NFL bold predictions and best bets for Week 13, plus breaking down Cowboys’ wild win over Seahawks

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Welcome to the Friday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

I have no idea how it happened, but it is somehow already December. Although November is now over, it went out with a bang last night with one of the wildest Thursday night games in NFL history. Normally, I’m asleep by halftime on Thursdays and that’s mostly because the games aren’t usually very exciting, but that wasn’t the case last night with the Cowboys winning a wild one over the Seahawks. THERE WERE NO PUNTS IN THE GAME.

We’ll be breaking down everything about that game in today’s newsletter, plus, I’ll let you know how rare it is for an NFL game to have zero punts (It’s rarer than a perfect game in baseball). We’ll also be making some picks and bold predictions today, so let’s get to the rundown. 

As always, here’s your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. Actually, you don’t even have to tell all of your friends, just tell one friend and I’ll be happy. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here.

1. Today’s show: Best bets for Week 13

If you’re a regular listener of the “Pick Six NFL” podcast or a regular reader of this newsletter, then you know what we do on Fridays: We make picks. And then just when you think we’re done making picks, we make more picks. 

For today’s show, host Katie Mox was joined by Will Brinson along with R.J. White and Alex “PropStarz” Selelnick — two of our gambling gurus over at SportsLine – and the three of them offered some of their best bets for Week 13.

The crew spent an entire hour handing out picks, and we’re going to go over a few of their best bets here. The crew is coming off a Week 12 where they combined to go 6-1-1 with their picks. 

Will Brinson (3-0 in picks we shared here last week, 18-17-1 on the season)

R.J. White (2-0-1 in picks we shared here last week, 18-17-1 on the season)

  • Broncos +3.5 to cover against Texans
  • Saints team total UNDER 21.5 points against Lions
  • 49ers at Eagles OVER 47.5 total points

Katie Mox (1-1 in picks we shared here last week, 15-17 on the season)

As for PropStarz, he handed out a few of his favorite props for the weekend, because when your nickname is PropStarz, that’s what the people expect. 

PropStarz didn’t have any picks last week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but he’s 18-15 on the season after going 3-0 in Week 11. 

To hear what the rest of the best bets are for Week 13 — and there are quite a few — be sure to click here so you can listen to the entire episode of the podcast. You can also watch the episode on YouTube here

2. Breaking down the Cowboys’ wild 41-35 win over the Seahawks


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For most of the season, the Thursday night game hasn’t offered very much excitement, but that changed last night with the Cowboys beating the Seahawks 41-35 in one of the wildest shootouts of the year. The two teams combined for 76 points, making it the fourth-highest scoring game of the 2023 season.

This is where we usually hand out grades, but there’s a lot to go over here, so we’re going to break down the game instead: 

  • Dak attack. The Cowboys QB was named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Month for November before the game even started on Thursday and he celebrated that by going off against the Seahawks. Prescott threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns and more importantly, he led three key scoring drives during the fourth quarter. The Cowboys were trailing 35-27 with 12 minutes left in the final quarter, but they outscored the Seahawks 14-0 over that final span. Prescott’s favorite target was Ceedee Lamb, who caught 12 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown in the game. Dak also seemed to have a connection with Jake Ferguson, who caught six passes for 77 yards and a TD. Dak  finished the month of November with 16 TD passes, which is the fifth-most in NFL History by any QB in a single month. 
  • Cowboys defense finally shows up in the fourth quarter. After getting steamrolled for 28 points and 322 yards through the first three quarters, the Cowboys defense finally came up with some big plays during the fourth quarter. The Cowboys were able to shut out the Seahawks over the final 14 minutes of the fourth quarter and a big reason for that is because they stopped Seattle cold on THREE different fourth-down attempts. The final stop came on a fourth-and-2 with just over one minute left to play when Micah Parsons forced Geno Smith into making an errant throw that sealed the Cowboys win (You can see the play here). The Seahawks actually left Parson unblocked ON PURPOSE on the play, and not surprisingly, that didn’t work out for them. 
  • DK Metcalf goes off on DaRon Bland. The Seahawks receiver went off on Bland, who has been one of the NFL’s best corners this year. Metcalf caught six passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns in the game. In the first half alone, Bland gave up five catches for 137 yards and one TD when he was on coverage. Although he had a rough half, he did bounce back with an interception in the second half. As for Metcalf, he had a quiet second half that saw him catch just three passes for 28 yards.   
  • Seahawks are unclutch in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks offense came up with multiple big plays during the first three quarters, but their magic seemed to run out in the fourth quarter. Geno Smith had a huge day, throwing for 334 yards while also totaling four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing), but he had two huge fourth-down incompletions in the fourth quarter that killed Seattle’s chances of winning. 
  • No punts for either team. This game actually made history and that’s because it was just the fifth regular-season game ever with ZERO punts (You can see a list of all the no-punt games here). Bryan Anger and Michael Dickson both got the day off. With the loss, the Seahawks became the first team in the Super Bowl era to lose a game where they scored at least 35 points AND didn’t punt. Teams had been a combined 64-0 in that situation before Thursday. This also marked the first time that Pete Carroll had ever suffered a loss with the Seahawks in a game where Seattle scored at least 35 points (he was 36-0 going into Thursday). 
  • Refs almost ruin the game. As exciting as the game was, it also dragged at times due to the fact that there were 19 PENALTY FLAGS thrown. The two teams were penalized a combined 257 yards in the game, which stands as the highest total in the NFL since the start of the 2022 season. The only upside is that the refs didn’t seem to play favorites in this game. The Seahawks were penalized for 130 yards while the Cowboys were hit with 127 yards in penalties. 
  • Home sweet home. The Cowboys have now won 14 straight games at home and the most impressive part is how they’re doing it. They’ve now scored at least 40 points in four straight home games, which is tied for the longest streak in NFL history. The Cowboys are also just the third team in NFL history to score at least 30 points in their first six home games of the season. 

