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NFL betting tips: Best bets for NFL Week 13

Leigh Copson 29 Nov 2018
Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles (credit:Credit by bettingpro)

NFL predictions for Week 13 of the 2018 NFL season. Can the New Orleans Saints extend their 10-game win streak on Thursday Night Football, and who will win the crucial NFC East showdown between the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys (Friday 01:20 GMT)

There is no hotter team in the NFL right now than the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees & Co. are riding a league-best 10-game win streak that has them in a battle with the Los Angeles Rams for the number one seeding and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to see where this run will end. The Saints are heading out on the road on Thursday for the first of three consecutive games away from the Superdome, and they go into this three-game sequence in devastating form having out-scored their last three opponents 130-38. Awaiting them are a Dallas Cowboys team that have reignited their post-season push by winning three straight games, but even though they are the home team it is hard to have much confidence in them being the team to end New Orleans’ rampant run. The Saints boast an excellent run defense that should slow down Ezekiel Elliott and when that happens they will force Dak Prescott to win the game with his arm. Now, Prescott is hardly a terrible quarterback, but when it comes to shootout very few people can, and have, got the better of Brees. Ryan Fitzpatrick surprisingly did it earlier this season, but Tampa Bay still needed 44 points to get the job done because Brees and his offense stuck 40 on the scoreboard. Prescott and this Dallas offense should put some points on the board here, but they simply cannot match or better the level of firepower that this New Orleans offense has, so I have to expect a comfortable victory for the Saints here. We should see at least 53 points too – after all, games involving New Orleans this season have produced an average of 60 points per game, with the Saints averaging 37 per outing.

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans (Sunday 18:00 GMT)

There are not many teams hotter than Houston heading into Sunday – but will this be unlucky Week 13 for the Texans? Bill O’Brien’s team made it eight straight wins last weekend as the cruised to victory against a Tennessee team that recently wiped the floor with New England, and they will now be aiming to make it nine-in-a-row against a Cleveland team that may have finally turned the corner with Baker Mayfield leading the charge on offense. The Browns were able to follow up the Week 10 win over Atlanta with a superb 35-20 road win over the Bengals in Cincinnati that saw Mayfield throw for 258 yards and four touchdowns, and while those two teams hardly rank among the best in the NFL those wins are huge for a Cleveland team that did not muster one solitary win last season. The Browns now stand at 4-6-1 and you would be forgiven for fancying them to spring an upset over the Texans here – but I expect them to be brought back down to Earth. The addition of Demaryius Thomas before the trade deadline looks to have been a very smart move because Deshaun Watson now has other targets to aim for aside from DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. Thomas hauled in a couple of picks in the win over the Titans last time out, but it was not all about the passing game because the trio of Watson, Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue racked up 281 yards rushing between them to carry the Texans to victory. Of course, they also received plenty of help from a talented Houston defensive that should cause plenty of problems for Mayfield on Sunday, so while the Browns no longer appear to be the whipping boys of the NFL, I do expect defeat number seven for the season to come here. Do not be surprised if Cleveland run their hosts close though.

Minnesota Vikings at New England Patriots (Sunday 21:25 GMT)

Minnesota went into last weekend’s massive NFC North showdown with Green Bay in need a victory following the Week 11 defeat in Chicago, and they got it thanks to a strong showing from quarterback Kirk Cousins with the aid of wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Cousins lit up the Green Bay secondary for 342 yards and three touchdowns – the perfect response to his poor showing at Soldier Field – and he will need to be on top of his game this weekend too because the Vikings really do need a victory at Gillette Stadium if they are to keep the Bears within touching distance in the division. But having bettered Aaron Rodgers last time out, can Cousins now get the better of Tom Brady? New England have won seven of their last eight games to take control of the AFC East, but it has hardly been convincing stuff from Brady & Co. in recent weeks. They were hammered by the Tennessee Titans before making hard work of last weekend’s win over the New York Jets, so they will be thankful to have the comforts of home for this meeting with Minnesota on Sunday. The Patriots are 5-0 at home this season and they are facing a Vikings team that have been a mixed bag on their travels, going 2-2-1. If the Vikings perform how they did against Green Bay that stand a chance of leaving with the ‘W’ on Sunday, but this is Brady and the Patriots at home and it is not often wise to take them on when they are in action at Gillette Stadium. I did that earlier in the season when they took on Kansas City and it backfired as they edged an 83-point shootout, 43-40. This is likely to be a close game, but once again New England will find a way to get the job done.

