Coaches are getting fired and wheels are falling off as the majority of NFL teams scramble to stay alive in the playoff race. The pushing and clawing just to keep playoff relevance; it’s the most wonderful time of the year. This is also when pretenders begin to crack, be it at the hands of a tougher schedule or simply unable to sustain top level play. That’s where the upset column sets its sights this week, attacking a vulnerable road favorite against one of the better defenses in the NFL Here’s the NFL Upset & Underdog pick for Week 13!
NFL Week 13 Upset & Underdog Pick
NFL Odds for Lions-Saints Pick
Lions-Saints Upset Pick
It’s hard to think the Detroit Lions are on the verge of losing two straight after establishing a foothold atop the NFC. Before Thanksgiving’s loss in Green Bay, Detroit had the second best record in the conference. The Lions may only have three losses but they are spaced out, and the team just hasn’t been its dominating self over the past three games.
Their defense gave up an average of 31 points over that time frame, giving up no fewer than 26 – to Chicago. On top of all this recent suspect play lies what Green Bay exposed over the holiday, something the Saints should exploit all day.
New Orleans has the third best defense in the NFC when it comes to total points allowed. They’ve been able to physically slow down games to give their shaky offense a chance. Their offense is going to need a boost, especially if one or two of their top receivers are out. But this game comes down to something the Packers took advantage of, something similar for the Saints that falls right into their hands – pressure.
Jared Goff was neutralized in most attempts to move the football down the field, making it increasingly difficult as the game got more out of hand. The scoreboard reads a seven point loss but the Pack held a commanding 23-6 halftime lead. On top of their inability to protect Goff, combined with Goff’s inability to pass out of pressure, were some questionable calls by the coaching staff – including unnecessarily burning a timeout after a major first down. That type of boneheadedness is typically reserved for Dennis Allen, but that’s primarily as a road favorite. Allen is covering 44% of his games coached as an underdog, and is a good bet to back here despite some injury concern with the offense.
Chris Olave is in the concussion protocol and Rashid Shaheed is dealing with a quad injury. Both are questionable at the time as each provides a helpful edge for Carr against Detroit. But that’s the thing with the Lions; they sit just 21st in the NFL in defending the pass, specifically passing yards per game.
Carr still has a dangerous weapon in Alvin Kamara who will exploit that Lions pass defense around running backs. This is big game territory for Kamara who will face one of the league’s top rush defenses but still needs the ball in his hands.
It’s never easy to put my own money on the Dennis Allen/Derek Carr tandem, let alone ask someone else to do the same, but this is a prime spot where the team’s defense is being undervalued. Normally a team with some injury concern and a shaky QB shouldn’t get this much benefit against a potent Lions offense.
However, as we’ve seen already with earlier Saints games, New Orleans can suffocate an opposing offense to just allow a small spot for their own O to strike. Load up on the Saints and Kamara to ride this home team to victory.
NFL Week 13 Upset Pick: Saints +170 (DraftKings)
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