Scully’s Week 13 NFL Free Picks

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November 29th, 2018

With just five weeks to go in the season, James Scully sits at 25-31 ATS (44.6%) but is rolling up his sleeves to deliver his Week 13 NFL Free Picks with a set of five selections for you to sink your teeth in to!

*ATS (Against the Spread) / SU (Straight Up) * PK indicates pick *home team in caps

Cleveland Browns +6 vs Houston Texans (Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

Houston (-6) was bad to start the year, dropping the first three games, but have become the hottest team in the AFC presently with an eight-game win streak including a 4-1 ATS run of late. But as good as they’ve looked in recent weeks while defeating playoff contenders Denver, Washington and Tennessee, Houston hasn’t played their best football yet.

The outstanding defense finally living up to their potential after a slow start to the season and Houston’s offense continues to improve each week, with DeShaun Watson developing into the elite QB many expected before he went down with an ACL last year. I like how the Texans went out and acquired WR Demaryius Thomas (2 TDs last week) to complement All-Pro WR Deandre Hopkins when Will Fuller went down with injury. WR Keke Coutee, who is back at full-strength after missing several weeks with a hamstring, also helps break down opposing defenses and RB Lamar Miller torched a good Titans’ run defense for 162 yards last week. Texans gaining steam as they build toward the end of the season.

Last week’s victory over hapless Cincinnati couldn’t have meant more for Cleveland, who desperately wanted to show up former coach Hue Jackson, who headed to their divisional rival after being fired following a 3-36-1 record. But it’s foolish to think the Browns possess the wherewithal to weather such an emotional high: Cleveland celebrated their first road win since October 2015 afterward. And the Browns anything but pretty on offense last week. From 35 attempts, they gained only 84 rushing yards on Cincy, the 31st-ranked run defense, and Browns outgained 372-342 in total yards. Baker Mayfield had all day in the pocket waiting for receivers to get open down the field but won’t receive the same luxury against the league’s fiercest pass rush. And easy to envision Cleveland having little left for second of back-to-back road games. Browns managed to stop a four-game losing skid with wins over bad teams the last two weeks, but they’ve been no match for playoff-caliber teams over the last six weeks and Houston’s ready to take their turn on Sunday. I’ll lay the points with confidence!

Week 13 NFL Free Picks – Bet Houston -6 over Cleveland!

Indianapolis Colts -4 vs Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

A pre-season Super Bowl contender, Jacksonville (+4) enters on an eight-game skid and will finally replace QB Bortles with Cody Kessler. But they’ve been in every contest since late October, including an impressive defensive showing versus Pittsburgh two weeks ago at home, and this is still one of the league’s best defenses (fifth overall). Indianapolis enters on the decline defensively and considering how well Jacksonville always plays them, recording a 6-0-1 ATS mark including 3-0 ATS at home, the points are attractive in what has the makings of another close affair.

Indianapolis being mentioned as AFC South title contender with a five-game win streak in tow, but they haven’t beaten any probable playoff teams. And when you consider Tennessee didn’t show up two weeks ago after their defensive coordinator collapsed in the locker room and had to be rushed to the hospital, Indy has unquestionably played the weakest schedule since mid-October. Colts haven’t been able to find separation against the likes Jets, Raiders, Jags and Dolphins, being pushed around at times by every opponent with the exception of punchless Buffalo, and they’ve really struggled in the last three road games, surrendering 38+ points in losses to the Jets and Patriots and being tied 28-28 with Oakland in the fourth quarter. Andrew Luck playing at a high level with good weapons at his disposal, but Indy won’t be able to run the ball effectively and Jacksonville (who will relish going against this front seven after facing the defenses of Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Houston and Dallas since mid-October) eligible to control the clock with their run-heavy attack. In a low-scoring game that comes down to less than a FG, Jacksonville is the play!

Week 13 NFL Free Picks – Bet Jacksonville +4 over Indianapolis!

