NFL Week 13 Best Bets & Betting Predictions

We’re onto Week 13 of the NFL season, and we have an exhilarating slate of games to break down. I’ll cover my favorite bets on this week’s slate in this article. You can check out our YouTube channel for full breakdowns of every game this week including player prop, spread, and over-under picks. You can also follow me on Twitter to see the latest plays I’m making for both college football and the NFL. Let’s get to work.

NFL YTD: 104-85-2 (55.1%)

New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings

It’s difficult to overstate how much better the Jets’ offense is with Mike White than it was with Zach Wilson. White led all quarterbacks last week in EPA per dropback as he carved up the Bears defense. Of course, the Bears’ pass defense was bad to begin with and down multiple key pieces, but White took what the defense gave him unlike Wilson.

His expected completion percentage per Next Gen Stats was 74.5%, and he completed 78.6% of his passes. White’s time to throw was 0.5 seconds faster than Wilson, who had the second-highest rate among qualified passers, and almost 20% more of his passes came over the middle of the field.

The Vikings will give him opportunities to do that again this week. Minnesota’s defense allowed almost 400 yards to Mac Jones last week and they rank 27th in pass defense DVOA, 26th in success rate, and dead last in yards per pass allowed. With dynamic weapons in Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore, the Vikings are in trouble here.

Meanwhile, the Jets bring an elite defense into this game. They get pressure at the fifth-highest rate despite blitzing at the fourth-lowest rate, and that’s particularly a recipe for success against Kirk Cousins. Throughout his career, Cousins has struggled under pressure, and he’s completing just 48.6% of his passes under pressure this year.

Overall, Cousins is averaging a career-high 3.5% turnover-worthy play rate, which is tied with players like Carson Wentz and Joe Flacco this season. He’ll be throwing against an outstanding secondary featuring players like D.J. Reed and standout rookie Sauce Gardner. The Jets quietly have perhaps the best defense in the NFL.

Of course, Justin Jefferson is pretty much matchup proof, and he’ll get his against Reed or Gardner. However, Cousins’ accuracy, or lack thereof, is the bigger handicap here, as he won’t be able to deliver consistently accurate balls to his star wideout under pressure. That’s especially true with the projected absence of offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw, one of the best at his position.

The spread in this game suggests that the Vikings are a better team at a neutral site with homefield advantage worth somewhere around 1.5 points in the NFL these days. However, the Jets rank higher in DVOA on offense, defense, and special teams. This game means much more to the Jets than the Vikings who are coasting to an NFC North title, and I’ll happily take the points with them here.

Best Bet: Jets +3

Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are a team that I’ve been happy to fade in recent weeks as I believe they became overinflated in the market after their hot start, and I’ll be backing the Titans in this matchup. Philadelphia has some crucial weaknesses that Tennessee can exploit, most notably with Derrick Henry against their weak run defense.

Henry has averaged just 2.7 YPC over the last three weeks as he’s been less productive, but he’s due for a breakout. The Eagles are poor against the run as they rank 24th in DVOA, 27th in tackling, and 31st in success rate allowed. Standout rookie defensive tackle Jordan Davis is expected to return this week, but he won’t fix all of this defense’s issues.

The secondary has also been surprisingly vulnerable lately, particularly with key injuries to slot corner Avonte Maddox and safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson. With those players out, the Eagles won’t readily stack the box against Derrick Henry like the Bengals did last week. In addition, the return of starting center Ben Jones helps Henry a ton.

Ryan Tannehill will be able to make big throws when given the opportunity. He’s coming off his two highest-graded games since opening day over the last two weeks as he’s further removed from the injury that sidelined him earlier in the year. The emergence of Treylon Burks has been huge for the offense, and he played a career-high 31 snaps last week. I also love what the Titans are doing in the passing game with Henry lately.

Meanwhile, the Titans’ defense is built to stop the Eagles’ rushing attack. Tennessee ranks first in run defense DVOA and success rate against the run. The Eagles have perhaps the best offensive line in the league right now, but the Titans counter with a stout defensive front. They’ve allowed the second-fewest YPC this year.

When Jalen Hurts drops back to throw lately, he’s looked rather human. Two of his three worst graded games by PFF as a passer have come in the last three weeks, and it’s no coincidence. With A.J. Brown limited by an ankle injury and Dallas Goedert on Injured Reserve, the passing offense isn’t what it was early in the year.

