Early leans & analysis Wk 13
Early leans & analysis Wk 13

Posted Friday at 4:00 pm EST - odds are subject to change.

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NFL Week: 13

What you see below is our early leans. Many of the selections below will stay the same and some will be moved into official plays with wagers on Sunday. However, there is the possibility that we see, read or get a sense that something is not right with one of our selections and change our pick. There are several different criteria we use to grade a game and make it an official play and a lot of things can happen or change between Friday and Sunday. We’ll have all write-ups (except Monday Night Football) posted on Friday but our actual wagers won’t be posted until Sunday morning between 10 AM and 12:00 PM EST.

Sunday, December 3

Washington +9 over Miami

1:00 PM EST. Anyone out here watch the Dolphins/Jets last Friday afternoon while your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend went shopping? In the NFL’s first Black Friday game, the Dolphins entered MetLife Stadium and steamrolled the Jets. New York had a pick-six and another interception before halftime, and it looked like this game would be close. Instead, the Jets threw a Hail Mary attempt, and Miami took it 99 yards for a touchdown before halftime. Miami ended the day with 395 yards of offense, and they held the Jets to 159 total yards of offense. The Commanders went into Arlington and were destroyed 45-10 by the Cowboys, and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was subsequently fired. The previous week, Washington was humiliated in a loss to the Giants when it appeared like the Giants were the NFL’s worst team. Now we have Washington and their rock bottom stock taking on the quickest show on turf --- the high flying, whoop it up Dolphins. 


For at least two straight weeks, the Commanders have been putrid in their play calling, execution, game

management, and overall play. Overall Washington has one win in its last six games, which came against the just removed/banned from Monday Night Football, New England Patriots. Perhaps the Panthers’ stock is lower than Washington’s but it’s close. Losing 45-10 in Dallas in the much-watched Thanksgiving game was exactly what the Commanders did not need. HC Ron Rivera sacrificed his defensive coordinator because something had to be done, but he is on a hot seat with new owners and is on a three-game losing streak. There is a bye in Week 14, and Rivera may not want to pick up that ringing phone. Ron Rivera will be calling defensive plays this week. 


Last week the market feasted on a schedule that paid for a lot of Christmas presents. The books got buried in teasers and had to protect against a similar fate this week. Yeash, Miami should roll this team but don’t bet on it because in terms of checking boxes for all the proper ways to handicap a football game, Washington checks every box. If we didn’t know better, we would predict a 70-3 Miami victory but we know better and thus, Washington now becomes one of the best bets on the board this week because the market has grossly over-adjusted to what their eyes are telling them. An upset is very possible while a cover is highly probable. Recommendation: Washington +9   


Detroit -4 over New Orleans

1:00 PM EST. It felt like every NFL fan in the world was cheering for the upstart Detroit Lions in the Thanksgiving opener, except Packers’ fans of course. Likely feeling the newfound pressure of being considered one of the elite NFC contenders, the Lions stumbled. Green Bay came out on fire, surgically moving the ball downfield and capitalizing off an early Jared Goff turnover. The game fell over early, despite Detroit’s efforts to rally a comeback. In any case, last week’s failure doesn’t affect our power ratings or perception on Dan Campbell’s team. The Lions have been playing consistently well all season, except for some defensive hiccups here and there, and we expect them to answer the call this Sunday against a team that we’re trusting less with each passing week.


Somehow someway the New Orleans Saints find ways to blow games. Last week they gained 444 total yards, they’re best output of the season, but they could only muster 15 points from it. More turnovers, more bad play-calls and bad execution in the red-zone (0-5), more clumsy happenings on third down (6-14) – it happens in various ways but the fact of the matter is that New Orleans simply can’t get out of their own way. Derek Carr is visibly upset every week, and we’re not sure Dennis Allen has the chops to remedy the situation. His defense is good, but they’re not good enough to overcome the Saints’ many in-game flops. This is a situation reminiscent of what’s happening to the L.A. Chargers, and it suggests serious leadership problems.


