Everything I touched last week turned to gold. A ridiculous string of winning bets. A 10-5-1 record against the spread in my picks (bringing my season record to a 55% win rate, which is as good as the pro’s). Going something like 15-2 in my bet recommendations. And did I mention a ridiculous amount of winning bets?
Week 12 was a blast. But when the dust settled on Sunday night, the oddsmakers were already hard at work making sure week 13 isn’t nearly as fun. I’m nervous. It doesn’t feel quite as easy this week.
So be careful out there this week, and don’t get overconfident (like I’m almost definitely going to do).
Here are the week 13 picks.
Teams on Bye: Cleveland, Tennessee
Dallas (-4) at Minnesota | over/under 44
The Pick: Minnesota
The Score: Minnesota 23, Dallas 21
The Bets: Under (54) in a 3-way tease
So I was already feeling suspicious of the obvious Dallas bet in this game. They’re coming off a gigantic home division win on Thanksgiving over Washington, and next week they play at the Giants, another gigantic division game. Tell me this doesn’t feel like the ultimate letdown or “everything goes wrong” game for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys really should realize that if they beat Minnesota, the Giants game is almost irrelevant. But I think they’ll succumb to thinking about how New York is suddenly nipping at their heels.
Statistically and logically speaking, Dallas should win and probably cover. But this is the time of year where weird shit happens.
And as you’re watching them look more like the 2015 Brandon Weeden Cowboys than this current installment, just remember that I tried to warn you, and even reminded you that Minnesota hasn’t lost a home game in regulation this year.
(Wrote all of that way before Dallas squeaked out a 17-15 win on Thursday night. Taking Minnesota with the points was the ultimate Sharp move. Feels like a good omen for the rest of the weekend.)
Kansas City at Atlanta (-4.5) | over/under 49
The Pick: Kansas City
The Score: Atlanta 26, Kansas City 23 (in OT)
The Bets: None
Atlanta has come through for me time after time this season, but I don’t see them doing it again in week 13. At best, they should be 3 point favorites because that’s the standard spread for two teams at a similar level of success/talent.
The fact that the KC offense hasn’t put up more than 20 points in over a month is alarming (last week’s Denver game saw a safety, a safety kick return and a FG in overtime that they were handed by Denver).
I think this game is going to overtime and I trust the Falcons offense just a bit more than the Chiefs defense in terms of pulling out a late win. But can’t pick Atlanta to cover.
Detroit at New Orleans (-5.5) | over/under 53.5
The Pick: New Orleans
The Score: New Orleans 34, Detroit 27
The Bets:Over (54) / Over (44) in a 3-way tease
I initially thought this was a dumb line because Detroit is 7-4 and possibly playoff bound while the 5-6 Saints are a longshot to be playing meaningful football in January.
But it turns out the Lions still don’t rate out very well in the overall advanced stats. Considering Detroit has the 32nd ranked pass defense and the Saints are slightly better at #25, I think the over is pretty damn safe in this one.
Four of the Saints six home games this season have exceeded 68 total points, and the two that fell below that number were against defensive stalwarts Seattle (5th in defense) and Denver (2nd in defense).
I’m reluctant to touch either team with the point spread because the Lions have been doing a great job making sure every game is decided by 7 points or less, but if ever there was a game for them to lose by double digits, this might be it.
Los Angeles at New England (-13.5) | over/under 44.5
The Pick: Los Angeles
The Score: New England 28, Los Angeles 19
The Bets: New England (-3.5) in a 3-way tease / Over 34.5 in a 3-way tease
It’s probably safe to get the Patriots into a 3-way tease where you adjust the lines by 10 points. Even though it would be nice to not have someone favored by more than 3 when you’re risking so much in a teaser, I don’t think you have to worry about Jared Goff and the Rams pulling off any kind of backdoor (teaser) cover.
I also think teasing the over is super safe. Even with the Patriots rolling out a (permanently) Gronk-less offense, they’ll wander their way to 24 points at least. And since everyone should know by now that the Pats defense regularly gives QBs a career day, I think we can count on the Rams to put up a couple touchdowns.
I would put low confidence on picking LA to cover, but it feels more likely than the Pats rolling to an easy win against a solid defense in December football.
Denver (-4) at Jacksonville | Over/Under 40
The Pick: Denver
The Score: Denver 21, Jacksonville 14
The Bets: Under (50) in a 3-way tease
The Jaguars have scored more than 23 points exactly one time through 11 games this year. Do you really expect them to excel against the Broncos? No, they’re going to struggle mightily.
Keep in mind this is a pissed off, suddenly-outside-the-playoff-picture Denver team (ranked 2nd in defense) facing a full-on Jacksonville dumpster fire.
Denver games have gone over the teased total of 50 just once this season in regulation. The Broncos offense is even less effective on the road than at home. And the Jags putting up 14 points might be a generous estimate.
Crush the under in this one.
Houston at Green Bay (-7) | Over/Under 45
The Pick: Green Bay
The Score: Green Bay 28, Houston 18
The Bets: Green Bay (+3) in a 3-way tease
SuperContest: Yes with Green Bay (-7)
So I was originally looking at lines during the Monday night game and the Packers were favored by 3.5 in this game…that woulda been awesome. Too bad they looked so decent in Philly and ruined everything. Imagine teasing them to +6.5 in this game? That train has sailed, but don’t be afraid to still tease the Packers down. They’re winning this game.