If you want to check out more of our takeaways from the game, be sure to click here. Also, there were a lot of crazy stats from this game and we covered them all here

3. NFL flexes a Monday night game for the first time

This marks the first season that the NFL has been allowed to flex Monday night games and the league has finally decided to utilize its new power. The NFL made some major scheduling changes for Week 15 that we’re going to cover below. 

When the schedule came out in May, the NFL designated a total of five games that could be moved to fill the three Saturday spots in Week 15 and the three games below were chosen.

Saturday, Dec. 16 (All games on NFL Network)

  • Vikings at Bengals, 1 p.m. ET
  • Steelers at Colts, 4:30 p.m. ET
  • Broncos at Lions, 8:15 p.m. ET

The two games that didn’t make the Saturday cut — Falcons at Panthers and Bears at Browns — will both be played at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 17. 

Now, let’s get to the Monday flexing. Originally, we were supposed to get Chiefs at Patriots on Monday night in Week 15, but New England is so bad this year that the NFL is flexing PATRICK MAHOMES out of Monday night

The new Monday game will be Eagles at Seahawks, which will kick off at 8:15 p.m. ET on Dec. 18. As for the Chiefs-Patriots game, it will now be played at 1 p.m. ET on Dec. 17. 

This will probably be the only time we see the Monday flex used this year. As a matter of fact, we’ll probably only see one more flex this year and that will come in Week 18 when the NFL picks two games for the Saturday doubleheader and one game for the season-ending Sunday night game. 

4. NFL Week 13 picks: Broncos and Titans both pull off upsets


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I hope you’re not tired of reading our picks yet, because we have even more of them coming at you right now. This batch will be coming from NFL senior writer Pete Prisco and Will Brinson, along with Jordan Dajani, Tyler Sullivan and myself. After a rough patch during the middle of the season, we have now gone .500 or better in four straight weeks. 

We went 2-2 against the spread last week, which means that heading into Week 13, we now have a 31-26-2 record against the spread with our picks that have been featured in the newsletter.

Here’s how things are going to work: I’m going to give you one pick from each guy and then direct you to the rest of their picks. That way, if you like their pick, you’ll be able to read the rest of them, but if they pick against your favorite team, you can ignore the rest of their picks and move on. 

