The NFL’s made it to Thanksgiving week. The unofficial start of the season’s playoff push, Week 12 features a number of actionable lines. NFL Odds continue to respond to a surprising set of results and another week where Underdogs scored some big upsets.
The Houston Texans secured the biggest upset of Week 11, covering a 10-point spread and winning outright in Tennessee. The Indianapolis Colts also won as road underdogs, dominating the Bills in Buffalo. Since the start of Week 9, 11 division leaders have been upset, and some of those surprises have affected Futures bets.
Totals saw another week won by the Under. This season, the Under has hit over 56 percent of the time, including 10 times in Week 11. Favorites snagged a win for the week, going 8-7.
NFL Bye Weeks continue in Week 12, but just two teams get the week off: the Arizona Cardinals and the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chicago Bears play the Detroit Lions to kick off the NFL’s Week 12 slate on Thanksgiving. This matchup lacks the luster of previous years, considering the state of these franchises, but it’s still a classic rivalry. The Bears squandered an opportunity against a Baltimore Ravens teams without Lamar Jackson in their Week 11 loss. The Lions, meanwhile, lost another one-score game to remain winless in 2021.
The Chicago Bears (3-7, 4-6 ATS) continued down their lost season last week, losing 16-13 to the Ravens. Justin Fields left the game in the third quarter with a rib injury. Andy Dalton threw two touchdowns, including a 49-yarder to Marquise Goodwin in the fourth quarter to put the Bears up 13-9.
The Bears lost Fields in a game that they were already without Khalil Mack, who’s likely out for the remainder of the season, as well as defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (ankle) and receiver Allen Robinson (hamstring).
Chicago’s offense managed to convert just two of 11 third down tries. The Bears defense, despite being down Mack and Hicks, played well until the final Baltimore drive. Chicago limited the Ravens to 3.9 yards per play and picked up six sacks, including a career-high 3.5 sacks from Robert Quinn.
The Detroit Lions (0-9-1, 6-4 ATS) couldn’t build off any momentum from their 16-16 tie a week ago in Pittsburgh and made some critical mistakes while growing their winless streak to 14 games. Tim Boyle completed 15 of 23 for just 77 yards with two interceptions, making his first NFL start and playing in place of an injured Jared Goof. D’Andre Swift finished with a career-high 136 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
The Lions offense converted just three of 11 on third down and managed only 245 total yards, but ran up 168 of those yards on the ground on 23 carries.
The Bears have a good history in this matchup, winning the last two times in Detroit on Thanksgiving. Over the last 10, Chicago holds a 6-3-1 advantage in this matchup against the spread. But there’s a great deal of uncertainty regarding which combination of quarterbacks will play in this one. As of right now, the most likely starting combo is Andy Dalton for the Bears and Tim Boyle for Detroit.
Chicago will be without several key players on the defensive side of the ball, but having a capable quarterback in Dalton should prove to be the difference in this one. The Bears have reliable offensive weapons in David Montgomery and Darnell Mooney. The Lions, meanwhile, only really have Swift.
The Under stands out as the best play in this game, considering the lineup uncertainty. The Lions haven’t scored more than 20 points in nine straight games. The Bears, meanwhile, have put up more than 22 just once in their last six. Seven of the last nine games between these two have hit the Under.
Picks and Predictions
Chicago 20, Detroit 17
ML: CHI -143 (FoxBet); Spread: DET +3.5/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: Under 41.5/-105 (FanDuel)
Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys Picks and Predictions
The Las Vegas Raiders play the Dallas Cowboys in the league’s second installment of Thanksgiving Day games. Both teams enter this ballgame coming off disappointing losses last week and hope the quick turnaround came help get momentum back on their side. The Raiders dropped their Week 11 home game to Cincinnati, giving up 19 fourth quarter points in that one. The Cowboys, meanwhile, fell flat in their marquee matchup in Kansas City.
The Las Vegas Raiders (5-5, 4-6 ATS) lost at home to the Cincinnati Bengals 32-13. The offense managed just 278 total yards and the team has now lost five of seven since starting the season 3-0.
Derek Carr completed 19 of 27 for 215 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He found Darren Waller seven times for 116 yards, but offense struggled on third down once again. Las Vegas finished 1-of-7 on third down, and didn’t convert until late in the game.
The Dallas Cowboys (7-3, 8-2 ATS) offense faltered throughout their Week 11 loss in Kansas City. The Chiefs topped Dallas 19-9, holding the Cowboys to a season-low 276 total yards, as well as a season-low in points.
Dak Prescott completed 28 of 43 passes for 216 yards but threw two interceptions. He also lost a fumble. It was just the sixth time in 78 games with Prescott at quarterback that the Cowboys failed to score a touchdown. Ezekiel Elliott picked up just 32 yards on nine carries.
CeeDee Lamb exited the game early, entering in the concussion protocol. Dallas was already without Amari Cooper, who landed on the COVID-19 list recently. Offensive tackle Tyron Smith could return for Week 12, which would be a boost for the offensive line.
