Entering the home stretch of the season, NFL Odds continue adjusting to surprising results from week to week. While there weren’t any stunning upsets in Week 12, games last week started to show contenders and pretenders for the postseason.
As Week 13 rolls around, finding the best betting value for your NFL wagers becomes that much more difficult. Huge matchups with major playoff implications dot this week’s slate of games. These results will alter Futures bets and the fortunes of many bettors.
In Week 12, Underdogs snagged another victory, going 7-6-1 against the spread. The Under hit eight of 14 contests. Underdogs are now 101-78-1 against the spread this season. They’re 71-104-1 straight up in those games. The Under is 98-66 in non-overtime games this season.
NFL Bye Weeks continue in Week 13. The four teams getting the week off are the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, and Tennessee Titans.
The Dallas Cowboys play the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football to open the NFL Week 13 slate of games. Both of these teams played last Thursday, on Thanksgiving, and disappointed their home fans. While the loss didn’t hurt Dallas’ playoff positioning too much, the Saints enter this contest needing a win to stay in the race.
The Dallas Cowboys (7-4, 8-3 ATS) offense got back on track, but the team dropped a disappointing game at home last week. The Cowboys offense struggled of late, but put up 437 yards in a game they ultimately lost in overtime, 36-33.
What hurt Dallas the most in this one, though, was penalties. The Cowboys were flagged 14 times for 166 yards. Cornerback Anthony Brown was called for four pass interference penalties, each one coming on third-down incompletions. Dallas gifted the Raiders with seven first downs thanks to penalties. A holding call negated a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, and on that drive the Cowboys had to settle for a field goal.
Dak Prescott completed 32 of 47 passes for 375 yards and two touchdowns. 209 of his yards came in the fourth quarter. But Ezekiel Elliott nursed an injury and managed just 25 rushing yards on nine carries. Dallas’ defense allowed the Raiders to put up a season-high 509 total yards on offense.
The shorthanded New Orleans Saints (5-6, 5-6 ATS) couldn’t compete last Thursday, losing 31-6 to the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo outgained the Saints 361-190 and the Bills possessed the ball for 34:38 to New Orleans’ 25:22. The Saints have now lost four in a row after starting 5-2.
New Orleans hasn’t won with Trevor Siemian at quarterback. Siemian finished 17-of-29 passing for 163 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Taysom Hill, who just signed another contract extension, did not play in the game. Reports indicate Hill will take over as the starting quarterback. In a four-game stint as the starter last season, Hill threw for at least 230 yards in three of those contests.
Alvin Kamara missed his third straight game last week, but he returned to practice this week and could play against the Cowboys. Dallas, meanwhile, may rest Elliott in this one. The Cowboys will be without head coach Mike McCarthy on Thursday after he tested positive for COVID-19.
Even if Kamara returns, New Orleans’ defense could still be limited. The Saints have allowed 40 and 31 points in their last two games. The Cowboys got their offense back on track last week, after struggling in Week 11. Dallas now averages 29.6 points per game on offense.
The Cowboys struggles have come primarily against the AFC West, as their three most recent losses have come to Denver, Kansas City, and Las Vegas. Dallas has won six straight against NFC opponents and has covered all eight games against NFC foes.
New Orleans has covered in eight of the last nine meetings with the Cowboys in the Superdome, but most of those were with Drew Brees at quarterback. The Saints have hit the Over more often than not, but saw the Under last week. Dallas has gone Under in four of their last five. Also, six of the last eight Thursday Night Football contests have gone Under.
Picks and Predictions
Dallas 27, New Orleans 17
ML: DAL -189 (DraftKings); Spread: DAL -4.5/-111 (Sugar House); O/U: Under 47/+100 (FoxBet)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons Picks and Predictions
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the Atlanta Falcons in this matchup of NFC South division rivals. The Bucs picked up an impressive win on the road over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12. The Falcons, meanwhile, also won on the road in Week 12, but they beat a hapless Jacksonville Jaguars team.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-3, 5-6 ATS) finally covered as a road team this season with their 38-31 win. The Bucs entered Indianapolis as a 3-point favorite and needed a late touchdown to nab their first road win against the spread.
Leonard Fournette starred last Sunday for Tampa Bay. Fournette scored four touchdowns total, including a 28-yard game-winner with 20 seconds remaining. Tom Brady went 25 of 34 for 226 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He found tight end Rob Gronkowski seven times for 123 yards.
The Bucs defense helped control the league’s top running back, Jonathan Taylor, limiting him to just 83 yards on 16 carries. Tampa Bay’s defense forced five turnovers in this one. The Bucs have a healthy 3.5-game lead in the NFC South over Atlanta and are still in the running for the top-seed in the NFC, so this game feels like a must-win.
