With it being Thanksgiving, the holiday season is upon us. Everyone could use a little extra spending money this time of year, and one way to secure some is by making some shrewd NFL bets this weekend.
The Week 13 slate seems pretty tough to predict on paper, but there is definitely money to be made. For every line that is deadly accurate, there are a few that are off the mark. Even after three months of football, it is impossible for the oddsmakers to be right on everything. Bettors must use that to their advantage.
Here are the three best bets against the spread in Week 13 that will leave you fat and happy in the aftermath of Thanksgiving.
|Away Team||Home Team||Spread||Pick ATS|
|Green Bay Packers||Detroit Lions||DET (-6.5)||GB|
|Oakland Raiders||Dallas Cowboys||DAL (-9.5)||DAL|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Baltimore Ravens||BAL (-3)||BAL|
|Tennessee Titans||Indianapolis Colts||IND (-4.5)||TEN|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Cleveland Browns||CLE (-7)||JAC|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Carolina Panthers||CAR (-8)||CAR|
|Chicago Bears||Minnesota Vikings||PK||CHI|
|Arizona Cardinals||Philadelphia Eagles||PHI (-3)||PHI|
|Miami Dolphins||New York Jets||NYJ (-2)||MIA|
|New England Patriots||Houston Texans||NE (-7)||NE|
|Atlanta Falcons||Buffalo Bills||BUF (-3)||BUF|
|St. Louis Rams||San Francisco 49ers||SF (-8)||SF|
|Denver Broncos||Kansas City Chiefs||DEN (-4.5)||DEN|
|Cincinnati Bengals||San Diego Chargers||PK||SD|
|New York Giants||Washington Redskins||NYG (-1)||WAS|
|New Orleans Saints||Seattle Seahawks||SEA (-4.5)||NO|
Spreads courtesy of Vegas Insider
Miami Dolphins (+2 at NYJ)
There are plenty of average teams in the AFC this year, and two of them will meet in a huge Week 13 clash. The New York Jets will host the AFC East rival Miami Dolphins in a game that could act as a wild-card eliminator of sorts. Both teams are tied with four other squads for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC at 5-6, and a win would be hugely important for either side.
The Dolphins have really struggled since a 3-0 start, and they are a team in turmoil due to the well-publicized bullying schedule. The Jets, on the other hand, are as inconsistent as they come. They managed to beat the New Orleans Saints, but they have looked absolutely awful since then. Much of that has to do with the terrible play of rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who has been an abomination over his past several games, according to NFL on ESPN.
Jets QB Geno Smith in his last 6 games: 1 touchdown pass 10 interceptions— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) November 26, 2013
This has all the makings of an ugly game, but the Dolphins figure to have the advantage. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill hasn't been great in his own right lately, but he isn't a tire fire like Smith. Miami nearly beat the Carolina Panthers last week, and it hasn't been playing awful football like the Jets have. New York has a penchant for scoring some fluky victories, but the Dolphins should be able to win this one on the road outright.
Washington Redskins (+1 vs. NYG)
Most would probably argue that the NFC East is the NFL's worst division. Its two worst teams will meet Sunday night when the Washington Redskins and New York Giants lock horns. The Redskins have struggled to return to the playoff form that they displayed last season, and quarterback Robert Griffin III has taken the brunt of the criticism. The G-Men bounced back from an 0-6 start with four straight wins; however, their streak was broken by the division-leading Dallas Cowboys in Week 12.
It will be extremely difficult for either of these teams to get back in the divisional race, but at least the winner will have a chance. The loser can pretty much write this season off as a lost cause. New York has clearly been in better form as of late, and that is why the Giants are favored on the road. RG3 has struggled to bounce back from the knee injury last season, and he arguably had the worst game of his football career last week as evidenced by this stat courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info.
Robert Griffin III has never played in a game in college or the NFL in which the offense didn't score a TD (67 combined games)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 26, 2013
All the chips are seemingly stacked against Griffin, but he made a living out of defying the odds last year, so there is no reason why he can't do the same this season. Washington is a mess right now, but the Giants really aren't much better. Quarterback Eli Manning is a turnover machine, and it's difficult to trust him as a road favorite in a divisional game. Both of these teams have a lot of work to do in order to return to prominence, so taking the home team and the points is the best course of action.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+7 @ CLE)
Which team is most likely to cover the spread in Week 13?
The Jacksonville Jaguars have looked like the worst team in the NFL for much of the season, but with two wins in three weeks, they're starting to resemble a competitive squad. The Jags beat the Houston Texans on the road in Week 12, and they have a chance to play spoiler on the road once again this week against the Cleveland Browns. While the Browns should obviously be favored, the oddsmakers seem to have gone overboard.
Cleveland is one game back in the AFC wild-card race at 4-7, and a win would really put the Browns in the thick of things. At the same time, they haven't been playing particularly well lately. They are 1-5 in their past six games, and things are only getting worse. With quarterback Jason Campbell nursing a concussion, Brandon Weeden will start at quarterback for the Browns in Week 13, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.
Weeden is no stranger to starting, but there is a reason why he has lost his job twice this season. He is barely completing over 50 percent of his passes this season, and he has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. That is not a winning formula, especially against a team that is starting to gain confidence. This will likely be a sloppy game with plenty of fluky plays involved, and that lends itself to the Jaguars scoring an upset or at least coming close to doing so.
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