Heading into Week 13 of the NFL schedule, we have a bizarre week of games for our picks and predictions. After a tight and tense slate of games last week, the NFL standings suggest Week 13 should be more one-sided in several games. However, this is the NFL, and things never quite go to script when all is said and done.
NFL picks and predictions Week 13 | NFL lines and odds
With the 2021 NFL playoff picture coming sharply into focus as we head into Week 13, there is still a lot up for grabs in the final six weeks. With upsets and controversies all over the NFL on a weekly basis, how do the sportsbook view Week 13?
Let’s take a look at the Week 13 picks, predictions, and NFL odds from DraftKings sportsbook as of 5:30 AM ET on November 29, starting with Thursday’s game.
Thursday Night Football: Dallas Cowboys (-6) at New Orleans Saints
These two teams head out of their Thanksgiving day games desperate for a win. Injuries and absences in those losses heavily impacted both teams.
The Cowboys should have both CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper on offense, but their defense might get an even bigger boost with the return of DeMarcus Lawrence.
The Saints will be hoping to get Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram back, but their offensive woes are bigger right now than those two. It is tough to see how this Saints offense can score enough to win this game, but the Cowboys’ defense did just manage to bring the Raiders’ failing offense back to life.
Cowboys vs. Saints Prediction: Cowboys 28, Saints 20
Sunday, Week 13: Free NFL picks and predictions
On the surface, the Week 13 slate of games appears to be heavily slanted to one side. However, the NFL is rarely that simple. Can any teams produce upsets, or is this a week where the favorites should be able to stand up and show their skills?
Here are our Week 13 picks, predictions, and NFL odds for Sunday’s games as of 5:30 AM ET on November 29.
New York Giants at Miami Dolphins (-3)
Out of nowhere, this game actually has playoff implications for both teams. The Dolphins have won four straight while allowing an average of just 11.5 points per game. Meanwhile, the Giants are incredibly just a couple of games back in the NFC playoff picture.
The way the Dolphins’ defense has been playing should be the difference-maker here. The Giants need Daniel Jones to step up and give them a big performance to have a chance. If he does, he may answer the questions around his future at the same time.
Giants vs. Dolphins Prediction: Dolphins 21, Giants 16
Indianapolis Colts (-7.5) at Houston Texans
The Texans are one of the most confusing teams in the NFL this season. They played up to the Titans and Patriots but were just beaten by a bad Jets team. The Colts won the last meeting comfortably, and the Texans’ run defense will be extremely susceptible to the talents of Jonathan Taylor.
Colts vs. Texans Prediction: Colts 27, Texans 10
Minnesota Vikings (-7) at Detroit Lions
Just like that, the Vikings are back in season-saving mode after their loss to the 49ers. A matchup with the Lions should be just what the doctor ordered. However, while the Lions have gone 0-2-1 in the last three weeks, they have been outscored by a total of just 5 points in that time frame.
The Lions almost beat the Vikings in Week 5. Divisional games always find a way of being close.
The Dalvin Cook injury should not hurt the Vikings too much, but their inability to get out of their own way could. The Vikings should win, but this one could easily be on upset alert late in the fourth quarter.
Vikings vs. Lions Prediction: Vikings 26, Lions 22
Philadelphia Eagles (-7) at New York Jets
It is tough to know which Eagles team will turn up in Week 13 after their embarrassing (and potentially costly) loss to the Giants. They should be able to move the ball at will against the Jets, but the game vs. the Giants threw a wrench in evaluating this team. The second trip to the Meadowlands should yield a relatively comfortable Eagles victory, but trusting them is a tough thing to do this week.
Eagles vs. Jets Prediction: Eagles 23, Jets 16
Arizona Cardinals (-7.5) at Chicago Bears
The Cardinals are coming off a bye and will hopefully have Kyler Murray back, which should be a big boost. However, teams coming off a bye have been somewhat sloppy this season, and going on the road to Chicago in December is tough for a warm-weather team.
Chicago proved on Thanksgiving they’re not a very good team. The Bears have lost twice at home this year by double-digits. They only kept it tight against the Ravens because Baltimore had to turn to Tyler Huntley in an emergency. Unless the Cardinals beat themselves (or Murray is still limited), this should be a comfortable victory.