The Atlanta Falcons (5-6, 5-6 ATS), meanwhile, also must win if they want to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. The Falcons went to Jacksonville in Week 12 and covered a near-pick ‘em game with their 21-14 win over the Jags.
Cordarrelle Patterson returned to the lineup and ran for a career-high 108 rushing yards and two touchdowns to help Atlanta snap a three-game losing streak. The Falcons ran up a season-high 149 yards. Atlanta’s defense forced two early turnovers of the Jags to take control of the contest.
The Bucs enter with the league’s top scoring offense, averaging 31.5 points per game. Atlanta ranks 31st in scoring defense, allowing 27.5 points per game. Tampa Bay converts third-downs at the third-highest rate (46.7), while the Falcons surrender the second-worst percentage on defense (47.1). Atlanta’s red zone defense ranks 25th, allowing touchdowns 65.9 percent of the time.
Atlanta’s offense ranks 27th in scoring (18.1), while the Bucs rank 16th in scoring defense (23.0). Tampa Bay enters with an elite rush defense (81 rushing yards per game, 1st; 3.9 yards per carry, 2nd). But the Falcons sport one of the league’s worst rushing attacks, averaging 85 rushing yard per game.
Tom Brady should have plenty of time to pick apart this subpar Falcons defense, considering Atlanta’s registered the fewest sacks this season (15). Tampa Bay’s defense ranks fourth in takeaways (23), but the Falcons have been pretty good at holding on to the ball (18 turnovers, 25th).
The Bucs have covered the spread four times this season (4-0 ATS) when playing as at least 11-point favorites. Atlanta failed to cover in its only game as an 11-point underdog. In six games this season, Tampa Bay and its opponents have gone over 50.5 total points. The Falcons and their foes have done that four times this season.
Although the Bucs haven’t been great on the road this season (3-3 SU, 1-5 ATS), they looked good last week in Indy. And Atlanta isn’t what they’ve been in years past despite still having Matt Ryan.
The Arizona Cardinals play the Chicago Bears in this matchup of NFC rivals. The Cardinals come to this one off their Bye Week and hope the rest helped heal their battered roster. The Bears, meanwhile, survived a winless Detroit team on Thanksgiving to keep their playoff hopes on life support.
The Arizona Cardinals (9-2, 8-3 ATS) enjoyed a much-needed Bye Week during Week 12. Arizona holds the NFC’s top-seed entering the final playoff push, and, presumably, quarterback Kyler Murray and receiver DeAndre Hopkins will be back in the lineup.
The Cardinals will need to be at full strength, considering their schedule down the stretch. Three of their next five games come against the LA Rams, Indianapolis Colts, and Dallas Cowboys. Arizona survived the stretch without Murray going 2-1 with Colt McCoy, which is probably better than what was expected.
The Chicago Bears (4-7, 4-7 ATS) ended a five-game losing streak with a game-winning field goal against the winless Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. Veteran quarterback Andy Dalton, starting in place of injured rookie Justin Fields, led the Bears on an 18-play, 69-yard drive that took the final 8:30 off the clock. Dalton finished 24 of 39 for 317 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Chicago’s defense held the Lions to 239 total yards and 4-of-10 on third down. The Bears forced a turnover and kept Detroit to just 76 rushing yards on the day. A lot needs to go their way to get back into the playoff picture, but entering Week 13, Chicago’s one game behind the pace in the NFC.
Arizona enters this one undefeated on the road this season, both straight up and against the spread. The Bears, meanwhile, sport a 2-3 record both straight and against the spread at home. Chicago’s seen the Under hit in four of their five home games, while the Cardinals have seen the Over go 3-3 on the road this year.
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury noted he’s hopeful that quarterback Kyler Murray (ankle) and wideout DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) suit up in Sunday’s game at the Bears. Both players have missed Arizona’s last three games, yet it’s still managed to go 2-1 against the spread.
Chicago’s offense ranks 29th in scoring this season (16.3), while the Cardinals’ scoring defense ranks fourth (18.4). The Bears are successful on just 33.6 percent of their third-down plays (30th). Arizona’s defense gives up third-down conversions at a 32.6 percent clip (3rd).
The Cardinals will need to protect Murray well in this one, considering both his injury and Chicago’s pass rush. The Bears rank second in sacks this season (32). But if Arizona’s healthy, the Bears shouldn’t put up much resistance in this one.
Picks and Predictions
Arizona 27, Chicago 16
ML: AZ -345 (PointsBet); Spread: AZ -7.5/-105 (PointsBet); O/U: Under 45.5/-110 (BetMGM)
Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals Picks and Predictions
The Los Angeles Chargers play the Cincinnati Bengals in an important matchup with major AFC playoff implications. These two teams enter coming off very different performances. The Chargers looked terrible in their Week 12 loss to the Denver Broncos. Meanwhile, the Bengals stamped their playoff resume with an impressive win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Los Angeles Chargers (6-5, 5-6 ATS) failed to build on the momentum from a wild Week 11 win over the Steelers by falling flat in Denver. LA lost 28-13 to the Broncos, and are now 2-4 over their last six games.
