Week 12 of the NFL provided us with plenty of entertainment. From Thanksgiving thrashings to a dramatic primetime game. Let’s hope for more of the same in Week 13.
Last week’s parlay was a bust, and I was right on only five out of my ten other bets.
With NFL odds for Week 13 finding their range, let’s preview all 14 games.
This week’s parlay will again consist of five teams, while I shall be making other picks for the remaining games.
Cowboys: The Cowboys lost in a gripping overtime game on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys kept themselves in the game, but they could never take the lead. However, Prescott was outstanding with 375 passing yards and two TDs.
The Cowboys only managed 64 rushing yards, which definitely was a factor in this defeat. Michael Gallup was excellent with 106 yards from just five receptions and he was backed up by Cedrick Wilson, who also had a 100-yard day.
The defense conceded a whopping 516 yards, 3 TDs, and didn’t have a turnover the whole game. The brunt of this loss should fall firmly on the defense, even though the D has been excellent this season.
Saints: New Orleans was blown away by the Bills on Thanksgiving. The Saints conceded 24 unanswered points before scoring for the first time only in the fourth quarter.
With Trevor Siemian under center again, the offense never looked capable of stringing together a meaningful drive. The offense only managed 207 total yards. Alvin Kamara was sorely missed, with the Saints finishing with under two yards per carry.
This defense usually is one of the best in the league. However, it couldn’t carry the offense to the win. The D conceded 373 total yards and four TDs. The only positives were that they held the Bills to under four yards per carry and came away with two picks.
The Cowboys’ defense is too talented to have two bad games in a row. So, I expect Dallas to come alive at Caesars Superdome. The Saints seem to be falling apart after a promising first half of the season.
Their offense has been very inefficient since Siemian replaced Winston. As the Saints are still missing several players, I am picking the Cowboys to win.
Therefore, I am adding the Cowboys to my parlay.
Buccaneers: Tampa Bay mounted a heroic comeback to beat the Colts on Sunday. The GOAT, Mr. Tom Brady led the rally. He threw for 226 yards with a TD and an INT.
The run game finally showed up after three quiet weeks. The backs totaled 142 yards at 5.3 yards per carry. Leonard Fournette was the most impressive back with 100 rushing yards and three TDs, as well as 1 TD reception.
The defense was lucky that Jonathon Taylor wasn’t utilized more as he averaged 5.2 yards per carry in this game. However, the D woke up in the second half, allowed just seven points, and managed three turnovers.
Falcons: Atlanta beat the Jags to move to 5-6 on the season. Matt Ryan was adequate with 190 yards, a TD, and an INT. Ryan did enough to win the game, but he wasn’t lighting up the crowd.
The Falcons had to rely on the run game heavily. Cordarrelle Patterson is proving a handy addition in the offseason. He finished with 135 total yards and two TDs.
Atlanta’s defense did struggle. They conceded 228 yards to Lawrence, who was wildly inaccurate, and 141 yards to the Jags’ running backs. However, they came away with two critical turnovers in this game.
The Bucs are streaking clear in the NFC South. They are comfortably the third seed in the NFC and are only one win behind the teams above them. The Falcons are still on the fringe of the playoffs, but I can’t see them producing a winning stretch with Atlanta still having to play the 49ers and the Bills.
Earlier in the season, the Bucs blew away the Falcons 48-25. I expect a similar margin of victory in this game.
So, I am picking the Bucs to cover the ten-point spread.
Cardinals: Arizona is coming off its bye week. Last time out, they produced an excellent performance to beat the Seahawks by ten. Even without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, the Cardinals put up over 400 yards on offense.
Colt McCoy was outstanding with 328 yards and two TDs. Zach Ertz had his first big game since being traded. He finished with 88 yards and two TDs from just eight catches.
The defense held Russell Wilson to just a 54% completion rate and held the Seahawks to under 300 offensive yards. The front seven chipped in with an impressive four sacks.