Dallas could look to exploit a weak Raiders run defense. Las Vegas allows an average of 132.1 rushing yards per game, which ranks 29th in the league. The Cowboys average 133.8 on the ground each game, which comes in as the fifth-best figure in the league. That said, in the four games following their Bye, Dallas averages just 88 rushing yards per game.
The Cowboys should be able to make Las Vegas one dimensional on offense, considering the Raiders difficulties running the ball this season. Las Vegas averages 83.7 rushing yards per game, which ranks 28th in the league. Dallas, meanwhile, ranks 10th stopping the run, allowing just 103.7 yards per game on the ground.
If the Cowboys can force Las Vegas to pass, that plays into their team’s strength. Dallas ranks second in the league in interceptions this season (15). Carr’s thrown nine for the Raiders so far.
The total has gone Under in four of Dallas’ last five games, and it’s gone Under in four of the last six meetings between these two clubs. The Cowboys have not lost back-to-back games this season. The followed their last loss with a 43-3 trouncing of the Atlanta Falcons.
Picks and Predictions
Dallas 27, Las Vegas 19
ML: DAL -294 (Sugar House); Spread: DAL -7/-105 (DraftKings); O/U: Under 50.5/-105 (FoxBet)
Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints Picks and Predictions
The Buffalo Bills play the New Orleans Saints in the final installment of the NFL’s Thanksgiving slate of games. The Bills come to this one after another maddening loss. Buffalo got boat-raced by the Indianapolis Colts at home. The Saints, meanwhile, sputtered in Philadelphia and have now lost three games in a row.
The Buffalo Bills (6-4, 6-4 ATS) lost their Week 11 matchup to Indianapolis 41-15 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. Entering the fourth quarter, the Bills trailed 38-7. Buffalo committed four turnovers and managed no takeaways in a home game from the first time since 2000. The 41 points allowed tied for the most allowed at home since Week 9 in 2018, a 41-8 loss to the Chicago Bears.
The loss, coupled with New England’s win on Thursday night, caused Buffalo to drop behind the Patriots in the AFC East standings. The Bills have lost three of their last five games, and the offense hasn’t looked right since the Bye. In the six games prior to the break, Buffalo’s offense averaged 411.5 yards per game. In the four games since, they’re posting 362 yards per game, but that number is propped up by a season-best 489-yard performance against a dreadful Jets defense.
The New Orleans Saints (5-5, 5-5 ATS) dropped their Week 11 game in Philadelphia 40-29 to the Eagles. The Saints league-leading rush defense surrendered a season-high 242 yards on the ground. The previous high allowed this season was 131 yards. Couple that with a season-high three turnovers and the Saints fell for the third consecutive week.
New Orleans got an okay game from Trevor Siemian, who threw three touchdown passes but also two interceptions. Siemian also ran for a score. The Saints were missing several starters, including running back Alvin Kamara and tackles Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk. Each of those players is questionable for Thursday, as is Kamara’s replacement, Mark Ingram.
The Bills are missing pieces along their offensive line, with both Spencer Brown and Jon Feliciano both out. Cole Beasley is questionable for Buffalo. DT Star Lotulelei remains out while on the COVID-19 list.
Buffalo should be able to establish the passing game in this one, considering the Saints rank 21st in the league, allowing 267.1 passing yards per game. The Bills shy away from the run, which is where New Orleans’ strength is on defense. The Saints, meanwhile, could struggle to pass. Buffalo ranks first in the league, surrendering just 191.7 passing yards per game.
Since 2006, when Sean Payton took over as head coach, the Saints have been home underdogs just 15 times. New Orleans sports a 10-5 record against the spread in that situation. They’ve also been really good coming off a loss under Payton, positing a 54-31 record against the spread in that spot.
Although Buffalo has struggled of late, and lost three of their last five, the Bills haven’t lost two in a row this season. Despite the short week, it’s hard to imagine Buffalo dropping another one here, especially to a banged-up Saints squad that’s starting their backup quarterback. The Bills need this win to keep pace with the surging New England Patriots.
Picks and Predictions
Buffalo 24, New Orleans 20
ML: BUF -189 (DraftKings); Spread: NO +4.5/-110 (Sugar House); O/U: Under 46/-105 (FoxBet)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Picks and Predictions
The Pittsburgh Steelers play the Cincinnati Bengals in a pivotal matchup between AFC North division rivals. The Steelers lost a wild game on Sunday Night Football last week to slip back in the AFC standings. The Bengals, meanwhile, stopped their recent losing skid with an important win in Las Vegas.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4-1, 4-6 ATS) rallied from 17 points down in the fourth quarter to take a late lead over the Los Angeles Chargers. But botched coverage in the secondary led to a game-winning 53-yard touchdown pass from Justin Herbert to Mike Williams and the Steelers lost 41-37.
Ben Roethlisberger returned to the lineup after missing Week 10 on the COVID-19 list. Roethlisberger completed 28 of 44 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns, Najee Harris managed just 39 yards on the ground but did score a touchdown. Eric Ebron left the game early with a knee injury.
