Below are my confidence level straight up picks for Week 13. The picks with a confidence level of 1-5 (a set of selections that have gone 35-17 since Week 8) will be available to all NFL Pickwatch readers. 

The selections with a 6+ confidence level, a group of games that have netted a 185-73-2 record since 2020 (including 28-13 since Week 4), will be available exclusively to Pickwatch Pro subscribers. Pickwatch Pro is a great service that allows subscribers to download the best expert data in the industry, see team-by-team winners for every expert, and provides access to Upset Watch, which has been the ultimate cheat code to beat the sportsbooks over the last six years. Combine those elements with the top level of my weekly picks and it makes for a must-subscribe service for anyone serious about betting.

Buffalo at New England

This may be the ultimate in styles clash. The Bills have been getting into high scoring games out of necessity, as Buffalo’s defense has allowed 22+ first downs in eight straight games, given up 350+ offensive yards in five of the past seven games, and have allowed fewer than 20 points only once since Week 6. Josh Allen’s dinged elbow has also caused the Bills to rely on the ground game much more than usual, as Buffalo has gained 150+ rushing yards in four of the past five contests, while also posting fewer than 200 net passing yards in two of those matchups.

The Patriots defense has been very stout of late, as they have given up 17 or fewer points in four of the past six games. A big part of this has been a tough rush defense that has allowed 78 or fewer rushing yards in five of the past six games.

The real issue for New England is that it is 0-5 when allowing 20+ points and 6-0 when giving up fewer than 20 points. Buffalo has been held to under 20 points only twice this year and has scored 89 points over the past three weeks. That trends towards the Bills reaching the magic number mark, so Buffalo is the selection.

KC’s pick: Buffalo

Confidence level: 4


Pittsburgh at Atlanta

It turns out all Mike Tomlin needed to right the Steelers ship was a bye week, as Pittsburgh is 2-1 since its Week 9 off week and has played its best football of the year in that span. This includes a consistent passing attack, with rookie standout George Pickens in a starring role, as well as a defense that has tallied two takeaways in three straight games after posting zero in Weeks 6-8.

Atlanta has used a power rushing attack to maximize its production and stay within a half game of the NFC South lead, as the Falcons have tallied 138+ rushing yards in five straight contests.

The problem for Atlanta is that it cannot stop the run, as evidenced by allowing 160+ rushing yards four times in the last five games. The Steelers may not have Najee Harris for this one, but they will have Jaylen Warren and Benny Snell. Combine that with Atlanta’s opponents posting 20+ points in five of the past six weeks and Atlanta falling short of that bar in four of the past six and Pittsburgh is the pick.

KC’s pick: Pittsburgh

Confidence level: 2


Green Bay at Chicago

The track record of this game says that it should be a cakewalk for the Packers, as Green Bay has won 22 of the past 25 matchups in this series. That includes a 27-10 Packers win back in September, but these teams are in much different places than they were back then.

For starters, Aaron Rodgers wasn’t banged up, as he is now dealing with both thumb and ribs injuries. The Bears offense also hadn’t found the secret formula that is Justin Fields’ rushing ability, a trait that led to an NFL record five straight games with 225+ rushing yards earlier this year.

As of this writing, it looks like Fields will be able to play, but the reality is that even if both Fields and Rodgers play, they are apt to be at less than 100 percent. Since both teams have been terrible on defense of late, it will come down to which team can hold up in a shootout (games where each team scores 24+ points). Since Green Bay is 2-1 in shootouts and Chicago is 0-4, the Packers get this pick.

KC’s pick: Green Bay

Confidence level: 3


Jacksonville at Detroit

Both clubs are on the upswing, as the Lions has a three-game win streak headed into Thanksgiving Day and gave the Bills all they could handle in a heartbreaking 28-25 loss. Jacksonville held its own against Kansas City in Week 10 and then pulled off an upset over Baltimore in Week 12 on a great comeback drive by Trevor Lawrence.

Since the Jaguars just scored 28 points against a strong Ravens defense and has allowed 20+ points in six straight contests, this game has the potential to be a shootout. Detroit has been in seven games of that caliber, but this actually doesn’t bode well for the Lions since, they are 2-5 in shootouts. With Jacksonville posting a 1-1 mark in high scoring games, the Jaguars are the preferred option here.

KC’s pick: Jacksonville

Confidence level: 2


Cleveland at Houston

It would be tough to find a game with more compelling subplots, as this contest features the debut of Deshaun Watson in the Cleveland lineup while facing his former on the road.

Those factors give this game more potential volatility than any matchup this week, as Watson needs to show he is in sync with his offense while dealing with a crowd that will be relentless in its jeering.

The problem for Houston is all of that crowd noise won’t generate any offense, as the Texans are playing Kyle Allen again this week. Houston’s passing game was stuck in neutral last week with Allen directing the attack and Dameon Pierce has hit the rookie wall.

A lack of offensive talent isn’t an issue for Cleveland, so they are more likely to successfully navigate their issues than Houston is, so the Browns get this one.

KC’s pick: Cleveland

Confidence level: 3


NY Jets at Minnesota

This may be the best matchup of the week, as both clubs are battling for division supremacy and playoff seeding.

New York found lightning in a bottle last week with Mike White replacing Zach Wilson, but this offense still goes as its ground game goes, as the Jets posted 158 rushing yards last week and have topped the 130-yard mark in five of the past seven games. As great as the offensive explosion has been, it truly is New York’s defense that is saving the day, as the Jets have allowed 17 or fewer points in six of the past seven and ten or fewer on four of those occasions.

