Would you rather? Breaking down Week 13 NFL betting lines

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Week 13 of the NFL season got underway on Thursday night when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the New Orleans Saints. It's getting late early in terms of the NFL season as teams fight for positioning in the standings and prepare for the final stretch run. There's plenty of intriguing games on tap this week and plenty of opportunities to get involved in the betting market. 

We'll be taking a look at six games on this weekend's schedule and going over which side we'd rather back if we were forced to pick one. By talking through the games we try and find an edge and uncover some insight that might help you in your handicapping process. All betting lines are as of Friday afternoon and courtesy of BetMGM.

Would you rather lay double digits on the road with the Indianapolis Colts or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

Coming off a loss, the Indianapolis Colts are 10-point favorites on the road against the Houston Texans. Elsewhere, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 10.5-point favorites in Atlanta against the Falcons. Which road favorite are you more willing to lay double digits with?

Pete: I like both of these favorites, which is scary when you consider laying double digits on the road isn't usually a recipe for success. Jonathan Taylor should run all over the Texans, but Tom Brady should be able to throw the ball all over the yard against the Falcons. In three games against Atlanta as a member of the Buccaneers, Brady has over 1,000 passing yards and 11 touchdowns. Houston is terrible, but so is Atlanta. The Falcons' respectable record comes as a result of a ridiculously easy schedule. As I said, I like both of these favorites so I'm gonna side with Tom Brady and lay the points with Tampa Bay.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - OCTOBER 17: Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts runs the ball in the game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Jonathan Taylor looks destined for a big game against the Houston Texans this week. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Greg: I too like both of these favorites. Tom Brady’s six interceptions over his last four games is a bit concerning to me, though. They haven’t all been tipped balls or wrong routes, either; some have been just plain awful throws. In his 29-19 loss to Washington, he was flummoxed by a Cover 2 defense. The GOAT should have picked that apart, Pete! Maybe this four-game stretch is Brady’s version of a mid-life crisis. Some guys buy a convertible and leave their wife for a 23-year-old Instagram model, Tom feels alive by rifling into double-coverage. That being said, the Bucs' offense looks much better with Gronk back on the field, and Atlanta’s defense outside of A.J. Terrell is trash. I have to go with the Colts, however. Jonathan Taylor ran for 145 yards and two scores when they demolished Houston 31-3 in Week 6 and not much has changed since then, besides Tyrod Taylor being back under center.

Would you rather lay the field goal at home with the Buffalo Bills or the Cincinnati Bengals?

The Buffalo Bills are 3-point home favorites against the red-hot New England Patriots. Elsewhere, the Cincinnati Bengals are coming off an impressive win while the Chargers are coming off a bad loss. The Bengals are laying 3-points at home. Which home team are you backing?

Pete: It's hard to go against the Patriots right now. Their defense is spectacular, they run the ball and Mac Jones has been effective. The fact that there's a chance of snow on Monday night only makes me like New England more. For a team that plays its home games in Western New York, the Bills don't really strike me as a "cold weather" team. They don't love running the ball. I think this is a good matchup for New England. On the other hand, I think the Bengals match up with the Chargers extremely well. Joe Mixon should run all over this Chargers' defense. The Chargers and Bengals have both been maddeningly inconsistent, but I'll lay the points with Cincinnati

Greg: These are the two biggest coin-flip games on the slate. No scenario would surprise me, especially in the Cincinnati game. Bengals blowout, Chargers blowout, 58-58 tie, it’s all on the table. The only thing we can be certain of is that Joe Mixon has a plate at the all-you-can-run buffet. Is Josh Allen going to get back on track against Bill Belichick? I dunno, man. The Patriots rank second in defensive DVOA, lead the NFL in interceptions, and are tied for the fifth-most sacks. At the risk of sounding like Troy Aikman here, dominant run games grant you such a massive advantage because there’s less variance in disastrous outcomes, you’re wearing out the opponent by keeping their defense on the field, and you’re Goku-charging the play-action (OK, Aikman would never say that part). I’d rather fade the squad allowing the most rushing yards per game than a red-hot team imposing their will on both sides of the ball. I’ll take the Bengals.

Would you rather lay over a field goal on the road with the Baltimore Ravens or the San Francisco 49ers?

The Baltimore Ravens head to Pittsburgh, where Baltimore is a 4.5-point road favorite. Elsewhere, San Francisco looks to continue its winning ways. The 49ers are 3.5-point road favorites in Seattle. Which road favorite would you rather add to your bet slip?

Pete: I bet the Ravens last week as a fade of the Cleveland Browns. Despite the win and the cover, I left that game saying "never again." Baltimore seems to be playing this weird game where they're challenging themselves to do everything they can to lose while still winning the game. I respect Mike Tomlin too much to doubt his ability to get his Steelers to rebound. On the other side, the Seahawks are bad and I think it's time we all agree to write them off. San Francisco has been rolling and even without Deebo Samuel, I don't trust Russell Wilson to beat Jimmy Garoppolo right now. Man, that felt weird to type. Give me the 49ers

Greg: I’d be much more confident in the Niners if Deebo Samuel were playing, but it ultimately comes down to Russ. He’s completing just 55.7% of his passes since his return and doesn’t look right. It’s not like they can turn to their run game, either. Seattle has the 25th-ranked rushing offense and is averaging a paltry 65 rushing yards over their last three games. Pittsburgh is a bad team, but it historically plays the Ravens pretty tight and I’m not impressed by Baltimore’s 8-3 record. I’m on the Niners in this one.

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