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Betting Against the Spread: NFL Week 13 Picks and Odds

Bruce Arians

Bruce Arians

Remember a few weeks ago when I pointed out the awful array of quarterbacks starting in the NFL? The list is still bad, but for Week 13 we have added Geno Smith after the Giants inexplicably decided to end Eli Manning's time as their starter. To me, it seems that New York wants to ensure that it gets a top-three draft pick.

NFL Picks: Mitchell Trubisky

The other trend as of late is that favorites are covering at a pretty alarming rate. It won't stop me from jumping on some underdogs, but this signifies we are starting to get some of the bad teams that are done trying. It's a factor to consider as we wind down this regular season.

Record: 33-21-3 (2-2 last week; 24-14-2 last 8 weeks)

Note: All games are on Sunday, Dec. 3 and times are ET.

Detroit Lions (6-5) at Baltimore Ravens (6-5), 1 p.m.

The Ravens are one of the most woeful offenses in the NFL, but they are buoyed by a defense that holds their opponents to just 305.7 yards per contest. They throw for an anemic 164.3 yards per game and Joe Flacco has not been good. The Lions’ offense is better, but they are up against a stiff challenge on Sunday. Basically, any chance I can get a total in the 40s in a game with Baltimore, I'll jump on the under. The Ravens have scored just 66 points over their last three weeks. Detroit has gone under in 13 of its last 21 road games. I think this one is a field position battle and we get the under. SELECTION: Under 43

San Francisco 49ers (1-10) at Chicago Bears (3-8), 1 p.m.

In one of the least watched and least important games of the week, I've managed to find some value. The 49ers fly east as they take on the Bears. San Fran fans are hyped over Jimmy Garoppolo's final drive last week, which led to a touchdown. Because of that people are jumping on the 49ers, which creates value as it relates to the home team. San Francisco has been pretty bad offensively and not very good defensively either. You could say the same thing about the Bears who are coming off an uninspiring effort in Philadelphia. Chicago's run game produced just six yards on 14 carries. Still, it's probably the best unit of any group in this contest. The Bears have played well at home with wins over the Steelers and Panthers there. I think Mitchell Trubisky (above, right) can move the ball and Jordan Howard will do the dirty work. San Francisco has covered just seven of its last 21 road games. I think the Bears win this one. SELECTION: Bears -3

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Indianapolis Colts (3-8) at Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4), 1 p.m.

Round one of this matchup went to the Jaguars 27-0 in Indianapolis back in October. The Colts’ offense sputtered terribly particularly when it came to pass protection. Since then, Indianapolis has lost three of its last four as the team’s offensive issues have persisted. On the positive side, the defense has been pretty good despite a distinct lack of talent. The Jaguars’ defense is one of the best in the league and has allowed just 58 points over the last five games. Blake Bortles has been unimpressive so teams have been focusing on stopping Leonard Fournette, who has dealt with an ankle issue. The Colts have gone under in three straight while the Jags have gone under in four of their last five. SELECTION: Under 41.5

Los Angeles Rams (8-3) at Arizona Cardinals (5-6), 4:25 p.m.

I think this is a trap game for a young Rams team before a huge contest at home against the Eagles. Arizona's defense is capable of holding this team down and the Cardinals will be motivated after an embarrassing 33-0 effort in their first meeting back in October, which took place in London. I think this is a lot of points and I can only hope Blaine Gabbert keeps the mistakes to a minimum. SELECTION: Cardinals +7

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Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) at Seattle Seahawks (7-4), 8:30 p.m.

The Eagles start a three-game road trip with the Seahawks on “Sunday Night Football.” Philadelphia has the best record in football and is putting up nearly 32 points per game. The Eagles also have feasted on a lot of bad opponents. Now Seattle's defense isn't the same without Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman (and Earl Thomas isn’t 100 percent either), but it's still a tough place to play and there's still some talent in the front seven. Russell Wilson also is one of the best quarterbacks that the Eagles have seen this season. He can beat you on the ground and through the air. Even though the Seahawks are a one-dimensional team, I still think they can play ball control and keep this thing close. They've been a home underdog of 3.5 to 7 points just 26 times since 1992 and have covered 17 times. I think this is a bit of an overreaction. SELECTION: Seattle +6

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— 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.