Eli’s NFL Week 13 Best Bets: Will Packers, Panthers Cover Against The Spread?

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
NFL Week 13 Best Bets

With NFL Week 13 odds nearing kickoff, this article will hopefully aid sports bettors with price discovery and handicapping point spreads, moneyline odds, and totals while shopping on NFL betting sites. In particular, the Panthers at Buccaneers and the Chiefs at Packers stand out — juxtaposed with my betting model. With that in mind, let’s break down my NFL Week 13 best bets.

Click any of the sports betting odds to place a bet at the best sports betting sites. We’ve sorted through to find the best available.

Bet: panthers to lose by five points or fewer (or win outright)

Some bettors may be unfamiliar with the aforementioned term, price discovery. The process commences when wagers are made on the opening spread or total. Early action is used to adjust the number. Shops may also follow the same script of operators that are considered “market makers,” tinkering with pricing because a competitor altered its own. Needless to say, liability tolerance (or lack thereof) could be enough to modify the odds for other sportsbooks.

After reopening as six-point favorites for a brief period, the best Buccaneers odds available are in regards to the spread. Most of the market is sitting at -5.5, as of Thursday afternoon. However, that’s too rich, presenting a buy-low opportunity on Panthers odds.

Betting On The Unknown

As I mentioned in my weekly NFL underdogs column, teams have outperformed the betting market’s expectations in their first matchup after axing their head coach. In fact, 36 of them have made in-season coaching changes since 2003. In these scenarios, they’ve gone 20-16 ATS (55.6%) and 17-19 straight up (47.2%).

If this spread betting track record isn’t to your standard, recognize that these teams cashed in at a 37.4% clip ahead of the coaching shift (125-209-6 ATS). Whether this upswing is prompted by a structural revision on either side of the ball or simply motivation, there’s merit to the belief that Carolina will rise to the occasion after canning first-year head coach Frank Reich, plus offensive assistants Josh McCown and Duce Staley, on Monday.

After all, you’re betting on a bottom-barrel price tag because of the Panthers’ 1-8-2 ATS mark. They’ve produced the fourth-fewest EPA per play in the process, as rookie quarterback Bryce Young has accumulated the lowest win probability added (-1.8 WPA) at his position.

Yet, reports noted that Reich wasn’t enthralled with employing read-option and RPO plays to utilize Young’s skillset. The Bucs struggled to defend these concepts against their last two opponents (Colts and 49ers), yielding the league’s highest success rate during that span. For reference, a play is deemed successful if it accrues at least 50% of the necessary yards on first down, 70% on second down, or 100% on third or fourth down.

Assuming Panthers offensive coordinator Thomas Brown incorporates this change in philosophy, the element of surprise should work in their favor. Meanwhile, their league-worst run defense will be on a level playing field, facing the lowest-graded run-blocking unit across the NFL.

Panthers logo Panthers CAR
Buccaneers logo Buccaneers TB
Offense Ranking OFF RNK N/A N/A
Defense Ranking DEF RNK N/A N/A
Offense Net Yards Per Game OFF NET YPG
Defense Net Yards Per Game DEF NET YPG
Passing Yards Per Game PASS YPG
Turnovers Committed Per Game TOC PG

Final Thoughts

As you’ll see below, I grabbed Panthers +5.5 on Wednesday. I’d play them down to +4. Join TheLines.com’s free sports betting Discord to get an immediate alert whenever I place a wager. Head over to the #roles server to enroll in the push notifications.

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bet: packers to lose by five points or less (or win outright)

Like the Panthers, the market has fancied the Packers’ odds. They opened as seven-point home underdogs on Sunday night. Much of this movement relates to the improved play of Green Bay QB Jordan Love, who’s generated a top-five EPA + CPOE (completion percentage over expected) composite ranking since Week 9. He’s well-positioned to succeed against the Chiefs.

Winning In The Trenches

While Packers running back Aaron Jones (MCL) is likely on the shelf for at least another week, gifting more carries to the ineffective A.J. Dillon, Love’s efficiency has risen without a feasible ground game. It coincides with the emergence of Jayden Reed. The rookie wideout ranks above league average in total EPA when targeted and yards per route run (via SumerSports). Reed is dealing with a chest injury, but the early indication is that he’ll suit up.

Although Kansas City’s secondary has held up well, thanks to Trent McDuffie’s breakout campaign, its top-two pressure rate has certainly helped. Yet, Green Bay’s second-ranked pass-block win rate is built to hold off the Chiefs’ elite pass rush. This metric quantifies the rate at which linemen sustain their blocks for 2.5 seconds or longer. A healthy Elgton Jenkins and the sudden refinement from Rasheed Walker have paved the way to their success.

Will Key Faces Resurface?

The red-hot Packers enter this game with extra rest and prep time after their upset win over the Lions on Turkey Day. That could lift their defensive performance, as All-Pro corner Jaire Alexander, safety Rudy Ford, and run-stuffing linebacker De’Vondre Campbell have missed significant action.

Conversely, the Chiefs’ offensive outburst in Las Vegas appeared to be more of a product of the Raiders’ non-threatening zone scheme than anything else. Outside of rookie Rashee Rice, just 31.8% of the targets were dispersed to other wideouts. Remember that Kansas City has amassed a league-high 24 drops.

Patrick Mahomes finds himself firmly in the conversation for a third league MVP award at , yet the Chiefs’ decline from their top-ranked explosive passing attack over the last five seasons isn’t being accounted for in the market as much as it should be.

Chiefs logo Chiefs KC
Packers logo Packers GB
Offense Ranking OFF RNK N/A N/A
Defense Ranking DEF RNK N/A N/A
Offense Net Yards Per Game OFF NET YPG
Defense Net Yards Per Game DEF NET YPG
Passing Yards Per Game PASS YPG
Turnovers Committed Per Game TOC PG

Final Thoughts

Depending on when you read this article, this spread could shrink even more. I’d play it down to +5.5. Good luck with your NFL Week 13 best bets.

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