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NFL picks, predictions against spread for Week 13: Ravens clear 49ers; Patriots beat Texans; Chiefs handle Raiders | Sporting News

When it comes to making our picks against the spread for Week 13 of the 2019 NFL season, we want to be lucky and good. With no more bye weeks, we will be making predictions for 16 games in each of the final five weeks before the playoffs.

That leaves us the golden opportunity to get a few more pigskin prognostications right each week, and we have no plans to tarnish it. This week, there are several massive spreads and a couple toss-up games to navigate through.

Without further ado, here’s our latest fearless forceast for upcoming NFL results.

MORE NFL WEEK 13: Updated playoff picture | Power rankings

NFL Week 13 picks, predictions against the spread

Game of the Week: San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens (-4)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The 49ers got an emotionally dominant win over the Packers on Sunday night, while the Ravens are returning back home off a short week. The quarterbacks, Jimmy Garoppolo and Lamar Jackson, are red-hot, and both will get some good help from running backs and tight ends in tough matchups for wide receivers. The 49ers have struggled most with mobile QBs such as Jackson, who can avert their pass rush and make unscripted plays with arm and feet. The Ravens have the deep secondary to contain Garoppolo with the game on the line late.

Pick: Ravens win 23-20 but fail to cover the spread.

Upset of the Week: Tennessee Titans (+2.5) over Indianapolis Colts

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Ryan Tannehill is on fire with his complete control of a suddenly explosive, balanced Titans’ offense. Derrick Henry is looking stronger and faster against worn-out defenses, and the Titans have been hard to defend with their multiple personnel looks. The Colts have gone a bit into a shell with their run-heavy approach, and they have seen injuries pile up for their passing game. The Colts tend to play better defense at home, but they needed a late fourth-quarter rally to win the first game against Tennessee, as it’s been much harder for them to score points of late. The Titans will take it with Tannehill’s running and Henry’s receiving throwing wrinkles into Indy’s game plan.

Pick: Titans win 24-20.

Lock of the Week: Kansas City Chiefs (-10.5) over Oakland Raiders

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

This number seems massive given the Chiefs are only 7-4 and the Raiders are 6-5, especially considering its a division rivalry game. But the Raiders’ major back-end pass defense issues are a concern here against a healthier Patrick Mahomes coming off a bye in Arrowhead Stadium. He should have all his weapons healthy, unlike the first meeting, which was over when he helped Kansas City post 28 points in the second quarter in Oakland. The Raiders will run well with Josh Jacobs to stay in the game, but they are facing a second straight road blowout victory in the elements.

Pick: Chiefs win 38-17 and cover the spread.

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (Pick ’em)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Browns are finding their expected groove offensively, as Baker Mayfield is in sync with his dynamic duos at both running back (Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt) and wide receiver (Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr.). We know why their defense won’t have Myles Garrett, but in a twist, the Steelers likely are benching Mason Rudolph due to poor play. The Steelers will try again to win another one with running game, defense and a key big pass play, but Devlin Hodges puts limits on the passing game. Pittsburgh is the team currently in a playoff position, but will Cleveland get there with an important, overdue sweep of its rival.

Pick: Browns win 24-17.

Green Bay Packers (-7) at New York Giants

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Packers will have trouble containing Saquon Barkley, but their pass rush can get after Daniel Jones, and their secondary will likely get a break with Golden Tate concussed and Evan Engram still ailing. On the other side, it’s a classic get-well game for Aaron Rodgers, as the Giants have nothing up front or in coverage that will keep him from going off with heavy help from Davante Adams and his receiving backs. The Giants have been a Rodgers nemesis before, but their defense is simply not good enough to trip up the Packers’ run-based approach.

Pick: Packers win 27-17 and cover the spread.

Philadelphia Eagles (-10) at Miami Dolphins

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Eagles are big favorites here because of the way their defense is playing; certainly not because of their offense and a beat-up Carson Wentz, who is down to his two tight ends as his most reliable weapons. The secondary is improved with healthy bodies, and the pass rush is coming along with some opportune blitzing. The Dolphins will suffer from their lack of pop around Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Philadelphia will go into grind mode to take this on the road.

Pick: Eagles win 24-10 and cover the spread.

Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers (-10)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Redskins got their first win with Dwayne Haskins as their starting quarterback last week, but it was still ugly offensively, with special teams doing the most damage on the scoreboard. The Panthers struggle mostly with teams that have the offensive line to push them around and open up chunk runs, keeping them from teeing off with their disruptive 3-4 edge rush. Washington doesn’t qualify as such. Luke Kuechly will be a nightmare looking into Haskins’ eyes and won’t be asking for selfies later. On the other side, Kyle Allen will get back to winning by simply feeding Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore in a great matchup against former Panther Josh Norman and a lost, injury-riddled defense.

Pick: Panthers win 27-10 and cover the spread.

New York Jets (-3 1/2) at Cincinnati Bengals

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Andy Dalton is returning to start at quarterback for the Bengals in an attempt to get them a win over the final five games. The Jets’ run defense has been nasty of late, so this will be tough sledding for Joe Mixon, putting Dalton in more uncomfortable down-and-distance settings. The whole Cincinnati team will play more inspired with their venerable on-field leader back, as Dalton is good enough to exploit some of the Jets’ issues on the back end. The Jets will escape a trap game by a field goal on the strength of Le’Veon Bell running all over the Bengals like he did when he played for the Steelers.

