Table of Contents

    By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast

    It’s feast week for NFL fans – lots to digest.

    WEEK 13  – HOLIDAY WINNERS

    As we turn the corner past our Thanksgiving weekend football coma and head for December football, it’s time for your team (and your betting brain) to be hitting your stride. Right….NOW and for the next two months it all matters more and this is when our run to greatness begins, or so we hope. The beauty of this season is that the pile of mediocrity is massive, meaning there’s a whole ton of 5-6 and 6-5 teams that could still pull a rabbit out of a hat and make a run – it’s about identifying who gets hot that will keep the winners flowing in.

    It’s officially “scenario season” as we desperately script out a path to the playoffs. If you’re near (or right at) 50% ATS on the season like I am, or your team is still desperately clinging on to being a part of the “in the hunt” graphic, well you’ve got a glimmer of hope my friend. With that, let’s get into the games that are starting to mean a bit more and have soaring playoff implications:

    THE HEADLINERS

    Thursday Night Kickoff 

    Patriots (+5.5) vs Bills – An interesting matchup of a Thanksgiving day winner and loser, this has been circled for Patriots fans’ calendars for a while. The Patriot offense finally woke up in Minnesota but how on earth will they slow down the Bills’ offense, which hasn’t punted against the Patriots in three games? Whatever you think about this one don’t bet the under – this could be the Thursday night shootout we’re all always hoping and waiting for.

    Early Slate

    Jets @ Vikings (-3) – The Vikings come off the Turkey Day win, while the Jets are 7-4 but scratching their heads with question marks. Mike White is the hero they never knew they needed apparently, as their offense woke up last week. Does White Lightning strike twice? Doubtful but the tight point spread indicates that Vegas isn’t loving Minnesota’s chances here either.

    Commanders (-1.5) @ Giants – A surprisingly meaningful NFC East duel against two teams all but counted out in August. I can’t believe I’m saying this but Daniel Jones and Taylor Heinecke are two of the more competent NFL starters as of late, and this should be a gritty display of football. The low over/under of 40.5 suggests defense should win in this divisional clash. 

    Titans (+5.5) @ Eagles – The Jalen Hurts MVP train rolls right along after they outgunned the Packers on Sunday night football. It’s clear that the NFC will go through Philly this season, and this week’s test will be more so for the Eagles D against Derrick Henry and the tough line of the Titans. You have to wonder when Philly might slip up next, and this could be a potential landmine game.

    AP Photo/Matt Rourke

    Late Window

    Dolphins (+3) @ 49ers – Fascinating bi-coastal matchup of teams that do it very differently on offense. There’s always the urban legend betting tactic of betting against East Coast teams flying west and vice versa, but I’m not sure any plane flight slows down the Dolphins’ offense at the moment.

    Chiefs (-2.5) @ Bengals – Mahomes vs. Burrow to see if the Chiefs can exact some revenge for last year’s playoff loss. This will be a great litmus for just how ready KC is against playoff competition, and how they look on the road should they not carry the #1 seed into the playoffs.

    Night Pick of the Week

    Saints (+3.5) @ Bucs – I may have said this before so I’ll try and make this the last time – this has to be a back-against-the-wall effort from TB12 right? I’m definitely that Patriots fan holding on to his greatness way too long, but the Saints’ offense is anemic so it may only take a couple of scores for Brady and company to find a win on Monday night.

    THE “WHO CARES?” GAME

    The week 13 bad football moments of the week will surely come from Houston, where the 4-7 Browns play the 1-9-1 Texans. I’m confident in saying that the Browns will come back down to life after the home win against Tampa Bay, but far enough down to get clipped by the lowly Texans? This should be a real barn burner indeed. One thing I would not bet is the over in this one, currently set around 47 points.

    WEIRD VIBE PREDICTION OF THE WEEK

    My Rams +14.5 bet was covering forever until it didn’t and they lost by 16. Close but no cigar. For this week’s vibe I am still attracted to ugly teams that have no business being bet on, so please join me in this ride of misery! This week it’s the Lions, Coached by the king of covers Dan Campbell himself. It’s a great spot because the Jags come off an epic win, and will naturally fall back to earth on the road because bad teams never do the same thing two times in a row. Give me Lions Money Line in a pick’em at home.

    AP Photo/Duane Burleson

    WEEK 12 RECAP

    My full card pends on the Monday Night Football result, but it’s another draw of a week and we fight at the line of scrimmage with point spreads. The best play of the week was the Dolphins/Texans Under, and I’m still wondering how the Bucs didn’t sneak out of Cleveland with a win.

    Week Ten: 2-2 ATS, Season Overall: 30-30-1 ATS

    EARLY WEEK 13 NFL PLAYS FOR ALEX

    Starting off Thursday with that sneaky shootout on TNF incoming – give me the Over 43.5 in Pats vs Bills at Gillette.

    I see the Heinecke hype…but only to a certain extent. I’m not fully sold on the Commanders and the Giants know them well defensively. I like the Giants +2 as a slight home dog.

    Me and my fixation with betting horrible games continue…let’s get the Under 47 in the Browns vs Texans death march.

    A fairly public play that I’ll get early in the week is Over 52 in the Chiefs/Bengals late game. It could even start slow but the last team with the ball will score and win.

    My against-the-grain pick of the week is Colts +9.5, who surely won’t be a public play but it’s the biggest spread of the week and does give me pause to bet on the underdog.

    Other leans: 49ers -3.5, Commanders/Giants Under 40.5

    Not in an NFL pick’em pool yet? Create your own today to get in on the action as the season heats up!

    EATS AND DEETS

    The best crowd: The Museum lot outside of Soldier Field for Packers/Bears. Both teams stink but that won’t slow down the party and heckling of Aaron Rodgers.

    Goofiest line: Fun fact, only the Cowboys (-9.5) are currently favored by more than a score on this week’s card. Maybe some overvaluing there for Dallas?

    Simultaneous screen count: Just two are needed, while the schedule has some good matchups they are spread evenly throughout Sunday.

    Tailgate pick of the week: Once you’re done chewing on that last Turkey leg, it’s officially “I can buy or make cookies for any reason and it’s fine” season so let football be that excuse.

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    About Author

    Alex Lauzon

    Lauzon is a podcast host, live broadcaster, analyst and betting extraordinaire for the Course of Life brand. After earning a degree in broadcast journalism at Quinnipiac University, he worked in ESPN and ESPN radio newsrooms. He has interviewed athletes and celebrities from all walks of life who often love to play golf. When he's not playing golf or talking about the game on Course of Life, Lauzon enjoys time with his wife and dog, checking off the next island vacation destination or counting down the days to the next Dell Match Play in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

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