Spread picks and scores for every Week 13 game

Mike Renner makes spread picks and score predictions for every Week 13 game of the NFL season.

| 11 months ago
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Spread picks and scores for every Week 13 game

As with every week, I’ll be giving a primer of all Week 12 games, as well as highlighting the key matchups. I’ll give you my picks and how confidence level for each, from a betting perspective. The confidence grade is on our patented -2 through +2 scale.

A positively graded prediction means that I feel good about the bet. If it’s zero, I’m on the fence. And if it’s negative, I really don’t like the line either way.

Jets (-2) at Giants

I like the ‘away’ team here for a myriad of reasons. The obvious one being the Jets defensive line against the Giants porous front. Damon Harrison, Leonard Williams, and Muhammad Wilkerson all grade out in the top of their respective positions while the Giants offensive line has graded out negatively in both run and pass blocking. Eli Manning’s -18.2 grade under pressure is one of the worst in the entire NFL this season and he figures to see a bunch of it Sunday.

Prediction: Jets 21, Giants 17
Confidence grade: +0.5

Cardinals (-6) at Rams

Check out the above video to see the full explanation for this pick.

Prediction: Cardinals 24, Rams 6
Confidence grade: +1

Falcons at Tampa Bay (-1)

The Falcons are a team with their back against the wall and this is close to a must win for them late in the season. The Buccaneers play so much zone coverage that the limited weapons of the Falcons won’t hurt them as much as it would against a man heavy team. Last time these two teams met Atlanta racked up almost 500 yards of offense, but only 20 points thanks to three lost fumbles. I see the yards being similar this time against one of our lowest graded defenses, but the point total shooting up.

Prediction: Falcons 34, Buccaneers 27
Confidence grade: +0.5

Seahawks (-1) at Vikings

Minnesota continues to get little respect as a home underdog. In terms of scoring efficiency, they are almost exactly the same as Seattle on offense and defense. The Seahawks will be without Jimmy Graham and while he wasn’t the focal point of the offense, he was still a unique weapon teams had to scheme around. The Vikings however will be without Linval Joseph, which is an absolutely enormous loss. He acted as their entire run defense for a good number of games this year and is the second highest graded nose tackle in run defense. Replacing him with Sharrif Floyd at the nose seems like a recipe for a big day for Thomas Rawls.

Prediction: Seahawks 16, Vikings 13
Confidence grade: 0

Texans at Bills (-3)

So, who wants to face the Texans defense right now? Since the Dolphins inexplicably dropped 44 points on them, Houston has given up 39 total points in their last four games. The biggest change has been with their run defense as they didn’t allow 100 yards to their opponents and had a +19.5 team run defense grade over that span. That doesn’t bode well for the Bills who run the ball the fourth most in the NFL.

Prediction: Texans 17 Bills 16
Confidence grade: -1

Ravens at Dolphins (-4)

This time I’m not going to be easily fooled by a shakeup in the Dolphins front office. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was canned after handing the ball off nine times and dropping back to pass 61 times last Sunday. They’ll probably get a renewed focus on the run game, but I’m not sure it will matter with our top graded nose tackle Brandon Williams destroying that dreadful Miami offensive line. The Dolphins are broken in far too many ways offensively to fix overnight and even against Matt Schaub I can’t feel comfortable spotting them over a field goal.

Prediction: Ravens 21, Dolphins 20
Confidence grade: -1

Bengals (-9.5) at Browns

Check out the above video to see the full explanation for this pick.

Prediction: Bengals 31, Browns 17
Confidence grade: +0.5

Jaguars at Titans (-2.5)

The Jaguars offense lives and dies by the deep shot. Blake Bortles has 75 attempts past 20 yards downfield, which is the most in the NFL by 12. Facing a competent secondary without Allen Hurns doesn’t make that sound too appealing. The Titans offense has been abysmal of late, but they may have found a playmaker in Antonio Andrews. The second year back is grading out extremely well despite only averaging 3.7 yards per carry. If they can get him some space he could have a breakout game.

