Free NFL Picks for Week 13, 2021

Free NFL Picks for Week 13, 2021
Fri 3rd December 2021

We have another massive week of NFL action and our free NFL picks have sorted through the best five games of the weekend for you!

There are divisional games everywhere you look and four of our five games feature big rivalry games that could help determine tie-breakers and postseason seeding. We have to wait for Monday Night Football for the biggest of them all, with the Buffalo Bills hosting the New England Patriots in a clash that could determine who ends up on top of the AFC East. 

Our NFL picks help find who that might be and provide you with our best bets from five of Week 13’s games. 

Sunday, December 5th 

Los Angeles Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals – 1pm ET

This game features two up-and-coming teams with exciting, young quarterbacks in a game that has AFC Wild Card implications. Joe Burrow will look to continue his campaign for NFL Comeback Player Of The Year and Justin Herbert will look to turn the LA Chargers season around.

Michael Lantz

The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off a big rivalry win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, where their defense absolutely feasted on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Bengals would go on to win 41-10 and now only have the Baltimore Ravens sitting in front of them in the AFC North. Their next matchup is against the team currently sitting in second place in the AFC West: the L.A. Chargers.

L.A. had a rough divisional loss against the Denver Broncos last weekend, losing 28-13 on the road; so they’ll be looking to bounce back. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert had a fine game, as he threw 2 touchdowns and over 300 yards, but he’ll want to have the 2 interceptions he threw back.  He’ll hope to make the proper adjustments going against a Bengals team that picked off Ben Roethlisberger twice last Sunday. They’ll look for another repeat performance against a Chargers offense that’s top ten in the NFL in yards per game. Meanwhile, the Chargers defense will look to slow Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. After having his rookie season end early due to a grueling injury, Burrow has come back to show the league he’s a future star, if not one already. It should be a fascinating matchup between Herbert and Burrow, two of the league’s great young quarterbacks, who will hopefully share many more battles for years to come. I like these two to put on a show against two middle-of-the-pack defenses, with the total sitting at 50.5, I think the over is definitely achievable. 

Michael’s NFL Pick: Over 50.5 (-110)

Mike Su

The Bengals come off a definitive win against the descending Steelers and look to pit fellow 2020 NFL Draft alumni Joe Burrow against Justin Herbert. The Chargers will be looking to bounce back from a low-scoring offensive performance against the Denver Broncos who picked off Herbet twice. The Bronco’s defense is significantly better than the Bengal’s underrated unit, so I expect a bounce back from Herbert. The Charger’s passing defense looked great last week as they allowed 155 passing yards but they will need to work on their run defense which was the key weakness against the Broncos. The Chargers allowed 147 yards on the ground which is a worrying sign as they play against one of the league’s best backs, Joe Mixon. Mixon had 165 rushing yards last week alone while averaging 5.9 yards per carry. This will likely mean the Charger’s defense will struggle against the run. 

Burrow has been efficient but hasn’t been a game-changer recently so the Chargers may actually stop the Bengals passing game. The Bengals will be leaning on their running game, especially early on. I think the Bengals and Chargers make this a high-scoring matchup. The Bengals will dominate on the ground while the Chargers will dominate in the air. 

Mike’s NFL Pick: Over 50.5 (-110)

Tony Battalio

The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off of a huge win that solidified a season sweep of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now in this game, two of the best quarterbacks from the 2020 draft class will face off. As the likely winner of comeback player of the year, Joe Burrow will lead his Cincinnati Bengals into Los Angeles to face Justin Herbert and the Chargers. Not many people expected the Bengals to be standing alone in second place in the  AFC North at this point of the season but they have been a pleasant surprise. With a game remaining against the Baltimore Ravens, who they’ve already beaten once this year they could find themselves on top of the division when the season ends. 

The Los Angeles Chargers got off to a good start this season but have been slumping in recent weeks. They come into this game with a record of 6-5 on the year, as they sit in second place 1 game behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. This game feels like a must-win for the Los Angeles Chargers if they want to remain in the AFC playoff race as the season winds down. As for the result of this game, I expect the Cincinnati Bengals to be the one that picks up the big win on the road in Los Angeles. 

Tony’s NFL Pick: Cincinnati Bengals (-158)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons – 1pm ET

This is an NFC South showdown that could have potential playoff implications depending on how the season shakes out. Tampa Bay is leading the division and is currently 3rd overall in the NFC. Atlanta is 2nd in the division and tied for the final Wild Card slot in the NFC.

