Last week was big for underdogs, as just four favorites covered the spread. The contests that were expected to be blowouts turned out to be upsets. The Jaguars won for the second time this season, and the Buccaneers defeated the first-place Lions.
There aren’t any very large betting lines in Week 12. No team is favored by double-digits. Below are picks against the spread for every game in Week 13.
Green Bay Packers (+6) at Detroit Lions
The Lions have stumbled recently because of their inability to hold onto the football. Luckily for them, only one NFC team forces less turnovers than the Packers. Matt Flynn, who has been released twice in 2013, will likely get the start in place of the injured Aaron Rodgers. As long as Matthew Stafford doesn’t throw too many interceptions, this could turn into a blowout.
Prediction ATS: Detroit
Oakland Raiders (+9.5) at Dallas Cowboys
Both the Raiders and Cowboys have been excellent against the spread, but Oakland might have too many problems to overcome. They’ve lost three of four, have turned the ball over six times in their last four games, and appear to have an unsettled quarterback situation between Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor. The Cowboys have handled teams with losing records and the game on Thanksgiving should be no different.
Prediction ATS: Dallas
Pittsburgh Steelers (+3) at Baltimore Ravens
If recent history is any indication, this betting line will be the most accurate of Week 13. The two teams play each other twice in the regular season every year, and nine of the last 11 meetings have been decided by exactly three points. It might be wise to take the Steelers, because a Ravens victory would likely just result in a push.
Prediction ATS: Pittsburgh
Tennessee Titans (+4) at Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have split their last four games after getting off to a hot start. Like last year, most of their wins haven’t come by more than one score. The Titans have played better of late, keeping each game close or winning outright, and have been very good on the road all season, winning three times and covering the spread in all five games. They almost beat Indianapolis two weeks ago, and should have a chance to win late in this one.
Prediction ATS: Tennessee
Denver Broncos (-4.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
The team that remained without a loss for the longest may be getting exposed as they face tougher competition. The Chiefs’ best wins have come against the Cowboys and Eagles, both of whom are just one game above .500. The Chiefs have the No.2 ranked defense in the league, but they’ve struggled against good quarterbacks. The Broncos didn’t have much trouble in their first matchup two weeks ago, and the result might be the same the second time around.
Prediction ATS: Denver
Jacksonville Jaguars (+7) at Cleveland Browns
The Jaguars could find it very difficult to score on Sunday. The Browns’ weakness on defense is against the run, but Jacksonville hasn’t been able to establish a strong ground game against anybody. However, Cleveland’s offense has sputtered since Brian Hoyer was lost for the season. In the past six games, they’ve scored more than 20 points just once. It’s not easy to cover a seven point spread if the team can’t put up a few touchdowns.
Prediction ATS: Jacksonville
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+8.5) at Carolina Panthers
The Buccaneers are starting to turn things around, winning three in a row and almost defeating the Seahawks in Seattle. The Panthers haven’t lost since Week Five and beat Tampa Bay by 18 in their first meeting. However, the Buccaneers haven’t failed to cover a spread since, and an improving Mike Glennon could keep his team in the contest for most of the way.
Prediction ATS: Tampa Bay
Chicago Bears (+1) at Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings almost beat the Bears in their first meeting, and they are in a good position to get the victory at home. The Bears have the worst run defense in football and the Vikings have the league’s best running back in Adrian Peterson. It could be a very big day for the reigning MVP.
Prediction ATS: Minnesota
Arizona Cardinals (+3.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles and Cardinals have both won three in a row, mostly, on the strength of big performances by Carson Palmer and Nick Foles. It could be a high-scoring affair, considering both defenses have struggled against the pass. Philadelphia, though, gives up more yards through the air than any team, which could help Arizona pull off the upset.
Prediction ATS: Arizona
Miami Dolphins (+1.5) at New York Jets
In the first half of the season, Geno Smith had a mixture of good performances combined with games that made him look very much like a rookie. In recent weeks, though, the quarterback has played like someone who doesn’t belong in the NFL. He’s thrown seven interceptions and no touchdowns in the past four games. The Dolphins haven’t been lighting up the scoreboard lately, but at this moment the Jets might have the worst offense in football.
Prediction ATS: Miami
Atlanta Falcons (+3.5) at Buffalo Bills
The Falcons’ offense has been brutal in the second half of the season, scoring more than 13 points just once since Week Seven. Buffalo’s defense hasn’t been awful, and Atlanta could continue to have trouble getting into the end zone.
Prediction ATS: Buffalo
St. Louis Rams (+9) at San Francisco 49ers
On Monday night, the 49ers continued to blow out losing teams. The Rams have played well in recent weeks, picking up wins against the Colts and Bears, but they’ve had their ups and downs this season. When they met in September, San Francisco had their way with St. Louis on the road. Until the 49ers show vulnerability against a sub-.500 team, it doesn’t make sense to pick against them.
Prediction ATS: San Francisco
New England Patriots (-7.5) at Houston Texans
The Texans are all by themselves with the worst record against the spread at 2-9. In the last two weeks, they weren’t able to beat the Raiders or Jaguars at home. There’s no reason to believe they’ll be able to keep it close against Tom Brady and company.
Prediction ATS: New England
Cincinnati Bengals (+1.5) at San Diego Chargers
The Chargers have been able to stay in the playoff race behind Philip Rivers, who has performed better than most quarterbacks this season. He could have trouble on Sunday, though, when he faces one of the NFL’s top secondaries. Brady and Aaron Rodgers had their worst games of the year against the Bengals, and Rivers could suffer the same fate.
Prediction ATS: Cincinnati
New York Giants (-1) at Washington Redskins
Neither team has been able to beat good teams. Both have little to play for. Eli Manning and Robert Griffin III haven’t played up to their capabilities, but the Giants quarterback could have more success, going up against a worse pass defense.
Prediction ATS: New York
New Orleans Saints (+5.5) at Seattle Seahawks
These two teams are basically unbeatable at home. The Seahawks’ unusually strong home-field advantage is factored into the spread, but the Saints may have trouble keeping the game within one score. Seattle’s exceptional pass defense can control a New Orleans offense that is reliant on Drew Brees putting up big numbers. The Saints have been vulnerable on the road, losing to the Jets and Patriots, while barely getting past the Falcons and Buccaneers.
Prediction ATS: Seattle