Cardinals vs. Bears Prediction: Cardinals 27, Bears 20
Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (-3)
No matter what changes in the world, relying on the Chargers to show consistency remains the same — impossible.
Back-to-back road games (this one a 10 AM body clock kickoff) are a major concern. The last time they kicked off at 1 PM ET on the East Coast, they were taken apart 34-6 by the Ravens.
The Bengals are coming off a huge victory over the Steelers, which has given them a real shot at the division. Cincy now has two 1 PM home games against West Coast teams. Their defense looks reinvigorated after the bye, and their running game should be able to have success against a struggling Chargers run defense.
Chargers vs. Bengals Prediction: Bengals 30, Chargers 24
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-9.5) at Atlanta Falcons
The Buccaneers’ offense appears to be back on track, and their defense should handle this Falcons team. Atlanta just made a trip to Jacksonville look difficult. This should be a comfortable Buccaneers victory and virtually clinch the NFC South with more than a month to spare.
Buccaneers vs. Falcons Prediction: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 16
Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Rams (-13.5)
The Rams’ season is falling apart in spectacular style, with Matthew Stafford struggling significantly. However, despite the points they have given up in the last three games, the overall defensive numbers are still largely excellent. This has to be a get-right game for the Rams or alarm bells will really start to sound.
Jaguars vs. Rams Prediction: Rams 27, Jaguars 13
Washington Football Team at Las Vegas Raiders (-2.5)
The Raiders are coming off a season-saving game on Thanksgiving. On top of that, there is a huge rest discrepancy in this game, with the Raiders coming off a long week and Washington coming off Monday Night Football in Week 12. The Washington defense has shown improvement since their bye, but winning in Vegas on a short week is a tough ask.
Washington vs. Raiders Prediction: Raiders 26, Washington 20
Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger’s performance against the Bengals was an absolute disaster. However, it does not fit in with what we had seen from Pittsburgh’s longtime QB in recent weeks. The Ravens’ offense hardly looks convincing either. This has the feeling of a defense-dominated, low-scoring game.
Baltimore is rightly favored, but after Lamar Jackson’s 4-interception game on Sunday Night Football, it is hard to trust him in this matchup. I simply cannot rely on either of these offenses right now.
Ravens vs. Steelers Prediction: Ravens 19, Steelers 16
San Francisco 49ers (-2.5) at Seattle Seahawks
Unless we see a remarkable recovery from the Seahawks’ offense on Monday Night Football, it is hard to see this going any differently than a 49ers win. The Seahawks’ only real chance is if they can limit the 49ers’ run game and force Jimmy Garoppolo to take the game into his own hands.
Their run defense has improved in recent weeks, but until the offense can muster more than 20 points, it is hard to see how they win or even cover. As Russell Wilson gets further from his injury, they should improve, but it’s hard to trust when that’ll happen.
49ers vs. Seahawks Prediction: 49ers 27, Seahawks 17
Sunday Night Football: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5)
What an infuriating team the Broncos are right now. A great victory over the Cowboys was followed up by a lackluster effort against the Eagles. Subsequently, they controlled the Chargers’ offense and played great defense in Week 12.
However, the Chiefs have had the Broncos’ number, having not lost since 2015. Vic Fangio is 0-4 against the Chiefs as Denver head coach. Only once has the game been decided by one score or less. This should be another comfortable Chiefs victory, and one Kansas City should cover barring any post-bye-week sloppiness.
Broncos vs. Chiefs Prediction: Chiefs 30, Broncos 17
Monday Night Football: Week 13 picks and predictions
Well, it does not get much bigger on Monday Night Football than this showdown for control of the AFC East. The winner of this game will have the inside track on the division while also keeping themselves right in the race for the top seed in the AFC. ESPN certainly got this week’s marquee matchup.
Let’s take a look at the current odds for the game and make our final pick and prediction for Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (-3.5)
Trying to work out which Bills team will show up in Week 13 is tough to do. They have alternated crushing victories with head-scratching losses in the last five weeks. The pattern says it is time for a devastating loss. However, they did break the curse of Bill Belichick last season with their first victory since 2016, going 2-0 over the Patriots.
The Patriots have been superb in the past six weeks, winning by an average of around 25 points per game. This should be a tougher battle against a Bills team coming off extended rest. This should be a close game, and the play here feels like the Patriots to at least cover, if not win.
Patriots vs. Bills Prediction: Patriots 24, Bills 22