NFL picks: Week 13
Our home to regular NFL picks and betting tips. Here we preview the best picks from Week 13 of the NFL season. Our NFL handicappers assess the weekend slate and pick out the best bets from the primetime games, including a Monday Night Football Preview and MNF pick.
Denver Broncos (6-5) @ Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
WHERE: Arrowhead Stadium
WHEN: Dec 5, 8:20pm ET
SPREAD: Chiefs -10 | O/U 47.5
The Kansas City Chiefs host the Denver Broncos for the Sunday night primetime game this weekend. The Chiefs are coming into this one after a bye week, while the Broncos are traveling to Arrowhead Stadium after their impressive 28-13 win against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chiefs opened as -10.5 favorites (down to -10 now), while the total has already fallen 2.5 points, having opened at 50.
Andy Reid is 19-3 in his coaching career when coming from a bye week. The Kansas City Chiefs entered the bye off the back of two impressive victories against the Las Vegas Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys, so it will be interesting to see if they can keep up that momentum. Their early season defensive worries seemed solved in their last three games, as they held their opponents to 17 points or fewer. Their pass defense looks improved, something that helped their offense as well, as they’ve shown that they don’t need to score on every drive to remain competitive.
On the other end of the ball we have the Denver Broncos, who are enjoying a good run of form at this point of the season. Teddy Bridgewater is not the flashiest of quarterbacks, but he has been getting the job done this season. Denver usually has long drives, and they rely massively on their running game. This should eat quite a lot of time from the clock. Another thing to note is that they are 9-2 when it comes to hitting the under this season. They don’t score a lot, but their elite defense makes sure that their opponents don’t score either. With Bridgewater’s fitness being questionable, and with a good chance of Drew Lock sliding into this match at one point, I don’t think Denver will score more than 20 points in this one.
The Chiefs started the season poorly, but off the back of this bye week, I expect them to look good in this one. And for them to play well, their defense needs to be sharp. Their offensive line is still an issue though, and the Broncos can take advantage of that. We saw how easily they got to Justin Herbert last week, so don’t think Mahomes will be allowed to get comfortable in this one. I like the total to stay under on Sunday. Both teams made their defenses the stars of the show in recent weeks, and I expect that trend to continue.
Back the game to stay under the 47.5 projected total.
Pick: Under 47.5 points -114
New England Patriots (8-4) @ Buffalo Bills (7-4)
WHERE: Highmark Stadium
WHEN: Dec 6, 8:15pm ET
SPREAD: Bills -2.5 | O/U 43.5
The AFC East had been owned by the New England Patriots almost exclusively since 2001. They’d lifted the division in all but three seasons during that period and two of those three failures were without Tom Brady under centre.
Last season’s third place finish was the first year when Tampa bound Brady was going to be a permanent absentee from Belichick’s team and that opened the way for Buffalo to not only take the title 13-3, but also reach the AFC Championship game. The pendulum had finally shifted to create a competitive division from one dominated by a single team. 2021’s first third of the season did little to dispel the changing power base. Buffalo began 4-1, which became 4-2 following a narrow defeat to a strong Tennessee team. Whereas the Patriots entered week seven with a 2-4 record, albeit with three defeats by six points or fewer.
Fast forward to week 13’s Monday Night game in Buffalo and the Patriots victory parade of the last 20 years has returned. Belichick has crafted a six game winning streak, driven by a improving top two defense, which has allowed just 10.5 points per game and quarterback, Mac Jones’ who has delivered three top eight or better weekly performances, helped by a trio of enticing downfield targets during run.
By contrast, Buffalo has been inconsistent since returning from their bye in week 7. Like New England, they have an excellent defense, top ranked against the pass, top ten on the ground and incredibly difficult to score against. Wide margin wins over Miami, the Jets and New Orleans are a baseline expectation for a side with Super Bowl ambitions, but the Bills have also thrown in a 41-15 home reverse to the Colts and most inexplicably a 9-6 defeat at then one win Jacksonville. QB Josh Allen has delivered four weekly performances that were ranked 4th or better, but he’s also languished below halfway in the ranking on five occasions.
The status quo in the AFC East may have already returned. New England are the current number two seed in the AFC, compared to Buffalo who vie for a wildcard spot in 5th and Monday’s game will have a huge effect on the route through the post season. Both teams are highly likely to make the post season and defeat will do little to move those probabilities, but a win will elevate the chance of a division title from a coin flip to an 80% chance for the victor. The NFL’s two best defenses take to the field against two mid ranking offenses that have both leveraged a positive turnover differential to outscore their underlying offensive efficiencies. Consistently good turnover rates rarely persist, but Belichick’s teams may be the exception. Scoring rates suggest a tight relatively low scoring game 23-20 in favour of the rested Buffalo Bills, which again leaves little value, but with New England trending upwards and Buffalo’s inconsistencies, take Belichick and the points.
Pick: New England Patriots -2.5 -110