Early NFL Week 13 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread: Assessing Impacts of Deshaun Watson, Justin Fields, Ja’Marr Chase, and Others

If you're betting on 2022 NFL games -- whether props, point spreads, or moneylines -- here are our early NFL Week 13 predictions and picks.

Here’s an early look at our NFL Week 13 predictions and picks for all 15 games, with the Cardinals and Panthers on byes. The following betting odds are for picks against the spread, as well as moneylines based on DraftKings Sportsbook.

NFL Week 13 Predictions and Picks

Each week of the NFL season features the expected, the moderately unexpected, and the completely unexpected. When betting on point spreads and moneylines, we need to focus on the first two outcomes.

What are the highest-probability game scripts? Which interesting subplots could emerge? For example, we cannot anticipate when a little-used fullback will fall into the end zone twice in one half. But we can assess the likelihood that one team’s backfield will earn more scoring opportunities.

With that in mind, here are our preliminary assessments of how each game might proceed.

New England Patriots (+5.5) vs. Buffalo Bills

  • Date: Thursday, Dec. 1
  • Start time: 8:15 p.m. ET

Damien Harris looks iffy at best for this one, while Jakobi Meyers looks iffy, period. Mac Jones and Nelson Agholor looked like MVP candidates against the Vikings’ yardage-friendly pass defense. But against the stingier Bills, they’d need to play some of their best football to stay within six points.

Against-the-spread prediction: Bills
Moneyline winner: Bills

Atlanta Falcons (-1) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 4
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

Am I the only person who believes Kenny Pickett can be an NFL star by Year 3? Maybe some of you agree. Maybe some of you think he’s the next coming of Ryan Leaf (slight exaggeration).

With Najee Harris showing life and Pickett paired with three strong receivers in George Pickens, Diontae Johnson, and Pat Freiermuth, I believe they can produce a road victory against one of the NFL’s worst-performing defenses.

Against-the-spread prediction: Steelers
Moneyline winner: Steelers

Chicago Bears (+2.5) vs. Green Bay Packers

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 4
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

Two teams looking ahead to 2023. Much depends on Justin Fields’ availability. If he starts, I’m comfortable taking Chicago with the points against an up-and-down Green Bay franchise, whose legendary QB has a fractured thumb, and whose formerly vaunted backfield has been too inconsistent to trust.

Against-the-spread prediction: Bears
Moneyline winner: Bears

Detroit Lions (-1) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 4
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

How serious is Travis Etienne Jr.’s foot injury after it knocked him out early Sunday? JaMycal Hasty and the recently acquired Darrell Henderson Jr. aren’t of the same caliber.

The Lions’ defense has looked meaningfully better this year, while their offense is far more well-rounded. They have the personnel to score 28+ on the Jags, as they make one last push for a longshot playoff berth.

Against-the-spread prediction: Lions
Moneyline winner: Lions

Minnesota Vikings (-3) vs. New York Jets

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 4
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

In Mike White’s first appearance last season, we appeared headed toward a QB controversy. A week later, the controversy was a distant memory.

I’m not putting a lot of stock in White’s impressive 2022 debut against Chicago, which included a would-be interception that Garrett Wilson converted into a deep touchdown. Assuming White earns another start, this road matchup against Minnesota spells trouble for one of the league’s least mobile quarterbacks.

Against-the-spread prediction: Vikings
Moneyline winner: Vikings

New York Giants (+1) vs. Washington Commanders

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 4
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

For the 12th straight game, it’s Saquon Barkley or bust for the overachieving Giants. Given their remaining brutal schedule, this marks their last best chance at a victory. I’m not trusting them to contain an impressive (and most importantly, balanced) Washington offense that’s still rounding into form.

Against-the-spread prediction: Commanders
Moneyline winner: Commanders

Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) vs. Tennessee Titans

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 4
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

The Titans’ record seems inflated. Don’t get me wrong; they’ve deserved every win. But entering this past weekend, they’d averaged only 0.8 more points per game than they’d surrendered. At 7-4, and with so many narrow victories, we could envision an eventual regression.

While Philly hasn’t looked as dominant since their shocking Monday night loss to Washington, the Titans haven’t faced a highly mobile QB since Josh Allen in Week 2. While Allen rushed for only 10 yards, he threw for 300+ and four scores. I believe Tennessee won’t know how to defend against Jalen Hurts.

