Pudge’s Picks – Week 13 2014

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Roddy White

Once again, we had some Thursday blowouts with the three games on Thanksgiving Day earlier this week. Thus far in 2014, with 15 Thursday games being played, only three have been decided by a touchdown or less. The other dozen have been decided by an average of 22.3 points per game.

* All lines are from ESPN.com.

Arizona Cardinals (9-2) at Atlanta Falcons (4-7)
Sunday, November 30 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX

*Line: Falcons (+2.5)

I am honestly shocked the line is as low as it is, but I guess this is because of very limited belief in Drew Stanton on the road. His passer rating in three road performances is 59.4 this year and he has yet to throw a passing touchdown in an opponent’s stadium. But the positive for the Cardinals, is that he’s only turned it over once on the road. The Cardinals defense is too tough for a Falcons offense, especially if Roddy White is going to be limited. It’s not as if White hasn’t already been limited this year, but his injury won’t help matters.

Spread Pick: Cardinals
Straight Pick: Cardinals

San Diego Chargers (7-4) at Baltimore Ravens (7-4)
Sunday, November 30 at 1 pm ET on CBS

*Line: Ravens (-5.5)

Outside Seattle and Buffalo, the Chargers have beaten nobody outside the cellar of the NFL this season. Wins over the Jets, Raiders, Jaguars and Rams are about as insignificant as you can come by. Throw in a bad offensive line playing on the road, I have no reservations about taking Baltimore.

Spread Pick: Ravens
Straight Pick: Ravens

Cleveland Browns (7-4) at Buffalo Bills (6-5)
Sunday, November 30 at 1 pm ET on CBS

*Line: Bills (-1.5)

Unlike the Falcons, the Bills should be able to take advantage of a weak Browns run defense with a healthy Fred Jackson supplementing their ground attack. After all, if they can get 116 rushing yards against a top 10 rushing defense like the Jets, they should have no problem against a 29th-ranked Browns unit. Throw in the struggles of Brian Hoyer last week with hardly seeing any pressure versus what is one of the league’s best pass rushes in Buffalo, it should be another good week for the Bills.

Spread Pick: Bills
Straight Pick: Bills

Tennessee Titans (2-9) at Houston Texans (5-6)
Sunday, November 30 at 1 pm ET on CBS

*Line: Texans (-6.5)

It looks like Arian Foster will suit up this Sunday, which could create problems for a Titans run defense that leads the league with allowing three 200-plus yard rushing games. The return of Ryan Fitzpatrick to the lineup will only factor if the Texans can’t get their ground attack going. BUt given that both Titans offensive tackles (Michael Oher and Taylor Lewan) are questionable this week, it looks like J.J. Watt is in for a big game.

Spread Pick: Texans
Straight Pick: Texans

Washington Redskins (3-8) at Indianapolis Colts (7-4)
Sunday, November 30 at 1 pm ET on FOX

*Line: Colts (-9.5)

Colt McCoy getting the start might have given the Redskins a big enough boost if they were at home. But it’s just hard to see Andrew Luck struggling to move the ball effectively against that Redskins defense.

Spread Pick: Colts
Straight Pick: Colts

New York Giants (3-8) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10)
Sunday, November 30 at 1 pm ET on FOX

*Line: Jaguars (+2.5)

It would be easy to write off the Jaguars for this game, but they are facing the Giants after all. The Giants aren’t a particularly good team. But the Odell Beckham factor will be a difficult matchup for the Jaguars to handle. But then again, the Giants defense is just bad enough that if Eli Manning manages to throw a few too many picks, then the Jags can pull out the upset.

Spread Pick: Giants
Straight Pick: Giants

Carolina Panthers (3-7-1) at Minnesota Vikings (4-7)
Sunday, November 30 at 1 pm ET on FOX

*Line: Vikings (-2.5)

The Vikings aren’t anything special, but they match up fairly well with the Panthers, especially given the injury to defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. Although the possibility of Mike Harris starting at right tackle for the Vikings and lining up against defensive end Charles Johnson does give me some pause.

Spread Pick: Vikings
Straight Pick: Vikings

New Orleans Saints (4-7) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4)
Sunday, November 30 at 1 pm ET on FOX

*Line: Steelers (-3.5)

Contrary to popular opinion, the Saints have been competitive in four out of five road games this year but they rarely seem to make enough plays to pull out the victory. The Steelers have looked very sharp in their last two home games against the Colts and Ravens, but were rocky to start the year. I think the Saints make it competitive, but not sure if they end their three-game road skid this week.

Spread Pick: Saints
Straight Pick: Steelers

Oakland Raiders (1-10) at St. Louis Rams (4-7)
Sunday, November 30 at 1 pm ET on CBS

*Line: Rams (-7.5)

Teams that have won at home on Thursday night are 2-4 this year the following week when going on the road. If teams as good as Seattle and Denver can suffer that hiccup, then I’m certain the Raiders will too.

Spread Pick: Rams
Straight Pick: Rams

Cincinnati Bengals (7-3-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-9)
Sunday, November 30 at 1 pm ET on CBS

*Line: Buccaneers (+3.5)

The Bucs have shown a bit more fight over the past month of the season, but they are pretty beat up and have a quarterback that doesn’t handle pressure well playing behind a porous offensive line that doesn’t match up well against Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins. It’s not a recipe for success, although one wonders if the fact that this game is the last of a three-game road stand for the Bengals might sap them a little.

Spread Pick: Bengals
Straight Pick: Bengals

New England Patriots (9-2) at Green Bay Packers (8-3)
Sunday, November 30 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS

*Line: Packers (-3.5)

This will mark the first ever game in which Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady have started on opposing teams. Technically, the two faced each other when Rodgers got some mop-up action in a 35-0 Patriots blowout back in 2006. The last time these two teams played came during the 2010 season and it’s worth noting that their Week 15 matchup in Foxborough marked the last time the Packers lost a game that season. Does this mean anything this week? Not really. The Patriots tend to be very good in the second half of seasons, sporting a 66-12 record after Week 11 since 2001. They are 7-2 against playoff teams in that same span as well, but maybe the Packers have some magic to buck that trend.

Spread Pick: Patriots
Straight Pick: Patriots

Denver Broncos (8-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
Sunday, November 30 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC

*Line: Chiefs (+1.5)

Well, teams are 2-2 thus far this year when following a Thursday night road loss with a home game. I was already doubtful about the Chiefs’ chances this week, and then you throw in the loss of safety Eric Berry, it makes me even more so.

Spread Pick: Broncos
Straight Pick: Broncos

Miami Dolphins (6-5) at New York Jets (2-9)
Monday, December 1 at 8:30 pm ET on ESPN

*Line: Jets (+5.5)

Like a fool, I bought into the Jets last week against the Bills given all the issues the Bills had to deal with during the week. That was after I already declared that I would be giving the Jets the “Jaguars treatment” three weeks earlier by refusing to pick them any longer.

Spread Pick: Dolphins
Straight Pick: Dolphins

About the Author

Aaron Freeman
Founder of FalcFans.com