Monday, March 4, 2024

NFL Player Props & Best Bets Week 13: Can Denver Tame Red-Hot Stroud?

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With the unique Thanksgiving and Black Friday NFL schedule behind us, we return to a more traditional slate of games in Week 13, so let’s dive in with our top NFL player props and best bets for Week 13 based on the best NFL odds from our best sports betting apps.

There are some historic point spreads that lie ahead in Week 13, like the Philadelphia Eagles being the fourth home underdog since 2004 with a record of 10-1 or better.

Additionally, Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots haven’t been a home underdog to a team with a losing record since 2001.

Here are our NFL player props and best bets and NFL picks for Week 13 (odds via our best NFL betting sites; Pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

NFL best bets: Week 13

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Week 13 NFL schedule and odds

(Odds via DraftKings)

NFL player props for Week 13

C.J. Stroud Under 263.5 passing yards vs. Broncos (-110 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud has been on fire in 2023. He’s now the first rookie in NFL history with 300-plus passing yards in four straight games after his 304-yard effort in Week 12. 

Stroud ranks in the top six among all quarterbacks in passing yards, yards per attempt, and passer rating. However, oddsmakers have made his passing yards total for Week 13 very low relative to his recent performances because of how good the Denver Broncos’ pass defense has been. Denver ranks in the top six in passer rating and adjusted completion rate allowed since Week 7, and the team is in the top seven in the league in yards per attempt allowed since Week 5.

Only one passer has thrown for multiple touchdowns against the Broncos over the last seven games, and it wasn’t Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen after those two were limited. Denver is allowing the third-lowest completion percentage when pressuring the quarterback during that stretch too, according to Sharp Football Analysis.

That has us down on Stroud, especially after Jacksonville’s duo of Josh Allen and Travon Walker combined for three sacks and 11 quarterback pressures in Week 12 against Houston.

bet365 is the only shop charging less than -115 odds to back the Under, and we’re getting a better number there than at FanDuel, which is posting a total at 261.5.

Najee Harris anytime touchdown scorer vs. Cardinals (+120 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Despite this game getting one of the four-lowest projected totals on the Week 13 slate, we’re taking Najee Harris to score a touchdown on a confident four-star play because of what we saw out of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense last week. And because of what Los Angeles Rams running back Kyren Williams did to the Arizona Cardinals’ defense in Week 12.

Harris’ 11 rushes for 15-plus yards lead the league, according to UnderdogNFL. Harris should continue to be a focal point of an offense that snapped a 58-game streak without 400 total yards (coincidentally in Pittsburgh’s first game after firing offensive coordinator Matt Canada), the fifth-longest streak in the last 50 seasons. We also expect positive regression from a Steelers offense that recorded just one touchdown on four red-zone drives in Week 12, and a unit that’s now scored touchdowns on 43% of its red-zone drives in 2023 (28th).

Williams was the first Ram with 200-plus scrimmage yards and multiple touchdowns since Todd Gurley in 2018, and his 71 rushing yards over expected was the highest from a Rams player since 2018, according to Next Gen Stats.

Arizona has fielded a poor run defense all season while allowing 100-plus yards to six players, at least one rushing touchdown to 12 different players, and multiple rushing touchdowns to two running backs. Thus, the plus-money odds for Harris to find the end zone are a steal, especially compared to competing shops like Caesars, which is pricing this prop at -120.

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NFL game picks for Week 13

Chargers-Patriots Under 40.5 (-110 via FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Los Angeles Chargers entered Week 12 against the Baltimore Ravens after allowing an NFL-high 31 pass plays of 25-plus yards. In addition, five quarterbacks (Mahomes, Tua Tagovailoa Jordan Love, Zach Wilson, Tyson Bagent) posted their season-high in passing yards against the Chargers.

However, Los Angeles thrived with a tremendous defensive game plan against the Ravens, holding them to 164 passing yards and 4.8 yards per attempt, though four turnovers undid that effort.

But a leaky pass defense shouldn’t be susceptible against whoever Bill Belichick trots out at quarterback (Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe). The Patriots have reached the end zone (or scored prior) on a league-low 21.6% of their offensive possessions, according to Sharp Football Analysis.

New England is averaging just 11.8 points per game during a four-game losing streak. But its defense has held up well through the offensive struggles. The team has lost consecutive contests while allowing 10 or fewer points for the first time since 1993.

This is a sharp line, as DraftKings and BetRivers also offer an O/U of 40.5, but those books are juiced to the Under at -112 and -114, respectively. Thus, bettors can choose from four of our best sportsbooks that are offering the Under on 40.5 at standard -110 juice.

Jaguars ML/Panthers +5.5 parlay (+139 via BetMGM, bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Cincinnati Bengals have won just one of their 26 road or neutral site night games in the past 25 years, including 16 straight losses. Additionally, head coach Zac Taylor is just 4-20 straight up without Joe Burrow as his starting quarterback. We hold no confidence in the Bengals beating the 8-3 Jaguars (their best start since 2007), especially after Cincinnati allowed the Steelers to total more than 400 yards for the first time in Pittsburgh’s last 58 games.

Meanwhile, we expect a coaching change to do Carolina some good this week after moving on from Frank Reich. There are historical trends to support that as well, as teams the week after firing a head coach are 20-16 against the spread, with 17 straight-up wins.

The Under is also 4-1 in Tampa Bay’s home games during 2023. There’s been an average of 32.2 points in those contests, so we’re happy to take the points in what should be a defensive struggle.

BetMGM and bet365 are our go-to shops for this wager. Those books, along with Caesars, are the only ones charging standard -110 juice for a spread of +5.5 (others are at +5). But Caesars’ moneyline odds for the Jaguars are a much steeper -435 compared to the -400 found at the other two. 

NFL best bets made 11/30/2023 at 4:18 p.m. ET.

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