Anthony RiccobonoNovember 23, 2016
Week 12 of the 2016 NFL season has a chance to be particularly kind to road teams. All three teams have a chance to win their respective games on Thanksgiving, while Sunday features multiple games with big home underdogs.
Five teams are favored on the road in Week 12, and favorites are coming off of their best week of the year. Only four underdogs covered the spread in Week 11, and the upcoming schedule features a few glaring mismatches. Most notably, three division leaders will face last-place teams.
Below are picks against the spread for every game in Week 12, as well as updated betting odds at Las Vegas and online sportsbooks. Betting lines and trends are courtesy of OddsShark.
Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) at Detroit Lions
The Lions have had a lot of luck this season, including in their previous meeting with the Vikings, but that will only last for so long. Matthew Stafford hasn’t had much help in 2016, and he’ll have trouble putting up big numbers against an elite pass defense. If Minnesota can avoid making costly turnovers, they can steal a road win and first place in the NFC North.
Prediction ATS: Minnesota
Washington Redskins (+7) at Dallas Cowboys
Dallas is the better team and they should be able to win on Thanksgiving, but they are giving too many points to Washington. With the NFL’s No. 2 ranked offense, the Redskins can move the ball against just about any team. Washington barely lost to Dallas in Week 2, and they’ve only suffered one defeat since that game. Thursday’s contest should be a shootout that is decided by no more than one score.
Prediction ATS: Washington
Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.5) at Indianapolis Colts
The Colts might have had trouble keeping this game close with Andrew Luck under center, and they almost certainly won’t be able to do that now that it looks like the quarterback will be out with a concussion. Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for at least 364 yards and four touchdowns when facing Indianapolis in each of the last two years, and he’ll put up big numbers once again. Pittsburgh won in Cleveland by 15 points last week, and the Colts might not be any better than the Browns with Scott Tolzien starting over Luck.
Prediction ATS: Pittsburgh
San Diego Chargers (-1) at Houston Texans
The Chargers might be better than what their record indicates, but they shouldn’t be favored in Houston. The Texans have gone 5-0 at NRG Stadium, winning against four teams that have more victories than San Diego. The Chargers are prone to making key mistakes in the fourth quarter that cost them the game, and that trend might continue against a defense that’s been terrific at home.
Prediction ATS: Houston
Tennessee Titans (-5) at Chicago Bears
Injuries to Jay Cutler and Zach Miller have left the Bears with little hope of having a competent offense for the remainder of the season. Matt Barkley will be under center for the Bears, potentially making him the worst quarterback to get a start in 2016. He completed six of 15 passes for two interceptions in his only appearance this year, and Barkley makes it highly unlikely that Chicago will remain competitive with a team that scores more than 25 points per game.
Prediction ATS: Tennessee
Jacksonville Jaguars (+7.5) at Buffalo Bills
The Jaguars have lost close games against struggling offenses in recent weeks, but they’ll have trouble remaining competitive when facing a team that can move the ball. Ranking 10th in scoring, the Bills are averaging 33.5 points per game at home. LeSean McCoy is expected to play after leaving last week’s game with an injury, and Jacksonville won’t be able to slow down the NFL’s No. 1 rushing attack.
Prediction ATS: Buffalo
Cincinnati Bengals (+4.5) at Baltimore Ravens
The Bengals have five straight wins against the Ravens, and they should be able to keep things close with Baltimore, even though they are short-handed. The loss of A.J. Green hurts Cincinnati, but the Bengals were able to score at least 27 points in two of the three games that the wide receiver missed in 2014. Baltimore’s offense makes it difficult for them to beat anyone by a large margin, and a field goal could be the difference in Sunday’s contest.
Prediction ATS: Cincinnati
Arizona Cardinals (+4) at Atlanta Falcons
Despite having a disappointing season, the Cardinals have a real chance to upset the first-place Falcons. Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson give Arizona a few elite offensive weapons, and Atlanta hasn’t held anyone below 31 points at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons’ offense has been kept at bay in their three games against top-10 defenses, failing to score more than 24 points against the Broncos, Seahawks and Eagles. Arizona ranks first in total defense, and they could give Matt Ryan some trouble in Week 12.
Prediction ATS: Arizona
San Francisco 49ers (+7.5) at Miami Dolphins
Having won five games in a row, the Dolphins might be due for a bad performance. Miami has a tendency to play down to its competition, going 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games at home against teams with losing records. The Dolphins defeated the Browns and Jets by just one score at home, and the same could happen against the 49ers, who have been somewhat competitive in the last two games.
Prediction ATS: San Francisco
Los Angeles Rams (+7) at New Orleans Saints
Jared Goff didn’t do anything in his debut to indicate that the Rams’ offense will improve anytime soon, and that means they could be in for a big loss in New Orleans. Los Angeles has totaled just three touchdowns in their last four games, while the Saints have the league’s No. 1 ranked offense.
Prediction ATS: New Orleans
New York Giants (-7) at Cleveland Browns
The Giants haven’t beaten anyone by more than six points in 2016, but that should change on Sunday. All of New York’s wins have come down to the wire because of their struggles on offense, but that shouldn’t be an issue against Cleveland. Every team is able to move the ball against the Browns, who’ve allowed at least 24 points in all of their 11 losses, ranking 31st in yards allowed. New York owns the NFC’s third-best record because they have a very good defense, and the Giants shouldn’t have any trouble beating a team that last won on Dec. 13, 2015.
Prediction ATS: New York
Seattle Seahawks (-5.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Once again, the Seahawks look like a top Super Bowl contender. Russell Wilson is healthy and playing like a Pro Bowl quarterback, and the defense has allowed fewer points than any team in the league. The Bucs pulled off the upset in Kansas City last week because the Chiefs have trouble scoring, but putting points on the board won’t be a problem for Seattle, who is averaging 29.3 points in their last three games. The Seahawks usually heat up later in the year, going 13-2 in their last 15 November games, and they could win by a touchdown in Tampa Bay.
Prediction ATS: Seattle
Carolina Panthers (+3) at Oakland Raiders
The betting line indicates that the Raiders and Panthers are even on a neutral field, and that clearly hasn’t been the case in 2016. Oakland has four more wins than Carolina, who is just 1-3 on the road. The Panthers haven’t beaten one good team this season, going 0-5 against teams with a .500 record or better. Carolina has given no reason to believe they can defeat the AFC’s No. 1 seed on the road.
Prediction ATS: Oakland
New England Patriots (-8) at New York Jets
The Patriots continue to blow out inferior teams on the road, and Sunday should be no different. Prior to winning in San Francisco by 13 points in Week 11, New England picked up double-digit victories in Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Tom Brady is having one of the best seasons of any quarterback in NFL history, and it’s hard to believe Ryan Fitzpatrick will come close to matching him and keep the Jets in the game.
Prediction ATS: New England
Kansas City Chiefs (+3.5) at Denver Broncos
With the Broncos favored by more than a field goal, the Chiefs are the safe pick. The two teams are just about even, having both won seven of their first 10 games behind top defenses and game-managers at quarterback. It’s a game that should come down to the wire, and the Chiefs could steal a victory in Denver like they did a year ago.
Prediction ATS: Kansas City
Green Bay Packers (+4) at Philadelphia Eagles
The Packers are a mess on defense, and Sunday might be the final nail in the coffin for their 2016 playoff hopes. Despite losing five of their last seven games, the Eagles remain undefeated at home, averaging 27 points per game at Lincoln Financial Field. Carson Wentz should have a bounce-back performance, moving the ball with ease against maybe the NFL’s worst secondary.
Prediction ATS: Philadelphia
Season Record: 81-76-4