NFL Week 12 kicked off with three good games on Thanksgiving Day. Home teams are underdogs in five of the twelve games being played Sunday, which could lead to some interesting results. The best matchup this week takes place on Sunday Night. The Chiefs are at Denver in a battle of 7-3 AFC West clubs. The other prime time game isn’t bad at all either, with the Eagles hosting the Packers on Monday night.
Two days after the fourth anniversary of the Butt Fumble, the Patriots and Jets meet again. Gang Green has already lost more games this season than they did in all of 2015, and are listed as 7½-point underdogs even though they are at home in New Jersey. That spread is tied as the highest of all games being played Sunday; the other is Buffalo at home over the stumbling Jacksonville Jaguars.
And of course, some mediot had to ask Bill Belichick about that play – and receive a classic response.
In terms of television coverage the Pats-Jets game will be televised by CBS in the northeast, from New England as far west as Indiana and Kentucky, and along the Atlantic seaboard to DC and Norfolk, Virginia. It will also air in Florida with the exception of Tampa (blacked out because the Bucs are at home at the same time) and the panhandle. In that late afternoon slot the rest of the country will receive Carolina at Oakland; admittedly a more compelling game for neutral fans.
For the early time slot on CBS most of the nation, including New England will get the Cincinnati at Baltimore game. FOX has the single game in Week 12. Giants-Browns will air in the northeast, Arizona at Atlanta in most of the southeast, and Seattle at Tampa Bay in the late time slot will be broadcast on most stations west of the Mississippi.
NFL Week 12 Early Games on CBS
★★★★ 4-6 San Diego Chargers at 6-4 Houston Texans
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Chargers -2½ . . . . over/under 46½ . . . . SDG -135, HOU +115
Broadcast in Yuma AZ, California, Colorado, Wichita KS, Shreveport LA, Reno NV, Oklahoma, Portland OR, Texas and Spokane WA.
Granted there was questionable officiating, but Houston blew two seven-point second half leads to lose to the Raiders. The Texans have now been outscored 41-9 in the fourth quarter over the last four weeks, and are in a battle for the division lead while playing on a short week. Houston’s defense is not bad: 5th in yards, 13th in points, 8th on third down, 10th in yards per play. The offense stinks though, especially the passing game. The Texans rank last in yards per play and are 28th in both yardage and scoring. Brock Osweiler is completing less than 60 percent of his passes and ranks 31st with a 74.9 passer rating. Osweiler has thrown 12 touchdowns and 10 picks; the only starters with a worse TD:INT differential are Blaine Gabbert, Case Keenum and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
That being said, Houston is 5-0 at home this year and will likely have a bit of extra adrenaline after those bad calls in Mexico City. Although I would take Philip Rivers over Osweiler, I would also take Bill O’Brien over Mike McCoy as head coach seven days a week.
Prediction: Texans 27, Chargers 21
Texans +2½ (one unit) . . . . . over 46½ . . . . . Houston +115
Final Score: Chargers 21, Texans 13 x
Texans +2½ x . . . . . over 46½ x . . . . . Texans +115 x
★★ 5-6 Tennessee Titans at 2-8 Chicago Bears
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots
Titans -5½ . . . . over/under 42 . . . . TEN -240, CHI +200
Broadcast in Huntsville AL, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, western Kentucky, southwestern and upper peninsula Michigan, northern Mississippi, eastern Missouri, Omaha NE, Fargo ND, Eugene OR, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Jay Cutler is doubtful with a shoulder injury after taking a big hit from Olivier Vernon on the second snap of last week’s game against the Giants. Matt Barkley will get his first NFL start and first meaningful playing time since relieving first Nick Foles and then Michael Vick with the Eagles mid-season in 2013. The Bears have 14 players on injured reserve and don’t have the quality depth to overcome that setback. All Tennessee has to do is avoid complacency and dumb mistakes to win this game easily.
