Now that the American Thanksgiving holiday is in the rearview mirror, the stretch drive of the NFL’s regular season officially begins – even with the added 17th game.
On the bye this week are the Browns, Titans, Packers and Panthers. Here’s a quick look at all Week 13 NFL games, played Sunday unless noted.
Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints, Thursday
It’s not a short week for either team as both played on Thanksgiving – the Cowboys always do and the NFL generally schedules them for their one Thursday night appearance the following week these days. Both were beaten at home on the holiday, with Dallas falling 36-33 in overtime to the Raiders while playing without its two top receivers in Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. Both should return for this one. Do note, though, that there are reports of a COVID outbreak on the team, including Coach Mike McCarthy. The Saints dropped their fourth in a row last Thursday, 31-6 vs. Buffalo. That offence is broken without Jameis Winston.
Pick ATS: Dallas
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons
Tampa Bay won at Indianapolis on Sunday, 38-31, behind four total touchdowns from running back Leonard Fournette. The Bucs were down 10 at the half. Atlanta snapped a two-game skid with a 21-14 win in Jacksonville behind two TD rushes from Cordarrelle Patterson. This wraps up the season series between these teams as Tampa beat Atlanta 48-25 in Week 2 behind five TD passes from Tom Brady. Matt Ryan had two but was picked three times. The Bucs were only up 28-25 entering the fourth.
Pick ATS: Atlanta (alternate line of +10.5)
Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears
The Cardinals come out of their bye week and would earn the NFC’s top seed if they don’t lose again. QB Kyler Murray and star WR DeAndre Hopkins each missed the team’s past three games but should be good to go. Chicago won in Detroit on Thanksgiving on a short field goal as time expired amid rumours that Coach Matt Nagy was about to be fired. He wasn’t, but it will happen after the season. Starting QB Justin Fields missed the game with injured ribs and is TBA.
Pick ATS: Arizona (alternate line of -6.5)
Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals
Two very inconsistent teams and the first NFL matchup between Justin Herbert, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 draft, and Joe Burrow, the No. 1 overall pick. The Chargers lost in Denver on Sunday despite 303 yards and two TDs from Herbert He was picked twice, one returned for a score. Cincinnati destroyed Pittsburgh 41-10. Burrow didn’t have to do much because Joe Mixon dominated with 165 yards and two TDs on the ground.
Pick ATS: Cincinnati
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
The Vikings are the only team in the NFL to have led every game by at least seven points this season. They did Sunday but lost 34-26 in San Francisco – all of their games have been decided by one score. Star running back Dalvin Cook left with a shoulder injury. Detroit lost 16-14 at home to Chicago on Thanksgiving to remain the lone winless team in the league. In Week 5, the Vikings beat the Lions 19-17 on a Greg Joseph 54-yard field goal as time expired. Detroit was down 16-6 with under three minutes remaining.
Pick ATS: Minnesota (alternate line of -6.5)
New York Giants at Miami Dolphins
The Giants fired offensive coordinator Jason Garrett early last week and didn’t exactly respond like gangbusters but did upset the Eagles 13-7 on Sunday. The defence was the story of that win with four takeaways. Miami won its fourth in a row Sunday, 33-10 over Carolina. Tua Tagovailoa had just four incompletions in 31 attempts with a TD. He might be the team’s long-term future after all.
Pick ATS: Miami
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets
Philadelphia had been clicking offensively in recent games but turned the ball over four times in Sunday’s 13-7 loss at the Giants. Jalen Hurts had three picks. The Jets snapped a three-game skid with a 21-14 comeback win in Houston. Rookie QB and No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson played for the first time in weeks off injury and ran for a touchdown.
Pick ATS: NY Jets (alternate line of + 7.5)
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
Indy’s three-game winning streak ended as it blew a 10-point home halftime lead vs. Tampa Bay and lost 38-31. The Colts arguably outplayed the Bucs but had five turnovers. Jonathan Taylor was held under 100 yards rushing for a rare time this season but did score again. Houston blew a 14-3 second-quarter home lead vs. the Jets and lost 21-14. Indianapolis goes for the season sweep of Houston, blowing out the Texans 31-3 in Week 6. Taylor rushed for 145 yards and two scores and hasn’t slowed down much since.
Pick ATS: Indianapolis (alternate line of -7)
Washington Football Team at Las Vegas Raiders
Short week for Washington as it hosted Seattle on Monday to conclude Week 12. The Raiders had looked terrible in a three-game losing streak but surprised the Cowboys in Dallas on Thanksgiving, 36-33 in overtime. Derek Carr threw for 373 yards and a TD. Daniel Carlson kicked a 29-yard field goal in overtime after a pass-interference penalty kept the drive alive.
Pick ATS: Las Vegas
Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Rams
When the NFL schedule was first released, this looked like perhaps the mismatch of the season. The Jags are about as bad as we expected and they lost 21-14 at home to Atlanta on Sunday as rookie QB Trevor Lawrence’s struggles continued. The Rams are on a shocking three-game losing streak after losing 36-28 in Green Bay on Sunday. Odell Beckham Jr. had his first TD catch since being traded to LA but looked like he was injured late in the game.
Pick ATS: Los Angeles
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
It’s the first meeting of the season between these rivals and they meet again in Week 18. Pittsburgh is winless in its past three following a 41-10 blowout loss in Cincinnati on Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger was picked off twice and sacked three times. Teams are not supposed to win when their QB is picked off four times, but Lamar Jackson had four interceptions Sunday night and Baltimore still beat Cleveland 16-10 in maybe the ugliest game of the season.
Pick ATS: Baltimore (alternate line of -2.5)
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
Short week for Seattle as it visited Washington to conclude Week 12. San Francisco won its third in a row Sunday, 34-26 over Minnesota. Rookie running back Elijah Mitchell rushed for 133 yards and a TD and receiver Deebo Samuel had two TD rushes. In Week 4, the Seahawks won 28-21 in San Francisco as Russell Wilson threw two TD passes.
Pick ATS: Seattle (alternate line of +3)
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday night game. Kansas City comes out of its bye week and after a very uneven start has begun clicking on a four-game winning streak. The defence has carried the team in that stretch, allowing a combined 47 points. Denver beat the visiting Chargers 28-13 on Sunday. Rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain had two interceptions, returning one for a TD. This is the first meeting of the season between AFC West rivals and they play again Week 18.
Pick ATS: Denver (alternate line of +10)
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, Monday
Absolutely massive game in the AFC East and the first meeting of the season between the teams. New England won its sixth in a row Sunday, 36-13 over Tennessee. Mac Jones threw for 310 yards and two scores – he’s going to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Buffalo trounced the Saints 31-6 last Thursday as Josh Allen threw for four scores.
Pick ATS: Buffalo (alternate line of -2.5)