NFL Best Bets: Week 13 Picks, Predictions & Odds To Consider
Welcome to our Week 13 edition of NFL Best Bets!
On the season, we are now 19-11 with our NFL Best Bets and are up +6 units. Not to mention, a bunch of our bonus picks hit so if you made parlays with the right selections, you could be up even more units. If you have been following our picks, you are likely making some serious cash this NFL season.
It’s finally December, the month of celebration, so let’s celebrate with some cash-money picks! December is usually the month when teams start to separate from the rest of the pack, however, the playoff spots in each conference are wide open this season. Week 13 presents some unique opportunities for certain franchises. The Patriots and Bills play on Monday Night Football in a battle for the top spot in the AFC East. Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Bengals can leapfrog to the top of the AFC North with a victory over the Los Angeles Chargers and a Baltimore Ravens loss to the Steelers. However, if Baltimore wins, they will strengthen their hold on the top seed in the AFC.
Week 13 kicked off with a matchup between two teams that were both trending in the wrong direction. The Dallas Cowboys (who had lost three of four games since Dak Prescott returned) traveled to Caesars Superdowm to take on the reeling New Orleans Saints (losers of four straight with Trevor Siemian under center with Jameis Winston out for the season). The spread opened at five points before it dropped to around four points when early money backed New Orleans in this pivotal matchup with tons of playoff implications. However, the spread jumped back up to 6.5 points when Alvin Kamara was announced as a late scratch. Taysom Hill was finally available to make his first start of the season, but New Orleans struggled all night on offense. They could not get Mark Ingram going in the running game, although Hill rushed for over 100 yards himself. Marshon Lattimore picked off Dak Prescott on the other side of the ball and New Orleans only trailed by three points until Tony Pollard ripped off a beautiful 58-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to make the score 20-10. Then, defensive lineman, Carlos Watkins returned an interception off a deflected pass to the house to put the game out of reach. The Saints responded with a long touchdown to Deonte Harris, but it was too little, too late. Hill threw four interceptions (three in the final seven minutes of the game), which helped Dallas clinch the game and cover the spread. Dallas won 27-17 to take an even more dominating lead in the NFC East.
As the postseason picture begins to become more clear, it’s time to gear up for this week’s edition of NFL best bets. It takes a lot of energy and research to have success throughout a season when it comes to sports betting. Here at FantasySP, we are committed to helping you cash. Remember, if you win 55% of your bets, you are a really good gambler. We are looking at some eye-opening odds this week and will help you decipher the best games to place your money on, whether it’s moneylines, over-unders, or prop bets. With that, let’s dive in.
Coming off their bye week, the Cardinals will get top-tier signal-caller Kyler Murray back and although superstar wideout DeAndre Hopkins is questionable, I think he returns to action as well. Even if Hopkins is inactive, I still think Arizona has enough talent to defeat the Bears by double-digits. The Cardinals average 28.2 points per game while allowing the fourth-fewest points per game (18.4) and the sixth-fewest yards per play (5.3). Meanwhile, Chicago has per-game averages of just 16.3 points scored and 23.1 points allowed. Chicago will be without the services of Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan, and All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack. Something tells me that the Cardinals’ offense is going to have a field day on Sunday.
This season, the Cardinals have played six games on the road. They are 6-0 outright and 6-0 against the spread, defeating the spread by a whopping 18.6 points per contest. That’s simply insane! It’s still unclear whether Andy Dalton or Justin Fields will start under center for the Bears, but Chicago’s offense ranks a dreadful 29th in scoring and yards per play. Even with J.J. Watt out, the Cardinals’ defense has stopped opposing passing attacks all season. It’s hard to envision the Bears moving the ball effectively, especially with Allen Robinson most likely out. David Montgomery will need to be very elusive and effective in the running game for Chicago to have any shot at keeping this game close.
At the end of the day, I expect the Cardinals to have no trouble defeating a Bears team that needed a last-second field goal on Thanksgiving to defeat the winless Detroit Lions.
