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NFL picks, Week 13: Straight up, and considering Survivor pool strategy

We’re back with Week 13 NFL picks, including a look at the 49ers, straight up picks, a Survivor pool, and a look at Thursday Night Football against the spread.

We’re back for Week 13 of the 2016 NFL season. We get a pretty big matchup on Thursday Night Football, with a potential playoff preview between the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings. Later this weekend, the San Francisco 49ers are on the road facing the Chicago Bears. The 49ers are 1-10, but only a one-point underdog to the equally awful Bears.

This strikes me as a very winnable game, and like I said on Tuesday, the 49ers could very well walk away from the next two games with two wins. They could easily find ways to lose to the Bears and Jets, but those are two pretty awful teams.

That being said, I will not be rolling the dice on the 49ers with my Week 12 Survivor pool pick. With the pool, you can only pick a team once. You get one grace loss, so if I pick a team and they lose this week, I’m still alive. If I pick a team next week after that loss, and that latter team loses, then I’m done. I remain alive in the pool after picking the Buffalo Bills over the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. I still have the New England Patriots, so I could potentially use them against the Los Angeles Rams, but I am actually leaning toward taking the Baltimore Ravens at home over the Miami Dolphins. Miami has won five straight, but the Ravens are playing well themselves. Another option is the San Diego Chargers at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Thursday Night Football features a fun NFC matchup that could be a playoff preview. The Cowboys lead the NFC with a 10-1 record, and are quickly closing in on home field throughout the playoffs. They face a Vikings team that is 6-5 and a game back of the Detroit Lions in the NFC North. The Cowboys are a road favorite, laying a field goal. I’m inclined to go against the public and take the points with the Vikings. They have lost five of six, but I think this ends up a close one.

Here are my straight up picks for the week.

Cowboys @ Vikings: Cowboys
Chiefs @ Falcons: Falcons
Lions @ Saints: Saints
Rams @ Patriots: Patriots
Broncos @ Jaguars: Broncos
Texans @ Packers: Packers
Eagles @ Bengals: Bengals
Dolphins @ Ravens: Ravens
49ers @ Bears: 49ers
Bills @ Raiders: Raiders
Giants @ Steelers: Steelers
Washington @ Cardinals: Cardinals
Buccaneers @ Chargers: Chargers
Panthers @ Seahawks: Seahawks
Colts @ Jets: Colts