Nov 17, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) passes during the second half against the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 37-14. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Week 13 NFL Picks Against the Spread


Come all ye office-pool players, casual bettors, wiseguys, and degenerate gamblers: the NFL Picks Against The Spread column is here to help you win mountains of cash and/or bragging rights. They say you need to win at least 53% of your games to actually make a profit betting on NFL games. Well you and I know that I’ll probably only hit about 45% at the most, so go ahead and play the opposite of all my recommended Best Bets and you’ll be sure to make some money.

Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills, Over 48
These two teams aren’t going anywhere this year, and this week finds them playing a meaningless game in a dome on the turf in Toronto… the Falcons have been a mess and fell short again last week to division rival New Orleans, so if they weren’t in Going-Through-The-Motions mode already, they really are now. The Falcons give up 28 points per game and the Bills come in fresh off their bye week. Inter-conference games have tended to go Over and this one shouldn’t be any different. With EJ Manuel out there trying to cement himself as The Guy, and Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez in garbage time, this game should end in the 28-24 or 31-21 area and easily go Over the total.

Jacksonville Jaguars +7.5 at Cleveland Browns
Because Brandon Weeden is starting at QB for the Browns, and the Jags are still getting more than a TD. This will be an ugly game that should really be canceled due to lack of interest. In fact, if you’re actually wagering on this game, you might want to seek some help. But as long as you’re betting this one, take the points.

Arizona Cardinals +3 at Philadelphia Eagles
Both have beaten up on bad teams, but they can only play who’s on their schedule. I’ll take Arizona coach Bruce Arians armed with WR Larry Fitzgerald and a veteran QB (even if it is Carson Palmer) and an elite defense. Nick Foles has been doing his Johnny Unitas imitation against teams like Oakland and Washington. Now he faces an opportunistic secondary with playmakers Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu just a pick-6 away from welcoming the boo-birds back to Philly. The Eagles have been terrible against the spread at home, just 4-16 the last 3 years, including 1-4 this year (the only win against the Washington Dumpster Fires). The west coast team traveling for a 1pm EST kickoff vs. a team coming off the bye week does give me pause, but I’ll take the points with the Cardinals.

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts, Over 45.5
Did you know that both these teams have gone Over the total in 7 of their 11 games? Backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has been playing well the last few games and the Colts defense is nothing to write home about. Andrew Luck and the Colts are desperate for a win and should be able to get into an offensive groove at home. I tend to think most division games, especially this late in the year, are a bit like playoff games and tend to stay Under the total. But I see these teams playing a game that should end up similar to their 30-27 meeting a few weeks ago. Remember, the Colts gave up 38 to the Rams and 40 to the Cardinals. Meanwhile the Titans gave up 29 to the Jaguars and 26 to the low-scoring Chiefs. With this total set at 45.5, we don’t need a crazy shootout. A typical 27-20 or 30-17 game would make the Over a winning bet.

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