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NFL

NFL Week 13: Part 2

Week 13: Part 1 is live and can be found here. The last seven games for Week 13 are listed below in Part 2.

 

Buccaneers -10.5 at Falcons

The Buccaneers played well last week, scoring a nice road win (albeit not the way we expected). Facing a Colts team with a weak pass defense, the Buccaneers got down early but earned their comeback victory by virtue of their run game. Rob Gronkowski returned and had a great game, but the Buccaneers offense was forced to pivot away from their strengths. This week, it should come a little easier.

The Falcons rebounded from a rough two-week stretch to take down the Jaguars last week. It wasn’t very pretty, but the return of Cordarrelle Patterson was key in the Falcons win last week. Lacking weapons since the departure of Calvin Ridley, the Falcons have been searching for answers on offense. For now, it appears Patterson is the Swiss Army knife the Falcons need. Will their meager weapons be enough this week?

Wednesday’s cash report had the Falcons at 54% of the cash wagered. Since then, the line dropped from 11 to 10.5 and the action has drifted towards Tampa at 62%.

Buccaneers 34 Falcons 17

 

WFT at Raiders -2.5

The WFT has guile. Despite being ruled down and out early in the season, 28-year old Taylor Heinecke has dragged this team to a three game win streak. Even without Chase Young, this team is playing good defense and has enough weapons offensively to put them in position to win each week. Since Antionio Gibson has returned healthy, the offense appears to be more efficient and more potent.

The Raiders are a hard team to predict this season. That can be said for a lot of teams in the NFL this season, but the Raiders just love to throw everyone curveballs each week. Last week, the Raiders sliced-up the Cowboys defense like a Thanksgiving Turkey, despite losing Darren Waller early in the game. Hunter Renfrow has emerged as a truly dangerous weapon and the new go-to option for Derek Carr.

Early Sunday, the Raiders are holding 63% of the cash and 70% of the tickets. The line has only slightly shifted in favor of the WFT since Wednesday, so the Raiders appear to be the call this week, according to the model.

Raiders 27 WFT 20

 

Jaguars at Rams -13.5

The Jaguars have not improved much since their victory over the Bills. It started to look like things were turning around for them, but last week’s inept offensive showing against the Falcons said otherwise. For whatever reason, Trevor Lawrence simply hasn’t made the progress many of us expected to this point in the season, and much of that can be attributed to their terrible coach, Urban Meyer.

The Rams are a team on the slide right now. After a scorching start to the season, the play of Matt Stafford has dropped and the defense has yet to resemble their 2020 form. Now, the Rams have a chance to end their slide with a cozy home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Remember the Seahawks and Jags game weeks ago? I expect the Rams to absolutely roll in this one, as the Jags are outmatched all over.

The Rams were at 88% by Sunday morning, as both the cash and the line continued to drift in favor of the Rams. All signs are pointing Rams this week, so let’s make this one our pick of the week.

Rams 38 Jaguars 10

 

Ravens -4 at Steelers

The Ravens just keep winning, even if it’s been kind of ugly. Last week, Lamar Jackson tossed four picks, but the Ravens still managed to win and cover against the offensively recently challenged Browns. This week, the Ravens are playing the Steelers, who have now lost their last two. The Ravens are still getting the hang of things with acclimating Rashod Bateman into their offense, but he could be valuable this week.

The Steelers were looking like they turned things around, prior to their little three-game skid. Much of their issues have been related to the health of their team (primarily the defense), but there’s no denying how the team just laid down last week against the Bengals. With the Ravens in town, the Steelers absolutely need a win to remain relevant in the competitive AFC playoff race.

Sunday’s numbers opened with the Ravens garnering 66% of the cash. The Steelers struggles could very well be compounded this week.

Ravens 25 Steelers 20

 

49ers -3 at Seahawks

The 49ers are really working into a nice groove. After a few weeks in the NFC West cellar, the 49ers are winners of their last three. With a big win over the Rams and handling the Vikings a week ago, it’s clear the 49ers are legitimate playoff contenders once again. The only issue in the immediate is the health of Deebo Samuel. After injuring his groin, the do-it-all weapon will likely be out this week.

The Seahawks are reeling in a bad way. With the playoffs now a distant long shot, the Seahawks are asking themselves what is wrong with this offense right now. Defensively, they’ve been okay, but ever since Russell Wilson injured his finger, this team has been in a flat spin on offense. Offseason speculation will be front and center in the coming weeks. Will they set the drama aside this week?

Sunday morning’s cash handle had the 49ers as cash favorites (59%), so that appears to be the play this week, even without Deebo Samuel in the lineup.

49ers 29 Seahawks 20

 

 Broncos at Chiefs -8

The Broncos are rounding into form defensively. Offensively, they’re still limited by Teddy Bridgewater, but the defense is really coming together. Last week, the Broncos shut down the Chargers and their efficient offense. They forced two INTs and frustrated Justin Herbert throughout. Offensively, they were able to run the ball relatively easily. Now, they have the challenge of facing the Chiefs.

The Chiefs are coming off a bye with all kinds momentum. The offense appears to be breaking out of their funk, while the defense appears to finally be getting the hang of things. Over the past four games (all wins), the Chiefs are holding their opponents to just 12 PPG and scoring over 23 PPG. With the Broncos also playing well of late, this game should tell us a lot about both teams.

This line opened at -10 for the Chiefs but has since moved all the way down to -8 Sunday morning. The Chiefs are just 1-2 ATS after the bye under Andy Reid with Pat Mahomes. It looks like the cash for now is on the Chiefs at 57% with the public leaning Broncos at 61%.

Chiefs 27 Broncos 17

 

Patriots +2.5 at Bills

The Patriots are on a heater right now (six straight wins). If it were any other team starting 2-4 to accomplish this, we would be more surprised. However, it’s a Bill Belichick team, so we expect stuff like this. The balance of this offense is disguised by their excellent defense, keeping them in positive game scripts. With the Bills getting healthy and the weather taking a turn, can they keep it rolling on Monday?

The Bills have been a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde team this season. For many weeks, they appear to be the best team in the NFL. Other weeks, we wonder if they’re even good. Much of that can be attributed to their health on the offensive and defensive line. When healthy, the zone defensive schemes work extremely well. When guys are missing, the defense struggles against the run and protecting Josh Allen on offense.

It’s simple stuff, but seemingly more critical with Buffalo than with other teams. Weather is also going to be a big factor for both teams. The Patriots have the best individual unit suited for it (rushing offense) but don’t expect much from Mac Jones in this weather (extreme cold, wind).

As of Sunday morning, the Patriots had the slight cash edge at 57%. By Monday afternoon, the Patriots were up to 77%. Even with the line drop to 2.5, the Patriots appear to be the clear choice tonight. As of 4pm EST, the Bills are getting heavy action at -2.5, so monitor the line. If it moves back to -3, the Pats are a good buy. As it currently stands, it’s risky.

Bills 22 Patriots 20

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