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Thursday, 29 November 2012

NFL Week 13 Picks 2012

Another week has flown by and I think the new Thursday night game has not helped matters as work takes priority during the week.

However, this week I thought I'd have a quick look at the Divisions and how things are shaping up as we fast approach the Play Offs.

This was my pre-season preview of the AFC Conference

And this was my pre-season preview of the NFC Conference


In the AFC East, you will notice that New England have pretty much reached the expectations that I had for them, although they may not be quite good enough to pick up the Number 1 seed in the Conference as I thought they could.

The rest of the teams have surprised me, although Miami have reached my initial expectations for them rather than the lowered targets. Buffalo have been the biggest disappointment in this Division and the New York Jets blow up has hardly been a surprise to anyone.


The Baltimore Ravens are on course to win the AFC North, although I only expected them to finish behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and earn a Wild Card spot. Injuries are really hurting the Steelers and they look a really vulnerable side when it comes to making the Play Offs, especially if they can't stop turning the ball over and Ben Roethlisberger misses extended time.

Cincinnati could be the team that takes advantage, but they still have a tough road to negotiate if they are to make the most of their winning record at this stage. The Browns are performing as expected and I doubt they surpass the 4 wins that I believed was the maximum they earn this season.


The AFC South hasn't surprised in some aspects as Houston lead the Division and Jacksonville are in the basement... The Texans have already reached double digits and look like they could earn the Number 1 seed in the Conference, while the Jaguars look set to fall short of the 5 wins they managed last season.

Tennessee have also not surpassed expectations as I believed they would likely end with a losing record and are 2 losses from that situation. However, I couldn't have been more wrong about the Indianapolis Colts as I didn't think they would be close to a winning record. The Colts have been so surprising that they could be in line to make the Play Offs as a Wild Card team, and I doubt even Jim Irsay would have been expecting that this season in what was a rebuilding year... Interestingly, if the Play Offs started today, the Colts would be visiting Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in the Wild Card Round.


Speaking of Denver, Manning has been excellent and has helped them far exceed what I thought the Broncos would achieve... I projected another 8-8 season for them this season, but they are already 8-3 and look in total control of the AFC West.

I had believed in San Diego again this season, but they need to win out if they are to finish with a winning record and even the Play Offs looks a stretch for them. Both Oakland and Kansas City have been poor this season, with the latter in the best position to finish with the Number 1 pick in the Draft next April.


The NFC East was always a tough Division to project, but the performance of Philadelphia has been far worse than what most would have expected. Andy Reid is likely to be on the way out as is Michael Vick and the Eagles are virtually set to have a losing record.

I had projected the Giants to finish 9-7 and that looks a record that could see them win the Division, while they are on course to surpass that projection at 7-4 already. I also tipped Dallas to be either 8-8 with the possibility of going a win or loss either side of that mark and they look set to finish around that number.

The biggest surprise so far is Washington as I didn't think they would reach 5 wins for the season, but they are already at that mark and have a chance of making the Play Offs, but that could all depend on whether they can beat the Giants at home on Monday Night Football this week.


The Green Bay Packers were my pick in the NFC North and I still think they will do that, although they won't be reaching the 13 wins I had projected for them this season. That is mainly down to a couple of bits of bad luck, especially the loss in Seattle and a disappointing defeat to the Colts despite being up big in that game.

In pre-season, I couldn't separate the Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions and while the former is on course to reach the record I projected, the latter has been a huge disappointment and will be missing the Play Offs this season. Minnesota have surpassed the 3 wins from last season as expected, but I didn't have them finishing outside of the basement in the Division, although that does look the case at this moment.


As with many, the New Orleans Saints have severely under-achieved from my pre-season expectations, although it says a lot about the character in the team that they are still in a position to enter the Play Offs despite a 0-4 start. The NFC South is in control of the Atlanta Falcons, a team that I thought could win the Division with a bit of luck, but one I did not see winning double digit games this season, something that has already been surpassed.

Carolina are going to be a disappointment as I had believed they will reach the same record as last season, but that looks to be a step too far as they need to win 3 of their last 5 games to do so. I had tipped Tampa Bay to reach 6 or 7 wins, but they have responded to Greg Schiano and they are set to finish at least 0.500 for the season with 2 more wins avoiding a losing record.


The NFC West was probably the easiest Division to pick in the NFL this season and I don't think too many people will be surprised by the way it is shaping up. I had picked San Francisco to reach double-digit wins again this season and take the title, which they are well on course to do so, while I also projected Seattle to come behind them.

However, the Seahawks have managed the surprise wins that they needed to avoid a 7-9 record that I had picked for them, although I still think they come up short for the Play Offs.

St Louis have also doubled last seasons wins as expected, and Arizona are set for another losing record (although at 4-0, I thought the Cardinals could surpass expectations massively).


