It’s been an up-and-down season for Team NESN in the Las Vegas Westgate SuperContest, but we’re making a push to end the season on a high note.
Week 13 marked the best week of the season for NESN.com’s Mike Cole and Ricky Doyle, who are representing NESN on Team OddsShark in the premier football handicapping contest.
The 4-1 showing last week set up the guys to crack the top 10 — well, tied for 10th, at least — and they can still make a run at the top of the OddsShark standings with a couple of more big weeks.
They’ll look to continue their run in Week 14. Here are their picks.
San Diego Chargers (+1.5) at Carolina Panthers, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
Only six teams in the NFL this season have given up more big passing plays (25 yards or more) than Carolina, and only have five offenses have connected on more big passing plays than San Diego. Philip Rivers and Co. will have their chances, and you wonder what team you’re going to get from the Panthers after last week’s fashion fiasco in Seattle.
Indianapolis Colts (-6) vs. Houston Texans, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
The Colts actually jumped out to a big lead when these teams played earlier this season in Houston, only to choke away a two-touchdown advantage in the fourth quarter and lose in overtime. We’re guessing the Colts won’t make the same mistake this time around, especially against a Texans team averaging 7.2 points per game in the second half of road games this season.
Cincinnati Bengals (-5.5) vs. Cleveland Browns, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Paul Brown Stadium, Cleveland
We don’t really need a reason other than “Robert Griffin III is starting for the Browns,” do we? OK, fine. The weather is going to suck in Cleveland on Sunday (it’s going to snow), which should put an extra emphasis on the running game. The Browns are allowing 4.5 yards per carry (28th in the NFL), and now they get a matchup with Jeremy Hill, who rushed for 168 yards against Cleveland in Week 7 — and he needed just nine carries to do so.
Arizona Cardinals (+1) at Miami Dolphins, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Hard Rock Stadium, Miami
Adam Gase has done a really nice job of tweaking the Miami offense, putting an emphasis on the running attack and taking the game out of Ryan Tannehill’s hands. The problem with that, of course, is when you take on a team that can stop the run. We saw that last week against the Ravens, who own the NFL’s top run defense, and we could see it again this week against the Cardinals, who are allowing the fifth-fewest yards per carry.
Baltimore Ravens (+7) at New England Patriots, Monday, 8:30 p.m.
Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.
The forecast indicates we’ll be robbed of another snow game, but there’s still rain in the forecast for Monday night. That alone should even the playing field at least a little bit, and the Ravens always seem to play the Patriots tough. The Baltimore defense is for real, too, and it gets the Patriots’ offense at a (relatively) good time, as New England will be without Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images