NFL Sunday Week 12 Betting Preview November 24 2012
Eric Roberts 2012-11-25 in SBO Weekly
All 32 NFL teams have completed their bye weeks. From now on, we’ll have the full league in action each week. For this and every other week in the NFL you can bet on every game at the number one US sportsbook www.bovada.lv
Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts -3 OvUn 51 1:00 EST
The Bills look to build off last week’s win at Miami, a game that broke the team’s three game losing streak. The Bills dominated the Dolphins defensively last week, winning 19-14 and holding them to just 184 yards. However, inconsistency is still a bit of a problem for Buffalo. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s second half slide is in full effect, and he has been especially ineffective the last several weeks. Over his last seven starts, Fitzpatrick is averaging just over 200 yards passing per start. The offense has mostly been run through running back C.J. Spiller, who is still the starter even with other workhorse Fred Jackson returning from injury.
Indianapolis desperately needs a win to keep pace in the AFC playoff race after being thoroughly dominated by New England last week. Easily Indy’s worst defeat of the season the Patriots outscored the Colts 59-24. However, even the loss had its bright spots, rookie QB Andrew Luck continues to impress, throwing for 334 yards and two touchdowns in the game. The Colts have won five out of their last six games against the Bills.
This one opened at Colts -3.5, but has stabilized everywhere at -3. The total opened at 52 – the highest this week on the board and is now at 51.
The Bills certainly aren’t defensive stalwarts after one solid week against Miami, but they do seem to match up well against the Colts. The Bills top rookie corner Stephen Gilmore has played a lot better as of late, and may be able to limit Reggie Wayne’s effectiveness in the passing game. Also, while Luck looks impressive most weeks, he was not moving the ball too well last week until garbage time against the Patriots bottom ten pass defense. While, he’s a clear franchise QB, we would not be shocked to see Luck struggle a little down the stretch. The Bills have actually made a lot of strides defensively since early in the season, and we expect that to be a significant factor when these two teams meet Sunday.
Go for the Bills +3
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars +4 OvUn 44.5 1:00 EST
The Titans at 4-6 are likely out of the playoff race in the AFC, but still may be able to fall into the playoff picture with a favorable rest of the season schedule. Best of all, they are fully healthy and playing well. Tennessee is coming off their bye week, with their last victory coming Nov. 11th a 37-3 beatdown of Miami. One of the reasons for their success over the past few weeks is the re-emergence of Chris Johnson to Pro Bowl form. He’s rushed for 130.4 yards per game in the past five games and is facing the league’s 29th rush defense in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars, while 1-9 almost pulled a monumental upset last week over the Houston Texans in overtime. Jacksonville led most of the game before losing in overtime 43-37. Even though, they didn’t pull the upset, there were plenty of positives for the franchise. Chad Henne stepped in for the injured Gabbert and won the starting job with a fantastic performance. He completed 16 of 33 passes for 354 yards and four touchdowns in the overtime loss. Jaguars rookie wide out Justin Blackmon also finally got a part of the action in a big way, grabbing seven catches for 236 yards and a touchdown against one of the league’s best defenses.
Opened at Jacksonville +2.5 and has moved past +3 and is now at +4 at most shops due to heavy Titans action. The total opened at 43.5 and is now at 44.5.
Perhaps we’re missing something, but this one looks like it has OVER written all over it. Both teams are miserable defensively, ranking the bottom five in total defense. The Jaguars – though it’s been just one week – have seemingly upgraded their offense overnight. Even though, we do not know how reliable Chad Henne can be in Mike Mularkey’s offense, we are certainly sure he is better than Blaine Gabbeert. With Henne fresh and playing for a starting job next season, along with a healthy Locker and Chris Johnson, we see this one going over in a hurry.
We like the Over 44.5
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers pk OvUn 51 1:00 EST
The Falcons sport the best record in the NFL at 9-1, but haven’t looked like the team that dominated the first half of the season for the past two weeks. After losing their first game to New Orleans two weeks ago, Atlanta barely pulled out a victory against the Arizona Cardinals last week 23-19 and had to overcome five Matt Ryan interceptions in the loss. Though, facing Tampa’s last ranked pass defense may be just what Ryan needs to get back on track. He’s been impressive on the road this season, throwing 19 touchdowns and just three interceptions in his last seven road games.
