As I do every week, I gave my early picks on Monday morning after the NFL odds were first posted. But since then, there have been some adjustments to the NFL betting lines, and I have had more time to analyze these matchups.
So, without further ado, here are my NFL Week 13 predictions and picks against the spread for every game on the slate.
NFL Week 13 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread
All odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. New England Patriots Odds
Chargers -260, Patriots +215
The Patriots have scored 13 total points over the last two weeks, and the only Patriots games to go over 40 points this season have come against Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa (twice), Dak Prescott, and Josh Allen. Justin Herbert is one of the best QBs in the NFL, but this Chargers offense hasn’t been close to as good as those teams.
Even with Bailey Zappe now starting, I don’t see this Patriots offense getting any better. We talk about “get-right spots” often for offenses, but this is one for the Chargers’ defense as they fight to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Pick: Under 40.5
Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Odds
Cardinals +210, Steelers -255
Of course, the Steelers finally went over 400 yards of offense as soon as they fired Matt Canada. I’m not sure how sustainable this offensive production will be, but I am buying it lasting for at least another week. The combination of Najee Harris/Jaylen Warren should be able to run all over a Cardinals defense that just gave up 143 yards on 16 carries to Kyren Williams.
With juice on the Under at FanDuel, I’m going to wait and see if this total drops to 40.5 first before taking the Over.
Pick: Lean Over 41.5
Denver Broncos vs. Houston Texans Odds
Broncos +150, Texans -178
The Broncos are in the middle of a five-game winning streak, but they have been extremely fortunate during this stretch. Most notably, they have had a far-unsustainable turnover differential of +14.
I don’t think Denver’s passing offense will be able to exploit Houston like Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars did last week. I also like playing C.J. Stroud at home, where he has a 109.4 QB rating compared to 89.9 on the road. I like this as a bounce-back spot for the Texans.
Pick: Texans -3.5
Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints Odds
Lions -205, Saints +172
With their injuries on offense combined with Derek Carr’s struggles this season, I’m not sure the Saints can take advantage of a poor Lions pass defense like other teams have in recent weeks. The Lions also enter this matchup with a big rest advantage, having last played on Thanksgiving, and they’re coming off two games in a row vs. division opponents. Not a strong play, especially since the spread has gone up, but I like the Lions.
Pick: Lions -4.5
Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans Odds
Colts -116, Titans -102
The Colts continue to find ways to win despite starting a backup QB and a first-year head coach, but they’re facing a Titans team that is surprisingly undefeated at home this season, covering by almost 11 PPG. This seems like a good sell-high spot on the Colts, who won the most recent game in this series earlier in the season in Indianapolis.
Pick: Titans +1.5
Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Jets Odds
Falcons -132, Jets +112
This spread moving in the Jets’ direction is very telling when you consider the betting public probably has no interest in betting on Tim Boyle. It’s hard to trust either quarterback in this one. Boyle might actually be a downgrade from Zach Wilson, but the alternative of laying points with Desmond Ridder on the road is even less appealing.
Ridder leads all starting quarterbacks in turnover-worthy plays this season and is going against a Jets defense that is third in takeaways per game at home. This Falcons offense is last in the NFL in pass rate over expectation, and this sets up as a matchup where Arthur Smith is going to want to protect the football, bleed the clock, and perhaps continue to actually call plays for first-round pick Bijan Robinson again.
Low total, but I’m not scared to take the Under here.
Pick: Under 34
Miami Dolphins vs. Washington Commanders Odds
Dolphins -460, Commanders +360
This is both the highest spread and total of the week. Miami took a big hit with Jaelan Phillips’ season-ending Achilles injury last week, but this defense has been playing well enough to sustain this loss for the time being, as they have an easy three-game stretch against the Commanders, Titans, and Jets.
Even without Phillips, the Dolphins will still have Bradley Chubb (fourth among edge rushers in pass-rush win rate) and Christian Wilkins (11th among interior rushers in pass-rush win rate) to get after Sam Howell, who has been one of the worst starting quarterbacks under pressure this season according to PFF.
The Commanders might have a really bad defense, but I think this total might be overinflated.
Pick: Under 49.5
Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Odds
Panthers +205, Buccaneers -250
This is really gross, but I like the Panthers here. Carolina is 1-8-2 ATS this season; they have to start covering eventually, right?! All jokes aside, I like Carolina here for a number of reasons.
Tampa Bay continues to be overvalued since they started the season 3-1. Since then, they have gone 1-6, with their only win coming against Will Levis at home. During this span, their defense has been one of the worst in the NFL as well, ranking 29th in EPA.
Now that the Panthers have fired Frank Reich and a few other offensive coaches, perhaps they’ll make life more simple for Bryce Young in the passing game. For the season, Young has the highest pure dropback rate, meaning he has thrown the fewest percentage of play-action throws/RPOs/screens — easy throws for quarterbacks. As a pure dropback passer, only Aidan O’Connell, Daniel Jones, and Wilson have been less efficient.
Pick: Panthers +5.5
San Francisco 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles Odds
49ers -146, Eagles +124
The better team is favored here, despite the difference in records, but there are other factors playing into the point spread, with the most notable being the rest advantage for the 49ers.
The 49ers are coming off 10 days rest after playing on Thanksgiving. The Eagles, on the other hand, last played in a long overtime win over the Bills in which their defense logged over 90 snaps. Overall, their defense has played 47 more snaps than the 49ers defense has over the last two weeks. That’s almost equal to an entire game.
The Eagles didn’t escape Buffalo’s win without injuries on defense, either. Both Fletcher Cox and Zach Cunningham should be out for this one, leaving them thinner at both defensive tackle and linebacker.
Every week now, I keep mentioning this — when the 49ers’ offense is completely healthy, their team total Over is undefeated. Against a gassed Eagles defense, which isn’t very good anyway, I like it again here. My only concern would be how Brock Purdy handles this Eagles pass rush.
Pick: 49ers Over 24.5
Cleveland Browns vs. Los Angeles Rams Odds
Browns +150, Rams -178
I’m having a hard time reading this game. The obvious play would be to take the Browns getting more than a field goal, as their defense could wreak havoc on Matthew Stafford. That is until you remember their quarterback situation and realize that Joe Flacco (in the year 2023) is starting for them this week.
MORE: NFL Playoff Odds 2023
I don’t want to have to rely on Flacco leading this Browns offense, and even if they don’t have Myles Garrett, I still think this Browns defense can cause a lot of problems for the Rams. They had a huge day last week, but that was against the Cardinals, a considerably worse unit.
The total is 40 at DraftKings at the moment; I’ll take the Under there.
Pick: Under 40
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Bay Packers Odds
Chiefs -260, Packers +215
The Chiefs had their get-right game last week against the Raiders, and this could now be a look-ahead spot with the Bills on deck. The Packers have been playing much better football recently, as Jordan Love is much improved from earlier this season. I like the Packers to keep this under a touchdown at home. Although last week was an exception, it generally pays to fade Patrick Mahomes as a favorite of 3.5 or more — a split in which he’s 36-40-1 ATS.
Pick: Packers +6
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Bengals +340, Jaguars -430
This total feels like the Bengals’ defense is still getting too much respect. I mean, they were the first defense to allow the Steelers to gain over 400 yards of offense in 58 games.
Jacksonville’s offense is hitting its stride right now; meanwhile, Jake Browning had a solid day throwing the football last week and gets Tee Higgins back for this game. This is a very rare Over play for me for two reasons — it’s a low total, and it’s a prime-time game.
Pick: Over 38.5
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