Prediction: Titans 23, Jaguars 20
Confidence grade: -1

49ers at Bears (-7.5)

The 49ers haven’t looked as awful as I expected with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, although much of that is to do with the play of their defense. Gabbert has a -2.8 pass grade even though he’s faced a couple good secondaries already in Seattle and Arizona. If he can play mistake free football, nothing about this matchup screams blowout to me with the Bears offense being held under 20 points the last two weeks.

Prediction: Bears 20, 49ers 17
Confidence grade: -0.5

Broncos (-4.5) at Chargers

Check out the above video to see the full explanation for this pick.

Prediction: Broncos 27, Chargers 17
Confidence grade: +2

Chiefs (-3) at Raiders

I was all set to hop aboard the Chiefs bandwagon this week, but losing arguably the best edge defender in the game is going to be a blow to their pass and run defense. Without him their cornerbacks are a tad worrisome, especially rookie Marcus Peters going up against fellow first year player Amari Cooper. Alex Smith has really turned it around in recent weeks, but the Chiefs pass offense hasn’t been so dynamic that I’d pick him over Derek Carr if the game turns out to be high scoring.

Prediction: Raiders 24, Chiefs 21
Confidence grade: -1

Panthers (-7) at Saints

My colleague, Sam Monson, said earlier this week on the PFF Podcast that this game feels like that silly NFC South matchup that is so one sided that it’s bound to come down to a field goal. My gut tends to agree with those sentiments, but I can’t go against the overwhelming evidence in the Panthers favor. The Saints are buried on both offense and defense. Drew Brees isn’t playing close to the level we’ve seen from him in the past and a lot if has to do with their playmakers. They don’t have a single receiver grading out in the top 40 our of rankings. I don’t see how they’ll find any space against our top graded coverage team.

Prediction: Panthers 28, Saints 17
Confidence grade: -0.5

Colts at Steelers (-7)

This line is high for how well the Steelers defense has been playing, and while shootouts (like this figures to be) can get out of hand, Matt Hasselbeck has enough in the tank to pick apart a
hapless Steelers secondary. I wrote about how good Hasselbeck has been as a stand in earlier this week, and his accuracy makes me think he’ll have success Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger is playing at an MVP level as our third highest graded quarterback and would be right in that discussion were it not for missing time, but even he can’t always overcome our lowest graded defense in pass coverage as we’ve seen lately.

Prediction: Steelers 31, Colts 28
Confidence grade: -1

Cowboys at Redskins (-4.5)

Your NFC East leading Redskins take on the Matt Cassel led Cowboys. The Cowboys are averaging 16.25 points per game in Cassel’s starts, but every game has been decided by a touchdown or less. Washington has been all over the map recently, being on opposite sides of blowouts the two weeks before beating the Giants. I think Washington has made enough strides with their defense, especially in their secondary, with Kyshoen Jarrett grading positively in place of Trenton Robinson, that I like them to shut down the Cowboys offense.

Prediction: Redskins 24, Cowboys 17
Confidence grade: -1.5

Season Record: 98-78 (83-89-1 ATS)

  • crosseyedlemon

    Occasionally you have to ignore the data and just base your choices on psychological factors and there are 2 games where I’ll be doing that. First up are the Falcons who have been in free fall mode. Losing to a rookie QB at home was embarrassing but to get swept by the Bucs would almost certainly cost some people in Atlanta their job. I think the Falcons finally stop the bleeding this week. The Eagles were just humiliated by a Lions team led by Matt Stafford so they desperately need to salvage some measure of respect. A win in New England is unlikely but Philly should at least cover the line which currently sits at around 9.

    • FergusonWhiteBoy

      i agree i think falcons stop the bleeding this week, but if you’re picking based on psychological factors, would you really pick AGAINST tom brady after losing a game thanks in part to a bs call by the refs? and pick WITH an eagles team who is just a dumpster fire all around?? i know you don’t think eagles will win, and I usually like taking points especially when its 9+, but i just don’t see the eagles keeping that game close at all.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Brady and the Patriots lost to a very good team so they really have no apologies to make to anyone. They have their division locked up so staying healthy is going to be more important to them now than running up the score on opponents.

  • PhillyDH

    The Eagles were embarrassed by a rookie QB throwing for 5 TD’s the week before getting destroyed by Stafford, and the week before the Bucs game they lost a 16-3 lead in a game in which they looked to dominate. The team looks like they’ve just given up at this point.

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