Michael Lantz

After consecutive losses where they were outscored 68-3, the Atlanta Falcons got back in the groove, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 21-14 last Thursday. At 5-6, the Falcons remain in the hunt for a playoff berth, but they’ll need Matt Ryan and the offense to be a little more dependable if they truly plan on making a run. 

Things won’t get any easier for them, as they host the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home. Tampa had a rough patch to start November as they lost to the Saints on Halloween and then after a bye week fell to the Washington Football Team. Luckily they gained two games back, winning against the Giants and the Colts over the last two weeks. Now at 8-3, they look to prevent Atlanta from gaining any ground on them. At 44, Tom Brady shows no signs of slowing down. The Tampa Bay quarterback and proclaimed “GOAT”, leads the league in touchdowns and completions. The last time these teams met in week two,  this Tampa Bay offense racked up 48 points. With the way Atlanta has struggled against even decent offenses lately, I expect a similar result as last time.

Michael’s NFL Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -11 (-105)

Mike Su

This should be a predictable game. The Falcons have struggled against good teams and have only beaten bad teams. Their wins include the Jaguars, Jets, Dolphins, Giants, and Saints, which collectively may be the worst teams in the league. The Buccaneers on the other hand are building momentum heading into the second half of the year. The Buccaneers came back down 10 points at the half against one of the best teams in the AFC in the Indianapolis Colts. The week before they destroyed the Giants 38-10.

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Tom Brady continues to be the MVP favorite despite being 44 years old and currently leads the MVP betting odds. Tom will be facing the Falcons who he has destroyed throughout his career, especially since beating them in the Super Bowl, despite being down 28-3 late in the 3rd quarter. The Buccaneer’s defense has been one of their weaknesses this year and has struggled to contain other teams. Although they have made big stops late in games, they haven’t been very consistent. I think the Buccaneers will lead throughout the entire game but the Buccs defense will slip midway allowing a Falcon’s scoring flurry.

I’m taking the Overs in this game as the last matchup was a high-scoring affair that saw over 70 points scored.

Mike’s NFL Pick: Over 50.5 (-110)

Tony Battalio

This NFC South matchup is between two of the oldest quarterbacks in the league as Tom Brady will line up against Matt Ryan’s Atlanta Falcons. The defending Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their sights set on picking up their second straight title this year. As of right now they certainly look like the favorites to do that as other teams have seemingly fallen off and the Bucs have stayed consistent despite a hiccup or two along the road. 

Tampa Bay comes into this game with a record of 8-3 on the year, as they hold a 2.5 game lead in the NFC South division over the previously mentioned Atlanta Falcons. The Bucs are currently on a two-game winning streak following wins over the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts. As for the Atlanta Falcons, they are 5-6 on the year and have lost two of their last three after being blown out by the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots in recent weeks. However last week they picked up a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. As for the result of this one, I expect Brady and the Buccaneers to pick up a victory here and further extend their lead within the division.

Tony’s NFL Pick: Tampa Bay Bucs (-500)

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers – 4:25pm ET

This is an AFC North showdown that is one of the most heated rivalries in the National Football League. Baltimore is on top of the division but haven’t been playing great and they are coming off a tough game where they barely survived the Cleveland Browns. Pittsburgh has been inconsistent but has looked better at home and is only ½ game out of a Wild Card slot in the AFC.

Michael Lantz

With the Cincinnati Bengals breathing down their neck, the Baltimore Ravens must take care of division rival Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend. Despite the Bengals crushing the Steelers last Sunday, there’s no guarantee Baltimore will do the same. This Ravens offense has hit a rut lately as they fell to the Miami Dolphins 22-10, and then followed up that defeat with two wins where they only scored 16 points in each. Wins are wins, but if the Ravens plan on making a Super Bowl-worthy run, they’ll need Lamar Jackson and Co. to be much more dynamic. 

Even after an ugly loss to the Bengals, the Steelers remain just outside the AFC playoff race. Despite Ben Roethlisberger looking less effective, the team still has been able to ride the shoulders of rookie running back Najee Harris, who’s already accumulated over 1,000 total yards on the year. Both players will have a tough time against a Ravens defense that looks like it’s starting to click. 

Even with the last couple of weeks being slow on the offensive front, I expect the Ravens to rebound this week against a Steelers team who they’re all too familiar with and rank near the bottom in yards given up per game.

