GLS Picks: Week 13

GLS has the Falcons winning for the sixth time in seven games.

Finally back to earth last week, but at least we had our best week of the year straight up. Thanks to the Seahawks for getting us off to a fast start last night. Now, let’s keep it going.

But before we do, click here for the Red Heat Podcast Week 13 preview, complete with picks for all the games. Challenge yourself to read picks while listening to picks. And then, if you’re feeling bold, make some picks.

Here’s what we’ve been doing…

Last week: 14-2 (7-8-1 against the spread)
2011 season: 112-64 (81-80-15 against the spread)
2010 season: 155-101 (117-119-20 against the spread)
2009 season: 175-81 (122-101-33 against the spread)
2008 season: 161-94-1 (114-112-30 against the spread)
2007 season: 174-82 (118-105-33 against the spread)

And here’s what we’re about to do…


Nightmare matchup for the Giants. New York’s on short rest and is down and out on a three-game losing streak, while the healthy and red-hot Packers are coming in with an extra three days of rest. I want to give the Giants credit for being at home, but they’ve lost to the Seahawks and Eagles in New Jersey already this season. I like Tom Coughlin and I think this team in its regular form would have the spunk to keep this close, but they’ve simply got too many injuries right now. Their season is over, and 6.5 points isn’t close to enough. Packers 35, Giants 21

Nightmare matchup for the Lions. Ndamukong Suh is just the kind of player who you need to slow Drew Brees and the Saints, but he won’t play because of a suspension. Making matters worse, the Lions might be without Louis Delmas, Chris Houston and Brandon McDonald on defense. What a mess. On offense, the Lions would stand a chance if they let Kevin Smith go wild on a mediocre run defense. Problem is, Smith’s not healthy either. New Orleans is too good at home. Detroit’s in big trouble. Saints 42, Lions 20

The Patriots have won their last three games by an average of 23.3 points. And that was against teams that were a combined 13-14 prior to meeting New England. That’s what I have to say to anyone who thinks that a 20-point spread is too much against the winless Colts in New England. This will be a blowout. A big one. Bill Belichick won’t let his team take Indy lightly, and he certainly won’t take his foot off the gas pedal against a longtime rival. Patriots 45, Colts 10 

Backup Quarterback Bowl in Chicago. Both the Chiefs and Bears looked decent enough without their regular starting pivots last week, but now Kansas City is on the road and in one of the toughest places to play in the country. At Soldier Field this year, Chicago has dismantled the Falcons, Vikings, Lions and Chargers — they’ve won six of their last seven overall at home, with the lone loss coming to unbeaten Green Bay. Caleb Hanie’s much better than Tyler Palko, and the Chicago defense is much better at forcing quarterbacks to make mistakes. Bears 24, Chiefs 10

Houston’s only a 2.5-point underdog with T.J. Yates at quarterback. Does the public realize that the Falcons have won five of their last six games and three straight on the road? Do they realize that the Falcons have one of the best run defenses in the league, meaning they should be able to hold Arian Foster and Co. in check and force Yates to do a lot of the work in his first career start? Atlanta’s getting hot — I don’t think Houston can keep up right now. Falcons 31, Texans 20

Are the Rams even trying? I mean, how do you get outscored by 20 points in back-to-back home games against Seattle and Arizona? Now they have to go on the road to play a San Francisco team that will be looking to do damage after a tough loss in Baltimore. With Steven Jackson restricted greatly against the league’s best run defense, look for another methodical 49ers home victory. 49ers 20, Rams 3


Ben Roethlisberger was off his game last week, but he was fresh off a fractured thumb and going up against a great secondary led by Brandon Flowers on the road. Should have seen that coming. This week, he’s had another week to recuperate and is back at home facing a very weak secondary sans Leon Hall. Eventually, Andy Dalton and A.J. Green have to make some rookie mistakes. Against a Pittsburgh defense that is finally getting healthy, that might be the case Sunday. Steelers 30, Bengals 20

This is the exact scenario in which the Ravens lay eggs. It’s happened three times this year already. Big win against a good team followed by shocking road loss against a bad team. But I think it’ll be different this time because they’ve had more time to readjust after a Thanksgiving Game and they’ve heard that they can’t beat inferior opponents, so they might be pretty jacked to send a message. Plus, they’ve always had the Browns’ number. Baltimore’s defense is just too good for a Cleveland team that is actually much worse than its record. Ravens 24, Browns 7

The Bills have been getting killed on the ground, and now they run into Chris Johnson right when he seems to be reemerging as a dangerous offensive weapon. Tennessee’s still alive in the playoff race, while Buffalo’s bubble might have burst with a failed last gasp in Week 12 against the Jets. Titans 20, Bills 17

If Mark Sanchez had that much trouble against the Bills’ depleted defense in New York, how’s he going to fare on the road against a Redskins defense that is gaining confidence after a big win in Seattle and is ranked first in the NFC with 33 sacks? New York’s been terrible away from home this year, while the ‘Skins are coming off a stellar home performance against Dallas and an impressive road victory across the country. The Washington offense is also finding a small groove with Roy Helu and Rex Grossman playing well. They’ll prevail in a close game. Redskins 24, Jets 21


The worst team in the AFC East is a three-point favorite over the best team in the AFC West. That’s the power of travel in this league. It also doesn’t hurt that Miami has won three of four, with the only loss coming by one point in Dallas on short rest. But Miami hasn’t been good at home, while the Raiders are 4-1 on the road (would’ve been 5-0 had they beaten the Bills in a Week 2 thriller). In fact, the Raiders have generally fared quite well travelling across the country in recent seasons. Raiders 23, Dolphins 20

The Cowboys have won four straight, but they barely survived against Washington and Miami, two losing teams. With Miles Austin probably still out and DeMarco Murray coming back to earth, does that mean they’ll be in trouble in Arizona? It’s December now, which means that, if history is any indication, Tony Romo is about to come back to earth. That said, I still think Dallas squeaks another one out, mainly because the Cards are still a really bad team. They’ve won three of four, but they’d actually be 1-3 in that stretch if not for two return touchdowns from Patrick Peterson. Cowboys 26, Cardinals 24


Don’t touch Carolina-Tampa. I mean, the over (47) might be tempting because both teams are terrible defensively, but Josh Freeman’s injury makes that a scary bet, too. Neither team is very good, and regular readers know how much I despise divisional games between crappy teams. Carolina’s playing its third straight road game, and I don’t know how they’re going to stop LeGarrette Blount. That said, they’re gaining confidence as the season wears on, while the Bucs might have started to give up. I’m sticking with the home team by a field goal. Buccaneers 30, Panthers 27

Wait and see on Denver-Minnesota. That’s how important Von Miller is to the Broncos. If Miller plays, the Broncos have a much bigger edge. On paper this would seem to be one-sided, but the Vikings have been good versus the run, which could make things tough on Tim Tebow if he’s forced to throw. I don’t think either team is going to score a lot, especially with Adrian Peterson’s status still up in the air, but the Broncos won’t be the same if Miller can’t play. To boot, the Vikings have been really solid at home all season. I’m thinking the Tebow train gets temporarily derailed in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Vikings 17 Broncos 14

San Diego’s slide just might continue. I know things are a disaster in Jacksonville right now, but the Chargers have been especially bad on the road this year and the Jags were awesome defensively the last time they were in prime time. Maurice Jones-Drew is the best player in this game, and he’ll be the difference for a team that might be fired up to play for a new interim head coach. Jaguars 20, Chargers 17