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San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle tries to get away from Atlanta Falcons cornerback Damontae Kazee. (Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire)
December 2nd, 2023
Week 13 features one of the most anticipated games of the regular season, San Francisco at Philadelphia, and we’ll include the match up between NFC titans in our picks and player props.
Difficult for us to imagine these teams combining to score 20 points, we will play the Under in a match-up between teams with anemic offenses and respectable defensive units. After being benched a couple weeks earlier, Desmond Ridder returned to lead Atlanta to a victory over New Orleans last week, but Ridder delivered the same marginal play we witnessed earlier this season, tossing a pair of interceptions as he completed 13 of 21 passes for 168 yards. The Jets will focus upon slowing down Atlanta’s run game, and New York’s offense continues to disintegrate, failing to produce against bad teams as they scored 13 points (Giants), 6 points (Chargers), 12 points (Raiders) and 6 points (Raiders) prior to being shelled 34-13 by Miami last week. We project a lot of punts and little scoring between bad teams.
Both teams have offensive issues and Arizona has been especially woeful on the road, averaging only 11.1 points per game in six road contests. Kyler Murray has struggled to find a rhythm since returning from injury, and Pittsburgh’s pass rush will find ways to frustrate him. Look for another low-scoring output from the reeling Cardinals, and we don’t trust Pittsburgh to cover as the favorite. That makes the Under appealing. Pittsburgh finally outgained their first opponent of the season last week, but the Steelers scored only 16 points against Cincinnati’s 31st-ranked defense. The Steelers are never prolific, relying upon the ground game to avoid quarterback mistakes, and Pittsburgh has not allowed an opponent to reach 20 points in the last four outings.
San Francisco has had 10 days to prepare for Philadelphia since blowing out Seattle on Thanksgiving. Philadelphia must try to avoid a letdown after a wild and emotional win last Sunday, rallying to tie Buffalo in the waning seconds of regulation before coming-from-behind to prevail in overtime. In fact, the Eagles have ridden an enormous wave of adrenaline over the last three games, escaping a pair of quality opponents (Dallas and Kansas City) before defeating Buffalo 37-34, and teams can’t rely upon late-game heroics every week. This is a good spot to back San Francisco. Philadelphia was worn down defensively last Sunday, surrendering 505 total yards including 173 rushing yards, and they don’t need this one like their rival, owning a two-game cushion in the race for home-field advantage in the postseason. San Francisco will turn the tables in the regular season, and these teams seem destined to meet again in the NFC Championship.
George Kittle epitomizes what it means to support the military and we are proud to honor his commitment as our 2023 #SaluteToService Award nominee 🇺🇸Today is your last day to vote for @gkittle46 here: https://t.co/KEBF35mi3u pic.twitter.com/SYeJLu3k4u— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 30, 2023
George Kittle epitomizes what it means to support the military and we are proud to honor his commitment as our 2023 #SaluteToService Award nominee 🇺🇸Today is your last day to vote for @gkittle46 here: https://t.co/KEBF35mi3u pic.twitter.com/SYeJLu3k4u
Since losing three consecutive games, San Francisco has relied more on George Kittle, who has averaged 90.2 receiving yards over the last five games, and this match up favors him. Philadelphia’s defense ranks last in the NFL defending tight ends according to DVOA, allowing 48.9 receiving yards per game, and with having to cover Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel on the outside, the Eagles won’t be able to devote extra defenders to Kittle. The Over in receiving yards looks well within the grasp of the star tight end.
Atlanta limited the number of carries Bijan Robinson received in midseason to keep him fresh for the end of the season, and the Falcons are now relying on the rookie running back as they make a playoff push, tied for first in the weak NFC South with a 5-6 record. Robinson has been a workhorse the last two games, recording 95 yards on 22 carries in a loss two weeks ago, and he’s guaranteed to receive carries regardless of score because Atlanta doesn’t trust their quarterback. He’s averaged 5.0 yards per carry through 11 games, and we like Robinson to go Over in rushing yards versus the New York Jets.
This number doesn’t make sense, Kenny Pickett has not reached 196 passing yards in four of the last five games, and Arizona is much better against the pass (15th-ranked) than run (30th-ranked). Pittsburgh’s passing offense stinks, averaging only 178.9 yards per game (28th-ranked), they give up sacks (2.3 per game), and turnovers are one way to keep Arizona in the game. The Steelers figures to adopt a conservative approach while likely playing from ahead most of the game, and we will play Pickett to go Under in passing yards.
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