Pick: Jets win 23-20 but fail to cover the spread.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars (Pick ’em)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Jaguars’ defense has fallen apart, giving up a ton of chunk plays in consecutive blowout losses to the Texans, Colts and Titans. The Bucs have started to sizzle offensively with Jameis Winston (despite his interceptions) thanks to more balance and effectiveness with Ronald Jones in the backfield. Nick Foles is having all kinds of trouble getting the ball downfield, but in this game he can exploit a weak secondary with his diverse receivers. This will be a shootout on a short road trip for Tampa, with Foles making one more mistake than Winston.

Pick: Buccaneers win 34-27.

Los Angeles Rams (-4) at Arizona Cardinals

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox

The Cardinals should help Kyler Murray play even better post-bye after tweaking a few more things around him. The Rams will be coming off a short week. The biggest issue for the Cardinals is a defense not built to handle the Rams’ talented trio of wide receivers. The Cardinals have a bad pass defense and don’t have much of a run defense, either. That will set up Todd Gurley to have a solid day, and Jared Goff will break his slump off play-action. The presence of Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey will cool off Murray.

Pick: Rams win 27-17 and cover the spread.

Los Angeles Chargers (-1) at Denver Broncos

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

The Chargers will try to get Philip Rivers back on track by not making him throw the ball too much. The 1-2 punch of Melvin Gordon in power sets and Austin Ekeler turning the corner as a runner and receiver won’t be met with as much resistance as Rivers would get trying to force it downfield against a tricky pass defense with Von Miller coming after him and Chris Harris Jr. covering Keenan Allen. On the other side, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram will be too much off the edge for (most likely) Drew Lock.

Pick: Chargers win 20-14.

New England Patriots (-3) at Houston Texans

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

The Patriots are 10-1 against the Texans since the latter team entered the league in 2002. In four meetings since 2015, Bill Belichick’s team has beaten former New England offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien’s team five consecutive times with an average margin of victory of more than 15 points. Although the past two games have been closer because of Deshaun Watson, he has had issues with tougher defenses. Tom Brady has a much easier matchup against a reeling secondary, and with more trust in his remixed receivers, he’ll have a vintage game.

Pick: Patriots win 31-20 and cover the spread.

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (-2.5)

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Vikings were dominated in last season’s Monday night December trip to Seattle, 21-7. Kirk Cousins and the offense are performing much better now, and after a bye, Adam Thielen will return to join Stefon Diggs and Dalvin Cook as dangerous playmakers around him. The Seahawks have their share around Russell Wilson with Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and Josh Gordon. Cousins has come up big in big games, including on the road this season. But that’s longer been part of Wilson’s DNA. All other signs will point to Seattle losing this game, but his buying time to fire the ball downfield against an overrated secondary will make the difference late.

Pick: Seahawks win 27-24 and cover the spread.

Game 1 of the Midweek: Chicago Bears (-1.5) at Detroit Lions

Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET, Fox

The Bears are somehow 5-6 despite inconsistent and often mistake-plagued play from Mitchell Trubisky, but in better matchups, he tends to deliver timely big plays with his arm and legs. Just three weeks ago, he rallied Chicago past Detroit at home and now gets a second shot at this reeling defense. Look for Trubisky to start faster in the rematch by spreading the ball around, namely to Allen Robinson downfield and Tarik Cohen on checkdowns. Given the renewed strength of Chicago’s defense, he doesn’t need to do too much to out-duel David Blough.

Pick: Bears win 20-17 and cover the spread (note: pick made on Monday line before Blough news pushed line to Bears -5.5)

Result: Bears won 24-20 and covered the spread.

Game 2 of the Midweek: Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys (-6.5)

Thursday, 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS

The Cowboys need this game at home to prove they can beat teams with winning records, as Jerry Jones has a more watchful eye on Jason Garrett. The Bills have a brutal four-game stretch ahead that could derail a 8-3 season from AFC wild-card contention. Desperation will kick in for Dallas, which will be able to run better with Ezekiel Elliott and get it downfield better with Dak Prescott than Buffalo will do with Devin Singletary and Josh Allen. This game will be a grind on both sides as big plays are contained and good red zone defense leads to more field goals than TDs.

Pick: Cowboys win 26-16 and cover the spread.

Result: Bills won 26-15.

Game 3 of the Midweek: New Orleans Saints (-6.5) at Atlanta Falcons

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

The Saints had a narrow escape against the Panthers at home on the heels of being routed by the Falcons at home and rolling past the Bucs on the road. The Falcons went from suddenly whipping the Saints and Panthers on the road to falling hard to the Buccaneers at home. That makes this yet another hard-to-predict NFC South matchup. We’ll see about the injuries to Julio Jones and Marshon Lalttimore in what could be a marquee wide receiver-cornerback matchup, but the biggest issue here will be the Saints having a strong running game vs. the Falcons not having much of one, even with Devonta Freeman. Drew Brees will feel much less pressure than Matt Ryan will in the rematch with plenty of help from Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray.

Pick: Saints win 27-20 and cover the spread.

Result: Saints won 26-18 and covered the spread.

Stats of the Week:
Week 12 record straight up: 10-4
Week 12 record against the spread: 8-5
Season record straight up: 118-57
Season record against the spread: 95-74
Upsets of the Week: 5-7
Locks of the Week: 6-6

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