Saturday, December 3, 2011

TRG: Pick 6 Week 13

Frank Gore should have a big day against the Rams.
The recap is up and it's time for this week's picks! Here they are:

SAN FRANCISCO -13 over St. Louis

The Rams offense has scored over 13 points just 3 times in 11 games. They are ranked 31st in the league in scoring at 12.7 points per game. The San Francisco defense has allowed the fewest point in the league, averaging 14.6 PPG. 13 points is a large spread, and the Niners offense does not put up many points very often, but, especially coming off the tough loss to Baltimore, you have to think the defense will dominate the Rams. QB Sam Bradford and DE Chris Long are both game time decisions for the Rams, making matters worse. Having surrendered a staggering 268 rushing yards to the Cardinals last week, the Niners 7th overall rushing offense should be able to control the game. It may take a few quarters, but I think once the Niners get to 20 points, this one will be pretty safe.

Kansas City/Chicago UNDER 37

If the Chiefs defense can come close to replicating Monday Night's performance against the Steelers, this under will be in good shape. It's well documented that Tyler Palko has produced virtually no offensive success. He's the starting QB again this week (though it's possible Orton could come in off the bench) so the Bears defense shouldn't have much to worry about.
Last week didn't make Bears QB Caleb Hanie look much better than Palko. he did produce 250+ yards and 2 TDs, but he did so at a 50% completion rate with 3 INTs. The Chiefs defense handled the Steelers very well last week, and if they can perform at a high level again this week, they should have an easier time slowing down Hanie. Chicago may find success running the ball with Forte, but I think touchdowns will be few and far between in this contest. 37 isn't a lot, but it can withstand a field goal battle. I'm taking the under.

Dallas -5 over ARIZONA

I'm not sure why everyone seems to think QB Kevin Kolb's return will make a huge impact on the Cardinals offense. Kolb is 1-6 as the starter this year, and the team has managed to go 3-1 without him. Larry Fitzgerald had 2 TD receptions in games Kolb started and has 4 TDs in games he hasn't. I'm not suggesting that Skelton is a better QB than Kolb, but it's obvious that the passing game isn't a strength for Arizona. Consequently, making a marginal improvement to the quality of the passing game doesn't mean much. Beanie Wells and the ground game carried the Cardinals to a win last week, but the Cowboys have 10th ranked rushing defense, so yards on the ground won't come nearly as easy. Arizona's defense ranks 20th against the run and 25th against the pass while Dallas brings the 6th overall offense (7th passing, 13th rushing). The matchups look very bad for Arizona in this game, and despite many people calling this a trap game, I think Dallas will cover. Arizona's three recent wins have come against Philadelphia and St. Louis (twice); not exactly quality opponents. Dallas should win this one easily.

NEW ENGLAND -20.5 over Indianapolis

QB Dan Orlovsky suffered through a winless season with the 2008 Lions.
As I've been saying, I'm picking against Indy every week until they cover one. The Colts are 0-7 ATS their last 7 games. The Patriots covered a big spread against the Chiefs a couple of weeks ago, and you know Bill Belichik wouldn't mind dropping 50 points on the Colts. I don't think the QB change from Curtis Painter to Dan Orlovsky will make any difference. The Colts probably need to score 21 or more to cover this one, and I don't think that's going to happen.

Tennessee/Buffalo OVER 43

I think this game is a tough one to pick, but I definitely think they'll get over 43. Neither defense is particularly good, with the Titans ranked 17th and the Bills 22nd overall in yards allowed. I'm going to take a chance and hope that Chris Johnson's 190 yard breakout performance last week wasn't a fluke. If CJ can start running like that on a regular basis again, he will dramatically improve this Tennessee offense. The Bills haven't been prolific when it comes to scoring points, especially these past few weeks, but they've managed to be the 11th ranked scoring offense, with 23.7 PPG. They should find more room to run the ball with RB C.J. Spiller than they did last week against the Jets, and that should open things up for Fitzpatrick and the passing attack. I'm not sure who's going to come out on top in this game, but I think both of these teams will get over 20 points, so I'm going with the over.

Is there any hope for Tebow's passing game? The Vikings may help.
Denver PICK (+0) over MINNESOTA

Why not try my luck on the Tebow Magic this week? Adrian Peterson has been ruled out for the week and that's a big blow to the Vikings offense. Denver's Von Miller is questionable, but as the Vikings really only have one play-maker on offense (Percy Harvin, WR), the Broncos defense should be able to continue their trend of keeping the game a low-scoring affair. Minnesota has the league's 29th ranked passing defense, which bodes well for Tim Tebow's horribly inconsistent passing attack. The Vikings may force him to throw the ball more this week, but he should be able to connect on the occasional long pass and help put some points on the board. The Broncos are 4-0 ATS over their past four games, and 5-1 ATS with Tebow starting. Conversely, the Vikings are 1-3 ATS over their past four, with the lone win coming four weeks ago against Carolina. I like Denver to win this one and keep the AFC West interesting.

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