During the NFL season, Stadium sports betting analyst Nate Jacobson will break down every single point spread using lines as of Thursday morning. Here are his thoughts on the Week 13 slate.
Note: Nate will discuss all of his college football and NFL bets on the Sharp Lessons podcast that drops every Tuesday and Thursday. Subscribe on Spotify and Apple for episodes and follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content.
Sides I’m Considering
Steelers (-1) over Falcons: The Steelers are a team I’m looking to bet on for the rest of the season. Pittsburgh started the season 2-6 and went through a QB change during that stretch with rookie Kenny Pickett taking over as the starter. Pickett was thrown into a tough situation with his first four starts at the Bills, vs. the Buccaneers, at the Dolphins and at the Eagles before a bye week. Out of the bye, the Steelers are 2-1 and getting a huge boost defensively with T.J. Watt back.
The Falcons are a weaker opponent compared to what Pickett and the Steelers faced early in the season, and I believe Pittsburgh is still undervalued. The Steelers opened as a small underdog in this game and flipped to the favorite Tuesday morning after their Monday night victory against the Colts. The situation isn’t perfect for Pittsburgh, traveling for their second-straight road game on a short week, but they are the only way I would look in the game.
Jaguars (-1) over Lions: The Jaguars are another “buy” team for me, and they got a big comeback win last week against the Ravens. Trevor Lawrence has shown signs of why he was the top overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and the Jaguars are undervalued because of their 4-7 record.
The Lions have had a nice run the last four games, winning three of them while losing as big underdogs on a last-second field goal against the Bills on Thanksgiving. But I still have a lot of questions about their defense, and the Jaguars offense should have success indoors. This is another game where the Jaguars flipped from short underdog to short favorite, and I agree with that move.
Giants (+2.5) over Commanders: I’ve been very down on the Giants for most of the season because they aren’t as good as their 7-4 record. However, I mostly looked to bet against them when they were home favorites. Now the Giants are in the underdog role at home against a surging Commanders team that somehow currently holds a Wild Card spot. Backing the Giants here is more of a numbers play because I made this game as a pick’em.
I like the situation for the Giants, who have a rest advantage after last playing in Dallas on Thanksgiving. The Giants are very banged up and there’s hope they can get some key players back, especially on the offensive line. This sets up as a potential buy-low spot on NYG, and I think it’s also the right time to sell high on a Commanders team that is overachieving with Taylor Heinicke under center. The Giants would make a great teaser leg if they stayed at the current point spread, but I’ll still hold out hope to get a +3 with the home team.
49ers (-4) over Dolphins: The Dolphins took early money in this game on Sunday evening, which drove the spread down to as low as -3.5. I thought there was a chance it would go down to -3, but it went the other way on Tuesday with some buy-back on the home favorite. The big headline in this game is Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel returning to San Francisco to face Kyle Shanahan. The two have been on several NFL coaching staffs together, and most recently, McDaniel worked as a run game coordinator and then offensive coordinator for Shanahan’s 49ers.
The coaching familiarity between the two talented teams makes this a fascinating matchup. Miami is still undefeated in games QB Tua Tagovailoa finishes and has won five-straight games, but the 49ers defense is a huge step up in quality, and DC DeMeco Ryans’ unit has held opposing offenses scoreless in four-straight second halves.
I like the way the 49ers offense is trending, despite having some running back injuries that may have been the reason the early money was on the Dolphins. In the last three weeks, the 49ers closed -7.5 against the Chargers, -10 against the Cardinals in Mexico and -9 against the Saints. Being able to get a cheaper price to back the 49ers in this game is very appealing this weekend.
Chiefs (-2) over Bengals: I believe the Bengals are going to be a popular side to bet on this week as a home underdog. They beat the Chiefs twice in two of their biggest games last season (an AFC North-clinching regular season victory and the stunning AFC Championship Game upset). In both games, the Chiefs had 11-point leads at halftime but the Bengals made defensive adjustments and rallied.
Even though the Chiefs lost both games, I’m going to trust them here. This is by far Kansas City’s toughest opponent for the remainder of the season, and there’s a clear path for them to secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC with the Bills already having a few slip-ups.
The Bengals might be getting back RB Joe Mixon and WR Ja’Marr Chase from injury in this game, which could drive more action toward Cincinnati after they opened +3. If Mixon and Chase return and the public remembers how Cincy swept KC last season, I think we can get the Chiefs at a very cheap moneyline price. I’m not in a rush to bet this game, but I’ll likely have a wager on a revenge-driven Kansas City team.