New Orleans is talented, but this is a major coaching mismatch. Dan Campbell is already one of the great motivators at head coach. At 8-3, the Lions can’t afford to lose another game if they still want a shot at the NFC’s #1 seed. With Philly’s agonizingly tough schedule ahead, they might still get their shot. Meanwhile, the lack of chemistry between Dennis Allen and the Saints’ offense has created a cyclically disappointing operation. That’s not something we can get behind. Over a field-goal for a road-favorite, even one as good as Detroit, is never easy to wager on, but we simply can’t wager on the hyper-flawed Saints. Recommendation: Detroit -4


Arizona +5½ over Pittsburgh

1:00 PM EST. In an instant Kenny Pickett and the Steelers’ offense looked worlds better without former OC, Matt Canada. Picket seemed more confident, leading an offense that, dare I say, finally had an explosive component to it. Pickett averaged 7.7 yards per pass and the Pittsburgh offense eclipsed 400 yards for the first time in their last 58 games. While they barely eked by the Bengals in points (16-10), the black and yellow dominated Cincinnati for the majority of the contest. Some red-zone woes (1-4) were less than impressive, but overall the Steelers were more fluid and certainly more productive than what we’re used to seeing. Their defense was predictably effective against a Burrow-less Bengals’ offense, holding them to 222 yards and sacking Jake Browning four times. 


Just three weeks ago Kyler Murray returned and led the Cardinals to a comeback victory against the Falcons at home, an appropriate comeback-game for a former #1 pick. Now that feels like a distant memory. Arizona looks as mediocre as ever the last two weeks, getting dominated on both sides of the field for large stretches. Murray is struggling to ignite an offense with underwhelming talent all while he’s still readjusting to his starting role. Jonathan Gannon may be a good coach for seasons to come but the Arizona-defense hasn’t benefited from his legacy. They’re undisciplined and often porous against high-level QBs. 


The Steelers’ offense may be improved, but a one-week sample size doesn’t change a full season of evidence that it has its setbacks. Matt Canada or no Matt Canada. The Steelers are 3-1 ATS as a favorite but they’ve never been given more than 3-points. Frankly it feels like sharps and oddsmakers are overcorrecting this line, granting too much steam to the favorite in what could very well be a let down spot. Kyler Murray is still a playmaker, and at this point he’s fighting for his reputation and career. It’s gross, but it’s Cardinals or nothing. Recommendation: Arizona +5½ 


New England +5 -103 over L.A. Chargers

1:00 PM EST. The Chargers have problems, no doubt, but compared to the Patriots in their current form, Los Angeles looks to be in a favorable position to “get right” after losing its third game in a row last week at Baltimore. The other two games the Chargers lost in that time were a road game in Green Bay and a “home” game with the Lions in which it looked like half of Detroit was in SoFi Stadium to cheer their team, so they are losses that are easier to forgive than losses to total dregs. Perhaps if the Chargers were playing just about anyone else, they’d be a team that could be considered undervalued or under the radar after a three-game losing streak, but they draw a Patriots team that cannot move the ball five yards and cannot stop anybody.


This is the first season in which Monday Night Football has been able to “flex” its muscle and change unappealing late-season matchups from its slate. When the schedule is made in the offseason, the brass at the NFL has the best of intentions for their television partners in that they try to schedule high-profile players and teams all along the way, especially on Sunday and Monday nights. When looking at the MNF schedule, you can see that there were the best of intentions with games like the Packers and Giants in Week 14 or even the Bears and Vikings last week, but players get injured, and stuff happens throughout a long season. Hell, stuff can happen four plays into a season; just ask Aaron Rodgers and the Jets, who have had plenty of exposure with the idea that #8 would be at the helm.


