Week 13 NFL Betting Picks: Game and Team Totals
If you're familiar with DFS tournaments, then you're familiar with the concept of stacking. Not only do the players interact in a way that bolsters the output of the other, like a quarterback passing to a receiver, but the beauty of stacking is that it reduces the total number of things that you need to be right about.
That's one of the reasons that I'm dialed in on team totals so often, as is the case this week. In seasons past, the majority of bookmakers wouldn't post individual team totals until Saturday or Sunday, but most of the major books have begun hanging team totals on Thursdays. The team total is simply derived from subtracting half the point spread from half of the game total and it isn't something that bookmakers focus specifically on posting. The lines are inefficient at times because they don't always move in unison with the game total or spread. I'm also trying to work around key numbers like 24, 27, 21, 23, 28, and 17.
I'm going to be an adult about it, but I ran badly here last week. A 1-3 week was extremely close to 4-0. Onward and upward, to Week 13. The hit rate on the season here is still a profitable one, at 57% (31-24-1).
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Let's dig into this week's picks.
San Francisco 49ers - Over 23 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
The 49ers are underpriced in the market. They've been running out a skeleton lineup on both sides of the ball, held together by duct tape and Kyle Shannahan. He's so good at what he does, but his job is getting easier now as his team continues to get playmakers back into the lineup. They won't be at full strength, but they haven't had Raheem Mostert, Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk in the lineup at the same time very often this season, and this trio is enough to get it done against Buffalo.
San Francisco wants to run the ball and will have little trouble doing so against the Bills. Buffalo is 31st in rushing success rate allowed on the season, and while they're getting LB Matt Milano back this week, they were a terrible run defense with him in the lineup too. The game total is viable as well, but I feel strongly that the 49ers are the right side here.
Los Angeles Rams - Over 24.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Los Angeles stubbed their toe last week against the 49ers, but they clearly have the Rams' number. The same could be said for the Rams versus the Cardinals. Sean McVay and company have scored 31 or more in seven straight contests against Arizona, and while their defense has improved this season, they're still a middle of the road defense that gets a below-average rate of pressure.
We know the skeleton key against Jared Goff is pressuring him but with a clean pocket and a short, quick-hitting game plan dialed up from McVay, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are going to be a problem for the Cardinals secondary. Arizona's elevated pace will likely create two or three possessions above expectation for the Rams in this one, but I don't expect the Cardinals' pace to translate into points this week, so I'm isolating the Rams to get this done.
Chicago Bears - Over 23 (PointsBet)
A Chicago Bears' team total over? The simulation that is 2020 has come to a screeching halt.
The Lions head to Chicago as a liberated club, free from the rule of Matt Patricia. I'm sure they're thrilled. Unfortunately, that emotion and joy can't line up on the defensive line in blue and silver. Detriot will be without DT Danny Shelton and CB Desmond Trufant this week, while rookie CB Jeffrey Okudah is beat-up but likely to give it a go. Unfortunately, Okudah has allowed nearly 15 yards per reception on the season, so he doesn't move the needle at this point. Shelton is a massive human being, and his lack of presence in the middle of the line will be a welcomed sight for high-volume-plodder David Montgomery.
The Lions run a lot of man and press coverage, and Mitch Trubisky has had success against the Lions' man scheme throughout his career. Trubisky is 4-0 in his last four matchups against Detriot, with a very nice 69.3% completion rate, 12 touchdowns, and just one interception, averaging 8.7 yards per attempt. Assuming the late injury news with Allen Robinson is nothing more than precautionary, I like the Bears anywhere up to 26.5.