Bears: Chicago scraped past the still winless Lions on Thanksgiving. With Justin Fields injured, Andy Dalton led the Bears’ offense. Dalton finished with 317 yards, a TD, and an interception.
However, the run game was the let-down for the Bears. The backs finished with just 68 yards at a woeful 2.3 yards per carry. It showed that the Lions found it easy to shut down the run game without Fields’ dual-threat capabilities.
The Lions were only allowed 247 offensive yards but still managed two TDs and had the lead for much of the game. However, the front seven continues to improve with a sack and limit the Lions to 76 rushing yards.
The Cardinals are still holding onto the number one seed in the NFC and seem to be a shoo-in for the playoffs. The Bears’ season is unraveling with just one win in their last six games.
The playoffs are still in reach for the Bears, but it is looking more and more unlikely. The Cardinals are expecting Murray to be fit, and for that reason, I think the Cardinals will win.
I am taking the Cardinals to cover the seven-point spread.
Chargers: Los Angeles lost to the Broncos on Sunday. It was a poor team performance from the Chargers. Herbert threw two picks, including a pick-six. He also couldn’t move the ball downfield for most of the first half.
The run game wasn’t utilized due to the Chargers trailing for all the game. Austin Ekeler only managed 31 yards at an average of 2.6 yards per carry.
The offense didn’t help the defense. The Broncos were often gifted good field positions. The front seven gave up 147 rushing yards and only managed one sack on the day.
Bengals: Cincinnati beat the Steelers 41-10. It was a dominant performance that included 388 offensive yards and four TDs. Joe Burrow led the way with 190 yards and a TD.
Joe Mixon was outstanding. Mixon rushed for 165 yards at an average of 5.9 yards per carry, and had two TDs. This season, Mixon has the third-most rushing yards in the NFL, which is a testament to how much better the O-line has been this year.
The defense was exceptional against Ben Roethlisberger. The D finished with three takeaways, three sacks, three tackles for a loss, and just ten points conceded.
These teams are coming off contrasting performances. The Chargers are proving to be an inconsistent team in the second half of this season. But the Bengals will be full of confidence after back-to-back wins. However, the Bengals do still have to play the 49ers, Chiefs, and Ravens.
However, I am taking the Bengals to win and I am adding them to my parlay.
Vikings: Minnesota lost to the 49ers on Sunday. Two fourth-quarter turnovers on downs meant the Vikings fell short of the 49ers. Kirk Cousins played well and finished with 238 yards, two TDs, and an INT.
The Vikings had to move away from their trusted run game due to the 49ers holding it to under 4 yards per carry. Justin Jefferson was again outstanding with 83 yards from four catches.
However, the worst part of the day was when Dalvin Cook limped off the field. Cook is confirmed to be out for a couple of weeks. Before his injury, Cook had 103 total yards.
Lions: Detroit lost to the Bears on a last-second field goal. Detroit led most of this game. Jared Goff went for 171 yards and two TDs on a very accurate day.
D’Andre Swift injured his shoulder early on in this game, meaning that the Lions’ run game wasn’t as productive as it usually is. The Lions ran for 76 yards from 19 attempts.
The defense had some success against the Bears’ run game. Chicago rushed for just 68 yards at 2.3 yards per carry. I think the Lions found it easy to stop the run game due to Dalton’s inability to run on QB keeps.
Earlier in the year, the Lions lost to the Vikings on another last-second field goal. The Lions will be looking for revenge after a promising performance against the Bears. The Vikings will be feeling disappointed they didn’t beat the 49ers as they had plenty of chances to take the lead. I like these teams hitting under 47.5 points.
However, I am picking the Vikings to win but the Lions to cover the seven-point spread.
Giants: New York managed a six-point win over the Eagles on Sunday. It was a low-scoring match that suited the Giants’ secondary. Daniel Jones threw for 202 yards and a TD.
New York saw Saquon Barkley return to the field with a 40-yard day. However, the Giants’ run game was disappointing, with 2.6 yards per carry.
