Hot! NFL Picks: Week 13

Every week, Nick and Mike will examine the NFL lineup of games, check the betting line, and make their predictions against the spread. We will also throw in the result of ESPN.com’s Madden NFL ’13 simulations for some added flavor.

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The Madden simulator dominated last week, posting an impressive 10-6 record. Nick and Mike tied, finishing 8-8. With only five weeks left, it’s coming down to the home stretch.

Looking ahead, Week 13 will go down as 2012’s NFL rivalry week, as it features eight divisional match ups including all four NFC East teams playing a divisional rival. But first up is the Thursday night game between the Atlanta Falcons (10-1) and New Orleans Saints (5-6). 

Feel free to follow the staff of Did You See That?! SPORTS on Twitter and yell at us if you don’t like our picks.

Week 12 Record

Madden Sim 10-6
Nick 8-8
Mike 8-8

Overall Standings

Nick 33-25
Madden Sim 32-26
Mike 29-29

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Thursday Night Football on NFL Network

Saints (+3.5) at Falcons

Nick (ATL): I’m higher than most on the Saints and lower than most on the Falcons, but with the Falcons dominance being called out in the media I think they will bring their A-game in a primetime matchup against one of their most hated rivals. Expect a shoot out and the home team to win by at least a TD.
Mike (NO): My money is on this one being a shootout and a close game, with Falcons narrowly edging out the Saints by a field goal or less — losing against the spread, but remaining perfect at home on the season.
Madden (ATL): The Saints lead 21-13 late in the 4th, but Matt Ryan leads the Falcons to two scoring drives capped off by rushing touchdowns from both Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers. Falcons win, 28-21.  

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Check back Saturday for the rest of our picks.

Cardinals (+4.5) at Jets

Nick (NYJ): Mark Sanchez is bad, but Ryan Lindley is worse. Jets should win this one at home by a TD.
Mike (NYJ): If the Jets can’t win this home game against an equally disappointing Cardinal team, then I don’t know what game they will.
Madden (ARI): The Jets pull of a miraculous comeback in the 4th, scoring 17 unanswered points to beat the Cardinals, 20-16. The Cardinals however, manage to cover the spread.

Panthers (-3.5) at Chiefs

Nick (CAR): The Panthers will look like world beaters compared to the Chiefs, the worst team in the NFL.
Mike (CAR): Cam Newton looked good last week, leading me to believe his play can carry over to this Sunday’s matchup against an abysmal Chiefs team.
Madden (CAR): A two touchdown, zero turnover performance by Cam Newton is more than enough to handle the Chiefs. Panthers win, 21-13. 

Vikings (+9.5) at Packers

Nick (MIN): The Packers may win, but Adrian Peterson will be the best player on the field this Sunday. His ability to run the ball will help the Vikings control the clock and keep it close. 
Mike (MIN): The Packers should win this one, but I don’t see them covering a 9.5 spread.
Madden (GB): Aaron Rodgers rebounds nicely following last weeks disappointing stat line. He throws for over 300 yards and two TDs in a 27-14 Packers victory. 

Colts (+4.5) at Lions

Nick (IND): The Lions are good, but they have a disappointing ability to find ways to lose. The Colts on the other hand know how to find ways to win.
Mike (DET): Detroit shouldn’t be this big of an underdog at home against an unproven Colts team.
Madden (DET): Luck and Stafford light up the stat sheets in a slug fest that goes to overtime. Mikel LeShoure caps off the victory with a seven-yard TD carry to give the Lions a 30-24 win. 

Texans (-4.5) at Titans

Nick (HOU): Even if the Titans keep it close, if the chips are down the Texans will win by scoring a TD, not a field goal.
Mike (HOU): The best team in football has been in too many close games lately. This won’t be one.
Madden (TEN): The Texans are actually trailing in the 4th quarter 20-10, but they manage to score two TDs in the 4th en route to a 24-20 come from behind victory. The Titans cover.

Patriots (-7.5) at Dolphins

Nick (NE): The Patriots are closing in on clinching the division. They will bring their A-game to Miami and crush a B-team at best.
Mike (NE): The Patriots are an an epic offensive tear that should continue in South Florida.
Madden (NE): The good news for quarterback fans is that there are seven TDs and zero INTs thrown in this game. The bad news for the Dolphins is that Tom Brady throws five of them in a 35-17 Patriots win.

