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Mike White is once again a cult hero for New York Jets fans. The Jets’ third quarterback came off the bench to make his first start of the season last week and put up sensational numbers as he led the club to a win over the Chicago Bears.
Here’s the thing about cult heroes, though. In the long run they are more of a cult than a hero. Last season, White came off the bench to lead the Jets to a win over eventual AFC champions Cincinnati Bengals. He started two more games, but Cinderella turned into a pumpkin and eventually grabbed a bench again.
That’s why the Jets at Vikings game tops the list of best bets among the 12 Sunday games that make up the Week 13 NFL picks.
Week 13 NFL selection
Vikings -3 vs Jets
On the surface there are many reasons to like the jets in this game. Minnesota’s offensive line doesn’t do well with top-notch pass rushes, and New York is right there with the NFL’s #5 defense. The 7-4 Jets have accumulated 34 sacks in 11 games. They average 3.1 sacks per game, seventh overall in the NFL. Over the past three weeks, however, the Jets have topped the league with 4.3 sacks per game. Add to that data the fact that Vikings left tackle Christian Darrisaw (concussion) is out and it could be a field day for New York pass rushers.
From a betting standpoint, the Jets are 4-1 against the spread in their last five away games and 6-2 ATS overall in their last eight games. Then there’s White, who rushed for 315 yards, three touchdowns and a 149.3 QBR in the Chicago Bears’ 31-10 loss last week, 22-of-28.
Last season, after White fired the Bengals for 415 yards and three TDs, White took to the road to Indianapolis and was limited to 95 yards and one TD. The Bears are a terrible team, and yet they beat the New England Patriots 33-14 earlier this season. Last week, the Vikings dropped New England 33-26. For comparison, it’s been seven years since the Jets beat the Patriots and they play each other twice a year.
People continue to expect the bubble to burst for the 9-2 NFC North-leading Vikings. But it doesn’t happen. QB Kirk Cousins is enjoying a Pro Bowl-esque campaign and has two sensational weapons at his disposal in RB Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson, arguably the NFL’s best receiver. Take Minnesota and place the three points.
Browns -8 vs. Texans
There is intrigue over a game involving the 1-9-1 Houston Texans. Imagine.
Cleveland is coming to town and it happens to be the week that Browns QB Deshaun Watson is returning from his 11-game NFL suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct guidelines. The violation stemmed from more than a dozen cases of sexual misconduct involving Watson and massage therapists when he was the Texans’ QB.
Watson will make his first start since January 3, 2021 and betting action is clearly leaning towards him and the Browns. His game spread has grown from an opening line of Cleveland -4.5 points.
Houston has 0-4-1 and 2-3 ATS at home this season, while Cleveland is 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS on the road.
Under Watson’s successor, Jacoby Brissett, the Browns are the No. 8 passing offense and No. 4 rushing offense in the NFL. In his last full season, Watson set career highs with 4,823 yards and 33 TDs. He completed 70.2% of his passes and achieved a passer rating of 112.4. After more than 700 days off, however, he seems to have rusted.
Fortunately, Houston is terrible defensively. The Texans rank 27th in total defense and 23rd in goal defense. They are 30th in Run Defense DVOA. Houston is 4.9 yards per carry.
Cleveland RB Nick Chubb is third in the NFL in rushing yards (1,039) and first in rushing TDs (12) and carries in 20+ yards (11). Watson will feed him the rock all day as he leads the Browns to a win and cover in a triumphant return.
Chiefs vs Bengals over 53
This replay of last season’s AFC Championship game boasts the highest point total of any week 13 game at 53 points. It is the eighth time this season that the Chiefs have accumulated over 50 points. They are 3-4 in the over in these games.
As for the Bengals, this is the first game in which their point total is over 49. However, they have scored 104 points in their last three home games, which is an average of 34.66 points per game. And that number has increased with every passing game. Cincinnati scored 27 in a win over Miami, 35 in a win over Atlanta, and 42 when the Bengals beat Carolina.
This is the fourth straight game between the Chiefs and Bengals to have more than 50 points overall. Two of the previous three games went down. The only time they met the over was the lone game played in Cincinnati. Expect this latter trend to continue.
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https://www.newsweek.com/nfl-picks-week-13s-sunday-slate-1764420 NFL picks for Sunday’s Week 13 list