NFL Week 13 picks, odds: Patriots upset Bills, Texans stun Colts and Rams bounce back against Jaguars

We’ve drifted back into the weird zone of big faves, an uncomfortable spot when you’re trying to pick winners of football games. If we’re talking about an NFL week with multiple games above seven points AND multiple games above 10 points, well, it’s going to be hard to bet. 

Take Jags-Rams or Bucs-Falcons as an example. We have two objectively terrible teams against two subjectively good teams. The spread in both games is double digits, so unless you think Jacksonville or Atlanta are better (you don’t and if you do you’re lying), you’re basically relying on luck at the end of the game. 

Of course weird things happen — the Jags took down Buffalo while scoring nine points. The Titans have four losses and two of them are to the Jets and Texans. I’m not saying giant upsets can’t happen or bad teams can’t hang with good teams. My point is just trying to pick a week with a ton of huge spreads is kind of an exercise in futility. 

We’re not quite at the point where teams will roll over, although we’re getting close. Week 13 can provide plenty of chaos — and speaking of chaos have you watched South Park’s new special on Paramount+ (click here) because if not you should — and it feels like a dangerous week to be heavy on chalk. 

All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook

NFL Week 13 Picks

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ETTV: Fox/NFL Network | Stream: fuboTV (click here)Follow: CBS Sports App

Latest Odds:

New Orleans Saints

Taysom Hill versus Dak Prescott. Just like we drew it up. The paper says take the Cowboys, but I smell dissension in Dallas after Mike McCarthy called Dan Quinn “the point person on the decision-making” instead of calling him the “interim coach” like any other sane person would have. Dallas is reeling after losing three of its last four, but the Saints are more desperate — a win here and they’re back in the playoffs heading to the weekend. A loss and Sean Payton is in a bad spot. I expect the kitchen sink with Hill and New Orleans finds a way to win.

The pick: Saints 27, Cowboys 24

Props, Best Bets: Under 47.5

Sunday, 1 p.m. ETTV: Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Chicago Bears

Kyler Murray posted the world’s most confusing Avengers/Thanos GIF ahead of this game. He definitely meant to say “I’m back,” but it could have meant “I’m resting” or “I’m about to murdered from behind by a superhero with a giant Thanos-killing axe.” If that spoiled it for you, I’m sorry, but it’s been a minute. Either way, this number is just too large. The Bears are bad, but they’re at home. The Cardinals offense is going to be clunky with the way they’ve spent the last four weeks. And while the Bears have lost by double digits five times this season, those losses are mostly on the road and against good teams. Arizona will be conservative here, allowing the Bears to keep it within the number.

The pick: Cardinals 24, Bears 17

Props, Best Bets: Bears +8

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Sunday, 1 p.m. ETTV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Houston Texans

The weirdest thing about the 2021 NFL season? The Texans are 2-9 and eighth in defensive DVOA. They’re terrible against the run, which portends nicely for Jonathan Taylor in this matchup. But what if Houston just loads the box, slows down Taylor (a.k.a. CBS Sports senior NFL reporter Jonathan Jones) and creates a turnover or two by pressuring Carson Wentz? No one thinks this Texans team is good, but they’re trying every week and the Colts are coming off the emotional letdown of being stabbed in the side with a Tom Brady sword. I think Indy is a good football team, but this is a big test of how they can respond. 

The Pick: Texans 17, Colts 14

Props, Best Bets: Texans +9

Sunday, 1 p.m. ETTV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Cincinnati Bengals

This is a very simple breakdown of this game. If you’ve watched the Bengals offensive line the last two weeks and if you’ve watched Joe Mixon the last two weeks you know they are cooking. Mixon looks incredible. The Chargers have the worst run defense in football. Make them one dimensional and Joe Lombardi won’t throw deep. Bengals all the way here.

The Pick: Bengals 31, Chargers 24

Props, Best Bets: Bengals -3

Sunday, 1 p.m. ETTV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)    

Latest Odds:

Detroit Lions

If the spread is more than a touchdown and the Vikings are involved, we are taking the other team. Immediate end of story. It’s only better with P.C. Principal and Jared Goff chasing their first win at home. Jamaal Williams over receptions and receiving yards to the moon, assuming D’Andre Swift can’t go. 

The Pick: Vikings 22, Lions 21

Props, Best Bets: Lions +7, Williams props

Sunday, 1 p.m. ETTV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds:

New York Jets

Full disclosure: I bet the Jets +7 when it sounded like Jalen Hurts wasn’t going to play. He says he’s playing, so I’m sort of hosed on that number without a middle. I know what you’re thinking — how DARE you bet on the Jets. But this Jets team is late-season problem causer, dammit. How do I know? Their average point differential over the last six games is negative two. You put an over confident playoff-hunting Eagles team with a wounded quarterback and a novice signal-caller against a frisky terrible team that is trying hard? The Jets are just winning this. I won’t even make fun of Debo on Sunday when it happens.

