Jimmy McGinty previews the weekend games in NFL Week 13 and he likes the Steelers, the Seahawks, the Chiefs and the Bengals.
New York Giants at Pittsburgh Steelers
I wrote last week how I wanted to be against the Giants, but just didn’t feel terribly comfortable backing the Browns against them. Well I did and I lost but am determined to get it back this week. Eli Manning was only mediocre against the League’s worst defense. The Giants still have no run game to lean on. The win over Cleveland was driven by defence. The D won’t upset or force silly mistakes from Big Ben as much.
Luckily I’ve also been hyping up the Steelers since Big Ben returned to full fitness. Their star studded offense has since hammered the Browns and Luck-less Colts. Some will suggest they are terrible sides, they are. I’d argue the 8-3 Giants aren’t a whole lot better! The Giants have beaten a host of terrible teams this season, they are not a true 8-3 team.
Minus 6pts is a big spread to cover but I’ve no worries when it’s an offense like the Steelers you are taking sides with.
3pts Pittsburgh Steelers -6.5 pts at 10/11 with Betfred and Stan James
Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks looked to be one of the NFL’s best before they went to Tampa. What happened I can’t explain?! The Seahawks were 7pt favourites and lost by 9pts. Well I can kind of explain it. The Seahawks offensive line was miserable (it has often looked to be the weak link) and here they met a team capable of taking advantage. The Bucs defensive front can be dominant but the Panthers is not. Carolina are not setup to take advantage of Seattle’s weak spot and they’ll suffer as a consequence.
Carolina are not without their own offensive line troubles. Centre Ryan Kalil is out for the season. Cam is going to be under more pressure than usual. Throwing into the Seahawks secondary, in Seattle, that is not ideal.
The Panthers are pretty much done for this season whilst Seattle are fighting for valuable home advantage. Seattle also need to put in a bounce-back performance after last weekend’s showing. I think they will and they’ll hammer Carolina.
2pts win Seattle -7pts at 10/11 with Coral and Skybet
Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons
Fortunately the Atlanta Falcons won last week as we have backed them for both the NFC South and Super Bowl. I say fortunately as they weren’t very good. The Cardinals outgained them in yards per play. Perhaps if the Cardinals ran the ball more often they would’ve won. Imagine having David Johnson as your running back and giving him the ball only 13 times in a game where you attempt 45 passes! After their hot start the Falcons are fading. If they had lost last weekend they would not be 4pt favourites this weekend.
Another key reason to be against Atlanta for the remaining games is star cornerback Desmond Trufant misses out through injury. Another starting defender Adrian Clayborn is also due to miss a few weeks.
I think the Chiefs are a marginally better side than the Falcons, especially with those injuries, so getting 4pts they are a play. The obvious worry is they are on the road a week after playing five quarters in Denver but I think they can overcome it and at the very least keep it close here.
1pt Kansas City Chiefs +4.5 pts at 10/11 with Betfred, Stan James and Skybet
Philadelphia Eagles at Cincinnati Bengals
We successfully tipped the winning margin in the Bengals game last week, presuming correctly that they’d struggle to score. I am much more optimistic about them this week. They’ve had another full week to build a game plan without AJ Green and Gio Bernard and more importantly this is a better matchup. The Bengals best weapons are now at running back and tight-end. It just so happens that last week’s opponents the Ravens are superb at stopping the run and clamping down on tight ends.
Mind you the Eagles aren’t too bad defensively in those spots either but I think with the Bengals getting points at home they are worth a punt here. After a strong start the Eagles season has cooled and they arrive in Cincinnati having lost heavily Monday night to the Packers.
1pt win Bengals at 10/11 with Paddy Power
Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets (MNF)
After a team puts in a big performance in an important game, say the Jets at home to the Patriots, and lose; I would be very eager to take them on the following week. It’d be no surprise if the Jets come up a little flat. Add in the fact they stand at 3-8 and can’t make the playoffs either and you can replace flat with all out quit.
I like the Colts in this spot. Ignore the thanksgiving game. Without Andrew Luck they are at nothing. He’s expected to be fit on Monday. Playing Thursday then 10 days later on the Monday the following week is a nice advantage at this time of the year when injuries are piling up.
The Jets running backs had a nice matchup last weekend and couldn’t take advantage. The years of carrying may be finally taking their toll on for Matt Forte. Without him it’ll be up to Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw for victory. I’m happy with the Colts. (This is assuming Luck does start)
3pts win Indianapolis Colts -1pt at 10/11 with Paddy Power
1pt fivefold: Colts, Steelers, Seahawks, Chiefs, Bengals