NFL Picks, Week 13: Falcons-Texans, Packers-Giants, Lions-Saints And More

GREEN BAY WI - DECEMBER 26: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is chased out of the pocket against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on December 26 2010 in Green Bay Wisconsin. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The oddsmakers anoint Tim Tebow as a road favorite, think the Falcons are evenly matched with the Texans, and figure the Packers just might be human after all. Week 13 picks are here!

The picks:

Atlanta @ Houston (PICK). This line has shifted from Atlanta (-2 1/2) to a pick 'em in 24 hours time - which means the nation's gamblers aren't behind a potentially Michael Turner-less Falcons offense. And there's definitely something there - Jason Snelling doesn't have Turner's power, and Jacquizz Rodgers isn't built to push past first contact. But betting on the Texans means betting on rookie quarterback T.J. Yates, and I have enough faith in Atlanta's pass attack to not resort to that. PICK: Atlanta

Tennessee @ Buffalo (-1 1/2). The Bills are finally home after a wretched three week road trip (0-3, combined score 107-39). In that time, they've gone from a hopeful 5-3 to an out-of-it 5-6, and I have to think the team's psyche is a bit shattered. The Titans are just good enough to take advantage of that. PICK: Tennessee

Kansas City @ Chicago (-7). Or, in other words, Tyler Palko @ Caleb Hanie. And I just refuse to lay this many points at the feet of an unproven quarterback. Hell, most of the game's points will probably be defensive. PICK: Kansas City

Oakland @ Miami (-3 1/2). The Dolphins have become late season darlings, after reeling off three big wins and a close Thanksgiving day loss to Dallas. However, the Raiders have looked fairly impressive lately as well, and there's one crucial difference: those men in black are still playing for something. PICK: Oakland

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh (-8 1/2). Didn't we just watch this game? Yeah, turns out we did just three weeks ago, when the Steelers won by a touchdown in Cin-City. See, though, that's the most points Cincinnati has lost by this year - they haven't dropped a single one by more than seven. They'll keep that streak alive today. PICK: Cincinnati

Carolina @ Tampa Bay (PICK). Josh Freeman is out, and Josh Johnson will be under center. Sorry, I'm not picking against a team that relies so heavily on people named Josh, you guys. They might need me. (Yep, that's the depth of rationale behind many of these picks. Embarrassed you've read this far?). PICK: Tampa Bay

NY Jets (-2 1/2) @ Washington. Shame we can't bet on things like "how many times the average viewer will cut themselves, just to feel something." Some awful, ugly football on deck in the nation's capital today. PICK: Washington

Denver (-1) @ Minnesota. Go ahead, bet Minnesota. Put your money against Him. I dare you. PICK: Denver

Indianapolis @ New England (-20 1/2). Much talk about this game getting one of the NFL's largest spreads in history, and yes, you'd be historically correct in betting the underdog of any 20-point-plus match-up. Those games, though, didn't feature a remorseless cyborg coach wanting to exact bloodlust on his biggest rival. We'd have to hit 30 before I'd start thinking Colts here. PICK: New England

Baltimore (-7) @ Cleveland. The Ravens have enjoyed an extended break (having last played on Thanksgiving day), and have won four-of-five, most against very good teams. The Browns are 2-8 in their last 10, including a recent loss to the hapless Rams. So naturally, I'm pushing in my chips with Cleveland. Just feels right. PICK: Cleveland

Dallas (-4 1/2) @ Arizona. Both teams are doing some rather unceremonious winning of late (Dallas with four straight, Arizona with three-out-of-four), but Dallas puts its first nail in the NFC East coffin with a victory. Motive equals a road win. PICK: Dallas

Green Bay (-6 1/2) @ NY Giants. The marquee match-up of Week 13, at least until the game actually begins. The Giants made Drew Brees look like, well, Aaron Rodgers last week, so I'm thinking the real Rodgers will look even better. PICK: Green Bay

St. Louis @ San Francisco (-14). Will there be a more inexplicable NFL victory in 2011 than the Rams over the Saints? The Colts would have to win today to even think of matching that. PICK: San Francisco

Detroit @ New Orleans (-8 1/2). I'm not really understanding the size of this spread, which means a gambler should be sprinting New Orleans' way. But as an Atlanta native and life-long Falcons fan, that kind of action just ain't in the blood. PICK: Detroit

San Diego (-3) @ Jacksonville. Fdafdafda. No, that's not a misprint - that's actually what I type as a placeholder each week before figuring out what I'm going to write. In this case, though, I feel it's the most insightful analysis I can provide about this horrible Monday night game. (And remember, the Jags are back on prime time in only two weeks!). PICK: Jacksonville

For the rest of the season, the Thursday game pick will be posted that day to Twitter: follow @joshmassey1

Last week: 11-5-0
Thursday's game:
Yearly total: 99-74-4

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