The defense couldn’t stop the Eagles’ run game which finished with 208 yards. However, Hurts threw three interceptions, and the Giants also recovered a fumble, which prevented the Eagles from scoring more than seven points.
Dolphins: Miami beat the Panthers in a dominant performance at Hard Rock Stadium. Tua Tagovailoa had one of the best games of his career. He threw for 230 yards and had an 87% completion rate.
With the addition of Phillip Lindsay, the Fins were able to rush for 111 yards. Myles Gaskin had two TDs and rookie Jaylen Waddle went for 137 yards from 9 receptions and a TD.
The defense continues to be the strong point. The D held Cam Newton to complete just five of his 21 passes. Miami finished with three interceptions, ten pass deflections, and five sacks. Rookie Jaelen Phillips was exceptional with three sacks and three tackles for a loss.
The Fins have risen from the dead. Miami is now looking red hot and is on a four-game win streak. They are only one win outside the playoffs, but they do have a tough stretch. The Giants are still lacking on offense, even with their run game. I like these teams to score under 42 points, with both teams being stronger on defense.
However, I am picking Miami to win and I am adding them to my parlay.
Eagles: Philly lost to the Giants on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. It was a very inefficient offensive performance from the Eagles. The offense regressed after a promising win in Week 11 over the Saints.
Jalen Hurts led the way in the effective run game. The backs ended with 208 yards. However, every time the Eagles started to move the ball, they gave away a turnover. Hurts threw three INTs and Scott lost a fumble.
The defense continues to be surprisingly effective. The D conceded 272 total yards to the Giants. The defense also held Barkley to just 40 rushing yards.
Jets: New York managed their third win of the season by beating the Texans 21-14. Zach Wilson returned under center and didn’t have the best of games. He threw for just 145 yards and an INT. He also only completed 58% of his passes.
The rushing attack was without Michael Carter. However, the backs still managed 154 yards at a healthy 4.8 yards per carry. The rushing plays carried this offense to the win.
The defense showed up in the second half and didn’t allow a single point to be scored. The Texans only had 45 yards of offense in the second half.
The Eagles have looked like a solid football team for most of this season. So, I think that loss will be a one-off, and they will bounce back against the Jets. New York will still have plenty of questions about their rookie QB. They will be hoping Wilson can sort out his mistakes down the stretch. I think this could be a high-scoring game so that these teams might hit over 45 points.
However, I am picking the visiting Eagles to win and cover the spread of 6.5 points.
Colts: Indy lost to the Bucs on Sunday. Tampa Bay mounted a strong second-half comeback to beat the Colts. Carson Wentz was excellent in the first half, throwing three TDs. However, in the second half, he threw two interceptions and coughed up a fumble.
The whole of the Colts team fell apart in the second half. The offense produced four turnovers, and then Hines muffed a punt return which the Bucs recovered.
The defense couldn’t do much to stop the Bucs, who often were gifted favorable field positions. However, they did manage two sacks and two turnovers.
Texans: Houston lost to the Jets at MetLife stadium. The game started in the worst possible way, with Tyrod Taylor throwing an interception in the Jets’ red zone on the opening drive.
However, the Texans regrouped and went into halftime, leading the contest with Taylor having thrown two TDs. But in the second half, the Texans only managed 45 offensive yards, which lost them the game.
The front seven was effective when rushing Wilson. Houston finished with four sacks and seven tackles for a loss. The D also came up with two turnovers.
The Colts are sitting on the edge of the playoffs with a 6-6 record. Indy is only two wins off the Titans, who seem to be crumbling. The Texans are now 2-8 and will certainly miss out on the playoffs. I can see this game being one-sided, with Jonathon Taylor rushing for over 100 yards.
Therefore, I am adding the Colts to my parlay as a safe bet.
Football Team: Washington beat the Seahawks in a crazy Monday night game. WFT held on for the win after a failed onside kick by the Seahawks. Taylor Heinicke continues to prove he’s a serviceable QB as he went for 223 yards, a TD and an INT on an accurate day.
