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Did we learn anything in NFL Week 13?


I know I am being the opposite of what I was saying about Dallas after three weeks, but the Cowboys just made Mitch Trubisky look like Lamar Jackson. Imagine getting blown out by this Bears team. Imagine losing to a team dressed in clown socks. Now, imagine Jason Garrett is still your head coach. Oh, did you see Garrett on the sidelines basically just listening in on what his coaches were talking about and never interjecting? Notice how Dallas looks great on their first scripted drive then goes to shit when they have to actually call plays? And how Garrett and company are incapable of making halftime adjustments? Notice how undisciplined they are on both sides of the ball? Did you notice how the offense is not in synch? Whenever you bet on NFL games from now on, fade Dallas.


The Niners are 7-4-1 ATS including the last two games. The defense is pretty damn good against the pass, so bet their O/U lines at your own caution. What I like about their defense is that they are competitive in every game. I know it’s easy to say about a team that’s 10-2, but the most points they have given up in a single game is 27 in their loss to the Seahawks. Just something to salt away for down the stretch. 


Stop basing your bets on that one. It’s a fallacy and there are some really smart math guys who have proven that it’s a terrible angle. I am not being lazy here. I am telling you to go do some research on this one. If you find yourself thinking about placing a bet on NFL teams because you think the strongest angle is that “they need this one badly” to get in the playoffs or stay in the hunt or whatever, just stay away from that angle. Look at the bigger picture. Going that way with Dallas and the under just burned two really good friends of mine when I suggested they take the Bears as a home dog because going into last night they were 3-0-1 in that spot since 2017. 

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Sean’s Top NFL Picks for Week 14

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Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills

Spread: Ravens -6 Over/Under: 44

Buffalo is sneaky good. They are also sneaky bad. They’ve played a pretty easy schedule and everyone is hyped on them for putting the beat down on Dallas. People are going so far as to come up with scenarios giving Buffalo the AFC East crown. I get it. People across America have been praying for the demise of the Patriots for 20 years, but people have lots of hopes and dreams and wishes. I think people who think this will happen need to go wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first, so let’s just cool it until it happens. 

Now, everyone raves about Buffalo’s defense, but they are 14th against the run and guess what Baltimore does really, really, really well? They run the ball. Like over 200 YPG run the ball. Like, run the ball like it’s going out of style well. Baltimore is also 3-1 as a road favorite. They also proved that weather doesn’t matter to them. They can grind it out, they can air it out, and they will go for it on 4th down. 

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Of course, I’d be remiss to ignore Buffalo’s penchant for smacking teams in the mouth. They don’t give up, they play well at home, and Josh Allen can make some nice plays for them. Buffalo is rarely a home dog, but they are 5-7 ATS in that spot since 2016, while over that same timespan Baltimore is 7-5 ATS as an away favorite. 

This feels like a competitive game. Baltimore is at an inflated price and jumping on them for this much just feels like the squarest play imaginable. I hate the idea of fading a home team at almost a touchdown. Baltimore has blowouts against Cincy, the Rams, Houston, and Miami, but the reality is that the Ravens are 6-6 ATS and will be playing a hungry team with extra rest. 


San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints

Spread: Niners +2.5 Over/Under: 44.5

The Niners are finishing up a brutal stretch of playing teams with .800 or better winning percentages. Now they draw New Orleans on the road which at first glance seems to run the Saints way, but keep in mind that the Saints are dinged up at linebacker and on the offensive line. They have a monster reputation, but the Niners are going to pissed off and inside a dome. 

Brees is not having a career year and he relies on precise timing routes and open windows he can deliver quick strikes through. The Niners are basically the best pass defense and will give him fits. If the Saints do what I think they will and try and run the game through Kamara and the run game, then they have a chance to take the Niners down with a slow and steady game plan that chews the clock, prays for a turnover or two, and puts Brees in position for a couple big plays. 

I’m not sure that will work. I think it actually goes the other way and the Niners try to play keep away and grind down the Saints halfway decent, but dinged up defense. Jimmy will find Kittle for a couple big plays and their running backs will be able to exploit the replacement linebackers. Sure, the refs could get involved, but in a vacuum the Niners are healthier and also keyed up to finish off this three game gauntlet strong. 


Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots  

Spread: Chiefs +3 Over/Under: 49

The Pats are the dynasty of the last 20 years. No one questions that. I also gave up on trying to predict when their dynasty would fall a good 10 years ago. Even when they lost to Denver in the AFC title game I knew they’d adjust and just come back and kick everyone’s ass. Right now, though it’s just really hard for them. 

They don’t have a lot of offensive weapons and with Brady not just getting a little older, but not having a true number one to throw to, it makes his life that much more difficult. Sony Michel is a one cut back, if that. Edelman is reliable, but he’s not a true ace and he’s being double teamed on every play anyways. 

The defense is aces, but they can be exploited like any other defense because it’s not 1976 when you could just jam receivers at the line of scrimmage and go head hunting across the middle. Sooner or later good teams with talented players will find seams in your zone, decipher your pre-snap looks, and sometimes beat you in man coverage. It’s just the law of averages in a league that is heavily skewed towards offense. 

The big question mark for me here is Andy Reid’s clock management. It’s a real thing and if this game comes down to the wire, it could be the difference maker. Kansas City’s defense sucks. Sure, Brady made the score against Houston look respectable in garbage time. But KC has serious weapons all over the field and it’s just going to be difficult for the Pats to keep up with them. Basically, Brady needs his group of young and untested receivers to grow up real fast. He also needs Mahomes to have a horrible game. I wouldn’t count on it. 


San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars

Spread: Chargers – 3 Over/Under: 43.5

The Chargers suck. I love Phil Rivers, but there’s some serious issues with the Chargers coaching staff. Like Dallas, they have tons of talent and bad coaching. I don’t like shitting on people. I hate it. But I hate bad work even more and the Chargers are a disappointment. There’s not much discipline and they don’t adjust well. Remember how they deployed the same defense they ran against Baltimore in New England? That is the sort of thing I’m talking about. 

They fooled me when I took them against Pittsburgh and they fooled me when I took them against Tennessee. Now, after Doug Marrone made the right move and put Minshew back in, the Chargers are laying 3 on the road. Yeah, with Jacksonville coming off a series of horrible losses that were punctuated by Nick Foles being a statue, I’m going with a home team that’s doing the smart thing for once. 


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