NFL Picks Week 13 – NFL Plays by TJ Calkins

27 November 2019

NFL Betting Picks

Thanks for stopping back for Week 13. We smashed last week with a  7-0 and will look to keep the ball rolling this week. First and foremost I hope you all have/had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Now let’s look to replenishing the black Friday spending.

Week 13 NFL Picks

This is another week with some very low totals and some games that will be ugly. Not counting the three Thanksgiving Day games, only three games are over a 46.5 point total and just one game cracks the 50 point barrier. Conversely, four games have a total under 41. Yuck. This speaks to the extremely low level some of the offenses in the league are playing at. Prime time this week is quite watchable again, which is relief. We have two matchups that will impact playoff seeding, one in each conference.

There are an alarmingly high amount of plays this week, so let’s get to the games.


Play Of The Week

We truly had multiple candidates for this slot this week, an it wasn’t the easiest one to pick out of the lineup, but the Jags are in the most favorable spot.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-7 at Jacksonville Jaguars 4-7

1PM EST

Opening Line: Jaguars -4.5 and 49
Current Line: Jaguars -1 and 48.5

I have been trying to wrap my head around this line movement and I just can’t understand it. Obviously, let’s go over the why of that statement. The Jaguars have had their struggles running the ball this year, and they want to, but there is simply no need for it in this matchup. The breakout campaign of Jags wide receiver DJ Chark will continue in this one against the league’s worst secondary that is scorched by every quarterback they face. The only true question is which pass catchers are the beneficiaries, but we have a very likely answer this week in Chark. On the other side of the ball, the Jags have been sound against the pass and shaky against the run, which is a strength vs strength matchup, and not an ideal spot for the interception king Jameis Winston. The 4.5 point opening line was much closer to correct and probably should have gone up instead of so very far down. Take the Jags for a home win that could very much turn into a route.

Betting Pick: Jags -1

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Green Bay Packers 8-3 at New York Giants 2-9

1PM EST

Opening Line: Packers -7.5 and 47.5
Current Line: Packers -6.5 and 45.5

It’s sound reasoning to think you’ve been exposed as fraudulent when one the league’s alleged high end teams is quickly bet to under a touchdown favorite against the Giants. The Packers were dismantled in all facets by the 49ers on Sunday night and their flaws were quite apparent. The Packer passing game is truly not high end at this juncture and the entire offense runs through the running backs. If the backs aren’t able to find early success, the offense generally stalls, particularly if playing from behind. That leaves this matchup as a bit of a toss up as the Giants are more susceptible to the pass than the run. The Giants offense is certainly not a high end one with Daniel Jones under center, despite a quite sound collection of skill position talent in place, headlined by Saquon Barkley. They have not fed Barkley of late and a steady dose of him in this matchup should keep it close, but we certainly can’t trust Shurmer to do the prudent thing. This is a game to stay away from as the records are deceiving and there’s not a huge amount of space between these two teams.

No Plays

Washington Redskins 2-9 at Carolina Panthers 5-6

1PM EST

Opening Line: Panthers -9 and 41
Current Line: Panthers -10 and 40

It’s somewhere between admirable and foolish that Redskins are still trying to make the Dwayne Haskins botched pick into something. I won’t rule out his future career but he is currently the worst quarterback taking snaps in the NFL by a wide margin. The Redskins won last week thanks to a special teams touchdown and were able to overcome Haskins 156 passing yard, two turnover performance against a Detroit team that struggled offensively. The Redskins will not have that luxury this week as Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore do their thing. This might sound like sensationalism but a two score lead on the Redskins is an insurmountable lead. The passing game is easily the league’s worst and putting them into a pass heavy situation will just see any deficit increase. Assuming Kyle Allen’s turnover hiccups have passed, the Panthers will absolutely roll in this one. The Panthers are truly in play to hit the total on their own with some late defensive takeaways. Take the home favorite with the tiny over here.

Betting Picks:
Panthers
-10
Over 40

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San Francisco 49ers 10-1 at Baltimore Ravens 9-2

1PM EST

Opening Line: Ravens -4.5 and 46
Current Line: Ravens -6 and 46

We get a perfectly timed matchup between a team from each conference that rolled in prime time last week, and from the public perspective, we could call this the people’s super bowl at the moment. The 49ers opponent last week was a much higher level one as the Packers are a division leader while the Rams have truly plummeted to a bottom 10 team in the league. The Ravens get home field in this one and but are on a short week. I have a lean in this game and it is admittedly a gut feel take and not one that can be truly quantified with statistical back up. The 49ers feed off of the underdog mentality and the idea that they’re disrespected. This point spread will certainly be ammunition for that mindset. This 49ers defense will be the third matchup against a truly high end unit the Ravens face this season. The first two were wins against Pittsburgh and New England, but the Pittsburgh game was close and the 49ers bring a different level of offensive effectiveness than the aforementioned two teams. This is absolutely the game of the week and I believe it will come down to the final possession. In a scenario like this, the six point underdog is extremely attractive and is absolutely a play.

