NFL Week 11 is in the books. On to Week 12 preview! This Thursday is Thanksgiving meaning the pro football league has 3 games. All 3 games appear to be competitive. On Sunday, the best game might be the Sunday Night Football event between Kansas City and Denver. Keep reading for a preview of every battle in our Week 12 preview of the 2016 NFL Regular Season!
Editors Note: Check also Week 12 Betting Picks by Matt Ross
NFL Betting – Regular Season Week 12 Preview
Thursday, Nov. 24
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions -2.5 (12:30 pm ET)
Minnesota heads to Detroit to battle the Lions in the first of 3 games on Thanksgiving. The Vikings are going to enter Ford Field with some momentum. Minnesota broke a 4-game losing streak with a nice 30 to 24 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Most NFL bettors at this point don’t believe that the Vikings will carry that momentum into their battle against Detroit. I’m in the minority. In the first game, the Vikings gained more yards and the defense forced Detroit QB Matthew Stafford into a pick. I think Minnesota is primed to exact revenge over Detroit on Nov. 24.
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys -7 (4:30 pm ET)
Will Dallas lose a game again this season? It doesn’t seem like they will. Baltimore had the type of defense that stops teams like the Cowboys from winning games. The Baltimore defense, statistically, was ranked first in the NFL going into Week 11. What happened? After a tied first quarter, the Dallas offense took charge. Dak Prescott was great again and Dallas beat Baltimore 27 to 17. Washington has a decent offense. The Redskins’ defense has no shot of stopping Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. Dallas should win this battle by at least 10 points.
Pittsburgh Steelers -3 at Indianapolis Colts (8:30 pm ET)
Word just came out that the Colts are most likely going to be without starting QB Andrew Luck. If that is the case on Thursday night, Pitt has no excuses. The Pittsburgh offense wasn’t as dominant as many thought it would be against Cleveland’s defense in Week 11.
That could either be by design or due to Pitt’s lack of a passing attack. We’re going to find out on Thanksgiving. If Luck shows up, I must go with the Colts. If he doesn’t, Pitt should cover 3 points but anything more might be tough.
Sunday, Nov. 27
Tennessee Titans -3.5 at Chicago Bears +3.5 (1:00 pm ET)
The Titans travel to Soldier Field knowing that they lost the game against the Colts in Week 11. Other teams might lose confidence after losing a game that they knew they could have won. Not Tennessee. Marcus Mariota remains one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He threw for 290 yards and 2 TDs against the Colts in the loss. Mariota’s 100.3 QB rating and 23 TD passes to 8 interceptions point to an easy Titans win on Nov. 27.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills -7.5 (1:00 pm ET)
The Buffalo Bills broke a 3-game losing streak because they got to face the no heart Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11. Buffalo is better than Jacksonville. But the Jaguars’ defense has played much better in recent weeks than it did throughout the first half of the season. I think that 7.5 points is way too many. Word is that RB LeSean McCoy may not even suit up for this battle on Sunday.
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens -4.5 (1:00 pm ET)
The Bengals have no heart. Now, they’re struggling with injuries. WR A.J. Green and RB Giovanni Bernard are both hurt. Baltimore knows that it could have beaten Dallas in Big D this past Sunday. In Week 12, I expect the Ravens to solidify their position as the best team in the grueling AFC North Division. Baltimore should beat Cincinnati by at least 10 points in this game.
Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons -4 (1:00 pm ET)
Only 27% of football handicappers believe that Arizona has a shot to covers the spread versus the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 27. I’m one of the 27 percenters. To me, Arizona ran up against a desperate Minnesota team in their last.
Yes, Atlanta goes into this game off their bye, but the Falcons’ defense is going to have trouble stopping Arizona’s offense. I have the feeling that Cardinal coach Bruce Arians is going to get into his team this week. By the time Sunday rolls around, Arizona should be ready to pull off the moneyline upset.
New York Giants -7 at Cleveland Browns (4:05 pm ET)
Cleveland is running out of games that they can win. That, more than any other reason, is why I’m picking them to upset the Giants on the moneyline. Should Cleveland even touch a decent New York Giants’ squad this Sunday? Nope.
Should the Giants beat Cleveland by 20 points on Nov. 27? Yep. But, I’ve got the feeling that this is the week. Week 12 in the 2016 NFL Season is the week where the Cleveland Browns finally get a “W”.
San Diego Chargers pk at Houston Texans pk (1:00 pm ET)
Houston can’t buy a win. In Mexico City this past Monday night, they shut down the Raiders’ rushing attack. They finally got Lamar Miller loose for over 100 yards and a TD. What happened? Oh, you know. Same old Texans. They allowed QB Derek Carr to throw 3 TD passes. Wow. There’s no way I go against San Diego in this match up.
San Francisco 49’ers at Miami Dolphins -7.5 (1:00 pm ET)
Expectedly, the Miami Dolphins have become one of the better teams in the AFC. It took a few weeks at the beginning of the season for Adam Gase’s coaching philosophy to take hold. But it finally has. The Fins have won 5 straight games. They’ve done it with offense and defense. The team held the Rams to only 10 points in a 14 to 10 win in Week 11. I don’t think San Francisco has any shot against the talented Dolphins.
Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints -7 (1:00 pm ET)
Rams’ QB Jared Goff wasn’t bad in his first NFL start. He’ll be up against it versus the Saints on Sunday, though. New Orleans has one of the stranger straight up versus against the spread records in the NFL this season. The Saints are 4-6 straight up. But they are 7-3 against the spread. New Orleans should have no trouble covering the 7 points against an overmatched Rams team in Week 12.
Seattle Seahawks -5.5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4:05 pm ET)
I’m not fooled by Tampa Bay’s 19 to 17 win over Kansas City in Week 11. The win had more to do with the Chiefs overlooking the Buccaneers than it did with the Buccaneers beating the Chiefs. Seattle doesn’t overlook anybody. I’ll be very surprised if the surging Seahawks don’t beat the Bucs by at least 10 points in this game.
Carolina Panthers at Oakland Raiders -3 (4:25 pm ET)
This was the hardest game of the week for me to handicap. The Panthers looked good against the Saints for 3 quarters before almost allowing Drew Brees and New Orleans to get back into the game. The Raiders looked bad for 3 quarters before stepping it up in the fourth.
My guts tells me that Carolina wins this game straight up. Oakland has skated by some teams due to the great play of QB Derek Carr. Eventually, Carr’s going to have a bad game. Plus, the Panthers are desperate.
New England Patriots -7.5 at New York Jets (4:25 pm ET)
The Patriots win this game by at least 17 points. That’s it. There’s nothing more to write.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos -3.5 (8:30 pm ET)
The Broncos are getting a lot of love from both pro and casual bettors. I don’t think it’s warranted. One of the problems that Denver has this season is being able to stop the run. KC is a run first team. The offense is rather pedestrian while the defense might be better than Denver’s, overall at least, this season. I like KC to pull off the moneyline upset.
Monday, Nov. 28
Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles -3.5 (8:30 pm ET)
Monday’s battle between Green Bay and Philadelphia should be just what rookie Carson Wentz needs in order to put the 2 interception game against Seattle behind him. Wentz, like Kirk Cousins in Week 11 and Marcus Mariota in Week 10, has no business not throwing for at least 250 yards and at least 2 TDs. The Eagles win and cover this one easily.