Week 13 NFL score predictions: A guide to best games, fantasy help, more

Bruschi: Buccaneers can be too reckless (0:41)

The NFL Live crew previews the Buccaneers' matchup with the Panthers and discusses why turnovers will be a key factor in determining the winner. (0:41)

We're previewing the Week 13 NFL slate with score predictions for each game from our Nation reporters, what to watch for in fantasy, Football Power Index projections from ESPN Stats & Information and much more.

Thursday Night Football: Dallas 13, New Orleans 10

Jump to a matchup:


Ravens (6-5) at Falcons (4-7): 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Point spread: ATL -1 | Matchup quality: 63.1 (of 100)

Jamison Hensley's pick: Lamar Jackson is making his first NFL road start, which hasn't been too much of a problem for the other rookie first-round quarterbacks. They've combined to go 3-1 in their first games away from home, throwing six touchdowns and three interceptions. Jackson follows suit with the help of the NFL's top-ranked defense. Ravens 26, Falcons 21

Vaughn McClure's pick: The inconsistent Falcons lost three in a row, won three in a row and now have lost the past three. Maybe Sunday will mark the start of another three-game winning streak. But it won't be easy against a Ravens defense that allows just 18 points per game and is the only team that yields fewer than 300 yards per game to its opponents. The Falcons also will have to figure out a way to contain Jackson. Ravens 24, Falcons 21

Fox: Luck is playing great football

The NFL Live crew discusses if the Jaguars can turn their season around at home as they square off against the division rival Colts.

FPI win projection: ATL, 56.5 percent. The Ravens are the AFC team with the most on the line in terms of the playoff picture this week. Baltimore could see its playoff chances swing by 34 percentage points this week, according to FPI (61 percent with a win, 27 percent with a loss).

What to watch for in fantasy: The blocking grades indicate that the Ravens' offense will be more than capable of keeping up with the Falcons' high-scoring attack. Baltimore has posted some of the best run-blocking numbers in the league during the past five weeks. Read more.

In case you missed it: Can Ravens win and develop Lamar Jackson? Schedule suggests yes ... Friends Jackson, Ridley still rooting for each other ... Vick's advice to Jackson: 'Proceed with caution' ... It's all on the (offensive) line for the Falcons moving forward

Rams (10-1) at Lions (4-7): 1 p.m. ET, Fox

Point spread: LAR -10 | Matchup quality: 60.6 (of 100)

Lindsey Thiry's pick: The Rams are well-rested and healthy coming off a bye week, and they are anticipating the return of cornerback Aqib Talib, who has been on injured reserve since Week 4. None of that is good news for Matthew Stafford and the Lions. The Rams are averaging 35.4 points per game, and Jared Goff will have the same host of playmakers available from their most recent game, when they dropped 54 points on the Chiefs. Stafford and the Lions, averaging 21.6 points per game, are unlikely to keep pace. Rams 38, Lions 20

Michael Rothstein's pick: The Lions have scored more than 30 points twice this season, and that was before the offense was decimated by injuries (Marvin Jones Jr., T.J. Lang, Kerryon Johnson) and trades (Golden Tate). Detroit hasn't scored 35 points -- what the Rams are averaging -- once this season. Plus, the Rams' defense has a devastating line, so it's going to be a long, long day for Stafford and the Lions. Rams 42, Lions 17

FPI win projection: LAR, 75.2 percent. The Rams have the No. 1-ranked offense in terms of efficiency, according to FPI, both overall and on the road. They are heavy favorites in Detroit against a Lions team that ranks second worst in defensive efficiency this season.

What to watch for in fantasy: The volume is there for Brandin Cooks and the skill set matches the opponent. He is an elite play this week. Read more.