Against-the-spread prediction: Eagles
Moneyline winner: Eagles

Baltimore Ravens (-7) vs. Denver Broncos

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 4
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

I believe this line will reach double digits by Friday, and frankly, I’d be shocked if the Ravens win by less than two touchdowns. As discussed on this page for many weeks, Denver’s offense is broken. As disjointed as Baltimore’s looked in recent weeks, their defense should lock down the deflated Russell Wilson and his backfield of backups.

Against-the-spread prediction: Ravens
Moneyline winner: Ravens

Houston Texans (+6) vs. Cleveland Browns

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 4
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

After watching Miami dismantle Houston, we might envision Cleveland doing the same — especially in Deshaun Watson’s return to the field. Fortunately for the Browns, they can win comfortably by simply running the offense through Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. But we should expect some fireworks from Watson, thanks to the Browns’ best receiving corps in (perhaps) decades.

Against-the-spread prediction: Browns
Moneyline winner: Browns

Los Angeles Rams (+3.5) vs. Seattle Seahawks

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 4
  • Start time: 4:05 p.m. ET

See above re: the Broncos. The defending-champion Rams are limping to early January. Three months ago, we might have circled this contest as an easy LA victory over the rebuilding Seahawks. Instead, we should expect Kenneth Walker III and Geno Smith to hit 26+ points for the comfortable win.

Against-the-spread prediction: Seahawks
Moneyline winner: Seahawks

San Francisco 49ers (-4.5) vs. Miami Dolphins

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 4
  • Start time: 4:05 p.m. ET

No respect for Miami? Or maybe the line setters understand that the Dolphins’ beatable defense might play right into San Francisco’s hands. The Niners’ run defense and pass D are exceptional.

Surely, the Fins will get 14+. But I don’t see them slowing down a full-strength unit led by one of the league’s top backfields and most explosive (with all apologies to the Dolphins) receiving corps.

Against-the-spread prediction: 49ers
Moneyline winner: 49ers

Cincinnati Bengals (+2.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 4
  • Start time: 4:25 p.m. ET

When Ja’Marr Chase was questionable against Tennessee last week, I wondered if they’d be extra cautious, hold him out, and fire him up a week later against the mighty Chiefs. In their previous meeting in Week 17 last season, Chase went off for 10 catches, 266 yards, and three touchdowns.

The fact is, with Joe Mixon iffy and Tyler Boyd better served as a No. 3 receiver, Chase can change the entire complexion of Cincinnati’s offense. Assuming he returns, I’m comfortable taking the home team to win and establish a growing claim as “the team to beat” in the AFC.

Against-the-spread prediction: Bengals
Moneyline winner: Bengals

Las Vegas Raiders (+3) vs. Los Angeles Chargers

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 4
  • Start time: 4:25 p.m. ET

Two porous defenses battle two top-heavy offenses. Austin Ekeler and vintage Keenan Allen could single- (double-?) handedly combine for four scores and lead the Chargers to the win. The same can be said for Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams.

If you have Justin Herbert and Adams in your fantasy league (as I do), it could be an enjoyable game. And if you’re betting on the Chargers, be wary of what I believe will be an impressive showing from the frequently less-than-impressive Raiders, thanks in part to LA surrendering the most yards per carry in the league.

Also, keep in mind that Jacobs will be a free agent after this season, and Derek Carr could get cut. They’re playing for contract security.

Against-the-spread prediction: Raiders
Moneyline winner: Raiders

Dallas Cowboys (-9) vs. Indianapolis Colts

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 4
  • Start time: 8:20 p.m. ET

In hindsight, the Sam Ehlinger experiment didn’t make sense. But perhaps it lit a fire under Matt Ryan. Despite his obvious limitations, Ryan brings experience, confidence, and competence.

And with a healthy Jonathan Taylor and an ascending WR trio, Indy could put a surprising scare in Dallas, not unlike that kid dressed as a monster who knocks on your door on Nov. 1.

Against-the-spread prediction: Colts
Moneyline winner: Cowboys

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6.5) vs. New Orleans Saints

  • Date: Monday, Dec. 5
  • Start time: 8:15 p.m. ET

One of the biggest underperformers in a season of underperformers, Tampa Bay has a get-right game against a Saints squad that also held so much promise this summer. Fortunately for the Bucs, rookie Rachaad White looks like the real deal, while Julio Jones has been an important No. 3 receiver for an often beleaguered Tom Brady.

The challenge for New Orleans is simple. They entered Week 12 giving up the eighth-most points per game, and Alvin Kamara and Chris Olave have combined for 41% of the team’s offensive yards. They lack the depth to compete against a Tampa Bay offense that should score 30+.

Against-the-spread prediction:  Buccaneers
Moneyline winner: Buccaneers

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