With some absolutely huge games on the NFL Week 13 schedule, we’re expecting to see a few high-profile upsets take place this holiday weekend.
Overall, we’re placing six teams on upset alert this week. From bottom feeders who are still fighting hard to heavyweights looking to flex on national television, these underdogs may come out on top.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.5) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The interception king of the NFL, Jameis Winston, gives every team he faces a chance to claim victory. Despite losing Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams, and despite their losing record, the Jaguars are still formidable opponents for opposing quarterbacks.
On the other side, Nick Foles isn’t playing hero ball for the Jags right now, but he’s also not playing poorly. With just one interception in three starts this year, he’s the kind of quarterback who will keep his team in the game and perhaps engineer a few highlights in the process.
Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts (-2)
Ryan Tannehill is playing outstanding football for the Titans and has come through in the clutch multiple times this season. The past five games, Tannehill has thrown 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions — two of which came in his lone poor outing against the Carolina Panthers.
Don’t freak out, folks. It’s weird for me, too.
Meanwhile, over on the other side of this one, the Colts will be without Marlon Mack (broken hand) and T.Y. Hilton (calf). Without these two stars, we’d expect Jacoby Brissett and Co. to struggle against one of the NFL’s best defenses.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens (-5.5)
After watching the Ravens savagely expose the desperate plight of the Los Angeles Rams on Monday, it’s easy to see why Las Vegas favors the Ravens to win at home. Lamar Jackson has Baltimore playing a brand of offensive football that appears to be an unstoppable juggernaut.
Yet, if any defense has the playmakers at all three levels to slow this unit down, it’s the 49ers. We dove into what makes this defense so special, and you can read more about that here.
And should San Francisco’s defense come through, the 49ers have the offensive balance and firepower to score points on the road in Baltimore.
Los Angeles Rams (-3) vs. Arizona Cardinals
Jared Goff and the Rams’ entire offense is broken right now. It’s a sad thing to witness on a weekly basis, but it’s also as undeniable as the sun coming up every morning. Some of this decline is due to the Rams’ offensive line taking a significant step back this year. That’s something that will be music to the ears of Chandler Jones and Terrell Suggs, who’ve combined for 18 sacks this season.
While Goff is undergoing significant regression, Kyler Murray is in the middle of a phenomenal rookie season. He’s on pace to finish the year with 4,539 yards and 25 touchdowns from scrimmage, with just seven interceptions. Arizona’s offense is a ton of fun to watch and extremely dangerous for opposing defenses. Don’t be shocked if the Cardinals win Sunday in blowout fashion.
New England Patriots (-3) vs. Houston Texans
Tom Brady isn’t playing well right now, and he’s battling through an elbow injury, too. On the whole, New England’s offense isn’t exactly humming. The offensive line has been getting beat on passing downs, and the Patriots are averaging just 3.3 per rushing attempt – third-worst in the NFL.
Houston’s defense isn’t scaring anyone these days, but given New England’s struggles on offense, this is a perfect get-right game for the Texans. The big key will be whether Deshaun Watson can find success going against the NFL’s best pass defense. If he makes quick decisions and doesn’t turn the ball over, the Texans should win at home and deal the Patriots a pivotal loss as playoff positioning takes center stage in these final weeks.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks (-2.5)
Dalvin Cook should feast Monday night against the Seahawks. Seattle’s defense allows 4.5 yards per carry and isn’t stout in the red zone (12 rushing touchdowns allowed). And with Kirk Cousins in the middle of perhaps the best six-game stretch of his career (16 touchdowns and just one interception), the Vikings offense should have no problem scoring at will.
The Seahawks are doing a better job protecting Russell Wilson this year than they have in the past. That has a lot to do with Wilson’s career year. Yet, the San Francisco 49ers showed what an elite pass rush could do to slow Wilson down. It just so happens the Vikings have the best pass-rushing defensive end in the NFL.