Betting Pick:49ers +6

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Tennessee Titans 6-5 at Indianapolis Colts 6-5

1PM EST

Opening Line: Colts -3.5 and 42
Current Line: Colts -2.5 and 43.5

This is an incredibly key divisional matchup, particularly with the Texans drawing the Patriots this week. The winner of this game likely finds themselves on top of the division with the loser being third in the division with just a slim playoff hope remaining. Fantasy statistics aren’t generally indicative of team success, but there’s a notable one to be aware of with the Titans. Since Ryan Tannehill took over as the starting quarterback for the Titans five games ago, only Lamar Jackson has outscored him from a fantasy perspective. The team is 4-1 in that span, scoring at least 20 points in every single game and averaging 29.4 points per game. This is not a mirage. Competent quarterback play, buoyed by timely scrambles, has unlocked the offense as a whole and paved the way for running back Derrick Henry to regain the form he showed to close the 2018 season. Bluntly, the wrong team is favored in this matchup and the Colts aren’t going to be able to keep pace with the Titans. That felt as weird for me to type it as it did for you to read it, but it’s true. The Colts continue to be well coached but the roster currently has a bit of talent deficiency that will be remedied in future years, but doesn’t help their situation this season. The best hope for the Colts is a massive game for TY Hilton who has the best individual matchup, but is far from perfect health. Take the Titans for the outright win here, setting a scoring pace that will crush the total.

Betting Picks:
Titans
+2.5
Over 43.5

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Philadelphia Eagles 5-6 at Miami Dolphins 2-9

1PM EST

Opening Line: Eagles -7.5 and 46.5
Current Line: Eagles -9 and 45

The Eagles offense has been in dire need of a get right spot, and the Dolphins aren’t the easiest matchup they can find, but close enough. Carson Wentz has certainly had his share of difficulties with the patchwork wide receiving corps he’s been forced to work with, also not helped by imperfect offensive line play. They should be a bit healthier this week with Jordan Howard and Alshon Jeffrey returning to the field, and that should set a sound scoring pace in this one. The Dolphins currently employ the worst running back in the history of the league in Kalen Ballage, and they will be wholly unable to run the ball in this matchup. That is not an exaggeration and a total of 40 rushing yards for Miami backs would be a real upset. This game will be decided by Ryan Fitzpatrick and the wide receivers as they are where the onus of scoring will fall in a good matchup. The Eagles will score steadily on the overmatched Dolphins and the volume of passes from Fitzpatrick should get this over home comfortably. I believe the Eagles win but don’t want a play there at any spread over a touchdown.

Betting Pick: Over 45

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-7 at Jacksonville Jaguars 4-7

1PM EST

Opening Line: Jaguars -4.5 and 49
Current Line: Jaguars -1 and 48.5

I have been trying to wrap my head around this line movement and I just can’t understand it. Obviously, let’s go over the why of that statement. The Jaguars have had their struggles running the ball this year, and they want to, but there is simply no need for it in this matchup. The breakout campaign of Jags wide receiver DJ Chark will continue in this one against the league’s worst secondary that is scorched by every quarterback they face. The only true question is which pass catchers are the beneficiaries, but we have a very likely answer this week in Chark. On the other side of the ball, the Jags have been sound against the pass and shaky against the run, which is a strength vs strength matchup, and not an ideal spot for the interception king Jameis Winston. The 4.5 point opening line was much closer to correct and probably should have gone up instead of so very far down. Take the Jags for a home win that could very much turn into a route.

Betting Pick: Jags -1

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New York Jets 4-7 at Cincinnati Bengals 0-11

1PM EST

Opening Line: Jets -3.5 and 41
Current Line: Jets -3.5 and 40.5

In true Bengals fashion, they are going to attempt to win football games at 0-11 with a current stranglehold on the first overall pick in the 2020 draft. They are making the move back from inept rookie Ryan Finley to Andy Dalton at quarterback. This will help some when they are inevitably trailing and forced to throw more often but it is probably a net wash for the offense. The presence of Finley forced them to give the ball to their only difference maker on offense, Joe Mixon, more often, which will be dialed back now. That’s not wholly a bad thing in this matchup as the Jets are stout against the run and exploitable by the pass. On the other side of the ball, the Jets balanced attack has found its legs in this string of plus matchups, and they will keep the ball rolling this week. Le’Veon Bell is probably in for his best game of the season here. Ultimately the Jets will outpace the Bengals, but at a level where the over hits. Take the Jets and the over. If you have the option to buy the hook on the Jets down to 3, it would be prudent.