Prediction: Titans 23, Bears 13
Titans -5½ (two units) . . . . . under 42 . . . . . Tennessee -240
Final Score: Titans 27, Bears 21 ✓
Titans -5½ ✓✓ . . . . . under 42 x . . . . . Titans -240 ✓
★★ 2-8 Jacksonville Jaguars at 5-5 Buffalo Bills
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker
Bills -7½ . . . . over/under 45 . . . . BUF -330, JAC +270
Broadcast in northern Florida, southern Georgia and New York (except for New York City).
Rex Ryan has stated that WR Sammy Watkins and RB LeSean McCoy will play Sunday. That would mark the first time those two are on the field together since week two. That is bad news for a Jacksonville defense that is giving up 26.5 points per game (25th) and doesn’t force turnovers (last in the NFL with seven). Even worse news for the Jags is that their D is performing better than their offense.
Prediction: Bills 27, Jaguars 13
Bills -7½ (one unit) . . . . . under 45 . . . . . Buffalo -330
Final Score: Bills 28, Jaguars 21 ✓
Bills -7½ x . . . . . under 45 x . . . . . Bills -330 ✓
★★★ 3-6-1 Cincinnati Bengals at 5-5 Baltimore Ravens
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn
Ravens -4 . . . . . over/under 40½ . . . . BAL -200, CIN +175
Broadcast in New England and all markets not listed in the three other early CBS games above. Also not broadcast in Atlanta, Cleveland, Miami and New Orleans due to NFL broadcast rules that prohibit a game being televised on another network when the local team is playing at home and being broadcast.
The Bengals have won only one game since September and are now without AJ Green and Gio Bernard, so they have no chance here, right? However, looking closer you see Cincy started that streak with losses at Dallas and New England; no shame there. After a 14-point win the Bengals tied Washington, lost to the Giants by one, and lost to Buffalo by four without their star WR and third down back. Cincy might pack it in at some point, but I would not expect for that to happen against a bitter division rival.
Prediction: Ravens 20, Bengals 16
Bengals +4½ . . . . . under 40½ . . . . . Baltimore -200
Final Score: Ravens 19, Bengals 14 ✓
Bengals +4½ ✓ . . . . . under 40½ ✓ . . . . . Ravens -200 ✓
NFL Week 12 Early Games on FOX
★★★★ 4-5-1 Arizona Cardinals at 6-4 Atlanta Falcons
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver
Falcons -6 . . . . . over/under 51 . . . . ATL -240, ARI +200
Broadcast in Alabama, Arizona, Grand Junction CO, Springfield IL, Indiana (except South Bend), Iowa, Louisville KY, Flint MI, Grand Rapids MI, Minnesota, southern Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota and eastern Tennessee.
Expect a high scoring game. The Falcons are averaging 34 points at home, but opponents have scored at least 31 points in each of those games. Arizona needed two returns of 100+ yards to beat the Vikings a week ago; that won’t happen again. But after watching Ryan Mathews and Wendell Smallwood of all people rush for 200+ yards against Atlanta in their last game, I wonder how badly David Johnson will torch the Falcon defense.
Prediction: Falcons 34, Cardinals 31
Cardinals +6 . . . . . over 51 (four units) . . . . . Atlanta -240
Final Score: Falcons 38, Cardinals 19 ✓
Cardinals +6 x . . . . . over 51 ✓✓✓✓ . . . . . Falcons -240 ✓
★★ 1-9 San Francisco 49ers at 6-4 Miami Dolphins
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis, Chris Spielman, Holly Sonders
Dolphins -7½ . . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . MIA -330, SFO +270
Broadcast in northern California, Miami FL, West Palm Beach FL and Reno NV.
San Francisco is allowing an astounding 180 yards rushing per game, at 5.2 yards per carry. Now they travel cross country for an early start to face the Dolphins. Miami RB Jay Ajayi has rushed for 685 yards and four touchdowns in the last five games, and leads the league with 5.6 yards per rush. The Dolphins are without three starters on their offensive line, but it still won’t matter.
