This weekend’s slate of NFL games is highlighted by an NFC showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles that could have massive implications for the NFC playoff picture. Keep reading for my best NFL picks for this game and other matchups! Stay tuned to our NFL odds series for more on betting on the NFL.
Here are the Week 13 NFL odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NFL Odds: Arizona Cardinals at Pittsburgh Steelers
Arizona Cardinals: +6.5 (-110)
Pittsburgh Steelers: -6.5 (-110)
The Steelers showed me something this past weekend against Cincinnati. They should be able to continue with their progress against an Arizona Cardinals team that was dreadful without quarterback Kyler Murray and has only improved marginally since his return.
Murray's return will likely be at least partially offset by the return of star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick for the Steelers. Joey Porter Jr. has been improving every single week since he was made a starter, consistently shutting down some of the best wide receivers in the league on a weekly basis. Pittsburgh’s defense is elite, and their secondary is becoming a strength as key players get healthy and gain experience.
The Steelers defense has been one of the best in the league all season, however, so this is nothing new for them. What has changed is their offense. Kenny Pickett and the rest of Pittsburgh's offense appeared to turn a corner last weekend in their first game of the post-Matt Canada era. They began throwing the ball over the middle of the field and being more aggressive in taking deep shots down the field.
Arizona is a team in transition, and they will likely get worse before they get better. While Pittsburgh may not be a true Super Bowl contender yet, they appear to be moving in the right direction. There is a good chance that this progress continues for the Steelers as they have a home-field advantage against a lesser opponent. Pickett and the rest of the offense made strides against Cincinnati, and I believe this is the weekend that they will finally put it all together.
With the Steelers playing at home, Fitzpatrick returning, offensive playcalling improving, tight end Pat Freiermuth being utilized in the middle of the field, and Pickett making better decisions, the Steelers should be able to build on their performance last week and use this game as a launch pad for a successful run down the stretch of the season that gets them into the postseason.
NFL Pick: Steelers -6.5 (-110)
NFL Odds: Denver Broncos at Houston Texans
Denver Broncos: +3 (-105)
Houston Texans: -3 (-115)
The Broncos rank 23rd in the league in defending the pass, and the Texans' rise has been highlighted by their rookie duo of quarterback CJ Stroud and wide receiver Tank Dell. Stroud seems to get better every week, and he is even being discussed as a legitimate potential MVP candidate. If the Texans make the playoffs this season, he will very likely receive strong consideration for the award at the minimum. It’s very possible he even walks away with the hardware.
This is a good matchup that leans in Houston’s favor. If Stroud and the rest of the young Texans' offense can continue to make strides, they should be able to do damage and have some big moments against a Broncos team with a weak overall passing defense. Stroud will have to be careful with the football as Pat Surtain II can be a gamewrecker by himself, and if Surtain shadows Dell, the rest of the offensive playmakers will have to step up and Stroud will have to demonstrate the maturity to not try to force the ball to Dell and risk turning it over. Back Stroud and the Texans offense in this game.
NFL Pick: Texans -3 (-115)
NFL Odds: San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles
San Francisco 49ers: -3 (-110)
Philadelphia Eagles: +3 (-110)
This is going to be a very interesting matchup, as it pits strength against strength. The Eagles have a dynamic offense led by Jalen Hurts and complimented by elite receivers in AJ Brown and Devonta Smith.
However, Philadelphia has no problem beating teams in other ways as well. They have an elite offensive line and a high-quality group of running backs led by DeAndre Swift. This allows them to run the ball nearly at will. Jalen Hurts is also a weapon in the running game, and their tush push play on fourth down is one of the most lethal plays in football. Between the physicality of Hurts and the aggressiveness of their line, the tush push is nearly automatic on 3rd and 4th down and short yardage.
This matchup features two of the best teams in the league, but Philadelphia has home-field advantage and I believe they are a slightly better team. This is because they are more well-rounded, and can beat their opponents in so many different ways.
In a game that will likely come down to a few key plays and the need to gain a guaranteed yard or two in order to keep a drive going, bettors can trust the Eagles to convert critical third and fourth and short situations with their patented version of the QB sneak, and this should be enough for the Eagles to win this game.
NFL Pick: Eagles +3 (-110)