NFL Week 13 Picks & Biggest Week 12 Takeaways
Photo Credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Week 13 Spreads & Over/Under Point Totals
By Brandon Caputo & Miklos McMaster
*An interesting Thanksgiving week of Turkey & Football for our American friends to the south,
which also looked like the writers took a long weekend off with the disappointing results of their Week 12 picks.
Luckily for both of them, there were 2 things that looked even worse than their Week 12 Picks:
1. the Denver Broncos Practice Squad WR as the starting Quarterback, in an ugly 31-3 loss to the NO Saints.
2. the Baltimore Ravens backup offense starting, due to COVID positives sidelining most of their starters.
*Brandon also received the bragging rights in the rare head-to-head matchup with his 4-7 Atlanta Falcons getting the shocking 43-6 upset blowout win over Miklos' 6-5 Las Vegas Raiders.
Week 12 Spreads
Week 12 Over/Under's
Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Check out this week's podcast episode by clicking the image below:
Photo Credit: PFF.com
New Orleans Saints (-3.0) vs Atlanta Falcons O/U 45.5
Miklos: NO Over 45.5
Despite the big win by Atlanta this past week over Miklos’ Raiders they face a familiar division rival this week and it will be more than they can handle.
Taysom Hill has performed well as the backup QB and the Saints would like nothing more than to put their rivals in the dirt.
Brandon: ATL Over 45.5
Atlanta will be out for revenge vs their most hated rivals after an embarrassing loss just 2 weeks ago in their 1st meeting of the season. Matt Ryan was sacked 8 times on route to an easy 24-9 victory in Tayson Hill's first start as QB, taking over for the injured Drew Brees.
This could be a trap spot for a Saints team who are riding high with a 9-2 record & a 2 game lead in the division over Brady's Buccaneers. With New Orleans' division rivals clinging onto slim to none playoff hopes at 4-7, Atlanta will be looking to play spoiler with an upset win over an above .500 team for the 2nd week in a row, playing at home in the gorgeous Mercedes Benz Stadium. Who Dat or Koo Dat?
Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears (-3.0) O/U 45.0
Miklos: DET Under 45.0
Brandon: DET under 45.0
Neither of these teams has performed well this season. The Bears offense has been putrid at best and the Lions have been well….. the Lions.
But, Detroit just cleaned house by firing their Head Coach & GM, which will probably give them the boost they need from the new staff in order to overcome their hapless rivals.
Indianapolis Colts (-3.0) vs Houston Texans O/U 51.0
Miklos: IND Over 51.0
Brandon: IND Over 51.0
Another huge divisional matchup for the Colts after getting crushed by another divisional rival in the Titans last week. This is a must win game for Indianapolis and with the Texans losing their deep threat WR Will Fuller to suspension this week, this should factor into a serious bounce back game for Frank Reich's squad.
T.Y Hilton FINALLY found the endzone for the 1st time this season in their last game. Hopefully a positive sign moving forward the rest of the season for their longtime #1 WR, as he gets more acquainted with his new QB Philip Rivers.
Photo Credit: SportsCentre via Facebook
Las Vegas Raiders (-8.0) vs New York Jets O/U 47.5
Miklos: LVR Under 47.5
Brandon: LVR Under 47.5
It’s get right week for the Raiders. After a stunning and convincing loss to the Falcons, the Raiders get a chance this week to right the ship against the laughing stock Jets.
Derek Carr looks to get back on track and although they will be without their star Running Back Josh Jacobs this week due to injury, they should help the Jets continue their reversed "perfect season" in their quest for the 1st overall pick in the 2021 Draft.
Cleveland Browns vs Tennessee Titans (-6.0) O/U 54.0
Miklos: TEN Over 54.0
Brandon: TEN Over 54.0
Surprisingly, a huge AFC matchup between the Browns and the Titans, in what has "game of the week" potential, as far as playoff seeding implications go. The history of the Browns franchise is the only thing holding them back and unfortunately that is a huge thing to overcome.
This game will likely feature some 1950’s style football with the way both these teams run the ball, but King Henry should rule supreme for the Titans over the Browns 2 headed monster of Kareem Hunt & Nick Chubb.
Cincinnati Bengals vs Miami Dolphins (-11.5) O/U 42.0
Miklos: MIA Under 42.0
Brandon: MIA Under 42.0
This game has definitely lost the allure it once had as Joe Burrow is out for the season & Tua is questionable for this game. The Bengals will continue to struggle without their star signal caller, along with an atrocious Offensive Line and the Dolphins need to continue to win in order to keep pace with the Buffalo Bills for the AFC East division crown.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Minnesota Vikings (-10.0) O/U 52.0
Miklos: JAX Over 52.0
Brandon: JAX Over 52.0
Both of these teams have not performed well and neither can be trusted. So 10 points is mighty steep for a spread. This 1-10 Jacksonville team has proved that they can score and hang with teams even if it isn’t enough to win.
