The bad news for bettors: yet another double-digit underdog won outright in Week 11. The Titans fell at the hands of the Texans, who used a strong defensive performance to stunningly stymie one of the AFC’s top teams.
If you happened to bet the Texans moneyline in that game, power to you. But more bettors that thought the Titans may be an easy choice against the spread given their recent successes were foiled, as underdogs put forth another strong week and continued to make even the savviest gamblers tear out their hair.
Heading into Week 12, the NFL landscape looks like a mess. There are 12 teams with records better than .500 in the AFC. The NFC has just six, but the Wild Card race in that conference is shaping up to be a battle among the current five-win teams.
The 2021 NFL season has been as unpredictable as ever, and that may not change. But at least some teams are starting to perform and emerge as potential contenders. The Cardinals continue to perform well most every week. The Chiefs and Buccaneers are also starting to round into form. And each division leader is at least starting to pull away as the league gets ready for its stretch run.
But hey, this is still the season of the unexpected, so expecting things to settle down in the final month and a half of the season could prove foolish. As such, it’s still imperative that bettors look for overrated and underrated teams, find sleepers and know the latest injury news to take advantage of NFL odds, trends and lopsided point spreads that could prove fruitful.
And if there’s a chance to find another Texans over Titans type upset, that could prove to be enormously valuable. That said, there aren’t any double-digit underdogs yet in Week 12. In fact, these lines are the most bunched up of any to date, with none outside of the Thanksgiving slate standing above six-point spreads as on Wednesday, Nov. 24. So, if there’s an upset, it won’t be as shocking as some of the other ones we’ve seen this year.
For odds for the three Thanksgiving games in Week 12, click here. For more expert NFL predictions, check out Sporting News’ picks straight up and against the spread for Week 12.
WEEK 12 NFL PICKS: Against the spread | Straight up
NFL odds for Week 12
Below are the latest Week 12 NFL odds, including point spreads, money lines and over-under totals for every game, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Last updated: Thursday, Nov. 25.
NFL point spreads Week 12
NFL money lines Week 12
NFL over-unders Week 12
For NFL Thanksgiving game odds, click here.
NFL best bets for Week 12
Seahawks (+1) at Washington
Full disclosure: we tried betting on the Seahawks as underdogs last week against Colt McCoy and the Cardinals. That didn’t work, as McCoy and the Cardinals frankly embarrassed thte Seahawks, defeating them 23-13 at home and dropping them far outside the playoff picture with a 3-7 record.
So, why are we going back to the well and trusting the Seahawks again? Well, the reasoning is simple. There has been a massive swing in the spread of this game that could end up favoring Seattle.
The advanced spread for this game was significantly in favor of the Seahawks. They were favored by 3.5 points on the road in Washington. Now, the spread has swung 4.5 points in the opposite direction. Yes, that is partially related to the Seahawks’ struggles. It’s also due to Washington’s recent success, as the Football Team is coming off back-to-back wins against the Buccaneers and Panthers.
Still, a 4.5-point swing in the spread is a major development. The Seahawks once were expected to win this game by more than a field goal. Now, they basically just have to win (or tie) to cover this spread. That’s some good line value, especially considering that Russell Wilson is 36-11 straight up after a loss. Granted, he lost last week despite coming off a defeat, but that should just amp him up more in a matchup against a defense that has proven weaker than the Cardinals’ on a year-long basis.
It’s also worth mentioning that Wilson’s finger injury will have yet another week to heal, and he’ll get an extra rest day ahead of “Monday Night Football.” That could prove important for him as he looks to regain his dominant throwing form.
Is this a risk? Sure, but the Seahawks have to bounce back at some point, right? And while casual bettors may think Seattle is done, they aren’t toast yet. As long as Russell Wilson is playing, he’ll do everything he can to win. This figures to be a potential chance to do that, though the Seahawks’ defense will have to find a way to challenge Taylor Heinicke.
Titans (+6) at Patriots
The Patriots have been excellent in recent weeks, winning five consecutive games and covering the spread in each of them as well. However, all good things must come to an end, and for the Patriots, that may happen against the Titans.
Tennessee has had its share of issues in recent weeks. They haven’t covered in back-to-back games and were just manhandled by the lowly Texans. That said, they should be ready and motivated to bounce back from that as an underdog.
The Titans have been elite as an underdog this year. They have actually posted a 5-0 record against the spread as an underdog, so they seem to thrive as one under Mike Vrabel. They will have a chance to stay in the game against the Patriots, and covering a six-point spread seems doable.
Of course, the Titans will need some running back to step up in place of Derrick Henry, be it D’Onta Foreman or Dontrell Hilliard. They will also need Ryan Tannehill to avoid mistakes. He threw four interceptions against the Texans last week but had just eight on the yeart in the weeks prior to that.
If Tannehill can stay accurate and avoid big mistakes, the Titans should move the ball a bit on the Patriots.
Speaking of New England, they are not an explosive offense, so the Titans match up wwell against them. They have the fourth-best run defense in the NFL and allow an average of just 97.8 rushing yards per game. They can be beaten aerially, but Mike Vrabel may be williing to take more chances to move Mac Jones off his spot and make him uncomfortable.
Vrabel could also look to take the underneath routs on the field away and force Jones to beat his defense deep. The Patriots’ signal caller is one of the most accurate passers in the league, but his deep ball is still a work in progress. He has completed just 13 of 38 passes beyond 20 yards for 408 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.
Either way, this is just too many points to give a team like the Titans. They are 8-3 for a reason and have performed extremely well as an underdog. New England could win this game, but if they get distracted at all by an important upcoming divisional tilt with the Bills on “Monday Night Football” in Week 13, it will be hard for them to stave off competition from the Titans.
NFL POWER RANKINGS: Cowboys slip after loss vs. Chiefs
Falcons (-1) at Jaguars
The Falcons have been dreadful in recent weeks against a couple of high-caliber opponents. They were outscored a combined 68-3 against the Cowboys and Patriots and appear to be trending in the wrong direction after looking like an early playoff sleeper.
However, the Falcons are playing the Jaguars in Week 12, and Jacksonville fits the profile of the teams Atlanta has beaten this year.
So far, the Falcons have beaten up on some of the NFL’s worst competition. They have wins over the Giants, Jets, Dolphins and Saints. Three of the four teams rank in the bottom eight of Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric , which “breaks down the entire season play-by-play, comparing success on each play to the league average based on a number of variables including down, distance, location on field, current score gap, quarter, and opponent quality.”
In other words, it ranks how good certain defenses are compared to the rest of the league. And largely, the wins the Falcons have are over teams with poor defenses. Their only loss to a team ranked in the bottom-12 in DVOA came against Washington in a tightly-contested battle.
Where does Jacksonville rank in terms of DVOA? They check in at 28th in the NFL, and they are averaging just 1.8 sacks per game, good for the sixth-fewest sacks in the NFL. That should give Matt Ryan enough time to make plays in the pocket and earn a victory.
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