I usually write this on Wednesday morning, but I’m ahead of schedule this week, so I’m banging this out on Tuesday night.

A few big-picture thoughts.

Last week I went 7-0 ATS in our 100% FREE Fantasy Life Bet Tracker. To sweep the slate, there’s always a lot of luck involved — but it was nice to get on the right side of variance and to be able to feed the family something other than closing line value for Thanksgiving leftovers.

Last week we also saw 12 ATS favorites win. I doubt we see a run anywhere close to that this week, although — as I mentioned in the Monday Betting Life Newsletter — this has been a good year for favorites.

Finally, we’re at that point in the year where the difference between the good and bad teams really widens.

Early in the season, power ratings are compressed. Teams are healthy, organized, and motivated. But by the second half, many of the bad teams are “experimenting,” making QB switches, firing coaches and descending into chaos.

As we enter the final third of the regular season, we should expect to see increasingly large spreads when good and bad teams play — and many of these spreads might not be big enough.

Reminder: Here’s what you’re getting with this piece.

  1. My projected spreads for each game (as of Tuesday evening).
  2. Notes on my QB value chart (as of Tuesday evening).
  3. A list of my favorite bets for the week (as of writing).
  4. Brief notes on my favorite bets (no more than a few short paragraphs on each bet).
  5. Even briefer notes (hopefully) on other games that have my eye (for whatever reason).
  6. A few general thoughts on candidates for picks contests.

Abbreviations: Check out the end of the piece for abbreviations I might use. (I don’t want to clutter up the intro by listing them all here.)



Freedman’s Week 13 Projections Against the Spread

I have two projection models. The first is my personal one. It’s the full Freedman: 100% me. Unadulterated. It’s probably too aggressive. 

The second model is my “official” one, which blends my personal projections with other inputs. It’s more measured and presentable — and that’s the model I’m using to create these “official” spread projections for Week 13, ordered according to kickoff time.

TeamsLocationOpponentProjectionConsensus
SEAAwayDAL8.39
DALHomeSEA-8.3-9
INDAwayTEN0-1
TENHomeIND01
LACAwayNE-5.5-6
NEHomeLAC5.56
DETAwayNO-4.5-4
NOHomeDET4.54
ARIAwayPIT5.35.5
PITHomeARI-5.3-5.5
ATLAwayNYJ-2.4-3
NYJHomeATL2.43
MIAAwayWAS-8.8-9.5
WASHomeMIA8.89.5
CARAwayTB6.45.5
TBHomeCAR-6.4-5.5
DENAwayHOU3.33.5
HOUHomeDEN-3.3-3.5
SFAwayPHI-2.1-3
PHIHomeSF2.13
CLEAwayLAR4.53.5
LARHomeCLE-4.5-3.5
KCAwayGB-6.9-6.5
GBHomeKC6.96.5
CINAwayJAX7.68.5
JAXHomeCIN-7.6-8.5

Projections and consensus odds as of 7:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, Nov. 11. “Edge” is how many points of value I see for the listed team. A positive edge is good. A negative edge is bad.


Freedman’s Week 13 QB Value Chart

Here are some notes on my updated QB value chart, which directly compares the ATS value of the starter to his backup. In creating this chart, I’ve relied partially on the work of Ben Fawkes and Robby Greer.

A few notable items.

  • Dak Prescott has played at an MVP-caliber level in the six games since his subpar Week 5 performance against the 49ers, passing for 1,874 yards and 18 TDs to just two INTs with a 70.5% completion rate and 10.2 AY/A. He’s now one of the league’s most valuable QBs ATS.
  • Last week I said that trading for Joshua Dobbs was one of the sharpest GM moves of the season for the Vikings, and I had him at +1.6 points relative to Nick Mullens. After Dobbs’ four-INT performance on Monday Night Football, the difference is now +1.1.
  • Dorian Thompson-Robinson (concussion) is uncertain to play, and if he’s out the Browns might go back to P.J. Walker — but they could also opt for Joe Flacco. Given that he has been with the team just a short while, it’s hard to project him within the offense, but I have him as a +1.5 upgrade relative to Thompson-Robinson.
  • The Will Levis shine has dimmed substantially over the past month. Not that long ago, he was almost on par with starter-turned-backup Ryan Tannehill. Now Levis is a -0.7 downgrade relative to the veteran. 
  • I’m tentatively assuming that Bailey Zappe will start this week for the Patriots. Not that the QB change will help the team out: He’s a -1.0 downgrade on Mac Jones.
  • Tim Boyle: Maybe the only QB in NFL history to throw a last-second Hail Mary pick-six?