  • Pete Prisco: Titans (+1) 23-20 over Colts. From Prisco: “The Colts are smack dab in the middle of the playoff race, which is a surprise to many. The Titans are 4-7, but they’ve won all four at home. That matters. Mike Vrabel will have his team ready in a division game and Will Levis will outplay Gardner Minshew.” For the rest of Prisco’s Week 13 picks, be sure to click here.
  • Tyler Sullivan: Broncos (+3.5) 24-21 over Texans. From Sullivan: “The Broncos are a top-10 team at pressuring the quarterback over their five-game winning streak, which is where they could look to exploit the Texans, who just lost left guard Tytus Howard for the year due to a knee injury. Each game for these two teams this season seems to come down to the wire, so I’ll gladly take the field goal and the hook on Sunday, especially with C.J. Stroud being 0-4 ATS in his career as a favorite.” For the rest of Sullivan’s Week 13 picks, be sure to click here.
  • Will Brinson: Panthers (+5.5) to cover against Buccaneers. From Brinson: “Carolina is an AWFUL football team. I don’t want to back them at all. But I also am a huge believer in the Dead Cat Bounce Game, where a head coach is fired and his team immediately responds in a big way, so I’m taking the Panthers to cover.” For the rest of Brinson’s Week 13 best bets, be sure to click here.
  • Jordan Dajani: 49ers (-2.5) 26-21 over Eagles. From Dajani: “Congratulations to the Eagles for two incredible wins, but can they make it three in a row? That’s a tough ask for anyone, especially against a physical team like the 49ers. The 49ers are 3-1 straight-up and against the spread vs. teams currently with a win percentage of .600 or higher. I’ll take the team out for revenge in this NFC Championship rematch/preview.” For the rest of Dajani’s Week 13 best bets, be sure to click here.
  • John Breech: Chiefs 26-23 over Packers (+6.5). From me: “It took two months, but something seems to have clicked with Jordan Love, because he looked like one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL during the month of November. I was tempted to take the Packers here in the upset, but I couldn’t bring myself to pick against Patrick Mahomes in prime time. I do think the Packers cover, though.” For the rest of my Week 13 picks, be sure to click here

For more Week 13 NFL picks, you can check out out our CBS Sports picks page here

5. Bold predictions for Week 13: Jordan Love leads Packers to huge upset

Since you’re probably tired of picks at this point, we’re going to spice things up by giving out some bold predictions, which are like picks, except spicier. Garrett Podell has five bold predictions for Week 13, and we’re going to share three of them below. Last week, Garrett boldly predicted that the Bears would UPSET the Vikings on Monday night and that’s exactly what happened. 

Let’s see what Garrett has in store for us this week. 

Bold predictions for Week 13:  

  • 1. C.J. Stroud and Tank Dell go off as Texans end Broncos’ five-game winning streak.
  • 2. Panthers upset Buccaneers in first game after firing Frank Reich. 
  • 3. Jordan Love leads the Packers to a huge upset win over the Chiefs. 

Garrett actually has five bold predictions for Week 13, and if you want to see the full explanation for each prediction, you can check those out here

6. Extra points: Cardinals release Zach Ertz


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It’s been a busy 24 hours in the NFL, and since it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you. 

  • Cardinals done with Zach Ertz. The three-time Pro Bowler asked for his release this week and the Cardinals granted that request on Thursday. Ertz wants to play for a contender, but there’s no guarantee that will happen. Before he can become a free agent, Ertz has to pass through waivers, which means any team can claim him. If he goes unclaimed on waivers today, then he’ll officially become a free agent. We made a list of potential landing spots and you can check those here
  • Aaron Rodgers not anywhere near ready to play. We mentioned Aaron Rodgers in yesterday’s newsletter, but we’re going to mention him again because he actually spoke with the media on Thursday afternoon. During the interview, he admitted that he’s not quite ready to fully return. “It feels great to be on the practice field, but I’m not anywhere near ready to play,” Rodgers said, via ESPN. Rodgers has 19 days to get ready before the Jets have to make a decision on his status. Not only that, but he also hinted that he wouldn’t be returning unless the Jets are in playoff contention, so right now, it seems like there’s more of a chance that we WON’T see Rodgers return this season. 
  • Bills won’t be firing Sean McDermott. There’s been some chatter that Sean McDermott could be on the hot seat if the Bills don’t make the playoffs, but the Athletic seemed to shoot that down on Thursday. According to their report, two team sources say there is a “zero” chance that McDermott gets fired this offseason, no matter how 2023 ends. You can read more about McDermott’s status here
  • Von Miller update. The Von Miller case has taken a few twists and turns over the past 24 hours. The Bills’ star, who had a warrant out for his arrest due to a domestic violence incident, turned himself in on Thursday afternoon and was later released on a $5,000 bond. The woman who called police also said that things were “blown out of proportion” and that “no one assaulted anyone,” according to WFAA in Dallas. The Bills have a bye this weekend, so Miller has some time to get his legal situation figured out before he’s expected to take the field again. 

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