Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/1/12
Week 13 is the turn into the home stretch. Teams are trying to collect those final wins to solidify or improve playoff positions. This week has a few games that have teams whose playoff fates may be determined this Sunday. I will list a few of those games, with the point-spread involved of course!! New England Patriots ( 8 - 3 ) at Miami Dolphins ( 5 - 6 )  Vegas Line : Patriots -7There has not been an offense hotter than The New England Patriots. Tom Brady is closing the deal emphatically down the stretch. Captain Tom and the Pats have averaged a whopping 54 points a game in their last 2 games, including 59 points on Thanksgiving against the hapless New York Jets. When Tom Brady and the Patriots are rolling like this it is hard to go against them. TE Rob Gronkowski will be out and Aaron Hernandez will be questionable for the game. Honestly I don't think it will matter. The offense is clicking on all cylinders. By the way, if Ryan Tannehill has to air it out a lot in this game, guess who's defense leads in interceptions for  the AFC? New England's !! Give me New England -7 ! Houston Texans ( 10 - 1 ) at Tennessee Titans ( 4 - 7 ) Vegas Line: Texans - 6 .5 Houston Texans are on their playoff march, with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs in sight.  The Texans are coming off of two consecutive weeks of defensive lapses. JJ Watt and the Texans defense have surrendered 37 to the Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as 31 to the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. Though they came out of both of those games with victories, they have had 10 days to ponder their defensive struggles. The Texans should be amped up to have a good defensive showing against the Tennessee Titans. If you are serious about making a playoff run and solidifying your home-field, this is the kind of game where you come out and take care of business. That is why I am laying the points. Take  Houston - 6 .5 ! New York Giants ( 7 - 4 ) at Washington Redskins ( 5 - 6 ) Vegas Line: Giants - 2 . 5 This is the best game of the week easily. It will make up for last weeks Monday Night Football match-up. RG3 and the Redskins will be hosting Eli Manning and the Giants. This will be a rematch of a game in week 7 that was hotly contested. The G-men came out on top 27 - 23, after Eli Manning threw a 77 yard TD  strike to Victor Cruz to nullify what was a potential game winning 77 yard TD drive by Griffin and the Skins. It's going to be an exciting game. The Redskins are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive Monday Night, while the NFC East leading Giants are trying to improve their playoff standing. The Giants still have a shot at a first round bye, so they would like to keep winning. This is the time of year that the Giants raise their game and the kind of stage where they play their best. Robert Griffin III has played brilliantly this season throwing for 2497 YDS, 16 TDs, 4 INTs,104.1 QBR in addition to rushing for 642 YDS and 6 TDs. That will not be enough for this game. I expect the Giants to be gearing up for their playoff drive. They will travel to DC with their "A" game packed with them. Giants -2.5 is the play for me. Cleveland Browns ( 3 - 8 ) at Oakland Raiders ( 3 - 8 ) Vegas Line:  Browns - 3 . 5The Cleveland Browns have been playing good football. They are coming off of a 20-14 victory against a beat up Steelers team. The Browns have been playing solid defense and Brandon Weeden has been playing fairly well in his rookie quarterbacking campaign. Trent Richardson is a beast. I can see why they are favored in this game. But they are going to lose!!! Period!!!! QB Carson Palmer is tired of losing. He went to Cincinnati last week and caught a beat down from the Bengals 34-10. The Raiders schedule has been smacking them lately with a blitz of desperate teams that were motivated by playoff aspirations. The Browns don't have those playoff motives. That is why Carson Palmer and the Raiders will confuse the rookie QB Brandon Weeden, playing a soild ball game and giving the "Black Hole"  a reason to celebrate. Christmas comes early in Oakland. My underdog pick of the week, Raiders + 3.5 !
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