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November 29, 2018

Week 13 NFL picks

For the gambling degenerates, here are my Week 13 NFL picks. To note, the team logos indicate who I think will win the game, not cover the spread. At the end of the picks, I'll note a few teams that I like based on the spread.


Saints (-7.5) at Cowboys: This is kind of a big game for the Eagles' playoff hopes. Right now, gives the Birds a 21 percent chance of winning the division. If the Saints win, that will jump to 26 percent. If the Cowboys win, it will fall to 14 percent.

Luckily for the Eagles, the Saints look like a juggernaut at the moment, and the Cowboys' dome works against them against Drew Brees.


Ravens at Falcons (-1.5): The Falcons are on a three-game skid, and their season is essentially over, while the Ravens remain on track for a wildcard berth in the AFC.


Bears (-4.5) at Giants: This line is only 4.5 because it is unclear whether or not Mitchell Trubisky will start. I'd love to take the Bears -4.5 here, but I just can't trust in Chase Daniel.


Bills at Dolphins (-4.5): Who cares?


Broncos (-5) at Bengals: During the pre-draft process, players competing at the Senior Bowl or the NFL Combine have a wide assortment of things on their bodies measured. Height, weight, arm length, wingspan, and hand size are some of the basics. At the 2016 Senior Bowl, it was noted that nine players had their left hand measured instead of their right hand because they had deformed right pinky fingers. Nine! 

And so, I found all nine guys and asked if I could take pictures of their deformed pinkies. Only two declined -- OL Nick Martin and QB Jeff Driskel. Driskel even commented, "That's too weird." It was at that moment I knew his NFL career was over before it even started. Driskel will be starting at quarterback for the Bengals with Andy Dalton done for the season. Broncos in a blowout.


Rams (-10) at Lions: I don't normally like big lines (unless I'm getting the points), but the Rams -10 might be a bargain.


Colts (-4) at Jaguars: It's remarkable how badly the Jaguars' season has spiraled out of control. Meanwhile the Frank Reichs just keep on winning.


Browns at Texans (-6): This Houston team started 0-3, and now they have a legitimate shot at a first-round bye.


Cardinals at Packers (-14): 14 points? Really? Like, I realize the Cardinals are awful, but since when is this Packers team any good? I'll gladly take 14 points.


Panthers (-3.5) at Buccaneers: I'm just going to keep saying it. The Panthers are frauds. 


Chiefs (-15) at Raiders: Next.


Jets at Titans (-7.5): It's hard to imagine how Todd Bowles survives this season.


49ers at Seahawks (-10): The Seahawks are in a good position to finish strongly and earn a trip to the playoffs, as four of their five remaining games are at home.


Vikings at Patri*ts (-5): The Pats are 5-0 at home, with wins at Gillette over teams with winning records such as the Texans, Colts, and Chiefs, not that we don't already know that they win a lot of games at home.


Chargers at Steelers (-3.5): This game could very well be a preview of an AFC wildcard round matchup. One of the lesser-discussed great teams this season has been the Chargers, who will have a chance to show the football world how good they are in prime time.


Redskins at Eagles (-6.5): The Eagles' biggest weakness at the moment is their devastated secondary, obviously. Luckily for them this week, they're facing a team in the Redskins that doesn't have wide receivers who will strike fear into opposing defensive coordinators. Conversely, the Redskins' current biggest weakness, their injury-ravaged offensive line, is ripe for the taking against the Eagles' defensive line, which is still very much a strength. Unlike in years past, I think this Eagles team, even with their wide assortment of injuries, matches up well against Washington. 

The Birds' offensive line had their best game of the season a week ago, and that's where they can begin to build positive moment down the stretch. I believe they'll be able to score on this Redskins defense, while the Redskins seem a bit too handicapped by the losses of their quarterback (Alex Smith), both starting offensive guards (Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao), their field-stretching wide receiver (Paul Richardson), and a less effective left tackle (Trent Williams, who has an assortment of injuries). 

• Picks against the spread: Cowboys (+7.5), Cardinals (+14), Buccaneers (+3.5), Patriots (-5), Chargers (+3.5).

• Eagles picks: 6-5

• 2018 season, straight up 110-65-2 (0.627)
• 2018 season, ATS: 28-24-1 (.538)
• 2017 season, straight up: 181-86 (0.678)
• 2017 season, ATS: 36-32-2 (0.529)
• 2016 season, straight up: 171-94-2 (0.644)
• 2016 season, ATS:  41-34 (0.547)
• 2015 season, straight up: 163-93 (0.637)
• 2015 season, ATS: 46-30-2 (0.605)

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