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Upset Picks for Week 13 in NFL: Jags and Steelers Disrespect Creates Enticing Opportunity

Eric Thompson

by Eric Thompson in NFL Football

Updated Mar 27, 2020 · 6:14 PM PDT

Duck Hodges gives the Pittsburgh Steelers the best chance to make the playoffs. Let that sentence sink in. Photo from @brgridiron (Twitter).
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers get a shot at revenge on the Cleveland Browns, and thankfully Mason Rudolph will be nowhere near this game
  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are rare road favorites, so of course we’re going against them
  • Week 12 was a bummer as went 0-3, costing us 3 units

Last week’s picks did not go great: I guess nobody told Jason Garrett that Dallas needed to win outright, not just cover the spread. Ah well, after starting Week 13 in the NFL with another upsetting loss, he’ll be gone soon. Our weekly underdog picks, no matter how unsuccessful, will continue.

This time around, we’re trying something new. Usually, we pick moneyline upsets here and avoid dogs of less than 3 points, because there’s not a ton of value in taking that over the spread. But today we’re going to parlay a few home teams that are getting points and hopefully come out in front.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Jacksonville Jaguars Odds

Team Spread Moneyline
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -2.5 -140
Jacksonville Jaguars +2.5 +120

*Odds taken Nov. 29

The Titans game got away from the Jags in a hurry after a sloppy start to the third quarter. They won’t have to worry about that here. With Jameis Winston throwing the ball on the other side, you’re never out of a game.

Nick Foles reclamation of the starting role has been unimpressive so far, but he’ll get a chance to run up his numbers against the Buccaneers’ typical terrible pass defense, which ranks 25th in DVOA in that category.

Tampa is only good as a spoiler; they should never be trusted as a favorite. Since 2016, they’re 5-12 ATS when giving points. Take Jacksonville to end their three-game losing streak here.

Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers Odds

Team Spread Moneyline
Cleveland Browns -2 -130
Pittsburgh Steelers +2 +110

Having just picked against the Steelers last week, it might seem hypocritical to come back and take them here, but the change at QB makes Pittsburgh a far more likeable bet. The reason why they’ve moved on from Mason Rudolph was the same reason I picked against them: dude was actively hurting their chances at winning.

The Pittsburgh win blueprint is clear: let the defense hunt and offense, try not to screw it up. In limited time, Duck Hodges has shown he can adhere to that plan and it’s one that should have success against the Browns.

Let’s not get carried away by Cleveland just because they’ve beaten a few bad teams. They’re still a mistake-prone bunch with a bad head coach.

The Steelers will be looking for a little revenge after the events of last meeting. And Cleveland also hasn’t swept a season series over Pittsburgh since 1988.

We’re taking the points here as an added cushion, just in case these teams want to tie again, like their notorious Week 1 meeting from last year.

Pick: 2 units on a parlay (+260) of the Jags +2.5 (-104) and the Steelers +2 (-109)

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