Week 12 was a winning week, technically (17-15 record on the week). There were some tragic endings to a few of the games, but I’m not going to complain about a winning week.
The Raiders game was a double loss, as we lost the over and the spread. Titans/Colts, Browns/Jaguars, and Giants/Bengals were also double losses. The first win of the week was on the Texans game, which we put out for the Twitter followers prior to Thursday’s first game.
The important thing to point out here is, don’t be fooled by a random garbage week from a team. This has tripped us up a few times this season. Just keep in mind, every week is a different week, every matchup is a different matchup, and these guys are professionals. In the end, the week was positive, but it’s mildly disturbing just how far off some of the games turned out to be.
This week, we have more fun games scheduled, so without further adieu, let’s get to the Week 13 picks.
2020 Regular Season Record: 179-170 (51.28%)
A breakdown of Week 13 NFL picks
Here we take a look at all the main NFL Week 13 betting lines from the BetRivers Online Sportsbook. Got a minute? Check out a summary of Collin’s picks below. Got some more time? Read on for Collin’s in-depth analysis for his picks this week:
|Matchup/Line||Collin's Pick||Take With the Spread||Over/Under|
|Colts -3 @ Texans O/U: 51 ||Colts 30 Texans 20||Colts||Over|
|Saints -3 @ Falcons O/U: 46||Saints 24 Falcons 20||Saints||Under|
|Jaguars @ Vikings -10 O/U: 52||Vikings 34 Jaguars 28||Jaguars||Over|
|Browns @ Titans -5.5 O/U: 53.5||Titans 31 Browns 27||Browns||Over|
|Bengals @ Dolphins -10.5 O/U: 42.5||Dolphins 30 Bengals 14||Dolphins||Over|
|Lions @ Bears -3 O/U: 44.5||Bears 22 Lions 16||Bears||Over|
|Raiders -9 @ Jets O/U: 46.5||Raiders 30 Jets 23||Jets||Over|
|Rams -2.5 @ Cardinals O/U: 48||Rams 27 Cardinals 19||Rams||Under|
|Giants @ Seahawks -10 O/U: 47.5||Seahawks 35 Giants 13||Seahawks||Under|
|Patriots @ Chargers -1.5 O/U: 46.5||Patriots 23 Chargers 20||Saints||Under|
|Eagles @ Packers -8.5 O/U: 47||Packers 38 Eagles 20||Bucs||Over|
|Broncos @ Chiefs -13.5 O/U: 50.5||Chiefs 34 Broncos 17||Bears||Over|
|Washington Football Team @ Steelers -8.5 O/U: 42||Steelers 23 Washington Football Team 17||Seahawks||Over|
|Bills -1 @ 49ers O/U: 47||49ers 26 Bills 23||49ers||Over|
|Cowboys @ Ravens -7.5 O/U: 45||Ravens 34 Cowboys 14||Ravens||Over|
Colts -3 @ Texans O/U: 51
The line here is sketchy. I won’t lie. This reminds me of the Falcons game last week, where everyone was confused about how the Falcons were only three-point underdogs at home, against the Raiders. The Raiders had just come off an impressive, close loss to the Chiefs, while the Falcons had just been the Falcons.
This game scares me for a few reasons. For one, Deshaun Watson is just a guy I’m always scared to bet against. His dual-threat ability and talent make the Texans a good candidate to keep games close. The Colts’ defense has been reeling a bit lately, but the Texans are without Will Fuller and a meager run game. I like the Colts in this one.
Colts 30 Texans 20
Saints -3 @ Falcons O/U: 46
These two teams met a few weeks ago, and while the big story was Taysom Hill in his first start at quarterback, the story should’ve been about how amazing the Saints defense was. The Falcons will likely be without Julio Jones, which is going to be a massive loss for them. Even with Todd Gurley possibly back, the outlook for the Falcons in this game is bleak on the offensive side of the ball.
The Saints are running like a well-oiled machine if that machine was simplistic and not very multi-purpose. The Saints are running over teams lately, thanks to the trio of ball carries in Hill, Murray, and Kamara.
I know the total points line is low and the spread is questionable, but I think even with a healthier defense and a recent matchup against these same Saints, I trust the Saints much more than I trust the Falcons.
Saints 24 Falcons 20
Jaguars @ Vikings -10 O/U: 52
The Jaguars can run on anyone. If this were more of a good-scheme rushing attack, I’d feel like we would’ve seen them slowed at some point this season. However, James Robinson has rushed for at least 46 yards in every game this season, except one. Only Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook have been more unstoppable from that lens.
Robinson has rushed for at least 73 yards in all but four games. He is a shifty, powerful, and dynamic weapon on the offense. The Vikings are only decent against the run. The Jags lean on the run, even in a negative game script.
I think the Jaguars will turn out a decent week, Mike Glennon will make some plays to keep them in it, but the Vikings will have all kinds of advantages with both Dalvin Cook and the Vikings’ talented duo of receivers (Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson). I expect a shootout in this one.
