NFL Week 12 Picks: Vegas Odds, Props and Predictions Before Thursday Night

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2018

Colt McCoy gets the Thanksgiving Day start for the first-place Redskins against the Cowboys.
Colt McCoy gets the Thanksgiving Day start for the first-place Redskins against the Cowboys.Associated Press

The Washington Redskins are about to be put to the test.

They are in first place in the NFC East by one game, but they are on the road Thanksgiving Day against the Dallas Cowboys, and they have to play the rest of the season without No. 1 quarterback Alex Smith.

Smith suffered a broken tibia and fibula against the Houston Texans Sunday and his season is over. Backup quarterback Colt McCoy takes over the position, and his first start will be a battle for first place. If the Cowboys win, they will move into a tie for the division lead, while a Washington win gives head coach Jay Gruden's team a two-game lead.

The Cowboys have won back-to-back games over the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons to get themselves back into the race. Prior to those wins, the Dallas offense had stalled, and it appeared the team was losing ground.

However, the offensive line has suddenly started to dominate, and that has helped superstar running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott.

The key in this game may be getting off to an early lead. It may be difficult for McCoy to negotiate a come-from-behind effort, especially if the Redskins get behind by two scores or more. Washington has been an efficient team to this point in the season, but the Redskins don't have a high-powered offense.

The Cowboys may be somewhat better prepared to deal with a deficit because their defense is capable of getting to the quarterback and creating turnovers. Dallas ranks eighth in yards allowed, and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has a team-high 8.0 sacks.

Dallas is a seven-point favorite at AT&T Stadium, per OddsShark, and we see this as a back-and-forth game. The Redskins came away with an earlier meeting at FedEx Field, and they should have just enough to win the rematch by the narrowest of margins.


NFL Week 12 Lines, Total and Predictions (Odds and totals provided by OddsShark)

Thursday, November 22

Chicago Bears (-3, 43.5) at Detroit Lions: Lions 13, Bears 10

Washington Redskins (+7, 40.5) at Dallas Cowboys: Redskins 24, Cowboys 23

Atlanta Falcons (+12.5, 60) at New Orleans Saints: Saints 38, Falcons 27


Sunday, November 25

Cleveland Browns (+3, 47.5) at Cincinnati Bengals: Bengals 27, Browns 16

Seattle Seahawks (+3.5, 47.5) at Carolina Panthers: Panthers 34, Seahawks 28

Jacksonville Jaguars (-3, 37) at Buffalo Bills: Bills 18, Jaguars 10

Oakland Raiders (+10.5, 43) at Baltimore Ravens: Ravens 37, Raiders 17

San Francisco 49ers (+3.5, 54.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bucs 31, Niners 20

New York Giants (+5.5, 46) at Philadelphia Eagles: Eagles 27, Giants 24

New England Patriots (-9.5, 46) at New York Jets: Patriots 38, Jets 10

Arizona Cardinals (+12.5, 45.5) at Los Angeles Chargers: Chargers 30, Cardinals 14

Miami Dolphins (+7.5, 51) at Indianapolis Colts: Colts 30, Dolphins 22

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3, 46.5) at Denver Broncos: Steelers 30, Broncos 22

Green Bay Packers (+3.5, 47.5) at Minnesota Vikings: Vikings 30, Packers 27


Monday, November 26

Tennessee Titans (+6, 41) at Houston Texans: Texans 28, Titans 12

Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens had been slumping badly prior to their Week 11 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. The Ravens came away with a 24-21 triumph in that game, but they had lost their previous three games and had not tasted victory since registering a 21-0 triumph over the Tennessee Titans.

The Ravens made a big change prior to the win over the Bengals, and head coach John Harbaugh inserted rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson into the lineup.

While veteran Joe Flacco was not performing at an overwhelming level, Harbaugh did not bench the veteran. Flacco has a hip problem that has kept him from being at his best, and Harbaugh decided to give the rookie an opportunity.

Jackson has brought the element of speed to the lineup and a willingness to run. Jackson did a lot more than scramble out of trouble. He ran the ball 27 times against the Bengals and gained 117 yards.

A quarterback who runs that much is putting his health a risk, but when the quarterback is an explosive rookie during the early part of his career, he may be able to get away with it.

Eventually, a running quarterback will get hit too hard and too often to continue with that philosophy, but Jackson should be able to get away with it against the Raiders.

Oakland has struggled in all areas, and flying cross-country to play at 1 p.m ET is not an ideal scenario. It doesn't seem likely that the Raiders have enough to beat any decent team on the road.

Look for Jackson and the Ravens to roll over the Raiders and put themselves in a position to go after a playoff spot. The Ravens are 10.5-point favorites, and they win and cover the double-digit impost.

New England Patriots at N.Y. Jets

It has not been the best of seasons for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, but that's not an indictment.

When the Pats are having their best season, they are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. As the season has reached a critical point, it seems clear that the Patriots are not as good as the Kansas City Chiefseven though New England won an early-season encounterand they would have to battle hard in confrontations with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers.

So, the Pats have not fallen apart by any stretch, and they have a chance to get better since they are coming off a bye week that has allowed them to get healthier.

If rookie running back Sony Michel and tight end Rob Gronkowski are close to 100 percent this week against the Jets, the Patriots are likely to be a much more dangerous team.

The Jets are in disarray at this point, as rookie quarterback Sam Darnold has been overwhelmed at times, and he was replaced by Josh McCown in their previous game against Buffalo. Darnold will get another opportunity, but his learning curve is a slow one.

The Patriots should be revitalized and refreshed as they face the Jets, and anything but a disastrous start should allow New England to gain full control by halftime and lead to a double-digit victory.


Prop Bet

The Chicago-Detroit game represents the opener of the Thanksgiving Day tripleheader, and it looks like the streaking Bears will be without quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder).

He was listed as doubtful on the latest injury report, and that could take away much of the Chicago momentum.

Detroit, last in the NFC North, does not have much momentum, either. As a result, this looks like a low-scoring game.

One of the prop bets that we are interested in is the number of touchdowns. According to 5Dimes, one of the props is the over or under on 3.5 touchdowns. We like the under 3.5, which provides a +240 payoff (bet $10 to win $24). Taking the over 3.5 pays off at a -300 rate (bet $10 to win $3.33).