Back-to-back showings of 4-2 records have likely made my articles a little easier to digest for NFL bettors and I could have had a better Week 12 if I didn’t fade the Browns. Cleveland won its first road game since 2015 so while the loss stings, I still feel OK with the picking against history.
Week 13 isn’t my favorite slate of the season as there will be a few boring games that could be a tough watch unless I wager on them. There is definitely value to be had when capping a few games like Panthers-Buccaneers and Colts-Jaguars and I’ll explain below where I’m leaning.
Each week during the NFL season, I give you my six favorite plays on the moneyline, spread or total. Here we go with Week 13!
The Pick: OVER 55 Panthers vs Buccaneers
I expect a lot of scoring in this matchup but this OVER hinges on the Buccaneers. They give up a ton of points (30.7 per game), lead the league in turnovers and have been scoring 26 points per game over their last six. That leads me to believe this game will be more of the same like when they met in Week 9 and the final combined score was 70 points. Carolina should have a field day against a team that allows the sixth-most passing yards in the NFL and when you factor in that Tampa’s O/U record is 8-3 this season, taking an UNDER isn’t something I’m prepared to do.
The Pick: Colts -4 vs Jaguars
The Colts are the hottest team in the NFL outside of the Saints. I’m surprised this line is only -4 considering the Jags will be without Leonard Fournette and are starting Cody Kessler. The Colts have been on a tear, winning five straight, including a three-point win vs the Jags. Fournette was in that game and although the final score was close, anyone who watched the game will tell you that the Jags were done. I expect the Colts to romp the Jags again.
The Pick: UNDER 45 Bears vs Giants
With Chase Daniel set to make another start for Da Bears, I can’t see him catching the Giants off guard like he did with the Lions. Daniel was competent on Thanksgiving and while New York’s defense isn’t exactly a juggernaut, it can still rush the passer. I can see them causing some turnovers and neutralizing the Bears offense. The Bears defense is obviously incredible and has only allowed four rushing scores all season so they should be able to keep Saquon Barkley and the Giants (averaging 21.5 points per game this season) to less than 20.
The Pick: Steelers -3.5 vs Chargers
After back-to-back weeks of immense struggle vs the Jags and Broncos, the Steelers should be favored by more in this game but I’ll be happy to take them at -3.5. The Steelers’ last home game was vs the Panthers and they dropped 52 points on them. The Chargers also might be a little overrated when you consider who they’ve beaten recently with victories over the Niners, Browns, Cardinals and Raiders (twice). I’m not mentioning those wins to penalize them but there is a clear difference between those squads and the Steelers. I expect the Chargers to get their come-uppance and get reranked to be below the Chiefs, Patriots and Steelers in the AFC heirachy.
The Pick: OVER 48.5 Vikings vs Patriots
I seriously considered taking the Vikings at +6 but I think the OVER is more of a lock because of how good both of these offenses are. The Patriots are averaging 34.7 points per game at home while the Vikes average 28 points per game on the road. The OVER has hit in four of the Vikings’ five road games this season with an average combined score of 54 points per game. Factoring in that the Patriots defense is allowing 281.5 passing yards per game, I expect Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen to have a field day against New England’s secondary, which bodes well for an OVER pick.
The Pick: OVER 44 Redskins vs Eagles
I’m tailing my man Mr. Monday Night since he’s 8-4 with his Monday Night Football picks and his betting preview reiterated what I had already thought: this game is definitely going OVER. Neither team is good against the pass and the OVER has hit in four of the last five meetings between these divisional rivals with an average combined score of 52.6. Colt McCoy may be a career backup but he still led the Redskins to 23 points against the tough Cowboys defense and could have had more if he didn’t throw three picks. The Eagles are also a team that is always a threat to score and may have found their new lead running back in Josh Adams, who has scored a touchdown in each of the last two weeks. This one seems too easy.
Gilles’ record after 12 weeks (including Thanksgiving): 38-40