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The NFL Week 13 card is the best of the year. However, I avoided the marquee matchups in the Circa Million IV NFL handicapping contest.
My favorite looks this week include the two primetime games, one of which has already been played, and matchups between six cursed franchises.
Week 12 Recap (3-1-1):
- PACKERS (+7) at Jets 👔
- Patriots at VIKINGS (-2.5) ✅
- Falcons at COMMANDERS (-4.5) ✅
- Bears at JETS (-4.5) ✅
- RAVENS (-4) at Jaguars ❌
After the Bills covered as 3.5-point favorites on Thursday Night Football at the Patriots, my record improved to 33-25-3. I’m tied for 960th place out of 4,683 Circa Million entrants following Week 12.
This was my second straight week of submitting my picks on Wednesday while fading New England. Here are the Circa Million IV lines for NFL Week 13 …
Circa Million IV NFL Week 13 Picks
Listed by order of confidence. First is most confident, and fifth is least.
- Bills (-3.5) ✅
- Browns (-7)
- Colts (+10.5)
- Vikings (-3)
- Lions (+1)
Circa Pick #1: Buffalo Bills (-3.5) at New England Patriots
Buffalo was my “lock” of the week and the Bills came through with a 24-10 win vs. the Patriots Thursday. As predicted earlier this week, New England’s offense came back to earth following a 26-point outing in Minnesota Thanksgiving.
The Bills had their healthiest defense in weeks even without edge rusher Von Miller who was sent to the IR Friday. They held the Patriots to 3-for-12 on third down and 0-for-1 in the red zone while allowing just 4.7 yards per play.
Buffalo did just enough on offense and the Bills -3.5 was a rocking chair cover. And lemme tell you, it feels nice going into the weekend 1-0.
(LISTEN to Bills-Patriots analysis on this week’s episode of OutKick Bets Podcast with Geoff Clark HERE).
Circa Pick #2: Cleveland Browns (-7) at Houston Texans
It’s gross but Browns QB Deshaun Watson is one of the best five QBs in the NFL and his return immediately improves Cleveland.
The Browns traded for and signed Watson to a fully guaranteed $230 million contract before he sorted out his off-the-field troubles. Cleveland did this because it’s a QB away from being a contender in the AFC.
More importantly, the Texans are the worst team in the league by record and advanced analytics. The only pro-Houston arguments here are Watson’s rust and the Browns having a terrible run defense.
Finally, I’m getting closing line value on this pick. I bet and selected Cleveland’s spread earlier this week at -7 and the Browns -8 is the current price at DraftKings Sportsbook.
(LISTEN to Browns-Texans analysis on this week’s episode of OutKick Bets Podcast with Geoff Clark HERE).
Circa Pick #3: Indianapolis Colts (+10.5) at Dallas Cowboys
My Colts-Cowboys handicap is mostly Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink Theory or a hunch that Indy is getting too many points here.
Primetime favorites are 15-22 against the spread (ATS) in 2022 and 3-8 ATS as favorites of -7 or more. The Colts are 4-2 ATS as an underdog this season and eighth in expected points added per play (EPA/play) on defense.
If Indianapolis can get RB Jonathan Taylor going then the Colts can win the game outright. The weakness of Dallas’s defense is on the ground. The Cowboys are 25th in yards per rush allowed (4.7) and 24th in rushing yards allowed per game (131.9).
Lastly, this is another line heading in my direction. Indy is +10.5 in the Circa Million contest but +10 currently at DraftKings. In spite of the fact that a majority of the action at DraftKings is on Dallas, per VSIN.
(LISTEN to Colts-Cowboys analysis on this week’s episode of OutKick Bets Podcast with Geoff Clark HERE).
Circa Pick #4: New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings (-3)
Hey, if Jets QB Mike White goes into Minnesota and upsets or covers +3 vs. the Vikings then a tip of the cap to New York. I’m literally betting White can’t duplicate what he did last week vs. the Bears who have a bottom-5 defense in the NFL.
It’s not a secret that the Vikings aren’t as good as their record. Whenever it has played better teams like the Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota has gotten smacked.
But, Jets-Vikings is priced as if these teams are equal on a neutral field and they aren’t. The cheapest Minnesota’s spread should be is -4. That’s enough for me to pull the trigger on the Vikings at home.
(LISTEN to Jets-Vikings analysis on this week’s episode of OutKick Bets Podcast with Geoff Clark HERE).
Circa Pick #5: Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions (+1)
Jaguars-Lions is a case of the Wrong Team Favored. Albeit Detroit should probably not be favored more than -2 in this spot. Jacksonville has been the fake sharp side for all of its games over the past two seasons.
The thing about that is the Jaguars suck. They have the same record as the Lions (4-7) but everyone thinks Jacksonville is better than its record.
The Jaguars consistently snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. All the trends favor Detroit and the Lions have been clicking on offense lately (seventh in EPA/play since Week 8).
Detroit is 10-4 ATS and 4-1 ATS when playing on a rest advantage with a +7.5 ATS margin. Jacksonville is 0-5 straight up (SU) as favorites with a -9.4 margin of victory and a -13.5 ATS margin.
(LISTEN to Jaguars-Lions analysis on this week’s episode of OutKick Bets Podcast with Geoff Clark HERE).
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