In case you missed it: What could have been for Lions with Suh, Donald ... Talib eager to return and provide Rams' defense a boost ... Cooter blocking out chatter about his job status

Cardinals (2-9) at Packers (4-6-1): 1 p.m. ET, Fox

Point spread: GB -14 | Matchup quality: 47.1 (of 100)

Josh Weinfuss' pick: A week after the Cardinals got shellacked by the Chargers, they have to face Aaron Rodgers in the cold at Lambeau Field. Arizona lost last week in a small, half-full stadium on a perfect Southern California day, so the conditions this week don't set up well for the Cards to put up much of a fight, especially after they released two starters, and two-fifths of their starting offensive line from last week is hurt. Packers 42, Cardinals 17

Rob Demovsky's pick: The Packers have the third-easiest remaining schedule, according to FPI, and this might be the easiest game. They're a 14-point favorite even coming off of losses in four of their past five games. They're 4-0-1 at home and desperate to keep their playoff hopes alive. It's just too bad a blowout win doesn't count double. Packers 37, Cardinals 13

FPI win projection: GB, 92.0 percent. This is the third-biggest favorite the Packers have been in a game in our data set (since 2008), and the biggest since 2012.

Bruschi high on the Bills heading into Week 13

Tedy Bruschi and John Fox break down Buffalo's matchup with division rival Miami and predict who will win.

What to watch for in fantasy: Aaron Jones has scored five times in his past three games, and the Cardinals are the most run-on team in the NFL (32.2 carries per game). Read more.

In case you missed it: Run the table was so 2016; Packers have less reason for optimism ... Packers can't close games, and it's on Rodgers & Co. ... Rodgers happy to be 'The Dude' to Rosen

Bears (8-3) at Giants (3-8): 1 p.m. ET, Fox

Point spread: CHI -4.5 | Matchup quality: 46.8 (of 100)

Jeff Dickerson's pick: The Bears will win on Sunday because of their defense. Chicago may be without starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky for another week, but the Bears lead the league with 104 points off 29 takeaways (best in the NFL). Even if Chase Daniel struggles, the Bears will still find a way to score enough points to beat a Giants team already looking ahead to next year. Bears 23, Giants 19

Jordan Raanan's pick: This isn't the Bucs, 49ers or an injury-ravaged Eagles defense the Giants are facing this week. It's the Bears, who have the second-ranked scoring defense. The Giants have faced four top-10 scoring defenses already this season and averaged 14.5 points in those contests. The Bears and Khalil Mack are going to be a problem. Bears 24, Giants 13

FPI win projection: CHI, 53.8 percent. The Bears have the best defensive efficiency in the NFL (77.5 on a 0-to-100 scale). That goes up to 90.3 during their current five-game win streak, the second-highest defensive efficiency in any five-game span this season (Vikings, 91.1 in Weeks 5-9).

What to watch for in fantasy: Although he might not see 20-plus carries this week because of how tough the Chicago front seven is, Saquon Barkley's involvement in the passing game should rise to double-digit targets. Read more.

In case you missed it: Next week would seem to be right time for Lauletta debut ... The Eli options: How the situation might play out in New York

Panthers (6-5) at Buccaneers (4-7): 1 p.m. ET, Fox

Point spread: CAR -3.5 | Matchup quality: 46.6 (of 100)

David Newton's pick: If Carolina is going to get over a three-game losing streak, the Bucs are the team to do it against. The Panthers already have beaten Tampa Bay 42-28 this season and they have a history of forcing quarterback Jameis Winston into mistakes. They held the league's No. 1 passing offense to a season-low 243 yards in the first meeting with cornerback James Bradberry shutting down Mike Evans. Carolina has won nine of the past 11 against the Bucs, and it'll be 10 of 12 on Sunday. Panthers 33, Buccaneers 24

Jenna Laine's pick: The Panthers may be on a three-game slide, but this team dominated the Bucs in every facet in Week 9. The Bucs gave up 13 explosive plays (pass plays of more than 16 yards and run plays of 12 or more yards), second most in the league. They were completely lost and out of position trying to contend with Norv Turner's use of pre-snap motion. Christian McCaffrey had 157 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. The Bucs will get a boost if they get Lavonte David back and if they can go turnover-free like last week. Panthers 32, Buccaneers 27

FPI win projection: TB, 49.9 percent. The Buccaneers are the slightest of favorites, and we mean that literally. Tampa Bay has a 49.9 percent chance to win compared with 49.7 percent for Carolina (0.4 percent chance of a tie). Only one game in our data set has been a closer projection (Rams-Saints in Week 9).

