It was yet another split weekend. The good news is that St. Louis had a great game - they not only covered the spread as underdogs, but won outright to pay off on the moneyline. The bad news was that the Bills continued to be impressively tough, and they kept it very close against Pittsburgh so the Steelers couldn’t cover. Actually, Pittsburgh was lucky not to lose outright - the winning TD was in a Buffalo receiver’s hand and absolutely should have been a catch.
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We’ve been splitting these picks too many weeks now, so here’s hoping these Week 13 NFL picks and odds break that trend in a positive way:
Atlanta (-2) at Tampa Bay (Sunday, December 5, 4 pm ET)
This isn’t a question of disrespecting the Buccaneers. They are performing at a higher level than they should be given their level of talent, but they are doing it by hard work and surprisingly good coaching. Still, I find it hard to imagine that they can stand up to what has become a very good Atlanta attack.
The Falcons have won five in a row, and they are averaging more than 29 points per game over the course of that stretch. They are a better home team than they are on the road, but they have still won three of their last four on the road. They have also won four in a row against these Bucs, so they are comfortable in this position.
Atlanta is in strong form, and they are highly motivated here as well - with every win they come closer to not only making the playoffs, but also securing home field advantage through the playoffs.
Tampa Bay lost to Atlanta a month ago in Georgia. In their last four games they have beaten the two struggling teams they have played - Carolina and San Francisco - and have lost to the two good teams - Atlanta and Baltimore. That has been a consistent trend this year - the Bucs have beaten the teams they need to beat, but has struggled against the elite teams.
The Falcons are unquestionably elite, and they only need to win this one by a field goal, so this is a nice spot for the Falcons, and by extension for those of us who want to bet on them.
St. Louis (-3) at Arizona (Sunday, December 5, 4 pm ET)
This game opened at -3. It can still be found there, though it’s moving to 3.5, and will likely be at least there by game time. If you like the Rams like I do then the sooner you bet on them, the better. Arizona has won the last eight meetings between these squads - including one earlier this year - so betting on the Rams would require the end of a long trend.
The field seems to be set for that, though. Arizona has lost six in a row, and they have looked worse and worse as the season has gone along. Derek Anderson capped the last game with one of the more ridiculous post-game tirades in recent history. The Cardinals lack direction, their QB situation is a joke, the defense has been lousy - they are bordering on hopeless.
The Rams are a very different case. Sam Bradford is playing nothing like a rookie - especially in recent weeks. They are in first place in the pathetic NFC West despite being below .500, and they seem to have a team-wide belief in what they are doing.
When you have a team with a great attitude and solid recent form going up against a team in a deep funk, the decision is often reasonably easy. When the team with the good attitude is also the more talented squad then the pick becomes clear.
I’d like the Rams at -3.5, but I really like them at -3.
Jason Sharpe has been excellent for his expert football picks at Doc’s Sports, and he has shown a profit in 13 of 16 weeks for his NFL handicapping and college football picks and $100 players are up $4,600 on the season! He sees some weak NFL point spreads on the board this week and is very excited to extend his current run. Also this week he will have a 6-Unit Underdog Game of the Year.