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NFL 2018 SQ Insiders: Week 13

Austin Taliaferro

Our insiders pick the Week 12 games to help you beat Vegas and your pick’em league.

One of the most intriguing games of the week will be played between the LA Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Our insiders are sleeping on the Chargers and are all on the Steelers this week. They are doubling down, expecting the Steelers to cover the -3.5 spread with a 28-34 win. Check out the rest of the game picks below.


Matchup

Max V

Hunter B

Matt F

Adrian N

New Orleans at Dallas
Baltimore at Atlanta
Denver at Cincinnati
LA Rams at Detroit
Arizona at Green Bay
Buffalo at Miami
Chicago at NY Giants
LA Chargers at Pittsburgh
Carolina at Tampa Bay
Indianapolis at Jacksonville
Cleveland at Houston
NY Jets at Tennessee
Kansas City at Oakland
Minnesota at New England
San Francisco at Seattle
Washington at Philadelphia
Total Record

110-64105-69114-60119-55



Matchup

Conglomerate Score

ATS Winner

Pick’em Winner

Why the home team will win

Why the away team will win

New Orleans at Dallas31-21NO-7.5Dallas is in the middle of a hot streak and sees itself atop the NFC East. A Thursday night showdown against the hottest team in football will give us a better idea of how good this Cowboys team is. New Orleans comes to town sporting one of the worst defenses in both pass and run metrics, providing Dallas with a great opportunity to continue moving the football.New Orleans looks unbeatable right now, coming off a stretch of dominant performances. The 6-5 Cowboys don’t have the personnel to slow down all of the Saints’ weapons, including Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, and Mark Ingram. The Saints are integrating Brandon Marshall into their lineup, too, giving the Cowboys another name to be conscious of come Thursday. No one has the scoring power to keep up with the red-hot Saints right now.
Baltimore at Atlanta21-27ATL+1.5Atlanta is a good team at home and their offense is playing well. A young quarterback in Lamar Jackson is coming into town and Atlanta is the perfect environment to rattle a rookie quarterback. If Baltimore struggles early, Atlanta could run away early with this one.Lamar Jackson is 2-0 as the starting quarterback for the Ravens, and he’ll get the ball once more this weekend in Atlanta. Jackson gives the offense an entire new element it lacked with Flacco under center: the read option. Atlanta struggled with the RPO against Philly, and this wrinkle could give them fits once more.
Denver at Cincinnati24-21CIN+3.5Joe Mixon could open the game up for the Bengals as they’ll have to rely heavily on the run game with Andy Dalton hitting IR. It’s now or never for this Cincy team and the home crowd knows that. It should be a loud environment against another team in the hunt for that same wildcard spot.Knowing the Bengals will have little to no passing game threat, look for Denver to bring eight or even nine guys into the box to make life difficult for Mixon. If the Broncos can successfully make the Bengals one-dimensional and predictable, they’ll coast to a win.
LA Rams at Detroit36-21LAR-9.5The Rams’ defense has been anything but impressive recently, and the Lions could exploit that at home. There’s a chance Kerryon Johnson plays, but even if he doesn’t, Theo Riddick is a matchup nightmare for the Rams. Look for Stafford to take shots against the Rams similar to what the Chiefs did a few weeks ago.Los Angeles is rested up after the bye week and comes back as one of the best teams in the league. The Lions have struggled all season, especially on the defensive side of the ball. A couple quick scores should take the air out of the stadium and Detroit team, allowing Los Angeles to coast to an easy win.
Arizona at Green Bay17-29ARZ+14.5Green Bay is having a dreadful season by its standards, but the Packers aren’t nearly bad enough to lose to the rebuilding Cardinals, who nearly always dwell in the bottom three of the SQ Power Rankings.Rookie QB Josh Rosen is doing a decent job leading a passing attack that can have a great day against Green Bay’s subpar secondary
Buffalo at Miami17-22BUF+5.5
Miami QB Ryan Tannehill is back in the mix to help the Fins pull out a win at home. They face Buffalo’s 31st-ranked offense on the other side of the ball.Believe it or not, Buffalo has the second-best defense in the NFL in yards allowed. They match up well against a Miami offense which ranks 28th.