During that six-game skid, Justin Herbert has thrown 11 touchdowns but seven interceptions. He threw two against Denver, including a pick-six to seal the game. The other interception came in the end zone early in the fourth quarter. He finished 28 for 44 for 303 yards and two touchdowns to go along with those INTs.
The Chargers defense couldn’t stop Denver’s rushing attack. The Broncos ran up 147 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns on the ground. Denver also converted 8-of-11 third down tries. The Chargers currently hold the final playoff spot in the AFC thanks to a tie breaker over the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Cincinnati Bengals (7-4, 6-5 ATS), meanwhile, hold the conference’s first Wild Card spot thanks to their 41-10 beatdown of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 12. The Bengals swept Pittsburgh for the first time since 2009.
Joe Mixon rushed for a career-high 165 yards and two touchdowns. Joe Burrow completed 20 for 24 for 190 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also scrambled for an eight-yard score. The Bengals defense forced three turnovers, including a pick-six, and limited Pittsburgh to just 51 rushing yards on 15 carries.
Cincinnati has the sixth-ranked scoring offense in the league (28.1 points per game), and will be facing the Chargers’ 29th-ranked scoring defense (26.6 points per game). The Bengals are fourth in the NFL in red zone offense (70.0 percent), while LA ranks 24th in red zone defense (65.1 percent). And the Chargers will have their hands full with Joe Mixon and Cincinnati’s rushing attack, which ranks 16th, averaging 111.9 rushing yards per game. LA ranks last against the run, allowing 145.3 rushing yards per game.
If he doesn’t turn the ball over, Herbert could find success against this Cincinnati secondary. The Bengals’ defense gives up 269.1 passing yards per game (24th). The Chargers rank sixth in passing, averaging 293.6 passing yards per game.
The Bengals have been favored by three points or more four times this season, and covered the spread in two of those matchups. LA’s entered as at least 3-point underdogs twice, splitting those two games against the spread. The Chargers are 2-1 straight up as underdogs this season. Both teams have played five games this season that finished Over a 50.5-point total.
The Minnesota Vikings play the Detroit Lions in this matchup of NFC North division rivals. The Vikings took a tough loss and currently cling to the final playoff spot in the NFC entering Week 13. The Lions, meanwhile, dropped another game, this time disappointing the home crowd on Thanksgiving.
The Minnesota Vikings (5-6, 6-5 ATS) squandered an opportunity to solidify their standing in the NFC playoff picture by losing 34-26 to the San Francisco 49ers. The Vikings currently hold the final Wild Card spot thanks to a tie-breakers over both the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints.
Kirk Cousins finished 20 of 32 for 238 yards, two touchdowns and one bad interception. Cousins also lined up under the offensive guard on a crucial fourth down play.
The Vikings were outgained on the ground by San Francisco 208-67. Minnesota gained just 3.7 yards per carry in this one and got just 39 yards from Dalvin Cook before he exited with an injury. The Vikings converted 2-of-8 third down tries and only 1-of-3 on fourth down.
The Detroit Lions (0-10-1, 7-4 ATS) looked like they were going to score their first victory of the season, but the team self-destructed down the stretch. The winless skid now stands at 15 straight games.
Detroit committed 10 penalties, including three in a row when they were at midfield that ended their chance to score on their last possession. The Lions then extended Chicago’s final drive with penalties as well. Detroit couldn’t get the Bears off the field late, as Andy Dalton led a game-winning, 18-play, 69-yard drive that took the final 8:30 off the clock.
Both of these teams seemed to have lost their starting running backs last week. Cook is expected to land on the IR because of a dislocated shoulder, and the Vikings will turn to his backup Alexander Mattison. The Lions, meanwhile, saw D’Andre Swift leave Week 12 with a sprained shoulder and could look to Jamaal Williams to take over.
The last time these two teams played, Detroit nearly upset the Vikings in Minnesota. It took a 54-yard field goal from Greg Joseph as time expired for the Vikings to get the win. Mattison filled in for Cook in that ballgame and put 153 total yards, but lost a crucial fumble late. Minnesota had a 16-6 lead in that one before late fourth quarter meltdown nearly cost them the contest.
The Minnesota offense is the sixth-best in the NFL with a 67.6 percent red-zone percentage. The Lions defense ranks 31st with a 75.0 percent opponent red-zone rate. The Vikings have allowed the fewest sacks (15) while registering the most sacks (33) so far this season. They sacked Jared Goff four times in Week 5.
Detroit’s defense has held opponents to 16 or fewer points in each of the last three weeks, but the offense hasn’t scored more than 16 in any of those contests.
