NFL Picks Week 13: Do You Trust Rivers and the Chargers?

Frank Doyle | Updated Nov 28, 2013


Frank returns with his Week 13 Hail Mary NFL picks.

Normally, I’m a very thankful person. I have my health, lovely family, great job – you know, the usual things people say when they’re thankful for whatever. That’s all me. No complaints – except when American Thanksgiving.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the holiday, it’s more that I’m jealous of it living north of the border. Not to say Canadians don’t know how to put a Thanksgiving dinner together, but the US takes its celebrations to a totally different level. And then there’s the football.

For my money there’s nothing better than NFL football on Thanksgiving. I’m lucky enough to be able to tune into these games while I’m at work, but I feel for many of my Canadian buddies. They’re making calls, setting appointments, writing reports while I bend your ear a little bit right here. See? Not so bad. I’m not making up excuses to my boss to set my fantasy lineups or place that prop bet I was just waiting for all morning. No, no, that’s been taken care of.

Now, all I have to do is sit back and get ready for kickoff. But before that, this NFL/Thanksgiving love-in has touched off a nerve on some of the things I’m least thankful of in the world at this particular moment.

–          NFL ties. –          Extra points. –          NFL player DWIs. –          Brett Favre Wrangler ads. –          Brett Favre. –          National anthems at any and all sporting events. –          Cauliflower. –          Wrapping paper. –          Eye black in indoor stadiums. –          Halftime “shows.” –          Fans over 12 years old in face paint. –          New England Patriots’ injury reports. –          American beer. –          Canadian (decimal) odds. –          Michael Irving. –          Peter King’s haikus.

I could go on, but I’ll get to the point with my Week 13 picks.

Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers (Pick ‘em, 48)

This is a tough game to figure out. You have the Chargers, who finally snapped a three-game losing streak last week with an impressive road win at Kansas City. The Bengals followed up two overtime losses with a blowout win over the Browns. So it’s a bit of a toss-up. That said, the Bengals will have a tough time slowing down Philip Rivers and the San Diego run game without Leon Hall and Geno Atkins, but Andy Dalton should put up a bunch of points against the Chargers’ No. 29-ranked total defence. We’re hoping for sunny, calm weather in San Diego this weekend.

Pick: Over 48 points

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns (-7, 40)

I told myself back in Week 2 or Week 3 that I wasn’t betting the Jaguars under any circumstances this season. Well, so much for that. The Jags have won two of their last three – at Tennessee and at Houston – while Cleveland has won just once over its last six games. This will be an ugly game that nobody will watch, but in the end we’ll all wonder why the Browns were set as a touchdown favorite. Just too many points.

Pick: Jaguars +7

New England Patriots at Houston Texans (+7, 47.5)

I begin each week wondering if the Texans will finally suck it up and have a little respect for themselves. Then by Sunday night I’m shaking my head at another terrible loss. If you’re trying to keep count, Houston has now dropped nine straight games. They haven’t covered a pointspread at home. Maybe this smells a bit like a letdown spot for the Pats, but they would have to play easily their worst game of the season for this one to be even close. I don’t Bill Belichick allows that to happen this time of year.

Pick: Patriots -7

Last week: 2-1