Backing Titans’ head coach Mike Vrabel in these spots has been historically profitable. He’s 21-7 ATS (75%) when an underdog of 3+ points per Action Labs, and a handful of those have been outright wins. As a result, you should be sprinkling some on the Moneyline here. I’m fine playing this down to +4.5, and I’m taking a bite of the Moneyline as well.

Best Bet: Titans +6 (play to +4.5) and ML

Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions

Following their emotional come-from-behind win over the Ravens last week, the Jaguars are in a prime sell-high spot. Here, they travel to Detroit to face a Lions team on extra rest that is getting healthier in time for this game. I believe the Lions are the better team and we’re getting a great discount here.

We know how great the Lions’ offense has been under coordinator Ben Johnson. Their offensive line is top five in adjusted sack rate and adjusted line yards. The offense is trending towards having a full complement of players, as well, with D.J. Chark and D’Andre Swift getting healthier and Jameson Williams close to making his debut.

However, the defense is becoming less of a glaring weakness. The early-season results had this defense as one of the worst of all time by some metrics, but they’ve improved week by week. In fact, the Lions rank 16th in overall defensive EPA since Week 8, and they rank 11th in pass defense EPA over that span.

Detroit has seen key contributions from young players like Alim McNeill, Aidan Hutchinson, Kerby Joseph, and Josh Paschal. Standout cornerback Jeff Okudah is also expected to return this week. The Lions have faced the third-most difficult strength of schedule by opposing offensive DVOA, so the early-season results were likely somewhat misleading.

This is a specifically difficult matchup for Trevor Lawrence. The sophomore quarterback struggles against the blitz, and the Lions blitz at the fifth-highest rate in the NFL. Among 39 qualified quarterbacks against the blitz, Lawrence ranks 26th in PFF grade, 30th in yards per attempt, 30th in big-time throw rate, and 26th in passer rating.

The Lions’ defense is most vulnerable against the run where they rank 26th in DVOA and 30th in success rate, but the Jaguars aren’t well-equipped to take advantage. They rank just 28th in adjusted line yards, and electric running back Travis Etienne is dealing with a foot injury that he will attempt to play through.

Over the course of the full season, these teams are relatively even, but the Lions have been the better group over the past month. With the homefield advantage boost, that means we’re getting a value on them with this game set at a pick ‘em. I’ll happily take their Moneyline here.

Best Bet: Lions ML

Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers

Let’s get this out of the way first – I adore Tua Tagovailoa. He leads the NFL in passer rating, EPA per dropback, and PFF grade, and the Dolphins rank 2nd in offensive DVOA and 3rd in EPA as a result of his elite play and cohesion with head coach Mike McDaniel. This week, McDaniel travels to his old stomping grounds for a massive showdown.

The matchup between Miami’s passing offense and San Francisco’s pass defense will determine a ton here, but there’s reason to think the Dolphins have the upper hand. The 49ers rank 5th in defensive DVOA, but they’ve faced the third-easiest schedule of opposing offenses to this point.

The Niners have faced one upper echelon offense this season in the Chiefs, and they struggled as Patrick Mahomes threw for 423 yards and Kansas City scored 44 points. Miami will put this secondary in a constant bind with the absurd speed of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and the Niners’ corners are overmatched.

The 49ers’ defense depends heavily on its ability to get pressure on opposing passers, and they have outstanding defensive line talent headlined by Nick Bosa. Much will be made about the expected absence of Terron Armstead, and the Dolphins allow a whopping 54% pressure rate without him per TruMedia and PFF.

However, Tua Tagovailoa gets rid of the ball in 2.5 seconds on average, which offsets the Niners’ pass rush. On throws under 2.5 seconds, he leads the NFL in passer rating, yards per attempt, and PFF passing grade. Tagovailoa’s anticipation and mental acuity are part of what make him such a great quarterback.

For the 49ers, we know they want to establish their ground game first and foremost. However, McDaniel more than anyone will know how that run game hums. The Dolphins are also quietly an elite run defense as they rank fourth in early down rushing success rate allowed, and injuries to Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell complicate things.

