The NFL’s Week 13 schedule isn’t exactly filled with high-profile matchups. There are a lot of games featuring good and bad teams with plenty of double-digit spreads between them.
So, if you’re looking for that middle ground — with spreads of a touchdown or less — where you can take a favorite to win by a little bit (and still cover) or an underdog to come up just short (and still cover), you don’t have a ton of options.
Second Runner-Up: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Jalen Hurts still isn’t 100 percent healthy and he may not even play for the Eagles on Sunday, which could turn the reins of the Philadelphia offense over to Gardner Minshew.
Jalen Hurts is QUESTIONABLE for Sunday’s game.
Nick Sirianni said it’s still an unknown.
— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) December 3, 2021
The Eagles still should be able beat the lowly Jets even without Hurts but it won’t be easy. The big advantage Philadelphia has over the Jets is on the ground. The Eagles are first in the NFL in rushing yards and the New York defense is 27th in rushing yards allowed. However, most of that damage in the ground game is from Hurts, who is the Eagles’ leading rusher.
To be fair, the Jets’ defense is still dead-last in terms of points allowed and second-worst in terms of yardage allowed, but it played pretty well against the Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans in recent weeks and would have much less to be worried about if Hurts can’t play. Seven points is a big spread for a 5-7 Eagles team — coming off an ugly 13-7 loss to the New York Giants last weekend — to cover against any opponent. If you’re betting online, take the Jets and the points.
Pick: Jets +7 (-120)
First Runner-Up: New York Giants at Miami Dolphins
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Those Giants are 4½ point underdogs to Miami this weekend down in South Florida and, with quarterback Daniel Jones out due to a neck strain, Mike Glennon will start for New York. Glennon is a perfectly serviceable backup but the Giants, with one of the worst offenses in football, can’t really afford to be down any offensive starters. Plus, the Dolphins have won four games in a row and their defense has allowed an average of 11.5 points during that winning streak.
New York’s offensive issues have been well-documented and they likely won’t be solved by playing Miami, which can get after the quarterback and has Pro Bowl-caliber players all over the place.
The Dolphins also have far from an explosive offensive attack, but Tua Tagovailoa has been playing well and — most importantly — looks healthy right now. Myles Gaskin has turned into a useful and versatile weapon while Jaylen Waddle is a Rookie of the Year candidate. Mike Gesicki is finally coming into his own as well.
This just isn’t a good matchup for the Giants, especially with Jones sidelined. There’s a reason the Dolphins are solid favorites on the BetUS Sportsbook, and you should back them.
Pick: Dolphins -4½
Lock of the Week: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
When: Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET
Let’s keep things in the AFC East for the against-the-spread (ATS) lock of Week 13. The Patriots (8-4) are actually in first place in the division right now, a half-game ahead of the Bills (7-4), which is not what most people expected before this season. New England is red-hot, having won six straight games and seven of its last eight while Buffalo has basically alternated wins and losses every week since early October.
It has been particularly impressive that the Patriots have been blowing teams out and not just squeaking by them. But, other than the Tennessee Titans, New England has mostly taken care of bad or mediocre teams and hasn’t beaten a healthy team of Buffalo’s talent level. So, the Bills as slight favorites is fair, especially at home.
The Bills are coming off a really impressive beatdown of the New Orleans Saints last week on both sides of the ball. Josh Allen threw for 260 yards and four touchdowns while the defense held New Orleans to under 200 yards of total offense.
It felt like a get-right game for a Bills team that is much better than it has played. Look for this game to be a continuation of that improvement as Buffalo regains control of the division. There’s a reason Buffalo is second in football in both scoring offense and scoring defense.