Betting Picks:
Jets -3.5
Over 40.4

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Cleveland Browns 5-6 at Pittsburgh Steelers 6-5

1PM EST

Opening Line: Steelers -3 and 40.5
Current Line: Browns -1.5 and 40.5

The rematch of the infamous helmet swing heard round the world. The Browns won that one with ease and the Steelers are currently playing at very different levels offensively and defensively. With make shift options at quarterback like Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges, and with James Conner still out, the Steeler offense is best labeled as a struggle. The defense is one of the league’s best and they will need their best performance of the season if they’re to hide this woeful offense. The Browns are obviously without their best player in Myles Garrett, but they figure to be able to hold down the Steeler offense in its current state. On offense, the Browns passing game is finding its rhythm and should be able to put up enough points to find the win. I definitely understand this line movement and it makes perfect sense. In fact, it probably moves more throughout the week. Take the Browns for the win.

Betting Pick: Browns -1.5

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Los Angeles Rams 6-5 at Arizona Cardinals 3-7-1

4:05 PM EST

Opening Line: Rams -3.5 and 47
Current Line: Rams -3 and 46.5

What a mess of a divisional matchup. The Rams have plummeted, and quarterback Jared Goff looks truly lost, but this matchup is one that could get him right. The Cardinals are much better at playing competitively than they are at winning football games and this game is truly a toss up. With all of the strong plays on the slate this week, I don’t want to spend too long on this one, as it is truly one to avoid.

No Plays

Oakland Raiders 6-5 at Kansas City Chiefs 7-4

4:25PM EST

Opening Line: Chiefs -8.5 and 54.5
Current Line: Chiefs -10 and 51.5

Bettors immediately hated the Raider offense in this one, moving their implied team total from 23.0 to 20.8. There is good reason for that as quarterback Derek Carr was bad enough to be puled from the game in last week’s blowout loss. This is a team with real limitations in the passing game and a propensity to be burned by deep passes. A matchup with Patrick Mahomes is about the worst thing for that combination as the Raiders continue to need to run and need a neutral or better game script to find success. The Chiefs are susceptible to the run and you can bet Gruden will do any and everything to find an early lead in this one. If he doesn’t, only Darren Waller (and arguably Tyrell Williams) are above replacement level as playmakers on offense and they could see this one get one from them. If they are able to run the ball and keep the early portion of this game neutral or better, being able to run will breed more running and more running and we will get a competitive game. In a favorite or pass spot, I think its best to sit out of this one.

No Plays

Los Angeles Chargers 4-7 at Denver Broncos 3-8

4:25PM EST

Opening Line: Broncos -1 and 38.5
Current Line: Chargers -2.5 and 38.5

If we were picking a word or term to describe this game, “lol” would be very at or near the top of the list. The struggles of Phillip Rivers, and in turn the Chargers as whole, particularly to close games has become so common its just a meme at this point. But, hear me out now, what if the Chargers are leading at the end of a game? I know right, mind blown! Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler should have their way against the Broncos and the Bronco offense remains absolutely pathetic without playmakers. The total is correct in this game, but I do think the ability gap is wide enough that the Chargers can ride a late lead to a win. This is a hold your nose play, but it is a play nonetheless.

Betting Pick: Chargers -2.5

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New England Patriots 10-1 at Houston Texans 7-4

8:20PM EST

Opening Line: Patriots -4.5 and 44.5
Current Line: Patriots -3 and 44.5

The Patriots continue to be an upgraded version of the Steelers, with their defense carrying the team and the banged up offense just barely getting by. Neither the passing game or running game is anything to write home about, and they will likely need Brady and co to step up this week, even if it’s just a couple long, sustained drives. The Texans aren’t an especially effective running team and their passing game strength mostly plays into the hands of the Pats strength on defense. I don’t expect many points on either side here, and this is an under or pass spot. With the amount of plays we have this week, I don’t want to force anything and think this is a pass spot.

No Plays

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks

8:15PM EST, Monday Night

Opening Line: Seahawks -3 and 49
Current Line: Seahawks -3 and 49

We get the Seahawks on Monday night, and if you’ve followed this column long enough, you know there’s a general rule with that team and their style of coaching. They purposely play close games, don’t really attempt to put teams away and can catch up if trailing because only then is when they unleash their next level passer, Russell Wilson. The above remains the perfect formula for the underdog on a weekly basis. The Vikings will get top pass catcher Adam Thielen back for this one and is in a spot to have a big game, in conjunction with weekly stud Dalvin Cook. This one will be a little bit more fun for viewing purposes than the one we have on Sunday night, and we are taking the dog in a tight game that can go either way, as long as its coming at a field goal or more.

Betting Pick: Vikings +3

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NBA Betting with TJ CalkinsTJ Calkins – NFL Expert

TJ Calkins was raised in a gambling loving household. He knew how to handicap horse races and follow line movements well before his tenth birthday.

 

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