Sunday’s slate for Week 12 of the 2013 NFL football season is about to get underway, but it’s not too late to get your last-minute bets in on the action.
Whether you are looking to place a friendly wager among friends or a major one at the sportsbook, it is always smart to take a look at the updated lines in order to make a wise decision.
Let’s take a look at the spread for every contest on tap, check out my predictions for the winner of each and then highlight a couple of games you won’t want to miss out on betting big.
|Away Team||Home Team||Spread||Prediction (ATS)|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Detroit Lions||DET -7||TB|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Houston Texans||HOU -10||HOU|
|Minnesota Vikings||Green Bay Packers||GB -5||GB|
|San Diego Chargers||Kansas City Chiefs||KC -3||KC|
|Carolina Panthers||Miami Dolphins||CAR -4||CAR|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Cleveland Browns||CLE -2||CLE|
|Chicago Bears||St. Louis Rams||STL -1||STL|
|New York Jets||Baltimore Ravens||BAL -3||BAL|
|Tennessee Titans||Oakland Raiders||TEN -2||OAK|
|Indianapolis Colts||Arizona Cardinals||ARI -3||IND|
|Dallas Cowboys||New York Giants||NYG -2.5||DAL|
|Denver Broncos||New England Patriots||DEN -2.5||NE|
|San Francisco 49ers||Washington Redskins||SF -4.5||SF|
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7) over Detroit Lions
The Bucs opened as 10-point underdogs, as per ScoresAndOdds.com, but that line quickly slid down to a touchdown after backers lined up behind Tampa Bay.
Regardless, this surging Buccaneers squad is still worth a play at plus-seven at this point in the season—even on the road against a good Detroit squad.
Head coach Greg Schiano clearly has nothing to lose and is acting like it. His risks and gambles are paying off in a big way as his team has won two straight contests heading into this road matchup with the Lions.
While star back Doug Martin couldn’t get anything going on the ground earlier in 2013, backup Bobby Rainey has seized the reins of this offense and is absolutely pounding the opposition behind a suddenly rejuvenated line.
Tampa has rushed for 326 yards over the past two contests and may even give Detroit’s top-five rushing defense fits.
If not, Mike Glennon should be there to pick up the slack. The rookie has emerged as a legit starting quarterback in the NFL and is capable of putting up respectable numbers in the event that this one turns into a shootout.
Which team will cover?
Glennon is coming off arguably his finest performance yet—connecting on 20 of 23 passes for 231 yards and two scores with no turnovers against the Atlanta Falcons—and should be extremely confident against a pass defense that concedes over 283 yards per game, the third-worst mark in the league.
Don’t be surprised if the Bucs outright win this and—even if they don’t leave the Motor City with a “W”—they should definitely cover this large spread.
New England Patriots (+2.5) over Denver Broncos
This Sunday Night Football showdown promises to be one of the best games of the 2013 regular season. It pits two teams hoping to score a bye in the AFC against one another in primetime.
Beyond that, it is once again Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning—marking the 14th time that this pair of future Hall of Famers has met on the field and the second since Manning joined the Broncos last season.
Last year’s matchup was one of the best, with the Pats winning at Foxborough behind Brady’s accurate 23-of-31 passing for 223 yards and a touchdown. Manning performed well statistically in the loss, connecting on 31 of 44 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns.
Which team will cover?
Although the location, teams and quarterbacks are the same, Denver has been given edge in this one by oddsmakers. This is the first time since the 2005 season that New England has been a home underdog, which is something head coach Bill Belichick will likely use as extra motivation for his team on Sunday.
The Pats may not have Wes Welker running routes anymore—he’ll be in the stadium, although wearing the orange and blue for Denver—but they still have a host of elite talent that is capable of winning games.
Their defense has held opposing passers to just 229.2 yards per game—ranking in the top half of the league in that respect. The offense is almost fully healthy, with versatile running back Shane Vereen returning to action last week and tight end Rob Gronkowski playing at an elite level.
Expect a close contest with the Pats outright winning by a narrow margin, easily covering the spread and remaining undefeated at home in 2013.