- Pick: Cardinals (-7.5)
- Bonus: Over 44
- Prediction: 30-17 Cardinals
Both of these teams are fighting for postseason life and this is looking like a high-scoring affair between two high-powered offenses. Although this game is being marketed as the Joe Burrow vs. Justin Herbert matchup, I think this game will be dominated by Joe Mixon. The Chargers allow the most rushing yards per game to opposing running backs this season and have allowed 140+ rushing yards in seven games this season. Mixon has been an absolute stud as of late with nine touchdowns in his last five games. He has eclipsed 100 yards in two straight games and is coming off a season-high 165-yard performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mixon will see plenty of touches as Cincinnati will do whatever it takes to keep the ball out of Justin Herbert’s hands. And although the Bengals’ offense will likely run through Mixon, it’s not like this team lacks a prolific aerial attack. Burrow has progressed into one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and has a top-five receiving core consisting of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and tight end C.J. Uzomah.
The Chargers have a solid offense in their own right. Austin Ekeler is one of the best dual-threat backs in the NFL and the tandem of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams tends to make things difficult for opposing secondaries.
The Chargers beat the Bengals 16-13 in Week 1 of last season, but this is a very different Cincinnati team in 2021. Not to mention, the “smart money” is clearly backing the Bengals in Week 13. Although just 61% of spread bets are on the Bengals, 91% of the money is on Cincy. And despite just 19% of moneyline bets being on the Bengals, a ridiculous 98% of the money is backing Cincinnati outright. When studying the public betting trends, it appears that amateurs are betting on the Chargers to upset the Bengals while professional gamblers are backing Cincinnati. I’m going with the Vegas insiders on this one.
- Pick: Bengals (-3)
- Prediction: 31-27 Bengals
Once quarterback Daniel Jones was ruled out of this game with a neck injury, the spread jumped from three points to 4.5 points and is now at six points. I already placed the bet on Miami when they were laying three points, but I would still take Miami despite the increased spread, especially with Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney looking doubtful. It’s hard to envision Mike Glennon leading this offense with just Kenny Golladay and Darius Slayton as his main targets, even with Saquon Barkley in the backfield. Although the Giants had a nice victory over the Philadelphia Eagles last week, they only managed 13 points on offense.
The Dolphins are riding a four-game win streak to get into Wild Card consideration with a 5-7 record. While it’s unlikely that they will actually make the postseason, this team is playing very well as of late. Miami has forced 10 turnovers during their win streak and should have no problem picking off Glennon at least twice, with Xavien Howard leading the way. Over their last three games, the Dolphins are only allowing 12.3 points per game and the offense has improved incrementally. Although Brian Flores’ crew was underwhelming against the Jets in Week 11, they bounced back in a big way last week against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Miami sacked Newton and P.J. Walker five times, forced three interceptions, and returned a pick for a touchdown.
The Dolphins seem to have finally figured out how to tailor their offense around Tua Tagovailoa. Tua has 503 passing yards, three touchdowns, and just one interception in his last two starts. Jaylen Waddle has developed into a true WR1, Mike Gesicki has been one of the top tight ends in the NFL this season, and even running back Myles Gaskin has started to perform as a true workhorse back with three touchdowns in his last two outings.
The Giants’ defense is a bit better than people give them credit for, but I just can’t imagine Mike Glennon keeping this a one-possession game. While I don’t anticipate the Dolphins scoring many points, the Giants will struggle to even produce double digits against a Dolphins defense that is red-hot. Keep riding the wave and back the Dolphins. Sometimes it’s smart to make a contrarian bet against the public. In this case, fading the public would be a massive mistake.
- Pick: Dolphins (-6)
- Prediction: 20-10 Dolphins
In a battle between two of the worst run defenses in the NFL, both teams will be starting their backup running backs due to injuries to D’Andre Swift and Dalvin Cook in Week 12. The Vikings have played more one-possession games (10) than any team in the NFL. Whenever Minnesota is favored by more than a touchdown, my general rule of thumb is to take the opposing team. Detroit lost a 19-17 heartbreaker to the Vikings the last time these two teams met, and although I’m not suggesting that the Lions will defeat Minnesota at Ford Field, I do think Detroit has enough in the tank to cover the spread.
The Lions are 6-4 as underdogs against the spread in their last 10 games while the Vikings are 2-8 against the spread as favorites over that same span. With Swift out of the lineup, I’m anticipating Jamaal Williams to dominate Minnesota’s defensive line. Jared Goff is also coming off one of his best performances of the season and has re-established the chemistry that he had previously built with Josh Reynolds back when they were both members of the Rams. Goff will also get T.J. Hockenson more involved in the passing game, and I’m boldly predicting that rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown scores his first touchdown of the season.
