NFL Picks Week #13 (2018 regular season)



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


Written Wednesday November 28th, 2018 (spreads/odds may have changed)

PICK #1: Cincinnati Bengals +5 vs Denver Broncos (rated 4 stars)

I know, I know, the Bengals just got stomped at home by the Browns who had lost 25 straight games on the road. And they lost their starting quarterback, Andy Dalton, to a thumb injury. Meanwhile, they Broncos registered an impressive home win against the Steelers. That’s why the vast majority of gamblers will jump on the Broncos’ train this week. I won’t.

Jeff Driskel will be under center for Cincy this week. Jeff who? Everybody assumes he is going to be very bad, and that’s reflected in the line. What if he’s not that bad? He has appeared in three games this year, completing 23 of 36 passes (64%) for 239 yards, 1 TD and 0 int. He also rushed 6 times for 49 yards and 2 TDs. From what I read, he can be erratic as a passer, but he’s very athletic. I’m not saying he’s going to put up 50 points on the board, but he could surprise many people.

Denver will be traveling two time zones while playing a 1 PM game. They could have a letdown game after facing the Chargers and the Steelers, and considering they are playing an unproven QB. The Bengals will be at home for the fifth time in six weeks, so they should be well-rested!


PICK #2: Kansas City Chiefs -15 at Oakland Raiders (rated 2 stars)

Do you really want to give extra time for game planning to an elite team like the Chiefs (off their bye week)? I don’t think so, especially when they are coming off a loss, which will make them even more focused on the game. Because of that, I don’t believe they will take this game lightly; add in the fact that the Raiders are divisional opponents. Oakland is coming off three weeks on the road over their previous four games.


PICK #3: San Francisco 49ers +10 at Seattle Seahawks (rated 1 star)

Seattle is right in the thick of the NFC playoff race, but I would warn people thinking about betting the Seahawks to be wary of a potential sandwich game. After playing a very critical game in Carolina, they could easily letdown a little bit this week against the Niners, especially when you realize they are facing the Vikings next week (another HUGE matchup). It will be easy to look past San Francisco.

Nick Mullens has been cooling off its last two games after a big breakout game against Oakland. C.J. Beathard is ready to go if he struggles again. I expect San Francisco to put up a much better effort against their rivals in Seattle after such a bad performance in Tampa Bay last week.

Both games between the 49ers and the Seahawks were fairly close last season: Seattle won 12-9 at home and 24-13 on the road.


System on Totals

This system started 8-2, then went 1-8 before going 1-1 last week. The overall record now stands at 10-11. What a disappointing turn of events!

Three games meet the criteria for betting this week: over 48 Ravens-Falcons, over 54.4 Rams-Lions and over 44 Redskins-Eagles.



Something unusual this week: one of my leans is on totals.

  • Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 vs Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers just lost their star running back Melvin Gordon to an injury. The Steelers will be looking to rebound after a disappointing loss in Denver. Check the weather to see if it's going to be cold or not because it could favor Pittsburgh. The Chargers will be traveling three time zones. Despite all those arguments, I don't feel comfortable laying 3.5 points to such a great team as the Chargers. That's why it doesn't qualify as an official pick.
  • Over 52.5 Saints-Cowboys.
  • New York Jets +7.5 vs Tennessee Titans. The Titans are losing one day of preparation after playing last Monday. They are coming off three road games in four weeks, whereas the Jets played three consecutive home games. In other words, the rest factor is favoring New York in this one.


Good luck, fellows!

Professor MJ