Thanksgiving is behind us which means we are officially in the final stretch of the 2023 NFL season.
Teams across the league are vying for their divisional crown, making a push for a wild card spot, or have already started looking at mock drafts for last year. For us as bettors, we have to treat every week the same until the final whistle blows.
We got back to our winning ways in Week 12, going 10-6 (+3.15 units), which brings us to 94-84-2 (+4.97 units) on the season. We have managed to stay in the green all season, let's not allow that to change now.
One of my main strategies I use to be a profitable NFL bettor is to have an account at as many sportsbooks as possible to make sure I'm always getting the best odds available for each game. That's why if you don't already have an account at Caesars, you should absolutely sign up for one before you place your bets for this week.
If you use the link below to sign up for an account, Caesars will cover your first bet up to $1,000!
There are six teams on bye this week, which means we have 13 games to bet on. The following teams are on BYE and therefore won't play until Week 14:
- Baltimore Ravens
- Buffalo Bills
- Chicago Bears
- Las Vegas Raiders
- Minnesota Vikings
- New York Giants
NFL Week 13 Best Bets for Every game
Seahawks vs. Cowboys prediction
There's no doubt the Cowboys have been dominant this season and almost every single metric you look at, there's no reason to not believe they're going to be on the right side of another blowout.
Except for one.
The Cowboys have had the easiest schedule in the NFL to this point of the season based on opponent win percentage. They have played just two teams all season who currently have a winning record; the 49ers and the Eagles, both games which ended in a loss. The combined record of the teams they've beaten in their eight wins this season is 28-63. That tells me that a lot of their metrics are inflated to a certain degree and this next stretch of games is when we're going to get a true sense of how good they are.
Their next five games come against the Seahawks, Eagles, Bills, Dolphins, and Lions. If there's ever been a "sell high" spot on a team, it's the Cowboys this week.
Are they better than the Seahawks who have admittedly been trending in the wrong direction? Yes. Are they 10 points better? No, I don't believe they are.
Pick: Seahawks +9.5 (-110)
Chargers vs. Patriots prediction
I hate this bet, I really do. The Patriots offense may just be the worst offense in the NFL. They have no weapons and they have no quarterback. With that being said, I have no desire to lay six points on a Chargers team that is coached by one of the biggest morons in the NFL and a defense that is a bottom-five unit.
At least we know the Patriots' defense is good, allowing two straight opponents to just 10 points. If their defense can keep up this level of play, they have a chance to keep this game within six points.
The Chargers are 22nd in the NFL in Net Yards per Play (-0.4) this season and 24th in Net Yards per Play (-0.7) over each team's last three games. Both marks are worse than the Patriots who come in at 18th (-0.2) and 17th (-0.3).
It's easy to only think about the offense, but the difference in these two differences makes this game a lot closer than a 6-point spread in favor of the road team indicates. I'll begrudgingly take the Patriots to cover.
Pick: Patriots +6.5 (-110)
Colts vs. Titans prediction
I continue to be higher on this Colts team than the betting market is, so I'm going to continue to bet on them. Are they good? No, but they aren't bad either. The Colts might be the most average team in the NFL which is reflected by their perfectly balanced Net Yards per Play of 0.0.
Average is good enough to beat bad teams like the Tennessee Titans. For the majority of the season, the Titans have been toothless and Will Levis has been basically an exact copy of Ryan Tannehill and hasn't shown the arm he has in his first start against the Falcons.
The Titans defense has a lot of issues in its secondary, ranking 29th in opponent dropback success rate and 31st in opponent EPA per dropback. Gardner Minshew may struggle against top 10 secondaries, but he can torch a unit as bad as what the Titans are trotting out there.
I'll take the Colts to win and cover the short spread.
Pick: Colts -2 (-110)
Dolphins vs. Commanders prediction
The Washington Commanders continue to be given more credit than they deserve. Sure, they're 9.5-point underdogs, but we need to start looking at this team the same way we view the likes of the Patriots and Giants. They're 28th in Net Yards per Play this season at -0.7 and 31st over each team's last three games at -1.5.
