It’s NFL week 13 and the playoff situation is starting to take shape. All of the three games that are featured this week have playoff implications.
OAKLAND at MIAMI, THE PICK, MIAMI -3
The first place Oakland Raiders will travel east to play the three and eight Miami Dolphins. Oakland comes into this game with some injury problems. Darren McFadden has already been ruled out this week, so this means Michael Bush will get another start in the Raiders backfield. Bush has filled in nicely for the Raiders, but he is not the game changing back that McFadden is. When they finally arrive on the east coast after a long flight, they will run into a Dolphins team that has has played pretty well of late. Miami has won three of their last four and covered five straight.
After winning three straight football games by double digits, the Phins fell to the Cowboys on Thanksgiving day, but still were able to cover. Miami has been a very tough team to play over the last five weeks, and I think they take advantage of a Raiders team that I don’t believe will be at their best this weekend. Take Miami laying a field goal.
DETROIT at NEW ORLEANS, THE PICK, DETROIT +9
The Saints put on a show last Monday night as they routed the New York Giants 49-24 on national television. The Lions on the other hand came up small in a very undisciplined effort against the Packers on Thanksgiving. Not Just did the Lions lose the game last week but they also lost their star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to suspension. With the loss of Suh, the Lions will need to pick up the slack in other areas.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford’s hand appears to be improving, and he will be taking off the glove that he has been wearing in recent weeks. Stafford has not been playing at his highest level of late but as the hand improves I believe his play will improve as well. New Orleans is facing a tough task as they are working on a short week.
The Saints have struggled recently coming off Monday nights. Since 2010, the Saints are 0-4 to the spread following a Monday night game. That is a very troublesome trend for New Orleans especially when being asked to lay nine points. I expect both offenses to score in this one, and I think Detroit can keep this game close. Nine points is a lot to lay, and I wouldn’t lay them here. Take the Lions getting nine.
DALLAS at ARIZONA , THE PICK, ARIZONA +4.5
The Cowboys will travel to Arizona as a road favorite on Sunday. Dallas has been a very questionable road team in recent years, and has struggled mightily in the role of a road favorite. Since 2009, Dallas is 2-7-2 against the spread as a road favorite, and just 2-4-1 to the spread in their last seven on the road. The Cowboys have won four straight but have only covered once in their last five and have been very unimpressive at times. They also could be in for a let down game as they play the New York Giants next week. Arizona has been playing well of late.
The Cards have won three of their last four, and covered four of their last five. Arizona is a team playing solid football rite now, and I like them getting points rite here. At the very least, I expect the Cardinals to keep this game very tight, and wouldn’t be shocked if they win outright. Take Arizona getting four and a half.