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NFL Week 13 picks: Broncos will continue Chiefs' slide

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Tamba Hali expects to play against Denver, but that won't be enough to win. (USATSI)
Tamba Hali expects to play against Denver, but that won't be enough to win. (USATSI)

Each week, we'll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by Bovada for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you'll read all week. Because if you can't lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what's the point of watching sports at all?

Note: Home team is listed first in Against the Spread.

Game One: Chiefs +5.5 vs. Broncos
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

2013 Against The Spread
Overall: 6-5Overall: 6-5
Home: 2-4Home: 4-2
Away: 4-1Away: 2-3
2013 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 26thPass defense: 29th
Rush offense: 13thRush defense: 5th
Pass defense: 15thPass offense: 1st
Rush defense: 20thRush offense: 12th

Verdict: This rematch might have lost some of its luster since the first time these two squads met just two weeks ago. The Chiefs are on a two-game losing streak, falling to the Broncos and the Chargers in their worst defensive performances of the season, and Denver is coming off a heartbreaker in which it blew a 24-point lead to the Patriots. But Denver will rebound in this one, gashing Kansas City's injury-depleted defense and stifling the offensive output of Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. Go with the Broncos.

Game Two: Seahawks -5.5 vs. Saints
Monday, 8:40 p.m. ET, ESPN

2013 Against The Spread
Overall: 7-4Overall: 6-4-1
Home: 3-2Home: 5-0-1
Away: 4-2Away: 1-4
2013 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 24thPass defense: 3rd
Rush offense: 3rdRush defense: 15th
Pass defense: 2ndPass offense: 2nd
Rush defense: 16thRush offense: 23rd

Verdict: When the spread was 6.5, I liked the Saints, and even though the line has dropped a point, I'll still take New Orleans. The Seahawks have struggled against teams they should have had an easy time beating, and Drew Brees will take advantage of a Seahawks secondary that will be missing Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond. The Seahawks are a tough team to play in Seattle, but the Saints are good enough to cover.

Game Three (largest spread of week): 49ers -8.5 vs. Rams
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX

2013 Against The Spread
Overall: 7-3-1Overall: 5-6
Home: 3-2Home: 2-3
Away: 4-1-1Away: 3-3
2013 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 32ndPass defense: 20th
Rush offense: 4thRush defense: 13th
Pass defense: 4thPass offense: 23rd
Rush defense: 12thRush offense: 16th

Verdict: I fully expected Kellen Clemens to be a disaster when he had to replace the fallen Sam Bradford midway through the season -- and for the Rams to collapse as a result -- but Clemens actually has been OK. You still don't want to put the ball on his arm when the game's final play is upcoming (the Rams have learned that lesson twice this season), but he's been useful. As long as rookie running back Zac Stacy (concussion) is healthy enough to play, I like St. Louis to keep it close.

PROP BET

Drew Brees -- Total passing yards in Week 13 vs. Seattle

Over/Under 290½

Brees has totaled more than 291 passing yards in eight of 11 games this season, and though Seattle allows on 180.4 passing yards per contest -- the second-best mark in the NFL -- I don't have nearly as much confidence in the secondary without Browner and Thurmond. I would take the over.

Last week: 2-1 against the spread; 0-1 on prop bets. Overall this year: 20-16 against the spread, 13-13 on prop bets. Last two years: 46-51 against the spread; 47-30-1 on prop bets.

See my picks and all the CBSSports.com experts here.

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