The line for that Week 5 contest stood at plus-10 for the Vikings, who couldn’t cover at home. Minnesota failed to cover in its only game as a 7-point favorite this season. When playing as at least 7-point underdogs this year, the Lions have an ATS record of 6-1.
Picks and Predictions
Minnesota 19, Detroit 13
ML: MIN -294 (Wynn Bet); Spread: DET +7/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: Under 46.5/-105 (FanDuel)
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans Picks and Predictions
The Indianapolis Colts play the Houston Texans in this matchup of AFC South division rivals. Both teams enter this contest coming off losses at home. The Colts took a tough loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12. The Texans, meanwhile, floundered against the New York Jets.
The Indianapolis Colts (6-6, 7-5 ATS) faced Tom Brady and the Bucs in what was billed as a matchup between potential league MVPs. Indy’s Jonathan Taylor had run roughshod over the league over the last several weeks, making his case, but the Colts couldn’t consistently run the ball against Tampa Bay. Quarterback Caron Wentz turned the ball over three times in the 38-31 loss.
The Colts forgot their identity against Tampa Bay in Week 12. Indy ran the ball just 20 times in their 67 plays last Sunday. Taylor rushed 16 times, gained 83 yards and scored a touchdown. It was his ninth-straight game with a rushing touchdown. The Bucs outgained Indy on the ground, 142-107, dropping the Colts to 2-4 when out-rushed by their opponents.
The Houston Texans (2-9, 5-6 ATS) held a 14-3 lead in the second quarter at home, but saw the Jets score the game’s final 18 points in the 21-14 loss. Tyrod Taylor threw two touchdown passes in the second quarter, but the offense couldn’t do anything after that. Taylor finished 17 of 26 for 158 yards, the two scores, and one interception. Houston got just 66 rushing yards on 22 carries from their running backs.
The game was sloppily played on both sides, but Houston committed costly penalties in the loss. The Texans allowed New York to gain a season-high 157 yards on the ground and forced just one turnover. Houston’s defense had forced 10 turnovers over the previous two weeks.
When these two teams played in Week 6, Indianapolis dominated. The Colts won 31-3 in a game where they forced three Houston turnovers and ran up 174 rushing yards. Taylor picked up 145 yards on the ground and scored twice. Wentz went 11 of 20 for 223 yards and two touchdowns. Davis Mills started that game at quarterback for the Texans.
The Colts enter with the league’s top running back and the fourth-ranked rushing attack. Indy averages 144.5 rushing yards per game. The Texans, meanwhile, rank 31st defending the run. Houston allows 135.6 rushing yards per game. Indianapolis ranks first with 5.2 yards per carry, compared to the 4.5 per rush Houston gives up (23rd in the NFL).
Indy’s forced 27 turnovers (most in the NFL), and the Texans have committed 18 turnovers (eighth-most in the league). The Colts are 2-1 against the spread when favored by 8.5 points or more this season. The Texans are 3-3 ATS this year when playing as at least 8.5-point underdogs.
Indianapolis and its opponents have gone over 46 combined points in seven of 12 games this season. Houston has played four games this season that have had more than 46 combined points scored.
Picks and Prediction
Indianapolis 30, Houston 13
ML: -385 (BetMGM); Spread: IND -9/-108 (Sugar House); O/U: Under 46/-110 (BetMGM)
New York Giants at Miami Dolphins Picks and Predictions
The New York Giants play the Miami Dolphins in this non-conference matchup with surprising playoff implications. The Giants stole a game from the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12 to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Dolphins, meanwhile, scored their fourth win in a row to get back into the AFC playoff race.
The New York Giants (4-7, 6-5 ATS) kept their slim playoff hopes alive with an upset win at home over the Philadelphia Eagles. On a day when the team inducted Michael Strahan into their ring of fame, New York’s defense came to play. The Giants won 13-7, forcing four turnovers by Philadelphia.
Following the firing of Jason Garrett as offensive coordinator, the offense did just enough to get the win last week. The Giants managed just 264 total yards, but held the ball for 32:02. Daniel Jones finished 19 of 30 for 202 yards and a touchdown, but more importantly, no turnovers. Saquon Barkley managed just 40 yards on 13 carries.
The Miami Dolphins (5-7, 6-6 ATS) find themselves streaking back into the AFC playoff picture. The Dolphins dominated the Carolina Panthers in Week 12, putting up a season-high 33 points in the win. By limiting the Panthers to just 10 points, Miami’s held opponents to 17-points or fewer in each of the last four games.
The defense feasted in this one, getting five sacks and three interceptions. The Dolphins D hit Carolina QBs 11 times and batted down 10 Panther passes. Miami limited the Panthers to 4-of-14 on third down and just 198 total yards.
