OK, so I’m done betting against the New Orleans Saints. I’m tapping out. Each of the last two weeks I’ve gone against Drew Brees and company, and each of the previous two weeks they’ve crammed a football down my throat. So no more.
Instead, I’m turning my attention to other games that provide value, but also provide Not Betting Against The Covering Juggernaut Saints value, which is the most valuable value of all.
Buccaneers (+3.5) vs. Panthers
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the Panthers have been pretty mediocre the last few weeks. After starting the season 6-2, the Panthers have lost three straight, falling to the Steelers, Lions and Seahawks. The first two of those losses came on the road, and this week the Panthers travel down to Tampa where they’re favored.
But should they be? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to argue that the Bucs are a good team, but they’re an offense that’s capable of putting up points. Tampa ranks ninth in the NFL in points per game at 26.7, and 13th in points per play. Now they’ll be at home facing a Panthers defense that has allowed 102 points in its last three games. Give me the Bucs and the points. Panthers 31, Bucs 28
Lions (+10) vs. Rams
This is just too many points for a home dog. I understand that the Rams are one of the best teams in the NFL and that they’re coming off a bye, but the Lions will have had over a week off before this one themselves as they last played on Thanksgiving day. Also, as good as the Rams may be, they’re still a team that is allowing 25.6 points per game. That’s skewed a bit by their last game against the Chiefs, but it’s still not a great defense.
If I’m going to lay 10 points with a team on the road, they better have a great defense. Even if the Lions seem to be looking at 2019 already, they’re good enough at home to avoid being embarrassed in this game. Rams 31, Lions 23
Chargers at Steelers (Under 52)
What’s the Chargers offense going to look like without Melvin Gordon? Perhaps more importantly, what will my fantasy teams look like without Melvin Gordon? Seriously, I’m in the playoff hunt in both of my leagues, and I have Gordon in both of my leagues. I’m legitimately terrified right now. I think the Chargers should be too because Gordon is the engine of their offense.
Still, that doesn’t mean this Chargers team can’t hang with the Steelers. Philip Rivers is still Philip Rivers, and this Chargers defense is capable of getting after Big Ben. So instead of betting the spread, I’m going to look at this total for value. Steelers 27, Chargers 21
What NFL picks can you make with confidence in Week 13? And which Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which NFL teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that has beaten 98 percent of experts over the past two years, and find out.
SportsLine Pick of the Week
Baltimore Ravens at Atlanta Falcons: The Atlanta Falcons host the Baltimore Ravens Sunday afternoon. The Falcons are currently 1-point favorites with the total set at 48. I have an additional play available for this game, but it’s only available on my SportsLine page.