Pittsburgh’s defense allowed season-highs across the board in this one, including 533 total yards, 374 passing yards, and 33 first downs. The loss dropped the Steelers behind the Buffalo Bills for the AFC’s last Wild Card spot.
The Cincinnati Bengals (6-4, 5-5 ATS) used the Bye Week to get their offense right. Joe Mixon led the way with 123 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns. Joe Burrow completed 20 of 29 for 148 yards and one touchdown, the score going to Ja’Marr Chase, who leads all rookies with eight touchdown catches this season.
Cincinnati’s defense limited the Raiders to 278 total yards. It’s only the second time this season the Bengals held an opponent to fewer than 300 yards in a game. Kicker Evan McPherson had four field goals, including three of 50 yards or more.
These teams last met in Week 3, when the Bengals beat Pittsburgh 24-10. Burrow threw three touchdown passes in that one. Cincinnati limited the Steelers to 45 rushing yards and picked off two Roethlisberger passes. Pittsburgh outgained the Bengals in that game, 342-268, but Cincinnati cashed in both red zone tries with touchdowns, while the Steelers went just 1-for-3 in the red zone.
That loss was part of an early season skid for the Steelers. Pittsburgh went 1-3 to start, losing three in a row, before righting the ship with a four-game winning streak.
The Bengals have not been a solid bet at home this season, going 1-3 against the spread in Cincinnati so far. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has covered three of their four road games this season. The Steelers have won 11 of the last 13 with Cincinnati, but the Bengals topped Pittsburgh earlier this season.
Cincinnati’s scored over 30 points in four of their last five games this season, while the Steelers have only topped 30 once, last week.
The New York Jets play the Houston Texans in this matchup of the two worst teams in the AFC. The Jets started their third different quarterback in Week 11, but the offense still struggled in their loss to Miami. The Texans, meanwhile, finally ended an eight-game losing streak and scored the biggest upset of the week with their win over Tennessee.
The New York Jets (2-8, 2-8 ATS) dropped a winnable game at home to the Miami Dolphins in Week 11. Sloppy play from the Jets and crippling penalties hurt the team in their 24-17 loss. Miami’s final two scoring drives were aided by key third-down penalties on defense, and it didn’t help that kicker Matt Amendola missed two field goals.
The Jets turned to Joe Flacco in this one, in part, because of Miami’s pressure defense. Flacco completed 24 of 39 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns. Elijah Moore finished with eight catches for a career-best 141 yards and a 62-yard score in the third quarter.
New York’s defense had its best showing in a while. After allowing 45 points in consecutive weeks, and an average of 472.5 total yards over their last four, the Jets defense held Miami to 24 points and 388 total yards. They did allow the Dolphins to game 115 rushing yards, though, and Miami entered as the worst rushing team in the league with just two previous games over 100 yards gained on the ground.
The Houston Texans (2-8, 5-5 ATS) shocked the NFL world last week with their 22-13 win over the Tennessee Titans. Houston snapped its eight-game losing streak in a rain-soaked game that saw their defense interception Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill four times.
Tyrod Taylor’s 7-yard touchdown run in the second quarter marked the first time in more than two months that the Texans had scored a touchdown on the road. Houston only gained 190 total yards on the day, but still won going away thanks to the takeaways. The Texans now have strung together consecutive games forcing five turnovers apiece for the first time in franchise history.
This game features two of the AFC’s four sub-.500 teams. It’s also a matchup of the league’s worst offense versus the league’s worst defense. The Texans average a league-low 15 points per game, while the New York Jets allow a league-high 32 points per contest. The Jets rank in the bottom five of most defensive metrics, and Houston’s offense ranks in the bottom five in most offensive categories.
The difference for Houston, though, is that their starting quarterback has recently returned, whereas the Jets still have major question marks at that position. Michael Carter will miss this game for the Jets with an ankle sprain, and linebacker C.J. Mosley is listed as questionable.
The key in this game will be turnovers. The Jets rank 32nd in the NFL in terms of committing turnovers (23), while Houston ranks fourth turnovers forced (19). That figure, though, is propped up by the 10 forced turnovers over the last two weeks for the Texans.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the Indianapolis Colts in this important non-conference matchup with playoff implications. The Buccaneers stopped their two-game losing skid with a solid effort on Monday Night Football. The Colts, meanwhile, put up perhaps the most impressive performance of Week 11 with their dominating victory in Buffalo.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3, 3-6 ATS) took it to the New York Giants last Monday Night, stopping their two-game losing streak with a 30-10 victory. Tom Brady looked sharp to start, completing his first 10 passes. He finished 30 of 46 with 307 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Brady now leads the league with 29 touchdown passes.
The Bucs defense showed up in the second half of this ball game, completely shutting down New York. The Giants managed just 87 total yards in 30 plays (2.9 yards per play) after halftime and Daniel Jones threw two interceptions. For the game, Tampa Bay limited the Giants to 1-of-9 on third down and 1-of-3 on fourth. The 215 total yards allowed were two off their season-low.