The Buccaneers are coming into their own at 6-4, and again rallied last week to win after being down 11 late against Carolina. Averaging 34.2 points in their three game win streak, Tampa has Josh Freeman’s arm to mostly thank for their victories. He’s thrown two TDs or more in his past six starts and has a 106.1 QB rating in those games. Tampa has a lot to play for as they are tied with Seattle for the NFC’s second wild card spot.
Opened at Tampa +1.5 and has moved to pick at all sportsbooks. The total has moved a lot, opening at 48 and is now universally at 51.
This one is a hard one to predict and is a tough divisional game that means a lot to both teams. While we don’t doubt the Buccaneers have the confidence to beat the Falcons, they may just be a year or two away from taking the leap into the NFC’s elite. Their secondary gambles on routes have been especially ineffective this season, and that could prove to be a colossal problem against Matt Ryan. He will be looking to rebound from one of the worst games of his career last week, and I would not want to be a defensive back on the Bucs this week.
We’ll roll with the Falcons.
Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins +3 OvUn 37.5 1:00 EST
The 6-4 Seahawks have been a tale of two teams this season, superb at home and a miserable 1-4 on the road. They come off a bye in Week 11 and hope to improve their road deficiencies and injuries. They had 13 players on the injury report before the bye, and only right guard James Carpenter was unable to practice this week.
Miami has seen their season fall out from under them. Miami has lost three straight, including a 19-14 loss to the Bills last week. Desperate in all phases of the game, Miami has had plenty of trouble moving the ball and has turned it over seven times in the past two games. Tannenhill and the running game haven’t done their job as of late as the QB ranks 30th in the league at passer rating and the running game has not gone over 100 yards in five weeks.
This opened at Miami pk and has moved rapidly to Miami +3 after heavy action on Seattle. The total opened at 38 and is at 37.5 everywhere now.
While on paper, this looks like a brutal matchup for the Dolphins, we have to remember how pathetic Seattle has been on the road this season. They’ve been their own worst enemy, and other than Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks have struggled heavily to score points on the road. While Miami won’t be able run the ball against the Seahawks and has a tough matchup in the passing game, we can’t help but hold out hope that Miami’s rush defense keeps Lynch in check and forces Wilson to throw. Miami was a playoff contender a few weeks ago, here’s to hoping they have some of that left in the tank.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs +10.5 OvUn 44 1:00 EST
The Peyton Manning led Broncos roll into KC atop of the AFC West but still endured a tough loss to their offense in a 30-23 win over divisional rival San Diego. Running back Willis McGahee is likely lost for the season suffering a torn MCL in the win. Even though, the Broncos have lost a key contributor offensively, they have been remarkably solid defensively. Denver’s defense leads the league with 35 sacks and is a top ten defense, allowing just over 312 yards per game to opponents.
Kansas City has been utterly miserable this season and has shown no signs of improvement. They’ve become a laughing stock. The Chiefs were again beaten badly last week, losing 28-6 to the Bengals and have lost their last five home games. Coach Romeo Crennel has gone back to Quinn after going with Cassel last week, but regardless of who is under center for KC it will be an uphill battle for their offense. Top wide out Dwayne Bowe may also be sidelined with a neck injury.
After a KC +7 open large amounts of money rolled in on Denver making them a top consensus/public wager this week forcing the line to +10.5. The total hasn’t moved from the opener of 44.
As bad as the Chiefs are, it’s almost impossible to take the points with a DOUBLE DIGIT home dog. Those are remarkably rare in the NFL, and we just cannot say no matter how dire the circumstances. The Chiefs could keep this one close if they get Jamal Charles going or perhaps Quinn can jump start their anemic offense. As hard as it is to wager on the Chiefs, again, we can’t ignore +10.5 at home. Check close to game time if this one goes even higher in favor of Kansas City.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns +1 OvUn 34.5 1:00 EST
The Steelers head to the Dawg Pound to face their division rivals without their top two quarterbacks. They lost Big Ben a week ago at KC and again have lost Leftwich in last week’s 13-10 loss to Baltimore. Pittsburgh will go with Charlie Batch under center and will again be without strong safety Troy Polamalu who has been bothered all season with injury. While, they’ll finally be healthy at running back, the Steelers will still be without critical possession receiver Antonio Brown. The Steelers are in the thick of the playoff hunt at 6-4 and are currently qualified for a wild card berth.
The Browns seem to be making strides out of their lost season, even though they are still 2-8 on the season. Despite falling to Dallas 30-27 last week, the Browns sacked Tony Romo seven times and continue to see improvement via their pass rush and running game. Running back Trent Richardson has been impressive in his rookie season and looks to have a heavy workload in a game that should be close.
