NFL betting: Week 13 survivor pool picks

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  • Atlanta Falcons
    Atlanta Falcons
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  • Indianapolis Colts
    Indianapolis Colts
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  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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  • Tom Brady
    Tom Brady
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Players in this year's survivor pools would find more mercy if they broke into Cobra Kai's dojo. After four consecutive weeks of pools getting chopped in half like cheap wooden boards, 65% of picks were struck down hard in Week 12. Will this be another weekend of putting entries in a body bag?

Before we discuss this week's picks, let's reflect on how we did last week:

Week 12 picks

Best Bets: 1-0 (YTD: 16-5)

Leans: 1-1 (YTD: 12-3)

Traps to avoid: 1 elimination avoided (YTD: 11)

On to the Week 13 picks!

All lines from BetMGM.

BEST BETS

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-10.5) at Atlanta Falcons

Tom Brady threw for five touchdowns en route to a 48-25 win in their Week 2 meeting, dropping Atlanta QB Matt Ryan to 0-7 lifetime against Brady. Ryan tossed three picks in that contest and has one touchdown pass to five interceptions over his last three games. During that span, the Falcons have averaged eight points per game — an average so low, AP style won't even allow me to write it out as a cardinal number. Tampa Bay, on the other hand, is the only team in the NFL that's averaging more than 30 points per game this season. Even more glaring, is the fact that Atlanta ranks last in overall DVOA, while the Bucs rank first. Receiver Antonio Brown isn't back yet, but tight end Rob Gronkowski has amassed 194 receiving yards since his return two weeks ago. It's a completely different offense with Gronk out there and the Falcons don't have the defensive personnel to slow down Brady, Gronk, Leonard Fournette, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin

Tampa is the third-most popular pick this week, at 11.5%. Their future value lies in a Week 17 game at the Jets and a Week 18 home game versus the Panthers.

Indianapolis Colts (-8.5) at Houston Texans

The Texans are the lowest-scoring team in the league, averaging two less touchdowns per game than the Colts. Their real area of concern in this matchup is on the ground. Houston allows the second-most rushing yards per game and only the Jets have surrendered more rushing touchdowns. Indianapolis running back Jonathan Taylor is leading the NFL in both rushing yards and scores. The Colts manhandled the Texans 31-3 in Week 6, have won five of their last seven games, and they've yet to lose a game to a team that entered with a losing record.

Only 6% of entries are on Indy this week. They end the season with a matchup in Jacksonville.

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-3 Week 6 win over the Houston Texans. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)
Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-3 Week 6 win over the Houston Texans. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)

LEANS

Arizona Cardinals (-7.5) at Chicago Bears

This is only a play if Kyler Murray starts for the Cardinals, who will be coming off a bye to take on a Bears team that needed a last-second field goal against the Lions to end their five-game losing streak. Chicago's anemic offense ranks last in passing yards and has a league-low eight touchdowns through the air in 11 games. Arizona's defense entered the season as the team's perceived weakness, but they're ranked third in defensive DVOA and their secondary is giving up the fourth-fewest passing yards per game. If Murray and receiver DeAndre Hopkins are able to suit up, Arizona should move to 10-2.

A little over 9% of entries have locked in the Cardinals. Their future value lies in a Week 15 game at Detroit.

TRAPS TO AVOID

Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) at New York Jets

Jalen Hurts, Miles Sanders, and Jason Kelce are all injured for the Eagles, and the Jets have already upset two playoff-caliber teams at home this season, beating the Titans and Bengals. Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson owns the NFL's lowest QB rating this year, but he looks the worst when he's under pressure and Philly gets to the quarterback about as often as Tom Brady eats a carb. The Eagles have the second-lowest blitz percentage, rank 29th in sacks, and allow the highest completion percentage.

Los Angeles Rams (-13) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Yeah, I know. The Rams aren't going to lose four in a row, especially at home against the Jags. Let's take a look at Jacksonville's last four contests, though. They beat the Bills, lost on the last drive of the game at Indianapolis, got steamrolled 30-10 by a Niners team who drubbed the Rams by a nearly identical score of 31-10, and lost by a touchdown to the Falcons. Los Angeles QB Matthew Stafford is a gamer, but he's currently dealing with about as many injuries as the patient from Operation. He's thrown five interceptions in his last three games, including three pick-sixes. This team isn't hitting their stride at the moment and there are better matchups to exploit this week.

Stats provided by Football Outsiders, teamrankings.com, CBS Sports, and nfl.com.

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