Welcome back, football fans, to a turkey flavoured Week 12 of the NFL season!
This week’s full slate marks a brief pause in the bye week schedule and finds every team in action over American Thanksgiving. The tradition of families gathering to eat a big meal, argue, and then settle in to watch football continues in earnest.
Before we dive into this fully stuffed schedule with all the trimmings, let’s look back at the week that was and explore some of the notable storylines from Week 11, punctuated by another megastar QB injury.
NFL fans have already been deprived of Kirk Cousins, Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Garoppolo, Daniel Jones, Anthony Richardson and Justin Fields (who returned in Week 11) to varying degrees of long term injuries this season, and now, Joe Burrow gets added to the infirmary list. It’s been an unfortunately bumpy season for Burrow and the Bengals, as their failure to launch due to his early season calf injury is now a true disaster with Burrow missing the remainder of the season after injuring his wrist early in Cincinnati’s Week 11 clash with Baltimore. To add insult to this injury, the Bengals are now being investigated by the league for not reporting Burrow’s possible wrist injury prior to the game, as Burrow was seen in a video recording wearing a wrist brace earlier last week. It’s an unfortunate end to Burrow’s season as, when healthy, he represents a true superstar talent in the league.
Elsewhere in the league, the Chargers continued doing Chargers things, losing by three to the Packers (L.A. leads the league with five losses by three points or fewer) while blowing a fourth quarter lead (three of six of their losses this year have come after leading in the final frame). They made Jordan Love look like Brett Favre and every opposing QB has to be licking his chops when he sees the Chargers on the schedule at this point. Meanwhile, the Lions survived some early mishaps including three interceptions thrown by Jared Goff to win their game despite trailing in the fourth to the Bears. Detroit scored 17 points in the final three minutes of the game and Goff rallied from his early blunders to produce a 11-for-14, 120-yard, one TD statline in the final quarter. The Lions now sit at 8-2 for the first time in 61 years, or in other words, since JFK was president (or John Diefenbaker was Prime Minister for us Canadians).
Cleveland improved to 7-3 despite losing Watson for the year. New starter Dorian Thompson-Robinson performed admirably and really only has to play mistake-free football in front of the Browns’ incredible defence to give them a chance to win. The 13-10 Cleveland victory over Pittsburgh spelled the end for oft-maligned Steelers’ OC Matt Canada, as he was relieved of his duties on Tuesday. Pittsburgh sits in the bottom five of the league in yards per game and the responsibility will now fall to running backs coach Eddie Faulkner to squeeze more production out of the team. Speaking of offensive coordinator shakeups, the Bills showed out in a big way for their new OC Joe Brady’s debut on Sunday, trouncing the Jets, 32-6. Despite the hand-wringing over the now 6-5 Bills, Josh Allen leads the league in total touchdowns with 29. Allen will have to continue to produce at league-best levels if Buffalo hopes to survive their upcoming three-game gauntlet, as they face the Eagles before heading to their bye week, then play the Chiefs and Cowboys in successive games.
With our key storylines from Week 11 in tow, let’s look ahead to a jam-packed week of football and make some picks!
|Green Bay Packers
|Thursday / 12:30 PM
|Thursday / 4:30 PM
|San Francisco 49ers
|Thursday / 8:20 PM
|New York Jets*
|Friday / 3:00 PM
|Sunday / 1:00 PM
|Sunday / 1:00 PM
|New England Patriots
|New York Giants*
|Sunday / 1:00 PM
|New Orleans Saints
|Sunday / 1:00 PM
|Sunday / 1:00 PM
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Sunday / 1:00 PM
|Sunday / 4:25 PM
|Los Angeles Rams
|Sunday / 4:25 PM
|Sunday / 4:25 PM
|Kansas City Chiefs
|Las Vegas Raiders*
|Sunday / 4:25 PM
|Los Angeles Chargers*
|Sunday / 8:20 PM
|Monday / 8:15 PM
* = Home Team Underdog
Week 12 lines to bet NOW
- New York Jets– Spread: +10
- New York Jets– Moneyline: +375 ?