Chicago at NY Giants23-17CHI-4.5Chicago is on a roll at 8-3, and the Giants have struggled against mediocre defenses. The Giants’ offense will need to play nearly perfect if they hope to win against one of the NFL’s elite defenses. Before falling to Philadelphia last week, the Giants had a winning streak (two games) of their own. Rookie RB Saquon Barkley could win Rookie of the Year and could be the key to a Giants victory.
LA Chargers at Pittsburgh28-34PIT-3.5Never pick against Pittsburgh at home in the cold weather (unless it’s vs. New England, of course). After a rocky start, the team is sitting comfortably at 7-3-1 and will come out ferocious after a humbling loss in Denver.QB Phillip Rivers could win the MVP this season. The Chargers may have the worst fans in sports, but that hasn’t phased them one bit. The team is 8-3, and ranks top-10 in offense and defense, which is very rare.
Carolina at Tampa Bay27-22CAR-3.5The Buccaneers are coming off their best game of the season that Jameis Winston has started. They are playing a struggling Carolina secondary, so this is an opportunity for Winston to have a big game and beat a division rival. The Panthers have lost three straight games and need to get back on track if they have any hope of getting a Wild Card spot. With two games against the Saints later on in the season, the Panthers know this is a must-win game and will treat it as such.
Indianapolis at Jacksonville25-16IND-3.5The Jaguars finally have given up on Blake Bortles and will be starting Cody Kessler. Their best chance in this game is to lean on Carlos Hyde and TJ Yeldon as much as possible and hope the defense can keep the game low-scoring. The Colts are one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now. Having won five straight games, they know they need to remain hot if they are going to catch the Texans in the division. Expect another big game from Andrew Luck as the Colts continue their roll.
Cleveland at Houston22-27CLE+6.5Houston is one of the hottest teams in the league with eight straight victories. They have given up the fifth-fewest points per game and should be able to handle Baker Mayfield by applying pressure all game.Cleveland’s offense has looked revitalized since firing Hue. They are averaging 31.5 points per game over their last couple contests. It will be difficult, but if they can keep up that level of production, it will be enough to outlast Houston.
NY Jets at Tennessee15-23NYJ+9.5While Tennessee has struggle of late, the Jets are in a free fall. They’ve lost five straight and with Josh McCown in the starting line up, the Titans will have a decided advantage at quarterback.The Jets are in the top half of the league in terms of takeaways. If they can force a turnover or two from Tennessee, they could sneak away with a win in this one.
Kansas City at Oakland41-14KC-14.5Someone could pull the fire alarm at the Chiefs’ hotel on Saturday night.It’s the Kansas City Chiefs. They are the Oakland Raiders.
Minnesota at New England26-32MIN+6.5New England has a great offense and a very solid defense. Last week they got Sony Michel back to the form that made them nearly unstoppable. When Michel has rushed for over 90 yards, the Pats are 4-0; when under 90, they are 1-3.Minnesota has the best wide receiver tandem in the league. Adam Thielen already has over 1,100 yards and Diggs is on pace to break 1,000 as well. New England likes to take away what you do best, but with both of these wideouts being threats, Minnesota should still have success through the air.
San Francisco at Seattle18-26SF+10.5Seattle has a very favorable schedule remaining. With a 6-5 record, they know this is a game they cannot lose in their quest for the Wild Card spot. The Seahawks will lean on their rushing game and blow out a struggling 49ers team.In the Richard Sherman revenge game, this could be the best game the 49ers will play since losing Jimmy G for the year. They are going to play inspired football on defense and keep this game low scoring for Nick Mullens and offense to take advantage.
Washington at Philadelphia21-23WSH+6.5Philadelphia is playing at home against a team that has lost their starting QB. The Eagles have an opportunistic philosophy and Colt McCoy’s decisions should give them plenty of chances.The Eagles’ secondary has been decimated by injuries. They are signing guys off the street to play. Colt McCoy is not afraid to sling the rock and could have success against a poor secondary.


Edited by Emily Berman.

SQuiz
When did the Chargers last make the playoffs
Created 11/28/18
  1. 2013
  2. 2014
  3. 2015
  4. 2016

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