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Week 13 NFL Picks: Underdogs, Unders, More Bets For Sunday

Week 13 NFL Picks: Underdogs, Unders, More Bets For Sunday article feature image

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Cam Newton.

NFL Picks

Click on a pick to skip ahead
Jets +8, ML vs. Raiders
Cardinals +3 vs. Rams
Bengals +10.5 at Dolphins
Colts-Texans Under 50
Browns-Titans Over 54
Patriots +1.5 at Chargers

Chris Raybon, a senior NFL and fantasy football analyst, highlights his favorite Week 13 NFL picks below. He has a 377-285-19 (56.9%) all-time record on NFL bets he’s tracked in the Action app.

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Jets +8, ML vs. Raiders

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Odds

Any team that gainfully employs Adam Gase at head coach and Sam Darnold at QB is built for a run at 0-16, but this is a winnable game for the Jets.

The Raiders will be without running back Josh Jacobs, who is the catalyst for their entire offense and would have taken a lot of pressure off Derek Carr to rebound from his disastrous Week 12 outing against the Falcons. The Jets allow just 3.50 Adjusted Line Yards per carry, fifth-best according to Football Outsiders, and will likely force the Raiders to be one-dimensional.

Both of these defenses are bad, but against a Raiders defense missing starting safety and team leader in snaps Johnathan Abram (knee), the Jets have a chance to be the better offense in this game now that Jamison Crowder, Denzel Mims, and Breshad Perriman are healthy at the same time, going up against what is by far the softest matchup they’ve faced with Darnold.

Even with the antique Frank Gore in the backfield, the Jets should be able to run against a Raiders defense that ranks 30th in run DVOA.

This is one of the few spots Gase’s teams tend to show up, as he is 8-2 ATS as a non-divisional home dog after the first month of the season, according to our Action Labs data.

This game also matches an alert I have set up to identify upset spots, as teams with a winning percentage of below 20% at this juncture in the season tend to surprise.

I like the Jets down to +7 and the ML to +285.

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Cardinals +3 vs. Rams

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m. ET | More Odds

Without left tackle Andrew Whitworth, Jared Goff is liable to struggle against a Cardinals defense that blitzes 40.7% of the time, the fourth-highest rate in the league, according to Pro Football Reference.

According to Pro Football Focus, Goff’s passer rating under pressure is a lowly 39.5 this season. That ranks 35th of 40 qualifiers and is a big reason all four Rams losses have come against teams that blitz at a top-11 rate (Bills, seventh; Dolphins, third; 49ers twice, 11th).

The Cards have allowed 5.9 yards per attempt to Josh Allen, Russell Wilson and Cam Newton over the past three weeks, and Goff’s mistake-prone play under duress makes them a live dog even if Kyler Murray is still bothered by his shoulder injury.

This is also a great buy-low opportunity for a team that is on a four-game ATS skid despite being competitive throughout — the Cards have either won, or lost by 3 points or less in nine of their 11 games overall — and their +4.2 point differential ranks 10th-best in the league.

I have this projected as a PK and would bet the Cards as long as they’re a dog.

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Bengals +10.5 at Dolphins

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Odds

The Dolphins have parlayed Brian Flores’ excellent coaching and allowed a combined 3 points in eight quarters against the Jets into being a double-digit favorite, which is a bit much.

Brandon Allen is a big drop-off from Joe Burrow, but in four career starts, he has now lost by 2, won by 5, lost by 4 and lost by 17. It’s tough for teams — even those playing against QBs like Allen — to cover large spreads in low-scoring games.

This is also a good buy-low spot for a team on a three-game losing streak, as these squads tend to get underrated by the market.

I love the Bengals at +11 if you can get it, and like them up to +10.

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Colts-Texans Under 50

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Odds

One thing I like to look for when betting unders is low-aDOT (average depth of target) passing teams. The Colts rank 25th in that category (7.0), but the reason I see value is the normally explosive Texans offense, which ranks sixth with an aDOt of 8.7, may take a step back without Will Fuller (suspension) and Kenny Stills (waived).

Stills averaged a team-leading 11.5 yards before the catch on his 11 catches, and Fuller’s team-leading 53 catches occurred 11.1 yards downfield, on average. Add in Randall Cobb (IR), who was fourth (7.3), and that trio accounted for 40% of Texans receptions overall.

Deshaun Watson could struggle to move the ball as efficiently as he has been, especially against a Colts defense that ranks sixth in pass DVOA. The Colts are still without linebacker Bobby Okereke (ankle), but they get defensive linemen DeForest Buckner and Denico Autry back off the COVID list, which should restore them to form after an ugly Week 12 loss to the Titans in which they gave up 45 points.

It’s also late in the year, when we start to see divisional unders cash at a high rate.

I like this down to 50.

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Browns-Titans Over 54

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Odds

The Browns are missing their two highest-graded players in coverage: Cornerback Denzel Ward (77.9; calf) and safety Ronnie Harrison (72.7; IR, shoulder), which immediately bit them last week against the Jags, of all teams.

According to PFF, fill-ins Karl Joseph and Kevin Johnson combined to allow 9 of 10 targets to be completed for 145 yards and two TDs. The Titans are banged up on the offensive line, but it hasn’t mattered much, as their skill players and scheme make them explosive as ever.

Ryan Tannehill is 20-4 to the over in his career as a Titan.

I like the over up to 54.

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Patriots +1.5 at Chargers

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET | More Odds

The Chargers have been competitive all season, but their only wins have come against a who’s who of the NFL’s worst teams: 2-8-1 Cincinnati, 1-10 Jacksonville and the 0-11 Jets.

Justin Herbert is playing well and the team has talent on both sides of the ball, so this is more of an Anthony Lynn problem.

Since the start of last season, the Chargers are 4-16 in one-score games. According to our Action Labs data, Lynn is 9-17 ATS in LA and 7-14 ATS as a home favorite.

Meanwhile, the Patriots have climbed back into the playoff race with a 3-1 record in their last four games, including upsets of Baltimore and Arizona. Cam Newton (abdomen) is banged up, but let’s be real: he hasn’t been 100% in years.

The Pats shouldn’t have to alter their formula much against a Chargers defense that ranks 31st in run DVOA and is preparing to be without linebacker Denzel Perryman (back, doubtful), who grades out as the team’s best run defender by far in PFF. Newton is 36-23-1 (61%) as an underdog in his career, including 3-1 as a member of the Patriots this season.

You can bet your deflated footballs that Bill Belichick has a few tricks up his sleeve to stifle Rookie of the Year frontrunner Justin Herbert — not to mention the hapless Lynn, who finds himself on the wrong side of the biggest coaching mismatch of 2020. Belichick is 71-44-1 (62%) ATS in his career against sub-.500 teams, and I love getting the Pats as a short dog against a team that has proven time and time again it doesn’t know how to win.

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