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I am the Gridiron Great, and I have been handicapping the NFL for a number of years. I've learned the ins and outs of what it takes to beat the bookies at this game, and I know just how difficult it can be. Do you think you can beat me at my own game? Every week that you do, you'll be entered into a grand prize drawing at the end of the season for a $1,000 Oddsmaker Sportsbook account. You can also collect a $100 account from Oddsmaker just by having the most picks correct amongst Cappers Info readers, so long as you beat me!
There is no greater time to try to get into this competition than right now, as every week you beat me gives you another opportunity at that big cash prize at the end of the year. Let's get started right now with my Week 13 picks…
Buffalo Bills @ Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) – I know that the Vikes might be playing this one without RB Adrian Peterson, but how can I back a team that is allowing the most rushing yards in the NFL on the road against a great ground game? RB Toby Gerhart has all of the tools to be a special back in this league, and he'll make good on his start if he gets the opportunity. I know that the Bills haven't lost a game by more than three points in a month and a half, but all of that is going to change on Sunday, as the Leslie Frazier led Vikes are going to be able to take this one by two scores at home to at least keep a false sense of hope alive for a playoff bid. Rock and roll with Minnesota -5.5.
Cleveland Browns (+4.5) @ Miami Dolphins – I'm not so sure why I'm taking Cleveland +4.5 in this one, but I'll call it a gut shot. The Browns are a gritty, gritty team, and though they haven't been able to figure out how to string many wins (or covers, for that matter) together, they can certainly play on the road and win this game outright. I tend to get the feeling that QB Chad Henne is going to do just enough to win this game, and if that's the case, perhaps the Dolphins are going to win by exactly three points. You heard it here first.
Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs (-9) – I hate laying this many points with a Kansas City team that I'm not so convinced is all that good, but I am convinced that this is that bad of a matchup for the Broncos. This was a different scenario a few weeks ago when these two teams met at the Mile High Stadium, as there was a big heaping of revenge that needed to be served up for Denver on the Chiefs. Now, it's payback for the payback. Having already seen this passing game once, Kansas City probably won't be all that fooled, and as long as RB Jamaal Charles and RB Thomas Jones can keep the ball moving on the ground, there is no reason why QB Kyle Orton and company are on the field long enough to do that much damage. Lay the points and go with KC -9.
Washington Redskins (+7) @ New York Giants – Can someone please explain to me why on earth the Giants are in a position where they are always laying a TD at home against a reasonable team? I mean really, let's think this one out logically here. There are just too many injuries for New York to contend with right now, and it was very, very lucky to have beaten the Jacksonville Jaguars last weekend at home when it was, you guessed it, a seven point favorite. Now, I have a stingy Washington team that has proven it can win games in division, even on the road. Yep, I'll take the points and go with Washington +7 in a heartbeat.
San Francisco 49ers (+9.5) @ Green Bay Packers – The Packers are coming off of a fairly awful game against the Atlanta Falcons in which they just couldn't seal the deal. Now, they're coming home in a game that legitimately could be a postseason preview. The 49ers are still probably the best team in the NFC West, and they badly need to take a game like this to get some momentum going for the rest of the year to get to the head of the class. Green Bay isn't going to lose this one, but to win it by double digits seems like an awfully large task. Take the points and back San Fran +9.5.
New Orleans Saints (-7) @ Cincinnati Bengals – I can already hear your whining now. "But Gridiron Great," how are you going to lay seven points on the road with a team that hasn't played that well on the road against a team that really usually plays well at home?" Easy. Watch me. QB Drew Brees is going to rip this Cincinnati defense apart, and covering a TD is going to be as easy as holding the Bungals to about 20 points or so. No problemo. New Orleans -7
Atlanta Falcons (-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – I know that the Bucs have shown some fight in recent weeks, and I know that they really had a chance to win this fixture up in the Georgia Dome. And yes, I even know that the season is on the line for Tampa Bay and that it is probably going to be an incredibly sharp play. But here's what else I see. I see an Atlanta team that usually gets beaten by passing games, not running games, and I see a Bucs team that really just wants to use that short passing attack to avoid making mistakes. You're not going to beat QB Matt Ryan by just trying to avoid mistakes. There really are no other options here for me but to lay the points and go with Atlanta -3.
Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers (-13) – Simply put, I'm not so sure that there is any team in the NFL right now that would be derailing the train that is that of the San Diego Chargers. This is just a well tuned machine that just continues to rip apart everything in its path. The Raiders could compete in this one, but I just don't see it happening. Somehow, QB Philip Rivers will find a way to throw for 300+ yards, and if that happens, RB Mike Tolbert will get his yards as well, and there's no way that Oakland is sticking within two TDs of a team that is coming up with 400 yards.
Carolina Panthers (+6) @ Seattle Seahawks – Gag me with a spoon, please… This the biggest dog game of the day, and it is one that is surely going to stink up the joint… especially if what I think is going to happen comes true. The first team to six in this game wins… and it might just be the Panthers! Go with Carolina +6.
Dallas Cowboys @ Indianapolis Colts (-5.5) – My gut feeling suggests that the carriage for the Cowboys is about to turn into a pumpkin and that the pumpkin for Colts is about to turn back into a carriage again. I don't care what form either team is in right now. QB Peyton Manning is only laying 5.5 points at home against QB Jon Kitna. Someone please tell me what I'm missing here… Indianapolis -5.5.
St. Louis Rams (-3.5) @ Arizona Cardinals – Only in the NFC West can you have one team go on the road and be laying points at the start of the season, cover the spread, and then come back home without any notable injuries three months later to be a 3.5 point underdog… Yet somehow, I have this strange trust in the Rams that we cannot ignore. QB Sam Bradford impresses me quite a bit, as I think the kid should be a Pro Bowler for the way that he has played in the second half of the season. Hey Derek Anderson, this is no laughing matter. Your team is going to get its butt kicked again. St. Louis -3.5.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens (-3) – Remember to make your tiebreaker picks in this game!!! This is a tough game that is going to be very difficult to make a call on. I'm just happy that I don't have to publically make a pick for the New England Patriots/New York Jets game (though for the record, I'd go with New York +3.5)… These two AFC North rivals are really just matched up dead evenly, just as they are seemingly each and every campaign. The confidence has to be brimming from the Ravens though, as they already have that last second win in Pittsburgh to bank on. Sure, QB Ben Roethlisberger is playing in this one and he was out of that one, but this game isn't in the Steel City either. Baltimore -3.
Buffalo Bills @ Minnesota Vikings (-5.5)
Cleveland Browns @ Miami Dolphins (-4.5)
Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs (-9)
Washington Redskins @ New York Giants (-7)
San Francisco 49ers @ Green Bay Packers (-9.5)
New Orleans Saints (-7) @ Cincinnati Bengals
Atlanta Falcons (-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers (-13)
Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks (-6)
Dallas Cowboys @ Indianapolis Colts (-5.5)
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens (-3)