Look for a high scoring affair that ends up being closer than it should be. The Jags cover, but Minnesota should continue their resurgence back up the NFC Standings after a horrible 1st half of the season. SKOAL!
Los Angeles Rams (-3.0) vs Arizona Cardinals O/U 48.5
Miklos: LAR Under 48.5
One week after being shocked by the 49ers the Rams again have a divisional match up. Kyler Murray and Co are also coming off a shocking loss to the Patriots.
Kyler hasn’t seemed 100% since he injured his shoulder against the Seahawks and that is good news for the Rams and their dominant defense.
Brandon: ARI Over 48.5
This Cardinals team needs a major bounce back game after losing as favourites to a struggling New England Patriots team last week in Foxborough.
After that terrible performance, QB Kyler Murray & Coach Kliff Kingsbury get it back on track this week against their division rival Rams & need to continue to cling onto their slim 1 game lead for the last Wild Card Playoff spot, over teams like Minnesota, Chicago, & San Francisco.
New York Giants vs Seattle Seahawks (-10.0) O/U 46.5
Miklos: SEA over 46.5
Brandon: SEA over 46.5
Although they have been dominating their pathetic division in recent weeks, the Giants are getting more they can handle this week as they travel to take on Russell Wilson and the rest of the dominant Seahawks.
A step back for the NFC East, but what else is new.
Expect a high scoring game though, as the Seattle secondary has been vulnerable to opposing teams'
Photo Credit: NFL & Getty Images
Philadelphia Eagles vs Green Bay Packers (9.0) O/U 47.5
Miklos: GB Under 47.5
Brandon: GB Under 47.5
Speaking of the NFC East, another one-sided matchup is scheduled in Green Bay this week. This game my be the final straw for Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts may finally get his time to shine.
With all signs pointing to a blowout, hopefully we get to see Rookie QB's Jalen Hurts & Jordan Love go head-to-head in 2nd half garbage time with the Packers up big, resting their starters.
New England Patriots vs Los Angeles Chargers (even) O/U 47.0
Miklos: NE Under 47.0
The Patriots continue to be an enigma this season. Winning and losing games that they should not. However, week in and week out, the Chargers find new ways to lose and expect nothing less from them as they take on Bill Belichick.
Brandon: LAC Under 47.0
Although the Chargers have been huge letdowns time-after-time, I believe this is a win opportunity for them with the Patriots travelling out West after an extremely fortunate win vs Arizona last week to give themselves slim life in the AFC Wild Card discussion.
The New England offense still does not look good & cannot be trusted. Although you could make the same argument about the Chargers, they have too many playmakers not to breakthrough here.
With their star Running back Austin Eckler back healthy, the Chargers look primed to take this even pick'em game between 2 disappointing teams.
Denver Broncos vs Kansas City Chiefs (-14.0) O/U 50.5
Miklos: KC Under 50.5
Brandon: KC Over 50.5
The Sunday night game will feature a beat down in Arrowhead as the defending champs take on the depleted Broncos team. At least the Bronco’s should have a real QB starting this week, not that it will help them much.
A very high spread of 14 points for KC, which could come into play in a potential shootout of an AFC West matchup, we just wish this year's instalment would have been flexed out of the Sunday Night Football time slot.
Buffalo Bills vs San Francisco 49ers (-1.0) O/U 47.5
Miklos: BUF Over 47.5
Brandon: BUF Over 47.5
A big matchup on Monday Night, which has been moved to Arizona due to COVID concerns at Levi Stadium in San Francisco. No team in the NFC West is a pushover and even though they have been devastated by injuries, the 49ers are still a formidable opponent.
It will be a big test for the Bills going up against a stout 49ers Defense but one that Josh Allen and Co can overcome as they look for revenge in Arizona, where the Bills just lost before their bye week to the Cardinals.
Photo Credit: via Twitter
Washington Football Team vs Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.0) O/U 42.0
Miklos: PIT Over 42.0
Washington has had a lot of positives in recent weeks. They have a dominant defensive line and their offense has been cooking as well. They face their biggest test yet taking on the undefeated Steelers in steel town. It will likely be more than they can handle and the perfect season keeps rolling for Pittsburgh.
Brandon: WSH Under 42.0
This game could end up being a Defensive clinic. The Steelers have one of the most feared Defense's since their Iron Curtain Days, along with Washington having one of the best young Defensive Line's in all of the NFL.
Refer to the graphic on the right for my feelings on the Steelers 11-0 Undefeated Season & the validity/credibility of that distinction, although Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has once again done another masterful job of coaching this team through key injuries at times.
Washington covers the 7 points at the very least, but don't be shocked if they finally hand Pittsburgh their 1st loss of the 2020 season.
Dallas Cowboys vs Baltimore Ravens (even) No O/U
Never thought we would ever see NFL Football on a Tuesday, let alone in back-to-back weeks. It’s hard to say which team has had the more disappointing 2020 season given the expectations for both at the beginning of the year. The Ravens have definitely got the better record, but are still in third place in their division and trailing the Browns…..
