USA Today Sports

NFL's biggest betting mismatches: Week 13

Each week, Jason Logan breaks down some of the underlying mismatches in the NFL, hoping to give you an inside edge when handicapping the schedule. Here are four of the biggest betting mismatches from Week 13:

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-4, 45)

Titans’ soft second halves vs. Colts’ comebacks

Titans fans saw Week 11’s second-half collapse coming a mile away. After building a 17-6 halftime cushion, Tennessee was outscored 24-10 in the final two frames, burning bettors with a 30-27 loss as 2.5-point home underdogs. Those soft second halves have been the norm for the Titans, who are allowing an average of just 8.8 points in the first half (fourth lowest) but have hemorrhaged 16.7 in the second half over their last three games – second most in the NFL.

The Colts are the NFL’s equivalent of Michael Myers from those Halloween movies. Just when you shoot them in the face, run them over with a truck and blow them up in a warehouse explosion, they come back from the dead to stab you in the heart. Indianapolis has been outscored 92-13 during the first quarter in its last four games but is limiting opponents to only 8.2 points in the second half this season. It’s never over until it’s over with Andrew Luck & Co.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-8.5, 41.5)

Bucs’ dual-threat doom vs. Panthers’ Cam Newton

Most teams have trouble containing Carolina QB Cam Newton. The Panthers dual-threat QB has tacked on 379 yards and five rushing TDs to his improving passing stats and is coming off a 51-yard, one-TD rushing performance in the win over Miami last weekend. Newton is relying more on his arm this season but still is a danger to explode for massive gains when plays break down or the Panthers throw an option wrench at opponents’ defense.

The Bucs know far too well what Newton can do, allowing him to scramble for 50 yards in a score in their Week 8 loss to Carolina. But that’s not an isolated incident. Tampa Bay has been burned by running QBs all year. It allowed Geno Smith to rush for 47 yards on six carries in Week 1, chased Russell Wilson around for 36 yards and a score in Week 9, and even allowed Eagles QB Nick Foles to find the end zone on the ground in Week 6.

Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills (-3, 46)


Falcons’ taste for turf vs. Bills’ Toronto troubles


Earlier this week, we highlighted the fact that Buffalo plays four of its final five games away from Ralph Wilson Stadium, including this makeshift home game at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. That trip to T.O. might as well be in Atlanta, taking away the Bills cold-weather edge versus the turf-loving Falcons. Atlanta plays in the Georgia Dome and has faced the elements only three times this season – at Miami, Carolina and Tampa Bay. The Falcons lost all three SU and ATS, averaging just over 15 points in those outdoor games.

Not only does Buffalo miss out on throwing that nasty upstate New York November weather at Atlanta but the Bills have been terrible in their short history of these “home games” north of the border. Buffalo is a dismal 1-4 SU and 1-3-1 ATS in Toronto, including a blowout loss to Seattle last season. Atlanta also marks the Bills’ first Toronto opponent to call an indoor stadium home. That can’t be good for a Buffalo team that is 5-1 ATS at home but only 1-4 ATS on the road.

New York Giants at Washington Redskins (+1, 46)


Giants’ punter Steve Weatherford vs. Redskins’ poor punt returns


Lost in the Giants’ last-second loss to Dallas was the solid performance of punter Steve Weatherford, whose kick placement handcuffed the Cowboys dangerous return game. Weatherford punted five times for an average of 54.6 yards per kick – and that was against some nasty winter wind at MetLife Stadium – keeping two within the 20-yard line and spanking the snot out of one for 65 yards. No wonder the NFL “randomly” drug tested Weatherford following Sunday’s game.

Weatherford’s right foot could have another monster day against the woeful Washington special teams. The Redskins rank in the basement in terms of punt return yards, averaging only 6.2 yards per return and have topped out at 34 yards in terms of biggest return. The Redskins have the lowest average starting field position in the league at 22.74 and will be lucky if they start their sputtering offense beyond the 20-yard line Sunday night.

