NFL Week 13: Opening Lines And Early Betting Value

Minnesota Vikings  players in action

Matthew Jordan

Monday, November 28, 2016 4:38 PM GMT

The calendar flips to December this week, and that means we are in the NFL's stretch run of the regular season. Each week, the playoff picture should get more into focus. Here are some interesting opening Week 13 NFL lines from SBR's best sportsbooks.

Dallas Cowboys At Minnesota Vikings (+3.5)

The Thursday night games have been hard to watch at times this year as there have either been terrible matchups or just two teams facing off that are still physically and emotionally spent from playing just four days earlier. But neither of those are the case here as the Cowboys and Vikings both played on Thanksgiving so I believe that should lead to better football than we usually see in a quick turnaround Thursday game. The Cowboys are running away with the NFC's best record behind the amazing rookie duo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. At 10-1, the Cowboys are two games clear of every other team in the conference and have won a franchise-record 10 games in a row. However, I wonder if this might be a bit of a trap game. Why? The Cowboys can all but wrap up the NFC East in  Week 14 and payback their only loss of the season when they visit the second-place New York Giants. Also, the Dallas defense has started to look a bit shaky, giving up 30 points in Week 10 in Pittsburgh and then being torched by Kirk Cousins in the 31-26 Thanksgiving win over the Redskins. The Vikings can't compete offensively with Dallas but are better on defense and they have played very well at home -- in fact should be unbeaten there if not for blowing a Week 9 game vs. Detroit. The Vikes also have to have this for their playoff hopes, while in a way it can be a throwaway game for Dallas.

NFL Free Pick: Vikings +3.5Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Kansas City Chiefs At Atlanta Falcons (-3.5)

Did you watch the Sunday night game in Denver between the Broncos and Chiefs? What a shocking result. The defenses dominated the first half but then both QBs woke up in the second. Alex Smith, not exactly known for his two-minute offensive skills, led Kansas City on a long scoring drive at the end of regulation as well as the tying 2-point conversion. Then late in overtime, Denver coach Gary Kubiak made the very questionable call to try a winning 62-yard field goal. It wasn't close to being good and that gave the Chiefs great field position. Smith drove them back down the field and in position for a winning chip-shot field goal that Cairo Santos drilled in the waning seconds for the 30-27 OT win. In addition, Kansas City WR Tyreek Hill became the first player since Gale Sayers in 1965 to record rushing, receiving and return touchdowns in a single game. Sunday night's matchup was really physical so I don't know how the Chiefs aren't drained coming out of it. Plus they played in Denver without No. 1 receiver Jeremy Maclin and excellent pass-rushing linebacker Dee Ford (10 sacks). I'm not sure that defense will be able to slow the high-powered Falcons in their dome.

NFL Free Pick: Falcons -3.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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San Francisco 49ers At Chicago Bears (-2.5)

Have you seen the Bears play? They have no right being favored against anyone, but that just tells you how equally bad the 49ers are as they enter on a 10-game losing streak. These teams have combined for three wins this year and the loser could be the big winner here as it should be in the driver's seat to get the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft behind winless Cleveland (which  is on the bye this week). Bears receivers had a whopping 10 dropped passes in Sunday's home loss to Tennessee, the most by any team in the NFL the past 10 years. One was by Josh Bellamy in the Titans' end zone in the final minute that could have won the game. Chicago is without its top two receivers in Alshon Jeffery (suspension) and Kevin White (season-ending injury). The Bears are thin all over due to injuries and suspensions and lost another key player Sunday in linebacker Danny Trevathan. The 49ers beat the Bears in Chicago in OT last year. Blaine Gabbert had a big game for San Francisco, but he's now behind Colin Kaepernick -- a guy the Bears could have interest in signing this offseason.

NFL Free Pick: 49ers +2.5Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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