NFL Picks Week #13



University Professor. PhD in stats. Proud dad of 2 boys.



Hi everyone, it’s good to be talking to you again! We had a rough Sunday last week, by going 1-3 with our picks. We had an ordinary month of November with a 7-7 record. I found out why when I came across a very interesting article on

If you have been following me for a fair amount of time, you know I’m a contrarian, which means I tend to fade the public. I also pick more underdogs than favorites, in general. The ESPN article mentioned that November 2017 was the best month for favorites against the spread in the Super Bowl era, as they went 37-15-4. That’s an astounding 71% success rate! Based on this information, I should be glad I was still able to get a .500 record during that month. According to a manager for Caesers Palace sportsbooks, if the Steelers had covered the spread against the Packers on Sunday night, it would have been one of the worst NFL regular season Sundays of all-time for bookies.

Ok so today I want to give you some insight about my top 4 NFL predictions of the week. Overall this season we are now 25-18-2 for a 58.1% success rate. Let’s try to get back above 60%.

PICK #1: Los Angeles Chargers -13.5 vs Cleveland Browns

At the time of this writing, most bookies are posting a spread of 14, but Bet365 has 13.5 points at -110 odds, or you could buy half a point with Pinnacle and get the Chargers for -13.5 points at -106.

Last year the Browns finished the season with a 1-15 record. Guess who’s the only team they beat? That’s right, the Chargers by a 20-17 score in Cleveland on week #16. Do you think Philip Rivers and company still remember that game? I bet they do, and they must feel like this is payback time.

I also like how the Chargers are getting three additional days of rest after playing last Thursday in Dallas. Meanwhile, the Browns will be playing a third road game in four games. The first two were pretty close from home as they played in Detroit and Cincinnati, but this one in L.A. will require traveling through three time zones.

The Chargers are definitely a team on the rise. Their 5-6 record is deceiving because they have outscored their opponents by 47 points thus far. They opened the season with four straight losses, but have gone 5-2 since then. Also, did you look at the margin of victory in their six losses? Their worst loss was a 14-point deficit against the Chiefs, they also lost by 8 points in New England, while their remaining 4 losses were all decided by 3 points or less. That’s pretty impressive.

PICK #2: Tennessee Titans -6.5 vs Houston Texans

I’m taking the Titans for 4 reasons:

  • Here is one more case where the revenge factor comes into play. Back in week 4, the Titans were literally embarrassed in a 57-14 loss in Houston, a game in which DeShaun Watson threw 4 TD passes and ran for one more. Tennessee won’t let the foot off the accelerator this Sunday and will want to crush them. And you’ll probably agree with me that getting blown out is a possibility when your quarterback is Tom Savage.
  • The Texans lost the Monday Nighter, which means one less day of preparation and a disrupted routine.
  • Houston will be on the road for a third time in four games, including back-to-back weeks. That’s four different cities in as many weeks, which amounts to quite a bit of traveling.
  • Losing in Baltimore pretty much sealed Houston’s fate. They are very likely out of the playoff race, and they know it, whereas the Titans are in a dog fight with the Jaguars for the AFC South title, and a playoff berth. I expect Tennessee to be much hungrier to win this match.

PICK #3: Arizona Cardinals +7 vs Los Angeles Rams

This is the prototypical sandwich game for the Rams. Their past two games were high-profile games against the Vikings and the Saints, while their next two will be against the 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles and the 7-4 Seattle Seahawks. It will be very easy to look past a mediocre Cardinals team.

However, Los Angeles should not take Arizona lightly. The Cards are 3-2 at home and they managed to upset the Jaguars at home last week. And it wasn’t a lucky win that occurred because of touchdowns on kick returns or turnovers. Indeed, Arizona racked up 344 totals yards versus only 219 for Jacksonville. Impressive performance by the Cards.

I generally don’t like betting a team that is coming off a big win (either because it turned out to be a surprise, or because it happened against a very strong team), but the Rams are also coming off a big win after beating the Saints 26 to 20.

Back in week #7, the Rams embarrassed the Cardinals in a 33-0 shutout. That game is still fresh in Arizona’s mind and they will certainly show up in top form this Sunday.

The line has not moved much despite fairly heavy action on the Rams. As a matter of fact, 74% of spread bets and 64% of money line bets have gone on LA.

PICK #4: Miami Dolphins +1.5 vs Denver Broncos

Jay Cutler has cleared the concussion protocol, so he will be facing his old team, where he played the first three years of his career after getting picked in the first round of the 2006 NFL draft. That’s certainly a motivational factor for him, and his teammates will do their best to get him the W.

This game features a couple of clubs who are on a pretty bad losing skid. Denver has lost its last 7 matches, while Miami has dropped 5 in a row.

The Broncos will be traveling through two time zones and the game will start at 11am for people from Denver. Also, the intensity level won’t be as high for the Broncos after visiting their archrivals in Oakland last week. Granted, the Dolphins will be playing under bizarre conditions as this game is sandwiched between two meetings with the Patriots. After getting beat up at Gillette Stadium last week, I expect them to rebound at home.

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Thanks a lot for reading, this is Professor MJ from Quebec City in Canada, I hope to talk to you again very soon. Peace out!

Professor MJ