What to watch for in fantasy: Winston leads the league in air yards per pass attempt this season, while Carolina is a below-average defense in preventing deep completions. The puzzle pieces fit for a potential big day. Read more.

In case you missed it: McCaffrey emerging as arguably NFL's best all-purpose back ... Bucs licking their chops for rematch with Panthers ... Newton: My kids have made me a better loser ... Bucs offering select season-ticket holders free seats vs. Panthers

Browns (4-6-1) at Texans (8-3): 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Point spread: HOU -6 | Matchup quality: 45.4 (of 100)

Pat McManamon's pick: If the Browns want to steal one in Houston, these circumstances are positive. Houston has won eight in a row and might be due for a down game, especially coming off a short week. But the Texans' defense brings a lot of pressure, and that's a different challenge for Baker Mayfield. In the end, it will prove too tough to overcome. Texans 28, Browns 20

Sarah Barshop's pick: Bill O'Brien has talked about the importance of being able to run the ball well down the stretch, and the Texans rushed for a franchise-record 281 yards on Monday night against the Titans. They hope to continue that success against a weak Cleveland run defense, which is allowing 131.8 rushing yards per game. Houston will get another strong performance from running back Lamar Miller and win its ninth game in a row. Texans 27, Browns 20

FPI win projection: HOU, 79.8 percent. The Texans are a heavy favorite in this game, though FPI may be underrating the Browns' offense as it still takes into account the first eight weeks of the season when Cleveland's offensive efficiency was a 30 (on a 0-to-100 scale). Since they changed coaches, it's 91, second only to the Saints in the NFL in that span.

What to watch for in fantasy: The Texans have surrendered a touchdown to an opposing tight end in each of their past three games. Next up: David Njoku. Read more.

In case you missed it: Improving Mayfield, Browns need to keep focus on field ... Rookie Reid playing like a vet ... Mayfield doesn't regret calling Hue Jackson 'fake' ... Big games by Miller, Watson boost Texans' playoff hopes

Colts (6-5) at Jaguars (3-8): 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Point spread: IND -4 | Matchup quality: 43.9 (of 100)

Mike Wells' pick: The Colts enter on a five-game winning streak, and Andrew Luck has thrown for at least three touchdowns in eight straight games and has been sacked only once in the past six games. Everything has basically gone right for the Colts since their last loss on Oct. 14 at the Jets. Now Indianapolis is facing a reeling Jacksonville team that benched its starting quarterback, fired its offensive coordinator and won't have its starting running back due to suspension. The Colts will have their first six-game winning streak since 2009 by the end of this game. Colts 31, Jaguars 10

Mike DiRocco's pick: The Jaguars have a new quarterback (Cody Kessler), new offensive coordinator (QB coach Scott Milanovich is calling plays) and three backup offensive linemen starting because of injuries. They also don't have their best offensive player in Leonard Fournette. That's not exactly ideal in trying to stop a seven-game losing streak, and the Jaguars have beaten Luck just once since 2012. He also has thrown for at least 250 yards in seven of his nine games against the Jaguars. Colts 21, Jaguars 7

FPI win projection: IND, 57.2 percent. Luck posted a 92.1 Total QBR in the past five games, second highest in the league in that span (Drew Brees). The Jaguars enter on a seven-game losing streak, and Blake Bortles posted a 39.0 Total QBR in those games, 29th out of 32 qualified QBs.

What to watch for in fantasy: Carlos Hyde is poised for a sizable surge in snaps and touches with Fournette facing suspension this weekend. Jacksonville could prove quite run-heavy if the scoreboard allows for it. Read more.

In case you missed it: Ebron talking, laughing, catching TDs in revival season ... Bortles unsure of future with Jaguars ... Colts need more vintage Luck to stay in playoff chase ... Fournette loses appeal of one-game suspension

Broncos (5-6) at Bengals (5-6): 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Point spread: DEN -4.5 | Matchup quality: 31.1 (of 100)

Jeff Legwold's pick: The Broncos have just one road win this year and are 0-3 in games played in the early' time slot with an 11 a.m. kickoff Denver time. But they have slugged it out with the league's best this season (they have played the Chiefs twice, the Rams, the Texans, the Chargers, the Steelers and the Seahawks), and after some significant struggles, they have kept it together just enough for a chance to claw their way back to 6-6 with a win in this one. If the Broncos get a big day from their defense, especially Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, they will do just that. Broncos 27, Bengals 19

