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The road is separating between teams with playoff chances and those playing out the string.

Bettors are backing clubs with the most to lose as the final third of the regular season descends. Here are our NFL Betting Trends for Week 13, including odds and analysis, as December dawns.

More NFL odds: NFL Week 13 odds | Super Bowl odds | NFL MVP odds

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Public Supports Road Favorites in NFL Week 13

Several road teams gain betting love. There is an unusually high number of visiting chalk, six teams, all taking more handle than their host opponents.

The Detroit Lions took an avalanche of early money, 93% handle at DraftKings, to cover -4 (Best Live Odds: ) against the host New Orleans Saints.

Bettors lined up with 85% of the DraftKings handle for the Los Angeles Chargers at -6 (Best Live Odds: ) against the host New England Patriots. This is a high number of points to lay by a 4-7 team that has lost three straight games with no cover.

No problem, say the bettors. The Patriots are 2-9 against the spread.

The San Francisco 49ers had 76% of the early handle, driving the early line to -3 (Best Live Odds: ) against the host Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia money countered, pushing the number back to -2.5. This will be a cat-and-mouse betting chase for several days as each side seeks a desirable number.

Other road chalks being bet include the Indianapolis Colts -2 (Best Live Odds: ) at the Tennessee Titans, the Kansas City Chiefs -6.5 (Best Live Odds: ) at the Green Bay Packers, and the Atlanta Falcons -2.5 (Best Live Odds: ) against the host New York Jets.

Bettors sense different roads for the haves and have-nots.

“We’re kind of seeing that,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told Gaming Today. “They are going with teams that still have a playoff chance over teams they think have given up.

“You see that the Jets are pretty much done. The Tennessee Titans can’t win anything. The Saints are not really a very good team and people think the Lions will beat them.

“In the case of Kansas City versus Green Bay, the Chiefs are simply a better team.

“The bettors are going with these favorites,” Avello added, “and they did very well in Week 12.”

Other than Green Bay’s 29-22 victory over the Detroit Lions at +7.5, sportsbooks did not have the upset-stunner eliminating multi-legged moneyline parlays.

One exception for the books occurred on a spread wager. Heavy Los Angeles Chargers money had driven the line down to -3 before the Baltimore Ravens scored the covering touchdown on the last play possible.

The books did not fare as well with another late swing. Although early money had flooded in on the Las Vegas Raiders +9.5 versus the Kansas City Chiefs, a Sunday Tsunami of Chiefs money had DraftKings wanting the Raiders.

Although Las Vegas forged a 14-0 lead, Kansas City stormed back to win 31-17 and cover a tough number.

NFL Teams Hot ATS

The Eagles are a league-leading 7-2-2 against the spread. Depending upon when you played them against the Buffalo Bills last week, their 37-34 OT win was a victory or a push.

Around Philadelphia, bettors salivate over the Eagles getting points at home with their 10-1 record. Nationally, it’s a different story with the early sentiment pouncing on the Niners.

The Cowboys are 8-3 versus the spread and have pummeled three straight teams as double-digit chalk. That’s a pretty remarkable streak and their favored status was justified in successive wins of 49-17 over the New York Giants, 33-10 against the Carolina Panthers, and 45-10 versus the Washington Commanders.

Dallas was a combined -42 chalk for the three games, including a season-high -17.5 against the Giants. The ‘Boys won the last three games by an average of 30 points.

The Cowboys bordered on a fourth-straight double-digit task on Tuesday, sitting at -9.5 against the Seattle Seahawks. That cooled to 8.5 on Tuesday night.

Gamblers are having a field day betting on Dak Prescott, Tony Pollard, CeeDee Lamb, Jake Ferguson, and the Dallas defense in yardage and scoring props. There may not be a more exciting offense in the league.

The Cowboys, with 387 points, lead the NFL in scoring.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are 8-3 and face a Cincinnati Bengals team that has more or less spit the bit. No Joe Burrow. No Tyler Higbee. No wins or covers in their last three games. They will probably put up a last-gasp good effort in Jacksonville, but the variables are working against them.

The Baltimore Ravens, who are off, are 8-4 versus the spread. They say the breaks even out over a long period of time. Ravens’ bettors are happy for the one they just got.

Zay Flowers did more than get the game-clinching first down that would have given Baltimore a 13-10 moneyline victory and -3 push against the Los Angeles Chargers. Flowers took it to the house. If he had gone to a knee or been tackled, it’s victory formation right there and a 13-10 final.

Bettors we talk to rarely think they’ve been on the good side of breaks like this. But more than a few were this time.

NFL Teams Covering Above and Below Moneyline Record

Above the Mark

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears, who notched their first TD-less touchdown since 1993 in a 12-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, are 5-5-2 against the number. Their season record is 4-8. Justin Fields is back and so are the covers.

His return will change the lofty points they have been getting in many of their games. Chicago is off and has a Week 14 rematch with the Detroit Lions. The Bears covered +8.5 in a 31-26 loss to the Lions in Week 11. They should be getting less than a TD in the second matchup. How will they perform at anywhere between +4 and +6?

Below the Mark

Buffalo Bills

They are 4-8 ATS and 6-6 moneyline.

Slim non-covering moneyline victories against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants came when they gave double digits. The Bills always look like they SHOULD be an elite team and thus they rarely drop in the power rankings.

“The Bills are such a strange team this year,” Avello noted. “They have so much talent and yet they can’t get that one defensive stop at the end of the game that they need to put it away. This team could easily be 9-3 or at least 8-4.

“Something is not working in Buffalo. I would not surprised if at some point they parted ways with Sean McDermott.”

New Orleans Saints

Their moneyline record is 5-6-1, but their spread record is 2-8-1. Two of their earlier moneyline wins missed covering by half a point.

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About the Author
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, who has covered the sports industry since the 1970s. He won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Boxing Broadcasting by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1997, and is in the New Jersey and Atlantic City Boxing Halls of Fame. Bontempo has broadcast major fights all over the world. The advent of legalized sports wagering shifted his focus to this exciting new industry in 2018.

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