Michael’s NFL Pick: Baltimore Ravens (-215)

Mike Su

The Steelers have fallen into their same old routine. Starting the year fast and slowing down late in the season has been a hallmark of the Steelers under Big Ben in recent years. Despite throwing over 250 yards, Big Ben’s arm looks like a wet pool noodle and has been horrible lately. The Steeler’s offensive success correlates directly with Big Ben and with Big Ben’s arm unable to maintain its arm strength late into the season, I don’t think the Steeler’s offense will be able to move the ball against the strong Ravens defense. The Ravens will likely stack the box against Najee Harris and tempt Big Ben into throwing the ball non-stop. 

The Ravens on the other hand have been steadily chugging along collecting wins. This team and namely Lamar Jackson does whatever it takes to win, despite the box score. Lamar had 4 interceptions last game against the Browns defense which is one of the best in the league. However, Lamar made up for this by leading the team in rushing and leading a 5-minute field goal drive near the end of the game to extend the lead to 6 points. I think in this game the Ravens take an easy win and destroy the Steelers.

Mike’s NFL Pick:  Baltimore Ravens -4.5 (-114)

Tony Battalio

Next to the Monday night matchup of the Bills and Patriots this game is the most important game of the week. As this AFC North battle will go a long way in determining the NFL playoff picture. The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off of a game where they got absolutely thrashed by the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens are coming off of a game that they were lucky to win, when the Cleveland Browns offense decided not to show up. 

The Ravens are the top team in the AFC with an 8-3 record. Meanwhile the Steelers are 5-5-1 on the year as they are trending down. Ravens win would be huge as it will further separate them from the Bengals, Browns, and Steelers. Meanwhile, it feels like a must win for the Steelers and I hope to keep pace in the AFC playoff race. As for the result of this when I have Baltimore picking up a pretty convincing victory. 

Tony’s NFL Pick: Baltimore Ravens (-215)

Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs – 8:20pm ET

This is an AFC West showdown, that has plenty of playoff implications on the line. Kansas City has won 4 straight and is on top of the AFC West division, even after a slow start to the season. Denver has been hamstringed by inconsistent play as of late but has been good on the defensive side of the ball lately and is only 1 game behind KC and a win would tie them at top of division.

Michael Lantz

The Kansas City Chiefs continue to rule the AFC West—but for how long? The Chiefs have gone an unconvincing 7-4, with wins over the last couple of weeks in large thanks to their normally sub-par defense. They have to hunker down and play great on both sides of the ball this weekend as they face a Denver Broncos team that’s one game behind them and coming off a big win against the L.A. Chargers.

The Broncos defense had a big week against division rivals, the Chargers, where they picked off young star Justin Hebert two times. That win brought them within a game of the Kansas City Chiefs, as they head to the always hostile Arrowhead Stadium to try and share the top of the division. Still, even with Kansas City not fully clicking, they’ve been able to win four straight, which started after a 27-3 blowout loss to the Titans on October 24th. These gritty wins will only make them stronger as the season continues, as they can depend on other players to win the game besides Patrick Mahomes. They still sit second in the NFL in yards per game, with a Dallas team (who they limited to 9 points) being the only team standing in their way from first. They may not be as flashy as years past, but the Chiefs are still getting it done. The Broncos will come in with a lot of energy as they look to gain ground, but these are the games where the Chiefs prove they’re still the top dogs in the AFC.

Michael’s NFL Pick: Kansas City Chiefs (-450)

Mike Su

The Chiefs have regained their confidence and are coming off a much needed bye week. The Chiefs have 4 wins in a row against relatively good competition in the Cowboys, Raiders, Packers and Giants. Although they aren’t nearly as close to their full strength yet, the Chiefs are a lot better than they were in the beginning of the season. Mahomes will be facing the Broncos who he has had a good record against after starting his career against them in relief of Alex Smith. However, the Broncos defense has been looking strong lately and may present problems for the Chiefs and Mahomes. 

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The Broncos come off a dirty, old-school win where defense and the running game led. The Broncos had 147 yards on the ground but struggled in the air. They likely will have an easier time passing against the notoriously bad Chiefs defense and will burn the clock running the ball to try to keep Mahomes on the bench and out of rhythm. I think the Broncos will rely heavily on their run game once again and will try to have a large share of the time of possession to subdue Mahomes. The Chiefs will try to pass their way to a win against the Bronco’s scary defense. I think the Broncos cover the line and make it close enough as they slow the game down. 

