As the end of the NFL's regular season draws closer with each passing week, the games get that much more important. There are a number of contests with major playoff implications in Week 13, and while many are very difficult to predict, others are ripe for the picking when it comes to betting.
For many bettors, Week 13 could be pivotal. For those who are down over the course of the season, a big week is of the utmost importance. For those who are even or up for the year, however, maintaining positive momentum is an absolute must.
Here are three of the biggest locks against the spread in Week 13 that will line your pockets with extra cash if you take a chance on them.
|Week 13 NFL Picks Against the Spread|
|Away Team||Home Team||Spread||Pick ATS|
|Tennessee Titans||Indianapolis Colts||IND (-3.5)||TEN|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Cleveland Browns||CLE (-7)||JAC|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Carolina Panthers||CAR (-7.5)||CAR|
|Chicago Bears||Minnesota Vikings||PK||CHI|
|Arizona Cardinals||Philadelphia Eagles||PHI (-3)||PHI|
|Miami Dolphins||New York Jets||NYJ (-1.5)||MIA|
|New England Patriots||Houston Texans||NE (-7)||NE|
|Atlanta Falcons||Buffalo Bills||BUF (-3)||BUF|
|St. Louis Rams||San Francisco 49ers||SF (-7.5)||SF|
|Denver Broncos||Kansas City Chiefs||DEN (-5.5)||DEN|
|Cincinnati Bengals||San Diego Chargers||PK||SD|
|New York Giants||Washington Redskins||PK||WAS|
|New Orleans Saints||Seattle Seahawks||SEA (-5.5)||NO|
|Spreads courtesy of Vegas Insider|
Denver Broncos (-5.5 @ KC)
After blowing a 24-point lead against the New England Patriots last week, plenty of observers are down on the Denver Broncos. There is no question that the loss to New England was troubling, but the Broncos should still be just fine. The team got far too conservative under interim head coach Jack Del Rio with the lead, and it ultimately cost them. Head coach John Fox won't be back until Week 14, but it's hard to imagine Del Rio falling into the same trap that burned him last week.
This week's matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs is pivotal in that the winner will be in sole control of the AFC West. Both teams are currently 9-2, so they are both essentially assured of making the playoffs, but winning the division and securing the No. 1 seed are huge factors. Denver beat Kansas City by 10 when the teams played two weeks ago, but the Broncos dominated the game more than the score suggests. Also, the Chiefs will have an even tougher time in Week 13 with leading sack man Justin Houston out of the lineup, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.
The Chiefs struggled mightily to get to quarterback Peyton Manning in Week 11 despite leading the league in sacks and it's only going to get tougher without Houston in the fold. Also, Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno is likely to play despite suffering an ankle injury last week, according to Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com. Since Denver has its full complement of weapons on offense and Kansas City is lacking on defense, it seems clear that the Broncos hold the advantage.
San Diego Chargers (PK vs. CIN)
In what figures to be one of the biggest and most entertaining games of the weekend, the San Diego Chargers will host the Cincinnati Bengals. Although Cincinnati opened as a one-point favorite, it is currently a pick 'em game. It would seem as though these teams are evenly matched, and they both have plenty to gain and lose in this contest. The Bengals currently lead the AFC North, but their lead is in danger of slipping to one game should they lose on Sunday. Also, the Chargers need a victory to keep pace in the AFC wild-card race.
Cincinnati is a tough team to figure out because it looks like an elite team some weeks, but often plays down to its competition. San Diego, on the other hand, has played very well against top teams. The Chargers outgunned the Chiefs last week, and some might consider San Diego to be the favorite when it comes to nabbing the No. 6 spot in the AFC. Quarterback Philip Rivers will have ample support on Sunday as well with running back Ryan Mathews expected to play, according to Adam Levitan of Rotoworld.
Rivers has enjoyed a fantastic bounce-back season, but the Chargers are at their best when Mathews and Danny Woodhead are getting the job done on the ground too. San Diego figures to employ a balanced offense that will keep the Bengals guessing all game long. Cincinnati shouldn't be counted out since its strong defense and running game keeps it in most games, but it's tough to trust quarterback Andy Dalton in this environment.
New England Patriots (-7 @ HOU)
The New England Patriots have dealt with their fair share of trials and tribulations this season, but with a record of 8-3, they are in firm control of the AFC East. The Pats picked up a signature win in Week 12 by erasing a 24-point deficit to defeat the Broncos in overtime. That, along with their win over the New Orleans Saints, suggests that the Patriots are true Super Bowl contenders. If that is indeed the case, then New England shouldn't have much of an issue taking care of the Houston Texans on the road this week.
Houston certainly has talent, but it has suffered through a nightmarish season. The Texans have dropped nine straight games since starting 2-0, and they haven't shown any signs of life over the past few weeks. They reached a new low last week when they lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and it's nearly impossible to imagine them following that up with a win over the Pats. Quarterback Case Keenum has had his moments for Houston, but Patriots head coach Bill Belichick could make life miserable for him. Even so, Keenum will start on Sunday, according to Pro Football Talk.
The true matchup of interest in this game, however, will be Tom Brady and New England's offense against Houston's defense. The Texans are actually No. 1 in the league against the pass, but Brady has found his way as of late now that top weapons such as Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola are getting healthy. Based on the way Brady is playing right now, conventional wisdom suggests that New England will find a way to win this one by more than seven points.
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