All that said, I still think the Lions will exit Week 13 winless, but due to their ability to play teams close until late in the fourth quarter, I expect Detroit to cover. Take the points. If you want to do a same-game parlay, consider taking the under as well, as both teams’ most electric playmakers will be sidelined (Swift and Cook).
- Pick: Lions (+7.5)
- Bonus: Under 46.5
- Prediction: 20-16 Vikings
The Raiders are coming off a pivotal 36-33 overtime victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. If they can beat Dallas, they should be able to dismantle Washington in a home game that would keep their postseason hopes alive. The Raiders snapped a three-game losing streak and Derek Carr balled out despite losing Darren Waller in the first half. Fortunately, DeSean Jackson proved that he is capable of filling in the role that Henry Ruggs left vacant. D-Jax hauled in 102 yards and a long touchdown, proving he still has plenty left in the tank and that he can stretch the field with his speed. Carr will need Jackson to build off that performance with Waller ruled out in Week 13. The veteran speedster who spent time with both the Eagles and Washington has crushed Washington in past performances. Jackson has tallied 44 receptions for 817 yards and seven touchdowns in his last 12 matchups against Washington. I’m anticipating another long touchdown pass to D-Jax to get this game rolling.
The Raiders average the second-most passing yards per game (295.6) and face a Washington defense without Chase Young that allows the third-most passing yards per game (266.6). Although Washington’s defense has played better over their recent three-game winning streak, Carr is going to light it up on Sunday. Hunter Renfrow had his best performance of the season in Week 12 when he produced eight receptions for 134 yards. In his last five games, Renfrow has caught 33 balls for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Renfrow has come into his own down the stretch, especially with Bryan Edwards still struggling to provide consistent numbers.
Although I think Washington will shut down Josh Jacobs and Vegas’ rushing attack, Derek Carr and the Raiders’ passing game will be too much for Washington, especially with All-Pro safety Landon Collins inactive. D-Jax and Renfrow will both eclipse 100 yards in this contest. I’m expecting Washington to fall behind quickly, and the absence of pass-catching running back J.D. McKissic could prove costly. Taylor Heinicke will get an opportunity in the final minutes to lead Washington to victory but will fall short.
- Pick: Raiders (-1.5)
- Prediction: 30-24 Raiders
Jared Goff over 0.5 interceptions (-121)
Goff is coming off one of his best games of the season and hasn't thrown an interception in any of his previous three starts. However, Detroit's opponents had horrendous passing defenses whereas he faces a Vikings secondary that has forced at least one interception in six of their last seven games. Without D'Andre Swift in the lineup, Goff will likely have to air the ball out a bit more often than the Lions would like. That should result in at least one pick.
George Kittle over 56.5 receiving yards (-115)
With Deebo Samuel inactive, Jimmy G is going to have to rely on Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk to move the chains. As much as the 49ers commit to their running game, I wouldn't be surprised if Seattle stacks the box to force Garroppolo to throw the ball. Kittle should easily eclipse 57 yards, though I'm expecting closer to 90.
Derek Carr over 267.5 passing yards (-115)
As we touched on in the Raiders-Washington matchup blurb, Carr and the Raiders throw for the second-most yards in the league and face a generous Washington secondary missing Landon Collins that surrenders the third-most passing yards per game in the NFL. Considering this game is expected to be very close, the Raiders won't be able to hand the ball off late in the game to burn seconds off the clock. The Raiders will be throwing the ball late into the fourth quarter. I wouldn't be surprised if Carr threw for 300+ yards.
Other Week 13 NFL Props To Consider
- Mac Jones over 210.5 passing yards (-110)
- Mike Glennon under 210.5 passing yards (+105)
- Kenny Golladay over 37.5 receiving yards (-115)
- Darnell Mooney over 49.5 receiving yards (-115)
- Najee Harris over 55.5 rushing yards (-114)
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire under 60.5 rushing yards (-115)
- Ja'Marr Chase over 5.5 receptions (+130)
- Brandon Aiyuk over 4.5 receptions (-160)
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