NFL Week 13 Betting Preview

NFL Week 13 Betting Preview

Zack GarrisonNo comments

Week 13 gets underway tomorrow with three fantastic Thanksgiving games, all of which have large postseason implications. The best game of the week, though, will be play on Sunday at Lambeau Field when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots challenge Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The Pats and Pack are the two hottest teams in the league right now and many see the game as a potential Super Bowl preview.

But more on that in a bit. Let’s take a look at all the week 13 games and spreads.

Thanksgiving

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (-7)

At 5-6, the Chicago Bears need a win to stay in the NFC playoff picture. With two straight losses, the 7-4 Detroit Lions need a win to keep the spectre of another late-season collapse at bay. Just two weeks ago, the Lions led the NFC North. If the postseason started today, they would be on the outside looking in. Tomorrow’s game will be a battle between struggling QBs. Matt Stafford and the Lions haven’t scored a touchdown in the last two weeks, while, on the other sideline, Jay Cutler has thrown the second most interceptions in the league.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-3)

Both teams are 8-3 on the season and tied atop the NFC East, but the Cowboys have looked like a more complete team thanks to their much-improved defense. Dallas is 3-3 at home, which is concerning at first glance; however, QB Tony Romo was knocked out of the home loss to the Redskins and didn’t play the next week in a home loss to the Cardinals.

These teams meet again later in the season and tomorrow’s loser will likely need a win in the rematch to have any shot at the division title. Philadelphia is 2-4 ATS in its last six road games against Dallas.

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (PK)

Both the Seahawks and the 49ers are 7-4 and two games behind the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West.  Seattle has looked better over the last two weeks, but they have not won in San Francisco since the 2008 season. Despite being 5-0 SU in their last five at home against Seattle, San Francisco is 0-5 ATS in its last five overall against the Seahawks.

Tomorrow’s game promises an epic battle for the line of scrimmage; the Seahawks are averaging almost 170 rushing yards per game, while the Niners are holding opponents to just 92. Both of these heated rivals will seek to impose their will on the other and, not only pick up the W, but set the tone for the rematch later in the season.

 

Sunday

Washington Redskins at Indianapolis Colts (-9.5)

The clash between the Redskins and Colts will be the first meeting between RGIII and Andrew Luck, the first and second overall picks from the 2012 NFL Draft. While both had terrific rookie seasons, their career trajectories have diverged ever since. Luck has taken Indy to two postseason appearances (and looks poised for a third this year), while RGIII (who beat out Luck for Rookie of the Year in 2012-13) has battled injuries and never regained his first-year form. His struggles have continued this year, going 1-4 as the Washington starter. (Griffin’s one win was a 41-10 triumph over Jacksonville in which he was injured early and threw just three passes.)

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (-6)

The Texans will have to go back to Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starting QB again after Ryan Mallett suffered a season-ending injury.  Houston still has a shot at the playoffs and should have RB Arian Foster back. The Texans star has been dealing with a groin injury and missed their lackluster week 12 loss to the Bengals.

The Titans still are looking for a win under rookie QB Zach Mettenberger after losing to Houston, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Tennessee is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games against Houston.

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills (-2.5)

The Bills and the Browns have a shot at the AFC playoffs, but they need to keep posting wins in the final stretch of the season, as there are numerous teams in contention in the AFC. Buffalo’s defense has the most sacks in the NFL with 46 and managed to get to the Jets QBs seven times last week. Buffalo is 2-4 ATS in its last six games when playing Cleveland.

After letting the division lead slip away in week 11 against Houston, the Browns responded well with an ugly, yet character-building, win in Atlanta last weekend. Quarterback Brian Hoyer shrugged off three interceptions to lead the game winning drive late in the fourth quarter.

San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-5)

Both the Chargers and the Ravens also have a shot at a playoff spot in the AFC, but they are trending in opposite directions.  After a torrid start to the year, San Diego lost three straight, then barely squeaked by the Raiders and Rams at home in weeks 11 and 12.  Whereas Baltimore handed the New Orleans Saints their third straight home loss last weekend, and crushed the Titans the week before.

San Diego is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games when playing Baltimore.

