NFL Betting: NFL Week 13 Preview
Imagine: 18-0 against 18-0 at the Super Bowl. How could it not be the biggest draw in NFL gambling history?
There’s no denying the greatness of the New Orleans Saints. They humbled the New England Patriots 38-17 on Monday night, cashing in as 1-point home favorites at the close and remaining undefeated at 11-0 (8-3 ATS). Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts are also 11-0 SU (7-3-1 ATS) after going into Houston and beating the Texans 35-27 as 3-point faves.
It’s still not the likeliest outcome, but an undefeated Saints-Colts Super Bowl is drawing closer to reality with each passing week.
It’s a great story, and yet there are 30 other teams in the NFL, each with something to offer when it comes to the bottom line of our industry: the football odds. Here’s what’s on tap for Week 13.
Big Ben’s Brain
The Pittsburgh Steelers surprised even their own players when they decided not to start QB Ben Roethlisberger last Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. Roethlisberger practiced with the first team all week after suffering a concussion in Pittsburgh’s overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs (+10.5), but it was former Oregon standout Dennis Dixon lining up under center against the Ravens.
Dixon almost pulled it off, throwing for a TD and rushing for another, but he threw a pick in overtime to set up Billy Cundiff’s game-winning field goal in a 20-17 final. However, Dixon’s mere presence was a boon to Pittsburgh bettors – the Steelers (6-5 SU, 4-7 ATS) were made 9-point underdogs without Big Ben. The odds will no doubt swing back after reports that Roethlisberger will start this Sunday (1:00 p.m., CBS) at home against the Oakland Raiders (3-8 SU, 5-6 ATS). Keep checking Bodog Sports for the latest lines on this and all the Week 13 matchups.
Vince for President
Last year at this time, Vince Young was on the Tennessee Titans bench, having lost his starting job to Kerry Collins and having his mental fortitude called into question. Now Young is 5-0 SU and ATS since getting his job back in Week 8. His Titans have a shot of making the playoffs at 5-6 SU and 6-5 ATS. All is forgiven – at least until Sunday’s tilt with the Colts (1:00 p.m., CBS) at the Oil Field. We had Indy favored by seven at press time with even juice.
Young made it five in a row by beating Arizona 20-17 as a 1-point home fave. The Cardinals went with Matt Leinart at quarterback, again despite earlier reports that suggested Kurt Warner (concussion) would start. The two had split reps with the first unit during practice, so at least Leinart didn’t go in completely cold like Dixon. Warner is still complaining about vision problems, so Leinart could be back in the saddle for Arizona’s Sunday Night Football matchup against the visiting Minnesota Vikings (8:20 p.m., NBC), a serious Super Bowl contender at 10-1 SU and 7-3-1 ATS.
Elam Gets the Boot
We mentioned last week that the Atlanta Falcons (6-5 SU, 7-4 ATS) were on the verge of cutting ties with place-kicker Jason Elam. And so it came to pass; Elam was released on Tuesday after connecting on two of three attempts in Sunday’s 20-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-12). Former Bucs kicker Matt Bryant will take his place after completing his tour of duty with the Florida Tuskers of the UFL. Long snapper Bryan Pittman also lost his job to Joe Zelenka.
The Falcons couldn’t cover the spread against Tampa Bay, but they did manage to pull out a win with Chris Redman taking over at quarterback for Matt Ryan, who was felled by turf toe during the opening drive. Coach Mike Smith told reporters on Monday that Ryan would also miss this Sunday’s tilt with the Philadelphia Eagles (7-4 SU, 6-5 ATS). Redman will get the nod after a strong performance versus the Bucs: 23-for-41 for 243 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions. But he could be without two important players on the offensive line. Left tackle Sam Baker (elbow) and right guard Harvey Dahl (Achilles) are both uncertain for Sunday after getting hurt against Tampa Bay. Game time is 1:00 p.m. Eastern on FOX.