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NFL Week 13 picks: Eagles, Patriots, Vikings, Chargers stay hot; Jets cover, Giants don’t

The Eagles' Carson Wentz looks to pass against

The Eagles' Carson Wentz looks to pass against the Bears, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Philadelphia. Credit: AP / Michael Perez

Bettors beware: Week 13 features some tricky point spreads and a number of stay-away games. The key is finding the handful of games to pick, and we’re here to help you with that. The best advice is to keep going with the best, as hot teams like the Eagles, Patriots and Chargers have strong chances of winning and covering.

Favorites went 11-3-1 against the spread (ATS) last week, and enter December on a tear: 50-25-7 since Week 7. After underdogs ruled earlier in the season, favorites are now on top with an 83-80-9 mark.

My most confident picks ATS this week are: Chargers, Patriots, Jaguars, Texans and Eagles. Tricky games to avoid: Dolphins-Broncos, Giants-Raiders and Panthers-Saints.

GIANTS (2-9) AT RAIDERS (5-6), 4:25 p.m.

TV: Ch. 5; Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)

Raiders by 9; O/U: 41.5

Before the season, this game looked as if it might be a Super Bowl preview. Now? For starters, Geno Smith and not Eli Manning will be under center, and both disappointing teams will be without their top receivers. The Raiders’ defense has struggled, but drawing Smith and the Giants’ 31st-ranked scoring offense (15.6 points per game) is an early Christmas gift for a desperate team fighting for a playoff spot. The Giants’ last trip to California resulted in a 10-point loss to the then-winless 49ers in Week 10. Derek Carr and Oakland deliver a similar result.

The pick: Raiders

CHIEFS (6-5) AT JETS (4-7), 1 p.m.

TV: Ch. 2; Radio: ESPN (98.7)

Chiefs by 3; O/U: 43.5

When the Chiefs entered their bye at 6-3, they probably looked at their upcoming schedule and thought: 1) Wow, three straight games against New York teams; 2) We should be 9-3. Now, after back-to-back losses to the Giants and Bills, the Chiefs are in a complete tailspin. What happened to the 5-0 team averaging 32.8 points? The Chiefs have scored 17, 9 and 10 points during a three-game skid. Back at MetLife Stadium for the second time in three weeks, they’ll have their hands full against an angry Jets team that just can’t catch a break. The Jets have played well at home, and are worth a shot here. Take the points.

The pick: Jets



Falcons by 3; O/U: 47

Atlanta has won three in a row, and now everyone is back on the bandwagon. Well, guess what: This guy isn’t jumping ship from the Vikings. Despite winning seven in a row and covering their last six, the Vikings are this year’s “Rodney Dangerfield” team. Back-to-back impressive wins over the Rams and Lions and still they get no respect. Atlanta is the popular pick to keep its turnaround going, but give me the better all-around team as Case Keenum continues to play mistake-free football and Mike Zimmer’s defense makes more stops to win one of the week’s most competitive game.

The pick: Vikings

BUCS (4-7) AT PACKERS (5-6)

Packers by 2; O/U: 44.5

Brett Hundley is 0-3 at Lambeau Field, with the losses by 9, 13 and 23 points. He played his best game at Pittsburgh last Sunday night, and that should carry over. With the Browns on deck, Green Bay is hoping to get to 7-6 and maybe have Aaron Rodgers back for a playoff push. Hundley has a couple of Lambeau leaps as the Packers win the battle of the Bays.

The pick: Packers

LIONS (6-5) AT RAVENS (6-5)

Ravens by 3; O/U: 43.5

The Ravens win with defense, but look at the quarterbacks they’ve beaten: Andy Dalton, DeShone Kizer, EJ Manuel, Matt Moore, Brett Hundley and Tom Savage. Let’s see how they do against Matthew Stafford. Baltimore’s 31st-ranked offense won’t put up enough points to match Stafford, who rebounds from a tough Thanksgiving as Detroit (4-1 on the road overall and 3-1-1 ATS) wins a tight one.

The pick: Lions


Patriots by 9; O/U: 48

26 and 3. That’s how many touchdowns to interceptions Tom Brady has thrown this season. It’s also his career record against Buffalo. Yep, 26-3! In New England’s last three trips to Buffalo, it has won, 41-25, 40-32 and 37-22. Don’t talk yourself into taking Buffalo because it won at Kansas City last week. Instead, remind yourself that the Bills allowed 54, 47 and 34 points the previous three weeks. The Pats have won seven in a row and covered five straight. Keep riding the hot hand as Brady takes top billing in Buffalo again and the Pats easily cover.

The pick: Patriots

COLTS (3-8) AT JAGUARS (7-4)

Jaguars by 9.5; O/U: 41

Jacksonville won, 27-0, at Indy in Week 7 as it racked up 10 sacks. Expect the Jags to dominate for the second time against a Colts team that is 1-4 on the road with some lopsided losses: 46-9, 46-18 and 36-22.

