NFL Week 13 betting slate will continue to shape the playoff picture
Will the Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders or Cincinnati Bengals sneak into the playoffs down the stretch as 5-6 teams in the AFC? Is there enough time for the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Arizona Cardinals to make a run in the NFC with the same record?
Only five weeks remain in the regular season, and a few of these underdogs still have a shot to get to the postseason if they can go on a winning streak down the stretch. Some are even listed as large favorites on the NFL Week 13 betting lines.
The Chargers and Raiders have the best shot because they both trail the Kansas City Chiefs by only one game for the lead in the AFC West. They are each among the biggest favorites on the betting board, with Los Angeles leading the way as 14-point home chalk over the winless Cleveland Browns (0-11).
Meanwhile, Oakland hosts the New York Giants (2-9) and new starting quarterback Geno Smith as 7.5-point favorites.
While those matchups would seem to be a cake walk for the Chargers and Raiders, there are betting trends that support the underdogs. The Giants are 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 games versus AFC West opponents, including straight-up wins this season over the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs as double-digit dogs. The Browns have also covered the past five meetings with the former San Diego team.
The Bengals have a much tougher road in the AFC North and host the division-leading Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2) in the Week 13 Monday Night Football game. Cincinnati is a 6-point home underdog and has gone 1-7-1 ATS in the previous nine head-to-head matchups with Pittsburgh, losing the last five in the series SU. The Steelers have also won 10 straight in primetime after last week’s 31-28 win over the Green Bay Packers.
In the NFC, the Packers and Cardinals are home underdogs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) and Los Angeles Rams (8-3), respectively, while the Redskins visit the Cowboys as 1.5-point road favorites in the Thursday Night Football game to kick off Week 13.
However, none of them are likely to make the playoffs in a more competitive conference that currently has the Seattle Seahawks (7-4) on the outside looking in due to recent surges by the Carolina Panthers (8-3) and Atlanta Falcons (7-4).
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