The NFL Week 13 schedule shows a number of road favorites, with seven visiting teams favored. But none of the numbers really jump out as bad lines. You can make a case for the NFL point spreads in all of the games. Still, there will be a few underdogs that surprise people and we’ll look to uncover a few solid NFL Week 13 underdogs.
Location: Acrisure Stadium, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Line: Pittsburgh -5.5
Cardinals Thumped by Rams
The Arizona Cardinals were downright bad last week, getting waxed by a 37-14 final score. The Cardinals had no running game to speak of. Kyler Murray and the passing game was average. But when you can’t run and allow the opposition to rush for more than 200 yards, you’re usually in for a long day. The Cardinals upset Atlanta and played Houston tough the two previous weeks, so it was a step backward.
Arizona has typically rushed the ball pretty well. The Cardinals just don’t stick to the run, as they’re frequently behind and trying to gain big chunks of yardage. Arizona is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for the season but only rushes 25.4 times per game. The Cardinals throw 32.8 times per game, where they gain 5.4 yards per attempt. But Arizona’s problem has been scoring after moving the ball. The Cardinals are No. 27 in yards per point.
The defense hasn’t helped Arizona much, allowing 26.8 yards per game. The Cardinals are a little better at defending the pass. But that’s not really saying a lot.
Steelers Capitalizing on Opposition Mistakes
The Steelers are 7-4 and very much in the hunt for a playoff berth. A big key to the team’s success is being +11 in turnovers. That can help overcome a lot of scoring woes. Pittsburgh is averaging just 16.5 points per game and gaining 292.9 yards. That’s less than Arizona. The Steelers are running the ball halfway decent. But the passing game hasn’t been very effective. Kenny Pickett ranks No. 27 in the NFL QB stats with a rating of 81.2.
Defensively, the Steelers are allowing some yards. But they’ve done a solid job keeping the opposing team from scoring. Pittsburgh allows just 4.1 fewer yards than the Cardinals but is allowing 8.2 fewer points per game. The turnover margin certainly helps.
This is a game Arizona can hang tough in as long as it can take care of the football. There isn’t a lot of difference between the stats of the two teams. Considering the records of the teams, the line appears to be a little on the low side. But a look into the numbers suggests the point spread is pretty much where it should be. Take the Arizona Cardinals +5.5 as one of your NFL Week 13 underdogs.
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
Line: Houston -3.5
Broncos on a Major Roll
Denver has won its last five games to move to 6-5 on the season and get itself into the playoff picture. Three of those wins were by two points or less, so it’s not as though the Broncos are blowing people out. But a tendency to play in close games is never a bad thing when you’re looking at a 3.5-point underdog. Denver’s scoring stats are going to be distorted all season long due to the 70 points allowed to Miami in Week 3, so you can’t place much weight on that.
The Broncos aren’t as bad defensively as some of their stats suggest. Denver has played well lately, allowing a high of 22 points over the last six games. The Broncos are allowing some yards, but have done a solid job of keeping teams out of the end zone.
Texans Off Tough Loss to Jags
Houston is looking to bounce back after a 24-21 loss to Jacksonville that puts them two games behind the Jaguars in the standings. Houston attempted a long field goal to tie the score late, but the kick bounced off the crossbar and the Jags took the win.
C.J. Stroud had a decent game for the Texans, who are throwing for 276.2 yards per game on the season. The Texans aren’t running the ball very well, which puts a little more pressure on the passing game. For the most part, Houston has been up to the challenge.
The Texans have played pretty well against the run during the season. The team’s pass defense leaves a bit to be desired, as Houston allows 252.5 passing yards per game. The Texans are allowing 7.3 yards per pass attempt to teams that average just 6.2 yards per pass.
This is a game the Broncos are more than capable of winning. Houston has made strides this season, but not so sure about taking them in a favorite’s role here. This one should be close throughout, so take Denver +3.5 as another one of your NFL Week 13 underdogs.