Rodgers is on an absolute roll and I think the Packers figured out that he needs to have the ball in his hands and give up on a real running game. Also, Jordy Nelson has 7+ catches in 3 of his last 4 games while having zero 7+ catch games in his first 7 games this year. Same with yards. Nelson has had 90+ in 4 of his last 5, but only had 1 such game in his first 7 games.
Houston on the road is 1-4, with their one win being a 24-21 nailbiter at the Jaguars.
The Packers are a favorite this week.
Philadelphia at Cincinnati (-1) | Over/Under 42
The Pick: Cincinnati
The Score: Cincinnati 24, Philadelphia 21 (in OT)
The Bets: Cincinnati (+9) in a 3-way tease / Under (52) in a 3-way tease
The Eagles are 1-5 on the road, where their road win was at Chicago. Think about that. This game feels very even.
Before I knew the lines, I pegged this game as a “don’t even look at the total…automatically bet the under,” and I stand by that.
Miami at Baltimore (-3.5) | Over/Under 40.5
The Pick: Miami
The Score: Baltimore 17, Miami 14
The Bets: Under (50.5) in a 3-way tease
This is a pretty easy under. Yeah, the Dolphins are decent on offense, almost entirely due to the running game, but the Ravens have a top 5 defense, are awesome defending the run, and have given up more than 16 points only once in their six home games this year.
-Listen, if the Dolphins don’t slip up here, they could easily be 10-4 heading into week 16. They’ve gotta lose this game, but it feels like a close one.
San Francisco at Chicago (-1) | Over/Under 43.5
The Pick: San Francisco
The Score: San Francisco 22, Chicago 21
The Bets: None
These two teams have scored a combined 406 points this year. By comparison, the Falcons alone have scored 358 points (just 48 fewer points).
And with that, we’ll spend no further time on this game. Both teams are too volatile to rely on.
Buffalo at Oakland (-3.5) | Over/Under 49
The Pick: Buffalo
The Score: Oakland 30, Buffalo 27
The Bets: Over (39) in a 3-way tease
Oakland puts up 30 points on just about everyone and they give up almost as many. This game pits the 4th ranked offense (Oakland) against the 7th ranked offense (Buffalo). This is such an obvious over game.
NY Giants at Pittsburgh (-6) | Over/Under 48
The Pick: NY Giants
The Score: Pittsburgh 25, NY Giants 20
The Bets: Giants (+16) in a 3-way tease / Under (58) in a 3-way tease
SuperContest: Yes with Giants (+6)
The Giants are on a 6-game win streak, but the last five have come against teams that are now under .500, and other than last week in Cleveland, they haven’t been able to beat anyone by more than a touchdown.
The Steelers look like a group who can beat non-playoff contenders (at Cleveland and Indianapolis in the last two weeks), but can’t beat contenders (4 game losing streak starting in week 6 against Miami, New England, Baltimore and Dallas).
I think this will be a close game because neither team is as good as we think they are. If anything, the Giants’ defense is the difference-maker.
Washington at Arizona (-2.5) | Over/Under 49
The Pick: Washington
The Score: Washington 24, Arizona 21
The Bets: None
SuperContest: Washington (+2.5)
I could see a way where the Cardinals win by one or two, but it’s far more likely that the Redskins offense does just enough to get the late win. I really don’t have a feel for any bets because the Skins are definitely worse on the road, but the Cardinals have only won four games all year, and two of those wins came against the 49ers.
Tampa Bay at San Diego (-3.5) | Over/Under 47.5
The Pick: San Diego
The Score: San Diego 28, Tampa Bay 18
The Bets: San Diego (+6.5) in a 3-way tease
SuperContest: Yes with San Diego (-3.5)
I realize this should be a close game and that a lot of people will probably bet the Bucs just because they’re getting an extra half point. But something about this game screams Chargers to me. Either they win somewhat easily, or a sloppy, turnover-filled game looks more like a blowout with the final score than what really transpired.
Carolina at Seattle (-7) | Over/Under 44.5
The Pick: Seattle
The Score: Seattle 27, Carolina 17
The Bets: Seattle (-1 or +3) in a 2-way or 3-way tease
SuperContest: Yes with Seattle (-7)
Seattle’s back to their old ways of being unbeatable at home.
Meanwhile, on the road, the Panthers are 1-4 with their one win coming in Los Angeles.
The Panthers won’t put up much of a fight. Maybe they play decent defense for a while, but their offense will be almost no threat and eventually the Seahawks will break through.
I think people are forgetting that if the season ended today, the Panthers would get either the 7th or 8th pick in next year’s Draft. They are REALLY bad.
Indianapolis (-2.5) at NY Jets | Over/Under 49
The Pick: Indianapolis
The Score: Indianapolis 27, NY Jets 24
The Bets: None
This is a perfect 14 seconds that captures my exact thoughts about this game.
Here are the season-long stats that I’m tracking:
- Favorites are 73-95-9 against the spread through 12 weeks (including 7-8-1 in week 12)
- The Point Total has landed on Over 89 times, Under 85 times, and Pushed 3 times
- I’m 94-77-6 against the spread.
Enjoy week 13.