NFL Week 13 Line Movement: Which Teams Moving Through Key Numbers?

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on December 1, 2021

Each week during the 2021 NFL seasonTheLines will examine how the coming week’s NFL lines have changed relative to preseason or prior expectations. Often, early lines can give an objective look at teams’ relative talent levels, absent week-to-week recency bias when the weekend results take hold. Let’s take a look at NFL Week 13 spreads and see which numbers have changed and, potentially, why.

Tracked lines below come from FanDuel Sportsbook. Prices are -110, unless otherwise noted.

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Week 13 NFL Spread Moves Crossing Through 3

Two NFL Week 13 crossed through the key number of 3. While these weren’t huge moves, the fact they didn’t just move on or off a key number but all the way through makes these two probably the most notable of the week. Additionally, one more moved due to QB injury.

GameLook-Ahead LineDec. 1, 11 a.m. ET
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks49ers -1.549ers -3.5 (-105)
New England Patriots at Buffalo BillsBills -4Bills -2.5 (-112)
NY Giants at Miami DolphinsDolphins -2.5Dolphins -5

Seahawks At 49ers

Another week, same old story for the Seahawks. At least they put up some offense this time, but just like early in the season, the passing numbers look good on paper (7.1 YPA) but came in big chunks. That is, they couldn’t move the chains consistently enough to keep drives going and score points.

Something’s just wrong here. The 49ers secondary looks beatable on paper and talent-wise — 23rd in pass EPA/play allowed — but can the Seahawks put drives together?

The answer has been no all year. This also looks like a coaching mismatch, with Kyle Shanahan getting the most out of an injury-riddled team while Pete Carroll struggles to coax a winning record out of a team that was a fringe Super Bowl contender.

The market saw fit to make the Niners sizable road favorites here despite the loss of Deebo Samuel. He’s been a multi-faceted weapon for them and his loss seems pretty impactful.

Patriots At Bills

The game of the week. And it comes after yet another Patriots blowout win, this time over the undermanned Titans.

Interestingly, the Titans had success pounding the rock against New England as two (anonymous) running backs topped 100 yards. A Bills team that passes first and second, then runs on accident half the time with Josh Allen scrambles seems ill-equipped to exploit that, though.

While the Bills had a big week as well, it came against an even more severely limited Saints squad left with a second-string QB, a backup tackle, no-name receivers and a third-string running back.

Could potentially bad weather be behind the move? Certainly, the Patriots appear more fit to handle a windy, snowy game. Watch how this develops over the coming days. If the weather clears up and you believe in Buffalo, you might get a nice price.

Giants At Dolphins

Tuesday evening, reporters revealed that Giants QB Daniel Jones had suffered a neck injury and might miss the game in Miami. Not long after, Tom Pelissero clarified the report, saying Mike Glennon was “expected” to start.

On Wednesday, the team said they remain hopeful Jones can play, so nothing has been locked in yet. Still, the market reacted, pushing the Dolphins from -3. So, they had already come up from the look-ahead line to -5.

Glennon is one of the more experienced backups out there. He has 44 TDs and 27 INTs, along with 27 NFL starts, to his credit. The drop-off from Jones doesn’t figure to be massive especially with Jones unlikely to utilize his running skills while nursing a neck injury.

If you think the market has overreacted or you want to gamble on Jones playing, it’s a good time to hop aboard the longest number for this game.

More Week 13 Moves Through Key Numbers

The following games nudged off a key number of either 3 or 7. We’ll run through each with a brief note on what the market might be thinking.

GameLook-Ahead LineDec. 1, 11 a.m. ET
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit LionsVikings -7.5Vikings -7
Arizona Cardinals at Chicago BearsCardinals -7Cardinals -7.5 (-115)
Indianapolis Colts at Houston TexansColts -7Colts -9 (-114)
LA Chargers at Cincinnati BengalsBengals -1Bengals -3 (-115)
NY Giants at Miami DolphinsDolphins -2.5Dolphins -5
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh SteelersRavens -3Ravens -4 (-114)

Vikings At Lions

Way back in Week 5, the Vikings eked out a 19-17 victory over the Lions. However, we must note that this final score belied what happened on the field, where the Vikings dominated with 6 YPP to 4.6.

