NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 13
Written by Brandon Lewis on December 1, 2017
By: Brandon Lewis
San Francisco 49ers @ Chicago Bears (-3)
Jimmy Garoppolo makes his first start for the 49ers this week as they travel to Chicago to take on rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears. Garoppolo came in last week on the last drive against the Seahawks and went 2/2 for 18 yards and a score. Even though the Niners are 1-10, they are better than their record indicates, losing half of their games by a touchdown or less. They have only given up an 100-yard-rusher three times this season, and if they can contain Bears running back Jordan Howard, they can force Trubisky to pass more than he wants to. That will set up opportunities for turnovers. While the Bears defense is ranked above league average at twelfth, they have given up 58 points in their last two games without linebacker Leonard Floyd, who is on injured reserve with a knee injury. I think the Bears defensive struggles continue without Floyd, and Garoppolo plays well to win the game for the 49ers. The Garoppolo era starts with an upset win Sunday at Soldier Field.
Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins (pick’em)
After being benched for four games, Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian will start once again on Sunday against the Dolphins. Siemian was benched due to his inability to move the Broncos offense down the field, exposing the Broncos beat-up defense. However, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch both struggled as well when they were under center.The Broncos offense has failed to score 20 points in eight of their last nine contests, and I do not think it gets better this week against a Dolphins front four that can destroy the Broncos offensive line.The Dolphins are not a good team this year, but they do get quarterback Jay Cutler back this week after missing last week’s game with a concussion. Cutler is not an elite quarterback by any means, but he should be able to do enough against his former team to bring his Dolphins to a 5-7 record and keep them in the hunt for a AFC wild card spot.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Green Bay Packers (pick’em)
In a battle of two disappointing teams this year, the Buccaneers travel to Green Bay to take on the Packers. Last week, Tampa Bay’s passing defense gave up 253 yards to Julio Jones alone in their 34-20 loss against the Falcons.Meanwhile, Brett Hundley played well in the Packers 31-28 loss to the Steelers, a game many people, including myself, thought the Packers had no chance to win. Sitting at 5-6, the Packers are going to have to win out just to have a chance at making the playoffs in the stacked NFC. I think Hundley’s performance last week on Sunday Night Football showed he is learning nicely on the fly, and I think he will only grow with each passing game. The Bucs, on the other hand, are just a bad team with no identity. Jameis Winston is back after he missed the last three games with an injured shoulder, but I do not think it will help much. The Packers will come out of this game on top.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals (+5.5)
Monday Night Football heads to Cincinnati for a huge AFC North battle between the 9-2 Steelers and the 5-6 Bengals. On October 22nd, the Bengals were tied with the Steelers at Heinz Field 14-14 at halftime, but in the second half, the Bengals offense got shut down by the Steelers defense.Now, they come in with momentum, beating up on the Broncos and the Browns the last two weeks by a combined score of 50-33. However, the Steelers this year are a juggernaut. They are getting all of their weapons involved on offense, and their defense is getting better week by week. This is not just another ordinary game though. Both teams despise one another.You can throw all the stats out the window for this one in primetime. This game will be won by the team that has the most heart, and I think on Monday Night, it will be the Bengals since their season is on the line.