This game opened at pk and +1, +1.5 and pk are still available at different sportsbooks. The total hasn’t moved much from the 34 opener and is at 34.5 at most shops.
The Steelers look like the much better team on paper – even without Big Ben, and even though Batch has been around forever, this is his first year under Haley’s offense. He’ll be without Sanders and saddled with a perhaps lackadaisical Mike Wallace. Bryon Leftwich could basically get nothing done against the poor Raven’s defense. The Browns are coming into their own and should be able to score against the Steelers defense. Even 17 points may be insurmountable for the Steelers offense as we expect Batch to face a heavy pass rush all day long and do not like his matchup in this gritty lineup.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears -6.5 OvUn 38.5 1:00 EST
The Vikings head into Chicago facing their NFC North competitors when they are reeling.
Minnesota finally ended their bad string of play back in Week 11, in a 34-24 win against the Lions. They had last week as their bye and are well rested to take on the Bears. Adrian Peterson led the way in that matchup, rushing for 171 yards and a touchdown. Peterson leads the NFL in rushing yards and will need to have a decent game if the Vikings wish to keep pace with the Bears.
Chicago is on a three gaming losing streak since losing Cutler to a concussion in a 13-6 road loss to Houston two weeks ago. Still tied with the Packers for the NFC North lead, the Bears should get him back this week if he is cleared medically Saturday. If not, they will be forced to again reinsert Jason Campbell into the lineup. Campbell was subpar against San Francisco throwing 14 of 22 passes for 107 yards, two picks and a touchdown. He was also sacked six times.
This one is off the board at many shops and depends on if Cutler plays. Bears -6.5 is the standard line assuming Cutler will play. The total stands at 38.5, as well.
This one is tough, especially with the up-in-the-air status of Cutler, but even if he plays we favor Minnesota in the matchup. It’s practically the Super Bowl for the Vikings as a loss would likely drop them out of the playoff picture. The Vikings offense doesn’t inspire much faith, but did take care of Detroit two weeks ago and is well rested coming off a bye week. 6.5 points just seems like too many for this divisional matchup.
Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals -8.5 OvUn 50 4:05 EST
The Raiders head to Cincinnati as Carson Palmer meets his former team for the first time. Palmer left the Bengals in the middle of 2012 after a trade to the Raiders, after sitting out all of 2011. He has had a consistent season in Oakland, but that has not translated into wins for the most part. The Raiders lost handily to New Orleans last week 38-17, and did not look like they were even in the game.
The 5-5 Bengals are not out of the playoff hunt yet, but are third in the AFC North. Cincinnati had a four game slide from mid-October to Nov. 11th where they beat the Giants 31-13. They again beat the Chiefs 28-6 last week and have outscored opponents 59-19 over the past two games. QB Andy Dalton and A.J. Green have another plus matchup against the Raiders, who sport the NFL’s worst scoring defense at 34 points per game.
The line opened at Cincinnati -6 and has moved to -8.5 and -9.5 depending on the book. The total moved from 48 to 50.
This line almost seems too high, but we think the oddsmakers may be on to something here. The Raiders travel across the country to face a feisty Bengals team that needs a win to have any chance of making the playoffs. The Raiders let that ship sail weeks ago, and while they should be able to score against the Bengals, we look for Cincinnati to pull away later in this one and perhaps squeeze out a cover. A.J Green may have his best game of the season and we see this one blowing up huge in the scoring department for both teams.
Cincinnati -8.5 and Over 50
Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers pk OvUn 47 4:25 EST
The Ravens head to San Diego coming off a gritty 13-10 win at Pittsburgh last week. Even though, they got the win, the game was the Ravens’ worst offensive performance on the season. They failed to score an offensive touchdown and their only touchdown came from a punt return early in the first half. They are currently atop the AFC North with an 8-2 record.
The Chargers at 4-6 are likely out of the playoff race, with perhaps an outside shot at a wild card if things go their way. They lost in a hard fought divisional game to the Broncos last week 30-23 and have lost five out of their past six games. They will need to cut down on the turnovers, as QB Phillip Rivers has thrown a league leading 14 picks and has been sacked 26 times.
Opened at SD +1, but is at pk at all books currently. The total has not moved from the opener of 47.