Vikings 34 Jaguars 28
Browns @ Titans -5.5 O/U: 53.5
The Titans look like a new team over their last six quarters. From the comeback against Baltimore, to the throttling of the Colts, the Titans have been destroying good defenses lately. Conversely, their defense appears to be stepping up when it matters.
The Browns are on a bit of a run as well, winners of three straight. One key point, however, is the Browns have failed to cover in five of their last six. I expect the Titans to put up some points in this one, even with Jonnu Smith (he’s barely been involved anyway). The Cleveland secondary is a bit of a mess, and regardless of their run defense, they’re facing Derrick Henry this week.
Henry is not only the most physical back they will face this season, he’s one who gets stronger as the game goes on. Conventional wisdom says both these teams have similar strengths and weaknesses (strong rushing attacks and weak secondaries), but it was a similar circumstance against Pittsburgh and that ended in a blowout.
I trust Tennessee more, as the Browns haven’t had the hardest schedule as of late. Both teams are going to have a lot of trouble on defense slowing the opposing offenses, due to the lopsided matchup splits for each. This game should be a rude awakening for both defenses, but the Titans aren’t likely running away with it.
Titans 31 Browns 27
Bengals @ Dolphins -10.5 O/U: 42.5
The Dolphins have been winning a lot lately. They’re a good team with a good defense, but nothing about them screams “great”. This week is more about tendency than anything else. The Bengals aren’t a very good football team. That being said, the Dolphins haven’t beaten laying it on teams late in games either.
For so many reasons here, I like the Dolphins. However, I do see this game as a potential backdoor cover. I think the defense will setup the offense well in this game. It’s a heavy line for a reason and I’m not going to think too much into it.
Dolphins 30 Bengals 14
Lions @ Bears -3 O/U: 44.5
The Lions aren’t a very good football team. Conversely, the Bears aren’t either. However, we know the Bears’ strength is their defense. Now, this game is very tricky because of the recent coaching change in Detroit. Kenny Golladay will be out again for the Lions, as will the Bears top receiver (Allen Robinson) in all likelihood.
I’m not so much in favor of the Bears’ offense as much as I am at the prospect of the Bears being more able to move the sticks more now, due to the dual-threat abilities of Mitch Trubisky. We won’t exactly know what to expect from the Lions and their offensive playcalling, but we do know the Bears have the kind of defense that can turn a close game into a landslide. I like the Bears in this one at home.
Bears 22 Lions 16
Raiders -9 @ Jets O/U: 46.5
The Raiders laid a complete egg on Sunday. That was a double loss, as we had the over in what should’ve been a shootout. Derek Carr had possibly the worst outing of his career, Josh Jacobs got hurt, and the Raiders looked disinterested for most of the game. Whenever this happens, bettors tend to let that recency bias affect their judgment in the following weeks.
This time around, the line may have given away too much. If recent performance were any good representation of how lines are determined, why would the Raiders be nine and a half point favorites when this line came out?
The truth is, these guys are professionals, bad weeks happen, and teams typically come out the following week with a fire lit under their belly. The same holds true for this game. Following some heavy action from the public on the Jets, the line dropped down to Raiders -7.5 before shooting back up to Raiders -9 today (after the sharp bets rolled in).
From a matchup perspective, this is a great one for the Raiders. Although the Jets also have good matchups on the offensive side of the ball, their execution this season has been spotty. Expect a big offensive performance from the Raiders in this game.
Raiders 30 Jets 23
Rams -2.5 @ Cardinals O/U: 48
The Rams still have a much better defense than most believe. Last week, they ran into a Kyle Shanahan offense, utilizing a variety of screens, exotic runs, pop passes, and intermediate zone routes. They essentially undercut the Rams talented corners and played to their strengths. This week, the Rams are going to be on the road in Arizona, facing the Cardinals, who are in a bit of a tailspin.
Kyler Murray hasn’t looked the same since his shoulder injury. The zip on his passes seems to come and go, while defenses are doing a lot more to keep him contained in the pocket.
Defensively, the Cardinals have been getting opened-up a bit more over their past few games. I expect the Rams will come out with a solid gameplan to contain Kyler Murray and Sean McVay will find the weaknesses in the Arizona defense and exploit them.
Rams 27 Cardinals 19
Giants @ Seahawks -10 O/U: 47.5
The Giants are fresh off a close victory against the Bengals. The big story for the Giants team this season has been their defense. For a team that has lost so much from a personnel standpoint, the Giants have assembled a decent group and found ways to hang in games they weren’t expected to.
This week, the Giants will travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks. The tricky part of this game is Seattle’s defense. It’s been better the past two weeks against Arizona and Philadelphia, but they are prone for a backdoor blown cover in a 10+ point spread.
As much as I don’t trust Seattle to hold on to a lead, I trust Colt McCoy even less. I have to go with Seattle to get out to a big lead and hold on for dear life in this game.
