Betting on an NFL underdog always is a roll of the dice.
That said, there’s some added comfort when the ‘dog has the luxury of playing at home.
For Week 13 of the 2020 NFL season, we like not one, but two home underdogs. Here are those two appealing bets, as well as a third for the latest slate of games. All lines are provided via consensus data.
Indianapolis Colts at (+3.5) Houston Texans
The Texans largely have looked like a new team since firing Bill O’Brien. Houston is 4-3 against the spread since Romeo Crennel took over, including straight-up wins over the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions. It’s also worth noting one of those three losses was an overtime defeat at the hands of the Tennessee Titans.
The leading factor in our love for the Texans this week? Deshaun Watson. The fourth-year quarterback quietly is putting together a spectacular season, throwing for 300-plus yards and multiple touchdowns in six of his last eight games. Indy’s defense is among the best in the league, but we’re not sure if any team can slow down Watson right now.
The Colts potentially could fall victim to a trap game as well. A matchup with playoff implications against the Las Vegas Raiders awaits Indianapolis in Week 14.
Detroit Lions (+3) at Chicago Bears
The Lions at a surface level might come off as a head-scratching bet this week. After all, Detroit was shut out by a Carolina Panthers team without Teddy Bridgewater and Christian McCaffrey in Week 11 and was utterly embarrassed by Houston on Thanksgiving Day.
But Matthew Stafford and Co. might have one plus on their side Sunday: a changing of the guard. Head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn were fired Saturday, two days after the Lions dropped to 4-7 on the season. History has shown NFL teams tend to play inspired football after their head coach is let go.
Prior to Patricia’s firing, two other teams had terminated their head coach this season. Both the Texans and Atlanta Falcons notched ATS wins in their first game after moving on from O’Brien and Dan Quinn, respectively.
Los Angeles Rams at (+3) Arizona Cardinals
Pressure is starting to build in the desert. The Cardinals have dropped three of their last four games, including a lackluster showing against the New England Patriots last weekend. Arizona now is clinging onto the final NFC Wild Card spot with five regular-season games left on its schedule.
First up is a divisional battle with the Rams, who looked awful in a loss to the shorthanded San Francisco 49ers in Week 12. Los Angeles has been inconsistent as a betting favorite thus far to the tune of a 4-4 ATS record. The Cardinals, meanwhile, are 3-1 ATS as an underdog.
With an opportunity to both get back on track and make a statement against an NFC West foe, we believe Kyler Murray and Co. will rise to the occasion.