Three NFL Week 13 Upset Picks To Consider (2023)

Three upset picks for NFL Week 13 stand out as value bets based on model predictions, matchup research, and/or recent news.

Eagles are home dogs against the 49ers (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Successfully predicting an upset in an NFL Week 13 matchup, unnoticed by the general public, extends beyond mere boasting rights. Historically, underdogs can present more lucrative opportunities for betting value than favorites.

In this piece, we present our top three Week 13 upset picks, focusing on moneyline odds—the potential payout when betting on the underdog to secure an outright victory.

While some of these upset selections may closely resemble coin-flip scenarios, others might be considered long shots, with an expectation of far more losses than wins (refer to the conclusion section for pertinent notes on expectations).

The common thread among these picks is our conviction that they represent sensible wagers when considering the balance between risk and reward, and will prove to be profitable over the long term.

Upset Picks Results to Date

We keep track of our overall season performance against consensus moneyline odds (at publication time) for every upset pick we make in this column.

Past Season Performance

We started writing this article a few weeks into the 2021 NFL season. From inception through the end of the 2022 season, the picks we highlighted went 44-56-2 (a 44% win rate) for a total profit of +23.1 units, if you had flat-bet one unit on each pick.

(Because we’re picking underdogs at plus-money odds, we don’t need to hit 52.4% or even 50% of them to turn a profit.)

If you want to see the archives, you can view the final 2022 article here and the 2021 end-of-year version here.

Current Season

Last Week: 1-2 for -0.4 units
2023 Season: 12-24 for -4.8 units

Favorites generally did well last week, going 12-4 ATS, so there weren’t many opportunities to hit upsets.

We got a late field goal to get one upset on Monday Night Football, but had a key kick bounce off the crossbar in another that doomed another. (All 2023 season picks are now listed below.)

  • Houston (+105) had a chance for a late tying field goal against the Jaguars, but the kick bounced off the crossbar, sealing a 24-21 loss.
  • LA Chargers (+155) turned the ball over four times on Sunday Night Football, losing 20-10 to the Ravens.
  • Chicago (+158) won a game against the Vikings 12-10, despite not scoring a touchdown, with four field goals including the final one in the closing seconds.

Want More Picks?

To get all our favorite betting picks for NFL Week 13, which may include point spread picks, over/under picks, props, or other bet types, check out our Staff Betting Picks.

Week 13 NFL Upset Picks

In the analysis below, “SU” means a team’s straight up win-loss record, while “ATS” means its record against the spread.

Philadelphia Eagles (vs. San Francisco 49ers)

Moneyline: +125
Point Spread: +2.5

This is our highest-rated playable moneyline underdog pick according to our Ensemble Forecast model.

The 49ers are the favorite in this matchup in Philadelphia, giving us the rare opportunity to take a 10-1 home underdog. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni will no doubt have that up on the bulletin board.

The 49ers have had the more explosive offense, and the Eagles have certainly had their share of close calls this season. But Philly can grind out first downs with its rushing attack, and will be a much tougher test for the 49ers defense than their recent opponents have been.

Carolina Panthers (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Moneyline: +200
Point Spread: +5.5

This is a playable moneyline value pick according to our Ensemble Forecast model, and also our top-rated spread pick of the week at +5.5 points.

Carolina just fired head coach Frank Reich after a 1-10 start. Last year, we looked into performance of teams in the first game with an interim coach. The results at the time? 14-9 ATS since 2010, and +14.0 units (in 23 games) against the moneyline.

Since that article, teams went 2-1 ATS and 1-2 SU (all as big underdogs) with interim coaches. So while these interim coach situations can be uncertain, that can be a good thing when taking underdogs, as they have been a profitable situation to exploit.

(Just a year ago, Carolina also fired Matt Rhule, and in replacement coach Steve Wilks’ second game, they beat Tampa Bay by 18 points as a 13-point road dog.)

