Co-Host of THE HERD and FOX Sports Betting Analyst
NFL Week 13 is here, headlined by the highly-anticipated rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game.
Yes, you read that correctly. In an early holiday present, the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles will meet in a contest that very well may contain the winner of Super Bowl LVIII — if Vegas is to be believed.
Elsewhere on the docket, we have an interesting matchup in Pittsburgh, where the Arizona Cardinals will be visiting with an eye on concocting a victory amid many injuries. Can this hobbled squad get their first win against the AFC North this season?
I went 4-0 last week on my outright picks, bringing my season total to 38-25-1.
Let’s keep this thing rolling!
Without further ado, here are my best bets for Week 13.
(All times ET)
49ers @ Eagles (4:25 p.m. Sunday, FOX and FOX Sports app)
I’ve been ranting about this game since the line came out, and I’ve bet San Francisco all week. When they were -1, -1.5, -2, and -2.5. I’m passing at the key number of 3.
The 49ers have had this game circled for months after the NFC title game loss when Brock Purdy left in the first quarter with an arm injury. They’re healthy and have been dominating since that unlucky three-game skid that included a missed FG at the horn in Cleveland and injuries to Purdy (concussion), Trent Williams and Deebo Samuel the following two weeks.
San Francisco 49ers
The Eagles have been outgained by 100+ yards in the last four games and fell into deep holes the last two weeks only to have Jalen Hurts rally them to improbable victories.
After the MNF win in Kansas City, they had a short week to prepare for Buffalo, in which the defense was on the field for 92 plays in an overtime win.
It would not surprise me at all if San Francisco jumped to an early lead and choked out Philly by two touchdowns.
PICK: San Francisco (-2.5) to win by more than 2.5 points
PICK: San Francisco 1st half moneyline (-148)
PICK: San Francisco TT Over 24.5 points
Will Brock Purdy, 49ers overwhelm Jalen Hurts, Eagles?
Cardinals @ Steelers (1 p.m. Sunday, CBS)
For reasons I can’t fully explain, I can’t quit the Steelers.
This is exactly the spot Mike Tomlin struggles in — home favorite against a bad team — and Pittsburgh has a short week before a game against the hated New England Patriots on Thursday.
If the Steelers are up two touchdowns in the second, does Tomlin pull in the oars and hope he can just coast to victory?
Arizona is struggling with injuries to wide receivers Michael Wilson and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. In addition, tight end Trey McBride missed practice Wednesday, and it’s unclear if he will play.
The Steelers defense gets a boost with All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick back, and as long as Pittsburgh can have some red zone production (1-for-4 last week; 28th in the NFL this season), they get margin for the cover.
PICK: Steelers (-5.5) to win by more than 5.5 points
Ryan Shazier on Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers’ outlook for rest of season
Panthers @ Buccaneers (4:05 p.m. Sunday, CBS)
The Panthers are a league-worst 1-8-2 against the spread, while Tampa has been a profitable 7-4. But a closer look reveals the Bucs have only been favored twice, losing outright to Atlanta 16-13, and then beating rookie quarterback Will Levis last month.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Now they’re playing as nearly a touchdown favorite with a QB who dinged up his ankle last week and had an MRI?
Oh, and the defense will likely be without linebacker Lavonte David again. If that wasn’t enough, Devin White missed practice Thursday and cornerback Jamel Dean may sit again.
When you toss in the head coach bump and all the new run-play options Bryce Young will be running, you might want to sprinkle a little on the money line.
PICK: Panthers (+6) to lose by 6 or fewer points (or wins outright)
Blazin’ 5: 49ers avenge Eagles, Jets upset Falcons in Colin’s Week 13 picks
Colts @ Titans (1 p.m. Sunday, CBS)
There’s not much to like about the Titans this year unless they’re playing at home, where the Titans are 4-0 straight up and 4-0 ATS.
The Colts have become popular with bettors, having won and covered the last three as small favorites. Rookie coach Shane Steichen has been incredible and aggressive, but let’s see if any of that changes with the injury to Jonathan Taylor.
Mike Vrabel had won five straight against the Colts before losing 23-16 this season, but Ryan Tannehill was starting at QB and the Titans DL run-stopper Teair Tart was out. Zack Moss also rushed for 165 yards and he won’t do that again.
PICK: Titans (+1) to lose by a point (or win outright)
Jason McIntyre is a FOX Sports betting analyst who also writes about the NFL and NBA Draft. Before arriving at FOX Sports, he created the website The Big Lead. Follow him on Twitter @JasonRMcIntyre.
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