NFL Betting: Week 13 Best Picks and Advice

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 Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe on Spotify and Apple for episodes and follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content.

Sides I Like

Chargers (+3) over Bengals: I proclaimed on Monday’s podcast that the Bengals should not be a field goal favorite in this game. Last week, the Bengals closed -3.5 against the Steelers at home, which is a similar price to this week’s game. But there is no way the Steelers and Chargers are evenly rated teams because in Week 11 the Chargers closed as 6.5-point home favorites against the Steelers. While Pittsburgh was missing some key defensive players for that matchup, there were more Steelers fans in attendance in Los Angeles to negate any home-field advantage for the Chargers.

Even if you upgrade the Bengals for blowing out the Steelers and downgrade the Chargers for losing to the Broncos, this number is too big and Cincinnati should be at most a one-point favorite in this game. Taking the Chargers getting a field goal or better is my best bet of the week.

Sides I’m Considering

Falcons (+11) over Buccaneers: There are five road favorites of 6.5 points or more playing in the early afternoon window on Sunday, and the only home underdog that interests me right now is the Falcons. Atlanta is still right in the NFC playoff race at 5-6 and this line is inflated toward Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers also have a marquee game at home against the Bills next week, so I can see them just doing enough to win and wanting to get out of Atlanta healthy.

Broncos (+10) over Chiefs: Let’s get the obvious trend out of the way: Between Andy Reid’s time with the Eagles and Chiefs, Reid is 19-3 straight-up off a bye in the regular season and 14-8 against the number. It’s impressive, but just winning the game isn’t enough to cash a bet on Kansas City this week.

My number for this game is Chiefs -8, so there’s line value on the Broncos at this point spread. I like that the total has gone down from 49.5 to 47 because a lower-scoring game will make it tougher for the favorite to cover. As long as Teddy Bridgewater is healthy, I’ll be on the Broncos for this Sunday night game.

Sides I Plan to Use in a Six-Point Teaser

Vikings (-7) over Lions: I think it’s reasonable to tease the Vikings down to -1 and just ask them to beat a winless Lions team in what will likely be a very boring NFC North game.

Colts (-8.5) over Texans: This is another situation where I’m asking a team fighting for a playoff spot to beat one of the worst teams in the league. The Colts are 6-6 and need this game before heading into a Week 14 bye. If the line goes up to -9 or higher, I would pass on betting this game entirely.

Washington (+2.5) over Raiders: I’m interested in betting Washington, but would need +3 to bet them by themselves. Teasing Washington up through three and seven is my preferred way to play this game at the current number. I have these teams evenly rated and the home-field advantage in Las Vegas isn’t as strong as some other stadiums since so many fans make the trip to the destination city.

Game-Time Decisions

Cowboys (-4.5) at Saints: There’s a lot of uncertainty about this Thursday night game with COVID-19 going through the Cowboys’ locker room and the Saints dealing with injuries over the last few weeks. One thing we know is that Taysom Hill will likely start at quarterback for the Saints, which would be an upgrade over Trevor Siemian.

Cardinals (-7.5) at BearsKyler Murray is set to return after missing the last three games with an ankle injury. Arizona was on their bye last week, so that gave Murray even more time to get healthy (the team went 2-1 with Colt McCoy under center).

This number is right if Murray plays and is 100 percent. But it could be a leap of faith to assume he’ll pick up where he left off — especially in an outdoor game with rain in the forecast. There’s too much uncertainty about Murray for me to even tease the Cardinals, so I’m going to pass.

Eagles (-6.5) at Jets: Last week, the Eagles played at the same stadium and closed as a four-point favorite at the Giants. They lost the game 13-7, but it was four turnovers that doomed Philadelphia. I expected a letdown from the Eagles, so I didn’t downgrade them off their loss to the Giants.

They now travel back to New Jersey and face a worse team in the Jets, who are coming off their third win of the season. I believe that the Eagles bounce back, so getting them under a touchdown could be a bargain. I’m going to hold off on betting this game for now because QB Jalen Hurts is dealing with an ankle injury and his status will impact the line.

Giants at Dolphins (-4.5): The Dolphins were a three-point favorite earlier in the week before the news broke that Giants QB Daniel Jones is doubtful to play with a neck injury. The line quickly shot up to Dolphins -5, which is probably the correct number with Mike Glennon starting for the Giants. But the number has recently dropped with Jones now having an outside chance to start on Sunday. I’m going to wait and see what happens to Jones before taking a position on this game.

Ravens (-4.5) at Steelers: I’m torn on this game. The number says to bet the Steelers at home against a Ravens team that wasn’t impressive against the Browns in primetime on Sunday.

However, it’s hard to confidently bet the Steelers with how their offense is operating. Also, Pittsburgh’s star pass rusher T.J. Watt was just placed on the COVID-19 list, so he’s unlikely to play. That news is why this line has gone up after opening Ravens -3 earlier this week.

Jaguars at Rams (-12.5): This could’ve been a flat spot for the Rams after playing the Packers last week and having a Monday night football game against the Cardinals in Week 14. But after handily losing three-straight games, I can see the Rams taking out their frustration on one of the worst teams in the NFL. My concern with betting on Los Angeles to cover a big number is QB Matthew Stafford playing through injuries. I want to make sure he’s active before doing anything with this game.

49ers (-3.5) at Seahawks: There has been a warranted adjustment from the look-ahead line of a pick’em in this game. This past week, the 49ers defeated the Vikings to improve to 6-5 on the season, while the Seahawks lost on Monday in Washington. The game felt like Seattle’s last stand to stay in the playoff race, and the defeat dropped them to 3-8.

QB Russell Wilson is clearly not the same player since returning from finger surgery, and I can’t bet the Seahawks in this situation. But I’m also hesitant to back the 49ers at this price with do-it-all offensive weapon Deebo Samuel likely to miss this game.

Patriots at Bills (-3): Another game I’m torn on, which is too bad because it’s clearly the game of the week. The winner will be in first place in the AFC East (these two teams will play again in Week 16).

My case for the Patriots is their rushing attack sets up well against a Bills defense that let Jonathan Taylor run wild on them. As for Buffalo, this number could be a discount for a home team playing in primetime against a rookie quarterback in bad weather. It’s a game I’ll watch closely and take plenty of notes on, but I can’t make a bet at the current market.