The AFC playoff race returns to the spotlight in a Week 13 that features four pivotal games between rival teams.

The Chargers (6-5) travel from the West Coast to play the Bengals (7-4) in a 1 pm game Sunday. The Ravens (8-3) and Steelers (5-5-1) resume their rivalry in a great place for Pittsburgh at 4:25 pm

Primetime games are even better. The Broncos (6-5) visit the Chiefs (7-4) on Sunday Night Football, and the Patriots (8-4) visit the Bills (7-4) on Monday Night Football.

Every week, Sporting News picks the NFL games directly. A look at our history so far:

  • Week 12: 7-7
  • Total: 109-69-1

Patriots, 49ers, Buccaneers rise as Rams and Steelers fall in Week 13

fake images

NFL picks, predictions for week 13

  • Dallas Cowboys (-5.5) against the New Orleans Saints

Thursday, 12:30 pm, FOX

Both teams are coming off Thanksgiving losses and Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy (COVID-19) will not be on the bench. Saints quarterback Trevor Seimian has struggled for the past two weeks. New Orleans will be in desperate mode, but the Cowboys are the better team. They should also get Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb back.

Choose: Cowboys 28, Santos 21

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-10.5) at Atlanta Falcons

Sunday, 1 pm, FOX

Tampa Bay is a 5-6 ATS favorite this season, but surprisingly they are 4-1 ATS when the line is in the double digits. The Falcons are ranked 31st in the league in pass defense. Tom Brady will exploit that for the second time this season, but he’s a bit closer on the road.

Choose: Buccaneers 35, Falcons 20

  • Arizona Cardinals (-7.5) against Chicago Bears

Sunday, 1 pm, FOX

The Cardinals are coming off a bye week and hope to recover Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins from their injuries. Justin Fields is still dealing with rib injuries, so Andy Dalton could start over. The Cardinals win on the road, but it’s tougher than it sounds.

Choose: Cardinals 26, Bears 19

fake images

  • Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (-3)

Sunday, 1 pm, CBS

The Bengals are coming off a statement game against the Steelers, and now the Chargers will make the cross country flight for an early start. Los Angeles beat Cincinnati 16-13 in Week 1 last season. The Bengals are 3-2 S / U at home this year, but Joe Burrow outscores Justin Herbert in a game with AFC wild-card sentiments.

Choose: Bengals 27, Chargers 24

  • Minnesota Vikings (-7) at Detroit Lions

Sunday, 1 pm, CBS

It’s a showdown of two of the worst defenses in the league, but Detroit’s DeAndre Swift and Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook could miss with injuries. The Lions lost a heartthrob 19-17 in the first game. Is this the time to get that first victory? Flip the sheet music this time.

Choose: Lions 19, Vikings 17

  • New York Giants at Miami Dolphins (-3)

Sunday, 1 pm, FOX

It’s a former Bill Belichick assistant battle with Joe Judge and Brian Flores. Both offenses average less than 20 points per game. The Giants need to put Saquon Barkley on the track against a Miami rushing defense that allows 104.9 rushing yards per game.

Choose: Dolphins 23, Giants 17

(Fake images)

  • Philadelphia Eagles (-7) at New York Jets

Sunday, 1 pm, CBS

The Eagles were a failure in Week 12 against the Giants, but Jalen Hurts should be able to bounce back against the Jets defense that has allowed 266.2 yards per game. Zach Wilson is in his second start since returning from a knee injury, but the Eagles will make the key loss at the deciding moment.

Choose: Eagles 26, Jets 20

  • Indianapolis Colts (-8.5) vs. Houston Texans

Sunday, 1 pm, CBS

The Colts walked away from the running game early in the loss to the Buccaneers, but Jonathan Taylor should have a full workload against a Texans defense that allows 135.6 yards per game. Carson Wentz also adds a couple of touchdown passes.

Choose: Colts 31, Texans 22

  • Washington Football Team at Las Vegas Raiders (-2.5)

Sunday, 4:05 pm, CBS

The Raiders had overtime after a crucial Thanksgiving win against the Cowboys, and tight end Darren Waller avoided a major injury. Washington will be working in a short week, and the team has 2-3 S / U on the way. Las Vegas keeps its AFC playoff momentum alive with a home win.

Choose: Raiders 29, Washington 23

  • Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Rams (-13)

Sunday, 4:05 pm, FOX

This is the biggest line of the week, but be careful. The Rams have lost three games and haven’t been able to cover each of the past five weeks. Jacksonville is also 2-0 ATS as a double-digit underdog. Matthew Stafford will get back on track at home, but the Jaguars will show some fighting in the second half.

Choose: Rams 30, Jaguars 20

  • Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, 4:25 pm, CBS

The Steelers are suddenly in desperate mode against the Ravens, who can take over the AFC North with a convincing road win. Baltimore can rely on the running game against Pittsburgh’s shaky running defense, but the Ravens need to better protect the ball. Pittsburgh could steal a surprise here, but we like Lamar Jackson getting rid of turnovers in a close fight.

Choose: Ravens 27, Steelers 26

  • San Francisco 49ers (-2.5) at Seattle Seahawks

Sunday, 4:25 pm, CBS

The Seahawks have the worst pass defense in the league at 279.6 yards per game. San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo can work with that, but a wide receiver playmaker will have to step up if Deebo Samuel (groin) wastes time. Seattle won the first meeting 28-21, but the 49ers bounced back and covered for the fifth time in six games.

Choose: 49ers 28, Seahawks 21

(Fake images)

  • Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5)

Sunday, 8:20 pm, NBC

The Chiefs had a bye week and the Broncos had an impressive victory against the Chargers. That sets up what should be a fun matchup between the AFC West rivals. Kansas City is 4-7 ATS this season and has played three defensive fights in a row at home. This one will have more points.

Choose: Chiefs 28, Broncos 20

  • New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (-3)

Monday, 8:15 pm, ESPN

The Bills are 5-5 ATS favorites, and they face the most popular team in the league in what should be a live environment. These are the two best scoring defenders in the league, so it’s going to be tight. Will the Patriots extend their winning streak to seven games? We believe they will.

Choose: Patriots 23, Bills 20