Jaylen Waddle had nine catches for a career-high 137 yards and a touchdown. Tua Tagovailoa played a nearly perfect game, completing 27 of 31 passes 230 yards and the score. Miami outgained the Panthers on the ground 111-64, with newcomer Phillip Lindsay providing 42 rushing yards on his 12 carries.
Miami needs to be wary of giveaways in this one. The Dolphins have committed the fifth-most turnovers in the league (20), and are up against the sixth-ranked Giants defense which has forced 19.
The Dolphins allow opponents to score on 51.1 percent of their red-zone trips (fifth in the league). New York’s offense has a 43.3 percent red-zone percentage (32nd). The Giants’ running game ranks 26th in the league (90.8), but Miami ranks top-10 against the run (104.9 rushing yards per game). The Dolphins rank first in Quarterback Hits (63) and Pressures (139).
Miami’s been favored by 3 points or more two times this season, and covered the spread in both. The Giants are 6-3 ATS this year when playing as at least 3-point underdogs. New York has played four games this season that finished with a point total above 41.5 points. Miami and its opponents have scored more than 41.5 points in six of 12 games this season.
This four-game winning streak has turned Miami’s season around. Gone are the whispers about needing a new quarterback and perhaps a new coach. Now, Miami enters Week 13 needing another win to stay alive in the postseason hunt.
Picks and Predictions
Miami 26, New York Giants 17
ML: MIA -147 (Sugar House); Spread: MIA -3/-105 (Caesars); O/U: Over 41.5/-105 (DraftKings)
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets Picks and Predictions
The Philadelphia Eagles play the New York Jets in this non-conference matchup on Sunday afternoon. This will be the Eagles second-straight contest in New Jersey, and they’re hoping from a better result this time. The Jets, meanwhile, hope to build on positive momentum after scoring a nice road win in Week 12.
The Philadelphia Eagles (5-7, 6-6 ATS) played their worst game in a long time last week, committing four costly turnovers in the 13-7 loss to the New York Giants. The Eagles had the chance to grab the final Wild Card spot in the NFC with a win, but squandered that opportunity. The seven points scored were a season-low for Philly.
Jalen Hurts went 14 of 31 for 129 yards with three interceptions, including a terrible one at the goal line. Hurts led the team with 77 rushing yards and a touchdown, and had the team in position to win late, despite the terrible play. But two crippling drops by former first-round pick Jalen Reagor late in the fourth quarter kept the team from a comeback victory.
The New York Jets (3-8, 3-8 ATS) welcomed rookie Kyle Wilson back to the lineup last week. And despite a head-scratching interception on a shovel pass off his receiver’s back, Wilson led the Jets to a 21-14 victory on the road over the Houston Texans.
Wilson finished 14 of 24 for 145 yards and the INT. He also ran for a touchdown, helping New York snap a three-game losing skid. The Jets gained a season-high 157 rushing yards, but converted just 2-of-13 on third down. They did convert both fourth down tries, though.
The Jets’ defense held Houston scoreless in the second half. The 14 points allowed are the fewest by New York this season, as are the 202 total yards. New York’s out of the playoff picture, but could string some wins together in the second half if the defense continues to improve.
The Eagles have done their best work on the road this season, despite a bad loss last week in this very same building. Philly’s 4-3 both straight up and against the spread as the road team this season. The Jets, meanwhile, are 2-3 both straight up and against the spread as the home team.
Prior to their disastrous Week 12 performance, the Eagle offense found itself over a 3-1 stretch where they scored 34.5 points per game. The Jets, meanwhile, went 1-3 before last week’s win, and allowed 36.3 points per game over that span.
The Eagles’ rushing game ranks first in the NFL (157.9 yards per game). The Jets allow 128.7 rushing yards per game (27th). Philadelphia has a highly-ranked rushing attack in terms of yards per carry (second in the league at 5.1), and will have a favorable matchup against the 23rd-ranked defense in that category, as New York gives up 4.5.
The Jets have forced a league-low nine turnovers this season, so don’t expect Hurts to have another three-INT day. New York’s been an underdog by 6.5-points or more five times this season, and covered the spread in only one of those games. If the Eagles expect to make a postseason run, this is a must-win game for them.
The Washington Football Team plays the Las Vegas Raiders in this non-conference matchup with playoff implications. Washington picked up its third-straight win, this time topping the Seahawks on Monday Night Football. The Raiders, meanwhile, scored the biggest upset victory in Week 12, topping the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
The Washington Football Team (5-6, 4-7 ATS) has suddenly found a reliable defense and effective running game en route to three straight wins. Washington kept their playoff chances on life support with the 17-15 win over the Seahawks at home on Monday.
Washington held a 17-9 lead in the fourth, until a late rally from the Seahawks ended with Kendall Fuller intercepting Russell Wilson’s two-point conversion throw. Taylor Heinicke outdueled Wilson, completing 27 of 35 for 223 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Washington outgained the Seahawks on the ground 152-34 on Monday night. And the defense held Seattle to just 267 total yards.