Washington managed to find some rhythm when running the ball. The backs finished with 152 yards, with Gibson accounting for 111 of those yards.
The defense held the Seahawks’ running game to just 34 yards at under three yards per carry. The D also had two sacks and a forced fumble recovery.
Raiders: Las Vegas beat the Cowboys in a gripping contest on Thanksgiving. Derek Carr was outstanding with 373 yards from just 24 completions. Carr now sits atop the NFL in passing yards with 3,414 yards this season.
DeSean Jackson caught just three passes for 102 yards. But Carr’s most productive receiver was Hunter Renfrow, who finished with 134 yards. The run game was also impressive, with 143 yards.
The defense conceded 33 points and 439 offensive yards to the Cowboys. However, when it mattered, the defense forced a three and out during overtime to set up the game-winning drive for the Raiders’ offense.
Both of these teams are in the playoff hunt. Washington has won three straight games, so they are now the seventh seed in the playoffs. The Raiders are on the fringe in the tightly contested AFC.
Washington’s defense has come alive midseason. They will provide an exciting matchup against Derek Carr. The Raiders are narrow favorites, but I think that Washington will continue its winning streak.
Therefore, I am taking the underdogs, Washington, on the moneyline
Jaguars: Jacksonville lost to the Falcons on Sunday. Trevor Lawrence had a pretty solid day with 228 passing yards, a TD and an INT. Lawrence also had 39 rushing yards, often on scrambles.
The running game is proving to be effective week-in-week-out. The Jags rushed for 141 yards from just 28 attempts. James Robinson had an impressive 115-yard day.
The defense was trampled on by the Falcons run game. Cordarrelle Patterson finished with 108 yards and averaged 6.8 yards per carry. However, the secondary played well against Ryan, who threw for 190 yards.
Rams: Los Angeles lost to the Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday night. The Rams came within eight points of the Packers, but they never looked like mounting a meaningful comeback.
Matthew Stafford played like he had something to prove. He finished with 302 yards, three TDs, and an INT. Odell Beckham had his first big game in a Rams jersey with 81 yards from five catches and a TD.
The defense couldn’t handle Aaron Rodgers. The secondary conceded 307 yards and two TDs to Rodgers. But on the bright side, the front seven only conceded three yards per carry.
With their loss on Sunday, the Rams have now moved to two wins behind the Cardinals, who are in first place in the NFC West. Jacksonville is in last in the AFC and is a long way off the playoffs.
The Jags will be hoping to see potential in Lawrence to justify taking him first overall in this year’s draft. I think this game will be fairly one-sided towards the Rams, but they might struggle to cover the two-touchdown spread.
I am adding the Rams to my parlay as a safe bet.
Ravens: Baltimore beat the Browns in a low-scoring game. Lamar Jackson made some incredible throws on his way to 165 passing yards. However, he also made some shocking mistakes and threw four interceptions.
Luckily the Ravens’ run game was productive so that the offense could lean on it. Jackson rushed for 68 yards to help bring the rushing total to 148 yards.
The defense played well except for dropping several interception opportunities. The front seven held Hunt and Chubb to just 36 rushing yards at 2.4 yards per carry. The D also came up with two fumble recoveries.
Steelers: Pittsburgh was dominated from start to finish by the Bengals. As has been the case often this season, Ben Roethlisberger didn’t play like himself. He was highly inaccurate with just a 58% completion rate.
The run game was also unproductive despite the returning Najee Harris. The backs hardly averaged over three yards per carry. The biggest problem on Sunday was the three turnovers Big Ben gave away.
The defense couldn’t handle Joe Mixon, who rushed for an incredible 165 yards at 5.9 yards per carry. The secondary also conceded a couple of big plays, like a 32-yard TD pass to Tee Higgins.
The Steelers are on the fringe of the playoffs, but I doubt they can put together a string of performances to make it to the postseason. The Ravens are somehow leading the AFC now. They will be looking to extend their lead in the tight AFC playoff race. I think the Ravens will easily win this game given how the Steelers’ defense is playing.
