Week 12 NFL Picks: Tips for Vegas Odds and Over/Under Score Predictions

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2018

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) in action as the Tennessee Titans played the Indianapolis Colts in an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AJ MAST/Associated Press

The NFL picks outlook continues to get simpler. 

Thursday during a Thanksgiving three-game slate, every favorite took home the victory, with two of three results even covering the spread.

Those would-be bettors or pick experts got a little bit of everything on their plate, too. Worried about smaller lines? The Chicago Bears covered the 4.5-point spread against the Detroit Lions, 23-16. Big lines? The New Orleans Saints whipped the Atlanta Falcons 31-17, clearing it by one point. 

The remaining slate looks as straightforward despite a diverse offering of lines and matchups. 


Week 12 NFL Odds

Cleveland at Cincinnati (-3) | O/U 47.5

Jacksonville (-3) at Buffalo | O/U 37.5

New England (-10.5) at N.Y. Jets | O/U 46

N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia (-6) | O/U 47

Oakland at Baltimore (-10.5) | O/U 42.5

Seattle at Carolina (-3) | O/U 47.5

San Francisco at Tampa Bay (-3.5) | O/U 55

Arizona at L.A. Chargers (-13) | O/U 45

Miami at Indianapolis (-10) | O/U 50.5

Pittsburgh (-3) at Denver | O/U 46.5

Green Bay at Minnesota (-3) | O/U 48

Tennessee at Houston (-6) | O/U 41.5


New England (-10.5) at N.Y. Jets 

Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

It's easy to count on the New England Patriots with a spread like this. 

Those New York Jets are reliable in this scenario, too. 

The Patriots scared bettors last time out in Week 10, going down hard at the hands of the Tennessee Titans, 34-10. But the anomaly came before a bye week, and unlike the Jets, those Titans are a scary team at times because of the roster's upside. 

Overall, these Patriots are still 7-3 and winners in six of their last seven, including triumphs over Indianapolis, Kansas City, Chicago and Green Bay.

Tom Brady has thrown for 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions despite running back James White being the team's leading receiver and the running game averaging less than four yards per carry. 

It only helps that the Jets won't have a starting quarterback on the field: 

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

#Ravens coach John Harbaugh announce that QB Lamar Jackson will start on Sunday. … The #Jets ruled out QB Sam Darnold, so it’ll be Josh McCown starting against the #Patriots.

And yes, a rookie Sam Darnold is a better option than Josh McCown, who has completed 50 percent of his 34 attempts this year with two interceptions. 

Not only have these Jets lost four games in a row, they most recently went down 41-10 at the hands of the woeful Buffalo Bills. The defense hasn't been able to accommodate for one of the league's worst offenses, hence allowing north of 25 points per game. 

Coming out of a bye, Brady, Bill Belichick and all these others factors should lead to the visitors pulling ahead early and coasting. 

Prediction: Patriots 30, Jets 13


Miami at Indianapolis (-10)

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

It wasn't a mistake listing Indianapolis with teams like Kansas City and Chicago above. 

These Colts might only be 5-5, but they have won four in a row as Andrew Luck has returned to full health under center. With his improved arm strength and rhythm has come an expansion of the playbook, which would explain posting 37, 42, 29 and 38 points over the four-game tear. 

Said tear includes wins over Jacksonville and Tennessee as Luck marched his way to a 67.3 completion percentage with 29 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

He's actually getting production from a running game averaging 4.5 yards per carry and Eric Ebron continues to have a breakout season with nine touchdown catches. Don't forget elite rookies bookend the roster with Quenton Nelson in the offensive trenches and linebacker Darius Leonard leading the rejuvenated defense. 

To say Luck is back to his old self would be an understatement: 


ANDREW LUCK TO @TYHilton13!! Goodness. 📺: CBS #Colts https://t.co/6Uuo5efUUF

Things aren't nearly as exciting around the 5-5 Miami Dolphins, losers in three of their last four (the exception is the Jets), or if we want to stretch it out farther, five of seven. 

The Dolphins should have quarterback Ryan Tannehill back under center for the first time in five games for this one, but before hitting the shelf with an injury, he only went for eight touchdowns and five interceptions in an offense that initially surprised some but fell off after offseason losses like Jarvis Landry. 

Thanks to a lack of explosiveness and a coaching staff that refuses to do something simple like use Kenyan Drake more than Frank Gore, it's hard to see the Dolphins coming close to keeping pace with the red-hot Luck, who shouldn't have any problems jumping out to a lead against a leaky defense allowing 25.6 points per game, not to mention 31 or more in its last three losses. 

Prediction: Colts 28, Dolphins 13


Tennessee at Houston (-6)

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

This one features one of the NFL's most erratic teams against one of the most consistent. 

Those Tennessee Titans have been all over the place this year at 5-5, recently beating New England but then getting whipped by the Colts. They also have a win over Dallas on the road but a loss to Baltimore. 

The trajectory of the team all seems to center around quarterback Marcus Mariota, who has completed 67.6 percent of his passes this year but boasts just seven touchdowns against six interceptions. And as always seems to be the case, he's battling injury: 

John Glennon @glennonsports

#Titans' Vrabel: Mariota was full practice today. Says he's likely the starter vs. Houston.

It's back to square one with Mariota, whose injuries continued to heal while he played, which meant an expansion of the playbook before this latest setback. 

Call it the worst possible time for another dialing back of the offense, though, with the Houston Texans up next. Deshaun Watson has thrown 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions this year and has led his team on a seven-game tear, not only beating teams like Dallas and Indianapolis but taking down a playoff team like Washington on the road. 

Thanks to a supporting cast like DeAndre Hopkins (68 catches, 950 yards, eight touchdowns), the Texans boast one of the NFL's most potent offenses to go alongside a defense allowing just 20.5 points per game.

J.J. Watt has 10 sacks and his unit has nine interceptions and 13 forced fumbles, not to mention more than 23 points surrendered just once over the seven-game streak. 

Count on it being an eighth at home for a Houston team firing on all cylinders, with the help of the erratic Texans pushing the needle into spread-covering territory. 

Prediction: Texans 28, Titans 20


Odds via OddsShark