The Las Vegas Raiders (6-5, 5-6 ATS) snapped a three-game losing streak with their 36-33 overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. The victory keeps the Raiders in the hunt for the final AFC playoff spot.
Derek Carr 24 of 39 passes for 373 yards and one touchdown, but the Raiders needed help from Dallas to get this win. Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown was flagged four times for defensive pass interference, and Las Vegas was gifted seven first downs due to penalties. That helped offset the Raiders’ 3-of-13 effort on third downs.
Las Vegas put up a season-high 509 yards on offense, and outgained the Cowboys 143-64 on the ground. They didn’t commit any turnovers, but were flagged 14 times for penalties, costing them 110 yards.
The Raiders have one of the league’s best passing offenses, a second-ranked unit that picks up 310.4 yards per game. Washington, meanwhile, ranks 27th in that category, allowing 277 passing yards per game. Washington ranks fourth against the run, but that’s not something the Raiders rely on.
It’ll be interesting the see what happens on third down, as both the Raiders offense and Washington defense struggle in that situation. Las Vegas ranks 29th on third down offense, converting just 34.4 percent of the time. Washington ranks last in third down defense, allowing 51.4 percent of conversion on the season.
The Raiders have covered the spread once this season (1-3 ATS) when playing as at least 2.5-point favorites. Washington, meanwhile, is 2-5 against the spread as an underdog of 2.5-points or more. Washington and its opponents have gone Over a 48.5 total just four times this season. Las Vegas and opponents have done that seven times, including last week.
The Raiders need this game to keep pace in the AFC playoff race, but another win from Washington puts them right back into the mix in the NFC.
The Jacksonville Jaguars play the Los Angeles Rams in this non-conference matchup in Southern California. Both teams enter coming off disappointing losses in Week 12. Jacksonville had a winnable game at home last week, but fell to the Falcons. The Rams, meanwhile, continued on their recent losing skid, dropping a marquee matchup to the Green Bay Packers.
The Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9, 4-7 ATS) faltered at home yet again, this time falling to the Atlanta Falcons 21-14. The Jags allowed Atlanta to gain a season-high 149 rushing yards, and saw Cordarrelle Patterson gain a career-high 108 yards on the ground and score twice.
The Jags committed two costly turnovers early in the ball game that allowed Atlanta to take control. Trevor Lawrence threw his 10th interception of the season, then James Robinson fumbled for the first time. Both proved pivotal as Jacksonville’s rally came up short.
The Los Angeles Rams (7-4, 4-7 ATS) went to Green Bay in hopes of stopped their recent losing skid, but fell behind 36-17 in the third quarter and could muster enough in their rally. Matthew Stafford threw a pick-six for the third game in a row, and the Rams fell 36-28.
The Packers scored 16 points off LA’s three turnovers. Stafford finished 21 of 38 for 302 yards with three touchdown passes and the INT, but also lost a crucial fumble. The Rams allowed Green Bay to gain 399 total yards and lost time of possession 20:20-39:40.
With the loss, the Rams dropped to 1-4 against teams above .500 this season. Bad news for the Jags, though, LA’s 6-0 against sub-.500 teams. The team’s three-game losing streak is tied for the longest such skid under head coach Sean McVay.
The Rams must stop this losing skid, and face a Jacksonville team that really struggles to score the ball. The Jags rank 31st in scoring (15.7), so unless Stafford continues serving up pick-sixes, LA should be okay. Jacksonville ranks 32nd in takeaways (6).
The Jaguars have covered the spread when playing as at least 12.5-point underdogs in their only opportunity this season. The Rams have been favored by 12.5 points or more this season twice, and failed to cover both times. Los Angeles’ games this season have featured more combined points than this contest’s total of 48 points seven times. For Jacksonville, that’s happened only three times this season.
Picks and Predictions
Los Angeles Rams 27, Jacksonville 13
ML: LAR -667 (DraftKings); Spread: LAR -12.5/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: Under 48/-110 (BetMGM)
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers Picks and Predictions
The Baltimore Ravens play the Pittsburgh Steelers in this matchup of AFC North rivals with important playoff implications. With their win in Week 12, the Ravens maintained control over the AFC North. The win and Tennessee’s loss propelled them to the conference’s top seed. The Steelers, meanwhile, fell behind in the playoff pace after their bad loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Baltimore Ravens (8-3, 5-6 ATS) floundered through their Week 12 16-10 win over the Cleveland Browns. Lamar Jackson threw a career-high four interceptions in that ballgame, his first after missing Week 11 with an illness.