Prediction: Dolphins 27, Niners 20
Niners +7½ . . . . . over 44½ . . . . . Miami -330
Final Score: Dolphins 31, Niners 24 ✓
Niners +7½ ✓ . . . . . over 44½ ✓ . . . . . Dolphins -330 ✓
★★★ 4-6 Los Angeles Rams at 4-6 New Orleans Saints
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale
Saints -7 . . . . . over/under 45½ . . . . NOR -335, LAR +275
Broadcast in Mobile AL, Arkansas, Los Angeles CA, Palm Springs CA, Louisiana and Mississippi.
New Orleans possesses a potent offense, scoring 28.5 points per game (4th) and averaging 422 yards of offense (2nd). Conversely the Saints have shot themselves in the foot recently, turning the ball over an alarming six times in the last two games. As a result the Saints dropped two close games and now stand at 4-6 rather than 6-4 and sharing the division lead. The Saints have run the ball well over their last five games, and need to continue to do so. If New Orleans becomes one-dimensional then Robert Quinn, Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers will be able to generate enough of a pass rush to neutralize Drew Brees. The challenge for the Rams will be for their excellent defense to overcome Jeff Fisher’s coaching decisions and game plan, and rookie quarterback Jared Goff in the raucous Superdome.
Prediction: Saints 27, Rams 17
Saints -7 (two units) . . . . . under 45½ . . . . . New Orleans -335
Final Score: Saints 49, Rams 21 ✓
Saints -7 ✓✓ . . . . . under 45½ x . . . . . Saints -335 ✓
★★ 7-3 New York Giants at 0-11 Cleveland Browns
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Dick Stockton, Matt Millen, Peter Schrager
Giants -7½ . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . NYG -320, CLE +260
Broadcast in New England, DC, Salisbury MD, New York (except Buffalo), Ohio, Pennsylvania, Memphis TN, Brownsville TX, Virginia (except Richmond) and West Virginia.
Josh McCown hasn’t played badly in his time with the Browns, but Cleveland’s offensive line makes any quarterback an injury waiting to happen. New York’s defense has vastly improved from a year ago, resulting in close wins rather than narrow losses. I think the spread may be a bit too high, but I have no faith in placing any of my hard earned money on this train wreck of a team.
Prediction: Giants 24, Browns 20
Browns +7½ . . . . . under 44½ . . . . . New York -320
Final Score: Giants 27, Browns 13 ✓
Browns +7½ x . . . . . under 44½ ✓ . . . . . Giants -320 ✓
NFL Week 12 Late Game on FOX
★★★★ 7-2-1 Seattle Seahawks at 5-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday November 27 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX; …
Seahawks -6 . . . . over/under 45 . . . . SEA -260, TAM +220
Broadcast in Alaska, San Diego CA, Colorado, Florida (except Miami and West Palm Beach), Hawaii, Idaho, northern Illinois, South Bend IN, Kansas, Kentucky (except Louisville), Baltimore MD, Michigan (except Flint and Grand Rapids), northern Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Las Vegas NV, New Mexico, Buffalo NY, Cincinnati OH, Oklahoma, Oregon, Nashville TN, Texas (except Brownsville), Utah, Richmond VA, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
With Doug Martin back on the field, Tampa Bay has improved in both running the ball as well as in pass protection. That is good news for Mike Evans, who has 65 receptions for 916 yards and eight touchdowns. However, the Tampa Bay defense is no more than average and their secondary is one of the league’s worst. Raymond James Stadium does not offer much of a home field advantage, with many transplants buying up tickets at less than face value to see their favorite out of town team visit. As a result this road game should not be a problem, even though Seattle is traveling as far as a team can and stay within the United States.
