Expert NFL Best Bets: Picks and predictions for Week 13


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Week 13 NFL best bets and predictions

Each week, I’ll be looking through Sunday’s NFL games to try and feed my readers three winners. That continues with the three best bets I have for the Week 13 slate. Keep reading to find out what I have and make sure you also check out what my talented VSiN colleagues are playing. Those plays, along with all of our NFL content for the week, are available at our Week 13 NFL Bet Hub. You can also get all of our picks for the week on the Pro Picks page

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Denver Broncos at Houston Texans

I was a little surprised to see that you can get the Broncos +3.5 in this game. I’m relatively high on the Texans this season, but I’m not sure they should be trusted to win by more than a field goal here — or win at all. Denver comes into this game after having won five games in a row, and the team went 4-1 against the spread in those games. The Broncos also picked up some impressive wins in that span, as they beat the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills. 

It’s just a little hard to overlook the fact that Denver has allowed an average of 16.0 points per game over the course of its winning streak. This defense has really turned things up a notch, and I think the Broncos can do a decent job of limiting C.J. Stroud and the Texans passing game. It helps having Patrick Surtain II out there to blanket either Nico Collins or Tank Dell. Meanwhile, Denver is now up to 12th in the league in Offensive DVOA, which might be surprising considering the Broncos haven’t been lighting up the scoreboard. But Russell Wilson hasn’t thrown a pick since October 12. He’s moving the ball down the field and isn’t making many mistakes. He’s also looking somewhat spry as a runner, which has opened up the offense a bit. The Broncos are also running the ball effectively, utilizing both Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine out of the backfield. 

I just don’t think the Texans are going to be able to consistently get the Broncos offense off the field, and I think Vance Joseph will put a good plan in place to keep Stroud and Co. in check. That said, I think Denver should be able to keep this thing within a field goal or win outright. It doesn’t hurt that Houston is just 2-2 straight-up and 0-4 ATS as a home favorite this year.

Bet: Broncos +3.5 (-109 – Play to +3)

Miami Dolphins at Washington Commanders

It can be easy to blindly fade a struggling team like the Commanders, but it’s important not to get too high or low when betting on sports. There’s a right number for every team and I genuinely believe Washington is getting too many points at home here. I know the Dolphins just whooped the New York Jets, but that’s an opponent with absolutely no offense. The Commanders have had their ups and downs this season, but Sam Howell and this passing game are far from anemic. They should be able to move the ball against an uninspiring Dolphins defense. Miami is just 1-9 ATS on the road against teams that complete at least 64.0% of their passes over the last three seasons. And they have lost those games by an average of 15.9 points per game. 

The question here is whether the Commanders will be able to get the Dolphins off the field. But it is important to note that Miami’s offense didn’t exactly look great against New York last week. And the Dolphins had scored just 24 points combined in their previous two games. So, when you combine Miami’s offense slowing down a little with the fact that Washington fired defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, you might see an inspired effort out of the Commanders. 

All in all, I think this game is going to be harder for the Dolphins to win than people expect. Washington is actually 3-1 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points this year.

Bet: Commanders +9.5 (-110 – Play to +8.5) 

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Panthers decided to fire Frank Reich after a 17-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans last week. There are some rumors floating around that Reich was asked to incorporate some read-option stuff in his offense, but he didn’t want to drastically change a system that has worked for him in the past. Now, one can expect the Panthers will change things up a bit the rest of the season. But I’m not anticipating a new-and-improved Carolina team. In fact, I don’t see many wins left on the schedule for the Panthers. 

The reality is that Bryce Young just doesn’t have any help on the offensive side of the ball. So, his struggles have been exacerbated by that. Carolina has improved defensively throughout the year, but it hasn’t been enough for the team to win games. And overall, I still don’t trust the Panthers on that side of the ball, which probably has something to do with them being 32nd in the league in Defensive DVOA against the run. That’s going to be especially hurtful in this specific matchup, as the Buccaneers haven’t really been able to get Rachaad White going as a runner this season. But if they can, they should win this game rather comfortably. That would take a lot of pressure off Baker Mayfield as a thrower, making this Tampa offense more dangerous than it usually is. And defensively, the Bucs are a solid team. So, this matchup should be a piece of cake for them. 

It’s also just important to note that Tampa Bay is 4-1 ATS in its last five games. So, unlike the Panthers, the Buccaneers have continued to fight and compete in losses.

Bet: Buccaneers -5.5 (-105) 

Added Plays

Eagles ML (+135) vs. 49ers

Chiefs -5.5 (-110) vs. Packers

Rashee Rice Over 44.5 Receiving Yards (-115) vs. Packers

Best Bets Record: 28-17 (+9.64 units)

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