NFL betting: Poking holes in your Week 13 moneyline parlay

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  • Arizona Cardinals
    Arizona Cardinals
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  • Dallas Cowboys
    Dallas Cowboys
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  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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  • Tom Brady
    Tom Brady
    American football player

Week 13 of the NFL season is here. It's getting late quickly in terms of the NFL season as each game takes on much more meaning down the stretch. At this point, handicapping teams and motivational levels should be easy but as we all know, nothing in this league is simple. A number of big favorites went down again last week, continuing a trend over the past few weeks. 

We'll be taking a look at the nine biggest favorites on the Week 13 board at BetMGM. By analyzing the matchups, you might find an angle that you haven't considered that could help when making your bets as well as your moneyline parlays and teasers. This week could be extra spicy as seven of the nine biggest favorites are on the road. 

Dallas Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints

The Dallas Cowboys are -275 road favorites in New Orleans on Thursday night against the Saints. Dallas enters this game as a loser of three of its last four games after an impressive and somewhat surprising start. The Saints have kind of fallen apart in recent weeks under Trevor Siemian, but they're still in the NFC wild-card picture. This is a home game for New Orleans and it feels like a last-stand type of game in terms of their playoff hopes. If New Orleans falls to 5-7, it's hard to see them as legitimate playoff contenders. New Orleans turns to Taysom Hill at quarterback. Hill went 3-1 as the starter last year in place of Drew Brees and he certainly adds another dimension to this offense. He could take advantage of a Cowboys' rush defense that ranks 20th in the league. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons

There's no denying that Tampa Bay is a bad matchup for the Falcons, which is probably why the Buccaneers are -550 favorites on Sunday. Tom Brady has made three starts as a member of the Buccaneers against the Falcons and he's posted 1,065 passing yards and 11 touchdown passes. The Falcons are pretty average defensively against the run, but their secondary is prone to getting torched. Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski are all capable of stepping up if Leonard Fournette struggles. The only real hope for Atlanta is if Tom Brady continues his recent lukewarm play. However, the streak hasn't even been that bad. It just hasn't been the usual Tom Brady. He has nine touchdowns and six interceptions over his last four games, losing two of them. 

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 17: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) looks to pass during the first quarter of the National Football League game between the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns on October 17, 2021, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Kyler Murray is expected to return for the Arizona Cardinals this week. (Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals @ Chicago Bears

The Arizona Cardinals are -350 favorites on the moneyline in Chicago this weekend. This is another tough case to make for the underdog. The Bears will likely struggle to move the ball against the Cardinals' defense that doesn't get nearly enough credit. This will especially be true if Andy Dalton starts at quarterback over the banged-up Justin Fields. The Bears' best chance comes with their defense, but that task becomes harder with both Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins likely to return on the Arizona offense. Maybe the return of two star players will lead to a lesser focus from the Cardinals, who have continued to grind for Colt McCoy in recent weeks. Rust could also be a concern for Hopkins and Murray. 

Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions

The Minnesota Vikings are -300 road favorites in Detroit against the Lions on Sunday. Minnesota at 5-6 desperately needs a win as they sit on the outside looking in when it comes to the wild-card race in the NFC. However, wins have not come easy for the Vikings. All 11 games that Minnesota has played this season have been decided by one-score. Detroit also plays plenty of close games and with any luck could have 3-4 wins instead of zero. In fact, these two teams played earlier in the season in Minnesota and the Vikings needed a miracle drive to kick a game-winning field goal in the dying seconds. Detroit has also hung with teams like Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Chicago, losing (or tying) all four games by a field goal or less. Two teams with a propensity to play close games is a dangerous game for the favorite as the variance will eventually swing towards the underdog. 

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Jets

The Philadelphia Eagles are -275 favorites in New Jersey this weekend when they visit the Jets. This is the second straight game the Eagles are playing at MetLife Stadium, as they lost an ugly game to the Giants last weekend. On the other hand, the Jets are red-hot coming off a win over the Texans. However, this isn't about the Jets. At this point, we know that they're a bad team that fluctuates between almost competent and embarrassing. This is more of a referendum on the Eagles. Are they actually a decent team? Depends on the week. If they're a good team, they should win and cover this game even if they're forced to start Gardner Minshew. I'm not convinced that they're much better than a streaky team with high peaks and low valleys. 

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans

Houston is fresh off a loss to the New York Jets, and now they host the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are -550 favorites on the road over the Texans. How does Indianapolis not win this game? I mean, I guess a meteor could hit Texas or something. After a low volume day for Jonathan Taylor last week, expect Frank Reich to turn the keys of the offense back over to his stud running back. The Texans rank near the bottom of the league in most rush defense categories. The Colts should move the ball at will here. This is a huge must-win game for the Colts in terms of the playoff race as well, so a let-down or flat spot doesn't seem particularly likely either. I mean, the Texans lost to the Jets last weekend. Come on. 

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 21: Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts rushes during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)
Jonathan Taylor should have another big game for the Colts. (Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams are -700 favorites at home over the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville is bad, but you really want to lay -700 or 13 points with these Rams right now? What's wrong with you? Matthew Stafford is attempting to challenge Baker Mayfield for longest list of playable injuries among NFL quarterbacks. Much like Baker and the Browns, the results have been ugly. Stafford has gifted Rams' opponents with a pick-six in three straight games. After opening the season with a 22-4 touchdown-interception ratio in his first eight games, Stafford has just a 5-5 ratio in the last three games. Believe it or not, the Jaguars have played somewhat competitive football in recent weeks, holding opponents to an average of 20 points over their last four games. The offense has been bad, but we all know the potential of Trevor Lawrence. Will the Jaguars win? Probably not, but I'm not tempting fate with the Rams right now. 

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Man, the AFC North is weird this year. Pittsburgh looks like a plucky, competitive team some weeks and then the next week they look like they don't care. Some weeks, Ben Roethlisberger looks fine and other weeks he looks like he should have retired five years ago. On the other side, the Baltimore Ravens look like they're challenging themselves to do everything possible to lose a game while still winning. The Ravens are -200 favorites over the Steelers this week on the road. Baltimore is tempting fate nearly every week, but still finding ways to win. One can consider that a positive, but I see it as playing with fire. This comes down to your belief in the Steelers and Mike Tomlin. Can Tomlin get his team to rebound after an embarrassing performance and get them to play well in a rivalry game at home? Precedent says the answer is "yes."

Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs are -450 home favorites over the Denver Broncos in an AFC West showdown. Is Kansas City back? The betting market seems to think so. I would agree with the idea that their defense is vastly improved from the start of the season, but I still need to see more from the offense. When they run the ball and attack with the short passing game, the offense looks good. However they often get away from that over the course of the game. I expect the Broncos to keep this game close and keep it low scoring. Denver has won 3 of their last 4 games and has played some great football against playoff teams in the Chargers, Cowboys and Football Team. Yes, Washington is in a playoff spot. Look it up if you don't believe me. 

Confidence ratings

Which big favorite is most likely to go down? Below are my confidence ratings in this week's big favorites in descending order:

  1. Indianapolis

  2. Tampa Bay

  3. Arizona

  4. Los Angeles

  5. Minnesota

  6. Kansas City

  7. Philadelphia

  8. Dallas

  9. Baltimore

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