NFL picks, predictions against spread Week 13: Bills stop Patriots; Chiefs slow Broncos; 49ers, Dolphins stay hot

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The NFL offered some coin-flip games in Week 12, with that, there was bound to some ups and downs the game picks and predictions against the spread. Week 13 offers a few more challenges in a slate of 14 more contests.

There are more solid favorites this week, some falling into the double-digit spread realm. There are also an unusual amount of field goal (3 points) spreads, which are the equivalents to home-field advantages

Here’s how Sporting News navigates all the latest numbers in another late-season edition of our pro football fearless forecast:

(Game odds courtesy of FanDuel)

NFL POWER RANKINGS: 
Patriots, 49ers, Buccaneers surge as Rams, Steelers tumble into Week 13

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NFL picks against the spread for Week 13

Monday 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

Mac Jones faces his toughest test yet as a rookie QB, in a hostile environment, on the road, in the elements, with first place on the line against a nasty defense. The Patriots also have a daunting defense that will contain the big plays from counterpart Josh Allen. This is a bit of grinding game for both sides with limited rushing success, so the unique dual threat playmaking of Allen will make the difference in a game that stays tight and rather ugly deep into the fourth quarter.

Pick: Bills win 23-19 and cover the spread.

Thursday 8:20 p.m. ET, Fox, NFL Network and Amazon Prime Video

The Cowboys and Saints both have a regular week playing on Thursday again after both teams lost at home on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys will be going on the road without coach Mike McCarthy but should have wide receivers Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb back to boost Dak Prescott. The Saints might get positive offensive health news with their running backs and offensive line to give them a better chance at home with Taysom Hill set to start. Dallas has been still a better team at home than on the road but is now in a little more attrition mode to win games.

Pick: Cowboys win 27-23 but fail to cover the spread.

Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox

The Rams cannot lose four consecutive games with this type of talented team under Sean McVay, can they? Assuming Matthew Stafford can stop his pick-six streak, L.A. will be sitting pretty in a much-needed get-well game at home. Former Jaguar Jalen Ramsey will haunt Trevor Lawrence in coverage, who also will have plenty of Aaron Donald and Von Miller in his face. This is a chance for the Rams to batter a team with Darrell Henderson and the running game and be less reliant on Stafford’s deep passing.

Pick: Rams win 31-10 and cover the spread.

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  • Upset of the Week: Washington Football Team (+2.5, 49.5 o/u) over Raiders 

Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox

Washington has flashed the offensive talent that allowed it to win the NFC East as a sub-.500 team last season. The defense has shored up some fundamental issues even while missing some key pieces for Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio. Las Vegas is coming off a massive road win in Dallas, but just when the team looks most impressive is when it starts going back to falling flat because of inconsistency everywhere. 

Pick: Washington wins 27-20.

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Vikings seem locked into one-possession games every week and the eight-point margin of defeat in San Francisco was in effect a blowout for them. Minnesota is looking to be without running back Dalvin Cook and its own wiling run defense will give suddenly run-heavy Detroit a chance to stay in another low-scoring game. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings’ much more dynamic receiving corps are the difference late.

Pick: Vikings win 23-17 but fail to cover the spread.

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Cardinals’ offense should look closer to its explosive and balanced best with Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins set to return. The bye was well-timed to rest for the stretch run toward nailing down a top seed in the NFC playlffs. The Cardinals also shouldn’t forget how the Bears stole the final wild card from them last season. The Bears have limited skill position firepower in relation to them and have too many defensive holes as well.

Pick: Cardinals win 27-17 and cover the spread.

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  • Buccaneers (-10.5, 50.5 o/u) at Falcons 

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Buccaneers are reinventing their offensive identity at the right time, with a lot more emphasis on the running and short passing games. That’s been key with them missing a big-play element without Antonio Brown and still wanting to limit the exposure of their struggling pass defense. Look for them to ground and pound this one home once Brady picks apart a weak secondary indoors. Matt Ryan will be under duress for much of the second half trying to catch up in a one-dimensional attack.

Pick: Buccaneers win 34-20 and cover the spread.

  • Colts (-8.5, 46.5 o/u) at Texans

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Colts had to become a pass-happy team to try to stay with the Buccaneers last week but can feel good about going back to a heavy dose of Jonathan Taylor and the running game as Houston’s defensive front cannot stop him. Indianapolis will dominate on both lines of scrimmage to get back over. 500 while forcing more key turnovers vs. Tyrod Taylor.

Pick: Colts win 24-10 and cover the spread.

  • Eagles (-7, 45.5 o/u) at Jets

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Eagles forced the issue a little more in the passing game last week with bad results as Jalen Hurts struggling with interceptions and nailing down connections with his receivers and tight end Dallas Goedert downfield. They will go back to their run-heavy, grinding ways with Hurts and Boston Scott leading the change with Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard hurting. Their defense will have little trouble frustrating Zach Wilson, but the zone will open up enough plays for the Jets to keep it close. This second consecutive trip to MetLife Stadium works much better.

Pick: Eagles win 20-14 but fail to cover the spread.

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Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Chargers’ run defense woes rear their ugly heads again with the Bengals turning their offense over more to Joe Mixon and the running game with the weather starting to turn. Joe Burrow will be comfortable for play-action passing downfield as a result. Justin Herbert, his counterpart young gun from the 2020 first round, will face more of a pass rush while not leaning on much of a power running game.

Pick: Bengals win 31-27 and cover the spread.

Sunday 1 ET, Fox

The Giants beat the Eagles will all defense and almost zero offense at home last week. The Dolphins are riding a four-game winning streak and finding their offensive pop around Tua Tagovailoa, thanks to rookie wide receiver Jaylen Waddle breaking out and Myles Gaskin looking much better out of the backfield. Miami’s strong intermediate passing game and more active playmaking defense vs. Daniel Jones sets up another solid victory.

Pick: Dolphins win 20-16 and cover the spread.

  • Ravens (-3, 44 o/u) at Steelers 

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

The Ravens aren’t getting many style points of late with Lamar Jackson producing some sloppy passing with more turnovers. But they are still winning enough to be the No. 1 seed in the AFC and the Steelers’ putrid run defense will take pressure off Jackson. The Steelers will keep it close with their quick passing game and tough running from Najee Harris, but the Ravens will grind another one away with Justin Tucker kicking home the game winner.

Pick: Ravens win 23-20.

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  • 49ers (-2.5, 46.5 o/u) at Seahawks

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

The 49ers are in a total offensive groove and that will continue without Deebo Samuel, still with Elijah Mitchell, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk. They are executing in the power rushing attack and getting big plays everywhere in the passing game. The Seahawks’ defense has few answers for that multiplicity and versatility. Russell Wilson and his wide receivers keep them in the game, but that’s about it.

Pick: 49ers win 27-24 and cover the spread.

  • Broncos at Chiefs (-9.5, 47.5 o/u)

Sunday 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

The Broncos got off the mat with a strong defensive performance against the Chargers that should have pleased Vic Fangio. They should get more out of their passing game here with Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams giving them more reliable rushing production. Teddy Bridgewater won’t outduel Patrick Mahomes by any means, as Kansas City will deliver as the more complete AFC West team at home.

Pick: Chiefs win 31-23 but fail to cover the spread.

Vinnie Iyer’s 2021 picks:

  • Week 12 record against the spread: 9-6
  • Week 12 record straight up: 12-3
  • Season ATS: 98-80
  • Season straight up: 118-61



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