NFL Week 12 Predictions: Latest Odds and Picks Against the Spread
Week 12 of the NFL season presents a full slate of games—with all 32 teams in action at some point over the holiday-infused week—for oddsmakers to set lines and pick against the spread.
Like every week in this space, we will use betting trends, series history and recent performance to help handicap the lines for each game. While betting on football is far from a science, we can add some probability to the equation to help present a more clear picture.
In the following slides, we break down each Week 12 game from a betting perspective, with a pick against the spread provided for all 16 games.
Note: All lines and odds taken from ESPN.com and FootballLocks.com.
Houston Texans at Detroit Lions (+3.0)
The Texans have obviously scared off some people in Vegas after blowing up a huge line at home against the Jaguars last Sunday. But that line (-16.0 some places) was always too high and a huge betting risk.
A three-point line on the road, where the Texans are 3-1 against the spread this season? Yes, please. Detroit is just 1-3 covering at home.
Pick ATS: Houston
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-3.0)
The betting trends and series history scream Washington here. Not only are the Cowboys 0-4 covering the spread at home this season, but the Redskins have also covered a three-point line in Dallas in each of the last four games (3-0-1).
The Cowboys are rightfully favorites (Tony Romo is 5-0 on Thanksgiving), but the Redskins are likely to cover, even with a small spread.
Pick ATS: Washington
New England Patriots at New York Jets (+7.0)
The Patriots have been road favorites four different times this season, and their only non-cover came in Baltimore in Week 3. Other than that, New England has covered lines at Tennessee (+5.0), at Buffalo (+3.5) and at St. Louis (technically London, +7.0). The Patriots have also covered a seven-point line in five of six games against the Jets.
Pick ATS: New England
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (?)
As of Wednesday, Vegas has held off on setting a line for Bears-Vikings. More than likely, Chicago will be a home favorite. Without the line, however, we'll also hold off making an official prediction. But if Chicago is the home favorite and Jay Cutler is healthy, the Bears should be a decent pick.
Pick ATS: N/A
Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals (-9.5)
At just 3-7 against the spread this season, the Raiders are slowly becoming a lock to pick against in 2012. Oakland hasn't covered in a month, and the 9.5-point line reflects that wavering confidence.
Cincinnati, on the other hand, has covered in three of its last four games after a 1-4 start against the spread. The line approaching 10 is scary, especially with an emotional return for Carson Palmer, but everything about the trends say Bengals here.
Pick ATS: Cincinnati
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (+1.0)
This line varies depending on the site, with some even considering the Browns favorites. The majority have Pittsburgh as the slight favorite, so we'll "officially" go with that line. If that's the line you get, flip a coin. Charlie Batch starting on the road against an improving football team isn't exactly inspiring. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Cleveland won its third game of the 2012 season.
Pick ATS: Cleveland
Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts (-3.0)
The Colts are easily one of the league's safer bets at home this season. Over five games at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis has covered in four (Miami, Cleveland, Green Bay, Minnesota). No team outside Seattle has been better covering at home.
The Bills are just 2-3 against the spread away from Buffalo, so the trends arrow is clearly pointing in the Colts' direction. Andrew Luck has also been a much better quarterback at home in 2012 (88.6 rating at home, 65.4 away).
Pick ATS: Indianapolis
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (+10.5)
Facing the Chargers with a 7.5-point spread in Week 11, the Broncos failed to cover a favorite spread for the first time all season (5-1). However, the Chiefs have been a betting black hole at home (1-4 against the spread), while the Broncos are still 2-0 as the away favorite.
Yes, 10.5 points is high, especially for division games, but Denver is playing well enough to cover.
Pick ATS: Denver
Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins (+3.0)
This is a scary line for a number of reasons. Not only are the Seahawks just 2-3 against the spread away from Seattle, but Miami is 4-2 as the underdog. Plus, a trip from Seattle to Miami is one of the longest an NFL team can make for a road game.
The Seahawks are the better football team, but there are outside factors at play here that hurt Seattle's chances of covering in Miami.
Pick ATS: Miami
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.5)
Finally, Vegas has come around on the sure-fire Buccaneers. In 10 games this season, Tampa Bay has covered the spread in eight. An ATS record of 8-2 is actually hard to find these days.
The Bucs are also 4-2 against the spread as the favorite over Atlanta since 2001, so there is some historical precedent. Roll the dice and take Tampa Bay to continue the NFL's best run against the spread.
Pick ATS: Tampa Bay
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.0)
The Jaguars, despite taking the Texans to overtime on the road in Week 11, are 0-5 against the spread at home this season. That's about as sure a trend as you can find. They are underdogs for the sixth-straight game, but is Chad Henne at quarterback enough to snap the streak? He'll regress back to the mean in Week 12.
Pick ATS: Tennessee
Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers (+1.0)
The Ravens are 4-5 against the spread (2-2 away), and the Chargers 5-5 (2-2 at home), so throw out the betting trends. They are no help here. The Chargers' 34-14 beat down of the Ravens last season is especially hard to forget, however.
Is Baltimore due for another West Coast let down, especially after winning an emotional road game in Pittsburgh?
Pick ATS: San Diego
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints (+1.0)
Look out for the Saints. After starting out 1-3 against the spread, New Orleans has rattled off covers in five of the last six games. The only hiccup came against the Denver Broncos on the road in Joe Vitt's first game back.
The 49ers are favorites here, but they have a short week to get ready for a trip to the hostile Superdome and a brewing quarterback controversy. Six of seven for the surging Saints?
Pick ATS: New Orleans
St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-2.5)
Being the favorite hasn't been a good look for the Cardinals in 2012. Over three games as the pick in Vegas, Arizona hasn't covered once (St. Louis, Buffalo, Miami). The Cardinals are back in that role Sunday. And coming to Arizona will be the Rams, who are 6-3 against the spread away and 3-1 as the road underdog. The trends clearly say Rams here.
Pick ATS: St. Louis
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants (-2.5)
The Packers were road underdogs in prime time once already this season, and they convincingly covered that spread in Houston. Will the same play out in New York Sunday night?
One thing the Packers have going for them: Three straight wins in New York since 2001. The Giants (1-4 against the spread at home) need this win, and this game seems like one they'd get up for, but trends and history point to Green Bay.
Pick ATS: Green Bay
Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)
This is an easier decision than it looks on the surface. The Eagles, likely playing a rookie quarterback again Monday night, are just 2-8 against the spread and 1-4 at home. Carolina is 3-0 as the away underdogs in 2012. Panthers cover, in a stinker of a Monday night game.
Pick ATS: Carolina
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