Breaking Down The Lines: A Review Of NFL Week 13 Games

Weekly NFL Picks Week 13

Week 12 went well for us (17-11). On Sunday morning, I went on Twitter and audibled three games. Due to horrible weather reports, I went with the under on the Jets vs Raiders, Patriots vs Cowboys, and Eagles vs Seahawks. It worked on all three and as a result, flipped the likely outcome of 14-14 to 17-11. This week, we’ll have three games on Thursday, so get your picks in before you doze off on your Thanksgiving, post-meal nap.

2019 record: 176-150 (53.9%)

This week, we attempt to keep the win streaks alive. As always, the betting lines listed come from the BetRivers online sportsbook. If you have a few minutes, check out Collin’s in-depth predictions and analysis. Got just a minute? Here is a summary of Collin’s picks for the upcoming week.

Matchup/LineCollin's PickTake With the SpreadOver/Under
Bears -3 @ Lions O/U: 38.5Bears 23 Lions 17BearsOver
Bills @ Cowboys -6.5 O/U: 46Cowboys 26 Bills 23BillsOver
Saints -6.5 @ Falcons O/U: 49Saints 31 Falcons 24FalconsOver
Browns -2 @ Steelers O/U: 40Steelers 23 Browns 20SteelersOver
Packers -6.5 @ Giants O/U: 45.5Packers 31 Giants 14PackersUnder
Jets -3.5 @ Bengals O/U: 41.5Jets 23 Bengals 20BengalsOver
Eagles -9 @ Dolphins O/U: 45Eagles 35 Dolphins 14EaglesOver
49ers @ Ravens -6 O/U: 45.5Ravens 24 49ers 2049ersUnder
Bucs @ Jaguars -1 O/U: 49Bucs 31 Jaguars 24BucsOver
Titans @ Colts -2 O/U: 43.5Titans 26 Colts 23TitansOver
Redskins @ Panthers -10 O/U: 40Panthers 31 Redskins 10PanthersOver
Rams -3 @ Cardinals O/U: 47Rams 34 Cardinals 24RamsOver
Chargers -2.5 @ Broncos O/U: 38.5Chargers 24 Broncos 16ChargersOver
Raiders @ Chiefs -9.5 O/U: 51.5Chiefs 34 Raiders 21ChiefsOver
Patriots -3 @ Texans O/U: 44.5Patriots 24 Texans 20PatriotsUnder
Vikings @ Seahawks -2.5 O/U: 49Seahawks 27 Vikings 24SeahawksOver

November 28th (Thursday)

Bears -3 @ Lions O/U: 38.5

At least we’re kicking off Thanksgiving with the worst game of the week. It’s Mitch Trubisky against Jeff Driskell on national television! Get hyped, people. It’s a massive 38.5 point total, so you can expect to see a lot of incompletions on both sides of the coin. The Bears have the inherent upper hand in this game as their pass defense is one of the better units in football.

I imagine Bo Scarborough and others will get their shots at the Bears weak rush defense this week, but the Lions pass defense hasn’t been very good either. The Lions rush defense is even worse, so I’m anticipating this game will be very low scoring and should come down to who can win the battle in the trenches. This is a must-win for the Bears and I simply don’t trust Jeff Driskell against this Bears pass defense. Bears 23 Lions 17

Bills @ Cowboys -6.5 O/U: 46

Buffalo impressed me last week. They put the clamps down on Phillip Lindsay and the Broncos rushing attack. Josh Allen has had two fantastic games in a row now. The Bills defense looked stellar against a one-dimensional offense for the second week in a row. The Bills have struggled on defense against well-balanced offenses this season (Eagles, Patriots, Browns). It’s very much a reason to be concerned for this matchup against Dallas.

Dallas has the weapons and rushing attack that can move the chains against the Bills. We’ve seen in most of Dallas’ games this season, they’ve been able to run the ball relatively well. The Bills have struggled against good rushing teams, even more so when they have to commit more to the secondary while defending these well-balanced teams. Offensively, the Bills will be hard to contain, since Josh Allen has such good mobility to go along with a tremendous passer rating on passes up to 20 yards. I think this game will come down to a field goal and I like Dallas to pull it out at home. Cowboys 26 Bills 23

