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NFL Week 13 game picks and afternoon open thread

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NFL: NFC Championship-San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Did hGet ready Week 13 of NFL action with some huge matchups and a much-needed bye week for the Buffalo Bills and their fans. As usual, I’ll be diving into each matchup and predicting how I see it playing out so you can try and win some extra money this holiday season.

Sunday, Dec. 3

Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots, 1 p.m. EST (CBS)

The Patriots have been a mess this season and it’s been so much fun to watch as a Bills fan. Instability at the quarterback position is unfamiliar territory for the Patriots and their fan base. The Chargers haven’t had the season they expected either — but they are still a much better team than what we’ve seen from New England this season.

The Chargers will win this one and cover the spread on the road.

Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. EST (FOX)

The Saints are on a two-game losing streak and struggling to find any consistency from week to week. The Lions look like a team destined for the NFC Championship game. Detroit’s offensive line continues to lead the charge for both running backs to have success each week.

Gibbs and Montgomery will have huge days. Detroit will take the win.

Atlanta Falcons at New York Jets, 1 p.m. EST (FOX)

The Falcons are first in the NFC South with a 5-6 record and will look to kick the Jets while they’re down. However, a week of preparation and a game of experience might do quarterback Tim Boyle some good. The Jets have one of the best defenses around and the Falcons don’t know how to use their best players to the best of their abilities.

Breece Hall and the Jets run away with this upset in Jersey.

Arizona Cardinals at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m. EST (CBS)

The Steelers are one of the teams you’d assume are playing badly when looking at stats, but their 7-4 record shows that coaching matters and Mike Tomlin is still one of the best head coaches in the entire league. The Cardinals welcome Kyler Murray’s big-play ability, but they are more than a quarterback away from becoming a good team.

The Steelers take the win but the Cardinals keep it close and beat the spread.

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. EST (CBS)

Panthers interim head coach Chris Tabor is thrown into a divisional game against quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Carolina just hasn’t been able to find much success at all this season and their 1-10 record is likely to give the Chicago Bears the first overall pick in next year’s draft. I don’t see their luck turning around in this game.

Baker will look dangerous at home and get a big win in a tight race for the worst division in football.

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. EST (CBS)

Both of these teams started the season hoping to be a lot better than they are in reality. The Colt and Titans each find themselves looking up to the Jaguars in the AFC South and trying to stay alive with all of the injuries they’ve had to deal with throughout the year. Running back Zack Moss has been a bright spot when given the opportunity to get RB1 reps.

The Colts will prove to be the more complete team and win on the road.

Miami Dolphins at Washington Commanders, 1 p.m. (FOX)

The Dolphins are rolling and the Commanders aren’t the team to stop them. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill should be getting MVP consideration for the way he makes that offense almost unstoppable. Since cornerback Jalen Ramsey has returned it’s been very difficult for opposing quarterbacks to find success in the air against Miami.

Miami will win and cover.

Denver Broncos at Houston Texans, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)

Russell Wilson has been playing better and the Broncos are on a mission to turn their season around. But the Texans have a superstar at quarterback and make it difficult for their opponent each week. Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud should most certainly be rookie of the year but he is also looking a whole lot like the league MVP.

Russ won’t cook this week in Texas. The Texans will win and cover.

Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Quarterback Joe Flacco is starting a football game in the NFL in 2023. And the thing about that is, I think it helps players like Amari Cooper really shine and have an impact on the outcome of the game. They already have the best defense in football, so if they can actually get the ball in their best players’ hands then I have all the confidence in the Browns being able to beat anyone in a low-scoring game.

Cleveland wins in a defensive battle.

San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

The Eagles have the best record in the league but I think the 49ers are the best team. This is the game that will showcase what team should be feared the most in the NFC. The Eagles capitalize on mistakes each week and win in clutch moments. The 49ers don’t make as many mistakes and I believe that’s the deciding factor.

49ers roll into Philly and bring the Eagles back down to reality.

Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)*

The Packers looked very good on Thanksgiving to my surprise. I haven’t been a believer in quarterback Jordan Love, but he proved me wrong. He was poised and made quick decisions in their win against the Detroit Lions. The Packers moved the ball with ease and put points up in bunches against Detroit, but the Chiefs have one of the better defenses this season. Plus, Mahomes can still put up gaudy numbers at any point.

The Chiefs take this one at Lambeau Field.

Bye week: Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Las Vegas Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants

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