This team seems to be imploding a bit as Ron Rivera's seat continues to get hotter and they look to be throwing in the towel on the season.
Then you have to consider the fact the Commanders are dead last in opponent EPA per dropback and 31st in opponent yards per throw, giving up 7.5 per pass. Do you really think they have any chance against the most explosive passing attack in the NFL, especially now that they have no pass rush to at least keep Tua Tagovailoa on his toes.
Finally, let's keep our eyes on this Dolphins defense. They've got healthy lately and are now all of a sudden look like a pretty solid unit. They've allowed just 4.2 yards per play over their last three games, the third fewest in the NFL over that stretch.
I have no issue laying 9.5 points on Miami.
Pick: Dolphins -9.5 (-110)
Lions vs. Saints prediction
My upset pick of the week is the New Orleans Saints to take down the Detroit Lions to hand them their second-straight loss. The Lions' defense continues to have some issues and it's going to cost them in games where their offense isn't firing on all cylinders. They're 18th in the NFL in opponent EPA/Play and 24th in opponent success rate. They're also 21st in opponent yards per play and they've been trending in the wrong direction in all three of those metrics.
While the Saints offense has some issues, their defense is still one of the better units in the NFL, especially against the pass. They're top 10 in virtually every statistic and if they cause some issues for Goff and company, this game is going to be winnable for New Orleans at home.
Pick: Saints +170
Cardinals vs. Steelers prediction
The Steelers looked like a different offense in the best way possible now that Matt Canada is no longer there. Sure, they only scored 16 points, but they averaged 6.2 yards per play, which was the eighth most amongst all teams in Week 12. If they can keep that level of production up while finding ways to get in the end zone, they're going to look like a brand new team down the final stretch of the season.
Even if you think Kyler Murray can lead this Cardinals' offense to scoring some points, their defense is a massive concern. They're 31st in the NFL in opponent EPA per play and dead last in opponent success rate. There's a real strong argument to be made that they're the worst defense in the NFL, and I'm excited to see what this new-look Steelers offense can do against them.
As much as I don't think the Steelers are nearly as good as their 7-4 record indicates, I still think they're leagues above the Cardinals. I don't have any problem laying points on them at home.
Pick: Steelers -5.5 (-110)
Falcons vs. Jets prediction
The Jets offense causes me physical pain to watch. They're dead last in both EPA per play and success rate and nobody who they have at quarterback, they're going to stink out loud.
Obviously, their defense has the ability to be elite, but with their season looking all but over, we could see something similar to what we saw with the Broncos last year. They had a top-three defense in the NFL but the team imploded due to their incompetent offense and their defense threw in the towel, falling off the face of the earth in the final third of the season.
When it comes to the Falcons, they have the potential to be a good (but not great) team. They're 12th in the NFL in Net Yards per Play at +0.1, but ill-timed turnovers have cost them. If Desmond Ridder can just hang on to the ball, their defense is good enough to keep them in games.
I did like what I saw from the Falcons game plan last week in their win against the Saints. They Ran the ball on 66.13% of plays, which is a huge increase from their season average of 48.55%. Bijan Robinson also ran the ball 16 times for 91 yards, averaging 5.69 yards per carry. Promising stuff.
I'll lay the short spread on the Falcons on the road.
Pick: Falcons -2.5 (-115)
Broncos vs. Texans prediction
It may just be time to sell high on the Broncos. Despite their five-game win streak, their metrics haven't caught up. They're still just 29th in the NFL in Net Yards per Play and even just 22nd in Net Yards per Play over their last three games.
Their success has been largely been largely due to takeaways and not turning the ball over themselves. They have an average turnover margin of +0.7 this season and +2.7 over their last three games. Now, they take on a Texans team that has done a fantastic job of not turning the ball over this season, ranking fifth in giveaways per game.
The Texans are a legitimate good team, ranking ninth in the league in Net Yards per Play at +0.3. I'll lay the points on Houston at home.