Cincinnati Bengals (-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bengals (7-3-1) have a half-game lead over every other team in the AFC North (which are all 7-4). In all likelihood, the Jungle Cats will need a win on Sunday to stay on top. The good news for Cincy is that they have won two straight on the road and QB Andy Dalton looks like his old self after a week 10 debacle against Cleveland. However, Cincinnati is 1-4-1 ATS in its last six games against Tampa Bay.

The Bucs have won just two games this season. Yet, they are only two games behind division-leading Atlanta in the laughable NFC South. Tampa is winless at home on the year (0-5). If they can find a way to win a game or two at Raymond James Stadium, they could turn a disaster of a season into a playoff berth. And anything can happen in the playoffs.

Oakland Raiders at St. Louis Rams (-7)

While the Oakland Raiders winning their first game of the season was a cute story last week, they are still the Raiders.  The Rams defense is playing at a high level lately and should make QB Derek Carr miserable on Sunday. St. Louis is 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven games against Oakland.

The Rams almost pulled off a come-from-behind victory against the Chargers last week, but Sean Hill – who is back under center in Missouri – threw a pick in the end zone to seal their fate.

New Orleans Saints at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5)

Like the rest of the AFC North team, the Steelers can’t afford a loss.  Despite the Saints being 4-7, they are tied in first in the NFC South with the Atlanta Falcons. There isn’t much room for optimism in the Big Easy, though. Three weeks ago, the Saints were 4-4 with three straight home games coming up. Riding an 11-game home winning streak, they looked poised to seize control of the divisions. Then they did the unthinkable and lost all three.

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has finally found some consistency. They are 4-1 in their last five games, and pulled off a much-needed fourth-quarter comeback on the road in Tennessee in week 12. This weekend, they will be facing a Saints team that struggles both on the road and in the month of November. The Saints are 0-5 ATS in their last five games in the month; they are also 4-9 ATS in their last 13 road games.

Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings (-3)

The Vikings and the Panthers have had bad seasons. Minnesota is resigned to building for next year. However, the Panthers are one of the lucky few to play in the NFC South and, at 3-8, are firmly in the hunt for the division lead. If QB Cam Newton – who is suspected to be battling injuries – can regain his dynamic form from years past, Carolina could easily string some wins together. (Don’t forget, they went 12-4 last season.)

The trends don’t favor the Panthers, though: Carolina is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games on the road, while Minnesota is 6-3 SU in its last nine games at home.

Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) at Atlanta Falcons

Curiously, this is a matchup between two division leaders, yet there’s a five-game difference between their records.  Somewhat unfairly for the Cardinals, a loss by either would put their division lead in jeopardy. Seattle and San Francisco are both two games back of Arizona, and the Cardinals still have to play each of them one more time this year.

Adding to the problems for the Cards, they have not fared well in Hotlanta. Arizona is just 2-4 ATS in its last six road games against the Falcons.

New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers (-3)

The Packers hosting the Patriots may be a glimpse of what we will see in February in Arizona.  New England has the best offense in the NFL averaging 32.5 points per game, and Green Bay is second with 32.2 PPG. The weather at Lambeau could turn this into a defensive struggle, though. If it does, look for the Packers to have the edge in the familiar conditions.

Astoundingly, this is the first time that Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers will meet in the regular season. (C’mon, schedule-makers!)

Denver Broncos (-2) at Kansas City Chiefs

These two teams met in week 2 in Denver with the Broncos prevailing, 24-17. That loss looms large for the Chiefs, who are currently one game behind Denver for the division lead. Kansas City will need to hold serve at home to have a realistic shot at a division title.

Unfortunately for K.C., since Peyton Manning arrived in Denver in 2012, he just one loss within the AFC West, which came last season against the Chargers. A second consecutive loss by Kansas City would severely jeopardize its chance at a post-season berth in the fantastically tight AFC.

 

Monday

Miami Dolphins (-5.5) at NY Jets

Jets head coach Rex Ryan is likely coaching his second last game in New York this weekend. A Monday Night win over a divisional rival would be a nice goodbye for the embattled bench-boss. The Jets looked like the might have turned a corner after a 20-13 win over the Steelers in week 11. But, last week, they were lambasted by the Bills on a neutral field, 38-3.

Miami, meanwhile, continues to surprise. At 6-5, they are firmly in the mix in the AFC. Last week, they led the Broncos for 3.5-quarters in Denver only to see Manning and company erase the deficit in a matter of minutes. Miami is 8-12-3 ATS in their last 23 games on the road against NY Jets.

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