Week 12 kicks off with three games on Thanksgiving, including undefeated Carolina traveling to face a much more imposing Dallas team with quarterback Tony Romo back in the lineup. The evening game between the Bears and Packers could be interesting too, thanks to Green Bay’s recent slide.
On Sunday, Atlanta hosting Minnesota is the marquee early game with Steelers vs. Seahawks a must watch in the second window, and Patriots at Broncos an excellent Sunday night game. Monday’s Baltimore and Cleveland matchup gives us good reason to catch up on some college hoops action.
Philadelphia (4-6) at Detroit (3-7) – Spread: Eagles -1
While Philadelphia has been inconsistent this season, the Eagles have turned in decent performances on the road. They are only 2-3 straight up and against the spread outside of Philly, but a two-point loss at Atlanta, a field goal setback against the Redskins, and a 27-16 defeat against the Panthers aren’t crimes. They won in New York against the Jets and beat the Cowboys in Dallas 33-27. The Eagles have lost two straight, back-to-back home games against Miami and Tampa Bay.
The Lions get to stay at home following a Week 11 win over the Raiders. Detroit is 2-3 at home and 1-4 against the number. The Lions beat the Bears at home by a field goal. They got destroyed by the Broncos, Cardinals and Chiefs, and fell by nine to Minnesota.
Carolina (10-0) at Dallas (3-7) – Spread: Panthers -1
The Panthers are 4-0 on the road and have covered each time they have left Charlotte. Their only tight road game came at Seattle. The won going away at Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, and Tennessee. The Panthers home slate has been more difficult and features fairly close wins over New Orleans, Indianapolis and Green Bay. The Panthers destroyed Washington on Sunday. Carolina has lost five straight against Dallas dating back to 2004.
The Cowboys beat the Giants at home to start the season and have not satisfied their fans since. Without Tony Romo they lost in Big D against the Falcons (39-28), Patriots (30-6), Seahawks (13-12), and Eagles (33-27). They have covered once in five home games. Romo returned last weekend and the Cowboys won fairly easily in Miami.
Chicago (4-6) at Green Bay (7-3) – Spread: Packers -9.5
Having won four straight and 10 of 11 in this rivalry, the Packers can even the all time series at 93-93-6 with a win. Green Bay beat Chicago 31-23 in Week 1. The Bears have won once since 2007 at Lambeau Field (a game Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of).
Chicago is 3-2 on the road and 4-1 against the spread. Besides an early blowout loss without Jay Cutler in Seattle, the Bears won by a point in Kansas City, lost a tight game in Detroit, and beat the Chargers and Rams outside of the Windy City. Chicago fell at home to Denver on Sunday. Green Bay is 4-1 at home and 3-2 ATS. They picked up double digit wins over Seattle, Kansas City and St. Louis during the first five weeks of the year, and beat the Chargers 27-20, but lost to Detroit 18-16 in Week 10. Green Bay dominated the Vikings in Minnesota on Sunday.
Minnesota (7-3) at Atlanta (6-4) – Spread: Falcons -2
Last year the Vikings beat Atlanta at home 41-28. Both teams are improved this season and now they’ll gather for a rematch in the Big A. The Falcons are playing a second straight home game after losing to Indianapolis in overtime in Week 11. Atlanta is 3-2 at home and 2-3 for betting purposes. They won home games early on against the Eagles, Texans and Redskins but fell to Tampa Bay 23-20 in Week 9.
Minnesota had a chance last week to seize control of the NFC North but lost at home to Green Bay in a game that they seemed outclassed. The Vikings are 3-2 on the road and 4-1 against the number. Besides a season opening loss at San Francisco, Minnesota lost a tight game at Denver, and beat the Lions, Bears and Raiders outside of the Twin Cities.
Miami (4-6) at New York Jets (5-5) – Spread: Jets -3.5
The Jets rolled Miami in London 27-14 in Week 4 leading to the dismissal of Dolphins coach Joe Philbin. The teams have split their games in each of the past four seasons. New York leads the all time series 52-47-1 but Miami has scored 45 more points over the 100 meetings.