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Posted by ace6
7 months ago

hey mike let me ask you something how do you feel about a sandwich game.like pats lost at Carolina then major comeback to beat Denver now at Houston .do you believe in let down games.plus there running back ridley is out.i love Houston today also its hard to get up against a bad team and why only 7 point favorite.your the only guy I know that been betting for 20yrs and are a winner.i would love to know what dream you had.i been betting for about 15yrs and I can honestly say I aint ahead.i don't bet every day but I also don't win every time I bet.lets stop the bullcrap be real.its ok to lose mike .every one does
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Posted by MTFN50
7 months ago

agrred that's why Mike made such a amature comment on vegas and the lines .Any capper that has stated what he has , knows nothing, and for sure a wannabe. Watch out for the Colts to get back on track today and physically manhandle the titans like they did to Denver
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Posted by %^$%
7 months ago

Exactly, Paramount _CEFO.
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Posted by Paramount_CEFO
7 months ago

I always LAUGH AT " WANNABE HANDICAPPERS like mike2071. If u were even half as good as you dream, it would be recorded on record by you taking part in the contest.. People get on here and talk about they picks and you go to they profile and they have never picked a game on here... OF COURSE THEY HAVE NOT, CAUSE THEN THEREFORE WOULD BE HARD EVIDENCE OF HOW LITTLE THEY KNOW. . AND before anyone responds wit SOMETHING SILLY RE POSE AND excuse as to why they do not play the contest, JUST STOP... if you were the Guru that you wish you were it takes two seconds to select your pics in the contest so that there is a record of them.. #FullOfIsh #WannabeHandicappers #ExcusesByTheDozen
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Posted by mike2071
7 months ago

I'm not a "wanna be handicapper". Ive been sports gambling since 1993. Probably before you were born. I don't play contests for fun. I play for real money. When you've been playing and winning for 20+ years then you can rebuke my picks. I only got on this site to check scores and odds and started reading some of these stupid articles. I got back on today to see what some of the douche bags had to comment on but you're the only douche Bag on here. Lmfao
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Posted by Rodger909
7 months ago

lmao. Mike2071 has probably lost more money in the last 20 years than he knows what to do with.
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Posted by mike2071
7 months ago

I'm not a "wanna be handicapper". Ive been sports gambling since 1993. Probably before you were born. I don't play contests for fun. I play for real money. When you've been playing and winning for 20+ years then you can rebuke my picks. I only got on this site to check scores and odds and started reading some of these stupid articles. I got back on today to see what some of the douche bags had to comment on but you're the only douche Bag on here. Lmfao
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Posted by MTFN50
7 months ago

seems like someone has forgot that the line represents what vegas thinks will get the most even action .Giant line for instance has basically stayed the same all week .Division game ,2 teams that stink .Perfect line .If its in NY it would be -4 . Take the Ravens Pitt line stayed at 3 or 2.5 all week ,another evenly bet game both ways .Vegas again gets it right . The only dummies are the ones that forget that most of the time vegas knows what your gonna bet before you do . That being said Im on the Colts who are in must win mode off a beat down by there old coach now play the Titans who as the year progressed showed why they are again average at best .Also like Falcons ,chiefs, giants,
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Posted by william82
7 months ago

Titans. For sure...
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Posted by DWN
7 months ago

Yeah, no disrespect mike2071 (good luck to you on your bets) but it is hard to call Vegas dumb, they did not get those multi billion dollar casinos being dumb. We both were lucky to win that Pittsburg play last night. Also, Pitt had not won 5 in a row, they won 5 out of 7. That was a helluva game last night. Again, GL with NE, I will be on them also (buying it to 7).
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Posted by artdb
7 months ago

Hay mike2071, I agree on NE game. Let's win it.
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Posted by mike2071
7 months ago

Look at that giants skins line! The skins cant beat a high school team and Vegas makes them +1? Thanks for the free money dummies!
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Posted by mike2071
7 months ago

Doesn't matter what this article says Vegas cant get the lines even close to right in these games. Every putz that bets knows that a team that has won 5 in a row (Pittsburgh) shouldn't be getting 3 points against a bad ravens team. Just like Vegas making new England 7.5 over Houston. What a joke! Just play the pats and pick up your money at the window. Vegas is a joke and I will keep dashing in on their stupidity!
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Top Response

Posted by mike2071
7 months ago

"I'm not a "wanna be handicapper". Ive been sports gambling since 1993. Probably before you were born. I don't play contests for fun. I play for real money. When you've been playing and winning for 20+ years then you can rebuke my picks. I only got o..."