Katherine Terrell's pick: It would be illogical to pick the Bengals here with the way their season has unfolded lately. Getting A.J. Green back will certainly give their offense a boost, but it's hard to know how much that will actually help now that quarterback Andy Dalton is done for the season. The Bengals certainly didn't look like a winning team when down 28-0 against the Browns, and until they show some improvement on both sides of the ball, it's hard to imagine them winning their next few. Broncos 27, Bengals 21

FPI win projection: DEN, 52.5 percent. According to FPI, the change from Dalton to Jeff Driskel alters the favorite in this game. With Dalton at QB, the Bengals would have been slight favorites (52.3 percent chance to win).

What to watch for in fantasy: The Bengals' defense has been reeling of late, and it is especially susceptible to big plays by opposing running backs. Phillip Lindsay is a Week 13 RB1. Read more.

In case you missed it: How the Broncos can give up 500 yards and win ... WR Green proclaims himself ready to return ... Lindsay joins impressive group of undrafted Broncos

Bills (4-7) at Dolphins (5-6): 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Point spread: MIA -5 | Matchup quality: 10.6 (of 100)

Mike Rodak's pick: No matter the coach -- Doug Marrone, Rex Ryan or Sean McDermott -- the Bills have generally had the Dolphins' number since 2013. Buffalo has won seven of its past 10 games against its division rival, outscored the Dolphins by more than a touchdown per game and has turned over the ball only twice compared to 18 takeaways. That trend does not look to change this season against the 28th-ranked Dolphins offense. The Bills are 3-1 this season against offenses that, like their own, rank in the bottom half of the league. Bills 21, Dolphins 14

Cameron Wolfe's pick: Miami faces a must-win to keep its slim playoff hopes alive, and even with a banged-up roster, it should be able to take advantage of rookie quarterback Josh Allen. Miami's biggest strength this season has been its ball-hawk defense, which is second in interceptions and third in takeaways. Expect a low-scoring game in which the Dolphins' defense makes the difference. Dolphins 20, Bills 16

FPI win projection: MIA, 57.5 percent. The Dolphins have been good on the defensive line this season, ranking fourth in ESPN's pass rush win rate (measures how often a pass-rusher is able to beat his block within 2.5 seconds). On the offensive line it's a different story, as they rank 31st in pass block win rate, according to tracking data from NFL Next Gen Stats.

What to watch for in fantasy: Kenyan Drake scored twice in Week 12 and now sits 15th at the position in fantasy points. He should be considered a fringe RB2. Read more.

In case you missed it: While Bills' first-round slot is falling, draft needs abound ... Gase's late playcalling under microscope as Dolphins blow golden opportunity

Chiefs (9-2) at Raiders (2-9): 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

Point spread: KC -15.5 | Matchup quality: 49.5 (of 100)

Adam Teicher's pick: It's going to take a high-scoring opponent to beat the Chiefs. Their two losses came against teams that scored 43 and 54 points. The Raiders, who are 30th in points, don't have the firepower to keep up with Kansas City. Sooner or later, this game will get out of their reach. Chiefs 34, Raiders 24

Paul Gutierrez's pick: As bad as the Raiders' defense has been this season, the Chiefs have been worse. The Raiders have won three of the past six meetings against K.C. in the East Bay, so maybe Derek Carr is in the mood for a high-scoring affair. The Raiders could keep it interesting for three quarters. But remember Oakland has been outscored by an NFL-worst 72 points in the fourth quarter. Expect much of the same. Chiefs 38, Raiders 17

FPI win projection: KC, 83.7 percent. The Chiefs rank second in offensive efficiency this season while the Raiders rank third worst in defensive efficiency. That makes the Chiefs the second-biggest road favorite in any game this season, according to FPI (Rams at Cardinals in Week 16).

What to watch for in fantasy: Marcell Ateman has been on the field for 90 percent of the Raiders' offensive snaps over the past two weeks and was targeted a team-high 10 times in Week 12. Read more.

