Each Monday morning during the season, I’ll preview three games with spreads that I think will move by the end of the week. This article is designed to help you get the best odds possible by helping you to decide if you should place a bet early in the week or if you should wait to wager until closer to kickoff based on potential line movements. I’ll include any early week leans and wagers that I make in my write-ups.
Note: These lines could swing wildly going forward with so many COVID-19 cases popping up across the country. I’m still going to bet games early in the week while acknowledging I’m going to be both helped and hurt by line movements throughout the week based on COVID-19 List additions. As always, bet within your means, especially with these early-week wagers.
Week 13 Opening Lines
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (-4)
Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins (-11.5)
Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) at Houston Texans
Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings (-9.5)
Washington Football Teams at Pittsburgh Steelers (-10.5)
Las Vegas Raiders (-8.5) at New York Jets
New Orleans Saints (-3) at Atlanta Falcons
Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans (-4)
New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks (-8.5)
Los Angeles Rams (-1.5) at Arizona Cardinals
Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)
New England Patriots at Los Angeles Chargers (-1)
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-13.5)
Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens (-7) — COVID-19 situation in Baltimore
Buffalo Bills (-3) vs San Francisco 49ers — site yet to be determined
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers
Washington Football Team (4-7, 6-5 ATS) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0, 8-2)
Opening Line: Steelers -10.5
Recent Results: Antonio Gibson had his coming-out party for a national TV audience as he ripped off 115 rushing yards and three touchdowns in Washington’s 41-16 victory over Dallas as three-point road underdogs. The Football Team is riding their first winning streak of the season to the top NFC East standings with the Giants. The Steelers have yet to play in Week 12 after initially being scheduled to play on Thanksgiving night because of Baltimore’s on-going COVID-19 breakout.
Injuries/Developments to Follow: Washington had to reshuffle its O-line last week with LT Cornelius Lucas missing against the Cowboys, but they’ve managed to stay relatively healthy otherwise. The Steelers had a COVID-19 scare of their own after RB James Conner tested positive over the weekend. Pittsburgh will turn to Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland in their backfield this week while Conner is out of the lineup.
Potential Line Movement: I backed the Football Team last week, and they have the look of a team that’s trending upward and a team that I want to keep backing in December. Washington has a pair of stars in the making on both sides of the ball in Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, Chase Young, and Montez Sweat. They’ll have 10 days to get ready for a major step-up game against a Steelers squad that went through an exhausting Week 12 with a bunch of starts and stops in their schedule. The Steelers will be catching just five days of rest between their Tuesday matchup with divisional rival Baltimore and what projects to be another physical game with the Football Team on Sunday. This line can only go down based on Pittsburgh’s performance on Tuesday as no bettor will be impressed if Pittsburgh smacks around an undermanned Baltimore squad. Grab this line while it’s still a double-digit spread as I’m expecting this line to close in the 7 to 8 point range. There’s no rush to bet on the Steelers before they play the Ravens if you’re looking to side with Pittsburgh this week.
Los Angeles Rams (7-4, 6-5 ATS) vs. Arizona Cardinals (6-5, 5-6)
- Opening Line: Rams -1.5
- Recent Results: The Cardinals are riding a four-game ATS losing streak entering Week 13. They managed just 4.3 yards per play and Zane Gonzalez missed a 45-yard field goal with less than two minutes remaining to open the door for the Patriots to steal a 20-17 victory as one-point home underdogs. Jared Goff went from playing brilliantly in an upset victory over the Buccaneers in Week 11 to a headache-inducing performance in their 23-20 loss to the 49ers in Week 12 as five-point home favorites.
- Injuries/Developments to Follow: Kyler Murray is clearly laboring through his AC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder, which he initially suffered against the Seahawks back in Week 11. Larry Fitzgerald could be a long shot to play this week after testing positive for COVID-19 at the end of last week. The Rams placed Micah Kiser on the injured reserve before their Week 12 showdown with the 49ers. They also canceled practice last Friday after two positive COVID-19 tests at the end of last week, which is something to monitor this week.
- Potential Line Movement: The Rams are coming off a disheartening performance against the 49ers last week, but my bigger concern in this game is on the other sideline with an injured Murray going against this ferocious Rams defense. Kyler clearly looked to be favoring his injured throwing shoulder against the Patriots, and this offense didn’t have the same juice in Week 12 with Murray rarely looking to tuck it to run. Murray’s aDOT has also sat under seven yards in each of his last two games, including his 6.2 aDOT against the Patriots, which dropped his season average down to 8.0. Murray could be healthier in Week 13 with another seven days to distance himself from his initial injury in Week 11, but it’s not going to be easy to move the ball against the Rams if he’s at anything less than 100% health. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rams settle in as three-point favorites later this week so grab the shorter line now. I would wait until later in the week if you’re looking to back the Cardinals in this matchup
New England Patriots (5-6, 5-6 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (3-8, 5-6)
- Opening Line: Chargers -1
- Recent Results: The Chargers were a comedy of coaching errors once again in Week 12, especially in the final minutes of both halves, which handed the Bills a 27-17 victory as four-point home favorites. The Cardinals did everything they could to lose to the Patriots on Sunday, which helped New England emerge with a 20-17 victory as one-point home underdogs. The Patriots managed just 179 scrimmage yards in their victory over Arizona.
- Injuries/Developments to Follow: The knob on Anthony Lynn’s hot seat will be set to 9 this week after another abysmal coaching performance in a winnable game against the Bills. The Chargers did get Austin Ekeler back from his hamstring injury last week, and they’ll be looking to get CBs Chris Harris (foot) and Casey Hayward (groin) back this week. RT Bryan Bulaga (illness) and LB Denzel Perryman (back) each left Week 12 early so you’ll want to monitor their statuses this week. The Patriots made it through Week 12 relatively unscathed, but they did place LT Isaiah Wynn on the injured reserve with a knee injury prior to Week 12.
- Potential Line Movement: The Chargers were 2.5-point lookahead favorites before Sunday’s games, and I’m not significantly adjusting either team in my power ratings based on their performances on Sunday. I’ll be downgrading both teams by half a point for their ugly performances in Week 12. The markets have downgraded the Chargers after they bungled away another chance at a victory while the Patriots have been upgraded after beating an injured Kyler Murray despite New England averaging a pathetic 3.7 yards per play. I know it’s gross to back the Chargers with Lynn sabotaging this team at every turn, but I can’t pass up betting the clearly superior team with the superior quarterback at such a short price.
Brolley’s Early Week 13 Bets
Washington Football Team +10.5
Los Angeles Rams -1.5
Los Angeles Chargers -1