That brings us to the Week 15 matchup between the Patriots and the Chiefs, which even with New England down, isn’t all that offensive when you consider the upside that Kansas City brings to the table with Patrick Mahomes and company. However, ESPN said, you know what, we’re going to pass on Mr. Taylor Swift and all the eyes that would bring and we’re going to make the Patriots the first team to be so awful that they get the honor of being the “F-side” in the first MNF to get wiped off the schedule. Do you know how bad you have to be when you consider all of the attention (ala eyeballs) that having a potential Swift sighting will bring from her legions of followers? It’s incredible when you think about it. Ratings are all that matter, and The World Wide Leader took a pass because nobody wants to see Mac Jones on their televisions.


The Patriots have lost seven of their last eight games, and the plight of Jones or Bailey Zappe or whoever the Pats play at pivot is well-publicized. “Super Genius” Bill Belichick waited until game time to name his starter last week in an attempt to catch the Giants off guard. Either that, or he really didn’t know what to do; either way, the talking heads have had their fun with “BB” after Jones put up 89 yards in the first half, and Zappe put up 54 in the second. This week, it was more of the same from Belichick, as neither Zappe nor Jones has been named the starter, not that it really matters. We’ll also note that the Pats have not covered a game in over a month, and they’ve cashed just two tickets on the entire season. If this isn’t rock bottom, we don’t know what is, and it’s at rock bottom you’ll usually find us “buying low” on teams like the Patriots Recommendation: New England +5


Tennessee +1 over Indianapolis

1:00 PM EST. The Colts are on a three-game winning streak, both in the standings and where it matters most, at the pay window. Indianapolis is now 6-4, which is good enough to have the Colts "in contention" when it comes to playoffs, as they currently sit in the #7 position. As for their AFC South standing, Indy is two full games back of the Jaguars, and they do not play Jacksonville anymore this season after going 0-2 versus the Jags games in Week 1 and Week 6. Regardless, recent form is what has the greatest influence more often than not, and to that point, the Colts have been paying out like a broken slot machine with a tidy 7-4 record Against the Spread with three straight covers. 


If you thought this is the part where we would pick apart the Colts' three-game winning streak, you'd be right, as those wins and covers have come against three of the weakest teams in the NFL. Last week, the Colts knocked off the Buccaneers, who have one of the worst defenses in football, 27-20. Prior to their bye in Week 11, the Colts played an ugly 10-6 game with the Patriots in Germany, but ugly as it was, Indy still covered. Finally, the game that got the ball rolling on this recent run of success was a roaring 27-13 roasting of the now 1-10 Carolina Panthers. For the record, the Bucs are ranked 22nd in the power rankings, the Patriots 27th, and the Panthers 31st. There is not one quality win among that lot. Oh, by the way, the Colts are ranked 24th, and they've played a weak schedule that ranks just 28th in difficulty.


Enter the Titans, who are going through a makeover after benching former starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill in favor of rookie Will Levis. The Titans are 4-7, and they are not going anywhere, but that does not mean they will lack motivation down the stretch, especially when there is an opportunity to rain on the parade of a division rival. Whether or not the Colts will make the playoffs will not be decided this week, but the Titans can make things a lot more messy with a win. Furthermore, it's not like the oddsmakers don't think that Tennessee has a chance, as the line in this game is pretty much a coin flip. The play here is the Titans or nothing, as the Colts stock in the market is at a season high, making it time to sell. Recommendation: Tennessee +1


Houston -3½ over Denver

1:00 PM EST. The Broncos have engineered the most significant turnaround story so far this season, as they've won five straight games after starting the season 1-5. The pundits have been gushing about the job that head coach Sean Payton has done to steady the ship, turning the Broncos into a "ball control" offense that "doesn't make mistakes." Those are nice talking points, but not turning the ball over is not an offensive system with any sort of sustainability or reliability over time. If "not turning the ball over" were an offensive system, every team in this league would run it. Let's not forget that this is the same team that gave up 70 points to the Dolphins and lost to both the Jets and Commanders earlier this season.


