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NFL

NFL Week 13: Part 1

Week 12 was a losing week. We managed to go 6-9 on the week. We are at 50% the last three weeks, but we still need a big week to hit our goal for the season.

Our winners this week were the Bills, Jets, Bucs, Ravens, Patriots, and Broncos. As expected, this week was tough sledding. Due to the short week, we had trouble getting cash swings factored with the cash model, as the cash model only went 7-8.

By The Numbers

Since Week 4, and the teams with the majority of cash wagered on them have gone 67-58. The teams with more than 60% of the cash on them are 43-39. The teams with more than 80% of cash on them are 14-7.

Remember to check the article after 11:00 am EST every Sunday. By then, we will have the final picks, factoring-in the cash numbers from PFF in our decision. Reminder: We are following the cash model, which means we follow the picks leading in cash percentage, unless there is significant late cash movement the other way.

This week, we’ll cover the first seven games of the week in this article and the last seven in part two.

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Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

 

Cowboys -6.5 at Saints

The health of the Cowboys is still their biggest issue right now. A lot of people are pointing out their performances against both the Broncos and Raiders as justification for calling them overrated. I am in the other camp citing injuries and lack of a pass rush on defense. With Micah Parsons the only legit pass rusher left, the Cowboys need to get healthy soon or their playoff hopes will vanish.

The Saints are in a bit of trouble, similar to the Cowboys. Last week, the Saints were without both starting tackles, which turned out to be a massive difference in their bloodbath loss against the Bills. The Saints are now looking to make some changes at QB this coming week. Taysom Hill might actually get the chance to show why the Saints keep paying him like he’s a Top 30 player.

Right now, DE Marcus Davenport is out, as are the tackles (Armstead and Ramczyk). As of Thursday afternoon, the Cowboys are getting 64% of the cash and a whopping 74% of the tickets. We like the Cowboys here, mainly due to the injury status of the key offensive and defensive linemen of the Saints. Expect the Cowboys to win through the air.

Cowboys 24 Saints 17

 

Giants at Dolphins -6.5

The Giants are clinging to dear life in the playoff race right now, fresh off a victory at home against the Eagles. Nothing about last week, offensively, was impressive. The Eagles dropped key passes, missed open WRs, and shot themselves in the foot about 11 times in the game. Defensively, the Giants played pretty well, but Daniel Jones just doesn’t look good. Time is running out for the Giants.

The Dolphins are streaking! After thumping the offensively impotent Panthers last week, the Dolphins now sit at 5-7 on the season, following their four-game win streak. The flip side is “pump the brakes”. The Dolphins, over the stretch, have beaten the Texans, Ravens, Jets, and Panthers. Though the Ravens win was impressive, the Dolphins barely managed to beat the Jets and Texans.

With the news of Daniel Jones out, this line went from 3 to 6.5. Mike Glennon is nothing to worry about this week. Another Dolphins win should be on the table, as they are 81% cash favorites.

Dolphins 23 Giants 13

 

Colts -9.5 at Texans

The Colts are still a very good team, despite last week and their overall record. The Bucs were a very tough matchup, thanks to their elite run defense and strong passing offense. This week, the Colts get the opportunity to turn things around against the Texans. The Colts are just a half game out in the playoff race. This is a must-win for the Colts, so we’ll be sure to see them put forth max effort this week.

Last week, the Texans got out to an early lead against the Jets, but subsequently blew that lead, courtesy of the offense. The Texans are just 2-9 on the season. It’s impossible to know the motivation level of the players at this time, but you have to read into last week’s loss and ask yourself, “why would them come out this week and play hard?”

As of Sunday, the Colts hold 64% of the cash. According to the model, they are the pick this week.

Colts 35 Texans 14

 

Vikings -7 at Lions

The Vikings had some bad luck in last week’s loss at the 49ers. Dalvin Cook was not only lost near the end of the third quarter; he also fumbled deep in their own territory. For much of the game, it was a back and forth affair. After Cook went out, the hope seemed to fade quickly. This week, the Vikings get a respite in Detroit against the shorthanded and inept Lions.

The Lions lost another heartbreaker against the Bears last week. It seems this team has two functional levels: average and awful. Last week was an average performance, as the team’s defense played somewhat well, while the offense did their best to overcome the early loss of D’andre Swift.

There are plenty of issues the Lions appear to deal with each week, but the effort appears to be there. This week, they are going to be challenged against such a solid and potent Vikings team. The Sunday cash numbers have the Vikings at 56%. It’s in the toss-up zone but we’re leaning Vikes here against the ice-cold Lions.

Vikings 26 Lions 16

 

Eagles at Jets +7

The Eagles took a step back last week. We loved their momentum going into last week, but they really gave last week away in about a dozen ways. The bright spot recently has been their defense, which appears to be finally settling-in and showing some consistency. Aside from that, the questions around Jalen Hurts are coming up again. The Jalen Reagor pick is also appearing to be a massive mistake.

We frequently mention how the NFL is a week-to-week league. A team can look awful one week and terrific the next. That’s true, but you have to look deeper on a week-to-week basis. The Jets have been slowly getting better on both sides of the ball. Sure, our perception can be thrown off by the occasional bad turnover, but the Jets are making real progress lately, despite the QB carousel.

Last week, the Jets forced five sacks and rallied from 14-3 to win against the Texans. This week, they get an Eagles team who couldn’t have looked much worse last week. Be careful with this one. It could be a trap. With the news of Jalen Hurts being out, you’d think the line would drop a lot. It didn’t, as Garner Minshew is more than adequate. The cash favored the Eagles at 85% following the news.

Eagles 31 Jets 21

 

Cardinals -7.5 at Bears

The Cardinals may actually be getting Kyler Murray back this week. It’s possible they get Deandre Hopkins back as well. We’ve mentioned teams tend to have random stinkers every once and a while. The Cards are no different. Following their blowout loss to the Panthers a few weeks back, the Cardinals easily handled the Seahawks in their last game, even without Kyler Murray.

Now, the Cardinals are getting Murray back, facing a Bears team led by a rookie QB and a team with plenty of issues. Can the Cardinals get right back into the swing of things, or will they need some time to shake off the rust?

The Bears barely squeaked-out a victory over the Lions on Thanksgiving. Despite the poor run of form over the past six games. With the status of Justin Fields still in the air, there’s not much reason to have any faith in the Bears this week. Even if Fields were healthy, this is an extremely tough matchup.

Sunday’s cash numbers had the Cardinals as cash favorites at 61%. 

Cardinals 24 Bears 13

 

Chargers at Bengals -3

The Chargers are a team with little room for error. They’re a deceitful bunch, primarily due to the name power of a handful of players. Outside of Herbert, Slater, Ekeler, Allen, Williams, James, Samuel, and Bosa, the rest of the roster is well below the league average, as a whole.

The Bengals are playing good football as of late. After stumbling against the Browns and Jets, the Bengals smashed both the Raiders and the Steelers. With a strong defensive line and excellent playcalling balance (and skill players), the Bengals matchup really well this week against the Chargers. The Chargers have one healthy, good starter on the O-line and have been overwhelmed at the line in several matchups already.

The Chargers actually got a large portion of the handle Sunday morning, but the Bengals still maintained the slight cash edge at 53% an hour prior to kickoff.

Check back Sunday for prediction

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