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Beating the Book: Chris Liss Handicaps Week 13

Chris Liss

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.


I don't like the fact that I took two favorites out of 15 possible games (the Broncos-Vikings is a pick), but I can't tailor the choices to fill out quotas, (though I was tempted to with TB-CAR which is almost a coin flip to me). I like the Giants at home getting all those points in a game they can't but be up for, I kind of like Denver even though it's the sucker side, and I can't turn down home dogs like Cleveland, Arizona and Seattle.

THURSDAY NIGHT

Eagles -3 at Seahawks

The Seahawks are typically better at home, while the Eagles are whatever version randomly shows up for a given game. Vince Young has been competent - as he usually is when he's healthy and his head coach isn't trying to run him out of town - but I have to take the home dog. Back the Seahawks.

Seahawks 24 - 23

EARLY GAMES

Raiders +3 at Dolphins

The Raiders run the ball effectively no matter who's in the backfield, but losing Darren McFadden costs them a home run threat, and another big playmaker, Denarius Moore, is iffy as well. The Dolphins are playing better defense of late, and anyone can move the ball against Oakland. Back Miami.

Dolphins 24 - 20

Falcons -2 at Texans

This line would probably be Texans -4 or 5 if Matt Schaub were healthy, so Vegas says he's worth close to a touchdown over T.J. Yates. That sounds to me like the discount is fully priced in. Back the Texans who can still run the ball and play defense.

Texans 20 - 19

Titans +1 at Bills

I don't know what to make of the Bills who looked like the league's worst team for three games before giving the Jets all they could handle in New York. The Titans are just an average team, and this game will depend solely on which verison of the Bills shows up. Because Buffalo's at home and laying less than the full three, I'll take them. Back the Bills.

Bills 23 - 20

Chiefs +8.5 at Bears

Like the Bills, the Chiefs are a tough read, alternating competent performances with disasters. But given that the Bears are missing their starting QB, and Kansas City has played hard the last two games (at least for the first quarter in New England), I'll take the eight and a half. Back the Chiefs.

Bears 17 - 13

Jets -3 at Redskins

The Redskins defense isn't bad, and now that Mike Shanahan seems as committed as he's capable of being to his best quarterback and running back, they can move the ball. The Jets are probably a lot better than they showed last week - at least defensively - but I don't like them as a road favorite here in what to me is a 50/50 game. Back the Redskins who cover but lose on a Graham Gano miss.

Jets 20 - 19

Bengals +7 at Steelers

This is the right line given that Cincy lost at Baltimore and against the Steelers by this margin. And in fact, that was the largest margin by which the Bengals have lost all year. I'll take the points. Back Cincy.

Steelers 24 - 20

Broncos pick 'em at Vikings

The sharp play is probably the Vikings at home, but I'll roll the dice again with Tebow and the Broncos who seem to slip through a crack in the algorithms every week. Back Denver.

Broncos 17 - 16

Panthers +3.5 at Buccaneers

Neither team plays a whole lot of defense, so don't be surprised if this is a shootout that either can win. Tampa's at home, but I'll take the extra half point and the Panthers. Back Carolina.

Panthers 31 - 30

Colts +20.5 at Patriots

I suppose I have to take the Colts here - both due to the line and because Dan Orlovsky is mercifully taking over for Curtis Painter. If the Colts fired Jim Caldwell, I'd make it my best bet. Back the Colts.

Patriots 31 - 13

LATE GAMES

Ravens -7 at Browns

I don't see how you can lay seven on the road with Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense right now. I'm not saying they can't cover - a positive turnover differential is all it would take - but barring that, Cleveland should keep it close. Back the Browns.

Ravens 16 - 13

Cowboys -4.5 at Cardinals

What Beanie Wells did against the Rams isn't likely to happen against a stout defense like the Cowboys, but Dallas struggled in Washington, and I expect them to have a little trouble on the road in Arizona. Back the Cardinals who keep it close.

Cowboys 21 - 20

Packers -8 at Giants

The Giants have been an abomination of late, while the Packers are without question the league's best team. Still, New York can't but be up for a must-win contest against the undefeated defending Super Bowl champs, and the Giants have the personnel at least in theory to hang around. Unless Tom Coughlin and Kevin Gilbride waste half the game trying and failing to establish the run, the Giants keep this one close enough. Back New York.

Packers 30 - 24

Rams +13.5 at 49ers

The 49ers have throttled some bad teams, but barring a big turnover differential, this seems like a lot of points for that offense. Back the Rams in a division matchup.

49ers 20 - 9

SUNDAY NIGHT

Lions +9.5 at Saints

The Saints ran roughshod over the Giants, while Matt Stafford was a disaster against the Packers. But that only makes the Lions a good buy-low, especially with Ndamukong Suh suspended (Detroit couldn't stop the run anyway). The Saints should win at home, but this line should be closer to seven or eight. Back Detroit.

Saints 31 - 23

MONDAY NIGHT

Chargers -2.5 at Jaguars

At some point, the Chargers disaster-proneness will be priced in completely, and then I'll back them, but they're still road favorites, and the Jaguars could get a dead-cat bounce from Jack Del Rio's overdue firing. Back Jacksonville.

Jaguars 19 - 17

We were 8-8 last week to put us at 83-88-5 on the season. From 1999-2010 we've gone 1565-1387 (53%, not including ties).

You can follow me on Twitter at @Chris_Liss