Every Late NFL Game Handicapped with Picks (Week 13)
Let's take a look at Sunday's four late NFL games (afternoon), starting at 4 pm ET / 1 pm PT....
Disclaimer: Opinions are those of Nolan Dalla. All information here and the comments provided on this website are for entertainment purposes only. I do not intend nor advise readers to make any wagers. Ultimately, you must make your own decisions about if to gamble, how much to wager, and which bets to make.
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Miami at San Francisco
Line: 49ers -4
Analysis: This could be the game of the year. Two of the hottest teams in the NFL face off in what looks like a clash of completely opposite styles. Miami, winners of 5 straight games and emerging as a bona fide Super Bowl contender in the packed AFC, as well as undefeated this season when QB Tua Tagovailoa plays the full game, will line up against the brick wall of San Francisco, which boasts the #1 ranked defense. The 49ers have been a demon beast to score against -- shutting out opponents in the second half for five straight weeks. They'll be hard-pressed to continue that jaw-dropping streak in this game, since Miami ranks #3 in total yards and #4 PPG. On the other hand, the Dolphins have scored 30+ points in each of their last four games, but the competition has sucked, as three of their last four opponents -- Lions, Browns, and Bears -- each rank among the bottom defenses in the league. / The tipping point for my wager on this game is simple: The 49ers' defense is a nightmare matchup for the Dolphins offense. Keep in mind Miami's rushing game is terrible, ranking #28th. That means, Miami certainly must throw the ball. However, they're likely to be without both starting offensive tackles versus one of the best defensive fronts in football. That's a problem. Tagovailoa will do his best to overcome the pass rush by getting rid of the ball quickly, but stats show SFO pressures QBs as well as anyone. If the 49ers can at least partially disrupt Tagovailoa, it's going to be a long day for Miami. As for the 49ers, there's not nearly as much that's impressive about their offense -- #19th in PPG and a mediocre #13th in YPG. It's hard to lay this many points given those stats -- laying -4 is a little too steep for me. I might lay -3, but not -4. / Where there does appear to be value is with the UNDER. We see a higher-than-average total that's predicated on Miami's explosive offense, but also which seems to be insulting somewhat to how well San Francisco's defense has played. With Miami's two starting OL possibly out, that surely hurts their scoring potential. We also gain some value with a high O/U since the 49ers' offense is somewhat inconsistent. / Intangible: Miami coach McDaniel coached with the 49ers from 2017-21 -- not sure if that hurts or helps, but that does add some complexity to the game planning.
UPDATE: Line has moved to San Francisco -4.5 in some places, which tells us the OL injuries are definite (they won't start).
The Pick: Miami / San Francisco UNDER 46.5 [Full Game] (-110)
Seattle at LA Rams
Analysis: The Rams are early-pre-season-training-camp-trash-can bad right now, resembling an expansion team with pickups off the practice squad and inexperienced players that otherwise would never otherwise start in the NFL. Losers of five straight games, the 2022 season has been over for some time for the defending Super Bowl champions, decimated by injuries, especially to the offense. This makes things difficult trying to predict just how much effort the Rams will put forth each week. Credit the Rams' defense which remains above average in most categories, but the offense inspires no confidence whatsoever. That's really good news for Seattle, which comes off a crushing OT loss to the Raiders and a horrific game last week, defensively speaking. That defeat will probably cost Seattle a playoff spot. Las Vegas racked up a whopping 576 total yards and demolished the Seahawks' defensive unit in an effort that was laughably bad. There seems to be little chance of that happening again this week since the Rams will field an Arena League-level OL and two rabbits at QB -- Perkins/Wolford will both play in this game according to reports. Despite the recent losses, Seattle's offensive numbers remain strong, so they should score enough to get the win. I'm not so sure about the cover, however, especially laying -7. The Seahawks have won in Los Angeles already this season, thanks to a 37-23 win over the Chargers in Week 7. HFA should be non-existent for the Rams. I see the Seahawks getting the win, but on the off chance they continue to struggle, I'm not laying points. Instead, I'll tease Seattle from -7 down to -1. Moreover, I'll mostly combine the teaser with several teams according to the Wong strategy (through the key numbers -- 3, 4, 6, 7.). It's also tempting to play Seattle on the teaser wheel with the entire board.
TEASER: Seattle Seahawks -1 / Cleveland Browns -2 (-120)
TEASER: Seattle Seahawks -1 / New York Giants +8 (-120)
TEASER: Seattle Seahawks -1 / Cincinnati Bengals +8.5 (-120)
TEASER: Seattle Seahawks -1 / Los Angeles Chargers +8 (-120)
TEASER: Seattle Seahawks -1 / Dallas Cowboys -4.5 (-120)
Kansas City at Cincinnati
Line: Chiefs -2.5
Analysis: Here's last season's AFC Championship game rematch. In fact, the Bengals beat the Chiefs twice last season. Cincinnati won in OT 27-24 as a 7-point underdog in the playoffs. The Bengals defeated the Chiefs earlier in the regular season -- 34-31 as +3.5 underdogs. What should concern Kansas City bettors is that, once again, oddsmakers may be giving the Cheifs too much credit. While Kansas City is riding a five-game win streak, they’re just 3-7-1 ATS overall this season. KC hasn't covered the spread since Week 7 against San Francisco. At the same time, Cincinnati may be underrated. The Bengals are coming off a 20-16 road win at Tennessee. Moreover, Cincinnati is 8-3 ATS this year with 3 of its 4 losses being decided by 3 points or fewer on last-second FGs. Cincy also expects RB Joe Mixon and WR Ja’Marr Chase to return from injuries. I've already bet the Bengals on a teaser, up to +8.5. That's always risky in high-totaled games, especially with Kansas City capable ot rolling up 40 points on any given week. However, the Bengals have shown the ability to beat the Chiefs and enjoy the home-field edge this time around. I'll skip the temptation to take +2.5 for the game and instead opt for Cincinnati in the first half, getting +1.5. Both teams average 14 PPG1H this season.
The Pick: Cincinnati +1.5 [First Half] (-120)
LA Chargers at Las Vegas
Line: Raiders -2.5
Analysis: I've had trouble handicapping both of these teams all season long. Both AFC West foes are ridiculously inconsistent and make some really questionable coaching decisions. Still, they're both coming off huge road wins last week, which will play into my making a play on the OVER. These two teams have been OVER machines. The OVER has hit in 6 of the last 9 Chargers' games. The OVER has hit in 7 of the last 10 Raiders' games. Since we're getting a total of less than 50 in what amounts to ideally-controlled conditions (dome), I think we can ride the OVER train for another week. Where the Chargers are really vulnerable is versus the run, and they'll be facing an explosive big-play Las Vegas rush attack coming off a monster game. In their last five games, the Chargers allowed 183 YPG. The Chargers rank 26th in PPG allowed. So, look for Las Vegas to enjoy long drives and ball control. However, the Raiders' weak defense ranks 23rd in PPG allowed. They're facing a really good passing team here. Las Vegas' pass defense is awful, ranking #28th in the NFL, so the LAC should have no problem getting on the scoreboard.
The Pick: LA Chargers / Las Vegas OVER 49.5 [Full Game] (-110)