Saints -6.5 @ Falcons O/U: 49

There were rumors in their last meeting that the Saints players were out partying late in the days leading up to the Falcons game, because their coach got engaged. I assume that absolutely had to be a factor in why they looked so bad in that matchup. Not a lot made sense in their previous game, just a few weeks ago. Drew Brees was sacked six times in their Week 10 matchup and the Saints only ran the ball 11 times for 52 yards over the course of the game. The more I look at this game, the more outliers I’m seeing. There has to be some regression to the mean this week, so I’m going with the Saints on the road this week. This team is seeking revenge and has the kind of weapons that are hard to silence, especially twice in the same season. Saints 31 Falcons 24

December 1st (Sunday)

Browns -2 @ Steelers O/U: 40

It’s the revenge game that may actually result in the rest of the league’s fans giving a crap enough to watch it. I’m just kidding, but I think the Steelers are going to be motivated in multiple ways this week. First, the Myles Garrett revenge is definitely stirring the pot, first and foremost. Second, the Browns concussed two Steelers receivers in their first meeting. The third motivator is the playoff race. The Steelers are currently clinging to the final playoff spot. A victory at home against a hated rival is going to go a long way in charging them up for a playoff run. Steelers 23 Browns 20

Packers -6.5 @ Giants O/U: 45.5

I have a strong feeling the steam is building for Aaron Rodgers and he’s had enough of serving as a puppet decoy at quarterback. Rodgers has just two touchdowns in the last three games. In those games, the Packers were blown out by both the Chargers and the 49ers. Aaron Rodgers failed to exceed 161 yards in both games. The “run first, run second” approach isn’t working like it was earlier in the season.

With the return of Davante Adams, the offense should see a shift in their approach going forward. This week, specifically, the Packers have very strong a very strong matchup against the Giants, who are among the bottom of the league in pass defense. I believe the Packers will approach this game based on the matchup, as opposed to their own philosophy. They should win comfortably, and Aaron Rodgers will have a game we won’t soon forget. Packers 31 Giants 14

Jets -3.5 @ Bengals O/U: 41.5

The Jets are on quite the run right now. They’ve won their last three games, each more impressive than the last. They’re on the road this week facing a Bengals team who is winless in 2019. The thing about this is that the Bengals are a better team than people realize. They nearly beat Seattle, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Oakland. Joe Mixon is averaging 93 yards rushing per game over the past three games after only topping 67 yards just once prior to that. Andy Dalton was also just announced as the starting quarterback again, so we should see the passing game open up here, as the Jets pass defense is still their glaring weakness. Call me crazy, but I think this will be another field goal game. I’m going with the Jets to pull off a squeaker on the road. Jets 23 Bengals 20

Eagles -9 @ Dolphins O/U: 45

I’ve done quite a bit of research on this one, since I have an article devoted to the Eagles and Steelers. I believe this will be a game the Eagles defense takes over. We haven’t seen much from the Eagles on offense in the past month as the skill position players continue to struggle with health issues. Their defense has been keeping them in these games and the offense has struggled to keep drives going. The Dolphins can’t run the ball, at all, so the script for them will be straightforward.

On paper, the Eagles are weak in the secondary, but over the past month, they’ve held opponents to just 15.5 points per game (Seahawks, Patriots, Bears, Bills). This week should be one in which they can focus solely on the pass rush. I think this one will snowball for the Eagles and they win this easily. Ryan Fitzpatrick is just an older version of Jameis Winston, so expect a few turnovers from the Dolphins. Eagles 35 Dolphins 14

49ers @ Ravens -6 O/U: 45.5

Can anyone stop the Ravens? They’ve been invincible on offense now for almost the entire season. Their defense is playing lights out as well. Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard a lot of people making the Super Bowl prediction of Ravens versus 49ers. For now, we get to see a teaser as two of the best rushing attacks in football will square off in a battle of modern dynamic offenses. I get the 49ers have a great defense, but they’ve struggled in games against mobile quarterbacks. In the three games this season against Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray, the 49ers defense is averaging nearly 24 points surrendered per game.

They probably aren’t going to have a lot of success stopping Lamar Jackson in this game. Conversely, the Ravens passing defense is great. They rank 4th against opposing quarterbacks and 6th against running backs. However, consider the fact the Ravens have had massive leads in most of these games and you’ll see their rush defense is susceptible. This game should stay within reach and I like the Ravens here, but I think we’re looking at a very close outcome. Ravens 24 49ers 20

Bucs @ Jaguars -1 O/U: 49

The Bucs are one of those teams you just can’t quite figure out. Their rush defense is stellar, but the passing defense is still the worst in the league. The Jags are hard to figure out as well. They can be had in the run game, but they aren’t a team that likes to run the ball a lot. This is a two-target system and the Bucs stick to that for a majority of plays.