The Broncos just beat the Browns in a game where they limited Cleveland to just 269 yards of offense, but let's get real; what did anyone really expect backup quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson to do in place of the injured Deshaun Watson? We've also seen the point made that the Broncos put up 29 points against one of the best defenses in the NFL, but that defense is severely underserved when the offense loses its starting QB, and anyone can have a bad day at the office. It's also worth noting the Browns suffered multiple significant injuries in that game including Thompson-Robinson, Amari Cooper and Myles Garrett.


The Broncos' five wins, which include four covers, look good on paper, as Cleveland, Minnesota, Buffalo, Kansas City, and Green Bay all have some market standing, but in reality, two of those wins came against backup QBs (Browns and Vikings), while the Bills are a total disaster with the Packers not far behind. The only "good" win was their drubbing of the Chiefs, and full credit for it, but one win does not make a season, and when it's surrounded by four others, it leaves the Broncos overvalued.


The Texans bring a top-10 offense and the NFL's leading Rookie of the Year candidate (and it's not close) CJ Stroud to the table here, but Houston is not getting the love this week like it was last week after losing a tough luck game to the Jaguars. Disappointing as it was, there is value in the fact that Stroud put his team into a position to win after going down by double digits a couple of times in that game. Not only was Stroud good last week, but he's done it week in and week out this season, and while this play would be a fade on the overachieving Broncos, we have no hesitation in getting behind C.J. and the Texans, a team and QB combo that has proven its reliability many times this season already.


To summarize, the Broncos are one of the hottest teams in football, and now they are taking back better than a field goal against a Texans side that, while improved and winning games, is just 1-4 Against the Spread over their last five games, while the Broncos are 4-1 ATS across that same time. To the uninclined, that "hook" on a "key number" like three is going to look tempting, but we know better. The oddsmakers do not trust the Broncos in this spot, and they are begging the market ride the hot but very misleading hand. Broncos are fraudlent, Texans are not. Recommendation: Houston -3½


San Francisco -3 over Philadelphia

4:25 PM EST. Almost as soon as the spread came out on this big NFC showdown, the number moved from San Francisco +1 to -1.5 within an hour. Now it sits at -3, for good reason. We could go over all the statistics you already know about these two elite teams, but that’s not what this handicap is about. Of course both teams are among the best not only in their conference, they’re each in the top-3 favorites in current futures-markets to take home the Lombardi Trophy. The difference in Sunday’s matchup is that one team is due for considerable negative regression, while the other outfit is at the height of their powers and seeking revenge. We’d prefer the latter.


The Philadelphia Eagles have been outgained by at least 98 yards per game in four straight wins. In short, their defense has been a problem. Philadelphia is likely feeling the burden of facing one high-level offense after another, probably a big reason why they’ve allowed 430 yards per game the last four weeks. Regardless, Jalen Hurts has been impeccable down the stretch of every game, willing his team to win no matter the situation. Last week was the height of their luck, since Philly benefitted from a massive disparity in penalties and penalty yards. Buffalo outgained Philly for 200+ yards for the majority of the contest, but more late-game heroics from Hurts and his offense made it happen for another W. It’s unlikely they’ll get the same comeback opportunity this weekend, against a San Francisco team that looks just as scary as it did before its big win against Dallas in Week 5. 


Brock Purdy has been perfect in three wins since the 49ers’ bye week, leading his offense to 31 points per game against three good defenses (JAX, TB, SEA). San Francisco’s star left tackle and arguably the best offensive lineman in the NFL, Trent Williams, has been a difference maker since he returned from injury several weeks back, and the offense is healthy all-around heading into Sunday. You know the gang– Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Greg Kittle– all at the top of their game heading into this Sunday. We imagine Kyle Shanahan is dying to unleash his most creative play-calls, too.


