TPS NFL Weekly Locks: Week 13
Week 12 was a tough one for us as our picks went 1-2-1. The Vikings were our lone bright spot as they handed a beating to the Bears, much like we expected. The Arizona Cardinals also looked like they would come through until Vince Young brought back some of his Rose Bowl magic to win the game for his Titans on the final play, handing betters on both sides the push. As for our other games, the Patriots defense had no answer for Drew Brees and company as their secondary was exposed, and what was anticipated to be a close game eventually turned into a blowout for the Saints. The Dolphins were also a flop as they looked good early , running over the Bills weak rush defense, but strayed away from that game plan enough to hand Buffalo the straight-up win. With that being said, we now find ourselves back at the .500 mark with a record of 23-23-2 on the year. We look ahead to week 13 as our opportunity to make a push forward.
Here is how we see things shaping up in the following four week 13 games.
Game: New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
Pick: New England Patriots -4
Reason: After coming off a tough Sunday night loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the New England Patriots bounced back with a blowout win against a division foe, the Jets. This time they will look to rebound from another tough prime time loss (against the Saints) with a big victory against another division rival, the Dolphins. Miami will also be looking to bounce back after losing to the Buffalo Bills last week, but they will have a difficult task ahead of them. Last time these two teams met, the Pats found themselves kicking more field goals than they probably would have liked, but still came out with a 27-17 victory. This time you can expect Brady and Moss to try and take advantage of an inexperienced Dolphins secondary as they look to regain their confidence. New England has struggled on defense as of late, but that has mostly been through the air. That shouldn’t be a problem against Chad Henne as it will be Brady and company putting on the air show in this one and covering the spread in the process.
Game: San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
Pick: San Francisco 49ers pick
Reason: The 49ers have yet to lose a division game this season and will look to continue that run when they visit Seattle this weekend to take on the Seahawks. San Francisco won the last meeting between the two teams back in week 2 by a score of 23-10. Hasselbeck was injured during that game, causing Seneca Wallace to step in, but Shaun Hill was also the quarterback for the 49ers at that point in the season. Now both teams will have different faces under center, but we expect the same result. Much of that is based on the ground game. Seattle has not produced much through their rushing attack, although they have found a spark with Justin Forsett taking over starting duties. However, Julius Jones is expected to be back and in a questionable decision, Jim Mora has decided to start him, believing that a player should not lose a starting job because of an injury (how about because they have not produced and their backup has?). This is good news for the 49ers stellar run defense as they should have no problems shutting down a rusty Jones. And you can expect a big game from Frank Gore after he torched the Seahawks for 207 yards and 2 TDs in their first meeting. There may be some new faces in the mix, but you can expect this game to produce the same result. A win for the 49ers.
Game: Detroit Lions @ Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Cincinnati Bengals -13
Reason: The Bengals have struggled in recent weeks, losing to the Raiders in week 11 before playing in a tight game against the lowly Browns. This week they will take on their third bottom-of-the-barrel team in a row, the Detroit Lions. This type of competition has not brought out the best in the Bengals thus far, but we expect them to break out of their funk against the worst pass defense in the league. Carson Palmer has struggled, but he should get back on track and find Ochocinco all day, and with Cedric Benson back and starting, the Bengals will control the clock, and the game. With a spread this big, putting up points may not be enough, but the Bengals should be able to prevent them as well. Their defense has been strong and should shut down the Lions passing and rushing attacks, leaving Detroit behind by at least the 13-point spread.
Game: Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Philadelphia Eagles -5 1/2
Reason: Perhaps no team has suffered through injuries over the past couple of weeks more so than the Atlanta Falcons. After losing Michael Turner a few weeks back with a high ankle sprain, he attempted a return last week, but reaggravated the injury and is unlikely to be playing in this game. And to make matters worse, the Falcons have also lost starting quarterback Matt Ryan to a toe injury, leaving Chris Redman as their starter. He was good enough to get them by the Bucs last week, but don’t expect the same magic against an Eagles defense that will be looking to force several turnovers against the veteran backup. As for the Philly offense, they have also experienced injuries and will be without star receiver DeSean Jackson, but they should still be able to expose an Atlanta defense that ranks near the bottom of the league against both the pass and the run. McNabb and the Eagles will need this win to stay in the NFC East race. Look for them to win this one by at least a touchdown.