The key for Minnesota is to get the Jets to go for a shootout, as the Vikings are a league best 5-0 in shootouts versus a 4-2 mark in non-shootouts. That just isn’t New York’s game plan, as the Jets have only been in one shootout this year (a 31-30 win over Cleveland in Week 2). Since they have proven so adept at not getting into that type of game, the Jets are likely to get the style of game they want and that will lead to a victory. 

KC’s pick: New York

Confidence level: 2


Washington at NY Giants

It wasn’t long ago that the Giants were the team on a roll and the Commanders were struggling, but that isn’t the case anymore, as Washington has won six of its last seven, while New York has lost three out of four.

The problem for the Giants is that defensive injuries are finally catching up to them, as New York has allowed 27 points in those three aforementioned losses. Ron Rivera’s defense is having no such issues, as Washington has given up fewer than 200 net passing yards in seven of its last eight games and fewer than 100 rushing yards in four of the past six weeks.

Washington also has a 1-2 running back combination in Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson that can generally match the production pace of Saquon Barkley. That should be enough to take advantage of the Giants defensive weakness and slot this game in favor of Washington

KC’s pick: Washington

Confidence level: 3


Tennessee at Philadelphia

The Titans are a formula team that aims to power run the ball on offense and stuff the run on defense. The idea is to slow the game down and keep the scoreboard from lighting up, and when that works to keep a team under 20 points, it has resulted in a 6-0 record.

The problem for Tennessee is that it has a shaky pass defense and subpar passing offense. This means when teams score 20+ points against the Titans, it gets Tennessee out of its preferred approach and leads to a 1-4 record.

The Titans can glean some hope from the fact that the Colts held the Eagles incredibly talented offense to under 20 points for the first time this year in Week 11, but Philadelphia followed that up with the seventh highest rushing total in an NFL game since 1975 last week. The Eagles also have topnotch wideouts capable of making big plays against the Titans subpar pass coverage, so the Eagles are the choice here.

KC’s pick: Philadelphia

Confidence level: 4


Miami at San Francisco

The Dolphins offense may be the best in the league right now, as Miami has scored 30+ points in four straight games. That streak could end in this matchup, as the 49ers may be the best defense in the NFL, having allowed 40 points over the last four games combined and shutting out New Orleans in Week 12.

That could place this battle as a stalemate, so it may come down to the San Francisco offense versus the Miami defense. The Dolphins D has been inconsistent, as they shut down an overmatched Houston team in Week 12, but gave up 364 combined rushing yards to Chicago and Cleveland in Weeks 10-11.

The 49ers offense has had some consistency issues of its own and is dealing with potential injuries to Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel, but the talent of that platoon is greater than Miami’s defensive talent. Put that in with the home field advantage for the 49ers and San Francisco is the selection.

KC’s pick: San Francisco

Confidence level: 3


Kansas City at Cincinnati

This is a rematch of the 2021 AFC Championship that saw Joe Burrow lead the Bengals back from a 21-3 deficit to win the game and go to the Super Bowl.

Kansas City’s offense should get it out to another great start, as the Chiefs have gained 437+ offensive yards in five straight games and posted 485+ yards in four of those contests. Kansas City has also corrected some of its defensive issues from earlier this year, as the Chiefs have held three of their last four foes to 17 or fewer points.

The Bengals are an offensive juggernaut of their own, as they really haven’t missed a beat the past few weeks even though Ja’Marr Chase has been out of the lineup. Chase is due back for this game, as is Joe Mixon, who missed last week with a concussion.

Neither team has a notable advantage in shootouts, as the Chiefs are 4-0 and the Bengals 2-0 in those types of games. The closeness of these factors means that home field advantage is the tiebreaker, so give the one to Cincinnati by the smallest of margins. 

KC’s pick: Cincinnati

Confidence level: 1


LA Chargers at Las Vegas

Justin Herbert is getting a lot better at directing this offense through receivers other than Mike Williams or Keenan Allen. This trait has helped the Chargers post 52 points over the past two weeks and should come in handy against a Raiders defense that just allowed a season high 307 net passing yards against Seattle.

The main factor for Las Vegas is whether or not Josh Jacobs will be good to go. His status was up in the air until a couple of hours before game time last week and he turned that late active status into a Raiders record in rushing yards, 576 offensive yards, and a 40-34 upset win over Seattle.

That could be a huge problem for the Chargers, as Los Angeles has given up 157+ rushing yards in five straight games. Since Jacobs is currently slated to play, this pick goes to Las Vegas, but if he’s out, it will switch to the Chargers.

KC’s pick: Las Vegas

Confidence level: 3 


New Orleans at Tampa Bay

The Saints used to dominate the regular season battles between these clubs, but a 20-10 Tampa Bay win earlier this year ended a seven-game regular season win streak for New Orleans. That seems like ages ago given how different things are for these teams now, as the Saints have no running game (fewer than 100 rushing yards in five of the past six games) and a limited aerial attack. That combination has resulted in New Orleans posting 13 or fewer points three times in the last four weeks, including a goose egg against San Francisco last week.

Tampa Bay’s offense is in a much better place, as the ascension of Rachaad White gives the Buccaneers a superb rushing platoon. Merge that with an improved defense that has fixed many of the problems that plagued this platoon earlier this year and Tampa Bay is the go-to pick in this one.

KC’s pick: Tampa Bay

Confidence level: 3

KC’s 6+ confidence level picks, a group of selections that have gone 185-73-2 since 2020 (including 28-13 since Week 4), are available exclusively to Pickwatch Pro subscribers.