It’s officially the fourth quarter of the NFL season and playoff races are running at their peak. With teams staving off elimination, the betting action is as fun as ever. The Bengals and Chargers– while not widely considered contenders– are fighting to avoid elimination from the playoffs . Minnesota battles Tampa Bay for a playoff position, the winner of which takes control of a wildcard seat and the Rams are fighting to knock the Cardinals out.
While there’s plenty of weeks left for teams to make pushes to the playoffs, Week 13 could be the week eliminated teams look back and point to as the turning point. Let’s take a look at some of the best individual matchups of this pivotal week.
In this article we’ll take a look at some of the most intriguing matchups for Week 13’s action. These matchups can be used to make prop bets, for fantasy football advice, or just for the football junkie who’s wanting to get insight on the upcoming games.
Player Prop Picks
Nick Chubb: OVER 83.5 rushing yards vs Titans (-110)
In five of six complete games that Nick Chubb has played in, he’s picked up 100 yards. Even two weeks ago against Houston, Chubb was able to cross the mark with a late 59-yard game clincher; with him, all it takes is one rush to turn a 30-yard day to a 100-yard day. Tennessee’s been gashed by some of the league’s premiere backs (James Robinson, 102 yards; Dalvin Cook, 181 yards) and sit 16th in rush yards allowed (115.5) and yards allowed per rush (4.2).
Since returning from his MCL strain, Chubb has received 19, 20, and 19 carries. The gameplan calls for roughly 20 carries from him per game, as he also received 22 and 19 carries in the two complete games before his injury. At his career-average 5.3 yards per attempt, 20 carries should be plenty for him to usurp 83.5 yards against a middle-of-the-road defense.
Dalvin Cook: OVER 96.5 rushing yards vs Jaguars (-110)
This one is playing the market; William Hill Sportsbook (NJ) has his prop listed at 107.5 yards– 11 yards more than he’s been booked for at FanDuel Sportsbook. When sportsbooks have major discrepancies in opening lines, they usually even out eventually. Even if the two end up meeting somewhere in the middle, jumping on 96.5 yards now could be a nice five-yard buffer from the prop being offered later on.
However, this isn’t blindly following totals from different sportsbooks. Dalvin Cook is second in the NFL with 113 rushing yards per game (16.5 more yards than he’s slated for in this one). It’s not insider information that when a back receives more carries, he picks up more yards, but the split is stark with Cook. This season, he’s received 20 or more carries in six games. In five of six instances, he broke the 100-yard barrier and the exception game was against Chicago where we picked up 96 yards.
When Cook receives less than 20 carries (four instances), he averages just 59.8 yards per game. Jacksonville is the fourth-most rushed on team in the NFL (30.2 attempts) and sits 29th in rushing yards allowed (136.2 yards per game). Cook is poised for another enormous day.
Taysom Hill: to score TD and WIN (+130)
In their first meeting this year, Taysom Hill rushed for two touchdowns and the Saints rolled right over the Falcons 24-9. His second start, against Denver, also saw Hill finding the end zone twice on the ground. It’s safe to assume that the Saints will get inside the ten and ride Hill to a touchdown– even before he was the starter, Sean Payton designed ways to get Hill in the end zone.
The Saints are road favorites in this one, with the line fluctuating between 2.5 and 4.5 points, but have remained steady favorites throughout the week. It’s not a layup game for New Orleans, but they have proved that this is a game they should win (and often do). With uncertainty surrounding Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara’s usage with Hill behind center, the quarterback is the best bet in this one.
DeAndre Hopkins: UNDER 69.5 receptions (-110)
For having to face Jalen Ramsey all afternoon long, this is a surprisingly-high mark for Hopkins’ receiving yards (offered at FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings offers 67.5). This season, DeAndre Hopkins has proven to be susceptible to lockdown corners. Against Xavien Howard, he was held to just three receptions for 30 yards and against Stephon Diggs, he managed five catches for 55 yards.
Enter All Pro Jalen Ramsey, who’s allowing a career-best 5.2 yards per target and has given up just one touchdown so far this season. He’s held Stefon Diggs, Terry McLaurin, DeVante Parker, D.K. Metcalf, and Mike Evans to an average of three receptions for 31 yards this season. Ramsey’s also led the Rams to the third-best pass defense in the NFL (203.5 yards per game).
Against a fierce Rams pass rush led by Aaron Donald, Kyler Murray won’t be sitting in the pocket with hours to throw– he’s going to be distressed. When Murray is sacked two or more times, he averages 240 yards and has a 5:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio (268, 14:5 when he is sacked less than two times).