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NFL action is heating up as teams race to keep their playoff hopes alive, and Week 13 offers plenty of great games that will likely have huge postseason implications.
Last week was a solid one for our picks against the spread. After a rough 1-2 run on the Thanksgiving Day games, we got hot on Sunday to finish the weekend with a very satisfying 10-5-1 record.
This week we’ll do our best to keep the magic rolling with a few home underdogs and one bet that makes me feel sick to my stomach.
You can check out our best bets for Week 13 of the NFL season below.
All lines courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
LAST WEEK: 10-5-1 OVERALL: 91-78-7
Washington Redskins (-1.5) at Dallas Cowboys (Thursday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Redskins -1.5
The logic: Over the past four weeks the Redskins are 2-2, with wins over the Giants and Seahawks and close losses to the Vikings and Saints. Part of me wants to fade them after such a tough stretch, but the Cowboys have been in free fall as of late, failing to score 10 points in all three games since Ezekiel Elliott began his suspension.
Kirk Cousins is still playing for his job, apparently, so he’ll have no reason to let up here. Plus the Redskins made news by reportedly defying the NFL and saying that they will not wear their designated “Color Rush” uniforms, opting instead for their burgundy look. That’s a flex if I’ve ever seen one.
Minnesota Vikings (+3) at Atlanta Falcons (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Falcons -3
The logic: The Vikings have beaten the Rams and Lions the past two weeks, and this just feels like a rough spot for them. They’re as hot as any team in the NFL right now, and Case Keenum has cost me more money than I care to count this year, but the Falcons finally look like they’re getting their act together, and need every win they can get to keep pace with the Saints and Panthers in the NFC South.
New England Patriots (-8.5) at Buffalo Bills (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Patriots -8.5
The logic: I hate this pick. Every rule in my gambling rulebook tells me to pick the Bills here. They are home underdogs in a division rivalry, and everyone is betting the Patriots, with New England currently taking 80% of bets according to SportsInsights. The Bills looked rejuvenated with Tyrod Taylor back under center, and Tom Brady got beat up pretty badly last week. And over these teams past five meetings, the Pats have only gone 3-2, and only covered 8.5 once.
But I am tired of trying to look smart betting against the Patriots while casual bettors that take them week after week make money hand over fist. I want the easy money! I want to be happy when the Patriots score six plays into their opening drive, force a three-and-out, and score again. I am tired of being down 17-0 after the first quarter and needing a mediocre guy to outscore the greatest quarterback in the history of football by a touchdown to hit a backdoor cover. Before their win last week Bills have given up point totals of 34, 47, and 54 to their previous three opponents.
I’m taking the Pats.
The Bills will likely win outright.
San Francisco 49ers (+3) at Chicago Bears (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: 49ers +3
The logic: Jimmy Garoppolo is set to make his first start for the Niners this week, and after a successful few snaps in relief of an injured C.J. Beathard last week, I could not be more excited. This is the first of many times I will be betting on Jimmy G and his beautiful, beautiful face.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5) at Green Bay Packers (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Packers -2.5
The logic: Did we judge Brett Hundley too soon?! Probably not. But after what he showed against the Steelers on Sunday night, there’s at least a chance he can do enough to earn the Packers a home win to send the crowd home happy during this tough season for the cheesehead faithful.
Houston Texans (+6.5) at Tennessee Titans (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Texans +6.5
The logic: Houston didn’t look awful against the Ravens on “Monday Night Football,” which might be more a testament to Baltimore’s mediocrity than the Texans prowess, but still the point stands. Meanwhile, the Titans have spent the year simply refusing to put teams away late in games, with their last four wins coming by four points or less. Feels like a good spot to close your eyes and take the dog.
Denver Broncos (-2.5) at Miami Dolphins (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Dolphins +2.5
The logic: The Broncos have lost seven consecutive games and given football fans absolutely no reason to believe that they won’t keep that streak going.
Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5) at New York Jets (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Chiefs -3.5
The logic: I refuse to let myself overthink this one. The Chiefs have not been playing well and the Jets are much sharper than expected, and yes this week New York is one of my beloved home underdogs. But Kansas City has to get their act together at some point, and this feels like a solid game for them to bounce back.
Indianapolis Colts (+9.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Colts +9.5
The logic: Any time I get the chance to bet against Blake Bortles getting almost double digits, I’m probably going to take it.
Detroit Lions (+2.5) at Baltimore Ravens (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Lions +2.5
The logic: I would prefer to get this game at an even three points, but I still like the Lions in this spot even giving away the half-point hook.
Cleveland Browns (+14) at Los Angeles Chargers (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Browns +14
The logic: While this week is finally the week I start backing the Patriots, I still can’t give up betting on my beloved, terrible Browns. Two full touchdowns worth of points! Josh Gordon is finally back! And what would be a more fitting midseason Chargers loss than falling to a winless Browns team as soon as the division lead in within reach?
I really feel it this week guys. Cleveland wins outright.
I am sick.
New York Giants (+8) at Oakland Raiders (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
The pick: Raiders +8
The logic: I never thought I would get the chance to bet against Geno Smith on the road again, but here we are. Mike Francesa might put some of his retirement money on the Raiders here too.
Carolina Panthers (+4) at New Orleans Saints (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Panthers +4
The logic: Two extremely competitive teams playing some of their best football. It’s a division game with a lot on the line, so I was likely taking the points either way, and this time around that means backing the Panthers.
Los Angeles Rams (-7) at Arizona Cardinals (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Cardinals +7
The logic: Okay I will undoubtedly regret saying this, but Blaine Gabbert did not look totally awful last week, and the Cardinals are not as bad as their record indicates.
Philadelphia Eagles (-6) at Seattle Seahawks (Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Seattle +6
The logic: The Eagles have rolled every team in their path since starting their winning streak, but as many have noted, all but one of their nine consecutive wins have come against teams that now sit with a losing record.
Part of me thinks that the Eagles will wallop the Seahawks in this spot to prove their worth, but that would mean Seattle losing their third home game of the season, which seems unimaginable. I can’t remember the last time the Seahawks were home underdogs, let alone by six whole points. Russell Wilson has found a way to get Seattle to a 7-4 record, and I expect he finds a way to keep this game close as well.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Bengals +5
The logic: Love taking a home dog in primetime, though I will say that the Steelers very easily could run away with this one as well. It’s a coin toss game for me, and I likely wouldn’t bet it unless my Sunday went shockingly well.
Now check out our Week 13 Power Rankings
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