Prediction: Seahawks 31, Buccaneers 20
Seahawks -6 (two units) . . . . . over 45 (one unit) . . . . . Seattle -260
Final Score: Buccaneers 14, Seahawks 5 x
Seahawks -6 xx . . . . . over 45 x . . . . . Seahawks -260 x
NFL Week 12 Late Games on CBS
★★★★ 4-6 Carolina Panthers at 8-2 Oakland Raiders
Sunday November 27 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson
Raiders -3 . . . . over/under 49½ . . . . OAK -170, CAR +150
Broadcast in all markets not airing the Pats-Jets game (below); also not broadcast in Tampa due to NFL rules that forbid another game being televised when the local team is at home.
Josh Norman may not have helped Washington as much as the Redskins hoped he would, but his departure sure has impacted the Panthers. Carolina’s pass defense ranks 29th in completion percentage (67.1%), 26th in passing yards per game (272) and 23rd in yards per pass (7.2). Derek Carr has thrown 20 touchdown passes with only four interceptions this season, and the Raiders rank fourth in passing yards per game (276). In other words this is going to be a long day for the Carolina defense, who will be without their best defensive player, LB Luke Kuechly (concussion), and leading pass rusher, DE Mario Addison (foot).
Prediction: Raiders 31, Panthers 23
Raiders -3 (two units) . . . . . over 49½ (one unit) . . . . . Oakland -170
Final Score: Raiders 35, Panthers 32 ✓
Raiders -3 -push- . . . . . over 49½ ✓ . . . . . Raiders -170 ✓
★★★★ 8-2 New England Patriots at 3-7 New York Jets
Sunday November 27 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl
Patriots -7½ . . . . over/under 46 . . . . NWE -360, NYJ +300
Broadcast in New England, DC, Florida (except Tampa, Gainesville and Panama City), Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Norfolk VA and West Virginia.
A year ago the Jets when 10-6 thanks to a productive defense. Early this season that unit took a step back when it became obvious that their secondary was no longer elite in pass coverage. The Jet D has further regressed recently with the pass rush no longer being a force. At this point the only positive on the entire team is their run defense; that alone is not going to win many games. The players feel that Ryan Fitzpatrick gives the Jets the best chance at winning, but with seven losses their season is over. Head Coach Todd Bowles succumbed, fearing he would lose the locker room. That short-sighted view is a great example of why the Jets have not been a championship team since before Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.
Prediction: Patriots 31, Jets 17
Patriots -7½ (two units) . . . . . over 46 . . . . . New England -360
Final Score: Patriots 22, Jets 17 ✓
Patriots -7½ xx . . . . . over 46 x . . . . . Patriots -360 ✓
NFL Week 12 Sunday Night Football
★★★★★ 7-3 Kansas City Chiefs at 7-3 Denver Broncos
Sunday November 27 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
Broncos -3½ . . . . over/under 39 . . . . DEN -185, KAN +165
Broadcast in all markets.
The Broncos are healthy and playing at home. Kansas City’s injuries are becoming a problem. Without CB Marcus Peters KC had nobody to cover Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans last week. Peters and DT Dontari Poe are questionable, but LB Dee Ford, DE Jaye Howard and WR Jeremy Maclin are all out. Early on this year KC feasted on victories against the Jets, Saints, Colts, Jaguars and Panthers. This game opens up a brutal schedule to finish the season: at Denver, at Atlanta, Oakland, Tennessee, Denver again and then at San Diego.
Prediction: Broncos 23, Chiefs 20
Chiefs +3½ . . . . . over 39 (one unit) . . . . . Kansas City +165
Final Score: Chiefs 30, Broncos 27 (OT) x
Chiefs +3½ ✓ . . . . . over 39 ✓ . . . . . Chiefs +165 ✓
NFL Week 12 Monday Night Football
★★★★ 4-6 Green Bay Packers at 5-5 Philadelphia Eagles
Monday November 28 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters
Eagles -4 . . . . over/under 47½ . . . . PHI -200, GNB +170
Broadcast in all markets.