Bear with me here, lest you think I’ve lost my mind. I’m not going full bore and picking a Jets upset win here but I do want to at least suggest the possibility. Let’s examine the factors as to why I’d have any belief in this team. For one, Jets’ coach Robert Saleh has mercifully made the decision to end Zach Wilson’s run at QB, announcing that 29-year-old journeyman Tim Boyle will start in his stead. What’s led up to this decision are truly historic levels of bad. Chiefly, the Jets possess a third-down conversion rate of 22.9% which, if the season ended today, would go down as the worst such rate in NFL history. The Jets have a single touchdown in their last 46 offensive possessions, and Wilson has thrown only six TDs in 10 games played this year. Now I’m sure you’re reading this and saying why should I believe in any sort of Jets bounceback here? Well, allow me to give you some factors. The factor that stands out to me the most is the striking similarity to the Jets’ situation today and their situation around this point last year. Wilson was also failing to lift this team up in 2022 before being replaced at QB by Mike White in Week 11. In White’s first game as starter he produced to the tune of 315 passing yards, three TDs and an absurd passer rating of 149.3. Sure, White didn’t go on to become a star after that game (in fact he now backs up the Jets’ opposing QB this week, Tua Tagovailoa) but it’s that first game out of the gate that gives me pause. The Jets boast a talented defence that is probably tired of playing behind such an inept offence. Tim Boyle knows OC Nathaniel Hackett’s game plan well and is adept at making quick decisions with the football. And, last but not least, true starting QB Aaron Rodgers’ imminent return from injury looms over the franchise. The recipe is there for a good, if not great, game from the Jets this week. What happens afterwards… well that’s best left unexplored.
- Buffalo Bills– Moneyline: +150
Using their win against the aforementioned Jets is not the greatest example of why the Bills are “back” and have a good chance to win again this week, but there are some clues we can utilize. Namely the play of Allen and his opponent this week, Jalen Hurts. As I mentioned in the intro, Allen leads the league in total TDs with 29 but it’s his turnover rate that’s mostly undone the team to this point. His lone interception against the Jets is actually a bright spot here. Allen controlled the ball, made good choices, and maybe most important of all, used his running backs in the passing game. One of the glaring deficiencies in the Bills offence this year has been abandoning the short pass to their backs, a much-used pressure release valve across the league. In fact, the lack of production from their RBs as a whole has been a dark mark on Buffalo’s season. New OC Joe Brady aims to fix that, and Allen appears to hear him. Both James Cook and Ty Johnson were involved in the passing game against New York, combining for six catches, 76 yards and two TDs. Add TE Dalton Kincaid’s additional six catches for 46 yards, and you get a lot of shorter yardage production that equals less pressure and less hurries on Allen. Conversely, his opponents in the Eagles are on a short week, having won a tightly-contested game against the Chiefs on Sunday. Catching the Eagles at the best possible time certainly bodes well for Buffalo but there’s also the lacklustre play of Hurts to consider. Hurts is clearly bothered by one or multiple nagging injuries and the hopes that we’d see him closer to his true self out of the Eagles’ Week 10 bye were dashed. Don’t let Hurts’ two short rushing TDs against KC fool you, his 150 passing yards and one INT to go with 29 rushing yards are far from the vintage Jalen we saw in 2022. The Bills will have a tall mountain to climb to beat Philadelphia, but that mountain will be tired and not at full strength. Advantage Bills.