In case you missed it: Mahomes is focused on eliminating turnovers ... Can the Raiders keep things respectable against the Chiefs? ... DB Berry returns to practice for first time since camp ... Chiefs return from bye trying to avoid pitfall in Oakland

Jets (3-8) at Titans (5-6): 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

Point spread: TEN -7.5 | Matchup quality: 29.1 (of 100)

Rich Cimini's pick: Nothing is going right for the Jets, losers of five straight, so it's hard to imagine they will suddenly find answers on the road. They've lost nine of their past 10 outside East Rutherford, dating to last season. They lack confidence on both sides of the ball and will have problems protecting their quarterback, whether it's Josh McCown or Sam Darnold. Titans 23, Jets 13

Turron Davenport's pick: The Titans' defense has to get back on track after allowing back-to-back 30-plus-point performances, but New York is lacking any serious weapons on offense other than deep threat Robby Anderson and is scoring only 20 points per game. On the other side of the ball, Jonnu Smith has emerged as a threat on offense to go along with Corey Davis and Dion Lewis in the passing game. But look for the rushing attack featuring Lewis and Derrick Henry to gash a New York defense allowing 128.2 yards per game on the ground. Titans 24, Jets 14

FPI win projection: TEN, 78.9 percent. After beating the Patriots 34-10 in Week 10, the Titans had the No. 1 defense in points allowed and ranked seventh in opponent Total QBR (52.4). Since then they have allowed 72 points in two games.

What to watch for in fantasy: Jermaine Kearse is hard to trust in the Jets' struggling offense, but it's hard to ignore the fact that he ranks 16th at wide receiver in targets since Week 6. He's a flex option moving forward. Read more.

In case you missed it: Reeling Titans must make a stand at home to save their season ... How to fix Jets' offense in 2019 ... Titans place CB Butler in concussion protocol ... Gloom, doom and Darnold: Jets rookie can salvage lost December

Vikings (6-4-1) at Patriots (8-3): 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox

Point spread: NE -5.5 | Matchup quality: 68.9 (of 100)

Courtney Cronin's pick: Mike Zimmer has a defense that can make Tom Brady uncomfortable. Brady hasn't been great against the blitz this season, so Zimmer could choose to tap into some of those looks. Kirk Cousins was excellent with play-action last week, and keying into that element of his game and continuing to find ways to mix in Kyle Rudolph and Dalvin Cook will be critical, especially if the Patriots aim to take away Adam Thielen. But the numbers don't lie: Brady plays his best in December with a league-best 58 wins over his career. Patriots 30, Vikings 26

Mike Reiss' pick: The Vikings are one of five teams that Brady has an undefeated regular-season record against (4-0), and the return of Rex Burkhead highlights how the Patriots' offense is getting healthy at the right time. When the Patriots have had Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon and Rob Gronkowski on the field together, they are 4-0 and average 33.3 points per game. When one of those players is not on the field, the Patriots are 4-3 and average just 24.9 points. Patriots 27, Vikings 23

FPI win projection: NE, 67.6 percent. This game has the potential to impact each team's postseason in different areas. The Patriots have a 72 percent chance to get a first-round bye with a win and 39 percent with a loss, according to FPI. The Vikings would have an 88 percent chance to make the playoffs with a win and 62 percent chance with a loss.

What to watch for in fantasy: At this point, Gronkowski doesn't have the consistency that Travis Kelce or Zach Ertz bring to the table, but he still has big upside against Minnesota. Read more.

In case you missed it: Gordon excited to contribute to meaningful December games ... Richardson proving to be a perfect fit in Vikings' defense ... Gronk is back to being himself, catching TDs and having fun

49ers (2-9) at Seahawks (6-5): 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox

Point spread: SEA -10 | Matchup quality: 46.4 (of 100)

Nick Wagoner's pick: The Niners' futility against the Seahawks dates to 2013 and goes back even further in games played in Seattle. It's hard to envision that tide turning here as the Seahawks surge and the 49ers are in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick with former practice squader Nick Mullens at quarterback. Russell Wilson is 11-2 against the Niners in his career and should get to an even dozen here. Seahawks 27, 49ers 13

Brady Henderson's pick: The Seahawks haven't lost to the 49ers since 2013, and it hasn't happened in Seattle since Jim Harbaugh's team completed a season sweep on Christmas Eve in 2011. Seattle wins another while fighting for a playoff spot. Seahawks 30, 49ers 17

FPI win projection: SEA, 81.4 percent. Seattle is the third-biggest favorite this week, according to FPI (81 percent chance to win), so a win wouldn't increase its playoff chances all that much (currently 79 percent, would be 84 percent with a win). A loss, however, would drop its chances all the way to 54 percent.