The Indianapolis Colts (6-5, 7-4 ATS) went to Buffalo and beat up on the Bills, 41-15. Jonathan Taylor ran up a season-high 185 yards and scored five total touchdowns, including four on the ground. The Indianapolis defense secured four takeaways and limited the high-powered Bills offense all day. The Colts held a 38-7 lead and were never threatened in this one.
Taylor’s come into his own in his second season. He’s gained 1,122 rushing yards this season, getting 5.8 yards per rush and scoring 15 touchdowns on the ground. Taylor became the third-youngest player in league history to score five touchdowns in a game. He’s notched at least 100 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in eight straight games.
The Colts have won five of their last six games to get back into the AFC playoff picture. Indy now holds a league-best plus-15 turnover differential. They’re plus-11 during this 5-1 stretch.
Tampa Bay’s top rushing defense will have its hand full with Taylor. The Bucs enter this ballgame allowing a league-low 78.4 rushing yards per game. Their 3.8 yards per carry allowed ranks second. The Colts, meanwhile, lead the league in yards per carry (5.2) and rank fourth in rushing yards per game (147.9).
The Bucs have struggled on the road this season, going 2-3 so far and losing their last two. Tampa Bay is yet to score an against the spread win on the road this season (0-5). The Bucs enter 0-5-1 in their last six games against Indianapolis.
The Colts have an ATS record of 4-2 when playing as at least 3-point underdogs this year. Indy’s 3-4 straight up as an underdog this season. The Colts and their opponents have gone over 51.5 points four times this season, while Tampa Bay has seen that happen five times.
The key in this game for Tampa Bay will be to score early. If they can build a lead on the Colts, that will limit put the onus on Carson Wentz and not Jonathan Taylor. But the Bucs haven’t been good on the road this year. Five of Brady’s eight interceptions have come on the road.
Picks and Predictions
Indianapolis 27, Tampa Bay 24
ML: IND +130 (DraftKings); Spread: IND +2.5/+100 (Wynn Bet); O/U: Under 51.5/-110 (BetMGM)
Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars Picks and Predictions
The Atlanta Falcons (4-6, 4-6 ATS) were shut out for the first time since a 38-0 loss to Carolina on December 13, 2015. Matt Ryan was sacked four times and went 19 for 28 with two interceptions. He was pulled from the game and both backup quarterbacks also threw interceptions. The Falcons have now lost their last two games by a combined 68-3.
Atlanta’s offense managed just 165 total yards and 3.2 yards per play in this one. The Falcons went 2-for-11 on third down, in addition to the four turnovers. Missing Cordarrelle Patterson really hurt this group.
The Falcons defense allowed the Patriots to gain 5.2 yards per play, but held New England to 4-for-12 on third down and picked off Mac Jones once.
The Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8, 4-6 ATS) looked lost in their most recent loss, this one a 30-10 defeat at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday. The Jaguars finished with just 200 total yards on 44 plays, tied for the fifth fewest in franchise history. Jacksonville’s defense allowed the Niners to score in their first five possessions.
The Niners had more first downs (14) than Jacksonville had total yards (12) midway through the second quarter. Trevor Lawrence went 16 of 25 for 158 yards, and the Jaguars managed just 54 rushing yards on 16 carries. Jacksonville committed eight penalties for 56 yards, but four of those penalties gifted the Niners with first downs.
Both of these teams come to this game with offenses and defenses ranked in the bottom third of the league in most metrics. But Atlanta plays better against bad teams. Three of the Falcons’ four wins this season have come against sub-.500 teams.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, have been tough to predict this season. Their two wins have come in their last five games played, including a stunning upset of the Bills in Week 9. Jacksonville then hung with the streaking Colts in Week 10 before a late turnover ruined another upset bid. But the Jags fell flat at home last Sunday.
If the Falcons are missing Patterson once again, Jacksonville might be able to snag this upset. But if Atlanta’s going to make anything of this season, they need this win.
The Carolina Panthers play the Miami Dolphins in this non-conference battle between a pair of teams hoping to get back into the playoff race. The Panthers couldn’t build on the momentum of a returning Cam Newton, falling to the Washington Football Team in Week 11. The Dolphins, meanwhile, continued their solid play of late, winning their third game in a row, this one in New York over the Jets.
The Panthers (5-6, 5-6 ATS) welcomed Cam Newton back to Carolina, but Taylor Heinicke and the Washington Football Team spoiled his homecoming. The Panthers took an early lead but ultimately lost to Washington, 27-21.
Newton was responsible for all three Carolina touchdowns, throwing two and running for the other. Newton finished 21 of 27 for 189 yards and the two scores, with 46 rushing yards and the score on 10 carries. He hooked up with Christian McCaffery on seven passes for 60 yards. McCaffery also gained 59 yards on 10 carries.
Carolina entered with the league’s top passing defense, but allowed three touchdown passes by Heinicke. They allowed 190 rushing yards, which continued a trend of struggling to defend the run in losses. They’ve now allowed 163 rushing yards per game in their six loses this season. In wins, they limit opponents to 56.4 yards per game.
