The final score was a lot closer than the game was and we had to endure a possible Bengals come back but that lasted one play as the Giants prevailed. We move on to week 13 and there are still a lot of participants left in some pools. My main one still has about 40 perfect entries out of the 250 that started. Week 12 gave some people heart attacks as Minnesota eeked out another victory and some were eliminated when the Rams lost to the Niners. 

We move on to week 13 after one of the longest weeks on record due to the Covid delayed Steelers/Ravens game. This week finds several teams as double-digit favorites and makes the picking this week a tad easier. Again you have to decide if you want to ride the tide or go contrarian hoping for an upset of one of the heavy favorites to put yourself in a better position to win your pool.

Let’s start with the Raiders who travel to New Jersey to face the winless Jets and are favored by 9. Last week the Raiders were pummeled by the Falcons and the Jets’ ineptitude on offense with Sam Darnold at quarterback continued. A year ago the Raiders were embarrassed by the Jets and I am sure Jon Gruden hasn’t forgotten. The Jets’ secondary is terrible and with Josh Jacobs nursing an ankle sprain, the David Carr aerial attack will be underway. Look for big games from Nelson Agholor and Darren Waller . The bulk of the Jets offense came from 375-year-old Frank Gore as Adam Gase continues his Gore love affair. I don’t see the play-calling improving and the Jets will continue their march towards 0-16 with another loss this week.

In Miami, the Dolphins take on the Bengals and are favored by 11. The Bengals did little on offense against the Giants and the Dolphins defense is going to be an even tougher task for whoever plays quarterback for the Bengals. It’s not clear if Tua or Fitzpatrick will start for Miami, but it really shouldn’t matter. The Dolphins may see the return of Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed and this should help bolster the offense that cruised against the Jets.  If you still have Miami available to you, they are definitely worth considering. 

The Vikings are 10 point favorites over the visiting Jaguars. Both the Vikings and the Jaguars have given survivor players palpitations and even contributed to their demise. Mike Glennon will get another start for the Jaguars as he didn’t throw an interception and kept the Jaguars close in their loss to the Browns. James Robinson continued his impressive rookie campaign and if the Jaguars can control the ball, they could keep things close. The Vikings will get Adam Theilen back after his stint on the Covid list. Dalvin Cook suffered an ankle injury but was able to return to the game last week. Keep an eye on the injury/practice report regarding him. How much do the Jaguars want a shot at Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields? We’ll see. This game should be on your radar but if it lands on your plate, make sure you have a ton of antacid handy.

Green Bay faces the declining Eagles at home and are favored by 8 ½. Can the Eagles keep this one close? Only if their defense is up to the task of stopping Davante Adams . Their defense can bottle up Aaron Jones and put pressure on Rodgers but can Darius Slay stop Adams? It could be a big day for Allen Lazard and Marques Valdes-Scantling. The Eagles offense is expected to get Zach Ertz back, but even before he was injured, he was a disappointing part of the offense. Boston Scott out-snapped Miles Sanders on Monday as Sanders had a case of the dropsies, and with the Eagles playing from behind, they went with Scott. With the way the Eagles are playing, it’s hard to see anything but a Packers victory here.

Seattle continues its tour of the NFC East and hosts the Giants. They are favored by 10 and will be a popular pick this week. If Daniel Jones is out due to his hamstring injury, it will be a tall task for Colt McCoy to pull out a victory in Seattle. The Giants defense can hold its own and can possibly make this game a little closer than expected especially if it can force some turnovers. Russell Wilson ’s rampant start to the season has slowed down but having D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett at his disposal gives him the advantage. 

The Chiefs are the biggest favorite of the week at 14 over the visiting Broncos. The Broncos will have a quarterback this week so at least they will resemble an NFL team. This is another one that shouldn’t be close but most have used the Chiefs already. If you haven’t or can pick a team more than once, they are the best bet of the week.

The Steelers are posted as 8 ½ point favorites over the Football Team and the Ravens are 7 point favorites over the Cowboys both at home.  Both are worthy of your consideration, but I’m saving the Ravens for when they are healthier. 

If you want to go very contrarian, then consider the Bears over the Lions. Mitch Trubisky had a decent game last week and the Lions are hurting on offense with both Golladay and Swift expected to miss the game. Stafford is playing with a partially torn UCL and hasn’t been himself. Chicago has a 58% win probability based on the odds which isn’t great, but it’s a pick that won’t be popular.

Here’s a list of my picks so far:  Buffalo, Arizona, Chargers (L), Rams, Dallas, Miami, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and Giants.

Pick of the Week: Las Vegas

It came down to Vegas, Seattle, and Minnesota for me based on who I had left. Looking ahead to next week the Seahawks face the Jets at home so I am going to save them for next week. The Vikings (and Jaguars) just don’t give me confidence even with the return of Adam Thielen . The Vikings have very little value going forward though, so this is probably the last time you’d consider taking them. I expect Gruden to have the Raiders ready after the embarrassing loss to the Falcons. I don’t expect Adam Gase to change a thing and the Jets will continue to struggle on offense. 

Good luck this week and hope to see you back next week.