It’s Week 13, which means the playoffs are right around the corner. Nick Ballistreri previews his 5 best bets of the week.
NFL SEASON RECORD ATS: 44-33-2
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants
The Packers got served a serving of humble pie last Sunday against the 49ers. In a game where they were looking to make a statement, the only statement that was made is that they may not be ready for the bright lights yet, losing 37-8. The perfect remedy to that? A date with the New York Giants.
The Giants have lost 7 in a row since they were 2-2, and sit at 2-9 going into the stretch run. This season has been about development, and while Daniel Jones has shown he may be the answer at QB, the rest of the roster leaves much to be desired.
The Packers are 6.5 point road favorites in this one, and that is much too small. The Packers are going to go into East Rutherford and dominate this game, winning by at least 2 scores. Take the Packers and don’t overthink it.
San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens
Without question, this is the game of the week, and it’s a shame it’s a 1 o’ clock kickoff. Thank goodness for NFL Red Zone.
The 49ers enter this one as the #1 seed in the NFC with a 10-1 record, with their only loss coming in overtime. They thoroughly dominated the Packers last week to the tune of an easy 37-8 victory. Nearing full strength on the offensive side of the ball, they are hitting their stride again at the right time.
The Ravens are the greatest show on grass, lead by Lamar Jackson. Every week Jackson does things we haven’t seen since Michael Vick, and he’s doing it in ways that make his team unstoppable. The Ravens are 9-2, and have won 7 in a row in dominating fashion. Who’s going to stop this team?
The Ravens are 5.5 point favorites at home in this must-see matchup. It’ll be a good game, as both teams are trying to continue to prove themselves. In the end, it’ll be too much Lamar Jackson as usual, and the Ravens will continue their streak of annihilation on this league.
Bonus Pick: Over 45.5
New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals
Will today be the day the Bengals finally win a game? They are 0-11, and staring a winless season in the face. Inserting Andy Dalton back in at QB, the Bengals are looking for a spark.
The Jets are coming into this one on a 3-game winning streak, with dreams of the playoffs still hanging by a thread. Their offense has been dominant on the back of Sam Darnold as of late, as they have scored 34 points in 3 straight wins. They are looking to keep their hopes alive.
The Jets are 3 point favorites, and that feels like a trap to me. Instead, I’m targeting the over, at 41.5. I expect the Jets offense to keep rolling, and with the Bengals inserting Dalton back in, they’ll move the ball better than they have been.
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts
This is a big game for AFC South purposes. With the first place Texans playing New England, the winner of this game may be tied for first at the end of play. Both are sitting at 6-5, and have shown potential to do damage this season, while also playing inconsistent. Ladies and gentleman, that’s the AFC South in a nutshell.
The Colts are 2 point favorites at home in this one. They are banged up a bit on offense, but I expect them to play well on their home field. Jacoby Brissett will lead a late drive to take the lead and cover the spread against the Titans to improve to 7-5, keeping their divisional hopes alive in the process.
New England Patriots at Houston Texans
In the nightcap, we are treated to a good one. The Patriots are 10-1, coming off a defensive battle against the Cowboys in a 13-9 victory. The Texans sit at 7-4, first place in the AFC South, and looking to make a statement to the rest of the league that they are a true contender.
The Patriots have relied on their defense and special teams to make plays for them all season. In last week’s win, two of their scoring drives were directly set up by plays by those units, leading to 10 easy points. This is the formula they’ve followed all season because their offense is not living up to its own lofty standards.
The Texans are still looking for that signature win, losing to the Saints and Ravens this season on big stages. Led by Deshaun Watson, the offense can score with anyone, but protection issues are holding them back.
The line is set at Patriots -3 as a road favorite, and I’m not touching that. This game can go either way. I’m taking the under at 46.5. The Patriots defense is absolutely elite, and their offense is struggling. I can see a dog-fight in this one, with a 20-17 score likely to be around the final score. Under all the way.