Thanksgiving is all about turkey dinners and spending time with family, but the holiday has also become synonymous with NFL football.
Week 13 of the 2013 regular-season schedule is packed with potential postseason previews and divisional battles, and bettors are looking to find the picks that are guaranteed winners.
Here is the full schedule for Week 13, the predicted winner for each matchup and the three games you can’t afford to miss.
|Week 13 NFL Schedule and Predictions|
|Date||Time (ET)||Away Team||Home Team||Predicted Winner|
|Thursday, Nov. 28||12:30 p.m.||Green Bay Packers||Detroit Lions||Lions|
|Thursday, Nov. 28||4:30 p.m.||Oakland Raiders||Dallas Cowboys||Cowboys|
|Thursday, Nov. 28||8:30 p.m.||Pittsburgh Steelers||Baltimore Ravens||Steelers|
|Sunday, Dec. 1||1 p.m.||Jacksonville Jaguars||Cleveland Browns||Browns|
|Sunday, Dec. 1||1 p.m.||Tennessee Titans||Indianapolis Colts||Colts|
|Sunday, Dec. 1||1 p.m.||Chicago Bears||Minnesota Vikings||Bears|
|Sunday, Dec. 1||1 p.m.||Miami Dolphins||New York Jets||Dolphins|
|Sunday, Dec. 1||1 p.m.||Arizona Cardinals||Philadelphia Eagles||Eagles|
|Sunday, Dec. 1||1 p.m.||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Carolina Panthers||Panthers|
|Sunday, Dec. 1||1 p.m.||New England Patriots||Houston Texans||Patriots|
|Sunday, Dec. 1||4:05 p.m.||Atlanta Falcons||Buffalo Bills||Bills|
|Sunday, Dec. 1||4:05 p.m.||St. Louis Rams||San Francisco 49ers||49ers|
|Sunday, Dec. 1||4:25 p.m.||Denver Broncos||Kansas City Chiefs||Broncos|
|Sunday, Dec. 1||4:25 p.m.||Cincinnati Bengals||San Diego Chargers||Bengals|
|Sunday, Dec. 1||8:30 p.m.||New York Giants||Washington||Giants|
|Monday, Dec. 2||8:30 p.m.||New Orleans Saints||Seattle Seahawks||Seahawks|
Denver Broncos (9-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (9-2)
The Denver Broncos will be looking to duplicate the success the team found the last time it squared off against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 11. With just two weeks since the AFC West rivals’ last meeting, the familiarity and animosity will be very real.
Denver has the better team overall, but this will be a much more physical battle.
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 323 yards and a touchdown in the team’s 27-17 victory over Kansas City earlier this season. Those numbers are impressive, but with both key defenders Tamba Hali and Justin Houston dealing with injuries, per Adam Teicher of ESPN.com, Manning should amass an even bigger statistical day Sunday.
The Chiefs had not allowed over 17 points in a game through the first nine weeks of the season, but after the Week 10 bye, Kansas City started to falter. Not only did the team allow 27 points to the Broncos, but the Chiefs are coming off a game against the San Diego Chargers in which they allowed a season-high 41 points.
If Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers can throw for 392 yards and three touchdowns against Kansas City like he did in Week 12, Manning will be able to put up enough points to secure another pivotal win for Denver.
Predicted Final Score: Denver 33, Kansas City 30
New Orleans Saints (9-2) at Seattle Seahawks (10-1)
The Seattle Seahawks have won 13 straight games inside CenturyLink Field, but a meeting on Monday Night Football against the New Orleans Saints will be the team’s toughest test of the season.
Seattle will rise to the occasion and prove its dominance to the NFL.
The Seahawks are predicated on elite defensive play and a consistent rushing attack. Drew Brees and the Saints’ second-ranked passing game have been lights out in 2013, but Seattle’s defense has been equally as stingy. The unit is ranked second in yards allowed (293.3 per game) and third in points allowed (16.3 per game).
While the Seahawks’ third-ranked rushing attack is one of the keys to success for the franchise thus far this season, the return of dual-threat wide receiver Percy Harvin will give Seattle another weapon to use on the ground or through the air.
There is no question that Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has made strides to improve the last year's worst defensive unit, but the team hasn’t performed well against hard-nosed football teams like Seattle.
Expect Brees and the New Orleans pass offense to keep the game close, but the Seahawks' stingy defense and consistent running from Marshawn Lynch will help the team control the clock and dictate the pace of this game.
Predicted Final Score: Seattle 27, New Orleans 24
Green Bay Packers (5-5-1) at Detroit Lions (6-5)
The NFC North battle between the division-leading Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers is already one of the most intriguing matchups of Week 13, but add in the fact that it will be played on Thanksgiving, and this is a game hardcore and casual NFL fans alike will be watching Thursday.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is still recovering from a broken collarbone and is listed as questionable but is not expected to play, per Tom Pelissero of USA Today. If the veteran is not able to suit up for Green Bay, the Lions will be handed a golden opportunity to take the division by the throat.
As seen by the team’s last two losses, though, Detroit can choke away even the biggest opportunities.
There is no question why the Packers have struggled on offense without their dynamic play-caller, but the defense is falling apart as well. The lowly Minnesota Vikings destroyed Green Bay in Week 12, putting up 460 yards of total offense in the 26-26 tie.
The Lions must lean on wide receiver Calvin Johnson, running back Reggie Bush and the league’s third-ranked passing offense to take down the Packers, but the biggest key of the game will be not turning the ball over.
If Detroit wins the turnover battle, the team will win this divisional matchup.
Predicted Final Score: Detroit 30, Green Bay 20
*All stats via NFL.com.