting against teams that could interfere with the Seahawks’ playoff interests.
And that’s just the beginning of my conundrum. How am I supposed to choose a winner? The Packers have been monstrous at home. Their thrashing of the Eagles looks even better after Thanksgiving. But the Patriots are the more complete team, and they have been unstoppable.
Well, the Patriots usually give us a crushing loss in the playoffs. I’m a patient man. Go Patriots!
Denver (-1.5) vs. KANSAS CITY
The Broncos have actually kind of sucked on the road. Now they have to go into Kansas City on a Sunday night. The Chiefs have had 10 days to stew over their embarrassing loss to the Raiders. All signs point to the Chiefs.
Miami (-6.5) at NEW YORK JETS
I’m not sure how I can pick the Jets under any circumstances at this point. I picked them last week and grimly watched as they got blown out by a displaced team that could barely practice that week. Never again. I’ll take the Dolphins.