Green Bay’s defense has been absolutely ravaged by injuries and has struggled mightily. On the other hand the Packers know their season is on the line, would like to make up for last week’s embarrassment on national television, and Philadelphia’s offensive line and passing game do not compare to Washington’s. The Packers desperately need a win, and still have a solid shot at the division title in the mediocre NFC North. That being said, is it possible to have faith in a team on a four-game losing streak? With a defense that has allowed 38 points per game in that stretch, including 89 points in the last two?
Prediction: Eagles 34, Packers 31
Packers +4 . . . . . over 47½ (two units) . . . . . Green Bay +170
Final Score: Packers 27, Eagles 13 x
Packers +4 ✓ . . . . . over 47½ xx . . . . . Packers +170 ✓
Prediction: Vikings 20, Lions 17
Vikings +2 . . . . under 42 . . . . . Minnesota +115
Final Score: Lions 16, Vikings 13 x
Vikings +2 x . . . . under 42 ✓ . . . . . Vikings +115 x
Prediction: Cowboys 34, Redskins 24
Cowboys -6 . . . . over 52½ . . . . . Dallas -260
Final Score: Cowboys 31, Redskins 26 ✓
Cowboys -6 x . . . . over 52½ ✓ . . . . . Cowboys -260 ✓
Prediction: Steelers 27, Colts 13
Steelers -8 (two units) . . . . under 49½ (one unit) . . . . . Pittsburgh -360
Final Score: Steelers 28, Colts 7 ✓
Steelers -8 ✓✓ . . . . over 49½ x . . . . . Steelers -360 ✓
NFL Week 12 Parlays and Teasers
3-Team Parlay (two units): xx
Cardinals at Falcons over 51 ✓
Packers at Eagles over 47½ x
Panthers at Raiders (-3) [-push-]
5-Team 6-Point Teaser (two units): xx
Cardinals at Falcons over 45 ✓
Packers at Eagles over 41½ x
Chiefs at Broncos over 33 ✓
Jets vs Patriots -1½ ✓
Jaguars at Bills -1½ ✓
Tale of the Tape
Last week I hit on both a parlay (Lions -6 vs Jaguars, Patriots -11½ at 49ers and Raiders -6 vs Texans) as well as a 5-team teaser (Lions, Pats, Bills at Cincy, Bucs at KC and Ravens at Dallas). Those two multi-game payoffs led to one of the better weeks of the season.
Week 11 Results:
11-3 Straight Up
9-4 Against the Spread
2-unit plays: 5-0, +1000
1-unit plays: 1-2, -120
3-Game Parlay: 1u, +600
5-Game Teaser: 2u, +900
16 units invested
9-2, +2380 on $1760 risk.
Year to Date Results:
93-66-2 Straight Up
87-69-4 Against the Spread
5-unit plays: 1-0, +500
3-unit plays: 6-5-1, +120
2-unit plays: 29-13, +2990
1-unit plays: 34-22-1, +970
Parlays: 3-6, +1740
Teasers: 6-3, +3050
80-49-2, +9480 on original $2310 risk.
410.4% ROI on original $2310 bankroll.
41.0% ROI on $23,100 (210 units) of total weekly investments.
9-2, +2380 on 16 units (+135.2%) in Week 11.
4-9, -510 on 18 units (-25.8%) in Week 10.
7-4, +850 on 17 units (+45.5%) in Week 9.
11-2, +3470 on 27 units (+116.8%) in Week 8.
3-6, -480 on 12 units (-36.4%) in Week 7.
9-3-1, +1300 on 17 units (+69.5%) in Week 6.
7-7, +50 on 22 units (+2.1%) in Week 5.
9-2, +1910 on 18 units (+96.5%) in Week 4.
3-9-1, -1280 on 22 units (-58.2%) in Week 3.
9-3, +950 on 20 units (+43.2%) in Week 2.
9-2, +840 on 21 units (+36.4%) in Week 1.
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