- Chicago Bears– Moneyline: +160
I wrote a couple weeks ago that the momentum created by Joshua Dobbs taking over in Minny would die out pretty quickly and to capitalize on it where we could. Well that momentum died about two games and three quarters into him having the job. After entering the fourth quarter against Denver with a 17-9 lead, the Vikings proceeded to let it slip, ultimately producing no more than a field goal to lose 21-20. You could sense the air coming out of the tires. All respect to Dobbs, it had to come back down to earth sooner than later and it appears to have done so in Minnesota. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Vikings still have the talent to beat a team like the Bears. In fact, most teams do. But there are factors at play that have me leaning towards a Chicago dub this Monday Night. Chiefly, Justin Fields returned to play in Week 11 and looked every bit the player the Bears wish him to be on a regular basis. And to expand on that, Fields will be well aware of the situation the Chicago front office finds itself in. Not only owning their own first round pick, but basement-dweller Carolina’s as well. The Bears will be in a position to draft high on a QB this offseason, if they so choose. In other words, the remaining weeks of the season will be a litmus test for Fields and Chicago. If he wants to stay in place as the Bears’ unquestioned starting QB, he’s got to earn that over the next six regular season games. Much like Kyler Murray and Arizona’s tenuous relationship, these franchises and their QBs must decide if staying the course or parting ways is best for the franchise. With all that at stake, adding to the fact that Chicago will be hosting this Monday nighter against a division rival, I think the momentum arrow is firmly pointing towards Illinois.
Week 12 lines to bet LATER
- Arizona Cardinals– Moneyline: -110
Just like Fields, Murray finds himself in somewhat of an audition phase. What was once a sure thing is far from sure anymore as the franchise that drafted him first overall in 2019 has seen quite a few changes. Gone are offensive stars like Larry Fitzgerald, DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk, and also departed is the GM that drafted him, Steve Keim, as well as the coach tasked with bringing him along in the NFL, Kliff Kingsbury. There instead is a new GM, new coach, new supporting cast of players around him, and perhaps most importantly, a new owner, as Bill Bidwill passed away a mere six months after drafting Murray and was replaced by his son Michael. All that to say, now recovered from his ACL tear suffered last year, Murray returns to a whole new world in Arizona. A world that, much like Bears country, isn’t one hundred percent sold on its franchise QB going forward. Murray once again has a lot to prove, and not since his college days will he feel this much uncertainty about what the future holds for him. I see Murray as someone with enough talent to make this a very tough decision for the Arizona brass, and at 100% health, I expect to see some big games out of him from here til season’s end. Right now this game isn’t tilted too much towards either team, which is why I say hold off. Ultimately I’m picking the Cardinals to beat the banged-up Rams at home but patience might ultimately pay off here and net you a sweeter line.
Bet on Rams vs. Cardinals
Week 12 line that makes me go hmm…
The Raiders are what I would describe as a “pesky” team. They aren’t great, but you’ll also often find them hanging around in games longer than they should be. Holding the Dolphins, who have been the NFL’s model of offence this year, to 20 points and two touchdowns might fly under the radar but it is precisely that peskiness that has me wondering about this one. The Chiefs are on a short week and just dropped a close one to the Eagles on Monday night. It seems to me that every year the Chiefs suffer a slight dip that has everyone questioning them until ultimately rolling their way through the remainder of the season. A loss on Sunday afternoon, in Vegas, would certainly signal that dip having arrived.
Betting mismatches of the week
- Lamar Jackson vs The Chargers’ Defence
Lost in what was a Week 11 narrative largely dominated by Burrow’s season-ending injury was the play of Lamar Jackson. With a stellar completion percentage of 69.5% (only four starting quarterbacks boast a better record so far this year), Jackson is currently showcasing the pinnacle of efficiency in his career, surpassing even his remarkable 2019 MVP performance. Not only does he effortlessly lead all quarterbacks in rushing, but his precision-passing is lifting all boats, including rejuvenating targets like Odell Beckham Jr. Jackson has now amassed an impressive 53-19 career record, solidifying his status as the linchpin of the Ravens’ offence prowess. His opponents this week in the Chargers are ill-equipped to combat such a threat. Sitting dead last in pass yards allowed per game and middle of the road in rush yards allowed. The pleasant L.A. weather wont be the only thing welcoming Jackson with open arms this Sunday night.