The Ravens seem like the superior team in this matchup, but they’ve been poor on the road compared to home. At home they ranked first in scoring offense with 36.8 but on the road they rank 28th in the league with 16.6 points per game. Also, losing another game will almost officially take the Chargers out of the playoff hunt, but Baltimore will almost assuredly make the playoffs after their win against Pittsburgh last week. We like the Chargers at home.
St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals -1 OvUn 37 4:25
In what is surely one of the least anticipated games of this week, the Rams take on the Cardinals in Phoenix.
The Rams handed the Cardinals their first loss all the way back on October 4th of this year, a 17-3 loss where they stacked Kevin Kolb six times. The Rams looked to capitalize on their tie against San Francisco two weeks ago, but instead got beaten badly by the hapless Jets 27-13 last week. They will also be without top wide receiver Danny Amendola this week, which should be a substantial loss to their already suspect passing attack.
The Cardinals, at 4-6 are also likely out of the playoff picture in the NFC and have changed quarterbacks for the third time this season. John Skelton was benched last week in favor of rookie Ryan Lindley. The young rookie was just 9 for 20 for 64 in relief, and Arizona lost against Atlanta 23-19 despite picking off Matt Ryan five times. Lindley can’t do much worse than the Skelton/Kolb combo as the Cardinals are ranked 31st overall in total offense.
Opened at Arizona -1.5 and is now at -1 or pk at most books. The total opened at 37 and has not moved much from the opening number.
Both teams don’t have much to gain or lose from a loss or victory, but we like St. Louis in this spot. Even though, they will likely be without their top wide out, we like the matchup against the young rookie. In the previous matchup, a 17-3 win by the Rams, they sacked Kolb seven times. Imagine what they could do to a young rookie in his first start. Fitzgerald will be covered by Finnegan and despite his talent has not gotten the ball consistently all season. We like Jeff Fisher to have his team in full bounce back mode and look forward to a good effort from the Rams.
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints +1 OvUn 49 4:25
Though it isn’t officially announced, San Francisco has moved on from Alex Smith and into the Colin Kaepernick era. Kaepernick dazzled last week against the tough defense of the Bears, leading the Niners to a 32-7 victory. Kaepernick went 16 for 23 for 243 yards and two touchdowns against one of the NFL’s best defenses.
The Saints have been rolling in their own right. After a 0-4 start, New Orleans has won three straight game and five out of their last six games as they fight to get back in the playoff hunt. It will be an uphill battle for New Orleans, but they look to be hitting their stride. Brees leads the NFL in TD passes, their defense has improved, and they finally have a running game. The three headed rushing attack of Ingram, Ivory and Thomas have rushed for over 100 yards in the past three games.
The line opened at New Orleans +2.5 and is now at +1 or pk at most books. The total hasn’t moved from the opener of 49.
While it is admirable of the Saints to come this far, we just feel San Francisco is the much better team. As one of the best teams in the NFC, they should be able to carve up New Orleans’ last ranked defense with Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick. New Orleans doesn’t belong in the same discussion as San Francisco and even as a live home dog – we don’t really have any desire to take them. Unless Brees can score a touchdown on every position, he will have a hard time competing with a Niners’ offense that is talented and newly explosive.
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants -3 OvUn 50.5 8:20
This is the marquee matchup this week, as the Packers head to East Rutherford to take on the Giants.
The Packers won a hard fought game against the Lions last week, winning 24-20 and delivering a powerful blow to Detroit’s playoff chances. The Packers are injured all over, but they still lead the NFC North tied with Chicago. Rodgers has been sacked more than any other QB this season, but he’s still been extremely effective, throwing for 27 touchdowns and just six picks this season.
The Giants badly needed a rest last week and got that with their Week 11 bye. That could be huge for Eli Manning who is mired in one of the worst stretches of his career. New York looks to perform better than they did in a Week 11 loss to the Bengals, 31-13. Eli’s post bye numbers bode well for the Giants, as the QB has thrown for over 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns after his previous four bye weeks.
Opened at NYG -2.5 and this one is all over. At some places it is -2.5, -3 and some even -1.5. Check around to get the best price. The total opened at 49 and ranges from 50 to 51.
We love the G-Men in this spot. Even though, Eli has been exceptionally poor as of late his numbers off byes are something we can’t ignore. Also, the Giants seem to be most vulnerable against the run, something the Packers do not do effectively at all. We look for the Giants to hand the Packers a loss in primetime as the previous two Super Bowl Champions face off.
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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