NFL Regular Season, Week 13 Picks
This week will certainly prove to be tough to gauge, with teams performing better than they have all season. Where was that same passion at the start of the season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they could actually be a playoff contender if they had been able to start playing as well as they have been from the very start. A few grudge matches are also set this week, so a few teams may be looking for payback for previous losses this season. It will truly be a great week, and the pressure is piling on as there are only 3 more weeks of the regular season after this one.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
Both of these teams had a tough time last week, as the Packers tied against the 2-8 Vikings, and the Lions lost against the 2-8 Buccaneers. Historically, the Packers have been able to beat the Lions consistently each time they have met on the field. They may be able to continue this winning streak against the Lions, but it will be a tough match. The key to the Packers victory will lie in their alternating offense, especially when it comes to their passing. The Lions have a good rush defense, which will push the Packers to use their passing more often. The one downfall that could take the win from the Packers is if they fail to keep possession of the ball. Both teams have a poor record of retaining possession of the ball, so defense will play another crucial role, as they try to take and keep possession. The Lions will have a tough time, but they could end up using the rush more often.
We pick: Green Bay Packers (+6) to win
Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys did a good job of beating the Giants, but they had many mistakes during the game that almost cost them that victory. We hope the coach and the players realize this and start playing seriously. They have a habit of relaxing when they are up, and that is where the other team’s second wind gets them. The Cowboys will have a very hard game against the Raiders. The Raiders defense will prove tricky to beat, as the Cowboy offense hasn’t been scoring as much as they should. They will, however, be able to get around the defense if they use their great receivers more often. This should play on the Raider weakness. On top of that, the Cowboys do manage to keep the ball more often, even if they do not effectively score more because of it. This will tip the game and ball possession in favor of the Cowboys, limiting the Raiders scoring options; unless their defense plays like they did against the Giants.
We pick: Dallas Cowboys (-10) to win
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are favored to win this game, but by a close margin, which I will take advantage of to wager on the Steelers. The Ravens certainly have the better defense, and their offense has certainly improved, but for me, they haven’t improved enough to overcome the Steeler offense. The Steeler defense will need to focus more on stopping the rush, and the occasional pass. This will be quite difficult for the Steelers, but their offense has the toughest job. With the Ravens defense being good on both fronts, the Steelers will need to be constantly switching it up. If they are not able to read the defense properly, this will end quite badly for the Steelers. I will place my faith on QB Ben Roethlisberger and his experience.
We pick: Green Bay Packers (+3) to win
New England Patriots at Houston Texans
The Patriots are the second team in the league to manage to defeat the Broncos, although it was a pretty close game. The Texans, despite posting great stats and having a great overall team, seriously lack the power to post points and win. This is thanks to the fact that their offense lacks the strength to retain possession, losing the ball more often, making them miss out on chances to score. The Patriots have a great offense, but the Texans also have a great offense. What will ultimately decide which team wins is the combination of possession and ability to score. The Texan defense will be a great force to stop the Patriots offense, and the Texans offense should be able to overcome the Patriot defense. They will need to stop the rush, while trying to overcome the pass coverage of the Patriots.
We pick: Houston Texans (+9) to win
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets
This match will be very, very close; as they are the perfect opponent for each other. The Dolphins have a strong passing offense, but a weak rush defense. Meanwhile, the Jets have a strong rush offense, but a weak pass defense. This will be a match of which team can more effectively take advantage of the other teams weakness. The Jets are given a slight advantage, as they do play at home, but I don’t think that will matter in the game. The Dolphins have a much better passing offense than the rush offense the Jets have. This will make them more effective at gaining yards, but may prove harder to retain possession of the ball. Although the Jets rush offense will leave small openings for any turnovers, the Dolphins know that the Jets will come at them harder with their running backs and prepare their defense accordingly.
We pick: Miami Dolphins (+1) to win