NFL
December 1, 2021

3 NFL Underdogs You Can Trust in Week 13

As the NFL nears the finishing line of the 2021 regular season, opportunities to bet underdogs with the wiggle room provided by large spreads are growing fewer.

However, Week 13 of the season is a particularly intriguing one for bettors looking to put their faith in heavy underdogs.

There are several teams favored by a touchdown or more, opening up the possibility for some high-reward underdog parlays.

Who are the teams with the best shot of delivering those rewards? Once again, we've trawled through the schedule and identified the three underdogs most deserving of trust in Week 13.

*Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (+7)

The Lions may be looking at another winless season but, if you'd backed them to cover every game this season, you would be in the black.

Detroit is 7-4 against the spread in 2021 and hosts a Minnesota team that has seen 10 of its 11 games decided by one score, including a Week 5 win over the Lions on a last-second field goal.

The Lions look increasingly poorly coached and it is difficult to see where that elusive win will come from.

Still, they have done an excellent job of keeping games close this season and, against a Vikings team addicted to playing in thrillers, the Lions are pretty easy to trust here despite the record.

Washington Football Team (+2.5) at Las Vegas Raiders

Last year's NFC East champions are on a tear, winning their last three games having been an underdog in each of them.

The Washington Football Team will look to continue that run against one of the league's most unpredictable teams, the Raiders, who revived their season with an overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving after a three-game losing streak that appeared to have doomed their season.

But, as favorites, the Raiders are just 1-3 this campaign and recent performances suggest they have a clear disadvantage on one side of the ball.

Both offenses can move the ball and score enough points to stay in the game, but a Washington defense that has struggled for most of the year is enjoying an upturn.

Over the last three weeks, Washington rank 18th in Expected Points Added per play, per rbsdm.com. That is hardly spectacular but the difference between Washington's play on defense recently and that of a Raiders defense 32nd over the same period could be the decisive factor in the game.

The Raiders are extremely difficult to trust, while Washington looks increasingly reliable and offers value against the spread and even on the moneyline.

Denver Broncos (+10) at Kansas City Chiefs

This is not the biggest spread of Week 13, but it is the most enticing for those bettors looking for an underdog to believe in.

Denver has won three of its last four games and is 2-1 against the spread as an underdog this season. That is a small sample size, but it is easy to have belief in the Broncos improving to 3-1 in that regard against a Chiefs team that is 1-5 against the spread as a home favorite in 2021.

The Chiefs may have the AFC West lead, but, save for their first two drives against the Cowboys, theirs did not look like an offense that's back to its best in Week 11.

Denver's defense is ninth in EPA per play this season and, while Andy Reid certainly boasts more ingenuity as a play-caller than Joe Lombardi, Broncos head coach Vic Fangio will likely deploy a similar gameplan to slow down Patrick Mahomes as he did to keep Justin Herbert in check.

The Chiefs have shown nothing this season to suggest they are worthy of being 10-point favorites against a division opponent. The quarterback battle between Mahomes and Teddy Bridgewater may be a mismatch, but the Broncos have enough horses elsewhere to bridge the gap and keep it close.

Photo: Getty Images