NFL Week 13 Picks - Early Games

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NFL Week 13 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 12 results: Rick: 11-5; Coin: 6-10
Cumulative: Rick: 85-89-3; Coin: 91-83-3

Sunday December 6

New Orleans Saints (-3, 46) at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm (Fox) - At 9-2, the Saints currently have a hold on top seed in the NFC (and the only team to get a first round bye, BTW) and a 2 1/2 game lead over Tampa Bay in the division, which looks pretty much buttoned up.

Since Drew Brees went down with an injury, backup QB, Taysom Hill has led the team to two wins, rather easily (Atlanta, 24-9, at Denver, 31-3), as the defense has also stepped up.

With a win over the Falcons just two weeks ago, Hill and the Saints should repeat that performance.

Coin Flip: Atlanta

Prediction: Saints 34 Falcons 17

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (-3, 44) 1:00 pm (Fox) - Neither of these teams are any good, not going to the playoffs unless some kind of miracle occurs, tough to watch for Bears/Lions fans.

Chicago surrendered their fifth straight loss Sunday night to the Packers, 41-25, and didn't get the offense going until the outcome was all but guaranteed. Detroit failed against Houston, 41-25, on Thanksgiving, their fourth loss in the last five. Rightfully, neither team should win this game, but the Chicago offense should do well against the Lions, whose defense is 31st in points allowed, at 29.8 per game.

Coin Flip: Detroit

Prediction: Bears 24 Lions 16

Indianapolis Colts (-3, 51 1/2) at Houston Texans 1:00 pm (CBS) - Very dangerous spot for the Colts, coming off a bruising loss to Tennessee, 45-26. Houston put up 41 on Detroit on Thanksgiving, making them a threat to bump off the Colts, having won three of four, the only loss a 10-7 setback at Cleveland. Houston, despite its 4-7 record, is playing well and Indy QB Phillip Rivers isn't getting any younger. If JJ Watt and the Texan defense gets into his face, as Tennessee did, they can force a lot of errant passes.

Scoring on the Colts won't be easy, but the Houston offense should be up to the task. Upset city, getting points at home in a divisional game.

Coin Flip: Houston

Prediction: Texans 27 Colts 22

Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins (-11 1/2, 42) 1:00 pm (CBS) - Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to keep Miami's playoff hopes alive, engineering a 20-3 win over the winless Jets last week in New York. Backup Tua Tagovailoa may see some action, but his lack of experience is seen as a liability as the 7-5 Dolphins make the final push.

With Joe Burrow out for the season, Brandon Allen makes his second start for the Bengals. In last week's 19-17 loss to the Giants, he was 17-29 for 136 yards, a TD and one pick, not anything to write home about. He'll find the going tougher against Miami, which allows only 18.6 points per game, second league-wide to the Steelers.

Coin Flip: Miami

Prediction: Dolphins 27 Bengals 10

Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings (-9 1/2, 52) 1:00 pm (CBS) - Don't tell the 5-6 Vikings, but they're not very good. While they have strung together four wins in their last five starts, the lone quality opponent was Green Bay, whom they topped, 28-22. Wins over the Lions, Bears, and Jaguars, plus a loss to the Cowboys, doesn't say much. They should win this game, hosting Jacksonville, which has the distinction of an unproductive offense (20.6 ppg) and a tackle-free defense, allowing 29.6 ppg.

The Vikings by 10? Maybe. Don't mortgage the boat.

Coin Flip: Minnesota

Prediction: Vikings 31 Jaguars 18

Las Vegas Raiders (-7 1/2, 47) at New York Jets 1:00 pm (CBS) - While the Jets continue to be consistent winners, the Raiders have become the Jekyl and Hyde act of the NFL, one week good, the next bad, etc.

After going toe to toe with the Chiefs in a week 11, 35-31, loss, QB Derek Carr forgot to hold onto the ball, fumbling three times and tossing a pick six in a 43-6 humbling in Atlanta. They'll likely recover form that fiasco, and they need a win badly, as their 6-5 record has them on the outside of the playoff picture. Just a warning. If anybody's going to lose to the Jets this season, it could be these guys.

Coin Flip: New York Jets

Prediction: Raiders 30 Jets 26

Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans (-5 1/2, 54) 1:00 pm (CBS) - Both teams are 8-3, but the Titans have a hold on the AFC South lead, while the Browns chase the unbeaten Steelers in the North division.

Cleveland is 3-2 on the road, while Tennessee is 4-1 at home and looking very playoff bound and beyond. The Titans hold a statistical advantage on offense. The two are almost even defensively, but the Browns will have to figure out how to stop Derrick Henry, the league's leading rusher.

Cleveland is not likely to be blown out, though two of their three losses have been road disasters, losing 38-6 at Baltimore (week 1) and 38-7 at Pittsburgh (week 6). Titans look like a team steam rollier.

Coin Flip: Tennessee

Prediction: Titans 36 Browns 24

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