With only five weeks left, Week 13 is must-win territory for some teams on the fence. December is when we will see whether teams like the Packers, Vikings, and Colts will step it up and fight for a playoff berth or roll over and give up. Only a few teams are playoff “locks” at this point and only a few teams are completely out of contention. This means that fans should get to see some hard-fought games this holiday season.
Week 13 starts off with a rarity — a solid Thursday Night Football matchup. The reeling Vikings will look to end the Cowboys’ win streak at 10. Despite the Vikings ugly stretch in recent weeks, they still only allow 17.5 points per game, which is second in the league to the Seahawks. They’ll have to try and stop the Cowboys’ third-ranked offense, which has scored 24 or more points in every game since their Week 1 loss. The Cowboys are getting over 75% of the spread bets early on, but have fallen from -3.5 to -3.
The Sunday slate also has a handful of promising matchups.
The Chiefs head into Matt Ryan’s Thunderdome in Atlanta where they hope to use their defensive playmakers to stop the Falcons’ slew of offensive weapons. Both teams have exceeded expectations to this point, and the victor will all-but-guarantee a playoff spot barring a December meltdown. The Falcons opened up as four-point favorites, but that number has dropped to -3.5 with the Chiefs getting some early action.
A sneaky-good game takes place in Baltimore where the Ravens host the red-hot Dolphins. That’s right; the Dolphins have won six straight games and have managed to do so in a pretty quiet fashion. Meanwhile, the 6-5 Ravens are tied with the Steelers atop the AFC North and have a tough schedule ahead of them which also includes games in New England and Pittsburgh. If the Ravens want to finish the season with nine wins, they’ll likely need to beat the Dolphins, Eagles, and Bengals over the next five weeks. They opened at -3.5, but early action on the Dolphins has pushed that down to -3.
In the four o’clock hour, the Steelers will host the Giants, who have been another sneaky-good team. They may be riding the Cowboys’ coattails a bit in the NFC East, but at 8-3, the Giants have the second-best record in the conference. Just like the Dolphins, they have rattled off six straight victories without a ton of press. The Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger seem to be back in the swing of things after easily taking care of a Luck-less Colts team on Thanksgiving. They opened at -4.5, but are already up to -5.5. If you are looking to take the G-Men, it would probably be wise to see if that number hits six or higher over the course of the week.
The Sunday Night game probably looked like a gem before the season started, but may not be much of a contest at this point. The Seahawks are hosting the Panthers, who just can’t seem to buy a win. Carolina looked like they were on their way to a great comeback victory yesterday in Oakland, but ended up losing 35-32. Seattle looked pretty ugly themselves, falling 14-5 to the Bucs on Sunday. The Seahawks are currently favored by a touchdown, making them the second biggest favorites of the week. Let’s hope both teams bring their best game to the table.
Here is the full list of Week 13 games. Odds from Bookmaker are used for the opening and current lines unless otherwise noted. The lookahead lines come from CG Technology.
|Matchup||Current Line||Opening Line||Lookahead Line|
|DAL @ MIN||DAL -3||DAL -3.5||MIN -4.5|
|DEN @ JAX||DEN -4.5||DEN -4||DEN -3.5|
|KC @ ATL||ATL -3.5||ATL -4||PK|
|HOU @ GB*||GB -4.5||GB -4.5||GB -7|
|PHI @ CIN*||PHI -2||PHI -1.5||CIN -5|
|DET @ NO||NO -5.5||NO -3.5||NO -2|
|SF @ CHI||CHI -2.5||CHI -1||CHI -5|
|LA @ NE||NE -13.5||NE -13||NE -9|
|MIA @ BAL||BAL -3||BAL -3.5||BAL -3|
|BUF @ OAK||OAK -3||OAK -3.5||OAK -1.5|
|TB @ SD||SD -3.5||SD -3.5||SD -2|
|WAS @ ARI||ARI -3||ARI -2.5||ARI -6.5|
|NYG @ PIT||PIT -5.5||PIT -4.5||PIT -7.5|
|CAR @ SEA||SEA -7||SEA -6.5||SEA -3|
|IND @ NYJ*||PK||PK||NYJ -2|
* Originally off the board at Bookmaker, consensus line used
Bye Week: Cleveland, Tennessee
Coming Off Bye: None
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