NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 13

Welcome to lucky Week Thirteen of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series.  Last week we got back to 3-0 as the Bills, Browns and Saints were all victorious.  As Covid continues to add uncertainty to this season, we are going to keep going strong and shoot for another week of perfection!  Feel free to comment at the bottom or hit me up on twitter!

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

While division games are usually the best of the week, last week, they were a little disappointing.  Washington, Tennessee, Miami and Green Bay all demolished their division foes.  The only close game was a Rams-49ers slugfest, with the home team losing in the final minutes.  That being said, don’t let Week 12 make you forget about all the division upsets earlier in the season.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:

  • New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons
  • Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears
  • Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
  • Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals
  • Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

Just like how Week 12 wasn’t great for division games, it wasn’t great for prime time either.  Our two Thursday matchups were decided by an average of 21 points and our Sunday night game was decided by two touchdowns and two, two-point conversions.  While Monday’s game was closer in terms of the final score, let’s not ignore the fact that it was a 14 point game with less than a minute left.  However, just like above, don’t let one bad week spoil what we’ve learned all season.  Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs
  • Buffalo Bills @ San Francisco 49ers
  • Washington Football Team @ Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Dallas Cowboys @ Baltimore Ravens

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

Atlanta, Buffalo, Minnesota and New England.  Out of 15 games between Thursday and Monday, those are the only four teams who won in front of their “home crowds” (or lack there of).  While both Atlanta and New England provided some home upsets, the reality is home field advantage just isn’t what it used to be.  We will continue to keep an eye on this rule for 2020 but for now I’m still going to play it safe and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons
  • Las Vegas Raiders @ New York Jets
  • Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
  • Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals
  • Buffalo Bills @ San Francisco 49ers

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

  • Miami Dolphins over the Cincinnati Bengals

Somehow, the Miami Dolphins are currently in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot and have won six of their last seven games.  The Bengals on the other hand, lost their star rookie QB, their starting RB is on IR and they have lost six of their last seven games.  While I do expect this to be closer than most, Miami’s defense should be the difference in this one.

Other options I like this week:

  • Minnesota Vikings over the Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars shocked everyone starting the season at 1-0 with a win over the Colts, a team many thought could make a deep run in the playoffs.  Since that victory in Week One, they have lost every single game on their schedule, landing at their current record of 1-10.  Now they travel to Minnesota to face a team that has won four of their last five including a win over the Packers.  This should be an easy one for the Vikings.

  • Seattle Seahawks over the New York Giants

Traveling across the country is tough and rarely leads to an away team doing well.  Add in the fact that Seattle historically does very well at home and they have yet to lose a home game in 2020 with victories over the Patriots, Vikings and Cardinals this year.  This should be an easy one for the Seahawks.

Last Week Record = 3-0

Season Record = 26-9

Follow me on twitter and let me know what you think of this week’s picks @DE_aaron!

https://twitter.com/DE_aaron

Thanks for reading!

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