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And once more Dan and I are tied up in our competition to see who will be the least worst at picking games this season.

Gee:      Week 13   5-10                   Overall   87-105
Dan:      Week 13   4-11                   Overall   87-105

Steelers @ Bills (-1.5)

The Bills are having a funny season, and having built a 24-9 lead in the third quarter, their defence gave up an unanswered twenty-nine point to lose the game 38-24. At 6-6 they have had similar ups and downs in their wins and losses. This week they welcome a Steelers team who are on a three game winning streak as they fight the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC North. Things seem to be coming right for the Steelers at the right time, and I see them winning this one off the back of their better offence and a defence that is doing just about enough.

Gee’s Pick:          Steelers
Dan’s Pick:          Steelers

Bears @ Lions (-8.5)

The Lions are having an impressive season and didn’t even need to come from behind last week as they controlled the Saints in a relatively straight forward win. This week they welcome a Bears team that beat them in Chicago and who are coming off a straight forward win against the 49ers. However, whilst there have been some improvements in a Bears team that are beset by injuries, they are 3-9 for a reason and so I expect the Lions to win. However, the nine clear points required the Lions to cover does give me pause, and in the end I back the Bears to cover this, albeit likely in a losing effort.

Gee’s Pick:          Bears
Dan’s Pick:          Lions

Bengals @ Browns (+6.5)

The Bengals sat troubled second year tackle Cedric Ogbuehi last week, and the line seemed to play better as the Bengals ran out easy winners against the Eagles. There were still too many field goals at the end of drives, and yet another missed extra point for Mike Nugent, but the team handled the Eagles easily enough, which I was not expecting. This week they face off against the Browns in the battle for Ohio part two. The Browns have been struggling, and worryingly this looks like the easiest game they have left to get a win this season. Dan is going for the Browns this week, but I saw something in that last game of the Bengals, and whilst I see this being a hard fought game, having beaten an Eagles team with a better record last week I am strangely confident going into this one.

Gee’s Pick:          Bengals
Dan’s Pick:          Browns

Broncos @ Titans (+0.5)

I continue to find the Titans difficult to pick as I can’t quite pin down how good this team is, they are undoubtedly improved from last season, and are one of three teams with a 6-6 record in the AFC South, but they have not played consistently. This week they welcome a Broncos team who are still in the hunt for a playoff berth with an 8-4 record despite being third in the very competitive AFC West. The Broncos won despite the play of rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch last week, and hope to get Trevor Siemian back from his foot sprain that saw him miss that game. In what is basically a pick ’em game, I think the Broncos will have enough to win thanks to their defence, but I can easily see the Titans proving me wrong yet again this season.

Gee’s Pick:          Broncos
Dan’s Pick:          Broncos

Texans @ Colts (-6.5)

The Colts absolutely dominated a woeful Jets team on Monday Night Football, which was a good way to welcome back Andrew Luck from concussion. However, this week they face a Texans team that whilst struggling on offence, have a solid defence. There is a big difference in DVOA percentages between these two AFC South teams that have identical records, which explains the three and a half point swing to the Colts. In the end though, I’m not that confident that the Colts will win by a clear touchdown so I’m nervously backing the Texans cover.

Gee’s Pick:          Texans
Dan’s Pick:          Colts

Cardinals @ Dolphins (-1.5)

The Dolphins didn’t just have their six game win streak broken last week, they got pummelled by a Ravens team who for the first time put together an offensive performance that was up to the level of their defence. The Dolphins’ offensive line is beat up, and whilst Ryan Tannehill had improved through the season as Adam Gase has come to understand what the quarterback does and doesn’t do well, he is still not a player you would rest your offence upon. This week they welcome a curiously broken Cardinals team. I have a lot of faith in Bruce Arians and his staff, but the Cardinals have really struggled this season and quarterback Carson Palmer has not looked himself until last week. I was surprised to see them beat Washington last week, but I do wonder if they can get the win this week. I’m finding this a hard game to pick, but I just have a feeling that maybe the Cardinals found something last week against a Washington team I like. The Dolphins will be looking to spring back from a bad loss, but my gut says the Cardinals win this one. Of course my gut has been wrong a lot this season!

Gee’s Pick:          Cardinals
Dan’s Pick:          Dolphins

Vikings @ Jaguars (+3.5)

The Vikings may have lost last week against the Cowboys, but they put up a very credible performance with their defence looking back to its early season form and the offence managing to be a little better. The Jaguars continue to struggle this year and I don’t see them winning, nor being worth a selection even getting these points and playing at home.

