Hot! NFL Picks: Week 14

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

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Week 13 proved to be our worst week yet. Nick (6-10) posted the best record, edging Mike (5-11) by a game, while the Madden simulator ended with an embarrassing 3-13 result. With three weeks left in the regular season, only one of us remains above .500 on the year. Yeeesh!

This week’s featured game of the week is the MNF matchup pitting the Houston Texans at the New England Patriots in a possible preview of the AFC championship game.

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

Week 13 Record

Nick 6-10
Mike 5-11
Madden Sim 3-13

Overall Standings

Nick 39-35
Madden Sim 35-39
Mike 34-40

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Thursday Night Football on NFL Network

Denver (-10.5) at Oakland

Nick (OAK): This game means so much more to Oakland than it does to Denver, and playing at home in a primetime slot against a division rival pretty much makes this the Raiders’ Super Bowl. Expect them to lose, but cover the spread.
Mike (DEN): The Raiders have been outscored 189-96 in their last five games. The Broncos, meanwhile, are looking for their 8th straight win. I don’t think Denver will let their foot off the gas until they get a first-round playoff bye.
Madden (DEN): Peyton Manning tosses three TDs and over 300 yards passing en route to a big 38-20 Broncos victory. 

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St. Louis (+3.5) at Buffalo

Nick (BUF): The Buffalo cold weather will not be as comfy to the Rams as their Edward Jones Dome. The Bills will find a way to win this one.
Mike (BUF): The Rams have been vulnerable against the run. The Bills and their envious run game, featuring CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson, will dominate time of possession and grind out the win.
Madden (STL): The two gritty teams take this one to OT, where Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein converts a field a goal to give the Rams a 23-20 win.

Kansas City (+5.5) at Cleveland

Nick (KC): When the Browns win, they don’t win by much. 5.5 is too many points to give anyone facing Cleveland, and even the lowly Chiefs will prove that.
Mike (KC): Love me some Browns, but Nick is right, when they win, they barely pull it off.
Madden (KC): Trent Richardson rushes for a TD and helps set up Phil Dawson’s game winning field goal in the 4th to give the Browns a 20-17 win. The Chiefs cover the spread.

Philadelphia (+7.5) at Tampa Bay

Nick (TB): Tampa Bay needs to win out to keep it’s playoff hopes alive. Doug Martin will gash the Eagles disappointing defense in a two score victory for the Bucs.
Mike (TB): Tampa will look to get back on track with another offensive explosion. Philly’s D won’t be able to contain them.
Madden (PHI): Josh Freeman and Nick Foles both throw for over 250 yards and two TDs, but Doug Martin’s 90 rushing yards and rushing TD prove to be the difference in the Bucs 27-20 victory. The Eagles cover the spread.  

New York Jets (-2.5) at Jacksonville

Nick (NYJ): The Jets were blessed with the weakest schedule imaginable to try and pull off a miraculous run at a playoff spot. Sanchez needs to have a big game and the Jaguars pass defense might make even him look good.
Mike (NYJ): I’ll say it again: If the Jets can’t beat lowly teams like the Cardinals and Jaguars, then they are far worse than anyone has feared.
Madden (NYJ): Mark Sanchez plays awful, completing only 14-32 passes and throwing two INTs, but it doesn’t take much to beat the Jaguars and the Jets prove it in a 24-21 win. 

San Diego (+6.5) at Pittsburgh

Nick (PIT): Roethlisberger is back, and he’ll be better than ever. The Chargers look lost.
Mike (SD): Normally I’d be all over the Chargers and how terrible they are. Gotta mix it up a bit.
Madden (PIT): Madden incorrectly guesses that Charlie Batch is going to play, but the Chargers continue to struggle as they fall 24-18.

Chicago (-3.5) at Minnesota

Nick (MIN)The Bears seem to be coming down to earth, and Jared Allen will feast on what has been an unreliable offensive line for Jay Cutler. The Adrian Peterson’s will not disappoint.
Mike (MIN): I need a big day from Mr. Peterson to make it into my fantasy league’s playoffs.
Madden (CHI): The Vikings enter the fourth quarter down 24-7 and although they outscore the Bears by 10 in the quarter, it proves too little too late as the Bears hold on to win 27-20.

