Identifying Underdogs and Continuing to Profit - NFL Week 13 Picks
We continue with our NFL picks, predictions and parlays with a focus on underdogs. A winning season improved to 24-15 following last week's 2-0 sweep with outright underdog winners on Buffalo (+3) and Cleveland (+3). In our patient approach last week, we deciding to not ride the Broncos on these pages, but they too won outright as a home underdog over Pittsburgh. However, we projected that the Steelers would out-gain the Broncos, and they did 527-308 but suffered a 4-0 turnover differential. You should know by now how that translates to SU and ATS results, (< 7% ATS success).
Over the last four weeks, we've gone 10-3 ATS with 10 outright underdog winners. For the season, the record on these pages posting only underdogs is 24-15 with 21 outright 'Dog winners.
This week we ramp it up in Week 13 with a season-high 5-6 underdog picks. We're not into protecting records or touting, but rather producing profit. Locate the right match-ups, situations and value with underdogs, and let the chips fall where they may.
No, I don't expect our remarkable run of outright underdog winners to continue, but we'll still do our best each week to locate value and opportunities for more winners including with our NFL Week 13 picks.
With so many offshore options and leading online sportsbooks to choose from and compare, it should be reasonable to expect using due diligence in your search for the best numbers. Still, a major move on Atlanta this week from +2.5 to pick over even -1 is a play we're making as we got in early and believe the Falcons will win. I've mentioned previously that we can't always get the best number with late week posting. This week we also add a Thursday night play, so we're trying to get these out even with injury information not fully available until Friday or game day.
Providing written analysis takes quite a bit of time, and if you've not done it, try it yourself and you'll see. Especially if you're digging into stats, research and getting as much information as necessary to try and win while providing an examination and explanation for selections. As such, we'll add more analysis following Thursday's game for the rest of Sunday's plays, but providing some of the Sunday selections now in advance with the Thursday night Cowboys - Saints game.
Lets' go inside the numbers and recognize also that the point spread comes into play less than 15% of the time in competitively lined games (6 or less), so pick the SU winner and you likely have the ATS winner as well. See last week's Bills and Browns results or any of our last 10 winners which all won outright as competitively priced underdogs. This week we take a shot with two bigger 'Dogs of more than a touchdown, knowing that some teams will be overpriced and others will be getting a little extra value in price as bookmakers know most public bettors will not play on the losing and 'bad' teams.
Perhaps that's why there were eight road favorites on the NFL Week 13 card, until the Falcons went to pick 'em at home.
Hopefully you've seen the power of playing a portion of your wager on the money line as well with the outright underdog winners.
Fairway’s Football Forecast provides the picks and these leading online sports books offer the best experience and security to ensure you’re getting paid. Check out the reduced juice shops shops as well if you want to save and earn more with your wagers including NFL Week 13 picks.
302 Dallas (+7.5) vs New Orleans - Cowboys Money Line +280 - WINNER
358 Atlanta (PK) vs Baltimore – Falcons Money Line +100
359 Cleveland (+6) at Houston - Browns Money Line +220
361 Buffalo (+4.5) at Miami - Bills Money Line +190
373 NY Jets (+9) at Tennessee - Jets Money Line +320 (+9.5 @ 5Dimes)
375 Minnesota (+5) at New England - Vikings Money Line +210
$20 6-Team Money Line Parlay = $18,345
$20 6-Team Parlay = $820
New Orleans at Dallas - The Saints (10-1) have won 10 straight games while burying the bookmakers on a 9-0 ATS run. Certainly not easy to go against the highest-scoring team in the league (37.2) that has great balance with QB Drew Brees still playing at such a high-level with 29 touchdown passes and just 2 interceptions. Coach Sean Payton keeps attacking defenses and is creative in his play calling and approach, and the Saints 415 YPG offense also has the fewest giveaways (9) in the league and the fewest offensive penalties. The Saints are also winning and covering against winning teams, going 11-3 ATS dating to last year and have won each of their last five games by 10 or more points. Scores don't tell the whole story however, and the Saints were very fortunate to cover in last week's 31-17 win over the Falcons, who turned the ball over multiple times in the red zone.
The Cowboys (6-5) enter on a 3-0 SU/ATS run and are now in first place in the NFC East. Dallas does have one of the elite runners in the game with RB Ezekiel Elliott, and he'll carry a heavy load, even against a Saints defense that allows the fewest rushing yards per game (73). Quarterback Dak Prescott has some solid intangibles, but he’s not a great thrower and he’s limited in his ability to quickly read the field and anticipate the throws. Still, the short passing game and controlling the ball, clock and chains is in Dallas' DNA, and even with some injuries on both sides of the ball including OT Tyron Smith, the Cowboys should stay competitive and within striking distance with their top-tier defense that has not allowed a team to score more than 28 points this season.
The Saints are still pushing for the No. 1 playoff seed in the NFC, and there is no short week with both these teams playing on Thanksgiving. But the final decision, even with Dallas injuries, is that the there is a heavy tax to play New Orleans. In the Saints three road games against quality teams, they were no more than a 2.5-point favorite with close wins at Baltimore, Atlanta and a 10-point win at Minnesota when the Vikings suffered key turnovers but out-gained the Saints 423-270. Dallas as big home 'Dog gets the call with less scoring than expected.
Check back later this week for more Underdog picks and injuries and late reports come in.
FairwayJay is a leading national sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Read more great insights from Jay here and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay