Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is sacked by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


Patrick Werkmeister

Now that it is Week 13 of the NFL, the playoff picture is finally starting to take shape as the regular season enters the home stretch of December. Although some have already definitively staked their postseason claim, even the best teams can lose on any given Sunday during the grind of the regular season. However, if the stars align correctly any team who’s still in the hunt could get in. December football is where the cream rises to the top and I think that will be reflected in some of the wins on Sunday. With that in mind, here are the best bets for this NFL slate.

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Eagles (-5.5) @ Jets
In this interconference matchup, Mike Glennon and the Philadelphia Eagles travel to MetLife Stadium to face off against Zach Wilson and the New York Jets. The Birds opened as six and a half-point road favorite in this one and the current line favors them by five and a half points. While Philly is 3-8 ATS in their previous 11 games as a favorite, the Jets are an astounding 0-8 SU in their last eight games against the Eagles. Additionally, New York is an abysmal 3-9 ATS in their last 12 contests. Last week, the Jets defeated the Texans 21-14 whereas the Eagles suffered a brutal 13-7 loss to the Giants. However, teams that did not cover the previous week versus teams that did the previous week are a sharp 45-18-1. The Eagles are tailor-made to cover against such an inferior team like the Jets. With the Eagles stifling run defense, the Jets will have to have success through the air with rookie Zach Wilson to have a chance in this one. As long as Glennon looks manages the game like he did in Week 5, they should have no problem securing a victory on the road. Take Philly to cover in what should be a rout.

Jaguars @ Rams (-13)
From SoFi Stadium, Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Los Angeles to do battle with Matthew Stafford and the Rams. The Rams opened as 12-point home favorites in this one but they are currently favored by 13. Although Los Angeles is a shoddy 0-5 ATS in their last five games played, the Jaguars are a terrible 3-8 ATS on the year. I believe five is a large enough number for a team of this caliber to get back on track after not covering the past five weeks. Following their seven-point loss to the Falcons, the Jags have officially reclaimed their rightful spot as the second worst team in the league. They have illustrated they are completely inept at scoring the ball or stopping the opposition, so there’s nothing at all to like about them. With the Rams gaining star receiver Odell Beckham Jr., they are now able to spread the ball out more as a dynamic offense. As long as Stafford looks even somewhat like he did last week, they should have no problem covering at home. Take LA to cover in what should be a total blowout.         

Ravens @ Steelers (+4.5)
For this AFC North contest, Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers host Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore opened as three-point road favorites and are currently favored by four and a half points. Although Baltimore is 12-3 SU in their last 15 as a favorite, the Steelers are 3-0-1 SU in their last four games played at home. In Week 12, they were humiliated by the Cincinnati Bengals, whereas the Ravens defeated the Browns, 16-10. Following one of the best performances he’s had in years, Ben Roethlisberger took two step backs against the Bengals where he threw two interceptions. Although he has obviously declined in the past few years, Roethlisberger still holds the longest active streak of no turnovers. In that span, he went 4-1 SU and played a big role in their offense. With their miraculous comeback vs the Chargers, he has shown that he still possesses that patented clutch gene of his and still has a little left in the tank. Despite their intimidating offense, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have gone from Super Bowl contender to a mediocre division leader because of their constant offensive inconsistencies. Although they haven’t looked great this year, they should be motivated enough to at least cover this inflated margin. Take Pittsburgh plus the points.

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