Gee’s Pick:          Vikings
Dan’s Pick:          Vikings

Washington @ Eagles (+0.5)

The Eagles struggled badly against the Bengals last week, and a lot is being made of Carson Wentz’s performance. The Eagles are basically putting their trust in Wentz, a rookie quarterback that has a struggling receiver group, a reworked offensive line, and an unreliable running game, so it is hardly a surprise that he is having a rookie wobble. More worrying will be the trouble the Eagles are having on defence, and whilst the secondary has been a problem all season, particularly at corner, the lack of rush is troubling and was not something I was expecting last week. As many questions as there are about Washington’s defence, their offence can hang with most in the league and I expect Washington to have far too much for the Eagles, even if they are on the road.

Gee’s Pick:          Washington
Dan’s Pick:          Washington

Chargers @ Panthers (-1.5)

The Panthers got off to a horrible start with Can Newton benched for the opening play/drive due to team discipline. We can’t know for sure what the plan was because the opening pass was juggled by the Panther’s running back and the Panthers immediately turned the ball over. The Panthers got rolled over by the Seahawks on the road, and return to face the Chargers. The Panthers have had a bad season, and will be able to use an early draft pick to rebound next year, but they have little to play for other than pride this season. This is often over stated as players will always want to put good plays on tape, it is too easy to fall out of the league if you don’t, but they face a definite challenge this week. The Chargers may have lost to the Buccaneers last week, but I still think their record would be better if they were not in this year’s ultra-competitive AFC West, and I fancy them in this week’s game to beat the Panthers on the road. This could be a mistake, but I fancy the 5-7 team to beat the 4-8 one and so that’s what I’m picking.

Gee’s Pick:          Chargers
Dan’s Pick:          Panthers

Jets @ 49ers (-2.5)

This is a hard game for me to call as the 49ers just travelled to Chicago and lost soundly to the Bears, whilst the Jets got drummed on Monday night football. That said, the 49ers won their opening game and haven’t looked like winning another one all season, whilst the Jets have at least won three games. However, the Jets are set to start Bryce Petty at quarterback and that brings up its own host of problems. In the end I’m backing the Jets to cover purely on getting points and not believing that the 49ers have much of a home field advantage, but if I could stay away from this game I would.

Gee’s Pick:          Jets
Dan’s Pick:          Jets

Falcons @ Rams (+6.5)

The Rams have finally had enough information leaked to confirm that Jeff Fisher is remaining their coach having signed an extension in the summer. However, their offence has never got out of first gear whilst their defence has recently given up some big games. This week they welcome a Falcons team who will want to get the taste of last week’s close out of their mouths, and whose offence one more looks like the one ranked number one by DVOA again.

Gee’s Pick:          Falcons
Dan’s Pick:          Falcons

Seahawks @ Packers (+2.5)

This is an interesting game as the Packers have played better in the last couple of weeks, and welcome a Seahawks team that just lost their star safety Earl Thomas. This is a big loss for the Seahawks as Thomas has the rare ability to patrol from side-line to side-line as part of the Seahawks famed cover three coverage. However, I still think they have enough to take care of the Packers as the offensive line looked better after the shock of the injuries in the previous week. I could see Aaron Rodgers winning this game as he has also looked better in recent weeks, but in the end I have more faith in the Seahawks coaching staff and what they have put together this season.

Gee’s Pick:          Seahawks
Dan’s Pick:          Seahawks

Saints @ Buccaneers (-2.5)

The Saints are coming of a bad loss at home to the Detroit Lions, and are now on the road visiting the Buccaneers. This loss probably put paid to their hopes of making the playoffs, whilst the Buccaneers continue their push, and with the Buccaneers at home, I think they will cover this one despite some likely heroics from Drew Brees because that’s what Brees does.

Gee’s Pick:          Buccaneers
Dan’s Pick:          Buccaneers

Cowboys @ Giants (+2.5)

The Giants had their own six game win streak broken last week playing the Steelers, who were able to take advantage of the Giants erratic play. You can only beat the teams put in front of you and no game is a gimme so I don’t want to take lightly the Giants’ run of wins, but the Cowboys have the league’s best record for a reason. The Cowboys might have had some tight wins in recent weeks, but with a long week to prepare and an offence that continues to do its thing, I am confident they have enough to win by three of more on the road in New York, divisional game or not.

Gee’s Pick:          Cowboys
Dan’s Pick:          Cowboys

Ravens @ Patriots (-8.5)

I’m not sure if I trust the Ravens to be able to maintain the offensive performance they found last week, but I trust their defence, which has been good all year. It feels like I have picked against the Patriots covering large spreads and been wrong multiple times, but with the loss of Rob Gronkowski and a defence that on occasions looks suspect, I’m once more backing a team to cover against the Patriots.

Gee’s Pick:          Ravens
Dan’s Pick:          Patriots

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