Week 13 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Underdogs That Will Cover Your Bet

Zach KruseSenior Analyst INovember 26, 2012

Week 13 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Underdogs That Will Cover Your Bet

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    Save for the Monday night game tonight (Panthers are favored by three on the road), underdogs went a combined 7-7 against the spread during Week 12 of the NFL season. 

    While seven underdogs may not cover in Week 13, there are a number of teams that look like safer bets for the upcoming slate of games. 

    Using the betting trends and recent performances of each team in each matchup, we can nail down which underdogs have the best chance of pulling off a cover against the spread. 

    In the following slides, we give you the games with the best opportunities for an underdog cover in Week 13. 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills (-6.0)

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    Betting on the Jaguars seems like it'd be a risky endeavor, but the trends and recent performance at the quarterback position actually make Jacksonville a somewhat "safe" bet to cover in Buffalo. 

    Away from home in 2012, the Jaguars are a perfect 5-0 against the spread. Covered spreads on the road include at Minnesota (+3.0), at Indianapolis (+3.0), at Oakland (+6.0), at Green Bay (+16.0) and at Houston (+15.0). 

    The Bills are only 2-2 against the spread at home this season. 

    The emergence of Chad Henne also gives Jacksonville a chance in Buffalo, as the vetean quarterback has thrown for 600 yards and six touchdowns in the last two games. He's been a steadying presence for an offense that desperately needed one. 

    Jacksonville might not go on the road and beat the 4-7 Bills in Buffalo, but keeping this game within six is more than possible. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos (-6.5)

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    The Bucs pulled off a push against the Falcons (+1.0, lost 24-23) in Week 11, which kept their NFL-best record against the spread intact at 8-2. 

    The Broncos, on the other hand, have failed to cover two straight weeks (San Diego, at Kansas City) and now sit at a so-so 6-5 against the spread this season. 

    More trends point Tampa Bay's way too. The Buccaneers are 6-1 against the spread as an underdog this season, including a perfect 5-0 away from home. Denver is just 3-2 against the spread at home. 

    The recent performances of these two teams are mostly a wash, so the trends give us our most clear picture. A 6.5-point line might be too high for how many of the betting trends look in Tampa Bay's favor. Again, the Bucs might not beat the Broncos on the road, but a losing cover is still doable. 

Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions (-4.5)

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    The Colts and Andrew Luck haven't been the same football team away from Indianapolis, winning just two of five games and covering in just one of three. 

    Given those troubles, it's understandable that Vegas would peg the 4-7 Lions as a 4.5-point favorite. 

    However, Detroit has dealt with similar struggles covering at home (1-3 against the spread, 1-2 as the favorite), and the Colts are 7-4 straight-up with their sights on an AFC postseason spot. 

    Eventually, the Colts need to win a road game to lock in their place in the playoffs. Beating (or at least sticking within a field goal of) the Lions would be a fine start.