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Five NFL games feature two teams with winning records facing off against each other in Week 13, and two of those matchups are between divisional rivals.
We’ll take a look at that quintet and provide quick picks for each game on the slate below. All odds are via OddsShark.
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-1.5, 44 O/U)
Pick: Redskins 20, Cowboys 13
Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens (-3)
Pick: Ravens 20, Lions 17
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-7)
Pick: Titans 24, Texans 17
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (-9.5, 40.5 O/U)
Pick: Jaguars 23, Colts 10
Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins (EVEN, 38 O/U)
Pick: Dolphins 19, Broncos 16
Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5, 43.5 O/U) at New York Jets
Pick: Jets 20, Chiefs 13
Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons (-3, 47 O/U)
Pick: Falcons 30, Vikings 23
New England Patriots (-7.5, 49 O/U) at Buffalo Bills
Pick: Patriots 31, Bills 17
San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears (-4, 39 O/U)
Pick: Bears 20, 49ers 13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers (EVEN)
Pick: Packers 24, Buccaneers 20
Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers (-13.5, 42.5 O/U)
Pick: Chargers 28, Browns 13
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-4, 48 O/U)
Pick (with Saints CB Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley): Saints 28, Panthers 17
Pick (without them): Panthers 24, Saints 20
Los Angeles Rams (-6.5, 45.5 O/U) at Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Rams 24, Cardinals 17
New York Giants at Oakland Raiders (-7.5, 43 O/U)
Pick: Raiders 20, Giants 13
Philadelphia Eagles (-5, 47 O/U) at Seattle Seahawks
Pick: Eagles 24, Seahawks 14
Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5, 43 O/U) at Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Steelers 24, Bengals 20
Five Quick Matchup Breakdowns
Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens
Both teams are 6-5 but facing much different postseason circumstances.
At the moment, the Detroit Lions need to leapfrog the 7-4 Atlanta Falcons and 7-4 Seattle Seahawks just to secure the NFC’s final wild-card spot.
The path to the AFC playoffs is a bit easier for the Baltimore Ravens, as they hold the conference’s first wild-card berth and are a game ahead of teams on the outside looking in.
As for this game, the Baltimore Ravens’ plan of attack should be simple: run the ball over and over again. They should look to control the time of possession against a Detroit Lions run defense that has allowed 4.2 yards per carry and 14 touchdowns in 11 games.
The Ravens’ pass defense is one of the best in the business and can neutralize the Lions’ strong passing attack, while kicker Justin Tucker is nearly invincible. They should be able to hold serve at home, but this could be a game where the first team to 20 wins (if either team gets that far).
Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons
There are two players who need to be watched above all others in this key NFC battle: Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes and Atlanta Falcons wideout Julio Jones.
We’ll likely see Rhodes shadow Jones throughout the game, and whoever wins this one-on-one battle will give his team a big edge in the game.
Although Jones isn’t about to go off for 253 receiving yards and two touchdowns like he did last Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he’s still one of the best wide receivers in the game and capable of a 100-yard day against anyone.
Look for Jones to win his fair share of plays against Rhodes and lead Atlanta to a key victory.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
The injury statuses of New Orleans Saints cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore (ankle) and Ken Crawley (abdomen), who missed Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams, will largely determine this matchup.
If they are in, the Carolina Panthers offense is going to have a lot of trouble moving the ball through their wide receivers; if they aren’t, then Devin Funchess could continue his recent hot stretch.
One X-factor could be Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, however. When these two teams met in September (a 34-13 Panther loss), the former Stanford Cardinals man caught nine passes for 101 yards.
If Crawley and Lattimore are active, McCaffrey could be seeing a ton of usage on the fast track of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. And if that’s the case, a breakout game that leads to a Carolina win isn’t out of the question.
Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks
Signal-caller Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles are a juggernaut right now. If not for a late turnover that proved to be the turning point in a 27-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, they could be 11-0.
Philadelphia hasn’t won a game by fewer than 10 points in its last five matchups. Recent blowouts have been so out of reach for the opposition that backup quarterback Nick Foles has seen action in three games this year.
A trip to Seattle is never easy for any team, but the Seahawks are without cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Kam Chancellor. The running game hasn’t gotten going this year, and the offensive line isn’t providing quarterback Russell Wilson much time in the pocket.
Look for the Eagles to move to 11-1 with a road victory.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Per Pro Football Reference, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has a 26-3 record against the Buffalo Bills.
In 2003, the Pats lost 31-0 to the Bills in Week 1, and New England returned the favor later that year with a 31-0 win en route to a Super Bowl win.
In 2011, the Pats lost to the Bills 34-31, and New England turned around and beat Buffalo 49-21 in Week 17.
The third loss was in Week 17 of the 2014 regular season. The Pats had already clinched the first seed in the AFC playoffs, so they pulled Brady and other starters early.
With all due respect to the Bills, who have already beaten low preseason expectations thanks to a 6-5 record and a legitimate shot at a wild-card spot, it’s hard seeing them hanging with Brady and the Pats given their history against the five-time Super Bowl winner.
Some teams just struggle against certain players and teams, and that’s the case here.