Best bets for Week 13 of the NFL season
Wes Reynolds is on VSiN Tonight (9 p.m.-12 a.m. ET / 6-9 p.m. PT) and will be posting his weekly college football and NFL best bets for us. He is also one of the hosts of our Long Shots golf betting podcast. He also writes weekly golf previews.
(odds as of December 1, 11:30 p.m. PT)
The Broncos’ defense has made some real improvements since Week 6. In fact, the Broncos have ranked in the top 10 by overall DVOA since Week 6. They’ve pulled off some impressive wins, including against the Bills, Chiefs, Vikings and Browns. However, Denver has been extremely fortunate in its five-game winning streak. They have won three of those games by a combined five points.
In addition, Denver has a +14-turnover margin over the last five weeks. 44 of their 117 points over the last five games have come off of turnovers. That is unsustainable.
EPA (Expected Points Added) per play highly values turnovers. If you discount turnovers, the Broncos defense rates just No. 22 in EPA/play.
Denver has also gotten home and happy playing four of its last five games at Empower Field at Mile High. Now they start a trip of three consecutive road games.
The Broncos are at the peak of the market, and this looks to be a good time to sell.
Bet: Texans -3 or -160 ML
The feature matchup of Week 13 involves the NFL’s best power-rated team traveling to take on the team with the NFL’s best record in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game.
So why is the team with the NFL’s best record not considered the NFL’s best team and getting a full field goal at home? Well, consider that the Eagles have won four consecutive games despite being outgained (average net -113 yards per game) in all four and trailing at the half in all four.
Philadelphia is now 7-1 in one-score games this season. Let’s just admit it. While the Eagles are a good team, they have run very well and have been very lucky.
The Eagles rank No. 21 in pass defense DVOA. The Bills picked them apart in the middle of the field last week and the 49ers live in the middle of the field. San Francisco is No. 1 in total offense and pass offense DVOA. When the 49ers have been healthy this year, they’ve moved the ball up and down the field on every defense they’ve faced including putting up 42 on the Cowboys. Furthermore, the 49ers have scored at least 27 in every other game that Trent Williams and Deebo Samuel have started and finished. This should be trouble for an Eagles defense that has been on the field for 165 plays (91 last week) over the last two weeks.
Philadelphia is 0-6-1 ATS in its last seven games before facing Dallas. Eventually, this brutal six-game stretch (Dallas, at Kansas City, Buffalo, San Francisco, at Dallas, at Seattle) is going to catch up with the Eagles, and this looks to be the week.
Bet: 49ers -150 ML
Kansas City was slow out of the gate last week in Las Vegas before pulling away for the win and cover against the Raiders. While the Chiefs scored 31 points and gained 360 yards of total offense, they still have issues. Of Patrick Mahomes’ 31 drop backs only three of them were to wide receivers not named Rashee Rice. Considering the Chiefs lead the NFL in dropped passes, it is no wonder that most of the targets go to Travis Kelce and the running backs. This makes them a bit easier to defend and the Packers’ defense is getting healthier and should see the return of CB Jaire Alexander, Safeties Rudy Ford and Darnell Savage, and LB De’Vondre Campbell.
The Packers offense has also been better of late with Jordan Love gaining more and more confidence. In his last two starts, Love has completed 68.1 percent of his passes and has thrown for 590 yards and five touchdowns, and more importantly, no interceptions. Granted, those numbers were against the Chargers and Lions and this week the Chiefs, No. 3 in pass defense DVOA, will present a different challenge.
The Pack offensive line has also played better of late, only allowing four sacks in the last three games after allowing eight the previous two weeks. Plus, Aaron Jones may return here to run against a Chiefs defense that is allowing 4.6 yards per carry.
This is also a good spot for Green Bay being off extended rest from Thanksgiving Day and the Chiefs off a divisional road victory and having to go back on the road again before having an opportunity to essentially eliminate old nemesis Buffalo from playoff contention next week.
While only 5-6, four of Green Bay’s six losses were by a combined 11 points. The Packers have had their fair share of bad luck and are still a bit undervalued in the market.
The Packers are also 13-4 ATS as an underdog of 3 points or more under Matt LaFleur.
Bet: Packers +6
BEST OF THE REST
Titans +1 vs. Colts
Saints +4.5 vs. Lions
Panthers +5.5 at Buccaneers
TOTAL OF THE WEEK
Cardinals/Steelers OV 41
TEASER OF THE WEEK
Jaguars -2.5/Jets +8