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USATSI

It was good to be home for the holidays. As the NFL celebrated the Thanksgiving weekend in Week 12, home teams went 12-4 ATS, which was the best they've performed all year. In our little gambling corner, we were hot on a number of those covers, including Minnesota, Miami, and New York (Jets). However, the Giants gave us a bad beat as they scored a late touchdown to cover over the Cowboys, who were inside our five locks of the week.

As we turn our attention to Week 13, we have zeroed in on a number of key matchups on the slate. Within my locks, the student vs. the master showdown between Mike McDaniel and Kyle Shanahan is featured as is the debut of Deshaun Watson with the Cleveland Browns

2022 record

Regular season
Locks of the Week ATS
: 27-29-4
ATS: 79-94-7
ML: 110-70

All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook.

Jets at Vikings

Featured Game | Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Jets

As I've been saying on CBS Sports HQ and wherever else the powers at be allow me to speak into a microphone or type into a post, the New York Jets were a stable quarterback away from being a weekly threat. Well, it does seem like they may have found one in Mike White. Do we expect him to throw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns each week? Of course not. But, if he can keep the offense efficient, the Jets have a defense capable of shutting top offenses down. Currently, New York ranks fourth in the NFL in fewest points per game allowed, third in yards per play allowed, and has the top-graded defense by Pro Football Focus. Sauce Gardner also leads the NFL in completion percentage allowed and pass breakups. Now that they have a quarterback capable of putting together consistent scoring drives, that should make the Jets a live dog heading into Minnesota. The defense matches up well with this Vikings offense and Minny's defense did just allow New England to put up 409 yards of total offense.

Projected score: Jets 24, Vikings 21
The pick: Jets +3

Dolphins at 49ers

Featured Game | San Francisco 49ers vs. Miami Dolphins

What I find even more fascinating than Mike McDaniel going up against his former team and mentor Kyle Shanahan is that this could sneakily end up being a Super Bowl preview. While Philadelphia, Kansas City and the Bills get most of the Super Bowl pump, both the 49ers and Dolphins find themselves inside the top six for the highest odds to win the title later this season in Arizona. While Miami is riding a five-game winning streak into this game and is averaging over 30 points per game over that stretch, I believe this game will be more about San Francisco's defense. San Fran holds the No.1 scoring defense and total defense in the NFL this season, allowing just 15.7 points and 282 yards per game. More importantly for the sake of this matchup, the Niners are also the third-best coverage team in the league, according to PFF. With Terron Armstead (pectoral) already ruled out for this game, that'll be a major blow to a Dolphins offensive line that already had the second-worst pass block grade in the league. 

Projected score: 49ers 27, Dolphins 21
The pick: 49ers -4

Browns at Texans

Featured Game | Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns

Deshaun Watson has finished serving his 11-game suspension and will now begin his tenure with Cleveland. As things would have it, he makes his Browns debut against his former team in the Houston Texans. Given the circumstances that led to Watson's suspension, it admittedly feels icky to simply talk about him from simply a football standpoint, but that's what I'm here to do. With that in mind, this Texans team is not a good one and only scored 15 points last week because the Dolphins benched most of their starters after going up by 30 at the half. Even if the Browns ease Watson back into things, they have enough firepower on offense to clear this touchdown spread. Specifically, Nick Chubb has a tasty matchup as he faces the league's worst run defense, which is giving up 168.6 on the ground per game. That said, it also wouldn't shock me if the Browns did try to show out a bit with Watson on this stage and give him a couple of opportunities to rip off some chunk plays.

Projected score: Browns 30, Texans 13
The pick: Browns -7

Seahawks at Rams

Featured Game | Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks

I think the Rams are on the doorstep of waving the white flag on the 2022 season. Not only are Matthew Stafford (concussion protocol/neck) and Cooper Kupp (ankle) banged up, but Aaron Donald is now said to be dealing with a high ankle sprain. Those were the pillars of L.A.'s Super Bowl title club a year ago and without them, it's hard to imagine them putting up much of a fight against any club, let alone a motivated Seahawks club that is looking to snap a two-game losing skid. The Rams are 2-8-1 ATS this season, which includes a 1-5 ATS record at SoFi Stadium. So as long as Geno Smith and the Seahawks -- who have covered 60% of their road games this season -- don't turn the ball over, they should be able to handle this beleaguered Rams team.

Projected score: Seahawks 28, Rams 17
The pick: Seahawks -7

Packers at Bears

Featured Game | Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers (right thumb, oblique) has already said that plans on playing this week, but the jury is still out on Justin Fields as of the writing of this story. Even if Fields can play, he won't have much support around him as the Bears have put wide receiver Darnell Mooney and safety Eddie Jackson on injured reserve, making this Chicago roster even thinner. Historically, Rodgers has owned this matchup and the Packers have covered 23 of their last 30 meetings. In his career, Rodgers has simply dominated, owning a 67.6 completion percentage and a 109.9 passer rating against the Bears. His 63 passing touchdowns are also the most he's thrown against any single opponent. With this line sitting well under a touchdown, the Packers are an easy pick here, especially considering the injuries the Bears are dealing with.

Projected score: Packers 28, Bears 20
The pick: Packers -4

Rest of the bunch

Bills at Patriots (Thursday)
Projected score: Bills 28, Patriots 21
The pick: Bills -4.5

Steelers at Falcons
Projected score: Steelers 23, Falcons 20
The pick: Steelers -1

Jaguars at Lions
Projected score: Jaguars 27, Lions 24
The pick: Jaguars -1

Commanders at Giants
Projected score: Giants 24, Commanders 21
The pick: Giants +2.5

Titans at Eagles
Projected score: Eagles 24, Titans 23
The pick: Titans +5 

Broncos at Ravens
Projected score: Ravens 24, Broncos 14
The pick: Ravens -8

Chiefs at Bengals
Projected score: Chiefs 33, Bengals 27
The pick: Chiefs -2.5

Chargers at Raiders
Projected score: Raiders 30, Chargers 27
The pick: Raiders +2

Colts at Cowboys
Projected score: Cowboys 24, Colts 10
The pick: Cowboys -11

Saints at Buccaneers (Monday)
Projected score: Buccaneers 27, Saints 21
The pick: Buccaneers -3.5