Therefore, I am taking the Ravens to win and cover the spread of 2.5 points.
49ers: San Fran beat the Vikings at home on Sunday. Jimmy Garoppolo started as the 49ers put up over 400 yards on offense. Jimmy G contributed 230 passing yards, a TD and an INT.
Elijah Mitchell was excellent with 133 rushing yards and a TD. In a dominant offensive performance, the running backs totaled 208 yards, three TDs and 5.3 yards per carry.
The defense wasn’t as dominant. The Vikings went for 329 yards and came within eight points of the 49ers. However, the 49ers did achieve two timely turnovers to help them win the game.
Seahawks: Seattle’s disappointing season continued with its third straight loss. Russell Wilson turned in a solid performance with 247 yards and two TDs.
However, the run game continues to be a let-down since Chris Carson was injured. The backs only rushed for 34 yards, with Wilson accounting for half of those yards.
The defense has also been having severe problems. The secondary conceded 375 yards to a below-average offense on Sunday. And the front seven has only managed 17 sacks in 11 games.
The Seahawks look disjointed and don’t seem to be playing as a team. They are sitting second-last in the NFC, and I highly doubt they will return to the playoffs this year.
Not many would have predicted this three months ago! The 49ers are making a late-season push and are closing in on the Rams ahead of them. I think this will be an easy road win for the 49ers.
So, I am taking San Fran to win and cover the two-point spread.
Broncos: Denver beat the Chargers at home on Sunday. It was a dominant display led by the rushing attack. The backs totaled 147 rushing yards for two TDs.
Teddy Bridgewater threw for 129 yards, but he did leave the game because of a possible concussion. Teddy passed the tests and returned to finish off the game.
The offense was helped massively by the defense. The Broncos’ defense came away with two interceptions, including a pick-six and two sacks. The D shut down the ordinarily explosive Chargers’ offense.
Chiefs: Kansas is coming off its bye week. The last time out, the Chiefs beat the Cowboys 19-9. The offense still wasn’t at its best, even with 126 rushing yards.
Patrick Mahomes threw for 260 yards on a solid day. Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s excellent return continues with 76 total yards and a 5.3 average rushing yards.
The defense dominated the Cowboys. They conceded less than 300 yards and came away with three turnovers and four sacks. Chris Jones was exceptional with 3.5 sacks.
The Chiefs seem to have solved many of their problems and will hope for a winning stretch to put them into the postseason. The Broncos are another team on the fringe of the AFC playoff picture.
A win against the Chiefs would be a massive confidence boost in this tight AFC conference. I think the Chiefs will win, but it will be a close game.
So, I am picking the Broncos to cover the ten-point spread.
Patriots: New England dominated the Titans in Foxborough. Mac Jones’ rookie year is proving to be an accurate and consistent one. Jones had another 70+ percent completion rate on Sunday.
He was backed up by another 100-yard rushing day by the running corps. The Patriots’ receivers also continue to deliver, with Jakobi Meyers the most productive with 98 yards on Sunday.
The defense is also proving very reliable. The D had two sacks, an interception and conceded just 93 yards to Ryan Tannehill. The downside is the front seven relinquished 270 rushing yards in substantial chunk plays.
Bills: Buffalo demolished the Saints on Thanksgiving. Josh Allen threw four TDs on his way to a 260-yard day. However, Allen did throw two picks. He also added 43 rushing yards to his tally.
The rush attack produced another 100-yard day but still averaged less than four yards per carry. Stefon Diggs seems to have re-found his 2020 form with a second straight impressive display.
The defense conceded just six points and 207 yards to the Saints. The front seven held the Saints’ running backs to an exceptional 1.76 yards per carry.
This game is for the lead of the AFC East. However, these teams meet again in Week 16, so pencil in that date as a revenge game for the loser this week.
The Bills haven’t been at their best this season, so I expect them to struggle against this rampant Patriots team. The Pats are on a six-game winning streak. And I expect that to continue in Buffalo.
Therefore, I am taking the visiting underdog Pats to win.