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Expert Week 13 NFL Free Football Predictions

NFL: REDSKINS NEED TO KEEP PACE

Will desperation lead the Redskins to a much-needed victory and a payday on Sunday?

With 93% of the action on the Giants as 3 ½-point favorites, Sportsbook.com members obviously don’t think it will.

Desperate to keep pace with the Dallas Cowboys and other NFC Wild Card contenders, the Redskins are desperate for a victory over the rival New York Giants at home on Sunday.

Washington needs to prove they can hang with the best in the NFL after their recent skid and a victory over the defending champs would prove that, and put them in a good position for a playoff berth.

This NFC East battle highlights the early action in the NFL this weekend and we’ve got a preview of the best matchups right here:

New York Giants (-3.5) @ Washington Redskins

The weekly chain of huge NFC East showdowns continues with the 10-1 Giants visiting 7-4 Washington.

New York got a step closer to home field advantage in the NFC with its win at Arizona last weekend and maintains a three-game lead in the division standings. Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin’s team is a perfect 3-0 straight up and against the spread (ATS) against East foes in ’08, and 4-1 straight up and ATS on the road as well.

Dating back to ‘07, the defending champs are 13-1 ATS away from home.

The Redskins enter off an important win at Seattle to break a two-game losing streak but need to improve at home, where they’ve lost their last four ATS.

In the season opener between these teams, New York won 16-7, snapping a three-game SU & ATS winning streak by the visitor in the series.

Six of the last seven meetings in Washington have gone OVER the total.

Free NFL Pick: NY Giants by 9

 

New Orleans Saints (+4) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New Orleans and Tampa Bay met in Week 1 with the Saints winning 24-20 at home. That game was all the Bucs needed to jumpstart the season, as they’ve gone 8-2 straight up and 7-3 ATS since

This past Sunday, Tampa was able to shake off a 17-0 deficit in Detroit to win 38-20.

This week’s matchup lays out well for coach John Gruden’s Bucs, as they are 17-6 ATS in their last 23 games against excellent passing teams averaging 7.5 passing yards per attempt or more.

Tampa is also unbeaten at home in five games this season, allowing just 11.2 points per game while going 4-1 ATS.

The Saints, on the other hand, are allowing 29.8 points per game in six road games, giving the hosts a sizeable defensive edge.

The last three meetings of these teams in Tampa have gone OVER the total.

Free NFL Pick: Tampa Bay 24, New Orleans 22

 

Carolina Panthers (+3) @ Green Bay Packers

Green Bay and Carolina have their sights set on divisional titles, but both figure to be in a dogfight the rest of the way.

The Panthers’ loss last Sunday dropped their record to 8-3 on the season and all of their remaining games are against current playoff contenders.

The Packers record isn’t as shiny, but their schedule is much softer. Coach Mike McCarthy’s team opened as a three-point favorite and boasts a 3-2 SU & ATS record at home.

In terms of key trends, Green Bay is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 second-half home games against good teams that are outscoring opponents by 6+ points per game.

However, the Panthers are 17-5 ATS against poor rushing defenses allowing more than 130 rushing yards per game.

Green Bay owns a 2-1 SU & 3-0 ATS edge in the last three meetings against Carolina, including a 31-17 home win in ’07.

Free NFL Pick: Green Bay 24, Carolina 20

 

NFL: PATS HOPES REST WITH CASSEL

The New England Patriots need a big game from quarterback Matt Cassel to prevail against the league’s top defense.

The Pittsburgh Steelers allow just 235.4 yards of offense a game and will pose a big challenge for the first-year starter in New England but 61% of bettors think he can get the job done.

The fact that Pittsburgh allows just 66.5 rushing yards per game means that the young quarterback will be forced to throw the ball if New England is to win, adding to the pressure in this crucial AFC contest between playoff contenders.

This matchup highlights the late afternoon NFL schedule on Sunday and here’s a look at the games:

Pittsburgh Steelers (+1) @ New England Patriots

Pittsburgh visited New England in a high profile game a year ago and in the face of guarantees by Steelers’ players, the Patriots prevailed 34-13.

The extra motivation helped propel New England to its only ATS win in its final nine games of the ’07 season and the stakes are again high for this Week 13 matchup.

At 8-3, Pittsburgh leads the AFC North and the 7-4 Pats in the thick of the playoff race as well. Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s team has owned the Steelers of late, going 6-2 straight up and 7-1 ATS in the last eight head-to-head meetings.

New England also owns the matchup edge, with a 22-9 ATS home record vs. good defenses giving up 17 points per game or less.

Pittsburgh has played very well on the road though, going 4-1 straight up and 3-2 ATS while allowing just 3.9 yards per play.

Free NFL Pick:  New England 22, Pittsburgh 20

 

Atlanta Falcons (+4.5) @ San Diego Chargers

Atlanta and San Diego are in positions where they can’t afford to lose too many more games if they are to keep their playoff hopes in place.

Of course, after last week’s win over Carolina, Atlanta’s room for error is much greater while nothing shy of a win over the Falcons will do for San Diego.

The Chargers are just 1-6 all-time vs. Atlanta, having not won in the head-to-head series since 1988. Other trends indicate the Chargers have the edge here though.

San Diego is 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games against teams averaging 130 rushing yards per game or more, while Atlanta has gone just 9-25 in the second half of the season against offenses scoring 24 points per game or more.

However, the Falcons are on an 11-5 ATS run against the AFC, including two wins in this year.

Free NFL Pick: San Diego by 5

 

Kansas City Chiefs (+3) @ Oakland Raiders

In the span of the last 20 weeks of NFL regular season action, the Chiefs and Raiders have won just six games combined.

As crazy as it sounds, Oakland owns five of those victories, the latest coming in a huge upset last week in Denver.

Kansas City has been that bad, losing 19 of its last 20 games, a franchise mark for futility. HC Herm Edwards’ team may have hit rock bottom in losing to Buffalo last week while allowing 51 points.

Over their last seven games, the Chiefs are allowing 32.4 points per game, however, they are 8-3 straight up & 9-2 ATS in Oakland.

Even though the Raiders (-3) are favored for the first time in 20 games, it remains to be seen whether they can take advantage. They are on a 0-6 ATS run as home chalk, and own a 2-10 ATS record against defenses yielding 5.65 yards per play or more.

Free NFL Pick: Oakland by 4

 

Denver Broncos (+7.5) @ New York Jets

If room on the Jets’ bandwagon was still available after the win at New England, the bus has to be full after sending Tennessee to a first loss. New York is heating up at an ideal time as this week’s game against Denver will wrap up what was the most important three-game stretch of 2008.

HC Eric Mangini’s team has won five straight to move to 8-3 and stands in position to not only win the AFC East, but secure a first round playoff bye as well.

On Sunday, they host a Broncos team that comes off a disgusting 31-10 home loss to Oakland. The Broncos have defined inconsistency, particularly on offense, having scored 30 or more on four occasions and less than 20 six other times.

New York is 3-0 SU & 2-1 ATS as a TD favorite or more this season.

Free NFL Pick: NY Jets by 17

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