In NFL betting, getting the right number can be almost more important than getting the right teams. If you’re constantly getting the worst numbers — i.e., getting negative closing line value (CLV) — it can be the difference between winning and losing on a handful of bets each season.

The best way to attack the NFL market is early in the week, before the sharps have had a chance to grab all the value for themselves.

That’s the goal of this piece — to highlight the bets you should be locking in early, gobbling up as much sweet, sweet CLV as possible.

Let’s take a look at five games that have my eye for Week 13.

San Francisco 49ers (+1.0) at Philadelphia Eagles:

  • Current Line: 49ers +1.0 (-110; FanDuel)
  • Opening Line: 49ers +2.5
  • Target Range: 49ers -2.5 or better

This will be billed as a potential NFC Championship game preview, and that may wind up being the case. However, that does not mean that these two teams are on equal footing.

Even though the 49ers have the worse record, they are clearly the superior team.

Philadelphia has been surviving for weeks. They were outgained by 98 yards by the Commanders in Week 8, 114 yards by the Cowboys in Week 9 and 98 yards by the Chiefs in Week 11. Somehow, the Eagles managed to win all three of those contests.

The gap was even wider in Week 12. The Bills outgained them by 127 yards, won the turnover battle and had roughly 14 additional minutes of possession. Still, the Eagles managed to win the game.

That is not a sustainable formula for success at the NFL level. You can’t rely on your opponents to drop passes — looking at you, Kansas City — or miss field goals every single week. If the Eagles really want to be considered an elite team, they occasionally need to put the gas pedal down and blow someone out.

That has not been an issue for San Francisco. Unlike the Eagles — who had a 6.5-3.5 expected record entering Week 12 — the 49ers have dispatched of their competition all season. Each of their eight wins has come by at least a touchdown, and if not for a meaningless field goal from the Rams in Week 2, that number would be 10. Their expected record sits at 8.9-2.1, and remember that all of their losses came with Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams out or limited.

When this team has been at full strength this season, they’ve had no equal. They demolished the Cowboys by 32 points. They beat the Jaguars by 31 points in Jacksonville and the Seahawks by 18 points in Seattle. Why should it be any different vs. the Eagles?

Add in the fact that the 49ers have a clear rest advantage in this spot, and I think the wrong team is favored. I personally make the 49ers closer to -2.0 even on the road, so locking them in as underdogs is a no-brainer.

You can tail the 49ers on FanDuel, where you can get $200 in bonus bets when you sign up below and place your first bet of at least $5:


Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) at New York Jets:

  • Current Line: Falcons -2.5 (-110; FanDuel)
  • Opening Line: Falcons +6.0
  • Target Range: Falcons -3.0 or better

This line may have been Falcons +6.0 when it was first released, but that was two quarterbacks ago for the Jets. Tim Boyle got the nod on Black Friday vs. the Dolphins, and he did about as well as expected: 179 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, 2.79 adjusted yards per attempt.

Boyle is not some unknown rookie like Tommy DeVito or Tyson Bagent. We’ve seen this guy before, and we know he’s horrible. He’s averaged 2.3 adjusted yards per attempt and a 7.0% interception rate across 158 career attempts. There aren’t a ton of QBs that would represent a clear downgrade from Zach Wilson, but he’s one of them.

The Falcons may not be a great team, but they’re at least an NFL-caliber one. The Jets are clearly waiving the white flag, so let’s grab Atlanta before this line gets to -3.0 everywhere.



Los Angeles Rams (-4.5) vs. Cleveland Browns:

  • Current Line: Rams -4.5 (-110; FanDuel)
  • Opening Line: Rams +2.5
  • Target Range: Rams -4.5 or better

I was on the wrong side of the line movement for the Rams in Week 12. I locked in a play early on the Cardinals thinking there was a chance that Cooper Kupp and possibly Matt Stafford would be out. That clearly didn’t happen.