San Francisco will undoubtedly have extra motivation after they lost to Philly last year in the NFC title game, a matchup where they had no quarterback for three quarters, but that’s not the only reason why SF should have the edge here. In all aspects of football, the Niners are a well-oiled machine right now. We can’t say the same about Philly. The Birds also have Dallas on deck in an NFC East showdown at AT&T Stadium in Week 14, and they’re a little banged up. Star defensive lineman Fletcher Cox, a team leader for many years and key cog in Philly’s ultra-intimidating D-line, could sit as he recovers from a groin injury. Not to mention, every opponent– from Washington to Miami to Dallas to Kansas City and Buffalo– has given the Eagles their max-effort in recent weeks. Aka, the Birds got to be tired of constantly fending off motivated teams. This is an ideal confluence of factors for a team that, unlike the other squads Philly has faced, is too talented and too poised to drop the ball when given an opportunity. There’s a reason this line steamed up in San Fran’s favor within minutes, and it’s the only side to look this Sunday. Recommendation: San Francisco -3


Carolina +5 over Tampa Bay

4:05 PM EST. The Panthers are a mess this season, and at 1-10, rather than wait for the end of the season, the team has fired head coach Frank Reich. Reich was in just his first year in Carolina, but he is the fourth head coach owner David Tepper has fired since taking over the team in 2018. Special teams coach Chris Tabor takes over, presumably for the rest of the year, and his reputation within the Panthers organization is in high standing. The players have said that he ran the most organized and prepared meeting of all their coaches, and he’s got the right attitude about this interim job, "You can't overhaul everything, but I think you can do some things, and we'll work on that." By the way, the Panthers, who might pick first in the NFL draft, do not own their pick, as they traded it to Chicago in the trade that allowed Carolina to draft Bryce Young last spring.


Meanwhile, the Buccaneers aren’t exactly setting the world ablaze, but they are not a flaming dumpster fire, at least not compared to the Panthers. That said, Tampa has its own problems, but the NFC South is so pathetic that at 4-7, the Bucs are just one game back of both the Saints and Falcons for tops in that division. Those three teams are going to play the “Hunger Games” for the next two months, and inevitably the NFC South is going to send a sub .500 team to the playoffs, but the Bucs are going to be in tough to be the team left standing, as they rank just 27th in total defense, which has them hanging around with the likes of the Cardinals, Giants, and Commanders, which are three teams that are most definitely not going to the playoffs.


As for the struggles of Panthers rookie pivot Young, the Tampa pass defense just might be what he needs to see the game in real-time, as that unit is second in futility only to the Chargers. The Bucs give up 267.8 passing yards per game, and it’s worth noting that the entire defense ranks in the top 10 (eighth) in positive turnover rate at +5. Now, the talking heads will eat that up and pump up a defense that generates turnovers, but the reality is that those turnovers are luck-based and they prop up a unit that is actually worse than it would be without a bit of luck on its side.


The idea of giving a head coach time to cook in this league is long dead, and there will be no Mike Tomlin’s, Andy Reid’s, and Pete Carroll’s once those long-tenured coaches move on. Frank Reich is the second head coach to be fired in the middle of this 2023 season, as the equally dysfunctional Raiders sent Josh McDaniels packing on November 1st and handed the reins to former star linebacker Antonio Pierce. Pearce led the Raiders with that new car smell to a win in his first game, which is something that SiriusXM NFL Radio host and former coach Charlie Weiss predicted. Weiss talked about what it’s like for the players when a coach is fired. It’s like opening a window and letting the fresh air in. It feels good, and those that are left to play have a chip on their shoulder.