This will be the fourth road game in five weeks for Miami. The Fins are 3-3 SU and ATS outside of south Florida. Recently they lost badly at New England and Buffalo but won by a point in Philadelphia. The Cowboys won at Miami on Sunday. The Jets are 3-2 at home and 2-3 against the number. They have wins in front of their fans against Cleveland, Washington and Jacksonville while falling to Philadelphia and Buffalo. New York played poorly last week in a loss at Houston.
Oakland (4-6) at Tennessee (2-8) – Spread: Raiders -2
The Raiders have a second straight winnable road game after losing to the Lions as a small favorite in Week 11. Oakland is 2-3 outside the Bay Area and 3-2 against the spread. They won outright at Cleveland and San Diego, and played tight games in Chicago and Pittsburgh.
Tennessee has extra time to prepare for the Silver and Black after a late loss at Jacksonville on Thursday in Week 11. The Titans are winless at home and 2-3 against the number. They suffered tight loses against Buffalo, Atlanta and Indianapolis while getting smoked by the Dolphins and Panthers.
Buffalo (5-5) at Kansas City (5-5) – Spread: Chiefs -3.5
The Bills will be on the road for a third straight week after beating the Jets in New York and losing by a touchdown at New England on Monday night. Buffalo won road games against the Dolphins (41-14) and Titans (14-13) early in the year.
Kansas City suffered a five-game losing streak after winning their season opener, but after crushing San Diego in Week 11, this will be a chance to put together five consecutive victories. The Chiefs are 2-2 straight up and against the spread at home. They lost to Denver and Chicago in one possession games, and beat the Steelers and Lions by double-digits.
Tampa Bay (5-5) at Indianapolis (5-5) – Spread: Colts -3
The Bucs have been feisty on the road with perhaps their best effort a convincing win Sunday at Philadelphia. Tampa Bay is 4-1 against the spread on the road and 3-2 overall. They beat the Saints and Falcons while losing by a point at Atlanta and 19-9 in Houston.
Indianapolis is 2-3 SU and ATS at home. They lost to the Jets in Week 2, won but failed to cover against Jacksonville in Week 4, lost to the Patriots but cashed tickets for bettors in a 34-27 setback, lost to the Saints, and beat Denver 27-24. Indianapolis needed overtime to win at Atlanta on Sunday.
New York Giants (5-5) at Washington (4-6) – Spread: Giants -2
The Giants face Washington for the second time this year. New York beat the Skins 32-21 in Week 3. These franchises have been playing since the 1930’s with the G-men holding a 98-65-4 all time series lead. New York has won five straight against Washington.
The Skins are 4-1 at home (3-2 ATS) with their lone setback Week 1 against the Dolphins. They have run off victories against St. Louis, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and New Orleans. The were outclassed in Carolina on Sunday. The Giants are 2-3 on the road but 3-1-1 against the number. They crushed Tampa Bay in Week 9 after losing a wild 52-49 tilt at New Orleans in Week 8. New York is coming off of a bye.
New Orleans (4-6) at Houston (5-5) – Spread: Texans -3
The Saints have an extra week to prepare for this game and are just 1-4 outside of the Bayou thus far with two wins against the spread. New Orleans fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan following a 47-14 loss at Washington in Week 10. They have allowed 130 points over their last three games. New Orleans won at Indianapolis and lost in Arizona, Carolina and Philadelphia.
The Texans used a bye week to fuel their upset win at Cincinnati in Week 10 and then continued their improved play with a home win against the Jets on Sunday. Their only other victories had come against the Bucs, Jags and Titans. Houston is 3-2 SU and ATS at home.
St. Louis (4-6) at Cincinnati (8-2) – Spread: Bengals -9
This will be a second straight road game against an AFC North foe for St. Louis who lost in the final seconds at Baltimore last week. The Rams are 1-4 straight up and for betting purposes on the road. They lost at Washington (24-10), beat the Cardinals (24-22), fell in Green Bay (24-10), and dropped a tight game at Minnesota (21-18).
The Bengals lost their first home game of the year both overall and against the point spread when laying an egg against Houston 10-6 on Monday night in Week 10. They responded with a good effort, losing at Arizona in Week 11. Cincinnati beat the Chargers by five, Chiefs by 15, Seahawks by a field goal, and Browns by three touchdowns at home earlier in the year.