The pick: Jaguars

49ERS (1-10) AT BEARS (3-8)

Bears by 3; O/U: 41

Believe it or not, this 1-10 vs. 3-8 matchup actually has some juice with the 49ers finally starting Jimmy Garoppolo. Chicago has played well at home, going 3-1-2 ATS. The lone loss was when it was favored. The Bears will probably win, but going to go with a hunch here and say Garoppolo, the former Eastern Illinois star, has a big day and keeps this really close.

The pick: 49ers

TEXANS (4-7) AT TITANS (7-4)

Titans by 6.5; O/U: 42.5

Tennessee should get its revenge from a 57-14 shellacking at Houston in Week 4. Not having to face Deshaun Watson helps, of course. But this just feels like too many points. The Titans have won five of six, but the last four wins have been by 3, 3, 4 and 4 points. Tom Savage finds DeAndre Hopkins early and often as the Texans stay inside the number.

The pick: Texans


Broncos by 1.5; O/U: 38.5

Denver has lost seven in a row. Miami has dropped five straight. Two stay-away teams in one stay-away game. Wouldn’t it be sweet if John Elway and Dan Marino stepped out of the suite and suited up for this one? Remember: We have to pick every game so that you don’t have to.

The pick: Broncos



Saints by 4.5; O/U: 48.5

New Orleans returns home after its eight-game win streak was snapped in L.A. It all started in Week 3, when the 0-2 Saints won big at Carolina. The last two meetings in the dome were 41-38 finals, with the teams splitting, so play the over. Carolina has won four in a row, but it was on the ropes against the Jets before a couple of fluke plays went its way. This could be another three-point game so be careful with this line. The Saints get the edge because they’ve been the more consistent team and are home in the dome.

The pick: Saints



Chargers by 13.5; O/U: 43

The Chargers won’t have a letdown after a dominant Thanksgiving win at Dallas. L.A. not only has a shot at a wild-card spot, but it could win the division after the Chiefs’ collapse. In case you needed another reason to back the Chargers in the most lopsided matchup of the week, remember that Philip Rivers & Co. were the only team to lose to the Browns last year. The Week 16 loss at Cleveland prevented the 0-16 season, and you have to think they remember that as the Browns enter winless again. The Browns (NFL-worst 2-9 ATS) are in for a long day against a sack-happy, ball-hawking defense. The Chargers, fresh off 54-24 and 28-6 wins, roll to another huge victory.

The pick: Chargers


Rams by 7; O/U: 44.5

The Rams crushed the Cardinals, 33-0, in London in Week 7. The rematch will be closer in the desert, where Arizona tends to play well. Still, the Rams will build off their statement win over the Saints as Jared Goff & Co. put up another 30-spot.

The pick: Rams



TV: Ch. 4, 8:30 p.m.

Eagles by 6; O/U: 47

All you’ve heard this week was how this is too many points to lay at Seattle, one of the toughest places to play. My response? Blah, blah, blah. You should pick games based on the present, not the past, and this Seahawks squad won’t scare the hottest team in football. Seattle has lost its last two at home, to the Redskins and Falcons, and now get an Eagles team that has won nine in a row and covered eight straight. Carson Wentz (NFL-best 28 TD passes) will pick apart a secondary down Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. Russell Wilson will do his best to keep this competitive, but he will be on the run all night as the Eagles’ ferocious pass rush dominates one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines. Something strange usually happens in prime-time games at Seattle, but nothing’s getting in the way of this Philly freight train. Next stop: 11-1, with a surprisingly easy cover.

The pick: Eagles



Steelers by 5; O/U: 43.5

Pittsburgh has enough talent to win this game going away, but will it? This is such an intense rivalry, you have to think a desperate Bengals team will keep this close at home in prime time. Pittsburgh won the earlier matchup, 29-14, as the Bengals bungled away a number of chances. The last two matchups in Ohio have been close: 24-20 Steelers last year and 18-16 Steelers in the memorable AFC wild-card game in January of 2016. If the Bengals don’t cost themselves with costly penalties, and that’s asking a lot with this organization’s history, they have a shot to make this interesting. A.J. Green goes toe-to-toe with Antonio Brown in an exciting Monday nighter.

The pick: Bengals

Staff picks and standings

(best bets in bold)


79-88-9 overall, 3-9 best bets

Last week: 10-5-1

Jets Raiders Vikings Packers Lions

Patriots Jaguars Texans 49ers Broncos

Saints Chargers Rams Eagles Bengals


75-92-9 overall, 6-6 best bets

Last week: 8-7-1

Chiefs Raiders Falcons Packers Ravens

Patriots Jaguars Titans 49ers Dolphins

Saints Chargers Rams Seahawks Steelers


81-86-9 overall, 4-7-1 best bets

Last week: 9-6-1

Jets Giants Vikings Bucs Ravens

Patriots Jaguars Texans 49ers Dolphins

Saints Chargers Rams Eagles Bengals


75-77-8 overall, 5-6 best bets

Last week: 10-5-1

Chiefs Raiders Vikings Bucs Lions

Patriots Jaguars Titans 49ers Dolphins

Saints Chargers Rams Seahawks Steelers

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