The Reuters global sports blog
NFL picks week 13
Lucky Week 13 and the Lineman is worried because he spotted six games he liked right away and has not switched off any of them. Usually the Lineman will have second thoughts about a few games and tosses and turns over others.
But we like what we see this week. Ummm, that a good thing or a bad omen? Guess we’ll find out on Sunday.
Record: 39-33. Last week 3-3. Pick of the Week: 7-5
PICK OF THE WEEK
New England Patriots (7-4) at Miami Dolphins (5-6) (Line Patriots minus 4 1/2)
The Patriots were blown out by the Saints last week and three weeks ago were stopped by the Indianapolis Colts after a wild fourth down gamble by coach Bill Belichick failed.
Those two losses leave the Patriots a class below unbeaten Indy and New Orleans and cast serious doubts on New England’s post-season chances.
With Sanchez and the Jets win over the Bills on Thursday the heat is on the Brady Bunch to get the job done in South Beach against the Fish, who stunk out the joint last week in a loss to the Bills.
The Patriot are coming off a short week and have not won on the road all season (unless you count their win in London).
Belichick will come up with a way to tame the Wildcat but I’m not convinced the Dolphins will have the same success stopping Patriots QB Tom Brady and his cast of pass catchers led by Wes Welker and Randy Moss.
A win here and the Pats take control of the AFC East. A loss and its panic city in Boston. This is a statement game for the Pats and the statement is: Hey, we are in the same league as the Colts and Saints – really we are.”
Take the Patriots and give up the 4 1/2.
Tennessee Titans (5-6) at Indianapolis Colts (11-0) (Line Titans plus 6 1/2)
After a 0-6 start everyone was ready to forget about the Titans. But with Vince Young calling the shots the Titans have won five straight and become one of the NFL’s feel good stories of the year.
Peyton Manning, the league’s top ranked QB, has been on fire but Colts have had to scratch out close wins (8, 2, 1, 3 and 4 points) the last five weeks.
The Titans give up a lot of yards through the air which will have Manning licking his chops.
Nashville will try to keep Manning off the field and grind it out on the ground behind Chris Johnson, who is on course to break the NFL single season rushing record.
The Colts have already wrapped up the AFC South and have a chance to tie the record for consecutive regular seasons wins with a victory on Sunday.
But Titans’ Cinderella comeback story does not end here as the clock strikes midnight on Colts unbeaten season. Take the Titans and the 6 1/2.
Detroit Lions (2-9) at Cincinnati Bengals (8-3) (Line Bengals minus 12 1/2)
After a slip up in Oakland two weeks ago and a near slip up last weekend against the bumbling Browns, the Bengals can afford no miscues against the lame Lions with games against Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Chargers looming on the horizon.
With two wins the Lions are much improved on last year’s winless campaign but the Motowners still have the NFL’s most porous defence surrendering more than 30 points a game and an offense that is also among the league’s worst.
If the Bengals want to be taken seriously then it is time to step up and lay a beating on one of the NFL’s cellar dwellers instead of being pushed around.
Cat fight in Cinncy ends in big Bengals win. Take the Bengals and give up the 12 1/2.
Houston Texans (5-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5) (Line pick’em)
Clash featuring two teams with playoff hopes on the line.
Jaguars travelled west last weekend and were mauled by the 49ers but now return home for three games that could decide their season.
The Texans need a win to get their wildcard hopes back on track after three tough losses, including two to the Colts.
With Houston, Seattle, St. Louis and Miami in the on deck circle, the Texans could mount a nice late season run starting with the Jaguars.
Texans’ Matt Schaub is the NFL’s third ranked quarterback behind Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and wide out Andre Johnson is a monster target.
The Jaguars are 4-1 at home and will rely on the power running of Maurice Jones-Drew.
Texans get a chance to live up to pre-season expectations. Take Houston in a close one.
Denver Broncos (7-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-8) (Line Broncos minus 4 1/2)
Denver gets a chance to prove they really have turned things around after pulling out of a four game losing skid laying a Thanksgiving Day beating on the New York Giants.
The Broncos have had 10 days to get ready for this one which could be the turning point in their season.
Denver was the early season surprise package going 6-0 out of the gate but has been overtaken by the Chargers at the top of the AFC West standings.
After an impressive start, QB Kyle Orton has lost the plot with the Broncos offense averaging just nine points a game through their four game slide. But the Broncos defence has held tough and remains one of the league’s stingiest units.
The Chiefs are still a long way from becoming a contender but are 3-3 in their last six and play harder at Arrowhead.
The Broncos are still thinking playoffs, the Chiefs are thinking next year. Take the Broncos and give up the 4 1/2.
San Francisco 49ers (5-6) at Seattle Seahawks (4-7) (Line pick’em)
Niners coach Mike Singletary has promised the 49ers will make the playoffs, which probably means running the table starting with the Seahawks this Sunday.
Seattle are tough at home and still have slim playoff hopes. They end this weekend.
Take the 49ers.
PHOTO: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) takes his helmet off after throwing an interception in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana November 30, 2009. REUTERS/Sean Gardner