Can the Jags’ secondary be exploited? Of course the Jags can be exploited but when a team is facing another that has a specific style, it’s a lot easier to focus on that style and push the rush defense priority to the back. I think we will see a high scoring game here but I’m not sure Nick Foles is back at the level yet where he can exploit a bad passing defense. Bucs 31 Jaguars 24

Titans @ Colts -2 O/U: 43.5

The Titans are playing great football as of late. The effectiveness of Ryan Tannehill in the passing game has taken a lot of pressure off the opposing rush defense, opening holes for the big man, Derrick Henry. The balance in this Titans offense has been the biggest story on their 5-1 run of late. The Colts have been fading a bit, dropping three of their last four and looking less and less inept in the passing game as time goes by.

This game will be huge in shaping the AFC Wildcard picture as a loss here would be devastating for either of these playoff hopefuls. I like the Colts’ home field advantage here, combined with their defense and run game, but the Titans are a much different team than the one the Colts faced back in Week 2. I think the Titans are much more dangerous on offense and for that, I like them on the road this week by a slim margin. Titans 26 Colts 23

Redskins @ Panthers -10 O/U: 40

The Redskins aren’t as bad as their record indicates. Their big issue is the offense, but the defense has done a lot to keep them in games. Had Kyle Allen not turned things around with a great performance last week in New Orleans, I’d like the Skins to cover. However, Christian McCaffrey is playing on another level than any other back in the league this season and the Panthers are in desperation mode and must win now if they want to get into the Wildcard. Panthers 31 Redskins 10

Rams -3 @ Cardinals O/U: 47

The Rams recent struggles on offense have pushed this team from the “contender” category to the “underachiever” category. It’s warranted as their offensive line can’t seem to block, at all. However, this week is good news for them. They’ll be on the road, traveling to Arizona to take on one of the league’s worst pass defenses. The Cardinals have given up Jimmy Garoppolo’s career high in touchdowns (4) in both their meetings this year.

The Cardinals are dangerous on offense with Kyler Murray, but I have a lot of faith in their ability to score. I think this game will be a semi-shootout, with both teams putting up some points in a game the Rams should pull away with a victory. Rams 34 Cardinals 24

Chargers -2.5 @ Broncos O/U: 38.5

The Chargers are likely getting Derwin James back this week. They’re on the edge of the playoff race and they’re traveling to Denver to take on a Broncos team who has been offensively meager since their first half explosion at Minnesota. I like the Chargers to lean on Derwin James and Casey Hayward and focus on stopping the run. I also like the Chargers offense to figure things out in the Red Zone and convert scoring opportunities into more touchdowns. Hunter Henry has been outstanding since his return and Melvin Gordon is playing himself into form. I like the Chargers here on the road. Chargers 24 Broncos 16

Raiders @ Chiefs -9.5 O/U: 51.5

The Raiders are coming off their worst game of the season. I picked them to lose last week as favorites against the Jets. When the Raiders can’t run the ball, their offense can’t properly function. The Raiders lost Hunter Renfrow last week to a rib injury and are going to be limited in the passing game as a result, but Darren Waller should get an increased target share and Tyrell Williams should be able to keep the Chiefs secondary at bay. I like this game to stay relatively close, but I think the Chiefs will begin to pull away in the second half and the Raiders won’t be able to rely on Derek Carr to rally them from a larger deficit. Chiefs 34 Raiders 21

Patriots -3 @ Texans O/U: 44.5

The Patriots haven’t been the same offense all season. I think the game script here will resemble that of the Buffalo game, where the Patriots run the ball and work the short and intermediate routes. I think the Patriots will try to control the game flow and slow it down, focusing on pressuring Deshaun Watson and forcing him to test the Patriots secondary. I like the Patriots here to go on the road and pull out a tight game. Patriots 24 Texans 20

December 2nd (Monday night)

Vikings @ Seahawks -2.5 O/U: 49

I can’t predict the Vikings well. I’m also not great picking the Seahawks, so I’m going to just go on a limb here and go with the team I feel is more complete. I think the Vikings can run the ball on almost anyone and Kirk Cousins has been very good in play action. I like the Vikings here and all their parts, but their defense can and will probably be exposed by the Seahawks this week. I like the Seahawks to pull out a last-second victory at home this Monday. Seahawks 27 Vikings 24


Author: Collin Hulbert