Given that result plus the fact the Vikings stomached yet another one-score loss where they had the ball with a chance to tie (twice), while the Lions lost at home to the Bears, it’s hard to square the fact the line dropped a half point to Vikings -7. Minnesota did lose Dalvin Cook, but Alexander Mattison should approximate most of his production.

If anything, nudging the team more toward a pass-centric attack will be a good thing as Kirk Cousins has been extremely efficient this year, ranking third in DVOA. Too much running has rendered the Vikes unable to cover big spreads the past few years, so we’ll see if that changes.

Cardinals At Bears

The Cardinals had a bye to rest up and that means, hopefully, the returns of Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. Certainly, the market looks to have anticipated their returns dating to last week, or there’s no way this line would be Cardinals -7.5 on the road.

The Bears struggled through their road win against Detroit, but again, a move off +7 counts as a surprise considering the QB change that occurred. Andy Dalton subbed in for an injured Justin Fields and played pretty well. Certainly, he threw the ball more consistently and accurately than Fields has, particularly short and medium.

There’s no word yet on Fields’ status, but if he sits, the Bears likely get a slight bump in team quality.

Colts At Texans

The Colts endured another narrow loss in which they arguably outplayed the Bucs, considered an inner circle title contender. Five turnovers pushed another marquee victory out of their reach, but they looked good on both sides of the ball aside from that.

Meanwhile, the Texans took the worst loss possible in football, dropping one at home to the Jets.

Frankly, the initial line coming in at Colts -7 was probably an overreaction to the Texans grabbing a perceived big win over the Titans. In reality, that Titans team was a shell of its former self and the Texans went +5 in turnovers. A number closer to double digits feels more appropriate here.

Chargers At Bengals

The Bengals have had such wildly varying results, they’re tough to get a handle on for handicapping purposes. It looked like they had been playing over their heads and come back to earth when they lost back-to-back contests to the Jets and Browns.

However, they rebounded in a big way, winning their next two against respectable enough competition by a combined 50.

The metrics have the Bengals and Chargers pretty close. This may be a spot to take advantage of a perceived dip on the Bolts after they had an ugly game in Denver. The Bengals secondary looks much more beatable, but the Bengals seem sure to put up plenty of points themselves against this soft Chargers D.

Ravens At Steelers

Speaking of the Bengals, one of those aforementioned beatdowns came at the expense of the Steelers. Results against the Chargers aside, Pittsburgh just played two pretty awful games — LA outgained them by almost 3 YPP.

And things don’t appear to be improving any time soon. TJ Watt just went on the COVID list and Joe Haden remains out as of Wednesday morning.

The only thing keeping this line from climbing further is probably that the Ravens look pretty poor themselves as of late. They’ve had one good performance in their last five games.

NFL Week 13 Spreads, Movement Tracker

GameLook-Ahead LineDec. 1, 11 a.m. ETDec. 4, 1:30 p.m. ET
Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans SaintsCowboys -4.5Cowboys -4.5N/A
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit LionsVikings -7.5Vikings -7Vikings -7.5
Arizona Cardinals at Chicago BearsCardinals -7Cardinals -7.5 (-115)Cardinals -7.5 (-105)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta FalconsBuccaneers -9.5Buccaneers -11Buccaneers -10.5 (-106)
Indianapolis Colts at Houston TexansColts -7Colts -9 (-114)Colts -10
Philadelphia Eagles at NY JetsEagles -6.5Eagles -6.5 (-114)Eagles -7 (-104)
LA Chargers at Cincinnati BengalsBengals -1Bengals -3 (-115)Bengals -3
NY Giants at Miami DolphinsDolphins -2.5Dolphins -5Dolphins -6.5 (-106)
Washington Football Team at Las Vegas RaidersRaiders -1.5Raiders -2.5 (-115)Raiders -1.5
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh SteelersRavens -3Ravens -4 (-114)Ravens -4.5
Jacksonville Jaguars at LA RamsRams -11.5Rams -13Rams -13
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks49ers -1.549ers -3.5 (-105)49ers -3.5 (-102)
Denver Broncos at Kansas City ChiefsChiefs -9.5Chiefs -10 (-105)Chiefs -9.5 (-106)
New England Patriots at Buffalo BillsBills -4Bills -2.5 (-112)Bills -2.5 (-112)
Mo Nuwwarah Avatar
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Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

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