The Miami Dolphins (4-7, 5-6 ATS) picked up their third win in a row with the 24-17 victory over the New York Jets. Tua Tagovailoa returned to the starting lineup and helped lead Miami to the win. Tagovailoa completed 27 of 33 passes for 273 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
Miami scored a touchdown on its opening drive again, but the offense went silent for the remainder of the half. The Dolphins next five drives resulted in an interception, three punts, and a missed field goal against the defense that had allowed 45 points to opponents in consecutive weeks.
Miami managed 115 rushing yards in this one, eclipsing 100 yards for just the third time this season. The Dolphins now rank 31st in the league in rushing, averaging 77.4 yards per game. Miami’s defense picked up two more sacks and held the Jets to just one touchdown on their four red zone trips.
The Dolphins’ resurgent defense has been what’s spurred this recent run of success, and they’ll need to do it again this week to grab another win. Over the last six weeks, Miami’s defense allowed an average of 87.8 rushing yards per game. If that figure stood for the entire season, the Dolphins would rank second in the league. This has also helped the team’s third-down defense, keeping teams in longer down-and-distance situations.
Run defense will be the key in this one. If Miami can limit what the Panthers do on the ground, and force Newton to beat them through the air, they’ll be in business. If not, Carolina could run away with this one.
Picks and Predictions
Carolina 23, Miami 21
ML: CAR -118 (BetMGM); Spread: CAR -1.5/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: Over 42/-110 (BetMGM)
Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots Picks and Predictions
The Tennessee Titans play the New England Patriots in this pivotal matchup with playoff implications for the AFC. The Titans enter coming off of their worst performance of the season, and abysmal loss in the rain at home versus Houston. The Patriots, meanwhile, are streaking up the standings, riding a dominant defense to the top of their division.
The Tennessee Titans (8-3, 7-4 ATS) have some bad losses sandwiched around their six-game win streak this season. At the beginning of October, Tennessee lost to the then-winless New York Jets, but followed that with six straight wins. That streak was snapped this week by a one-win Houston Texans team.
Tennessee outgained Houston 420-190, but couldn’t overcome five turnovers, including four interceptions from quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The Titans avoided a sixth turnover when tight end Anthony Firkser recovered a fumble in the end zone.
Don’t look now, but the New England Patriots (7-4, 7-4 ATS) are back atop the AFC East. The Patriots have ridden a dominant defense to the division lead. Over their last three games, New England’s defense has allowed just 13 points. They’ve won five games in a row after a 2-4 start to the season.
New England’s D held the Falcons to just 165 total yards and 2-of-11 on third down. The Patriots forced four turnovers, nabbing interceptions from three different Atlanta quarterbacks, including a pick-six.
Rookie Mac Jones went 22 of 26 for 207 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Patriots ran up 134 yards on the ground, getting over 5.5 yards per carry from both Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris.
The Patriots average 4.1 yards per carry, which ranks 20th in the league, and they’re facing a stout Tennessee run defense, which allows 4.1 per rushing attempt (sixth in the NFL). The Titans have surrendered the fifth-most sacks so far this season (31). New England’s been good at getting after opposing quarterbacks, ranking sixth with 28 sacks.
This contest would have been the game of the week had the Titans gone to New England fully healthy. But injuries have decimated Tennessee’s team, particularly the offense, and when Bill Belichick can scheme to make opponents one-dimensional, that’s usually a wrap.
New England’s just 2-4 straight up at home this season, and 3-3 against the spread in Foxboro. The Titans have been an underdog by 5.5 points or more four times this year, and covered the spread each time. But while the trends say lean Tennessee in this one, it’s hard to bet against the Patriots at this point.
Picks and Predictions
New England 27, Tennessee 17
ML: NE -227 (BetMGM); Spread: NE -5.5/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: Push
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants Picks and Predictions
The Philadelphia Eagles play the New York Giants in this matchup of NFC East rivals. The Eagles dominated in their Week 11 win over New Orleans to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Giants, meanwhile, laid an egg in the second half of their Monday Night Football matchup in Tampa Bay.
The Philadelphia Eagles (5-6, 6-5 ATS) defeated the New Orleans Saints 40-29 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicates. The Eagles ran all over the league’s top rushing defense. After starting their season 2-5, but have now won 3-1 over the last four, injecting themselves into the NFC playoff picture.
The Eagles ran up 242 rushing yards on New Orleans, who entered the game allowing a league-low 72.9 rushing yards per game. Jalen Hurts led the way with three rushing touchdowns, becoming the first quarterback in franchise history to accomplish that feat. Hurts also completed 13 of 24 passes for 147 yards.
Philadelphia ran the ball 50 times last week, with Hurts getting 18 caries and the returning Miles Sanders getting 16. Sanders gained 94 yards on the ground. Jordan Howard ran 10 times for 63 yards in this one. The defense forced three turnovers.
The New York Giants (3-6, 5-4 ATS) hung with the Bucs for the first half of their Monday Night Football matchup last week. But in the second half, Daniel Jones and the offense fell apart. The Giants dropped that contest 30-10.
