NFL picks, predictions for Week 13: 49ers upset Bills; Steelers get a scare; Texans hurt Colts’ playoff hopes

NFL picks, predictions for Week 13: 49ers upset Bills; Steelers get a scare; Texans hurt Colts' playoff hopes

The NFL playoff picture is coming into focus, even if the schedule continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Week 13 schedule features 15 games, and there are two games between teams winning records. The Browns and Titans meet at 1 p.m. on Sunday in a matchup of AFC playoff contenders. The Rams and Cardinals meet at 4 p.m. ET in a matchup of NFC playoff contenders. 

With two games on Monday night, the schedule remains day to day. We are coming off a solid week in the straight-up picks.  

Here is a look at our track record in picking games straight-up in 2020:  

  • Last Week: 10-4 (before Week 12 Monday/Tuesday)  
  • Season: 72-51 (before Week 12 Monday/Tuesday) 

With that as the mind, below are our picks and predictions for the rest of Week 13:  

Packers, Bills, Browns rise; Raiders, Cardinals see playoff chances slip for Week 13

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NFL picks, predictions for Week 13

  • New Orleans Saints (-3) at Atlanta Falcons   

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX  

The Saints’ defense allowed just 12 points in Taysom Hill’s last two starts, and that included a 24-9 win against Atlanta. The Falcons can’t settle for field goals in the rematch. Matt Ryan makes it interesting in the rematch, but we can’t go against the better team.  

Pick: Saints 24, Falcons 20  

  • Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (-5.5)   

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX  

The Lions fired Matt Patricia, and the Bears are coming off a two-TD loss to the Packers. Mitchell Trubisky led Chicago to a thrilling comeback victory against Detroit in Week 1. Will Matthew Stafford return the favor? The Bears have lost five in a row. The Lions have lost five in a row to the Bears. One of those streaks ends.  

Pick: Lions 26, Bears 23  

  • Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans (-5)  

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS  

Derrick Henry (114.3) leads the NFL in rushing yards per game, but Nick Chubb (102.7) isn’t far behind. Tennessee routed Cleveland 43-13 last year, but this is a different team. The line has jumped 1.5 points from its open. The Browns play better this time, and it’s a matchup we might see again in the AFC playoffs.  

Pick: Titans 28, Browns 24

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  • Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins (-11)  

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS 

This was supposed to be Joe Burrow vs. Tua Tagovailoa, but those plans were changed. Miami ranks second in the NFL in scoring defense (18.6), and Brandon Allen will have trouble in the passing game. Miami takes care of business, even if the line looks a touch high.  

Pick: Dolphins 23, Bengals 14  

  • Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings (-9.5)   

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS  

The Vikings are coming off a come-back victory, and Dalvin Cook will take advantage of a Jacksonville run defense that ranks 29th in the NFL at 136.2 yards per game. The Jaguars have played the Packers and Browns close the last three weeks, but this is a tougher matchup on the road.  

Pick: Vikings 31, Jaguars 21  

  • Las Vegas Raiders (-7.5) at New York Jets   

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS 

The Raiders did not handle the cross-country trip to Atlanta well in a surprise blowout loss in Week 12. The Jets, however, managed just three points at home against the Dolphins. The Raiders need this one to stay in the AFC playoff race, and Derek Carr bounces back on the road.  

Pick: Raiders 28, Jets 17  

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  • Washington Football Team at Pittsburgh Steelers (-10)   

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX  

The Steelers will be playing on a five-day week after the Tuesday game with the Ravens, and that is not an easy spot against a Washington team that had the Thanksgiving weekend off. It’s difficult to gauge how the teams will react to the preparation times, but the Steelers are still the better team at home. It’s closer than expected.  

Pick: Steelers 27, Washington 20  

  • Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) at Houston Texans   

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS  

The Texans have won three of their last four games, and Deshaun Watson has 15 TDs and no interceptions in his last six games. That makes this a dangerous game for the Colts, who have split their last four games. These teams meet again in Week 15. The Texans play spoiler here.  

Pick: Texans 27, Colts 24  

  • Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-1)   

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX  

This is the first of two meetings between NFC West playoff contenders, and both lost in last-minute fashion in Week 12. Sean McVay called out Jared Goff, who has five turnovers the last two weeks. Kyler Murray gets Arizona back on track in another fantastic finish.  

Pick: Cardinals 30, Rams 27  

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  • New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks (-9)  

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX  

Daniel Jones (hamstring) might not be able to play, and that means Colt McCoy will be pressed to keep up with Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense. Seattle’s defense might get some confidence here, too.  

Pick: Seahawks 33, Giants 16  

  • Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers (-7) 

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS  

The Eagles marched into Lambeau Field and stole a 34-27 victory last season after falling behind by double digits in the first half. Chances are the Packers remember that game, and Aaron Rodgers makes sure it doesn’t happen again. Green Bay’s defense still has some trouble closing the door.  

Pick: Packers 31, Eagles 24 

  • New England Patriots at Los Angeles Chargers (-1)   

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS  

The Patriots are trying to mount a last-ditch playoff run, but there is no margin for error. Justin Herbert has three 300-yard games in the last four weeks, but the Chargers have allowed 27 points or more in eight straight games. We can’t trust that defense.  

Pick: Patriots 28, Chargers 26  

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  • Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-13.5)  

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC 

The Broncos quarterback situation is uncertain, and there is time to look for options other than practice squad receiver Kendall Hinton. It won’t matter against the Chiefs – who are trying to keep pace with the Steelers for the top seed in the AFC.  

Pick: Chiefs 34, Broncos 13 

  • Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens (NA)   

Monday, 5 p.m. ET, FoxNFL  

The Ravens have dealt with COVID-19 issues on the roster, but they will be given an extra day after Tuesday night’s game against the Steelers. Baltimore might be in desperation mode here, and that is bad news for the Cowboys and Andy Dalton.  

Pick: Ravens 31, Cowboys 21  

  • Buffalo Bills (-2.5) at San Francisco 49ers  

Monday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN   

The 49ers have a couple key pieces back in Raheem Mostert and Deebo Samuel, and the defense is good enough to challenge Josh Allen — who has a few more turnovers last two weeks. The Bills are 3-2 on the road this year, but this is one of those tough outs.  

Pick: 49ers 24, Bills 21