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NFL Pro Football 2012 Week 13 Picks

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Pro Football Week 13 Picks - late games

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 13 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | November 29 - December 3, 2012

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, November 29

New Orleans at Atlanta (-3, 56) 8:20 pm - The 5-6 Saints ran into a stone wall at San Francisco last week, losing, 31-21, after reeling off three straight wins. On the outside, looking in at the playoff picture, a win here by the Saints would be a huge positive, but they face an uphill climb against NFC South rival Atlanta.

The Saints did beat the Falcons, 31-27, just three short weeks ago, so the task at hand is not an insurmountable one, but surely Atlanta deserves an edge laying at home in the Georgia Dome.

Atlanta has lost four straight to the Saints and haven't beaten them in Atlanta since 2008, but look for that streak to end. A win by Atlanta - improving them to 11-1 - with a loss by the Buccaneers at Denver on Sunday would clinch the division.

Prediction: Falcons 30 Saints 24


Sunday, December 2

Seattle at Chicago (-4, 37 1/2) 1:00 pm - The Bears looked like a different team with Jay Cutler back at QB, demolishing the Vikings, 28-10, remaining in first place in the NFC North thanks to the Giants upending the Packers on Sunday night.

The Seahawks are smarting after losing at Miami, 24-21, and need to get back on track in a hurry if they wish to remain viable as a playoff team. Chicago is unlikely to have such an easy time as they did against the Vikings, but are at home - where they are 5-1 - for the second straight week, a sizable advantage against the Seahawks, who are a poor 1-5 as a road team.

Bears should have enough in the tank to win by a touchdown or more.

Prediction: Bears 23 Seahawks 16


Minnesota at Green Bay (-9, 46 1/2) 1:00 pm - Minnesota made too many mistakes and turnovers against the Bears last week and need to fix their giveaway issues, which is not going to be easy in Green Bay.

Both teams are returning off losses, but the Packers had won four straight before laying a 38-10 egg against the Giants, while the Vikings seem to be fading, having lost three of their last four.

Making matters worse for Minnesota, they're on the road for the second straight week. On the positive side, they're 8-4 ATS in their last 12 games at Lambeau, a significant stat. As has been proven so often in this and past seasons, it's tough to cover giving divisional opponents more than a touchdown.

Packers will win in a surprise squeaker.

Prediction: Packers 30 Vikings 26


San Francisco (-8, 40) at St. Louis 1:00 pm - The last time these two met on the field together - just three short weeks ago - the resultant 24-all tie was pleasing to neither.

Can it happen again? Unlikely, though what is probable is that the Rams will put up a good fight at home, especially after getting their first win since October 4, at Arizona last week, 31-17.

Another issue is the QB situation in SF. Colin Kaepernick looked completely in control in two wins in relief of injured (concussion) Alex Smith, but coach Jim Harbaugh insists Smith will be back behind center this week.

Mistake? We'll find out, but the 49ers looked better with Kaepernick running the show. Rams will keep it close.

Prediction: 49ers 24 Rams 21


--- Story continues below ---


Arizona at NY Jets (-4 1/2, 37) 1:00 pm - At 4-7, the Jets should probably give Tim Tebow a shot at starting QB, but everybody knows how stubborn Rex Ryan is about his current starter, Mark Sanchez, even though he is one of the NFL's worst, statistically.

Fortunately for the Jets, they face an Arizona team that has face-planted, losing seven straight after a 4-0 start. The Cardinals are the second-lowest scoring team in the league, at 16.4 ppg, a number the Jets' defenders have to love.

The Jets aren't much better, so the line is probably fine, especially taking the points in a game nobody really wants to see.

Prediction: Cardinals 23 Jets 20


Carolina (-3, 40 1/2) at Kansas City 1:00 pm - This is basically a no-look pick, or maybe a drive-bye. The Chiefs have the league's lowest point output, scoring just 14.6 ppg, while the Panthers at least have Cam Newton, whose smile has returned after Carolina has emerged victorious twice in the last four weeks, including Monday night's 30-22 victory at Philly.

Short week and travel, usually a problem for most teams, won't matter much to the young Newton and his troops. Remember, they are facing a team that's 1-10. 0-6 at home and losers of eight straight. Why end those trends?

Prediction: Panthers 31 Chiefs 17


Indianapolis at Detroit (-4 1/2, 51) 1:00 pm - Maybe the most interesting game of the week pits two of the league's young guns - Indy's Andrew Luck and Detroit's Matthew Stafford - against one another in a truly pivotal battle.

The Colts are currently a wild card team, while the 4-7 Lions must win in order to get a little closer to some of the faders in the NFC.

Both teams have the ability to light it up, but Detroit's defense is prone to giving up big plays and making stupid mistakes. They probably lead the league in personal fouls. However, the Lions need this one badly, and, if history is any kind of reliable guide, when the Colts lose, they lose big, their closest defeat a five-point loss to Jacksonville.

If the Jags can beat these guys by five, Detroit should win by a bunch more.

Prediction: Lions 34 Colts 21


--- Story continues below ---


Jacksonville at Buffalo (-6, 45) 1:00 pm - This is a very fat spread favoring a team that's 4-7. However, Jacksonville is 2-9, hopelessly out of the playoff picture while Buffalo is coming off a tough 20-13, loss at Indianapolis in which the refs did as much to win the game for the Colts as Andrew Luck.

That said, the Bills are a feisty gang, desperate for a win, and pretty healthy, with both running backs - Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller - in good form.

No team allows more yards per game - 410.5 - than the Jags, except for the Saints, but then the Jags don't have Drew Brees at QB either. This one may hurt.

Prediction: Bills 34 Jaguars 20


New England (-8, 51) at Miami 1:00 pm - No team is more offensive than the Patriots. Just ask the Dolphins, who have the pleasure of playing them twice every season.

New England clicks at 37 points per contest, clearly the best output in the league (Houston is second at 29.7).

At first glance, this looks like another rout for the Pats, but there's Miami, at 5-6, in second place in the AFC East. If they envision any chances of catching the Patriots, this becomes a must-win game. The defense is pretty good, allowing 20.5 ppg, tied for ninth-best in the league, they're getting eight points at home against a divisional opponent and they won last week, 24-21, over a decent Seattle squad.

The Dolphins are worth a shot to cover.

Prediction: Patriots 31 Dolphins 27


Houston (-6, 47) at Tennessee 1:00 pm - Tennessee. Ouch! That 24-19 loss at Jacksonville was a real stinker and put you at 4-7 with the 10-1 Texans coming to town.

Earlier this year, you lost at Houston, 38-14. You lose again.

Prediction: Texans 27 Titans 13

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2012, 2013, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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