Instead, the Cardinals defense was decimated by injuries and the Rams got Kyren Williams back from Injured Reserve. They were significant favorites by the time kickoff came around. Such is life with early lines; you’re never going to bat 1.000.

Fortunately, I think we can get some CLV by targeting the Rams in Week 13.

They’re at home vs. the Browns, who have been one of the best defensive teams in football this season. However, Myles Garrett suffered a potentially devastating injury Sunday vs. the Broncos:

I don’t know about you, but anytime someone mentions a “pop,” I’m worried their season might be over. The best case scenario is he likely misses a few weeks.

Without Garrett, this defense isn’t going to be nearly as dominant. And on offense, the team is stuck with either Dorian Thompson-Robinson or P.J. Walker at quarterback. If their defense doesn’t play lights out, I’m not sure how they’re going to compete.

I was fortunate enough to grab the Rams at -3.5 when this line was first released, but it quickly skyrocketed to -4.5 basically everywhere. However, there are already some -5.0s beginning to pop. I think you can grab -4.5 and feel pretty comfortable that you’re not going to be getting the worst of the number.


Green Bay Packers (+7.0) vs. Kansas City Chiefs:

  • Current Line: Packers +7.0 (-105; FanDuel)
  • Opening Line: Packers +5.5
  • Target Range: Packers +7.0 or better

Despite a comfortable win over the Raiders on Sunday, it’s pretty clear that the Chiefs are not exactly THE CHIEFS this season. Their defense is probably the best it's ever been during the Patrick Mahomes era, but their offense is undoubtedly the worst. After finishing first in yards and points per game last season, they were just eighth and 14th in those departments heading into Week 12.

Meanwhile, the Packers have shown some significant improvement of late, particularly young quarterback Jordan Love. Love sat in the shadows behind Aaron Rodgers for a few seasons, patiently waiting for his opportunity. He got off to a relatively slow start this season, but he’s averaged 8.53 adjusted yards per attempt with eight touchdowns over his past four games. The Packers are 3-1 in those contests, including an impressive upset road win over the Lions on Thanksgiving.

Nov 12, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) throws against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports


The Packers will have a rest advantage in this contest, and the Chiefs have a dubious track record as big favorites. They’ve been a bit better in that department this season, but they’re still just 18-23-1 when favored by at least a touchdown with Mahomes at quarterback.

The full seven points are key here — I’d be far less inclined to bet the Packers at +6.5 — so this is another strong candidate to lock in early.


Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots Under 42.0

  • Current Total: 42.0 (-110; FanDuel)
  • Opening Total: 42.5
  • Target Range: Under 41.5 or better

We all know the Chargers can score the ball, but this is not an ideal game environment for them. They’re going to have to head to the East Coast to take on the Patriots in a 1 p.m. ET start. They also played on Sunday Night Football in Week 12, so it’s a slightly shorter week than usual.

Meanwhile, the Patriots are an absolute disaster offensively. It doesn’t seem to matter who’s at quarterback or who they’re playing — they’re just not good. They managed seven points in a loss to the Giants, who were widely considered the worst team in football heading into Week 12.

The Pats have scored more than 17 points in just two of 11 games this season. What’s going to change vs. the Chargers? Unless you think Los Angeles is going to run up 30-plus points, this game reeks of another under. The Pats are 8-3 to the under this season, and the sharps are already seeing value with the under in this spot. This number should undoubtedly close lower, so let’s take the value while we can.

You can tail the under at FanDuel, where you can get $200 in bonus bets when you sign up below and place your first bet of $5 or more.

Early Betting Lines
Matt LaMarca
Matt LaMarca
Matt LaMarca has worked full-time in the sports betting and DFS industry since 2018, with his work appearing on sites like The Action Network, DraftKings, Awesemo, and Props.com. He has a proven record as a bettor thanks to his analytic approach focused on line movement, public betting percentages, and trends. He specializes in the NFL and NBA sides, but he’s also had success in MLB, college football, and the player prop market. Matt is also an avid Mets fan who hopes to be alive for the team’s next World Series, whenever that may be.