There are 18 weeks in the NFL regular season, so every game is of utmost importance. But there are some weeks, especially as we near the end of the campaign, that carry a little more significance.
Week 13 is one of those weeks.
Starting Thursday night when the New England Patriots host the Buffalo Bills and going all the way through Monday night when the Saints travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers, there are postseason implications everywhere you look. At least 11 of the games on the slate have at least some sort of NFL playoff significance.
Among the bigger matchups is an NFC East clash between the New York Giants and Washington Commanders, the first of two times the divisional rivals will meet in the next three weeks. There’s also a highly intriguing interconference game with the New York Jets heading to Minnesota to square off with the Vikings. The Jets looked resurgent with Mike White under center and have the inside track to a playoff spot, while the Vikings have the Philadelphia Eagles in their sights for the NFC’s top seed.
Speaking of those Eagles: They’ll look to keep pace against the Titans, who are trying to get back on track after losing a potential playoff preview with the Cincinnati Bengals. Meanwhile, those same Bengals are back home in Week 13 to host the Kansas City Chiefs in an AFC Championship Game rematch that might also serve as an AFC Championship Game preview.
And all the while, Mike McDaniel returns to San Francisco to battle his mentor, Kyle Shanahan, in a potential Super Bowl preview (yes, seriously) between the 49ers and Dolphins.
There’s a lot to watch this week — to say the least.
Here are the consensus opening betting lines and totals for Week 13 in the NFL.
THURSDAY, DEC. 1
(-5.5) Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots, 44.5
SUNDAY, DEC. 4
New York Jets at (-3) Minnesota Vikings, 43
Denver Broncos at (-8) Baltimore Ravens, 38.5
Pittsburgh Steelers at (-1.5) Atlanta Falcons, 42
Tennessee Titans at (-5.5) Philadelphia Eagles, 45
Jacksonville Jaguars at (-1) Detroit Lions, 52
(-2) Washington Commanders at New York Giants, 40.5
(-7) Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans, 45
(-2.5) Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears, 44
(-5) Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams, 42
Miami Dolphins at (-3.5) San Francisco 49ers, 46.5
(-2.5) Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders, 50.5
(-2.5) Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals, 51.5
Indianapolis Colts at (-9.5) Dallas Cowboys, 43
MONDAY, DEC. 5
New Orleans Saints at (-6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 40