Mike’s NFL Pick: Denver Broncos +9.5 (-110)

Tony Battalio

The Denver Broncos come into this all-important AFC West game with a record of 6-5 on the season. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs come into the game with a record of 7-4 on the season. At the beginning of the year, the Kansas City Chiefs struggled mightily and for the first time in a while, the AFC West looked to be wide-open. As the season progressed however the Chiefs regained the form that led them to back-to-back Super Bowls. Now they are again top division and pulling away with each passing week. What also helped Kansas City is the decline of the Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, and the Denver Broncos. 

Denver comes into this one having one and three of their last four with their only loss coming to the Philadelphia Eagles in surprising fashion. Denver still has plenty of time to gain ground as they still have another game against the Chiefs remaining and the game will come in the final week of the regular season. As for the Chiefs, they have won four in a row and only have one loss in their last five games. Despite the slow start they now look nearly unbeatable they look to make their third trip back to the Super Bowl in as many years. As for the result of this game I have the Chiefs extending their winning streak to five as they took up a big victory at home. 

Tony’s NFL Pick: Kansas City Chiefs (-450)

Monday, December 6th

New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills – 8:15pm ET

Half a game separates the two teams at top of AFC East as New England haven’t had their bye week yet. Both of these teams are the top two teams in terms of point differential. The Pats have won 6 straight which is a league-best. Buffalo has shown to be inconsistent this season but explosive on both sides of the ball at times. The winner of this game will jump back into the top four as a division winner, while the loser will retain a wildcard spot.

Michael Lantz

On Monday night, we get another great in-division showdown as the surprising New England Patriots are sitting atop the division thanks to an exceptional defense and an improving offense led by rookie quarterback Mac Jones. They’ll hope they can continue their run in first as they face the team that sits directly behind them, and was favored to win before the season: the Buffalo Bills. 

Before the season it looked like Buffalo would run away with the AFC East, just like the Patriots did for so many years. But, Buffalo couldn’t have it nice for too long, as this Patriots team is showing they can move on from the Tom Brady era and can continue to compete with the best. 

Buffalo ran into some odd games in November: they lost to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars 9-6, and then were destroyed by the Indianapolis Colts 41-15. They had a big 31-6 win against the Saints last week, but this matchup against the Patriots is anything but a sure thing. The Pats are surging and gaining confidence along the way, they’ll want to go into their rival’s home and grab a win, to prove to the skeptics that they once again belong on top of the division. This should be one of the better Monday Night Football games of the year, and while it may be hard to pick a winner, I’ll go with the surprise pick and take the Pats to steal one from the Bills in Western New York.

Michael’s NFL Pick: New England Patriots (+122)

Mike Su

The Patriots led the AFC and are on a 6 game winning streak behind the great play of rookie Mac Jones. Jones has looked very much like a young Brady and is a near-lock for rookie of the year in my opinion. The Patriot’s defense has been a wonder to watch as they’ve held some of the better offenses in the league to low-scoring outings. This includes a shutout against the Falcons, holding the Titans to 13 points, and holding the Browns to 7 points. The Patriots are looking like their 2001 Super Bowl-winning team and the comparison between Jones and Brady is scary. 

The Bills on the other hand have been hit or miss lately after a hot early season start. Their lowlights include a loss to the Jaguars, and a blowout loss against the Colts where the Colts won 41-15. The Bills are one of the scariest teams in the league when they are switched on but right now they are very inconsistent. I think this will be an extremely close game but I’m betting on the Patriots as there’s just way too much value there. 

Mike’s NFL Pick: New England Patriots (+122)

Tony Battalio

This has the potential to be the best Monday night game of the year as the Bills and Patriots will face off for sole possession of the first place in the AFC East. These two teams had very different projections at the beginning of the year as everyone expected the Bills to be the AFC favorite and everyone expected the Patriots to still be in rebuild mode. However, clearly, that is not the case as the Bills have struggled and Bill Belichick looks to have his next franchise quarterback in Mac Jones. 

Both of these teams come into this game only separated by half a game for both the AFC East and the top seed in the AFC as a whole. This is currently held by the Baltimore Ravens as they are 8-3 on the year. New England is 8-4, while the Bills are 7-4 on the season. As for the result of this one I look for the New England Patriots to pick up the victory and remain undefeated on the road. In the process, they will be giving the Buffalo Bills their first loss inside the AFC East. 

Tony’s NFL Pick: New England Patriots (+122)

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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.

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