Can the Patriots cover the spread?

Jim Poore is back with his Week 13 picks against the spread. The Packers and Lions game is a top one to watch. Take a look and let him know what you think.

Poore's Picks Week 13
Jim Poore
Dec. 1, 2011

Now that everybody has their tummies filled with turkey, it is time to concentrate on the Christmas holiday and the end of the season football games. Actually, looking at the schedule this week there really aren't all that many big games. Yes, teams have to win to keep their post season hopes alive, but there are only a couple of games where both teams are involved in the playoff chase. I won't waste any more time I will get right to the selections.
As always, home team in CAPS.
Philadelphia  3  SEATTLE
The Eagles season is over, and so might Andy Reid's tenure in Philadelphia. What an awful season for the Eagles. The Seahawks are not very good but they have been competitive. I'll take them here. I don't see any reason for the Eagles to play well.
Seahawks  23-20
Atlanta  2 1/2  Houston
Pity the poor Texans. They are now on their third quarterback, T.J Yates. They will really need their running game and defense now. Good thing for them they have a playoff spot virtually wrapped up. The Falcons have been strange all year. Great one week, junk the next. I think they will play well here but I have a feeling the Texans will rally around their quarterback and pull out a win here.
Texans  26-21
Miami  3  Oakland
The Dolphins have been playing better lately, but the Raiders have a playoff berth on the line. Remarkably they are winning the division. I think Tony Sparano is a lame duck too. I'll take Oakland here just because they need a win.
Raiders  23-21
TAMPA  BAY  3 1/2  Carolina
The Bucs have been a borderline disaster this year. I hope it is one step backward before going forward. The Panthers have actually been ok even though their record doesn't show it. I would think the Bucs have to win at some point. I guess this is probably their best chance.
Bucs 24-17
Buffalo  1 1/2  Tennessee
The Bills have really fallen apart, and the Titans are actually right in the middle of the wild card chase in the AFC. Buffalo is too, sort of.  But they are very hard to trust right now. I think Tennessee is better than some think, but I don't see them going anywhere if they do make the post season. I will take the Titans here though. The Bills problems from earlier in the season are rearing their ugly head.
Titans  30-27
New Orleans  9  Detroit
The Saints are flying again, and the Lions are flying right into suspensions. Ndamukong Suh got suspended for two games, and he deserved it. The Lions are still good but have faded. I still think they can make some noise in the playoffs, assuming they make it. I also think the Saints could be the only real threat to Green Bay in the NFC. I like the Saints here, as they are home and are simply the better team.
Saints  39-28
Minnesota  1  Denver
Tim Tebow mania continues in Colorado, but it has to end sometime. I don't think it will end this week however. The Vikings have been lousy all year, and Denver's defense is actually playing very well right now. It has nothing to do with Tebow. I'll take Denver's defense here.
Broncos  17-16
SAN FRANCISCO  13  St. Louis
The 49ers are still very good even though they lost last week. The Rams are not. This should be just another easy NFC West game for the 49ers, who are just playing out the string until the playoffs.
49ers  37-10
Dallas  4 1/2  Arizona
The Cowboys are in the thick of the playoff race but they won't go anywhere if they make it. The Cardinals aren't even close. The Cowboys have more on the line so I will take them here.
Cowboys  27-21
Baltimore  6 1/2  CLEVELAND
The Ravens are playing well, but they seem to play poorer against weaker teams. Cleveland is a weak team. I don't think the Ravens will lose this game but I think they will play poor enough to keep the Browns in it. I'll take Cleveland here.
Ravens  26-23
Green Bay  7  New York Giants
I am not sure anybody is going to be able to beat the Packers, and the way the Giants are playing lately I don't think it is going to be them. They badly need a win, but I don't think they can beat the Packers. I think they will keep it fairly close though.
Packers  35-30
New York Jets  3  Washington

I have a feeling last week's close win might get the Jets rolling. I still think they are a playoff team. The Redskins have been awful after a decent start. I don't see too many issues for the Jets here, even on the road.
Jets  26-13
CHICAGO  7 1/2  Kansas City
The Bears are in the playoff chase, and the Chiefs possibly have been the worst team in the NFL over the last couple of weeks. I don't think signing Kyle Orton is going to help them. The Bears should be able to handle the Chiefs with relative ease this week.
Bears  29-12
San Diego  2 1/2  JACKSONVILLE
Wow is this a lame duck game. The Jags fired Jack Del Rio, and Norv Turner is likely getting fired at year's end. Both teams are bad right now. I'll take San Diego, only because they are better. I think.
Chargers  28-17
Game of the Week

Pittsburgh  7  Cincinnati
This is definitely a big game in the AFC North. The Steelers are still battling injuries, and the Bengals have been a big surprise. I don't believe in them though. They could make the playoffs but I just don't see them going anywhere. I think the Steelers will take this one as they compete for home field advantage.
Steelers  30-20
Stinker of the Week

NEW ENGLAND  35   Indianapolis
Oh boy. This could get ugly real fast. 35 is not the actual number, it is my number. The real number is 20 1/2, which is the most points I can ever remember. I will still use 35 as the spread. If the Patriots win but by less than 35, I will consider it a loss. I actually think they will cover it. The Colts have already lied down this year. They will really prove it this game.
Patriots 49-7
Record For Week 12: 8-8 ( 11-5 without the spread )
Record Through Week 12: 80-88-8 ( 109-67 without the spread )
Game of Week Record: 7-4-1
Stinker of Week Record: 4-8

Hot Topic:  Winless Colts Pose No Threat

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Jim Poore has been a long time contributor to Patriots Insider with his weekly picks column. Let him know what you think. Email him here:

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