NFL Predictions Week 13: Odds, Spread and Picks for Entire Schedule

Ryan McCrystal@@ryan_mccrystalFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2017

Philadelphia Eagles' Carson Wentz reacts after running for first down during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Michael Perez/Associated Press

As the calendar turns to December, playoff races are heating up around the NFL

Week 13 features a number of games with major playoff implications, including a few critical matchups between division rivals. 

Here's a look at the odds and predictions for each Week 13 game, followed by a closer look at three of the best bets of the week. 

     

49ers at Bears (-3)

Buccaneers at Packers (-2.5)

Texans at Titans (-6.5)

Vikings at Falcons (-3)

Lions at Ravens (-3)

Patriots (-8.5) at Bills

Colts at Jaguars (-9.5)

Broncos (-1.5) at Dolphins

Chiefs (-3) at Jets

Browns at Chargers (-13.5)

Giants at Raiders (-8.5)

Rams (-7) at Cardinals

Panthers at Saints (-4.5)

Eagles (-4.5) at Seahawks

Steelers (-5) at Bengals

Spreads from OddsShark.com. Projected winner against spread highlighted in bold. 

      

Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers (-13.5)

Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

Despite the Browns winless record this season, one of the areas in which they've shown remarkable improvement has been in their run defense. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, in his first year with the Browns, has developed a unit that is holding opponents to just 3.3 yards per rush—the second lowest rate in the NFL. 

However, second-year defensive lineman Emmanuel Ogbah went down with a broken foot in the first half against the Jaguars on November 19 and is out of the season. It's probably not a coincidence that in the last two games, including that matchup with Jacksonville, the Browns have allowed their two highest rushing totals of the season. 

Los Angeles isn't typically a run-heavy offense, but once Philip Rivers gives them the lead, Melvin Gordon should be able to seal the victory in the second half by running over the Browns' weakened defense. 

If the Browns are going to pull off the upset, they'll have to build upon last week's offensive performance against the Bengals. Against Cincinnati, the Browns racked up more than 400 yards of total offense for just the third time this season and avoided turning the ball over for the first time this year. 

Prediction: Chargers 31, Browns 17

       

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-4.5)

Bob Leverone/Associated Press

The Panthers and Saints enter this game tied atop the NFC South standings at 8-3, but New Orleans owns the tie breaker thanks to an early-season win in Carolina. With another win on Sunday, the Saints would put themselves in the driver's seat in the division. 

Knocking off Carolina won't be easy, however, given the mounting injuries on the Saints defense. 

New Orleans played without cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley in Week 12 against the Rams, and it showed—Jared Goff picked apart the Saints depleted secondary for 354 yards. 

According to Herbie Teope of Nola.com, both players were limited in practice this week, although Crawley is expected to return and Lattimore may join him as well. 

Even if both players suit up, it's unlikely they will be at 100 percent strength, and the Panthers offense should be able to take advantage of the weakened unit.

Cam Newton's season has been a roller-coaster ride, with his three-interception game against the Saints marking his low point. He'll be looking for revenge in this matchup, and this clearly isn't the same Saints defense due to the injuries. 

Prediction: Panthers 27, Saints 24

      

Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) at Seattle Seahawks 

Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The Eagles look like the team to beat in the NFC this season, but they've also benefited from a favorable schedule up until this point. The Eagles trip out West is the start of a three-game road trip that will be their toughest stretch of the season. 

Fortunately for the Eagles, they'll be greeted in Seattle by an injury-plagued Seahawks defense, which is without a number of key players, including Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman. 

Losing key members of their secondary further weakens a Seattle secondary that hasn't been as dominant this season as in years past. 

Carson Wentz will be the third quarterback the Seahawks have faced this season who ranks in the top five in ESPN's Total QBR metric. The other two, Deshaun Watson and Matt Ryan, combined to throw for 597 yards and six touchdowns, with three interceptions (all three by Watson). 

The Seahawks secondary has been vulnerable at times this season, and now it's been weakened by injuries, it will likely struggle against the Eagles potent passing attack.

Prediction: Eagles 24, Seahawks 17

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