NFL Week 13 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

Green Bay Packers v Philadelphia Eagles
Green Bay Packers v Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

The Thanksgiving football was great, as it often is. The Big Lead's picks for the week were middling, as your cousin's cranberry sauce usually is. Still, we remain above .500 at 88-86 as we hit the home stretch of the year. Time to shake off the turkey coma and finish strong.

PATRIOTS (+5.5) over BILLS

Josh Allen did just enough to beat the Detroit Lions. They'll do just enough to win another tough road game in which the line is far too high. Bill Belichick will cook up something special and make this a 60-minute affair, forcing some turnovers and getting Patriots fans' hopes just enough to be let down in crushing fashion. Bills 21, Patriots 17


Harboring slim playoff hopes, Marcus Mariota will put a crooked number on the scoreboard. We can't be confident the Steelers will do the same. The smart money here is taking the under of 90 seconds of NFL RedZone screentime emanating from Atlanta. Falcons 13, Steelers 9


Did you see where Skip Bayless is calling him Michael Jordan Love? Do you get it? This is why he makes all that money. Look, the Packers have some issues. Aaron Rodgers' health is a concern. His future is unclear. All the elements are there for the Bears to enact a final revenge. It won't mean anything in the big picture yet will be immensely cathartic for a fanbase who has suffered at his hands for far too long. Bears 27, Packers 20

LIONS (-1.5) over JAGUARS

If Detroit is going to win six straight to make the playoffs, they can't lose this week. And honestly, of all the times we've picked them and they've won, few have come with this level of confidence. The running attack is real, the defense is formidable and if they weren't named the Lions this line would be several points higher. Lions 33, Jaguars 14

VIKINGS (-3) over JETS

Mike White was spectacular, which will only make Zach Wilson's resting face more unpleasant. Kirk Cousins won in primetime. Anything is possible. It's great that these two teams will be playing so we can know once and for all who is the bigger fraud. Vikings 22, Jets 15


The sky is falling for Daniel Jones and Brian Daboll. Or is it? Look for the Commanders to be too distracted by Big Hat discourse to focus up against a division rival with its back to the wall. Thank you for coming to this spot for your football analysis. Remember that we're doing better than several experts. Giants 23, Commanders 17

TITANS (+5.5) over EAGLES

Just when you start to count out the Titans, Mike Vrabel shows why he's the closest Bill Belichick acolyte to the real thing. We're too smart to fall for it again. Titans 20, Eagles 19


There is zero reason to have any faith whatsoever in the Broncos to do anything at all. Even when facing a favorable eight-point spread against a Ravens team that struggles mightily to move the ball and just blew a fourth-quarter lead to the Jaguars. Baltimore will be playing angry after that loss and will boast homefield advantage, but this is really about the utter incompetence in Denver. Maybe they'll manage one non-garbage time touchdown this week and Broncos defenders won't yell at Russell Wilson again. Maybe. Ravens 27, Broncos 12


We have absolutely no idea what to expect from Deshaun Watson, playing his first game since the 2020 season following a season-long holdout and accusations of sexual assault. What we do know is that the Texans are absolutely terrible. Bad enough that the motivation of a revenge game and homefield advantage won't move the needle very much. Cleveland could, and probably should, just hand the ball off to Nick Chubb 25 times and cover with ease. Browns 30, Texans 20


Seattle suffered a tough home loss on Sunday because the defense apparently decided that participation was optional as Josh Jacobs ran roughshod all afternoon. Fortunately for the Seahawks the Rams don't have any players left on offense anywhere near that talented and may have to go with their third-string QB again. Geno Smith's offense remains potent and should drive the team to a big divisional win with plenty of their own fans in attendance in Los Angeles. Seahawks 27, Rams 17

DOLPHINS (+3.5) over 49ERS

This will be a fun one. Mike McDaniel's offense is absolutely electric and Tua Tagovailoa has been excellent since returning from his concussion. Kyle Shanahan's team is finding different ways to win each week. This one will come down to the quarterbacks, and based off what we've seen this year, there's more reason to put faith in Tua than Jimmy Garoppolo. However, Terron Armstead's absence is troubling for Miami; Tagovailoa got sacked four times after his starting tackle left Sunday's matchup against the Texans. Now the backup will have to deal with Nick Bosa. The Dolphins are in for a rude awakening from San Fran's defense but the combined powers of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are enough to keep this thing close throughout. 49ers 33, Dolphins 30

CHIEFS (-2.5) over BENGALS

It may be risky business taking the favored road team in a battle between two playoff contenders, but the Chiefs are definitely still smarting from their AFC Championship Game loss last year. A locked-in Patrick Mahomes is hard to bet against. The Bengals might be getting Ja'Marr Chase back but it's hard to bank on him having a big day after missing the last month and change. Joe Burrow is still that guy and plays very well in Cincinnati. This is about believing the best QB in the game right now is going to impose his will until the clock hits double zeroes. On the more analytical side, this will probably be a wire-to-wire matchup and KC only needs a field goal to cover. Chiefs 37, Bengals 34


Both teams pulled out last-second victories in must-win games last week and the vibes are tremendous on both sides. That does not change the confusing and often infuriating seasons both teams have had to this point. It feels like the Chargers should win this game because Josh Jacobs won't have a 300-yard day from scrimmage two weeks in a row and the 40-point outing from the Raiders is a huge anamoly when looking at past games. But it is usually when the Chargers are expected to win, they lose. We'll go with the home team as underdogs here and cross our fingers. Raiders 27, Chargers 24

COWBOYS (-9.5) over COLTS

The Colts are not quite as bad as they appeared pre-Jeff Saturday but they certainly are not good and situational football is a struggle with a first-time head coach on the sideline. The Cowboys have dominated for two straight weeks and show no signs of letting up. In primetime at Jerry World, Dak Prescott should roll as the high-octane Cowboys offense outpaces Indy with ease. Cowboys 36, Colts 22


Todd Bowles put on an absolute masterclass of horrific coaching and it cost his team not only a win against the Browns but the talents of Tristian Wirf, out for the foreseeable future after getting hurt in overtime. It still feels like he and the Bucs had a better week than the Saints, who traveled all the way to San Francisco to score exactly zero points in a heinous display of offense. It might finally force Dennis Allen to go back to Jameis Winston and God only knows what is in store if he's back there. What we do know is that the Saints have played Tom Brady tight since he came to the NFC South and Tampa Bay is not good enough to change that this year. Bucs 19, Saints 17