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NFL Week 13 Picks: Stone-Cold Locks Against the Spread

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 24:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots walks off the field after a game at Gillette Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Alex KayCorrespondent INovember 26, 2013

Week 13 of the 2013 NFL season promises to be a good one, with three games on Thanksgiving, a full slate on Sunday and a marquee showdown on Monday Night Football to cap it all off.

Perhaps the only way to get more excited about the upcoming contests is to place a wager on the action. Whether you are making a small bet among friends or plopping down a fortune at the sportsbook, it’s always wise to know the latest lines and have some insight before making a pick.

Here’s a look at the updated spreads, my picks for the winner of each game and a couple of can’t-miss plays you are going to want to get behind in Week 13.

NFL Week 13 Lines and Picks
Away TeamHome TeamLinePrediction (ATS)
Green Bay PackersDetroit LionsDET -6GB
Oakland RaidersDallas CowboysDAL -9.5DAL
Pittsburgh SteelersBaltimore RavensBAL -3BAL
Tennessee TitansIndianapolis ColtsIND -4IND
Denver BroncosKansas City ChiefsDEN -3.5KC
Jacksonville JaguarsCleveland BrownsCLE -7CLE
Tampa Bay BuccaneersCarolina PanthersCAR -8TB
Chicago BearsMinnesota VikingsMIN -1CHI
Arizona CardinalsPhiladelphia EaglesPHI -3.5PHI
Miami DolphinsNew York JetsNYJ -1.5MIA
Atlanta FalconsBuffalo BillsBUF -3.5BUF
St. Louis RamsSan Francisco 49ersSF -9.5STL
New England PatriotsHouston TexansNE -5.5NE
Cincinnati BengalsSan Diego ChargersSD -1.5SD
New York GiantsWashington RedskinsWAS -1.5NYG
New Orleans SaintsSeattle SeahawksSEA -5.5NO
ScoresAndOdds.com

 

New England Patriots (-5.5) over Houston Texans

The fact that New England is conceding less than a touchdown to lowly Houston should make this an automatic bet for most.

One of the league’s best teams is coming off an epic win and has all the momentum in the world, and it should have no issues blowing out a squad that lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12 and mustered a mere six points in the process.

Remember, the Pats are averaging 26.2 points per game this year and holding the opposition to 20.9 points. That’s a respectable 5.3-point margin, which indicates New England should be able to cover this spread if it plays a slightly above-average game.

Nov 24, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib (31) defends a pass intended for Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) in the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots defeated the Denver Bronc
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Considering the Patriots are riding the high of an overtime win against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos—in which they came back from a 24-point deficit—it is safe to say this group is firing on all cylinders and ready for much more than a slightly above-average outing.

For some reason, linemakers are still respecting Houston as if it is on the verge of a postseason run. This squad is a pitiful 2-9 and has absolutely no chance of making the playoffs in 2013.

Nov 24, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum (7) walks off the field after a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Reliant Stadium. The Jaguars defeated the Texans 13-6. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Players on the Texans roster are simply going through the motions at this point in the season, as evidenced by their inability to force turnovers during this abysmal nine-game losing streak. The team has taken the ball away a paltry eight times this year and has given it away on 20 occasions.

That minus-12 differential is one of the worst marks in the league and a large reason why Houston is losing games to clubs like Jacksonville.

The Pats should waltz into Reliant Stadium, put on an offensive clinic, make enough stops on defense to win by a double-digit margin and exit with a victory. They are a stone-cold lock of the week and well worth a massive bet.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+8) over Carolina Panthers

Nov 24, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Johnthan Banks (27) celebrates after intercepting a pass during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Bucs and Panthers are clashing in an NFC South battle between two of the hottest teams in the NFL.

While Carolina is certainly looking like a Super Bowl contender, the Bucs have been on fire the past three weeks and are looking to push their winning streak to four straight games.

The odds of that are low, but the chance that Tampa Bay will cover a spread that is over a touchdown seems astronomically higher.

Mike Glennon has emerged a legit franchise quarterback since taking over as the starter. The rookie is putting up big numbers, and his arm allows the Bucs to compete with anyone due to their vertical passing attack.

Mike Glennon's Passing Numbers
OpponentYardsTD'sINT'sRating
Arizona Cardinals (L)1931255.7
Philadelphia Eagles (L)2732184.7
Atlanta Falcons (L)2562090.7
Carolina Panthers (L)2751080.1
Seattle Seahawks (L)16820123.1
Miami Dolphins (W)1391169.3
Atlanta Falcons (W)23120137.5
Detroit Lions (W)24720138.4
ESPN

Carolina’s secondary has been slipping as of late too, as a unit that gives up only an average of 215.9 yards per game via the air has looked beatable.

Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady have successfully attacked this team with precision passes and deep balls over the past two games, although the Panthers still found a way to win those close ones.

Nov 24, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) and safety Kelcie McCray (35) celebrate during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Tampa Bay won 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TOD
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

If Carolina gives up over 300 yards passing to Glennon—something you can expect with Bobby Rainey likely struggling to find rushing room against a defense that allows a mere 88 yards per game on the ground—he should have the Bucs right in the thick of things until the end.

Expect a late field goal to decide a closer contest than the bookmakers are envisioning. Back the underdog and get paid for a fourth straight Sunday with the Bucs.

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