To close, we are going to focus on the 4-1 run the Bucs have gone on Against the Spread (ATS) in their last five games. In this market, cashing tickets is what wins the day above all else, and the Bucs have been reliable, and when compared to the Panthers who have made just one trip to the pay window this season, Tampa looks like world beaters. However, you are going to pay a premium to back the Bucs here. For some perspective, the Bucs were favored just once over their last five games when they were -2½-point chalk at home to the Titans in Week 10. Furthermore, the Bucs have only been favored two other times this season when they were -1 over the Bears (-1) at home in Tampa in Week 2, and Week 7 at home to the Falcons (-3). The point is, the Buccaneers are not a team that can be trusted to spot nearly a touchdown to a division rival, even one that appears to be as down and out as the Panthers, who just might be at their most dangerous in this spot.

 Recommendation: Carolina +5


N.Y. Jets +2½ over Atlanta

1:00 PM EST. Week 12 was a week in which the market feasted, and if not for the egg laid by the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football, Week 12, 2023, would have been the best week for favorites in the Super Bowl Era. Heading into MNF, the favorites were 12-3, with high-profile games on Thanksgiving afternoon and evening and the first-ever Black Friday game easily going the way of those laying the lumber. After the Packers upset the Lions in the early game, the Cowboys ran roughshod over the Commanders, 45-10, covering that game easily as a 13½-point chalk. Then, in the nightcap, the 49ers went into Seattle and dummied the Seahawks to the tune of 31-13, which was another easy cover as a 7-point favorite.


Enter the New York Jets, who not to be outdone, were mollywhopped on Black Friday, 34-13 by the Dolphins in a game that Gang Green was a +9½-point pooch. The best anyone could say about the Jets in that standalone game on the busiest shopping day of the season is that they hung around for a half (almost), trailing 10-6 with 58 seconds to play in the first half, but a 99-yard Jevon Holland interception return for a touchdown with 0:00 on the clock took any air out of the Jets' tires, as New York went into the locker room down 17-6. It was a game-killing play that the Jets could not and would not recover from.


With that loss, New York has dropped four games in a row, which ties them for the longest current drought in the NFL. Losing is bad, but if the Jets were cashing tickets, the market would shrug that off, but they are not. Gang Green is 0-4 Against the Spread during this winless run, and the games have not been close, including a 32-6 beatdown in Buffalo in Week 11 and a 27-6 drubbing by the Chargers on Monday Night Football in Week 9. That's three swift-ass kickings, two of which were seen by the masses in standalone games.


Unlike the Jets, who with Aaron Rodgers had high expectations and hefty exposure to the market, the Falcons were not expected to do anything, so their warts have not only not been on display, but they play in Atlanta, where nobody is going to bother them for being awful, at least not like they do in New York. The Dirty Birds are 5-6, but because they play in the weak NFC South, they are in the driver’s seat for the division lead and currently hold the #4 seed in the NFC. Neither of those two things is likely to last with the Saints and Buccaneers both in the mix, but at the moment, the Falcons are getting some chatter.


A big reason for that is that Atlanta beat the Saints last Sunday, 24-15, to give themselves the tiebreaker over New Orleans, who also sports a 5-6 record. Wins are nice, but those five wins are pumped up by a 3-0 mark against NFC South foes. When playing anyone outside of their division, the Falcons are just 2-6. We get the Jets are down, but they are not so down that a team as weak as Atlanta should be favored on the road, and we have the data to back that up. The Falcons were -2 at Arizona and lost that game outright 25-23, and they were a -2½-point favorite at Tennessee, a game the Dirty Birds also lost outright. As tough as it is to bet the Jets, it appears as though the Falcons might be the sucker bet of teh week. Recommendation: N.Y. Jets +2½


Cleveland +4 over L.A. Rams

4:25 PM EST. The Browns are likely to turn to veteran Joe Flacco to start under center in this game, as newly minted starter Dorian Thompson-Robinson remains in concussion protocol after getting sacked four times by the Broncos in Cleveland’s 29-12 loss last Sunday. Thompson-Robinson was not the only Browns player of significance to be forced out of that game with Denver, as top wide receiver Amari Cooper, franchise pass rusher Myles Garrett, and defensive end Joran Elliot were also injured.