Arizona Cardinals (at Pittsburgh Steelers)

Moneyline: +220
Point Spread: +5.5

This is a playable moneyline value pick according to our Ensemble Forecast model.

The Steelers finally put up good offensive numbers after firing OC Matt Canada, while Arizona had a disastrous game against the Rams, losing by a score of 37-14 while Cardinals defense gave up over 250 rushing yards.

So this pick is going against last week’s results, and playing on a rebound/regression for each of these teams.

Other factors at play include Pittsburgh still having a favorable turnover margin on the season (over +1.0 per game), which could regress, and the Cardinals’ poor but improving passing numbers with Kyler Murray at QB, even including last week’s game.

Upset Pick Expectations

Whenever you read about upset picks from a betting perspective, it’s important to understand the implications. Both the betting markets and our models give all three of these three teams less than a 50-50 chance to win.

If you bet an underdog on the point spread, that isn’t such a big deal to you. You’re just hoping for the pick to at least keep it close and cover the number.

If you bet an underdog on the moneyline, though, you need them to win the game outright. When that happens, you bet produces an outsized return.

Depending on the payout odds, you can still turn a profit by winning, say, 30 or 35 out of every 100 moneyline bets that you make on underdogs. However, you need to manage your bankroll carefully to weather what could be long losing streaks along the way.

Remember that we expect to get the majority of these picks wrong, and we also expect to see big swings in results from week to week. That includes losing all three picks in plenty of weeks.

After two straight seasons of profitable picks for this column, will the advice be profitable again in 2023? Who knows. Given the lower win probabilities and larger payout odds inherent with underdogs, variance can be pretty wild over an 18-week season and only around 50 total picks.

Profitability may end up depending on whether or not we hit a few home runs over the course of the season with long shot picks, or whether a several-week heater more than offsets most weeks being losers.

Given the dynamics at play, the week-to-week performance of our three picks is not worth dwelling on. We’ll see how pick performance ends up overall when the dust settles at the end of the 2023 season.

2023 Upset Picks To Date

WEEKTEAMOPPONENTWED MLCLOSING MLRESULTLINE VALUE
1CLECIN118-110W 24-3Yes
1TENNO149125L 16-15Yes
1ARIWAS271250L 24-20Yes
2NEMIA127105L 24-17Yes
2CHITB129115L 27-17Yes
2CARNO159152L 20-17Yes
3LARCIN120145L 19-16No
3TBPHI187220L 25-11No
3CARSEA215180L 37-27Yes
4TENCIN115120W 27-3No
4MIABUF133127L 48-20Yes
4NEDAL240220L 38-3Yes
5LVGB-105-120W 17-13Yes
5MINKC179155L 27-20Yes
5JACBUF215200W 25-20Yes
6WASATL119107W 24-16Yes
6CHIMIN125140L 19-13No
6NELV148135L 17-21Yes
7ATLTB120132W 16-13No
7DENGB105-110W 19-17Yes
7ARISEA298340L 20-10No
8CARHOU139154W 15-13No
8DENKC280265W 24-9Yes
8CLESEA160175L 24-20No
9TBHOU130130L 39-37No
9ARICLE296575L 27-0No
9TENPIT130150L 20-16No
10GBPIT151147L 23-19Yes
10DENBUF306305W 24-22No
10WASSEA296220L 29-26Yes
11ARIHOU185200L 21-16No
11PHIKC125129W 21-17No
11PITCLE-105117L 13-10No
12HOUJAC105100L 24-21Yes
12LACBAL155145L 20-10Yes
12CHIMIN158140W 12-10Yes

NFL Week 13 Betting Picks & Model Predictions

To see a curated list of some of our favorite Week 13 betting picks, along with the rationale behind each pick, check out our Staff Betting Picks.

To see algorithmic picks from our various data models for Week 13 (including game winner, point spread, over/under, and moneyline value predictions), visit our NFL picks page on TeamRankings.

To find your own trends and angles for NFL betting, check out our free and customizable NFL betting trends tool.