My Top Ten
1) Houston Texans (10-1): There really isn't a stand out team in the NFL this season that I think is 'unbeatable', but the Texans look the best balanced.
2) Baltimore Ravens (9-2): Injuries are still an issue, and the Ravens are not half as good on the road as they are at home, but I still think they are a legitimate SuperBowl contender.
3) New England Patriots (8-3): The arrival of Aqib Talib improves the Defense, and the Patriots have the experience of winning the big games.
4) Atlanta Falcons (10-1): I can't be the only person that doesn't have faith in this team when it comes to the Play Offs.
5) San Francisco 49ers (8-2-1): This team would be my pick to represent the NFC right now.
6) New York Giants (7-4): Are they back? If they play like they did on Sunday night against Green Bay, I think the Giants will be the biggest threat to San Francisco.
7) Green Bay Packers (7-4): I believe Sunday night was an aberration and the Packers will get better as injuries clear up going forward. Still the team to beat in the NFC North.
8) Denver Broncos (8-3): Have struggled against the best teams they have played in Houston, Atlanta and New England and their next big test will be how they have handle the Baltimore Ravens.
9) Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5): Lost their last 2 games down to mental errors and Special Teams play. Will be falling out of this list if Ben Roethlisberger isn't back sooner rather than later.
10) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5): Were very close to knocking off the Atlanta Falcons last time out and are a real threat to make the Play Offs if they can pick up confidence and momentum again.


My Bottom Five
32) Kansas City Chiefs (1-9): Any team that chooses to start Brady Quinn isn't very good... They'll get the Number 1 Draft Pick next April unless they do something foolish in their last 5 games.
31) Philadelphia Eagles (3-8): 7 consecutive losses and they know there are a lot of changes to be made this off-season.
30) Oakland Raiders (3-8): Have plain given up!
29) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9): Least these guys have shown more heart and determination than the two teams immediately below them.
28) Cleveland Browns (3-8): Had 8 turnovers last week and still almost lost the game while Colt McCoy may be back in the Quarter Back starting role this week.


NFL Week 13 Picks
I will update my review from last weeks picks either later or tomorrow, but the Thursday night game pick has to be put up first.


New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons Pick: I like the road team to at least cover the spread for the following reasons:

First, this spread does seem an over-reaction to the New Orleans loss last week when it was only a couple of pick sixes that cost the Saints the game.

Second, the Saints have won 7 of their last 8 games against Atlanta in the Divisional series and they have won 4 of their last 5 games at the Georgia Dome.

Third, it goes back to when I picked the Saints to beat the Falcons three weeks ago, I just prefer their Offense of the two teams and think they are more likely to score touchdowns. That makes being given more than a field goal head start look very appealing.


Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys Pick: I like the Cowboys, despite being a crappy team to back when considered the home favourite, for the following reasons:

First, despite the injuries the Philadelphia Eagles are playing with, Dallas will not take this game lightly in the Division as they have lost their last 2 home games against the Eagles and can't afford another Divisional loss this season if they want to catch the New York Giants.

Second, I just think the Eagles are too banged up to get things done against this Defense, particularly if LeSean McCoy is out to join Michael Vick  and DeSean Jackson on the sidelines.


Third, the Cowboys are 6-2 against the spread in the last 8 games in the series.


New York Giants @ Washington Redskins Pick: I will be taking the road underdog to win this game on Monday Night Football and cover the spread for the following reasons:

First, barring one terrible overthrow, Eli Manning looked fresh in the dismantling of the Green Bay Packers last week and I think he will torch a Washington Defense that has been obliterated by injuries.


Second, I feel the New York pass rush is going to cause some issues, while I believe they will eventually win the turnover battle as they did in the first game between the teams this season.

Third, it should be a high-scoring game tonight as I feel both Offenses will be able to move the ball with some success, but I just think Manning makes more plays with his receivers than RG3 can when it is all said and done.

Fourth, I know the Redskins swept the Giants last season and the game earlier was very close, but New York had previously won 5 in a row at FedEx Field and they are 4-2 against the spread in their last 6 visits here.


MY PICKS: New Orleans Saints + 3.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Dallas Cowboys - 10 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
New York Giants - 2.5 Points @ 1.92 Bet Victor (2 Units)



Week 12: 3-6, - 7.15 Units
Week 11: 8-1, + 12.99 Units
Week 10: 4-4, + 0.74 Units
Week 9: 3-3, + 1.64 Units
Week 84-3, + 2.58 Units
Week 73-3-2, + 0.58 Units
Week 63-5, - 5.26 Units
Week 52-5, - 6.24 Units
Week 46-3, + 2.50 Units
Week 34-3, + 0.95 Units
Week 26-4, + 3.92 Units
Week 13-6, - 6.76 Units

Season 201231-32-4, + 0.09 Units

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