Jaguars (+6.5) at Bills

Nick (BUF): Chad Henne’s ascension to starting quarterback has lead the Jaguars to feel better about things lately, but my gut says that the Bills want this one bad and will win by a TD against a weak opponent at home.
Mike (JAX): The Jaguars will continue to play decent ball against Buffalo and should at least cover the spread.
Madden (JAX): Chad Henne does it again. He throws for over 300 yards and two TDs as the Jags upset the Bills in Buffalo, 24-23. 

Seahawks (+4.5) at Bears

Nick (CHI): Another week removed from his concussion, Jay Cutler will lead his team to a convincing win against a mediocre team that plays atrociously on the road.
Mike (CHI): Chicago will be out to prove that they belong atop the NFC.
Madden (CHI): The Bears win 24-16, highlighted by a 72-yard TD reception by Devin Hester in the 4th.

49ers (-7.5) at Rams

Nick (SF): Kaepernick will look to silence his doubters. He should light it up against a Rams team that even let Mark Sanchez look good.
Mike (SF): The Rams passing offense has been subpar their last few games and the Colin Kaepernick-lead 49ers will continue on their strong run.
Madden (SF): With Colin Kaepernick at the helm, the 49ers continue to look like a different team on offense. He throws three TDs, two of which are caught by Randy Moss, in a 31-17 thrashing of the Rams.

Buccaneers (+6.5) at Broncos

Nick (TB): The Bucs offense has been too hot and the Broncos have been playing too ordinarily lately to assume they will blow out Tampa. Tampa needs this one bad and will show it in their play.
Mike (DEN): I have touted the Broncos all season, so I must suggest that Peyton Manning can dispatch the Bucs by a touchdown or more at home.
Madden (TB): Josh Freeman’s two TDs best Peyton Manning’s one, but it’s the Broncos that best the Bucs, 20-17. Tampa Bay covers the spread.

Steelers (+1.5) at Ravens

Nick (BAL): If the Ravens are really one of the AFC’s elite, they should dismantle a Charlie Batch lead offense at home.
Mike (BAL): The spread is too good to pass up against a Pittsburgh team still without Ben Roethlisberger, who rely on him now more than ever.
Madden (BAL): The Steelers are once again done in by turnovers during Ben Roethlisberger’s absence. Charlie Batch throws three INTs as the Ravens win, 20-14. 

Browns (+1.5) at Raiders

Nick (OAK): I know the Raiders have looked dreadful, but they will enter this game believing they can win and will beat the Browns at home.
Mike (OAK): As much as I have liked Cleveland, they looked awful last week by barely squeaking out a victory against a team that turned the ball over eight times.
Madden (OAK): Down 17-14 as time expires, Sebastian Janikowski kicks a 47-yard field goal to send it to OT. Soon after, his 29-yard field goal gives the Raiders a 20-17 win.

Bengals (-1.5) at Chargers

Nick (CIN): The Bengals are better than their 6-5 record suggests and the Chargers are becoming a joke. The Red Rifle will continue to shoot down the opposition.
Mike (CIN): The Bengals have been scoring a ton of points recently. I don’t think the Chargers, who look ready to check out on the season, will keep up.
Madden (CIN): Andy Dalton continues to play impressively during this Bengals win streak. His three TDs leads the Bengals past the Chargers, 28-20.  

Eagles (+7.5) at Cowboys

Nick (DAL): How did the schedule markers not flex a better game into this primetime spotlight? The Cowboys aren’t great, but they will look great against a pathetic and injured Eagles team.
Mike (DAL): Bryce Brown appears to be the only Eagle still trying and the Cowboys need this one to stay in the playoff picture.
Madden (DAL): The Eagles continue their downward spiral as the Cowboys coast to a 27-13 win.

Giants (-2.5) at Redskins

Nick (NYG): The Giants thrive in high pressure situations and while they appear to be in the drivers seat for a playoff spot, a win against the Redskins essentially locks up the division. Eli will look elite again against a weak Redskins secondary.
Mike (WAS): Bob Griffin.
Madden (NYG): Eli Manning shreds the Redskins for three TDs while RGIII only manages to rush for one. The Giants win, 34-23.

* Spreads as of Wednesday, November 28th at 11:15 AM.

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