What to watch for in fantasy: Rookie Jeff Wilson Jr. is Matt Breida's new backup, and the duo will get plenty of work when the 49ers are near the goal line down the stretch. Read more.

In case you missed it: Carroll has no hard feelings toward Sherman ... Mullens' struggles show there's still a long way to go in backup QB battle ... David Moore: From 'really grainy' film to 'savage' Seahawks weapon

Chargers (8-3) at Steelers (7-3-1): 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

Point spread: PIT -3.5 | Matchup quality: 85.2 (of 100)

Eric D. Williams' pick: The Bolts are 4-1 this season away from the StubHub Center, but Pittsburgh has one of the better rush defenses in the NFL (although it has struggled the past two games) and the Chargers could have a tough time creating balance on offense with Melvin Gordon not available. Since 2014, the Chargers are 8-8 in games in the Eastern time zone. Steelers 31, Chargers 28

Jeremy Fowler's pick: The Steelers believe they can pick off Philip Rivers, and the offense believes it can dictate the pace on anyone as long as it cleans up turnovers. With Gordon out, the Steelers expect to stop the run and minimize the damage in the passing game. Ben Roethlisberger had a perfect passer rating in his most recent home game. Steelers 27, Chargers 24

FPI win projection: PIT, 58.9 percent. The winner of this game still has an outside shot at a first-round bye, while the loser likely would be out of the running, according to FPI. The Steelers would have a 24 percent chance of a first-round bye with a win and 6 percent with a loss, while the Chargers would have a 13 percent chance with a win and 3 percent chance with a loss.

What to watch for in fantasy: With Gordon out, Austin Ekeler becomes a potential RB1. The Chargers also could give serious touches to rookie Justin Jackson. Read more.

In case you missed it: Why Smith-Schuster is outpacing AB ... Chargers need 'Mr. December' to keep wearing the cape ... Steelers, Chargers find different ways to look exactly the same ... Replacing TD machine Gordon a group effort for Chargers


Redskins (6-5) at Eagles (5-6): 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN/WatchESPN

Point spread: PHI -6 | Matchup quality: 42.3 (of 100)

John Keim's pick: The Redskins have lost three of their past four games. They haven't been playing well, but the big drop-off came in the running game with Adrian Peterson. But the Eagles have allowed an NFL-worst 6.03 yards per carry in the past six weeks, and the Redskins have treated this almost like a bye week for Peterson, giving him extra rest in practice to fuel him for the stretch run. Plus, Chris Thompson is likely to return and can be a big help. Still, the Redskins are hard to trust on Monday nights, having lost 11 of 13, and there are still some health issues. If the injury question marks can play, the Redskins win. But for now, a toss-up game. Eagles 23, Redskins 21

Tim McManus' pick: Golden Tate said he felt more energy this week than any since being acquired at the trade deadline. After a rocky start to the season, the Eagles suddenly are fighting again for the NFC East. They have a chance to control this game at the line of scrimmage, especially on defense, which could make for tough sledding for Colt McCoy. Eagles 26, Washington 24

FPI win projection: PHI, 67.7 percent. The game with the biggest impact on the playoff picture this week is on Monday night. The Redskins would have a 59 percent chance to make the playoffs with a win and a 22 percent chance with a loss, while the Eagles would have a 21 percent chance with a win and a 5 percent chance with a loss.

What to watch for in fantasy: Alshon Jeffery has fallen short of 50 receiving yards in four consecutive games and hasn't scored a single touchdown during the span. Read more.

In case you missed it: Rookie Adams surges to top of depth chart ... Inside the adjustments that saved the Eagles' season ... Full week of reps should help McCoy prepare for Eagles ... Redskins' best playoff path goes through NFC East