San Diego (2-8) at Jacksonville (4-6) – Spread: Jaguars -4
It’s hard not to feel for Jaguar fans. Their team has been bad for most of the franchises history, they play some home games in London, and this year besides hosting the Panthers to begin the season (a 20-9 loss), their home schedule has been Miami (23-20 win), Houston (31-20 loss), and Tennessee (19-13 win Thursday night in Week 11). Now they face San Diego, with home games left against the Colts and Falcons. If Alabama and LSU would come to Jacksonville, it would be a more attractive slate.
The Chargers are 0-4 outside of southern California and 2-2 against the spread. They lost by five at Cincinnati, got torched in Minnesota, fell 27-20 in Green Bay, and lost by a field goal at Baltimore. Mike McCoy may need wins down the stretch to keep his job, and a trip to Jacksonville is an opportunity to get one. The Chargers were embarrassed at home by the Chiefs on Sunday.
Arizona (8-2) at San Francisco (3-7) – Spread: Cardinals -10
This feels like an uncomfortable game to put your money on the Cardinals. They won a very emotional Week 10 road game at Seattle, and backed it up with a prime-time victory over Cincinnati in Week 11. This will be the first of back-to-back road games for the Cards who travel to St. Louis in Week 13. They are 4-1 on the road straight up and against the spread with wins over the Bears, Lions, Browns and Seahawks and a loss against Pittsburgh.
The Niners are better than you think, 3-2 SU and ATS at home. San Francisco beat Minnesota to start the year, and also has tight victories against Baltimore and Atlanta. They fell by 14 and 17 points in the Bay Area to Green Bay and Seattle. San Francisco has won five of their last seven games against the Cardinals. The Niners looked uninterested in an ugly loss at Seattle on Sunday.
Pittsburgh (6-4) at Seattle (5-5) – Spread: Seahawks -4.5
The Steelers begin a stretch of playing likely playoff teams in four straight weeks coming off of a Week 11 bye. Pittsburgh saw quarterback Ben Roethlisberger come off the bench and play very well in a 30-9 win over Cleveland prior to the off week. The Steelers are 2-2 on the road and 2-1-1 against the spread. They won at St. Louis and San Diego in tight games while falling at New England and Kansas City.
This will be a third straight home game for the Seahawks who lost to Arizona 39-32 in Week 10 and rebounded to beat the 49ers 29-13 in Week 11. Seattle is 3-2 at home and 2-3 against the number. They beat the Bears and Lions early on but lost to Carolina and Arizona in one score games.
New England (10-0) at Denver (8-2) – Spread: Patriots -3
This would have been the 17th all time meeting between future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning if Manning was healthy enough to play. Instead, it is Brady leading New England to face Brock Osweiler on a short week after the Patriots beat the Bills by a touchdown on Monday night.
The Pats are 4-0 on the road and 2-2 against the spread. They needed heroics late to beat the Giants 27-26 in New York in Week 10. Early on, New England handled the Bills and Cowboys on the road, but they failed to cover in a touchdown win at Indianapolis. The Broncos looked good at home beating Baltimore, Minnesota and Green Bay before getting their doors blown off by Kansas City in Week 10. Denver still faces the Raiders, Bengals and Chargers at home during the final month of the season. Osweiller led Denver to a low scoring victory at Chicago in his first pro start.
Baltimore (3-7) at Cleveland (2-8) – Spread: Browns -2.5
The first road game in a month for the Ravens brings back bad memories for Baltimore fans. Their team has been “close but no cigar” time and time again away from home this year. The Ravens started the season with a six point loss at Denver and a four point setback in Oakland. After a field goal victory against the Steelers without Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh, Baltimore lost by single scores at San Francisco and Arizona.
The Ravens won a tight game, on a last second field goal, at home over St. Louis on Sunday but lost quarterback Joe Flacco for the season in the victory. He is out for the season with Matt Schaub the new starter.
The Browns beat Baltimore 33-30 in Week 6. Cleveland is coming off of a bye and are 1-3 at home and 1-2-1 for betting purposes. They beat the Titans 28-14 in Week 2, but lost to the Raiders (27-20), Broncos (26-23), and Cardinals (34-20) in front of supportive fans. Cleveland has dropped five straight games overall by an average margin of more than 15 points.
(Photo credit: Keith Allison (Originally posted to Flickr. Photo may appear cropped.)[https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/])