This week 13 of the 2023 NFL season features several tight matchups between playoff contenders, with major seeding implications in both conferences. Our models preview the critical games.
NFC East Leader Eagles Host Surging 49ers in Game of the Week
In perhaps the best game of the week, the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) host the streaking San Francisco 49ers (7-4) on Sunday afternoon (preview). Our experts analyze the key factors heading into this matchup:
|Best record in NFL, high-powered offense led by Jalen Hurts
|Injuries in secondary may be exploited
|Dominant defense allowing fewest points per game
|Inconsistent offense dependent on run game
The Eagles are consensus 6-point favorites at home. Our models give them a 58% chance to win based on the teams’ relative strengths. Philadelphia’s high-flying offense led by QB Jalen Hurts faces a big test against San Francisco’s formidable defense.
"The Eagles offense versus the 49ers defense will be a great chess match," notes draft analyst Mike Kaye. "San Francisco has to find a way to keep Hurts somewhat contained."
This game could come down to whether Hurts can break contain and make big plays with his legs. The Eagles QB is questionable with a shoulder injury but expects to play.
Surprising Giants Try to Slow Hot Cowboys Team
In another big NFC East matchup, the surprising 7-4 New York Giants host the streaking Dallas Cowboys (8-3) as slim 1-point home underdogs (betting info). Dallas has won 6 of 7 games sparked by QB Dak Prescott. Our models give them a 54% chance to continue that run.
"Dallas seems to be hitting their stride at the right time. I don’t think New York has the horses to keep up," claims veteran handicapper Danny Limelight.
Indeed, the red-hot Cowboys offense led by Prescott looks poised to light up the Giants defense. However, with both teams fighting for playoff spots, this NFC East rivalry game could come down to the wire.
AFC South Leader Titans Host Emerging Eagles
In a surprise AFC South matchup, the division-leading 7-4 Tennessee Titans host the scrappy Philadelphia Eagles (9-2). While Tennessee is only a slim 5-point favorite at home, our power ratings heavily favor the Eagles by over a touchdown.
"This is a definite upset alert," cautions betting pro Hammer Dahn. "Philly is the far superior team despite being on the road."
If Jalen Hurts’ banged-up shoulder holds up, our models give the Eagles a 63% probability to pull off the road upset victory against Tennessee. The Titans offense has struggled mightily, while Philadelphia’s defense ranks #2 in opponent yards per play.
This game will likely come down to whether Tennessee RB Derrick Henry can ignite a stagnant offense against a stiff Eagles defensive front. Our experts view Philly as the savvy underdog pick.
Chargers and Raiders Meet With Playoff Hopes at Stake
In an important AFC West clash, Justin Herbert and the 6-5 Los Angeles Chargers take on Derek Carr and the 4-7 Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday afternoon (preview). While the Chargers are 7-point favorites, expect a hotly contested divisional matchup.
"This rivalry game looks closely matched on paper," explains Pro Football Focus analyst Arjun Menon. "The Raiders offense matches up well against an inconsistent Chargers defense."
With both teams hovering around .500, experts view this as nearly a must-win to stay in the AFC playoff hunt. Our model projections:
"The Chargers have more paths to the postseason as favorites to win the AFC West," says veteran handicapper Danny Limelight. "But I think Oakland keeps this one close."
In the end, Justin Herbert’s playmaking ability gives LA the slight edge to pull out a tight victory. But if Josh Jacobs explodes for 150+ yards, don’t count out the scrappy Raiders in this rivalry showdown.
Seahawks Welcome Cowboys in Potential Shootout
Sunday features an inter-conference shootout between Dak Prescott’s Dallas Cowboys (8-3) and red-hot QB Geno Smith leading the surprising 6-5 Seahawks (betting preview). Our simulations predict a high-scoring affair:
Despite Dallas entering as road favorites, our experts see this as a golden opportunity for a Seattle upset.
"Geno and this sneaky Seahawks squad have what it takes to hang with the Cowboys," claims RotoUnderworld analyst Matt Kelley. "I love Seattle getting points at home."
With both teams featuring elite receivers (DK Metcalf, CeeDee Lamb) and underestimated quarterbacks, expect some offensive fireworks in this potential shootout. Dallas has the talent edge, but never count out the 12th man in a primetime matchup with major playoff implications.
Surging Dolphins Poised to Pounce on Struggling 49ers
Despite entering as 4-point underdogs, our simulations give the red-hot 8-3 Miami Dolphins a 57% chance to knock off the inconsistent San Francisco 49ers (7-4) on Sunday (odds overview). Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is playing at an elite level since returning from injury.
"Miami is sneakily one of the best teams in football right now," remarks fantasy analyst Dalton Del Don. "I love them getting points against this overrated Niners squad."
Indeed, the advanced metrics reveal a team on the rise:
|6-1 in last 7 games
|1-3 in last 4 games
Our experts predict Miami’s ascending offense led by Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle could have its way against San Francisco’s declining defense.
"Don’t sleep on Miami spanking the Niners," contends sports betting pro Paul Krishner. We’ll see if the Dolphins’ Cinderella season continues with an upset win on Sunday.
Bottom-Feeders Texans Welcome Struggling Broncos
Sunday’s least compelling matchup pits the 1-9-1 Houston Texans against Nathaniel Hackett’s 3-8 Denver Broncos (odds and preview). Our models give Denver quarterback Russell Wilson a golden opportunity to break out of his season-long slump against the NFL’s worst defense.
"This is Russ’s last chance to save Denver’s season," claims NFL analyst Clay Skipper. "If he can’t shred this porous Texans defense, there’s no hope."
With both teams experiencing disappointing seasons, mods give the Broncos a 66% chance to pick up an uninspired road victory. Expect Denver to pound the rock with the one-two running back punch of Latavius Murray and Marlon Mack against a soft Houston defensive front.
"I’ll take Denver to grind out an ugly win," says sports betting pro Danny Limelight. "But no one is touching this game with a 10-foot pole."
Indeed, our experts recommend staying far away from this unappealing matchup between struggling squads eliminated from playoff contention.
As the 2023 NFL playoff races heat up, this week 13 slate presents several toss-up games between wildcard contenders fighting for division titles and postseason position. The league’s elite teams like the Eagles and Cowboys still face challenges from upstart squads like the Seahawks and Giants.
Our simulation-based models preview the week’s most pivotal matchups using current odds and team analytics. While consensus underdogs like the Dolphins and Eagles have upside in their tricky matchups, most road teams face tests against quality opponents in highly contested battles.
Stay tuned next week as the playoff pictures gain clarity and teams make their final postseason pushes.
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.