If that weren’t enough, the Browns could also be without star cornerback Denzel Ward, safety Juan Thornhill, and runner Kareem Hunt, as all missed practice this week with various ailments. If there was any good news to come out of the Cleveland infirmary, it’s that Garrett has no structural damage to his shoulder and is considered to be day-to-day. The Browns did not travel home from Denver last week and instead decided to stay out west and focus on this game with the Rams.


By contrast, the Rams are getting healthy, or at least healthier, as both quarterback Matthew Stafford and star WR Cooper Kupp are back in the lineup. Under Stafford, the Rams have managed to win their last two games, bringing their record to 5-6. Last Sunday in a win over the Cardinals, Stafford threw for a season-high four majors, as the Rams easily covered that game as a modest -1-point favorite.


It’s nearly impossible to break down the Rams season because of their many injuries to start players, so we are instead going to focus on just how this team can go from a -1-point favorite last week to the lowly Cardinals to spotting a field goal more to the Browns, even with their injury problems and Joe Flacco starting at QB. Do the Browns resemble “The Walking Dead?” Sure, but this is not news and the oddsmakers do not care. If they did, they would not post a number, but they did. This game is a classic “buy low, sell high” situation, where the only play that can be made is on the Brownies. There might not be a team with a bigger chip on its shoulder this week than Cleveland after the naysayers have come out of the woods to write off their season. Recommendation: Cleveland +4


Green Bay +6 over Kansas City

8:20 PM EST. The Kansas City Chiefs found a second-gear last weekend and ultimately annihilated the upstart Raiders in Vegas. After falling behind 0-14 early, their offense finally found a rhythm and more importantly, found ways to put up points in the second half, outsourcing Vegas 17-3 in the final two quarters. Patrick Mahomes was stellar as usual (27/34, 298 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs), and the KC defense kept the Raiders to only 113 yards in the second half after allowing 245 in the first. We loved what we saw from the Chiefs, who seem hyper-focused on the #1 seed in the AFC once again. Few teams are as elite in December, but we also hate this spot for Andy Reid’s team. 


The Chiefs haven’t had an easy schedule as of late. In early November they flew out to Germany only a few days after Mahomes recovered from the flu, then they returned home after a bye and hosted the Eagles at home (a loss), then 6 days later they had to muster a comeback effort against a feisty opponent in their division, and after Sunday Night Football they’ll host the ultra-desperate Bills next Sunday. 


Week 13 marks Patrick Mahomes first time at Lambeau Field. He won’t be going toe to toe with Aaron Rodgers, but Mahomes and his colleagues have to contend with a Packers’ squad that’s improving every week. Green Bay has won three of its last four games and it could have easily been four straight (they outgained the Steelers in Pittsburgh but an unfortunate tipped-ball-turned interception ended Jordan Love’s game-winning TD drive). Jordan Love has been sensational. In November he threw for an average of 276.8 pass yards, a 66% completion percentage, and 8.1 yards per pass. He’s also tossed 8 TDs and only 2 INTs in the same span. 


On Thanksgiving he shocked the football-world by aggressively attacking the Lions’ secondary with impressive accuracy, throwing lasers up and down the field and gaining an early lead. Ultimately it was too much for Detroit to overcome, and now Green Bay has renewed energy and a shot at the NFC playoffs. With a defense that’s playing hard and forcing opposing offenses off the field (opposing offenses are just 23-56, 41%, on third down conversions in GB’s last four games), motivation will be high for the Pack at home. 


The Chiefs are never an easy out, but the Packers are coming off 10 days of rest and they have no lookahead (Week 14 they’re at MetLife Stadium against the pitiful Giants on MNF). There’s no way we can take KC at an inflated number, especially as road chalk. Recommendation: Green Bay +6

Our Pick

Early leans & analysis Wk 13 (Risking 0 units - To Win: 0.00)