The obligatory congratulations is in order as you’ve tiptoed your way through the minefield of the NFL through twelve weeks.  Perhaps people are running short on options but the public is on some teams that I think are pretty bad picks this week.  If you have saved some good teams, then I think you’ll have a big edge this week in your pools.  Let’s take a look at this week’s grid.

First of all, you should be planning on the rest of your season if you haven’t been already.  Secondly, it looks like we’re in a good situation where no team will have anything wrapped up in Week 17 as of now.  That could change, but resting players doesn’t look like it will be an option for the top teams in either conference.

Here are this week’s best options according to the model.

Patriots – Model 81.5%  Pinnacle 81.9%  Yahoo 13.7%  Games Remaining: 2

Normally a team that is at the top of the list is much more popular but the large majority of players have already played their Patriots cards.  This could give you a big edge over your competitors if you still have them as an option although notice they have two remaining games where they project to be even bigger favorites.

Chargers – Model 71.9%  Pinnacle 68.0%  Yahoo 1.7%  Games Remaining: 1

If you were able to avoid using them against the Browns last week, then I would take the Chargers this week.  They are my favorite play on the slate with only 1.7% of Yahoo pickers taking them at home against the Redskins.  Even if you have the Patriots as the option, I like the Chargers with the incentive of using the Patriots in either Week 16 or Week 17.

Bills – Model 71.7%  Pinnacle N/A  Yahoo 12.1%  Games Remaining: 0

This is tricky since we don’t know if Tyrod Taylor is going to start yet.  If he is, then the Bills are definitely in play as our model has them around a touchdown favorite.  This also appears to be the last chance to use the Bills, so no reason to hold on to them unless you have one of the better options above.

Bengals – Model 70.5%  Pinnacle 70.1%  Yahoo 17.7%  Games Remaining: 0

This is the second most popular option this week (more on that in a second).  While I normally advise going against popular picks, at this stage in the game you may not have that option and it’s not like Cincinnati is an overwhelming favorite of Yahoo users.  They’ll do just fine this week.

Texans – Model 67.0%  Pinnacle 57.6%  Yahoo 2.3%  Games Remaining: 0

This is the first major disagreement of the week between the model and betting market.  Not sure if the model is higher on Houston or lower on San Francisco but either way it likes the Texans chances of getting a win this week more than the Texans -3 betting line would indicate.

Chiefs – Model 65.0%  Pinnacle 64.6%  Yahoo 2.6%  Games Remaining: 2

How can you not be confident in the Chiefs?  All joking aside, the Chiefs are still an option this late in the game.  If you are grasping at straws, this might be the straw you get stuck with.  Do note the Chiefs have two other games that project to be options including a cupcake at home against the Dolphins.

You may have noticed that the most popular team isn’t listed this week.  That team happens to be the Green Bay Packers as they are facing (you guessed it) the Cleveland Browns.  Our model has Green Bay winning 52.5% of the time.  I double-checked the numbers and yeah, 52.5%.  So we think that is a really poor pick this week.  Avoid the Packers and take almost any other favorite that you have as an option if you’re that desperate.  I’ll just go ahead and call my shot: THE CLEVELAND BROWNS WILL BE…..WILL BEA….ok I chickened out but still don’t take Green Bay this week.

Here would be my options for this week ranked:

(1) Los Angeles Chargers
(2) New England Patriots
(3) Buffalo Bills (with Tyrod)
(4) Cincinnati Bengals
(5) Houston Texans
(6) Kansas City Chiefs

That’s my analysis for Week 13.  If you agree, disagree, or want some advice, hit me up on twitter @BetLabsTravis.