Freedman’s Favorite Week 13 Bets

Normally I highlight my three favorite ATS bets, but there aren’t many spreads I like at the current numbers, so I’m pivoting to include two totals. For all the bets I’ve made for the week, check out our 100% FREE bet tracker.

  • Jets-Falcons Under 34 (-110, Caesars)
  • Eagles +3 vs. 49ers (-120, FanDuel)
  • Packers-Chiefs Under 42.5 (-114, FanDuel)

Jets-Falcons Under 34 (-110, Caesars)

The Jets are a dead under team: Their defense is No. 4 in success rate (40.1%, per RBs Don’t Matter), and they’ve downgraded the QB position by moving from Zach Wilson to Tim Boyle, who has a career mark of 2.3 AY/A.

Similarly, the Falcons have a good-ish defense (No. 8 with a 41.5% SR) and a sluggish-at-best offense that ranks No. 31 in early-down pass frequency (47.5%). 

This is a low total, but there’s a chance that neither of these teams will have the motivation or ability to drive up the score this weekend.

The Jets are 7-4 (22.1% ROI) to the under, as are the Falcons (21.5% ROI, per Action Network).

This game feels like a race to 17.

  • Original Bet: Under 36 (-110)
  • Projection: 32.8
  • Cutoff: Under 33.5 (-110)

You can tail the under on Caesars, where you can get your first bet of up to $1,000 on the house when you sign up for a new account below!


Eagles +3 vs. 49ers (-120, FanDuel)

With their +64 point differential, the Eagles should be expected to have a 7-4 record vs. their league-best 10-1 mark — but there’s something to be said for a team that can maximally translate points into wins.

HC Nick Sirianni is consistent and strategic, and QB Jalen Hurts can extend drives with his QB sneak prowess. The Eagles are a hard team to put away.

Still, I have the 49ers power rated +1.25 points higher than the Eagles and believe they should be favored.

QB Brock Purdy is No. 1 in AY/A (9.8), composite EPA + CPOE (0.205), and QBR (75.6, per ESPN). HC Kyle Shanahan’s team has historically traveled well, going 33-25 ATS (10.2% ROI) on the road.

Nov 23, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) reacts following a rushing touchdown by wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19, not pictured) against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports


In the seven games this year in which WRs Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, RB Christian McCaffrey and TE George Kittle have all been available (50% snap rate for each), the 49ers are 7-0 with 229 points scored and 86 points allowed (+143 differential).

They’re probably the best team in the league, and they’re coming in with three extra days of rest off Thanksgiving.

But they’re also traveling across three time zones, and this will be their third away game in four weeks.

Plus, Hurts is 17-6-1 ATS (39.8% ROI) at home for his career and 12-3 ATS (53.4% ROI) at home against non-NFC East opponents. (Home-field advantage is enhanced outside of division.) 

Additionally, I’m conservatively projecting the Eagles to be without a number of defensive starters who either exited last week with injury or are on IR — but some of those players have a realistic chance to play, and if they do I’ll probably have this projected closer to a pick’em than a field goal.

  • Original Bet: +8 (in a -120 two-leg teaser)
  • Projection: +2.1
  • Cutoff: +2.5, but teased up to +8.5

Packers-Chiefs Under 42.5 (-114, FanDuel)

This year, the under is 106-73-1 (13.1% ROI). In primetime, it’s 29-9 (45.8% ROI). And for Sunday Night Football it’s 10-2 (59.0% ROI).

FOMO YOLO, amirite?

The Chiefs are 8-3 (39.2% ROI) to the under, thanks primarily to their defense (No. 5 in EPA, -0.085).

They are vulnerable against the run (No. 31 in rush EPA, -0.001), but the Packers could struggle to exploit that weakness without No. 1 RB Aaron Jones (hamstring), whom I expect to be out.