Seahawks 35 Giants 13
Patriots @ Chargers -1.5 O/U: 46.5
I’m either going to be right about this one or I’m going to be way off. Bill Belichik loves facing rookie quarterbacks. However, he’s yet to see a guy quite like Justin Herbert before. In addition to being a great downfield passer, Herbert is good on his feet and has his safety valve in Austin Ekeler.
Last week, Ekeler had 16 targets in a game the Buffalo Bills were able to match up well against the Chargers talented receiving group. The thing is, New England still has a shot at the playoffs, and the Patriots are all about the ground attack.
The Patriots have a soft matchup on the ground against the Chargers. The Chargers have a difficult matchup with their receivers against the Patriots corners. One team wins close games and the other loses them, so there are really only two ways I see this game going. One way is a slim victory for the Patriots and the other is a blowout win for the Chargers. I trust in Bill here.
Patriots 23 Chargers 20
Eagles @ Packers -8.5 O/U: 47
The Packers are another Jekyll and Hyde team we’ve mentioned this season, just like Tampa Bay. It’s hard to pin down how they’re going to play week to week. That being said, it’s a lot easier to get a read when they’re set to play a team like Philadelphia.
Philadelphia, and Carson Wentz, have been playing to their level of competition all season. Unfortunately for them, they have seemingly gotten worse as the season has progressed. Last week was a pathetic effort by their offense against a historically awful pass defense. Had it not been for the garbage time Hail Mary, we would be talking about the Eagles like the incompetent offense they are.
Their coach and organization seem fixated on showcasing Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffrey (definitely to raise interest in offseason trades). If the Eagles’ best chances right now of making the playoffs are continuing with Carson Wentz and Alshon in the starting lineup, their season is as cooked as they’ll be when they walk off Lambeau Field on Sunday.
Packers 38 Eagles 20
Broncos @ Chiefs -13.5 O/U: 50.5
The Broncos were absolutely humiliated a week ago. Their incompetence at following protocol resulted in the loss of their entire quarterback group for the Saints game. What transpired next was the most pathetic offensive performance anyone has witnessed in years.
This week, the Broncos will likely have their quarterback return, as well as the services of Jerry Jeudy. The problem this week is the overwhelming firepower the Broncos defense will be up against. Though it’s not supposed to snow on Sunday, I expect this game to snowball in favor of the Chiefs.
Chiefs 34 Broncos 17
Washington Football Team @ Steelers -8.5 O/U: 42
Prepared to be amazed. It may seem strange, but the Washington Football Team matches up very well against the Pittsburgh Steelers…on defense. Offensively, the Washington Football Team may be in some hot water.
In the Washington nickel defense (will be the primary package against the Steelers and their 11 personnel), four of the front six are rated by PFF a 74 or above. That means the Steelers are likely going to be going with their recent tactic of attacking the defense via quick passes. On the other side, Washington doesn’t match up well with the Steelers’ defense, so finding ways to score is going to be the adventure.
I don’t trust the Steelers here in this game. It has little to do with the Steelers allowing a backdoor cover on Wednesday to Trace McSorely, and more to do with the time between games. The Steelers will be coming off four full days rest, while Washington will be coming off eleven days rest.
It doesn’t matter who you’re playing in the NFL, if you’re on a short week, you’re in trouble.
Steelers 23 Washington Football Team 17
Bills -1 @ 49ers O/U: 47
This matchup, given the schemes of the 49ers, plays much more favorably for the 49ers than the Bills. First off, the 49ers run an unconventional offense, where blockers are pulling from every direction, pre-snap movement is commonplace, and the offense is loaded with speed.
Last week, Deebo Samuel was able to get the ball relatively close to the line of scrimmage and do a great deal of damage after the catch. Brandon Aiyuk was absent last game, but profiles similarly to Deebo in that area. The 49ers were able to circumvent the Rams’ strong corners and defensive front by means of pop passes, screens, exotic runs, and intermediate passes against zone coverage.
This week, the 49ers will face the Buffalo defense, which has similar strengths at corner to the Rams. The Bills are also shockingly bad at run defense. With Richard Sherman back and poised to match up with Stefon Diggs, the Bills are going to be in a great deal of trouble in this game. I like for the 49ers to pull off the upset.
49ers 26 Bills 23
Cowboys @ Ravens -7.5 O/U: 45
The Ravens might possibly be without the services of Lamar Jackson this week, though it’s been reported Robert Griffin will miss the game. Thus, the Ravens are more likely to activate Jackson sometime Sunday.
The Cowboys are in an interesting predicament, much like the rest of their division. There’s no doubt they’ll be aiming to win, but this isn’t the kind of defense they’re going to be able to have one of those surprisingly good performances against.
I expect this game will go very similarly to the Browns game earlier this season. I anticipate the Ravens defense to be opportunistic and Lamar Jackson to have one of his best games of the season for the Ravens offense. This is a must-win for the playoff-hopeful Ravens.
Ravens 34 Cowboys 14