The Pick: Jets 17, Eagles 14

Props, Best Bets: Jets +7

Sunday, 1 p.m. ETTV: Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan and Tom Brady met a very long time ago in a Super Bowl in Houston and things happened. I would question if Brady cares about it, but he constantly trolls the Falcons over coughing up a 28-3 lead in that game despite it being a long time ago and Brady winning multiple Super Bowls with multiple teams since. Obviously this Buccaneers team is much better than this Falcons team. But it’s still a division matchup and the Bucs don’t beat Atlanta by 20+ points the last time out if it’s not for multiple pick-sixes. The Falcons aren’t very good, but they should be able to keep this inside double digits.

The Pick: Buccaneers 28, Falcons 21

Props, Best Bets: Pass

Sunday, 1 p.m. ETTV: Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Miami Dolphins

It’s looking like Daniel Jones won’t be playing in this game, which means it’s Mike Glennon SZN. More interesting to me is the hype the Dolphins are getting these days. It feels a little out of hand relative to how they were being treated just four weeks ago. The defense is playing a lot better and Miami finally figured out how to fashion an offense around Tua Tagovailoa. But the Giants have an above-average defense and one that matches up well with what the Dolphins want to do. I think the G-men pull off a semi-stunner here.

The Pick: Giants 21, Dolphins 17

Props, Best Bets: Giants +4

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ETTV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Ravens are a substantially better team and somehow healthier, too. But I’ve got a pretty hard and fast rule when it comes to the Steelers-Ravens matchup (and most AFC North matchups): if you’re giving me more than a field goal at home, I want the home team. Simple as that.

The Pick: Ravens 24, Steelers 21

Props, Best Bets: Nope

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ETTV: Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are riding the struggle bus over the last few weeks, losing three straight after a 7-1 start. People are dog piling Matthew Stafford and the Rams are leaking out info relating to a myriad of injuries the quarterback is dealing with late in the year. It’s not a pretty scene. Enter the Jaguars, the perfect remedy for what ails the Rams. Jacksonville’s actually decent at stopping the run, but the Rams don’t need to try and pound the ball. Let Stafford cook, get back to feeding Cooper Kupp and give Odell Beckham a bunch of targets until he jailbreaks one. A massive afternoon through the air will settle things down and allow people to remember the Rams’ losses were to good football teams. 

The Pick: Rams 35, Jaguars 17

Props, Best Bets: Rams -13

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ETTV: Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Las Vegas Raiders

Maybe the toughest game on the slate. I want to love Washington here, with Ron “LFG” Rivera’s team coming off a pretty huge home hold against a bad Seahawks team. The Washington defense was one of the worst in football early on but has turned things around. The only thing that scares me here? DeSean Jackson, the former Eagles/WFT star who has routinely torched Washington when he played against them. He’s recorded 47 catches for 839 yards and seven touchdowns in just 14 games. Two of those games were in his rookie year when he had three catches for 22 yards total. So it’s really more like 44 catches, 817 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games. Ridiculous. D-Jax isn’t a reason to change the pick (I don’t think???) so I’m gonna roll WFT here. But I’m scared of some deep balls from Derek Carr.

The Pick: WFT 28, Raiders 24

Props, Best Bets: D-Jax anytime TD

49ers at Seahawks

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ETTV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Seattle Seahawks

At some point Russell Wilson will get comfortable with his hand post surgery. If you’re backing the Seahawks on any given week, you have to make a leap of faith that comfort level is happening. He’s definitely getting better each week and we saw a little peak Russ on Monday night against Washington. But this is a kill-shot game for Kyle Shanahan against a bad defense and a team that wants to run the ball, signing Adrian Peterson leading into this Week 12 matchup. Seattle’s catching a lot of points at home, and if Russ’ hand comfort clicks, they can win. But I’m backing the white-hot Niners, even without hybrid back Deebo Samuel on the field.

The Pick: 49ers 24, Seahawks 17

Props, Best Bets: Nope

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ETTV: NBC | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Kansas City Chiefs

You know how the song goes. An-dy Reid, off the bye! An-dy Reid, off the bye! Enough said.

The Pick: Chiefs 28, Broncos 17

Props, Best Bets: Under

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ETTV: ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds:

Buffalo Bills

Bill Belichick remembers what the Bills did in New England on a Monday night last year, flexing on the Patriots and letting them know the division was changing hands. Buffalo ran up the score and humiliated Belichick on national television. This year’s New England team doesn’t have the firepower to bludgeon Josh Allen and the Bills, but Belichick’s defense can throw a lot more at Allen than last year. The Pats are rolling right now and I think they keep it going here in prime time.

The Pick: Patriots 21, Bills 17

Props, Best Bets: Patriots +3

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