- Myles Garrett vs Russell Wilson
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind about who the Browns’ best player is. Even when Watson and Nick Chubb are fully healthy, pass rusher Myles Garrett is the straw that stirs the drink. Despite finding themselves underdogs this week to the surging Broncos, Cleveland fans can rest assured that Garrett will put it all on the line to secure a victory. Garrett leads the league in sacks and is averaging over a sack a game. His target this week will be Denver QB Russell Wilson, who has been sacked 32 times this year (fourth-most in league). During the Broncos’ current four-game win streak, Wilson has still been sacked 16 times, including a six-sack game against the Chiefs who sit squarely with the Browns in total sack numbers. It all stacks up for Garrett to have his usual game-breaking impact this weekend.
Bet on Broncos vs Browns
Betting trends of the week
Here are a few trends to keep in mind when placing your bets this week:
- The Green Bay Packers have hit the team total over in seven of their last nine away games 🔥
- The Washington Commanders have only hit the moneyline in nine of their last 20 games 🧊
- The Detroit Lions have hit the moneyline in 15 of their last 20 games 🔥
- The Dallas Cowboys have scored first in only 10 of their last 20 games 🧊
- The Seattle Seahawks have scored last in 12 of their last 18 games 🔥
- The San Francisco 49ers have only hit the moneyline in five of their last nine away games 🧊
Player props to play in Week 12
Here’s a few player props I love this week:
- Touchdown Scorers – First – Jahmyr Gibbs: +600
Since returning from injury, Gibbs has one or more touchdowns in three straight games and has scored the Lions’ first TD in two straight.
- Touchdown Scorers – Anytime – Brandon Aiyuk: +150
Since shaking off their three-game skid and getting back to winning ways, the 49ers and Aiyuk have been rolling. The latter has touchdown catches in two straight and his QB Brock Purdy is playing phenomenal football.
- Multi Touchdown Scorers – 2 Or More – CeeDee Lamb: +320
I’m doing it again and no one can stop me. CeeDee has been featured in this spot for three straight weeks and our “Lamb prop” has hit in three straight weeks. He’ll remain here until such time as it misses, and he might never miss. I’ll make it a bit tougher on him this week, backing him for two scores, but against a Commanders team that couldn’t even beat the Giants, this might not even be that tough.
2023 NFL Season FAQ
Week 12: None
Week 5: Browns, Chargers, Seahawks, Buccaneers
Week 6: Packers, Steelers
Week 7: Panthers, Bengals, Cowboys, Texans, Jets, Titans
Week 8: None
Week 9: Broncos, Lions, Jaguars, 49ers
Week 10: Chiefs, Rams, Dolphins, Eagles
Week 11: Falcons, Colts, Patriots, Saints
Week 12: None
Week 13: Ravens, Bills, Bears, Raiders, Vikings, Giants
Week 14: Cardinals, Commanders
San Francisco 49ers
Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Rams
New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Green Bay Packers
New England Patriots
New York Jets
Las Vegas Raiders
New York Giants
(Per ESPN Power Index)
Thursday, November 23, 2023
Green Bay @ Detroit 12:30
Washington @ Dallas 16:30
San Francisco @ Seattle 20:20
Friday, November 24, 2023
Miami @ New York 15:00
Sunday, November 26, 2023
New Orleans @ Atlanta 13:00
Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati 13:00
Carolina @ Tennessee 13:00
Tampa Bay @ Indianapolis 13:00
New England @ New York 13:00
Jacksonville @ Houston 13:00
Cleveland @ Denver 16:05
Los Angeles @ Arizona 16:05
Kansas City @ Las Vegas 16:25
Buffalo @ Philadelphia 16:25
Baltimore @ Los Angeles 20:20
Monday, November 27, 2023
Chicago @ Minnesota 20:15
If you’re new to ATS betting in football, check out our convenient primer on Point Spread Betting and take a look at our new and improved Parlay Betting Guide should the mood strike to combine some of these picks!
Typically oddsmakers will set the next week’s Game Lines after the Sunday slate of games. NFL Odds will evolve as bets are made throughout the week and NFL Picks made too early may lack vital information. The NFL Point Spreads are set with a somewhat unclear picture and NFL predictions become more informed as the games get closer.