The NFL’s Week 13 lineup has some enticing spreads that favor a couple of home teams a little too much. Those favorites have the home-field advantage but not the momentum going in this week’s action.
Let’s take a look at three home-team favorites who will likely fail to cover the spread.
*All spreads courtesy of Covers
Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets (-4.5)
Both teams are hit or miss when it comes to covering the spread. The Jets are 3-3 at home and the Cardinals are 2-2-1 for the season against the spread on the road.
Both of these teams have struggled offensively, hitting rough patches of inconsistency from week to week. It’s been the Cardinals defense that’s impressed the most out of any of the units involved in this one.
The Cards pass defense has harassed opposing quarterbacks and caused a fourth-best 15 interceptions so far. They’re also getting after the quarterback and have recorded 30 sacks so far (tied for fifth-most in NFL).
Mark Sanchez has been sacked 20 times and has thrown 10 interceptions. The quarterback situation isn’t much better for the Cardinals, but they’ll likely elect to run the ball against the No. 30 Jets rush defense that’s giving up an uncharacteristic 142 yards per game rushing.
This game has ugly written all over it. Favoring anyone seems like a bad idea. Taking Mark Sanchez to beat a pass defense that’s riddled the likes of Matt Ryan and Tom Brady this season isn’t very appealing.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills (-5.5)
Jacksonville has been a surprisingly effective road warrior this season, at least against the spread. The Jags are 5-0 against the spread in away games this season. Buffalo, on the other hand, is 2-2 in covering the spread at home.
Plus, the Jags have been sparked by the replacement of Blaine Gabbert behind center. Backup Chad Henne has thrown for six touchdowns and just one interception over the past two games since taking the reins of the offense.
Buffalo’s defense has struggled this season against both the pass and the run. They’re giving up over 230 yards through the air and averaging another 147 per game on the ground.
Both teams should be able to score because the Jags defense isn’t much better. The team is ranked in the bottom five for most passing yards (274.5) and rushing (136) per game.
Still, a five-plus point win for the Bills against an improving Jacksonville team doesn’t seem plausible.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-8)
Neither of these teams has been efficient at covering the spread when in this situation. The Packers are just 2-3 against the spread at home and the Vikings are an even worse 1-4.
Still, Minnesota needs this game too much to let it get out of hand like this spread predicts. Its ability to run the football with Adrian Peterson against a Packers defense that gave up over 140 yards to the New York Giants in Week 12 will be the key to keeping this one close.
If Peterson can get going and take some of the pass rush’s pressure off of Christian Ponder, the Vikes may able to work the short-to-intermediate passing game off of play-action passes. Green Bay has been susceptible to that this season.
Ponder will need to get rid of the ball quickly and rely on Peterson to control the tempo of the game.
Green Bay will win, likely by one score, but not by more than that.