Los Angeles Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers (Monday 01:20 GMT)

Kansas City have rightly received plenty of hype for their efforts this season, but it would be wrong to overlook the Los Angeles Chargers right now. Their response to the heart-breaking loss to Denver was an emphatic blowout of Arizona last Sunday, and in that matchup quarterback Philip Rivers was in record-setting form as he set a new standard for consecutive completions in single game while going 28 of 29 for 259 yards and three touchdowns. It was stunning stuff from Rivers, who also got plenty of help in the ground game from Melvin Gordon and Justin Jackson, and that 45-10 victory means they are now just one game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West, with the two teams set to head-to-head in a massive Thursday night matchup in Week 15. So can they keep the heat on KC with an important win in Pittsburgh? The Steelers are heading up the AFC North thanks to a 7-3-1 record, but they have been stumbling ever since that 52-21 destruction of Carolina in Week 10. They needed a last-gasp fightback to scrape past a poor Jacksonville team in Week 11, and in Week 12 they saw Ben Roethlisberger’s miserable Mile High form continue as he threw his second interception of the game late on to hand Denver a 24-17 victory and hand Baltimore a big boost in their pursuit of Pittsburgh in the division. The Steelers need to issue a response here and they will be happy to be back on home turf after playing three of their last four games on the road, but their record at Heinz Field has not been great with two defeats coming in five outings and they have to be alarmed by James Conner’s sudden slump in form at running back. They desperately need Conner to be on top of his game to limit the amount of time Chargers QB Rivers has with the football, because the more he has it the more damage he is likely to do. That is why I fancy Los Angeles for the upset here – Rivers is in excellent form right now and this is a Chargers offense that can get the job done on the ground and through the air. They also boast one of the more underrated units in the league having given up more than 20 points in only one of their last seven games, so if they can keep Conners in check here I like the chances of Rivers outduelling Roethlisberger on route to victory.

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (Tuesday 01:15 GMT)

Another week, another massive NFC East game. The division was thrown wide open when Washington lost Alex Smith to a horrific season-ending injury back in Week 11, and since their starting quarterback went down the Redskins have gone 0-2, losing to Houston and division rivals Dallas. That Thanksgiving Day loss to the Cowboys allowed Dallas to claim top spot in the division, but the Redskins are also 6-5 like the Texas franchise so they are by no means out of it. They need a victory here though, because their opponents for Monday Night Football are a Philadelphia Eagles team that are still in the mix after improving to 5-6 thanks to a vital win over the New York Giants at the weekend. The defending Super Bowl champions’ 2018 hangover looked set to continue as they fell 19-3 behind in the second quarter against the Giants, but New York got away from what made them successful in the first half as they overlooked Saquon Barkley after the break, and Philadelphia took full advantage to come storming back and win it with a 43-yard field goal with just 22 seconds on the clock. That was a ‘must-win’ outing for the Eagles and the same has to be said about this matchup too – but who should we go with here? Washington did show some life in that loss to Dallas and Colt McCoy did toss a couple of touchdown passes as he put up 268 yards through the air, but he also threw three picks in that one and while this Philly secondary is woeful, the Redskins’ stand-in signal-caller could provide them with opportunities to enjoy a decent night at the office. His opposite number Wentz, meanwhile, bounced back from that three-pick horror-show against the Saints to play a clean game against the Giants at the weekend, and when it comes to the battle of QBs I have to go with the Eagles’ starter over the Redskins’ backup. It is likely to be a close game – they tend to be in the NFC East – but Philly should come out on top and give their post-season push another big boost.

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NFL betting tips: Best bets for NFL Week 13

NFL predictions for Week 13 of the 2018 NFL season.

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