Kansas City Chiefs -14 vs Oakland Raiders (Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET)

Kansas City (-14) remains in a heated race for home-field advantage in AFC and this promises to get ugly fast versus injury-riddled Raiders. Chiefs, who came up a little short in an epic 59-56 game vs the Rams last out, will be eager to get back to action following a bye week and Patrick Mahones (who still has a chance to be the league’s top-rated QB) set to enjoy a field day against a depleted secondary. And the biggest star could be Kareem Hunt, the league’s fifth-ranked RB by rushing yards; Hunt looking for a career-best afternoon against the league’s worst run defense (Raiders surrendering 151.4 rushing yards per game).

Oakland can’t protect Derek Carr, who has been sacked a career-high 35 times and exited last week’s game banged-up after being constantly on the run, and the strength of the Chiefs’ defense is the pass rush. Every decent Raider wide receiver is either out or limping, and Oakland one of eight teams not averaging at least 100 yards rushing per game. They have little capacity to score presently and are missing too many players to be competitive on defense. Chiefs should be covering by halftime and will continue to pull away during second half!

Week 13 NFL Free Picks – Bet Kansas City -14 over Oakland!

San Francisco 49ers +10 vs Seattle Seahawks (Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET)

Double-digit favorites are 37-25-1 ATS since start of 2016 season and went 4-0 ATS last week. And considering these teams are going opposite directions and Seattle (-10) owns this series (11-2-1 ATS last 14 meetings; 6-1-1 ATS at home), I’ll lay the points with the surging Seahawks. Seattle has played one of the toughest schedules and Pete Carroll doing his best work this season, with Seattle posting a 5-1-1 ATS mark over the past seven weeks. I like how they’ve taken care of business versus the weaker teams, beating down Detroit and Oakland, and this offense is really rolling behind Russell Wilson, Chris Carson, Tyler Lockett, Doug Baldwin and David Moore. Look for another high-scoring performance.

After losing their starting QB and RB, San Francisco definitely overachieved at times earlier in the season, playing the Chargers and Packers tight in road games. But personnel losses have finally exacted a severe toll, including a key offensive lineman (injury) and LB (kicked off team for domestic dispute) in recent weeks, and the Niners enter on a 1-4 ATS run in which they’ve been held to 15 or less points thrice. Their confidence continued to be deteriorate last week, scoring only nine points against Tampa’s atrocious defense, and San Francisco won’t have much to offer facing a hostile environment in the second of back-to-back road games. Lay the points!

Week 13 NFL Free Picks – Bet Seattle -10 over San Francisco!

Washington Redskins +6.5 vs Philadelphia Eagles (Monday 8:15 p.m. ET)

Washington (+6.5) 3-1 ATS in last four meetings in Philly and I wasn’t swept away by Eagles’ fortunate comeback win over Giants, who had chance to put game away before a costly interception late in second quarter and had to settle for a late FG after refs missed a pair of holding calls. Philadelphia still has a low-scoring attack, being held to 21 or fewer seven times and exceeding 25 points only twice, and considering how bad they’ve stunk as a favorite (2-7 ATS) and at home over the last two months (1-3 SU; 0-4 ATS), this serves as an excellent opportunity to cash against an extremely vulnerable favorite.

Washington receiving nearly a TD despite being the better team. Skins played well enough to win at Dallas on Thanksgiving but three interceptions from new QB Cody Kessler and a fluky 90-yard TD reception proved insurmountable. Look for Kessler (who still had 268 yards passing and two TDs) to deliver an improved performance against an Eagles secondary that allowed Eli Manning to throw for 297 yards and can’t stop anybody. Washington tough to run upon (eighth-ranked) and fields a stingy defense that forces turnovers (eight interceptions, four fumble recoveries). Seven opponents have been held to 21 or fewer and that total will be eight after a close game that the Skins can win outright!

Week 13 NFL Free Picks – Bet Washington +6.5 over Philadelphia!

James Scully is a professional handicapper who hails from the great state of Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @JamesScully.