Pick: Texans -3.5 (-110)
Panthers vs. Buccaneers prediction
The understand the Carolina Panthers are terrible, but the Buccaneers aren't good enough to justify a 5.5-point spread. If you look at some simple numbers like Net Yards per Play, the Bucs are 27th at -0.7 and the Panthers are 30th at -0.9. That's not as big of a difference as you may think.
Then there's the fact the Bucs won't be able to attack the weak spot of the Panthers defense. Carolina ranks dead last in the NFL in just about every run defense stat you can find, but the Buccaneers have arguably the worst run offense, ranking last in rush success rate.
Then there's the fact the Panthers fired Frank Reich this week. They can't be any worse with Chris Tabor as their interim head coach and Thomas Brown, their offensive coordinator, now calling plays.
I'll take the points with Carolina and hope its offense shows some life.
Pick: Panthers +5.5 (-110)
49ers vs. Eagles prediction
The Eagles did what the Eagles have done all season in Week 12, winning a game they didn't deserve to. With that being said, they do deserve some credit for finding ways to win despite getting outplayed on a consistent basis.
Unfortunately for them, the 49ers are going to be the toughest challenge they've faced all season. I have to stick to my guns and back a San Francisco team that I truly think is significantly better than Philadelphia.
Let's take a look at where these two teams rank in key metrics. Spoiler alert: the 49ers rank higher in almost every one.
- Net Yards per Play: 3rd vs. 11th
- EPA per Play: 1st vs. 5th
- Offensive success rate: 1st vs. 6th
- Opponent EPA per Play: 4th vs. 23rd
- Opponent success rate: 15th vs. 12th
- Third down conversion rate: 5th vs. 3rd
- Opponent third down conversion rate: 21st vs. 30th
- Average turnover margin: 1st vs. 19th
- Points per play: 3rd vs. 5th
The Eagles have a slight edge in opponent success rate and third down conversion rate, but every other metric favors the 49ers. In a few areas, that have a massive advantage like in opponent EPA per Play.
I think the 49ers are the best team in the NFL and they'll prove it on Sunday.
Pick: 49ers -2.5 (-110)
Browns vs. Rams prediction
I don't know what to do in this game outside of just betting on the UNDER. The Browns have arguably the best defense in the NFL but the worst offense with Deshaun Watson sidelined. Dorian Thompson-Robinson and PJ Walker rank second last and dead last in EPA+CPOE, so it doesn't matter who they start at QB, they're going to be a disaster.
With that being said, their defense is unbelievably good. They lead the NFL in opponent EPA per play, opponent success rate, opponent Dropback EPA, and opponent Dropback success rate. The Rams' offense can attack teams with bad secondaries, but I'm concerned with their ability to find success against Cleveland.
Let's just bet the UNDER and hope the obvious comes true and this game is a low-scoring affair.
Pick: UNDER 39.5 (-110)
Chiefs vs. Packers prediction
The Packers are starting to get hot and their offense is beginning to find their identity with Jordan Love showing improvement on an almost weekly basis. They're coming off their biggest win of the year against the Lions and are ninth in the league in Net Yards per Play over each team's last three games.
The Packers defense can be stingy and despite finding some rhythm in the second half against the Raiders last weekend, the Chiefs are still struggling at times. They're just 14th in Net Yards per Play over their last three games.
Look for the Packers run game to play a big role in this game. The Chiefs are 31st in opponent EPA per rush and 20th in opponent rush success rate. I think Green Bay can keep things close in this one.
Pick: Packers +6.5 (-104)
Bengals vs. Jaguars prediction
As much as I'm not a big believer in the Jaguars this season, the Bengals are nothing without Joe Burrow. I don't think people have fully realized how bad this defense is yet. They're 25th in opponent EPA per play, 30th in opponent success rate, and dead last in opponent yards per play, allowing 6.2 yards per play.
Without an elite quarterback to cover up their poor defensive play, the Bengals are going to be in for a world of hurt in the final stretch of the season.
The Jaguars have some issues of their own, especially offensively, but they're still leagues above a Burrow-less Bengals and should win this one running away.
Pick: Jaguars -7.5 (-115)
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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