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NFL Betting Line Movement Analysis for Week 13 (2021)

by December 2, 2021
tyler lockett

The rampage of NFL betting underdogs wasn’t quite as significant this past weekend as it has been for the full season. Still, several close games and ATS covers served to show bettors the widespread parity in the sport this season.

We now turn our attention to a Week 13 slate that includes plenty of divisional matchups along with several mismatches on paper. After this past week brought several injuries to key players, bettors are advised to carefully monitor the latest injury reports and intel before jumping to wager on any game. While injuries can undoubtedly impact NFL betting line moves at any given time, there are plenty of other factors behind some of the biggest Week 13 shifts thus far.

The following article highlights some of the most significant and noteworthy NFL line moves and breaks down what might be behind each shift. As always, a table containing both the opening and current betting odds for each game on the Week 13 slate is included at the end of this column. 

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Significant NFL Week 13 Line Moves | Point Spreads

Colts at Texans (IND from -7 to -10)

Oddsmakers opened the second meeting between these AFC South Division foes with the Indianapolis Colts laying a full touchdown on the road. That wasn’t enough, as the NFL betting market has bet the number up to double-digits. Both teams come into this matchup off a loss. However, last Sunday, the Colts were largely impressive in going right down to the wire with the reigning Super Bowl champs. Meanwhile, the Texans’ offense was largely lifeless in a loss to the lowly New York Jets even with Tyrod Taylor back. Indy dominated the first meeting 31-3, albeit with Davis Mills playing quarterback for Houston. Given the run that the Colts have been on recently, it sure doesn’t feel like they are prone to stubbing their toe in this one.

Ravens at Steelers (BAL from -3 to -4.5)

Neither the Baltimore Ravens nor the Pittsburgh Steelers were impressive last week in divisional matchups. Now, the two AFC North rivals will go head-to-head for the first time this season. Somehow, the Ravens still net a Week 12 win despite four interceptions by quarterback Lamar Jackson. Baltimore still owns the top seed in the AFC, but it’s fair to wonder whether this line move is more about fading the Steelers than backing the Ravens. 

The Steelers have gone 0-2-1 over the last three weeks. A tie with the winless Detroit Lions was dismissed by many because QB Ben Roethlisberger missed that game. However, since his return to the lineup, the Steelers have continued to struggle. A 41-10 blowout loss at Cincinnati last week has many in the NFL betting world believing that Pittsburgh is a phony pretender in the standings. That said, for a team that is mainly one-dimensional on offense, a matchup against the thin Ravens secondary could be beneficial.

49ers at Seahawks (SEA from -1.5 to +3.5)

Once again, the Seattle Seahawks are on the wrong side of a point spread move-through pick’em. The line move proved accurate last week as the Seahawks sputtered to yet another loss in Washington. Russell Wilson has been cooking up a whole lot of nothing ever since returning from a short stint on IR. The Seahawks are winless and have scored a total of 28 points in the three games since Wilson got back under center.

While this line move is almost certainly more of a fade against the miserable Seattle offense, the San Francisco 49ers have certainly done their part to warrant betting action in their favor as well. Kyle Shanahan’s offense dominated the line of scrimmage last week as rookie RB Elijah Mitchell went off for 133 yards rushing. The Niners enter Week 13 on a three-game winning streak and have climbed right back into the thick of the NFC Wild Card race. These two teams may be division rivals, but they are trending in opposite directions as far as this season is concerned. So not only has the favorite changed hands from opening, but the 49ers have also cleared the critical line of -3, making the move even more significant.

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Significant NFL Week 13 Line Moves | Totals

Giants at Dolphins (43.5 down to 40.5)

The total for this matchup between the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins has plummeted a full three points below the opening number. Considering the improvements made by both defenses involved in this game, the line move is warranted. After being among the bottom-feeders in key defensive stats early in the season, both the Giants and Dolphins have vaulted themselves into the top-15 regarding adjusted defensive efficiency. 

In terms of scoring defense, Miami has held opponents to no more than 17 points (and three to 10 points or less) during their active four-game winning streak. The Giants have also only allowed more than 17 points once in their last five games. With the status of Daniel Jones also in doubt, a defensive slugfest is likely down in Miami Gardens on Sunday.

Patriots at Bills (46 down to 43.5)

This week’s Monday Night Football matchup is a doozy. The New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills will battle for the top spot in the AFC East Division. Given the crowded AFC playoff picture, the game is also huge for both teams’ chances to qualify for the postseason at all. The two teams are both led by their defenses. The Patriots have allowed an NFL-low 15.8 points per game on the season. The Bills are just behind, giving up only 16.5 points per game. Buffalo leads the league, followed by New England when it comes to adjusted efficiency metrics. 

Along with the season stats, the familiarity of these two division rivals also figures to benefit the defenses on Monday night. It will be interesting to see how the loss of star corner Tre’Davious White impacts the Bills’ defense. The fact that the Patriots tout a run-heavy offensive approach could lessen the blow of his absence in this specific matchup.

Week 13 NFL Betting Line Moves Table

Refer to the table below for a side-by-side comparison of the opening and current Las Vegas consensus lines for all Week 13 NFL games, including those discussed above.

Note: All current odds reflect lines at 8 a.m. EDT on Thursday, December 2nd. The three Thanksgiving Day games are not included.

Matchup Opening Lines Current Vegas Consensus
Cowboys
Saints
-5
48
-5.5
47.5
Vikings
Lions
-7.5
48
-7
46.5
Cardinals
Bears
-7
46.5
-8
44.5
Buccaneers
Falcons
-9.5
50.5
-11
50.5
Colts
Texans
-7
47
-10
45.5
Eagles
Jets
-6.5
45
-6.5
45.5
Chargers
Bengals
48
-1.5
50.5
-3
Giants
Dolphins
43.5
-2.5
40.5
-4
Washington
Raiders
48
-1.5
49.5
-2.5
Jaguars
Rams
48
-12
48
-13.5
Ravens
Steelers
-3
45
-4.5
44
49ers
Seahawks
46
-1.5
-3.5
45.5
Broncos
Chiefs
49.5
-9.5
47
-10
Patriots
Bills
46
-3
43.5
-2.5

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Henry John is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Henry, check out his archive and follow him @HankTimeHenry.

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