The Giants managed just 87 total yards in 30 plays (2.9 yards per play) after halftime and Jones threw two interceptions. For the game, Tampa Bay limited the Giants to 1-of-9 on third down and 1-of-3 on fourth.
New York couldn’t build on the momentum from their Week 9 win over the Raiders before the Bye. And the return of Saquon Barkley didn’t help either. Barkley managed just 25 yards on six carries after missing the last four games with a sprained ankle. The Giants have lost 10 straight games in prime time, including contests at Washington and Kansas City this season.
The Giants defense seems to have reverted to its earlier season form in the last two games, allowing over 400 yards of total offense. New York’s defense allowed over 400 total yards in four of their first five games this season, including a season-high 515 in a Week 5 loss to the Cowboys. The Giants gave up 201 rushing yards in that one, something they must avoid against Philadelphia.
The Eagles’ running game ranks second in the NFL (153.4 yards per game), while New York allows 119.7 per game (22nd-ranked run defense). Philadelphia ranks third with 5.0 yards per carry, compared to the 4.4 per rush the Giants give up (19th in the NFL).
The Eagles has covered in six of 11 games this season, and is undefeated (3-0) as the moneyline favorite. The Giants are 3-3 against the spread playing as a 3.5-point underdog. Seven of the Eagles’ 11 games have gone over 46.5 points this season, while New York’s seen that just three times.
Philly finally scored its first home win of the season last week, and should be able to grab another one here.
The Los Angeles Chargers play the Denver Broncos in this important matchup between AFC West division rivals. The Chargers squandered a 17-point second half lead against Pittsburgh, but rallied with a late touchdown to secure an important win. The Broncos, meanwhile, rested during their Bye Week after taking a tough loss at home to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 10.
The Los Angeles Chargers (6-4, 5-5 ATS) entered the fourth quarter of their Sunday Night Football matchup against the Steelers with a 17-point lead. But Pittsburgh put up 27 points in the quarter, aided in part by sloppy play from the Chargers and a critical interception from Justin Herbert, took take the lead. But Herbert found Mike Williams on a 53-yard game-winning touchdown pass after a breakdown in the Steelers secondary.
Five of the Chargers’ six wins this season have been fourth-quarter comebacks. Last season, they lost five times when leading in the fourth. Herbert completed 30 of 42 passes for 382 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 90 yards on nine carries. Austin Ekeler had a career-high four touchdowns and 115 scrimmage yards (65 receiving, 50 rushing).
The Denver Broncos (5-5, 5-5 ATS) lost their Week 10 matchup to the Philadelphia Eagles 30-13 before the Bye Week. The Broncos fell behind early and ultimately couldn’t make up the margin in the loss. Denver’s now 1-20 under head coach Vic Fangio when the team is trailing at the half.
Teddy Bridgewater went 22 of 36 for 226 yards against the Eagles. The Broncos offense converted just one of their 11 third down tries, and managed a touchdown just once despite five trips inside the Eagles’ 25-yard line. Denver’s normally solid run defense allowed Philadelphia to gain 216 yards on the ground.
The Broncos offensive line took another blow this week with tackle Garett Bolles testing positive for COVID-19. They’re also missing tackle Bobby Massie and guard Graham Glasgow. Although the Chargers struggle to defend the run, they do feature an elite pass rusher in Joey Bosa, who should be able to victimize this patchwork Denver o-line.
Los Angeles ranks last in the league against the run, allowing 145.1 rushing yards per game. But the Broncos are a below average running team, ranking 19th with 111.5 yards per game. If LA can force the game into the hands of Teddy Bridgewater, they should be in business. Denver averages 250.2 passing yards per game (16th in the NFL). Chargers’ defense ranks fifth against the pass, allowing 224.6 yards per game through the air.
The Chargers have covered only once in five tries this season having entered as a 3-point favorite. But the Broncos are just 1-3 straight up playing as an underdog this season. Los Angeles and its opponents have combined to score more than 47 points in six of 10 games this season, but Denver’s only seen that happen once this season.
The Los Angeles Rams play the Green Bay Packers in this pivotal game with major playoff implications. The Rams enter this one after their Bye Week, but come in off a tough loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers, meanwhile, took a tough loss of their own last week, dropping a close division contest to the Minnesota Vikings.
The Los Angeles Rams (7-3, 4-6 ATS) dropped their fifth straight game to the 49ers with their 31-10 loss in Week 10. The Rams fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter and never seemed to get going. Matthew Stafford threw two first-quarter interceptions, including a pick-six.
It was LA’s second straight loss, and the second consecutive week Stafford struggled. Odell Beckham Jr made his Rams debut but had just two catches for 58 yards. He’ll have to fill the void left by Robert Woods, who was lost to an ACL tear in practice that week. Von Miller also made his first appearance with LA, notching three tackles but no sacks or pressures.
