Week 13 of the NFL season is already off to a crazy start with the New Orleans Saints – who were riding a 10-game winning streak – falling to the suddenly surging Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night.
That’s just one game – there are plenty of great ones left to come.
Caddies Joe Skovron, Mark Urbanek and Justin York took a closer look at five, key match ups.
Here’s how each caddies sees those games playing out…
Baltimore at Atlanta
Spread: Baltimore -1.5
Skovron’s Pick: Atlanta
Why: As of right now, we don’t know who is playing QB for Baltimore. With Jackson, they have run the ball down effectively the last two games. Atlanta has lost three in a row and hasn’t been able to stop the run. That doesn’t sound good for the Falcons, but this line has moved to Atlanta giving 1.5 by the time I’m writing this so I’m going to take the value in that three-point swing and go with the Falcons getting 1.5.
Urbanek’s Pick: Atlanta
Why: This game reeks of a pillow fight to me. Baltimore can’t move the ball in the air with Jackson and Atlanta can’t convert in the red zone. I look for a close, low-scoring game where I will for sure take the Falcons at home getting points with jobs on the line. Baltimore 17, Atlanta 23.
York’s Pick: Baltimore
Why: The Ravens seem to have gotten in a good groove with Lamar Jackson at QB. Plain and simple, Atlanta stinks. Look for a blowout by the recently resurgent Ravens.
LA Rams at Detroit
Spread: Rams -9.5
Skovron’s Pick: Detroit
Why: The Rams are one of the top 3 teams in the NFL right now and the Lions are not very good. However, the Rams have a losing record against the spread, while the Lions have a winning one. This tells me that the Rams have been overvalued in spreads and that Detroit has been slightly undervalued.
Urbanek’s Pick: LA
Why: Points at home is generally the obvious choice for me, BUT this is the rare exception. Too much firepower from LA and the Lions simply won’t be able to keep pace. I expect it to be relatively close for a half with the Rams pulling away late with a heavy dose of Gurley. LA 36, Detroit 24.
York’s Pick: LA
Why: The Rams are rested coming off a bye. With the Seahawks still in the rear-view fighting for the west title, look for LA to close the door on any potential chance with a solid victory at the expense of the struggling Matthew Stafford-led Lions.
Minnesota at New England
Spread: New England -6
Skovron’s Pick: Minnesota
Why: This spread has moved to 4.5 despite the public being on the Pats. Both teams are good ATS this year. The Pats are really hard to beat at home and are setting themselves up for another playoff run. That said, Cousins is having a nice year with Theilen and Diggs putting up some big numbers. The Vikings haven’t allowed a QB to throw for over 200 yards in their last four games and have won five of their last seven. I’ll take the points.
Urbanek’s Pick: New England
Why: The Patriots are 5-0 at home with some delicious wins over Kansas City, Green Bay, Houston and Indianapolis. That streak will continue this week as they get their offense back at full strength. Belichick is a master, as much as it pains me to say, and it will never be more evident than in this matchup. Cousins will not be able to find the open man under pressure. Pats roll. Minnesota 23, Pats 31.
York’s Pick: Minnesota
Why: This is the toughest game of the week. The Patriots seem to be in a little funk the last few weeks, struggling to put up the usual big numbers on offense. Minnesota seems to be getting their swagger back on defense and are playing pretty solid after getting Dalvin Cook back. It will be a last-possession game, but Minnesota will cover winning or losing the game.
LA Chargers at Pittsburgh
Spread: Pittsburgh -3.5
Skovron’s Pick: LA
Why: No rhyme or reason here. If I’m not putting money on it then of course I’m taking my boys. Both teams are playing good football. Bosa is back but Gordon is out. Ekeler has been effective when he has had touches so far this year. We’ll see if he and Jackson can carry the running game for a few games, or if Rivers has to take over through the air. This will be a good barometer for both teams leading into the home stretch.
Urbanek’s Pick: Pittsburgh
Why: Just can’t trust the Chargers in this one. With Gordon on the sideline, the offense will be one dimensional and that never bodes well on the road. Rivers will chuck it 50+ times in this one for some serious yardage, but most of it coming when the Steelers are already up big and playing it soft. The Steelers will get back on the W wagon this week in a high-scoring affair. LAC 29, Pittsburgh 37.
York’s Pick: Pittsburgh
Why: The Steelers are a force to be reckoned with at home this week against a solid Phillip Rivers led offense. With Melvin Gordon on the sidelines this week for the Bolts and the Steelers letting last week’s game against the Broncos slip through their hands, the Steelers won’t be beat. Lay the points and thank me later.
Washington at Philadelphia
Spread: Philly -6.5
Skovron’s Pick: Washington
Why: With Dallas beating the Saints on Thursday, this is a massive game for both teams to keep pace. The Redskins are 7-4 ATS this year and the Eagles are 3-8. I think all of us keep waiting for the Eagles to get back on track. Reverse line movement puts me on the Skins.
Urbanek’s Pick: Philadelphia
Why: I know the Eagles are vulnerable in the secondary, but I have a hard time believing that Colt can get it done. There’s a reason he’s not starting over Alex Smith. Philly is desperate for a home W to keep pace with the surging Cowboys. I like the eagles to get back in the race with a nice W in a tough, hard-fought, ugly win here. Probably a pick-six being the difference in this one. Washington 18, Philly 28.
York’s Pick: Washington
Why: Colt McCoy is looking to get back in rhythm after a rocky start last week against Dallas. Philly squeaked out a W last week against their rival Washington Redskins but make no mistake, this Eagles team is a shell at best of last year’s championship team. Take the points and bet big.