Jackson finished 20 of 32 for 165 yards, one touchdown and the four INTs. He was dogged all night long by Cleveland’s pass rush, who registered two sacks and five QB hits. Jackson led the Ravens with 68 rushing yards.
Baltimore’s defense bailed out the offense in this one. The Ravens D limited Cleveland to 262 total yards and 4-of-13 on third down. They forced two turnovers and kept the vaunted Browns rushing attack to just 40 yards on 17 carries.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5-1, 4-7 ATS) played one of their worst games in years in the 41-10 loss to the Bengals. The 31-point defeat stands as the franchise’s most lopsided loss since 2016. Pittsburgh was down 34-3 at one point, and was swept by the Bengals for the first time since 2009.
The Steelers allowed Joe Mixon to run up a career-high 165 rushing yards and two touchdowns. All told, the Bengals outgained Pittsburgh 198-51 on the ground. Najee Harris managed just 23 rushing yards on eight carries. That’s now two consecutive games the rookie has finished with fewer than 40 rushing yards.
The Steelers committed three turnovers, including a pick-six tossed by Ben Roethlisberger. The loss pushed Pittsburgh to 10th in the conference. They desperately need a win to maintain pace in the playoff race.
The Steelers placed EDGE TJ Watt on the COVID-19 list due to a positive test. That puts his availability in doubt for Sunday’s game at home against Baltimore. It’s a game the Steelers desperately need if they want to remain in the playoff hunt, sitting in 12th place in the conference.
Baltimore enters with the second-ranked rushing offense (150.7 yards per game). The Steelers rank 28th defending the run, allowing 133.1 yards per game. The Ravens rank fifth in yards per carry (4.6), while Pittsburgh surrenders 4.8 yards per carry, ranking 31st in the league. The Steelers do get after the quarterback, registering 30 sacks so far (fifth-most), and Baltimore allowed the second-most sacks in the league (36).
This feels like an elimination game for Pittsburgh, and their unreliable offense doesn’t give Steelers fans much hope. The Ravens needs this win to stay atop the division and conference.
Picks and Predictions
Baltimore 24, Pittsburgh 16
ML: BAL -145 (PointsBet); Spread: BAL -3.5/-105 (Sugar House); O/U: Under 44.5/-109 (Sugar House)
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks Picks and Predictions
The San Francisco 49ers play the Seattle Seahawks in this matchup of NFC West division rivals. The 49ers have thundered back into the NFC playoff picture with their play recently. The Seahawks, meanwhile, suffered their third straight defeat, this time falling in Washington. Seattle’s losing skid has all but eliminated then from the playoffs at this point.
The San Francisco 49ers (6-5, 5-6 ATS) find themselves holding a Wild Card position despite starting the season 2-4. The Niners have won three in a row, and San Francisco’s 34-26 win over Minnesota vaulted them over the Vikings in the playoff standings.
The Niners outrushed Minnesota 208 to 67 last Sunday. Elijah Mitchell gained 133 yards on his 27 carries, and Deebo Samuel ran up 66 yards and two scores on the ground. Jimmy Garoppolo finished 17 of 26 for 230 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
San Francisco’s defense limited the Vikings to 2-of-8 on third down attempts, and stopped a key fourth down try in the fourth quarter. The Niners forced two turnovers in this one. With their recent run, San Francisco is in prime position for the playoff push.
The Seattle Seahawks (3-8, 5-6 ATS) fell behind 17-9 in the fourth quarter and needed a late fourth down stop to set up a potential game-tying rally. But after getting a touchdown to narrow the margin to two points, Russell Wilson’s two-point conversion pass was intercepted at the back of the end zone.
Wilson was 20 of 31 for 247 yards and two touchdown passes, but he missed several throws and lost three consecutive games for the first time as the Seahawks’ starting quarterback. Washington outrushed Seattle 152-34 in this one and held a 41:40-18:20 edge in time of possession. The Seahawks were just 4-of-12 on third down.
The last time these two teams played, Wilson led the Seahawks to victory in San Francisco. Wilson threw two TDs passes and ran for another as Seattle scored 21 second-half points in the 28-21 win. The Niners outgained Seattle 457-234 in that one, but committed two critical turnovers.
Seattle’s offense is struggling, though. The Seahawks rank 30th in terms of yards per game (298.6), and will be facing a top-10 defense in that category, the No. 6 ranked 49ers (318.7). Seattle’s offense ranks last in third-down conversions (32.4 percent). The 49ers’ defense gives up third-down conversions at a 38.2% clip (10th).
The Niners should be able to find traction on the ground. San Francisco’s rushing game ranks sixth in the NFL (130.9 yards per game). The Seahawks give up 122.2 rushing yards per game (23rd).
