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Week 13 was an average week at the window for us.
The Pittsburgh Steelers knocked off the Baltimore Ravens, bringing the upset moneyline picks to 9-4 on the season. But the Jekyll and Hyde AFC West did us in. The Los Angeles Chargers brought their A-game in Cincy, the Raiders couldn't beat Taylor Heinicke and the Denver Broncos just refused to take the cover the Kansas Chiefs were offering them. All Ls.
That brings us to the 49ers. We thought the turnaround was for real, but it turns out that Kyle Shanahan's team is just your run-of-the-mill average outfit that is impossible to bet on. Suboptimal for the syndicate which is 2-10 ATS on 49ers games this season. Just can't get a read. That might be good news for the Niners this week as they travel to Cincy as road favorites against a Bengals team that I remain high on.
Let's get to the picks.
RECORD: 105-88 ATS (113-80-1 SU)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings
Line: Vikings -3.5
This is a borderline elimination game for two teams trying to claw back into the playoff picture. The Steelers eked out a win over the Ravens, but their offense struggles to move the ball with zombie Big Ben under center. The Vikings play every game close, and this won’t be any different, but they do enough to get the win and the cover.
Pick: Vikings 23, Steelers 17
Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Line: Chiefs -10
Last time these two teams met, the Chiefs put it on the Silver and Black, but their offense has been dormant ever since. Will facing Gus Bradley’s defense be what finally gets Patrick Mahomes and Co. back on track? I like the Chiefs to win, but the Raiders keep it within 10.
Pick: Chiefs 33, Raiders 24
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
Line: Panthers -2.5
The Panthers fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady during the bye week, but I’m not sure that will help Cam Newton move the ball without Christian McCaffrey. Carolina’s defense will give the Falcons trouble, but I like Matt Ryan and Co. to grab a road win.
Pick: Falcons 20, Panthers 17
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
Line: Browns -2.5
The Ravens’ offense has been bad for the last month, and now their leaky secondary just lot its best player in Marlon Humphrey. The Browns are coming off a bye that should have allowed Baker Mayfield to get a little healthier. Baltimore is a wobbly contender, one the Browns’ rushing attack can run over.
Pick: Browns 24, Ravens 20
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
Line: Titans -9
Jacksonville has looked inept every Sunday outside of the upset win over the Bills. But I can’t take this version of the Titans, who scored 13 points against the Texans, to cover nine points. Cover your nose and take Urban.
Pick: Titans 26, Jags 20
Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans
Line: Seahawks -7.5
It sounds like the Texans are going back to Davis Mills at quarterback, and that’s bad news for their offense. Even Seattle’s below-average defense should be able to pile up the stops Sunday. Russ throws for three touchdowns in an easy win. Houston is the worst team in the NFL, and I’m not sure it’s close.
Pick: Seahawks 27, Texans 10
New Orleans Saints at New York Jets
Line: Saints -5
If they are at full strength, the Saints’ defense will make life hell for Zach Wilson and the Jets’ offense. Plus, Robert Saleh’s defense can’t stop anybody, including Taysom Hill.
Pick: Saints 27, Jets 14
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team
Line: Dallas -4
It feels like the WFT storyline is giving us a free two points here. The Cowboys are a better team, especially with their full complement of wide receivers, and Washington’s defense struggles in the back end. If the Football Team can’t pressure Dak Prescott, it will be a long day.
Pick: Cowboys 26, WFT 20
Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos
Line: Broncos -7.5
Say what you will about Dan Campbell, but the Lions are fighting for him. Now, they have a win under their belt and face a Broncos team with an offense that struggles to put points up. If Jared Goff can avoid costly mistakes, the Lions should hang in this one. Hell, I like them outright.
Pick: Lions 24, Broncos 23 (Upset Pick Of The Week)
Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Line: Bucs -3.5
This game has shootout written all over it. Tom Brady and the Bucs’ offense are clicking, but the defense has been a big issue, especially in the back end. Josh Allen should have a big day, but I don’t think Buffalo can leave Raymond James with a win.
Pick: Bucs 35, Bills 31
New York Giants at Los Angeles Chargers
Line: Chargers -10
It will either be Mike Glennon (concussion) or Jake Fromm under center for the Giants. Woof. But the Chargers might be without Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Chris Harris, all of whom are now in the COVID protocols. Ten is a lot of points for a Chargers team that likes to play with its food to cover, but you can’t bet on Glennon or Fromm when the other team has Justin Herbert.
Pick: Chargers 27, Giants 13
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Line: Packers -12
Justin Fields is back, but I don’t think that’s enough for a banged-up Bears team to keep it close in Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers still owns the Bears.
Pick: Packers 30, Bears 17
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals
Line: Cardinals -2.5
Beating the Jags doesn’t make the Rams back. Matthew Stafford still doesn’t look healthy, and the offense hasn’t been the explosive unit we’re accustomed to seeing in over a month. The Cardinals are the better football team at this point in the season, and they’ll complete the season sweep of the Rams.
Pick: Cardinals 27, Rams 23
49ers at Cincinnati Bengals
Line: 49ers -1.5
I know Joe Burrow’s pinkie isn’t 100 percent, but I have a hard time betting on a 49ers team with a banged-up secondary and one healthy running back to go across the country and beat a team with a dynamic passing attack. The Bengals struggle to defend passes over the middle and that's where Jimmy Garoppolo thrives. But I can't trust this Niners team. Give me the home dog.
Pick: Bengals 24, 49ers 23