Here are my Week 13 picks against the spread:
Miami Dolphins -7 over New York Jets (3 units)
Whether Michael Vick or Geno Smith has been under center, the results have generally been the same -- an ineffective offense. The Jets rank 29th in the league in total offense (310.2 yards per game) and 30th in scoring offense (16.1 points per game).
One of the biggest issues with Smith, who will start on Monday night, is his rate of turnovers. In 688 pass attempts over 25 games, Smith has thrown a total of 31 interceptions (and only 19 touchdowns). Meanwhile, the Jets struggle to take the ball away on defense with one of the league's worst secondaries. Only the Raiders (-13) have a worse turnover differential than the Jets (-12) this season. While the Jets struggle to move the ball, the Dolphins have one of the league's best defenses (315.9 YPG, fifth in NFL).
Five of the Jets' past six losses have been by double digits and I wouldn't be surprised if this one turns out similar to their blowout loss to the Bills last week.
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Cincinnati Bengals -4.5 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2 units)
It's now been four games since A.J. Green returned from his toe injury and he's returned to the form that we expect from the stud wide receiver. In his past two games against the Saints and Texans, Green has a total of 18 receptions and has gone over 120-plus yards in each game. Meanwhile, the Bucs are allowing 251.5 passing yards per game and surrendered 21 passing touchdowns.
With Green hitting his stride, the emergence of Jeremy Hill as a power runner between the tackles and the return of Giovani Bernard from injury give the Bengals a dynamic duo out of the backfield.
The Buccaneers have struggled against the spread at home. In their past 27 games as a home underdog, they have covered in only five of those games. In their past 48 home games overall, they are 13-35 ATS.
Pittsburgh Steelers -4 over New Orleans Saints (2 units)
Historically, the Saints have been much better at home than they have been on the road. After winning 10 consecutive home games including all eight of them last season, the Saints have lost three consecutive home games. Now they head to Pittsburgh to get back on track.
Few fan bases are as passionate as Pittsburgh's and I generally like teams coming off byes especially late in the season. And not only are the Steelers coming off their bye, but the Saints played on Monday Night Football, which means are traveling on a short week.
The Saints run defense is not good (123.8 YPG, 4.6 YPC, 12 TDs) and I expect Le'Veon Bell to run at will on them. A do-it-all back, Bell is averaging 4.9 YPC, only Matt Forte has more receptions than Bell among running backs and Bell is on pace for 2,087 yards from scrimmage.
Baltimore Ravens -6.5 over San Diego Chargers (2 units)
Like the Saints, the Ravens have typically had one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL. Since 2010, the Ravens have won 31 of 37 home games during that five-year span.
After dropping three consecutive games prior to their bye, the Chargers have won back-to-back games at home. That said, their wins against the Raiders and Rams were not that impressive.
Not only do the Ravens dominate at home, but it's usually not favorable for west-coast teams playing 1 p.m. games. I think the Ravens win by at least a touchdown in this one.
Note: NFL lines are from sportsbook.ag
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