49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) is expected to “miss a little time,” according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Picks and Predictions
San Francisco 23, Seattle 21
ML: SF -130 (PointsBet); Spread: +3.5/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: Under 45/-105 (DraftKings)
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs Picks and Predictions
When: Sunday, December 5th, 8:20 PM
Where: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
The Denver Broncos play the Kansas City Chiefs in this matchup of AFC West division rivals. This game carries with it major implications of the playoff picture in the AFC. With Denver’s most recent win, all members of the AFC West stand with above-.500 records.
The Denver Broncos (6-5, 6-5 ATS) kept themselves in the running for an AFC Wild Card spot with their 28-13 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 12. Patrick Surtain II picked off two Justin Herbert passes, one in the end zone in the fourth quarter and another he returned 70-yards for a touchdown.
Denver outgained the Chargers 147-72 on the ground and got a workman-like performance from Teddy Bridgewater, who left the game for a time with an injury. The Broncos also saw left tackle Calvin Anderson (knee) and left guard Dalton Risner (back) leave with injuries. The defense came up with those key fourth quarter turnovers and sacked Herbert three times.
The Kansas City Chiefs (7-4, 4-7 ATS) enjoyed their Bye Week after a 19-9 win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11. The Chiefs’ defense came up huge in that contest, limiting Dallas to a season-low 276 total yards, as well as a season-low in points.
During their current four-game winning streak, Kansas City’s defense has made the difference. After struggling through the early part of the season, KC’s D is holding opponents to 294 yards per game over their last four. In the 3-4 stretch to start the year, the defense allowed 404.6 yards per game. The Chiefs have forced eight turnovers over the last four games.
The Broncos enter ranked third in scoring defense, allowing just 17.8 points per game. But they’re ranked 28th on third down, allowing 44.1 percent conversions. The Chiefs offense ranks first in third-down percentage (51.5 percent).
Although Kansas City has surrendered the second-most giveaways (22), the Broncos have forced only 13 turnovers (15th-fewest). During this four-game winning streak, though, the Chiefs have cut their turnover-rate nearly in half, down to 1.5 per game. In the seven weeks prior, KC turned the ball over 2.4 times per game.
The Chiefs have been favored by at least 9.5-points only once this season and didn’t cover in that spot. Denver won its only game entering as a 9.5-point underdog. Denver and its opponents have scored more than 49.5 combined points just once this season. In seven of 12 games this season, Kansas City and its opponents have scored more than 49.5 points.
Denver finds itself in the AFC playoff picture and needs another win here to keep pace. The Chiefs, meanwhile, seem to have figured things out and are poised for a run to the top of the conference. A loss here would hurt that goal.
The New England Patriots play the Buffalo Bills in the biggest game of the NFL Week 13 slate. The winner of this ballgame will have control of the AFC East division. The Patriots are rolling into this contest, winners of six straight. The Bills, meanwhile, righted the ship with their win over the New Orleans Saints on Thanksgiving.
The New England Patriots (8-4, 8-4 ATS) rode a dominant defensive performance to a 36-13 win over the Tennessee Titans in Week 12. The Patriots forced four turnovers, including three in the second half and one in the end zone, to get this victory.
The Patriots sport a league-leading plus-13 turnover margin since Week 7. During this six-game winning streak, New England’s outscored opponents by 148 points. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones completed 23 of 32 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns in this one.
The Buffalo Bills (7-4, 7-4 ATS) righted their offensive woes with an impressive performance on Thanksgiving. The Bills defeated the New Orleans Saints 31-6, as Josh Allen connected on four touchdown passes.
Following a disappointing 26-point home loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11, Buffalo took it to a shorthanded Saints squad. The Bills outgained New Orleans 361-190, and it could have been even more one-sided had Allen not thrown two interceptions. For the third time in the last four games, Allen had multiple turnovers. He has seven interceptions and one lost fumble over his last four games. The Bills can’t afford that against New England.
The Patriots enter this one with the league’s top scoring defense, allowing just 15.8 points per game. Buffalo, though, has the league’s second-highest scoring team, averaging 29.6 points per game. Buffalo ranks fifth with 4.6 yards per carry, compared to the 4.5 per rush New England allows (23rd in the NFL).
The Bills’ defense is seventh-best in the NFL with a 51.6 percent opponent red zone percentage. New England’s offense ranks 24th in the league with a 55.6 percent red zone rate. The Patriots rank 15th in the league, committing 15 turnovers this season, while the Bills are tied with New England for second with 25 turnovers forced.
The Bills have covered the spread seven times this season (7-4 ATS) when playing as at least 2.5-point favorites. New England’s covered the spread twice when an underdog by 2.5 points or more this year (in three opportunities). In six of 13 games this season, Buffalo and its opponents have combined to total more than 43.5 points. New England has played six games this season that ended with a combined score over 43.5 points.
This game will be the biggest test of rookie Mac Jones’ young career. The team that wins the turnover battle in this one should come out ahead. And the prize is control of the AFC East.
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