Just when the NFL was starting to get predictable, week 13 rolls up and kicks everyone in the butt.
The Kansas City Chiefs seemed unstoppable. They showed with 40 points against the Raiders they probably still are, but there are still concerns after the release of troubled rusher, Kareem Hunt.
Green Bay had to run the table and now they can’t. They won’t be playing for Mike McCarthy down the stretch, either, as the 13-year Packers coach has been canned.
Dallas just might be good, too. The ‘Boys held firm at home to snap a nasty 10-game winning streak by the Saints. New Orleans was supposed to be the best team the NFL had to offer, but one game shook the foundation of the league.
Could week 13 alone map out a path for the Rams and Patriots to meet again in Super Bowl 53? Maybe. Only maybe.
All I know for sure is that was one wild week. Heck, even the Bears lost to the Giants and the Chargers rallied to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
Don’t take my word for it, though. Whether you’re a fan of NFL betting or just a fan of pro football in general, this was a weird one:
Week 13 NFL Results
|Matchup||SU Winner||ATS Winner||Total|
|NO vs. DAL||Cowboys (13-10)||Cowboys (+7.5)||Under 51.5|
|CHI vs. NYG||Giants (30-27)||Giants (+3.5)||Over 43.5|
|BUF vs. MIA||Dolphins (21-17)||Dolphins (-3.5)||Under 40|
|DEN vs. CIN||Broncos (24-10)||Broncos (-4)||Under 45|
|ARI vs. GB||Cardinals (20-17)||Cardinals (+13.5)||Under 41|
|LAR vs. DET||Rams (30-16)||Rams (-10)||Under 54|
|CLE vs. HOU||Texans (29-13)||Texans (-5.5)||Under 47.5|
|IND vs. JAX||Jaguars (6-0)||Jaguars (+4)||Under 45.5|
|BAL vs. ATL||Ravens (26-16)||Ravens (+2.5)||Under 47|
|CAR vs. TB||Buccaneers (24-17)||Buccaneers (+3.5)||Under 52|
|KC vs. OAK||Chiefs (40-33)||Raiders (+14)||Over 53.5|
|NYJ vs. TEN||Titans (26-22)||Jets (+10)||Over 40.5|
|MIN vs. NE||Patriots (24-10)||Patriots (-6)||Under 50|
|SF vs. SEA||Seahawks (43-16)||Seahawks (-10)||Over 45|
|LAC vs. PIT||Chargers (33-30)||Chargers (+3)||Over 53.5|
|WAS vs. PHI||Eagles (28-13)||Eagles (-6)||Under 45|
Our amazement in week one all starts in Dallas on TNF, where the Cowboys dominated an elite Saints team. Dallas can hurt you in all phases of the game and the NFC East is all theirs. They just might be a problem come playoff time.
The same could be said of the Broncos. Kind of.
Beating up on the Bengals isn’t exactly impressive, but it’s certainly better than losing to them. Denver is suddenly 6-6 and has a shot at a wild-card spot. Due to their defensive upside and ability to run the football, I’m not sure that’s a team anyone wants to see in the playoffs.
Green Bay losing at home to the Cardinals was probably the most shocking development in week 13. It cost Mike McCarthy his job and the Packers are virtually eliminated from the playoffs. What a disappointment this team has been in 2018.
Other teams to come up short include the Panthers, Vikings, and Steelers.
Minnesota followed up a clutch home win over Green Bay with a rather uninspiring road loss to the Patriots. They had an opportunity to close in on the final NFC wild-card spot and choked.
Carolina is flat out reeling and is also in danger of missing the playoffs. It’s pretty tough to watch, too, especially since Christian McCaffrey has enjoyed such a great sophomore season and the Panthers have been in almost all of these losses.
The Steelers are way too talented to be choking away winnable games in successive weeks. Everyone talked them up as a Super Bowl threat, but if they aren’t careful they could still lose the AFC North.
Oh, there’s also the Colts. Losing to a dead in the water Jaguars team (6-0!) is pretty inexcusable. They clearly were looking ahead to their week 14 showdown with the Texans and it may have cost them dearly.
It was business as usual for the Patriots, Rams, and Chiefs. Kansas City will have to prove down the stretch that losing Kareem Hunt won’t hold them back, though.
The Saints are still my favorite team in the NFL in terms of balance and upside, but a Super Bowl 53 showdown between the Rams and Patriots is starting to look like a real possibility.
Week 13 Stats – Year to Date
|Wager Type||Week 5||Year-to-Date|
|Underdogs vs. Favorites ATS||9-7||97-84-8|
|Home vs. Away ATS||10-6||93-88-8|
|Straight Up Underdog Wins||7||65|
The data for week 13 isn’t out of this world crazy, but it was still a little alarming – especially with the number of underdogs winning. It all started immediately on Thursday Night Football, too, as Dallas forced the Saints to play the way they wanted them to and held on for a 13-10 win.
The home teams stood tall for the most part, but there were spots where they cratered in the name of major upsets. The biggest one was Green Bay, who had a slim chance at reaching the playoffs if they could win out. They couldn’t even beat the Cardinals.
If they’re not the Chiefs, Rams or Saints, we probably need to think long and hard about betting on a Total over 50. And now is the time of year in pro football where we really need to factor in rivalries, playoff implications and the impact of weather.
All of this can give way to tighter games, less scoring and upsets you normally wouldn’t consider betting on.
Week 13 also showed us that the NFL still isn’t easy to predict. Some weeks it feels easy, but that isn’t a feeling we can hold onto for very long.
Looking to Week 14
The playoff picture has cleared up significantly, so you’ll want to factor that into how you bet on NFL games. You also want to keep in mind these pointless upsets like we saw in Green Bay, and the reverse effect of listless teams caving before your eyes.
That has me on the Falcons in Green Bay this week and honestly, after seeing seven upsets go down last week, I’d keep the ball rolling and see if you can take advantage of some serious upside.
Speaking of upsets, based on the way things have transpired, I’d also be interested in looking at the Jaguars, Bills, Giants, and Colts as straight up underdogs worth backing this week.
There are some tough games to call elsewhere. Minnesota in Seattle is dicey but I’m leaning towards the Seahawks. The Rams look like the easy call in Chicago but the Bears at value are appealing, too.
Philly over Dallas, Tampa Bay over New Orleans and Baltimore over Kansas City aren’t locks I’d go after hard, but they’re all viable upset picks bettors should consider taking a flier on.
On the surface, week 14 is actually potentially a nightmare for bettors.
I think the combination of teams making playoff pushes, teams facing elimination and that battle between giving up/having nothing to lose can really throw a wrench in everyone’s plans.
Whatever you do, hopefully, a quick look back at week 13 helps you prioritize your bets and win some cash. Thanks for stopping by and happy betting in week 14!