This is a must win game to keep their playoff hopes alive in another pick'em game, although we are not sure what the Baltimore offense will look like after being the latest victims to a COVID-19 spread throughout their roster. If Washington does not pull off the upset against the undefeated Steelers, its quite possible (to no one's surprise) that we could see the NFC East go 0-4 this week with the Cowboys, Giants, & Eagles all forecasted for bad losses.
Takeaways from Week 11
By Miklos McMaster
Photo Credit: Associated Press
1. Raiders Debacle vs the Disappointing Falcons
So, my first takeaway has to be the Raiders Falcons game as it is very rare occurrence. It only happens every four years that our teams end up playing each other and what a game! It shows how much the Raiders rely on their offense to fuel their team because when the offense is struggling and turning the ball over like they were it's just a recipe for disaster. I've mentioned before that the defense is definitely not the strength of this team.
We really don't have much of a pass rush and we're very young across the board. In the games where the defense has done well it's because our offense has put the other team up against the wall by scoring lots of points being able to run the ball and effectively control the game. We did the exact opposite of that in Atlanta.
We gave the Falcons the ball on multiple turnovers. Derek Carr, just unbelievable. He's been so good protecting the ball all season and he fumbles three times and throws a pick six! You can't do that whenever you know the defense needs help from you. We weren't able to run the ball effectively, which is a huge kudos to atlanta's defense. They were able to stop the run and then limit what has been a very deadly Raiders passing attack. Then on offense Matt Ryan had all the time in the world and even without Julio Jones and Todd Gurley they just shredded them on route to a very easy and convincing victory.
The one gripe I will say though is at the beginning when it was still close and it was kind of going back and forth neither team could really get anything done there was a roughing the kicker penalty that resulted in a first down and Atlanta's first touchdown. That roughing the kicker penalty was pure garbage. The Raiders player falls and then rolls from like 2 yards away and then the kicker comes down and falls over him! I have to tell you that's the one thing the bugged me. I mean that didn't change the game as it was very early with a lot of game left but I was pretty annoyed about that.
2. The Effects of COVID
I do want to take some time and talk about the effects of covid on the season. We saw what happened with the Baltimore vs Pittsburgh game and also what happened with Denver starting a practice squad wide receiver at quarterback in their game. I think the NFL has done well up to this point in the season managing outbreaks by shifting bye weeks around early on in the season, having a couple teams play on different days, and rescheduling the games. There hasn't been a major crisis yet… and I think early in the season that it was easier to shift things around but I think as we're getting near the end of the season if I am NFL coaches and executives I'm getting nervous.
This Baltimore vs Pittsburgh game was a close call and the NFL really doesn't want to create the week 18 contingency. Having an extra week can cause a lot of problems for what the playoffs look like with teams getting byes and just sitting at home waiting on make up games to be to be played. As the games get more and more important and we get closer and closer to playoffs I think this issue will become even more serious.
Should an outbreak happen with a potential playoff team that could causes a whole bunch of domino issues because we're out of bye weeks now and we could get some really serious conflicts in the playoffs. The NFL is likely going to resist changes pretty hard moving forward with outbreaks on teams. Of course, if they have to do it, they will do it, but I really think that's something to consider moving forward.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jose Juarez
3. Lions Clean House
Well, it finally happened. After an absolute dismantling by the Houston Texans the Lions decided enough was enough and have cleaned house by throwing in the towel, not just the challenge flag as depicted by Coach Patricia here.
This is something that has been a long time coming, as I have mentioned before on the podcast, that the Matt Patricia era has been tumultuous to say the least. The interesting thing will be to see who they go with as a coach moving forward and just how deep this tear down will go, while how long will it be before we see Matty P back on Bill Bellichick's coaching staff in New England?
Matt Stafford is not a young man anymore and could easily become trade bait or dispensable under a new regime. Will the Lions tear it down to the ground and start completely from scratch or will they try to retain some key pieces moving forward? Time will tell and it is looking like an interesting upcoming off season for the Motor city. Food for thought, maybe Jim Caldwell was NOT the problem as the Lions Head Coach after-all....
4. Tight Races in AFC South and NFC West
We have talked a lot about the tight divisional races around the NFL but the NFC West and AFC South both had hug events happen this past week. The Titans took a pretty commanding lead in their division by beating the Colts and the 49ers kept their slim playoff hopes alive by upsetting the second place Rams. Both of these divisions are going to be extremely interesting down the stretch with huge playoff implications on the line.
The AFC south is really a 2 horse race but home field advantage would be huge for both when it comes to the playoffs. In the NFC West all 4 teams could potentially make the playoffs and all of them could beat anyone in the NFC when given the chance. I think it is the most dangerous division in football and it would be crazy if they all manage to make it into the post season.