The Green Bay Packers (8-3, 9-2 ATS) slipped from atop the NFC Conference standings with their 34-31 loss to the Vikings. Aaron Rodgers played despite a toe injury, finishing 23 for 33 for a season-high 385 yards and four touchdown passes.
The Packers defense struggled to contain Minnesota’s receiving tandem of Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. Those two caught 16 passes for a combined 251 yards and three touchdowns. The task doesn’t get any easier this week, considering the Rams receiving duo of Cooper Kupp and Beckham Jr.
Green Bay’s offense has been one of the better teams on third-down, converting 42.5 percent of the time (10th). But in the red zone, the Packers have scored touchdowns only just 54.8 percent of trips (24th). The Rams defense ranks 11th in defending the red zone, allowing touchdowns 54.5 percent of the time.
On the flip side, Green Bay’s defense ranks 30th in league defending the red zone. The Packers allow touchdowns 73.3 percent of the time. And LA’s been good at cashing in inside the 20, scoring TDs 60 percent of the time (14th).
The Packers must protect a hobbled Rodgers in this one. Green Bay’s offensive line has surrendered 22 sacks this season, 16th-fewest in the league. But they’re facing a pass rush that’s compiled 29 sacks so far, fourth-most, and one that just added Von Miller.
Matthew Stafford has struggled playing in Green Bay, going just 3-7 there over his career while playing with the Detroit Lions. But the Rams won the only game they entered as an underdog so far this season.
The Packers have covered the spread six times this season (6-2 ATS) when playing as at least 1-point favorites. LA’s played in games that have hit the Over of 47.5 points six times this season, while Green Bay’s done that three times.
Picks and Predictions
Los Angeles Rams 27, Green Bay Packers 23
ML: LAR +100 (Wynn Bet); Spread: LAR +1/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: Over 48/-108 (Sugar House)
Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers Picks and Predictions
The Minnesota Vikings play the San Francisco 49ers in an important contest with implications for the NFC playoff picture. Both teams evened their records with wins in Week 11, and now look to this matchup as an opportunity to strengthen their playoff resume. The Vikings scored an upset win over Green Bay at home. The Niners, meanwhile, went to Jacksonville and dominated the Jaguars in their victory.
The Minnesota Vikings (5-5, 6-4 ATS) grabbed a pivotal win for their playoff odds with the 34-31 victory over the Packers. Kirk Cousins completed 24 of 35 passes for 341 yards and three touchdowns, notching his 18th career game with at least 300 passing yards and three scores. Cousins found the combo of Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen 16 times for 251 yards and all three touchdowns.
The Vikings offense put up 408 total yards and converted nine of 13 third down tries. Minnesota averaged 6.2 yards per play and scored a touchdown on three of four red zone trips.
The San Francisco 49ers (5-5, 4-6 ATS) went across the country on a short week and dominated their opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Niners took home an impressive 30-10 victory, one in which Deebo Samuel continued to prove himself an all-purpose player.
The Niners have now scored at least 30 points in each of their last two games. San Francisco scored on their first five possessions last Sunday, and saw Jimmy Garoppolo throw two touchdowns for the second-straight week. The Niners defense held Jacksonville to just 200 total yards.
San Francisco’s renewed efforts on the ground and helped them win over the last few weeks. They’ve put up back-to-back season highs in the run game. In their five wins this season, the Niners average 144 yards per game on the ground. In their five losses, that figure drops to 102.4 yards per game.
Over their last two games, Minnesota’s limiting opponents to 88.5 rushing yards per game, keeping both teams under 100 yards in those wins. That will be the key to this game. If the Vikings can force Garoppolo to beat them through the air, they’ll be in better shape.
The 49ers are the NFL’s first-ranked red zone offense (77.8 percent). They’ll face a Vikings defense ranked 25th defense in that category (67.9 percent).
San Francisco finally snapped a long losing skid at home with their 31-10 win over the Rams in Week 10. The Niners have been favored by 3 points or more seven times this season, but covered the spread in just three of those contests. The Vikings, meanwhile, are 3-0 against the spread this season when playing as at least 3-point underdogs. Both teams have played in games that went over a 48.5-point total five times this season.
Picks and Predictions
Minnesota 27, San Francisco 24
ML: MIN +150 (FoxBet); Spread: MIN +3/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: Over 48.5/-106 (Sugar House)
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens Picks and Predictions
The Cleveland Browns play the Baltimore Ravens in this matchup of AFC North division rivals. The Browns bounced back from a disappointing Week 10 loss to grab a close win in Week 11. The Ravens, meanwhile, went to Chicago in and scored an important road win without their starting quarterback Lamar Jackson.
The Cleveland Browns (6-5, 5-6 ATS) avoiding a huge upset by topping the winless Detroit Lions 13-10 last Sunday. Nick Chubb returned to the lineup and ran for 130 yards. Chubb also caught a touchdown pass to lead Cleveland to an important win.
