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Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus Charles Robinson @CRob5769
Week 13. First Donkey Week of the year. The Chiefs are back on the docket this week, but not in this slate of picks. We’ll have a stand alone Chiefs/Broncos game preview later on this morning to get you through this absolutely brutal lineup of noon games today, but for now we’ll check out the early matchups and the Monday Night heavyweight showdown in the AFC East.
This is certainly one of those weird weeks where most of the “good” teams are playing “bad” teams, and the “good” games are between teams that, on a national scale, are not that enticing. Certain fan bases – looking at you Giants, Dolphins, WFT, and Raiders fans – have interesting matchups with opponents that are also on their respective playoff bubbles. And I use quotations marks when saying good and bad because at this point, it’s really unclear as to who the best teams in the NFL really are so far in 2021. Green Bay and New England have been strong as of late, as have the Chiefs. But teams like the Dolphins are surging and look dangerous. We thought before last week that the Eagles were in that same boat, but a loss to the Giants last week casts doubt on that. The Rams and Bills are hanging out near the top of most power rankings at the moment, but for the most part they have just beat up on inferior opponents and looked questionable when tested by stiff competition. One thing is for sure in the 2021 Super Bowl – someone has to win the Super Bowl. It’s a wide open race as of week 13, which is all we could ask for with the Chiefs starting the year 3-4. A win tonight would go a long way in cementing them as not just the pride of the Kingdom, but also of the entire NFL.
Buccaneers (8-3) @ Falcons (5-6) : Tampa Bay -11; O/U 50.5
The missing persons report concerning the Falcons offense was closed last week as they managed to muster 21 points, 18 more than they had scored in the previous 2 weeks combined, but the questions about Atlanta’s viability as a legitimate NFL team remain unanswered. The Bucs have some controversy surrounding them as well with Antonio Brown’s fraudulent vaccination status, but AB doesn’t play defense, tight end, or quarterback. Division matchups are almost always tighter than you expect them to be, and 11 points is a lot in the NFL. Tampa has no problem winning this game, but Atlanta might find a way to keep it tighter than people expect.
Buccaneers 29, Falcons 20 (Atlanta +11; Under 50.5)
Chargers (6-5) @ Bengals (7-4) : Cincinnati -3; O/U 50
What happened? I thought the Chargers were supposed to be the best team in the AFC after week 5? From 4-1 to 6-5 in a matter of 7 weeks, the Chargers have a lot of issues, mainly offensive play-calling and run defense. Joe Burreaux and the Bengals seem to have regained their stride after they stumbled after their 4-2 start. Homefield is important in the NFL, and the Chargers are the stereotype franchise that struggles as a west coast team travelling east. Joe Mixon will have a big day today against this Chargers front, and suddenly the Chargers will be at the bottom of the AFC West. They may have company, though.
Bengals 33, Chargers 24 (Cincinnati -3; Over 50)
Cardinals (9-2) @ Bears (4-7) : Arizona -7.5; O/U 43.5
Kyler Murray and D-Hop are back today for the Cardinals, and Andy Dalton is starting for the Bears. That is your preview.
Cardinals 27, Bears 9 (Arizona -7.5; Under 43.5)
Giants (4-7) @ Dolphins (5-7) : Miami -4; O/U 40.5
The Dolphins are on a heater, winning their last 4 consecutive games after starting 1-7. If not for the slow start, the AFC East would be an incredibly interesting 3 horse race. While Miami is still in the playoff picture, they’ve probably given up too much ground to the Bills and Pats to make an impact in the division. The Giants grinded out a defensive win against the Eagles last week, but with Danny Dimes missing from an offense that is already suspect, they don’t stand much of a chance to score enough points to win a professional football game today.
Dolphins 24, Giants 15 (Miami -4; Under 40.5)
Colts (6-6) @ Texans (2-9) : Colts -10; O/U 45
The Colts arguably could have walked away with a W last week against the Bucs, but Lenny Fournette had other thoughts last week. The Texans, on the other hand, followed up their upset win over the Titans from Week 11 with a loss to the Jets. Two teams that are on different trajectories this season, but again a division matchup. The Colts have been busting bad teams asses so far this year, so I think the points go Indy’s way today. Hand Jonathan Taylor the ball and let Quinton Nelson and the boys smash some skulls today.
