Week 13 of the NFL season is coming up, and it’s time to start thinking about which teams you are taking against the spread.
Whether it is for personal enjoyment, an office pool or to make money at a sportsbook, there is almost always a useful reason to identify a few winners on the point spread. Let’s take a look at the entire slate of games this week and predict which side will emerge victorious against the spread.
*Point spreads courtesy of ScoresAndOdds.com, home team in CAPS.
New Orleans Saints (+3.5) over ATLANTA FALCONS
The Saints needed to win against the San Francisco 49ers last week but faltered and dropped back below .500 heading into a crucial Thursday Night Football contest against Atlanta.
We fully expect Drew Brees and company to make their last stand during this prime-time game and should have no problem emerging victorious for the second time this year against a banged up Falcons squad that may be missing key members of the secondary.
CHICAGO BEARS (?) over Seattle Seahawks
There is currently no line for this game, but we like the Bears giving up to six points against an up-and-down Seattle team that has traditionally struggled on the road, especially with Russell Wilson under center.
GREEN BAY PACKERS (-9.5) over Minnesota Vikings
The Pack were straight up embarrassed on Sunday Night Football in Week 12 and must redeem themselves for that performance. They have a chance against the Vikes in an exciting NFC North battle this Sunday.
Don’t think for a second that Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the Packers offense is taking that shortcoming against the G-Men lightly, and they will come out swinging for the fences. A collapsing Minnesota squad that has lost three of their last four has no chance.
ST. LOUIS RAMS (+7.5) over San Francisco 49ers
These two teams played to a draw when they last saw one another in San Francisco, and now it’s time to take the points with the Rams at home.
San Francisco signal-caller Colin Kaepernick looks like the franchise QB of the future, but he’s bound to make some mental errors and keep St. Louis lingering around in this matchup.
While the Niners will likely win in the end, it’s not going to be by more than a TD. Take the hook and get paid here.
Arizona Cardinals (+4.5) over NEW YORK JETS
It’s hard to imagine many people tuning in for this atrocious game, but we know some degenerates are going to feel the need to bet it.
If you have to, go with the Cardinals getting points on the road to Gang Green, as the Jets fully collapsed on Thanksgiving night and look more vulnerable than ever.
Arizona is in the midst of a seven-game slide and has perhaps a worse QB situation than the Jets, but the return of RB Beanie Wells should keep this game within a field goal at the final whistle.
Carolina Panthers (?) over KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
There is no line currently available for this game, but we like the Panthers giving up to six points in this contest against the lowly Chiefs.
Indianapolis Colts (+4.5) over DETROIT LIONS
Don’t look now, but the Colts have won five of their last six as they prepare to make the short road trip to Detroit to take on the Lions.
Detroit hung tough with Houston on Turkey Day, but they proved—once again—that they have an inept coach that will cost them games.
We like Indy here getting 4.5, as they will easily make this a nail-biter that could come down to the final few plays with either team winning. It’s always worth it to have the points on your side in those situations.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+6) over BUFFALO BILLS
The Chad Henne era in Jacksonville is off to a great start with a win last week over Tennessee in his first start and an overtime battle with Houston after taking over for Blaine Gabbert.
That momentum could continue Sunday when they are being spotted six points on a road trip to Buffalo. The Bills are straight up losers in four of their last five and shouldn’t be laying so many points to a team that actually looks dangerous.
This is an easy call in favor of the Jags.
MIAMI DOLPHINS (+7.5) over New England Patriots
Every year the Patriots seem to suffer a late-season stinker against the ‘Phins. We are betting that this will happen in Week 13, rather than the Week 17 finale.
The Dolphins finally put themselves back on track against the Seahawks, picking up their first win after three straight losses. If they can continue to play solid defense and do just enough on offense, they easily keep this one within seven.
Take the points with the home team and get paid.
Another good bet on this game would be taking the over, which is currently set at 51. The Pats haven’t been involved in an under since Week 2 and shouldn’t buck that trend anytime soon.
Houston Texans (-6) over TENNESSEE TITANS
Houston is a vastly superior team to Tennessee, but some may be worried that back-to-back overtime games over a five-day span will diminish their ability to perform on Sunday.
That’s nonsense, and you should bet that Arian Foster will run all over this atrocious run defense while the rejuvenated Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub work the passing attack.
Should this line stay under seven, it’s a no-brainer to lay the points.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7) over DENVER BRONCOS
The Buccaneers have lost five games all season, and not a single one of them has been by more than a single touchdown.
It would be borderline crazy to go against them now, even against Peyton Manning and the surging Broncos.
The Bucs are a surprisingly solid team, even though popular opinion was against them in the offseason following a pitiful 2011 campaign and a coaching change.
They’ve bucked (excuse the pun) the notion that they aren’t a legitimate contender and will prove it once again on Sunday.
BALTIMORE RAVENS (?) over Pittsburgh Steelers
There is currently no line available for this game, but we like the Ravens giving up to four against a depleted Steelers squad in this hotly contested AFC North rivalry meeting.
OAKLAND RAIDERS (?) over Cleveland Browns
There is currently no line available for this game, but we like the Raiders giving two or less points against a shaky Browns team.
Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5) over SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was on the hot seat until recently, when his team answered a four-game slide with a three-game streak and should make it four in a row following this Week 13 contest.
San Diego has been far too conservative in 2012 and is playing not to lose, which is ironically one of the best ways to lose a game in the modern NFL. We think that continues, and the Bengals easily take this one in Qualcomm Stadium.
DALLAS COWBOYS (?) over Philadelphia Eagles
There is currently no line available for this game, but we like the Cowboys laying up to eight points against a depleted Eagles team that will be missing a number of key offensive players for this Sunday Night Football game.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (+1) over New York Giants
Monday Night Football promises to be much better than Week 12’s snoozefest featuring the Eagles and Panthers. This NFC East contest features a ton of bad blood and a rematch of an epic contest between the two teams earlier in 2012.
We are predicting the ‘Skins get their revenge and RGIII picks up a big victory over the hated G-Men, covering the spread and winning straight up.