Roll with these three road teams in Week 13.
Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons (-3)
The Vikings have thrown their hat in the ring as Super Bowl contenders after victories over the Rams and Lions in a span of four days. They’ve won and covered in each of their last six games and look to keep it rolling as they enter Atlanta with extra rest.
The Falcons have compiled a modest win streak of their own (3-0 straight-up and ATS in their last three) after a rocky start to the season but face their toughest assignment in weeks this Sunday. Minnesota’s defense has allowed over 300 yards in a game just once since October, so Matt Ryan and company will likely have trouble moving the football.
Meanwhile, the Vikings’ ball-hogging offense (fifth by time of possession) has been giving opponents fits on the ground all season. Their seventh-ranked rushing attack meets a Falcons’ run defense that’s allowed over 112 YPG during their three-game winning streak. And Case Keenum has been no slouch as the signal-caller this year, as he’s thrown for over 250 yards in each of his last four games.
The Vikings are the best bet of the week as a surprising three-point underdog.
The pick: Vikings +3
Los Angeles Rams (-7) at Arizona Cardinals
The Rams, 4-1 ATS in their last five, crushed the Cardinals when they met in London in October and look poised to provide another beatdown in Arizona this Sunday.
L.A.’s second-ranked scoring offense meets a Cardinals’ defensive unit that offers opponents little resistance (26th in PPG allowed). Jared Goff will likely attack Arizona’s 18th-rated pass stoppers early and often. The Cardinals’ pass rush has been a relative strength this year (27 sacks) but that should be negated by the Rams’ offensive line, which is eighth-best at keeping their quarterback upright.
Adrian Peterson was stifled by the Rams’ run-stoppers in October (11 rushes, 21 yards) and should be again, which makes Blaine Gabbert’s task against L.A.’s ninth-rated aerial defense that much tougher.
Arizona’s win over Jacksonville last week was about as fluky as it gets, as they’re now just 3-7-1 ATS this season and 6-13-1 ATS in their last 20 home tilts. Lay the points with the Rams.
The pick: Rams -7
Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
The Steelers have won six straight yet have been maddeningly inconsistent this season. They nearly lost to a lost-at-sea Packers squad last Sunday night and continue to play down to their competition.
However, one thing that can be counted on with Pittsburgh is their dominance of division-rival Cincinnati. The Steelers are 7-2-1 ATS in their last ten tilts with the Bengals, including a 29-14 win back in October. Cincinnati’s offense ranks in the bottom third in just about every important category this year and will match up with a Pittsburgh defense that just had a five-game streak snapped in which they held the opposition to 17 points or fewer. Look for Le’Veon Bell to have a big day against the NFL’s 28th-rated run-stoppers as the Steelers stomp on the Bengals once more.
The pick: Steelers -5.5
Best of the rest (picks in bold)
Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens (-3)
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-7)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers (E)
Denver Broncos (-1) at Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots (-8.5) at Buffalo Bills
San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears (-3)
Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5) at New York Jets
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (-9.5)
Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers (-13.5)
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-4)
New York Giants at Oakland Raiders (-7.5)
Philadelphia Eagles (-5) at Seattle Seahawks