Colts 33, Texans 13 (Indianapolis -10; Over 45)
Vikings (5-6) @ Lions (0-10-1) : Minnesota -7; O/U 46.5
Minnesota will be without Dalvin Cook this week, but Alexander Mattison is actually a pretty nice weapon to have as RB2. Justin Jefferson is somehow quietly having a remarkable season, and the Vikings punched until the last round in every game they’ve played this year. Detroit inches closer to being winless again.
Vikings 24, Lions 11 (Minnesota -7; Under 46.5)
Eagles (5-7) @ Jets (3-8) : Philadelphia -7; O/U 45
I’m very torn on this one. Who are the real Eagles? If Nick Sirianni and his staff can call a consistent game like they had the previous couple of games (run the ball, run the ball, hit Slim Reaper for bombs, run the ball) they will win this game. If not, the Jets seems to have this small spark from having Zach Wilson back, and could be dangerous. This one is a toss up to me, but I’ll take Philly following the law of averages.
Eagles 23, Jets 17 (NYJ +7; Over 45)
Jaguars (2-9) @ Rams (7-4) : LAR -13; O/U 48
The Rams get back on track with somehow another game against a terrible team. Until the Rams prove they can win a big game against a good team, I’m keeping them in the fraud file. They get back on track with an easy win over a tremendously overmatched Jaguars team today, though. I can’t express to you how pleased I would be if the Jags found a way to pull this off, though. Lol’s all around if that happens, tune in to Twitter (@CRob5769) for reactions.
Rams 30, Jaguars 13 (LAR -13; Under 48)
WFT (5-6) @ Raiders (6-5) : Las Vegas -2.5; O/U 49
Surprisingly interesting matchups with massive playoff positioning on the line. WFT are hot, winners of 3 straight. The Raiders finally looked like a team with a dynamic offense and a timely defense last week against the Cowboys, but they did play Dallas without Amari Cooper and Ceedee Lamb. There’s just something about Taylor Heinecke, man. I think the Football Team’s offensive talent (McLaurin, McKissic, Gibson) are sneaky some of the best in the league, and I think they have enough firepower to beat the Raiders in the Death Star today.
WFT 27, Raiders 24 (Washington +2.5; Over 49)
49ers (6-5) @ Seahawks (3-8) : San Francisco -3.5; O/U 45.5
The Seahawks are dead. So, naturally, this is a perfect time for them to show up and win a divisional game. Surely this is going to happen sometime, right? Russ and DK Metcalf look like they might be pissed at each other at the moment, maybe Russ isn’t a fan of DK’s (almost) foursome that he got outed for on Instagram? Who knows. But for whatever reason I feel like they’re going to go off today.
Seahawks 24, 49ers 20 (Seattle +3.5; Under 45.5)
Ravens (8-3) @ Steelers (5-5-1) : Baltimore -4.5; O/U 44
Steelers are soft, and Big Ben is no longer a NFL quarterback. The Ravens have been winning ugly, no different here. Heated rivalry or not, Pittsburgh isn’t on the same playing field as Baltimore right now.
Ravens 20, Steelers 13 (Baltimore -4.5; Under 44)
Patriots (8-4) @ Bills (7-4) : Buffalo -2.5; O/U 43
Co-Game of the Week right here. Who would have thought after the Bills were crowned Week 5 AFC Champions after their win in Kansas City that they would enter this matchup in second place in their own division? The Patriots defense is absolutely smothering, leading the league in takeaways and defensive scoring. Josh Allen and co got one off on the hapless Saints on Thanksgiving night, but this is a totally different animal they’re trying to tame on Monday Night Football. Bill Belichick and Nick Saban have the same complex going on this year – Buffalo and Georgia are the new kids on the block, but the old heads are not dead or even retired yet. I think the Patriots roll the Bills in this one, and I don’t think it’s particularly close. Buffalo will get a couple scores late to make it more respectable, but this is a certified ass kicking in the making.
Patriots 32, Bills 20 (New England +2.5; Over 43)