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Betting Against the Spread: NFL Week 13 Picks and Odds

Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers

Hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday as we get down to towards the end of the NFL regular season. As we head to this part of the slate, we start to wonder which teams have already packed up for the season and which are still in the playoff hunt. Both conferences have a lot at stake still so there are more teams that haven't checked out yet. I will say that situational plays continue to occur even in Week 13.

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Record: 11-22 (2-1 in Week 11)

Teams on bye: Cleveland, Tennessee

Note: All games are on Sunday, Dec. 4 and times are ET.

Kansas City Chiefs (8-3) at Atlanta Falcons (7-4), 1 p.m.

This is a terrible sandwich spot for Kansas City, who is coming off a road victory in overtime against the Broncos. Now the Chiefs have to fly east to take on Atlanta in the Georgia Dome where the Falcons usually thrive. Combine that with a Week 14 Thursday night date with current AFC West leader Oakland and you've got some trouble. The Falcons dismantled Arizona 38-19 last week and they've won three of their last four. The concern with Atlanta is the loss of cornerback Desmond Trufant, but I don't know if it'll hurt them as much here with Kansas City lacking a true No. 1 WR. Tyreek Hill is going to be a handful on the turf, but can Alex Smith get him the ball? The Chiefs have covered just four of their last 11 non-conference games. Atlanta is 7-4 ATS this season and should be able to get the victory in this one. SELECTION: Falcons -3.5

NFL Power Rankings: Falcons

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5) at San Diego Chargers (5-6), 4:25 p.m.

Here's another spot play on Sunday as the Bucs make the long trek to play in San Diego. Tampa Bay has beaten the Chiefs and Seahawks the last two weeks and will be hosting the Saints on Dec. 11. Between those games is this matchup with the Chargers, who have won two of three and four of their last six. Tampa Bay's offense has scored just 33 points in their last two games, but held opponents to just 22, including only five to Seattle last week. San Diego's defense has allowed 66 points in its last two home games against Tennessee and Miami. I think Philip Rivers will stress the Bucs corners. These two teams have very similar stats, but I'll lean to the home team especially since the Bucs have bigger fish to fry next week. They are playing a bit over their heads. SELECTION: Chargers -3.5

NFL Power Rankings: Chargers

Washington Redskins (6-4) at Arizona Cardinals (4-6), 4:25 p.m.

Washington heads west to play Arizona who is on the brink of falling completely out of the playoff chase. Arizona's offense has struggled to get traction as Carson Palmer has regressed a bit. David Johnson is still doing big work for the Cardinals, but he's seeing more people in the box with the pass game struggling. Washington's rush defense has held four of its last six opponents to fewer than 100 yards on the ground. The Redskins could find some success offensively considering the Cardinals have been torched for 118 points over the last four weeks. You can say that they haven't been right since the 6-6 home tie against the Seahawks just over a month ago. Washington has been an underdog six times already this season covering five of those matchups. I think the Redskins can win this one outright over desperate ‘Zona. SELECTION: Redskins +3

NFL Power Rankings: Redskins


— The Lions won last year in New Orleans in a shootout, but I don't know if that will happen again this season. Believe it or not, but New Orleans' defense has actually played well the last three weeks, holding each opponent to under 350 total yards of offense. I realize that's still a relatively high number in terms of actual defense, but it’s marked improvement for this unit from earlier in the season. Detroit has held five straight opponents to 20 points or fewer, but outside of Washington, none of those teams have offenses that inspire fear for the opposing defense.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.