Atlanta (-3.5) at Carolina

Nick (ATL): What’s up with this spread? The Falcons will try to lock up the one seed, and won’t fail.
Mike (ATL): If this were last season, this game would be a shootout with a tight finish. Unfortunately for Carolina, this is not last season.
Madden (ATL): The Panthers put up a fight against the 11-1 Falcons, entering the fourth quarter trailing by a field goal. However, Michael Turner punches in an 11 yard TD run to give the Falcons a 23-13 victory. 

Dallas (+3.5) at Cincinnati

Nick (CIN): The Cowboys and Bengals are fighting for their playoff lives. The Bengals will expose the Cowboys as frauds, and themselves as legitimate contenders. 
Mike (CIN): I think it will be the Redskins who will pose the bigger threat to the Giant’s inevitable late season swoon. Cincy has been great of late.
Madden (DAL): Both teams need this game badly, but it’s Tony Romo who bests Andy Dalton when all is said and done. Romo finds Dwayne Harris for the game-winning nine yard TD in the fourth to give the Cowboys a much needed 27-22 win.

Tennessee (+5.5) at Indianapolis

Nick (IND): Andrew Luck is a star, and he will continue to shine against a disappointing Titans team.
Mike (IND): Andy Luck.
Madden (IND): The Colts trail 14-7 at halftime, but Andrew Luck throws two TD passes in the third quarter and Indianapolis never looks back. They win 24-14. 

Baltimore (+0.5) at Washington

Nick (WAS): The Redskins are on a roll, and nothing about the way the Ravens are playing suggests they will be able to stop RGIII.
Mike (WAS): Grobert Riffin the Third and his ‘Skins will put a lot of pressure on the Giants for the division.
Madden (WAS): RGIII’s two early INTs leave Redskins fans worried, but Bob bests the Ravens when all is said and done. The Redskins win 20-17. 

Miami (+10.5) at San Francisco

Nick (MIA): The 49ers will not lose, but simply put, I think 10.5 is too big a spread not to take my chances with.
Mike (SF): San Francisco will bounce back from an ugly loss to take out the vanilla Dolphins by a big margin.
Madden (MIA): The Dolphins play hard, but Frank Gore makes his fantasy owners proud, rushing for 139 yards and two TDs as the Niners win 21-13. Miami covers the spread. 

New Orleans (+6.5) at Giants

Nick (NYG): If the Giants are really contenders, they will shift into playoff gear and not allow a disappointing Saints team to embarrass them in their building. Expect a lot of TDs, and Eli Manning to strike last.
Mike (NO): Big mistake by JPP to slight Drew Brees in the media. Giants will collapse late, as usual.
Madden (NO):  Eli Manning and Drew Brees put on an elite display, as both throw for 350+ yards and three TDs. Manning’s Giants prevail in the end, beating the Saints in a shootout 37-31. The Saints cover the spread. 

Arizona (+10.5) at Seattle

Nick (SEA): Russell Wilson’s playing at such a high level, that I see him having a huge game in a very important game. The Cardinals offense is such a wreck they might not even score a point.
Mike (SEA): Seattle is the toughest place to play. Even with John Skelton returned to ‘Zona QB duties, the Cards are going to play ugly today.
Madden (ARI): Marshawn Lynch runs wild, gaining 133 yards and a touchdown on only 14 carries in a 17-9 Seahawks victory. The Cardinals cover the spread. 

Detroit (+6.5) at Green Bay

Nick (DET): Something just doesn’t seem right with the Packers. Aaron Rodgers is great, but Stafford will have huge numbers and help his Lions at worst cover the spread.
Mike (GB): I need Aaron Rodgers to play like it’s 2011 for the sake of both my fantasy teams.
Madden (DET): The Lions hang with the Packers till the end, but the Packers hold on to win 30-24, as Aaron Rodgers completes 26 of 32 passes and throws two TDs. The Lions cover the spread. 

Houston (+4.5) at New England

Nick (NE): The Patriots have a chance to make a run at the number one seed. Their offense has been unstoppable and not even the Texans D will stand in their way. Brady might really light it up on MNF.
Mike (HOU): Only a team or two are capable of slowing the Pats. I think Houston is one.
Madden (HOU): This game proves to be a nail biter as the Texans, down 17-7 entering the fourth, fight back to get within two. The Texans however, fail to stop the Pats from converting a first down with a minute remaining, and the Pats hold on to win 23-21. The Texans cover the spread. 

* Spreads as of Wednesday, December 5th at 1:45 PM.

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