But the Packers do seem likely to get back LB De'Vondre Campbell (shoulder), CB Jaire Alexander (shoulder) and FS Rudy Ford (biceps) — and maybe even CB Eric Stokes (foot, IR) and SS Darnell Savage (calf, IR).

With a retooled back seven, the Packers defense could challenge the diminished Chiefs offense and turn this game into a low-scoring snorefest.

  • Original Bet: Under 42.5 (-110)
  • Projection: 41.4
  • Cutoff: Under 42 (-110)

You can tail both the Eagles and the Packers/Chiefs under at FanDuel, where you can get $150 in bonus bets if your first bet of at least $5 wins! Sign up below to start betting today!


Week 13 Games That Have My Attention

Cowboys -9 vs. Seahawks

I bet the Cowboys in a teaser when this was -7.5. I wouldn’t touch it now, but if I had to bet it I’d still be on the Cowboys, regardless of what my projections say.

Titans +1 vs. Colts

As a home dog, Titans HC Mike Vrabel is 12-7 ATS (21.5% ROI). I bet the Titans in a teaser when this was +2.

Dolphins -9.5 at Commanders

My projection leans toward the Commanders, but I bet the Dolphins at -9 based almost 100% on vibes and matchup. The Dolphins' explosive offense should get yards and points against a Commanders defense that allows chunk plays, traded away its best edge rushers and just fired its coordinator.

Buccaneers -5.5 vs. Panthers

I have no interest in betting the Buccaneers as favorites — but the Panthers are a putrid 2-8-1 ATS (-56.3% ROI), and I don’t see their situation improving sans former HC Frank Reich.

Rams -3.5 vs. Browns

Monitoring the injury report for the Browns will be crucial, as they could be without starting QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson (concussion), No. 1 WR Amari Cooper (ribs), No. 1 EDGE Myles Garrett (shoulder) and No. 1 CB Denzel Ward (shoulder).

Jaguars -8.5 vs. Bengals

My projection points to the Bengals, but I think my system is likely to be too slow in fully adjusting for the dropoff from QB Joe Burrow (wrist, IR) to backup Jake Browning. The Jags are very much a teaser candidate.


Freedman’s Week 13 Contest Picks

Various sportsbooks (such as the SuperBook, Circa and DraftKings) run season-long contests in which participants pick five games each week, and whoever has the most ATS victories at the end of the season wins.

I’m participating in a contest at DraftKings, and here’s my record.

  • Week 12: 4-1
  • 2023: 40-20

Based on the current consensus odds and my projections, here are a few general thoughts on the DraftKings contest for Week 13.

Note: Some of my thoughts will probably change based on line movement, news, and additional research.

  • I expect longer underdogs (Seahawks, Patriots, Commanders and Bengals) to have minimal exposure in the contest.
  • I think the 49ers and Eagles will both be popular given the high-profile nature of their NFC Championship rematch.
  • I anticipate that the short favorites (Colts, Falcons) will have low pick rates.

Abbreviations

  • Against the Spread (ATS)
  • Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Adjusted Yards per Attempt (AY/A)
  • Expected Points Added (EPA)
  • Success Rate (SR)
  • Completion Percentage Over Expected (CPOE)
  • Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA)

Previous Best Bets Pieces

My previous best bets pieces can be found on my author page.

Freedman's Best Bets
Matthew Freedman
Matthew Freedman
Matthew Freedman is the Head of Betting at Fantasy Life. He's a profitable sports bettor with 100K+ followers in the Action Network app. While he specializes in NFL (spreads, totals, futures, and player and draft props), he has also successfully invested in NBA, NHL, and March Madness player prop markets. Before joining Fantasy Life, he was the Director of Content at FantasyPros and BettingPros (2022-23), Chief Strategy Officer at FTN Network (2021-22), Lead NFL Analyst at Action Network (2017-21), and Editor-in-Chief at FantasyLabs (2016-21). Freedman started at RotoViz in 2013 and contributed to Pro Football Focus, DraftKings Playbook, and Fantasy Insiders before joining FantasyLabs on a full-time basis. As a fantasy analyst, Freedman is a five-time top-20 finisher in the FantasyPros accuracy contest.