The Browns bounced back from the 38-point beat down at the hands of the New England Patriots in Week 10 to grab this win. Jarvis Landry scored Cleveland’s other touchdown on a play in which it looked like he was back to make a pass, but he may have aggravated a previous injury. A banged-up Baker Mayfield finished 15 of 29 for 176 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
Cleveland’s defense limited the Lions to just 10 points, 245 total yards, and 3-of-11 on third down. But Detroit’s D’Andre Swift ran up a career-high 136 yards on the ground, and the Lions picked up 7.3 yards per carry last Sunday.
The shorthanded Baltimore Ravens (7-3, 4-6 ATS) survived their matchup with the Chicago Bears last Sunday. Without Lamar Jackson and Marquise Brown, the Ravens managed a 16-13 win thanks to a late score by Devonta Freeman.
Tyler Huntley made his first-career start, doing so in place of Jackson who was ruled out shortly before kickoff due to illness. Huntley led the game-winning drive after Chicago took a late lead. He completed 26 of 36 passes for 219 yards.
Baltimore’s defense played well enough in this one, but the secondary gave up another pair of long plays. The Ravens allowed Chicago’s backup quarterback, Andy Dalton, to connect on touchdown passes of 60 and 49 yards in the second half of last week’s game.
The Ravens need to protect whoever ends up playing quarterback for them on Sunday. Baltimore’s allowed 34 sacks this season, second-most. The Browns, meanwhile, have registered 29 sacks, fourth-most. If Baltimore can get into the red zone, they should be in good shape. The Ravens rank sixth in the NFL in red-zone offense (66.7 percent), while Cleveland ranks 28th in red-zone defense (69.4 percent).
Cleveland’s 41-point outburst in a win over the Bengals in Week 9 seems like an offensive outlier this season. Remove that game from the ledger and the Browns average just 12.2 points per game over their last five. And the Browns might be without one of their most dynamic offensive weapons in Jarvis Landry.
That said, Baltimore’s been favored by 3.5 points or more this season five times and failed to cover each time. But the Browns have won just once (in four tries) as an underdog.
This game carries huge implications of the AFC North and AFC playoff race in general. Cleveland needs a win to stay in it, and the Ravens need a win to give them a little breathing room in the division.
Picks and Predictions
Baltimore 27, Cleveland 17
ML: BAL -189 (BetMGM); Spread: BAL -4/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: Under 46.5/-110 (BetMGM)
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team Picks and Predictions
The Seattle Seahawks play the Washington Football Team on Monday Night Football to close the NFL Week 12 slate of games. The Seahawks suffered another disappointing loss, this one to division rival Arizona. Meanwhile, Washington went on the road and scored their second straight upset victory.
The Seattle Seahawks (3-7, 5-5 ATS) hosted the shorthanded Arizona Cardinals in a game they hoped would signal the start of a playoff push. But the offense struggled throughout the day and the defense didn’t make enough stops in their 23-13 loss. Russell Wilson was thoroughly outplayed by Cardinals’ backup quarterback Colt McCoy.
Wilson’s struggled since his return from finger surgery, who has no touchdowns in his 66 pass attempts over the last two games. Wilson finished 14 of 26 for 207 yards. The Seahawks offense gained just 266 total yards and managed just 2-of-10 on third down. Before Deejay Dallas’ fourth quarter score, Seattle had gone 20 consecutive drives without a touchdown.
The Seahawks defense allowed Arizona to convert on 7-of-14 third down tries and 1-of-1 on fourth down. The Cardinals scored touchdowns on three of four trips in the red zone.
The Washington Football Team (4-6, 3-7 ATS) went to Carolina and spoiled Cam Newton’s homecoming with their 27-21 victory. Washington registered 369 total yards on offense and scored three passing touchdowns on the league’s stingiest secondary.
Taylor Heinicke went 16 of 22 for 206 yards and those three scores, helping convert key third downs late in the game. Washington ran up 190 yards on the ground, led by Antonio Gibson’s 95 yards on 19 carries. The much-maligned Washington defense held the Panthers to under 300 total yards and just 2-of-9 on third down.
Washington’s offense ranks in the bottom third of league in most offensive metrics this season. They’re facing a Seahawks defense that struggled to defend the pass, allowing 291.7 passing yards per game (30th). Seattle allows 401.8 yards per game (31st), but ranks seventh in the league in scoring defense (20.9). So you can move the ball on the Seahawks, but it’s harder to score.
Washington must improve upon its red-zone percentage, which ranks 31st (46.9 percent), if they’re going to win this ball game. The Seahawks rank fifth in red-zone defense (50 percent). Washington will look to exploit a weak Seahawks run defense, which ranks 23rd, allowing 122.2 rushing yards per game. Washington ranks 10th, averaging 122.9 yards per game on the ground.
Washington’s on a roll of late, and their much-maligned defense is playing better. Washington’s D averages just 286.7 yards per game allowed over their last four.
Seattle enters this one 1-4 this season as an underdog. In three games this season the Seahawks and their opponents have scored more than 46.5 points. Washington’s done that six times.
Picks and Predictions
Washington 23, Seattle 20
ML: WAS -106 (Sugar House); Spread: WAS -1/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: Under 46/-109 (Sugar House)