When it comes to NFL odds, over/under calls are akin to training wheels on a bicycle.
The over/under is usually much easier to discern on a week-to-week basis for all matchups. For example, it was pretty clear last week that a clash between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys that wound up 31-28 would blow away an over of fewer than 50 points.
How bettors choose to use the over/under is part of the fun. On its lonesome, an over/under can cover other bets. Parlays mean more cash but more necessary skill and luck.
Regardless, there are some painfully obvious over/under marks that litter the Week 13 slate.
NFL Week 13 Picks Against the Spread
|Matchup||Spread (O/U)||Pick ATS||O/U Pick||Reason|
|Chicago at Detroit||DET -7 (47)||Lions||O||Jay Cutler cannot help but turn the ball over, which puts a miserable defense in miserable situations.|
|Philadelphia at Dallas||DAL -3 (55.5)||Cowboys||O||See analysis below.|
|Seattle at San Francisco||EVEN (40)||Seahawks||O||Seattle slips by as Marshawn Lynch takes advantage of an injured defense.|
|Cleveland at Buffalo||EVEN (41)||Browns||U||Josh Gordon’s breakout game will down the Bills.|
|New Orleans at Pittsburgh||PIT -3 (53.5)||Steelers||U||Pittsburgh is erratic, but New Orleans cannot win on the road or at home right now.|
|San Diego at Baltimore||BAL -4.5 (45.5)||Ravens||U||Baltimore is lucky this one comes at home, where it can ride Justin Forsett to victory.|
|Carolina at Minnesota||MIN -3 (43)||Vikings||O||Minnesota has a solid defense and can hurt the reeling Carolina defense.|
|NY Giants at Jacksonville||NYG -3 (45)||Giants||U||The small spread showcases just how bad both teams are this year.|
|Washington at Indianapolis||IND -10 (51)||Colts||O||See analysis below.|
|Cincinnati at Tampa Bay||CIN -4 (44)||Bengals||O||Make it three in a row on the road for the Bengals as a stable of backs runs wild.|
|Tennessee at Houston||HOU -6.5 (42.5)||Texans||U||So long as Arian Foster is in the lineup, Houston will run away with this one.|
|Oakland at St. Louis||STL -7 (42.5)||Raiders||U||Teams that continue to fight need a game-breaking factor, which would be Latavius Murray.|
|Arizona at Atlanta||EVEN (44.5)||Cardinals||U||Arizona will get back on track thanks to a matchup with a downtrodden Atlanta defense.|
|New England at Green Bay||GB -3 (58)||Patriots||O||New England and LeGarrette Blount can take advantage of a horrific rush defense to pull out a road win.|
|Denver at Kansas City||DEN -1.5 (49.5)||Chiefs||O||Peyton Manning will struggle on the road to keep up with Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis.|
|Miami at NY Jets||MIA -4 (41.5)||Dolphins||U||An elite Miami pass defense is set to have a field day against the circus that is the Jets.|
Source: ESPN, odds via Odds Shark.
Odds courtesy of Odds Shark and accurate as of 7 a.m. ET on Nov. 26.
Top Week 13 Over/Under Plays
Philadelphia at Dallas (-3), Over/Under: 55.5
Even as this over/under continues to skyrocket, feel safe with it—fireworks are inbound on Thanksgiving.
Two of the league’s most explosive offenses collide for the first time in what is sure to be a high-scoring affair. Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles rank fourth in the league with an average of 411.8 yards per game. Tony Romo and the Cowboys come in two spots down the list.
The Eagles have scored more than 30 points seven times this season, four of which have come with backup quarterback Mark Sanchez in charge. While he does have seven touchdowns to six interceptions, the offense did not skip a beat with him under center.
Really, the only issue when it comes to the over is the Dallas defense, as Kelly points out.
“We’ve got a pretty good understanding of what (the Cowboys) are right now,” Kelly said, per STATS LLC, via ESPN.com. “They play extremely hard on the defensive side; and then, obviously, offensively they are running the ball at a very, very high rate.”
Over/Under for Eagles-Cowboys?
Over/Under for Eagles-Cowboys?
Dallas unexpectedly ranks 19th against the pass and 13th against the rush, but all of the attention falls on the offense.
Romo’s unit has reached the 30-point mark six times this season, and it may have done more had he not struggled with a back injury. Lead back DeMarco Murray is the best in the game right now and has 1,354 yards and seven scores.
The Cowboys will encounter few issues at home when it comes to picking up the win. A showdown between Romo and Sanchez has a predictable winner, especially with Murray in the home side’s corner.
Prediction: Cowboys 34, Eagles 28
Washington at Indianapolis (-10), Over/Under: 51
Thank Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts for making this a simple over/under play.
Washington sure is not.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Washington will go with Colt McCoy over a healthy Robert Griffin III Sunday:
Washington is planning to start Colt McCoy over Robert Griffin III on Sunday at Indianapolis, per a team source…. http://t.co/o0WZcOitBr
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 26, 2014
Despite the quarterback carousel, Washington has scored 20 or more points four times this season. Regardless of who lines up under center, tailback Alfred Morris is sure to find some success against a Colts defense that allows an average of 109.9 rushing yards per game.
In his last three outings, Morris has registered a minimum of 92 yards and has totaled three scores. His usage only figures to go up with quarterback being a liability.
The Colts have scored 24 or more points in eight games this year and have posted 40 or more on a host of miserable defenses (Jacksonville, Tennessee, New York Giants). Washington qualifies. The defense is deceptive in that it ranks eighth against the pass and ninth against the rush, but teams still score an average of 24.8 points per game on the unit, which ranks 20th in the league.
Averages such as that are only made worse by Luck. The former Stanford star is in the midst of his best season as a pro, completing 63.4 percent of his passes for 3,641 yards and 29 touchdowns to 10 interceptions.
Luck directs the league’s top passing attack thanks to weapons such as T.Y. Hilton (1,083 yards, four scores) and Reggie Wayne (605 yards, two scores), among others. At home, the offense will have few issues torching the Washington defense.
It should go without saying that the Colts are going to win this one. The spread is construed as so for a reason. So is the over/under, which will be surpassed as the Colts cruise.
Prediction: Colts 38, Washington, 17