There hasn’t been nearly as much discussion about the 49ers’ offensive line here. Trent Williams is having another All-Pro caliber season, but he’s questionable with a back injury. Even if he’s able to play, the Niners have some weaknesses. Aaron Banks allowed seven pressures last week, and Mike McGlinchey is ranked just 60th among qualified offensive tackles in pass-blocking.

The Dolphins have a unique blitz-heavy defense that was bolstered by the addition of Bradley Chubb across from the ascending Jaelan Phillips. Jimmy Garoppolo’s stats this year are virtually the same whether he’s blitzed or not, but he ranks 28th in PFF grade when under pressure. He’s heavily reliant on the YAC ability of Deebo Samuel in those spots, but he’s dealing with a deep thigh bruise and will be limited.

These two teams are my current picks to make it to the Super Bowl, and I can’t wait to watch them square off as we’ll learn a lot about both. The 49ers get the homefield edge, but the Dolphins’ offense will be a massive test for DeMeco Ryans’ defense. The coaching matchups here are fascinating, but I’ll happily take the points with the far better quarterback.

Best Bet: Dolphins +3.5 and ML

Top Teaser Legs for Week 13

new york giantsGiants +8.5: The Commanders are deserving road favorites here based on how these teams have been playing, but that doesn’t mean the Giants still can’t be a great teaser piece in a divisional game with a low total.

Washington is due for some regression here, particularly with Taylor Heinicke’s play. He has 12 turnover-worthy plays this year but only five interceptions, per PFF. That’s unsustainable over the course of a full season.

Heinicke has been especially bad under pressure with a 42.6% completion rate and a 9.9% turnover-worthy play rate, the second-highest behind only Zach Wilson. He’ll have a tough time against the Giants’ blitz-heavy scheme this week.

The Giants’ offensive line should be healthier with the extra rest off the Thanksgiving game, and it’s difficult to envision a scenario where Brian Daboll lets his team be blown out at home this week. New York’s hot start was seemingly a mirage, but this is still a value.

cincinnati bengalsBengals +8.5: This AFC Championship rematch gives the Dolphins 49ers game a run for its money as the game of the week, and I love getting the Bengals as a teaser piece at home.

The Bengals’ secondary ranks second in PFF’s perfectly covered play rate, and defensive coordinator Lou Anarummo has his finger on the pulse of the defense with his ability to make midgame adjustments as he did in these teams’ two meetings last year.

The Chiefs’ defense ranks just 18th in defensive DVOA, and they’ve played the sixth-easiest schedule, so Joe Burrow should have another successful game against them. Despite the double revenge narrative, don’t expect this to be a runaway.

oakland raidersRaiders +7.5: The Raiders have two key matchup advantages over the Chargers this week. First, their run game has been excellent. Josh Jacobs is a big-time home run hitter who leads all backs in PFF rushing grade this season.

The Chargers rank 29th in run defense DVOA, 27th in success rate, and dead last in yards per carry allowed, so Jacobs should take advantage, particularly with their injuries upfront. With Joey Bosa out, the Chargers’ defense has taken a big hit.

In addition, the Raiders can put pressure on Justin Herbert. He’s been pressured in 2.5 seconds or less on 28% of his dropbacks, the highest rate in the league per TruMedia, and Maxx Crosby has owned right tackle Trey Pipkins in the past with 18 total pressures in his last two games against the Chargers.

new orleans saintsSaints +9.5: If you want a little action on the Monday Night Football game, the Saints are a decent teaser piece. The Buccaneers are the more talented team and are playing at home, but they can’t get out of their own way as of late.

There’s absolutely no excuse for the Bucs losing that game to the Browns last week, and Todd Bowles is not a coach you should have confidence in at this point. Tom Brady hasn’t been elite this season, either, and the Saints’ defense is getting healthier.

Andy Dalton leaves a lot to be desired at quarterback, but he doesn’t put the ball in harm’s way, and he has the fifth-lowest turnover-worthy play rate under pressure per PFF. The last four games between these teams have been decided by an average of 9.5 points, which would land right on this number.

I've been writing about sports for Lineups since the beginning of 2020 and on my own website since 2018. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. As the United States embarks on an exciting journey towards the legalization of sports betting, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to cover industry news, NFL and NBA odds, and more.

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