As we enter Week 13 in this NFL season, a total of 25 teams have at least five wins through 12 weeks, the most at this point of a season in league history. In the AFC, 13 teams have 5-or-more wins, the most in a conference through NFL Week 12 since 2002, when 14 AFC teams entered Week 13 in that category. The NFL likes parity and has it. Here’s a look at two intriguing matchups on Sunday with a pick on each. Be sure to check out for the latest NFL odds at our online Bitcoin sportsbook.
Top 2021 NFL Week 13 Betting Picks
Sunday, Dec. 5
Arizona Cardinals vs. Chicago Bears
- 2021 NFL Week 13 Odds: Arizona Cardinals -7
Kickoff of 1 p.m. ET on Fox from Soldier Field. It’s basically a must-win for the Bears to keep their slim playoff hopes alive at 4-7. In 15 of the past 17 seasons, at least one club with a sub-.500 record after 11 games has made the playoffs. Two teams did it last season. Since 1990, 24 teams have been below .500 after 11 games and made the playoffs. Also keep in mind there is the additional game this year.
That Chicago is this big of a home underdog tells you that oddsmakers believe Cardinals star QB Kyler Murray and wideout DeAndre Hopkins both will return from three-game injury absences. Both have been at practice this week. Murray seems more likely to return as Arizona comes off its bye.
“We’ve just got to be smart with how we use him if he’s able to go,” Coach Kilff Kingsbury said of Hopkins, via the team’s official site. “Maximize him the best we can and make sure we don’t wear him out.”
Arizona is 6-0 and has outscored its opponents by at least 10 points in each win. The Cardinals can become the third team ever to win seven consecutive road games within a single season, each by a least 10 points. Murray has 9,969 career passing yards and can become the fourth-youngest player (24 years, 120 days old on Sunday) to reach 10,000 passing yards in NFL history, surpassing Cam Newton (24 years, 191 days). Murray also has 1,510 career rushing yards and can join Newton as the only players ever with at least 10,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards in their first three seasons.
Who will start at QB for Chicago? That’s not clear yet. Rookie Justin Fields missed the Thanksgiving win over Detroit with an injury to his ribs. He has been at practice this week but reportedly Andy Dalton has been taking first-team snaps. The Bears don’t want to risk further injury to their franchise QB so it probably will be Dalton. He completed 24-of-39 passes for 317 yards, one touchdown and an interception on Thanksgiving. Dalton helped save coach Matt Nagy’s job with his first 300-yard game of the season.
Chicago is 2-8 ATS in its past 10 as an underdog. Make it 2-11.
NFL Week 13 Pick: Cardinals
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
- 2021 NFL Week 12 Odds: Cincinnati Bengals -3
A 1 p.m. ET kickoff from Paul Brown Stadium on CBS. This is not only important in the AFC playoff race – neither team is likely to win its division but both could earn wild-card spots –but also the first-ever meeting between Chargers QB Justin Herbert and Bengals QB Joe Burrow.
Of course, Burrow was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and was off to an excellent start before going down with a season-ending injury. Burrow started from Day 1. Herbert was the No. 6 overall pick last year’s draft and won Offensive Rookie of the Year with 31 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and 4,336 yards. In 9.5 games, Burrow was on pace to throw for 4,493 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions before the injury.
“It was one of my goals going into last year,” Burrow said of rookie of the year. “That would’ve meant that I played well in my rookie season and cemented myself as the guy here.”
When the Chargers visited the Bengals in Week 1 last year, Cincinnati won 16-13 with Tyrod Taylor at QB. Randy Bullock hit a 31-yard field goal as time expired. Taylor is now in Houston.
Burrow leads the AFC with a 101.6 passer rating this season, while Herbert, the No. 6 pick, ranks fourth in the NFL with 3,230 passing yards and fifth with 24 touchdown passes. Burrow has a career winning percentage of .430, Herbert .461. Burrow averages 7.4 yards per attempt, Herbert 7.3. Burrow has completed 67.2 percent of his passes, Herbert 66.6. Burrow has a 95.2 passer rating, Herbert 97.5.
The Chargers hold a 21-14 all-time advantage over the Bengals including a 10-7 edge on the road. Cincinnati will take this one, however, as the Chargers are just 1-5 ATS in their past six overall.
NFL Week 13 Pick: Bengals
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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.