Week 12 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Hanson
Overall, it's been a highly successful 11 weeks of picks against the spread (24-12, 66.7 percent) for me this year, but I've had my first losing week (1-2 ATS) in quite a while last week.
While these picks are for entertainment purposes only, it's far more "entertaining" to be right than wrong. Expecting to get back on track after last week's minor blip, I feel much more confident in this week's picks.
With that said, here are my Week 13 picks against the spread:
Not only were the Colts beat down by the Patriots last week, but they suffered a couple of key injuries on offense with Ahmad Bradshaw being placed on IR and Dwayne Allen being ruled out for this week. That said, I expect the Colts to bounce back in a big way this week against the Jaguars.
Even without Bradshaw and Allen, Andrew Luck should have a huge game against the Jaguars, who rank 26th in the NFL in pass defense (261.9 YPG allowed). Luck is on pace for 5,420 passing yards and 45 touchdowns this season. Second behind only Drew Brees' record nine-game streak, Luck has thrown for 300-plus yards in eight consecutive games.
Although the spread is large, the Jaguars rank last in the NFL in averaging scoring margin (-12.4) and seven of their nine losses have been by double digits. In the game following their previous 16 losses, the Colts have covered all but one of those games. In addition, the Colts have a 10-game cover streak versus fellow AFC South foes.
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Without a doubt, the Eagles are a much better team than the Titans. Even though the Eagles were blown out in the previous game, there is the potential that they get caught looking ahead. Both the Eagles and Cowboys are tied at 7-3 in the NFC East and the Eagles will have to travel to Big D for an NFC East showdown on Thanksgiving.
And while I think the Eagles are a better team than the Titans, as noted above, they have some weaknesses. Specifically, their pass defense is among the league's worst as they have surrendered 263.0 yards per game, 28th in the NFL, and only the Jets (25) and Bears (24) have allowed more passing touchdowns than the Eagles (22) this season.
This could potentially be a garbage-time back-door cover, but I think the Titans keep this game within double digits.
Last week, I picked the Bears to cover despite several logical factors suggesting an opposite pick. Even with last week's cover, the Bears have covered only two of their past 14 home games and only eight of their past 26 games overall.
That's not good ... unless you've been picking against the Bears.
In a homecoming off sorts for Lovie Smith and Josh McCown, the Bucs have been playing better recently. McCown has thrown for 288-plus yards and two touchdowns in his two games since once again becoming the team's starter. As noted earlier, the Bears secondary can be exploited and Mike Evans has been nearly unstoppable with 21 catches for 458 yards and five touchdowns in his past three games.
Although I don't expect them to win the game outright, the Bucs, who have had fourth-quarter leads in six of their past seven games, should be able to keep this game close and get the cover.
-> All of our 2014 NFL Weekly Picks Against the Spread will be tracked here.
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