Bills (-3.5) at Patriots: This is a solid Thursday night game with both teams having normal rest after they each played on Thanksgiving. The Bills barely held off the Lions as nearly a double-digit favorite while the Patriots fell to the Vikings despite winning the box score. New England has seen the early money after the line re-opened Bills -5.5 on Sunday.
In terms of the matchup, Josh Allen should have success against a Bill Belichick defense that has struggled defending Allen’s legs. I’m just not fully convinced Allen is at 100 percent after suffering the UCL injury, so I’ll pass at the current number.
Jets at Vikings (-3): The Vikings only being a three-point home favorite against Mike White and the Jets proves that Minnesota isn’t as good as their 9-2 record implies. The coaching and offensive pieces are good, but there are real concerns with their defense after they gave up 7.4 yards per play to a Patriots offense that has struggled for much of the season.
The Jets made a controversial decision benching former No. 2 pick Zach Wilson for the aforementioned White, although White and the Jets offense came through against a terrible Bears defense in challenging weather. I’m interested to see how New York’s rejuvenated passing game performs indoors against a leaky defense.
Broncos at Ravens (-8): I want absolutely no part of the Broncos the rest of the season as they are getting absolutely nothing from their offense. The Ravens should bounce back after squandering another fourth-quarter lead last week, but I don’t trust Baltimore’s offense to cover this big of a number in a game with a total of 38.5.
Titans at Eagles (-5): There’s been some money on the Titans this week and understandably so because of Mike Vrabel’s success in the underdog role. I believe the line is currently priced correctly, so I don’t have interest in betting either side.
Browns (-7) at Texans: There will be a lot of storylines in this game with QB Deshaun Watson making his first start with Cleveland after serving an 11-game suspension — and of course it’s against his former franchise. I would love the opportunity to bet against the Browns as a favorite, as this is Watson’s first regular season appearance in nearly two years.
A rusty Watson in a new offense means Cleveland might be overvalued, but the issue is the Texans are an unbettable team with an overly conservative Lovie Smith and journeyman Kyle Allen now starting at QB.
Packers (-4.5) at Bears: There’s been a lot of line movement in this game due to QB injuries on both sides. The Bears were without Justin Fields last week, and it would be reasonable to think he sits this game with Chicago eying their bye in Week 14. Aaron Rodgers left the Packers game on Sunday with a rib injury, but early indications have him ready to go against Chicago. Both teams are largely banged-up across the board, so I don’t have much interest in wagering on this game.
Seahawks (-7.5) at Rams: The Rams’ season is completely lost with Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald all injured. Los Angeles has a lot of money tied up to those players, resulting in a lack of depth, which makes this one of the worst active rosters in the NFL right now. That explains why they’re over-a-touchdown underdog at home to a league-average Seahawks team. I want more information on who is starting at QB for the Rams before approaching how to bet this game.
Chargers (-1.5) at Raiders: I would’ve had interest in the Raiders if they were getting +3 at home. But after an overtime win at the Seahawks in Week 12, that number wasn’t going to exist. I was high on the Chargers before the season, but I have a hard time backing them as a favorite with all their injuries. This could be a very entertaining game after what we saw from these two teams in Las Vegas last season.
Colts at Cowboys (-11): This line moved up from -9.5 after the Colts’ Monday night loss to the Steelers. You have to wonder how much motivation Indianapolis has after a second-straight demoralizing home loss. The Cowboys defense matches up well, and they should be able to get after Indy’s underachieving o-line and an immobile Matt Ryan. I just don’t feel comfortable laying a big number with the Cowboys.
Saints at Buccaneers (-3.5): There’s a lot of line movement in this game with the Buccaneers being as high as a 6.5-point favorite for Monday Night Football. Money on the Saints has driven this down to Buccaneers -3.5, which is something I didn’t expect after the 4-8 Saints were shut out by the 49ers. The Saints had two first and goal situations late in the game that ended in a fumble and turnover on downs, so they really should’ve covered against the 49ers.
Also keep in mind that Dennis Allen has had success defending Tom Brady’s Buccaneers over the last three seasons, including holding Tampa Bay to 4.0 yards per play in Week 2. While certain aspects of the line move do make sense when you dive in, I can’t get involved after missing out on better prices earlier in the week.