Week twelve is in the books, I managed to completely undo my Thanksgiving progress by going 1-2 yet again on Sunday, bringing me back to five games under .500 (21-26). I say this every single week, but I really do think I’m starting to find my wheelhouse with these bets, and I’ve established a new rule for myself going forward: No more first half spreads. I’ve been applying full game logic to first half bets and it just hasn’t worked out. Here’s a quick look at last week’s picks before we move on to week thirteen:
Ravens Team Total Over 25.5: The big bad Ravens on Sunday Night Football turned out to not be that scary after all. Lamar Jackson had one of the worst games of his career, throwing four interceptions and leading the Ravens to just 16 points. It was an all-around ugly game, but I guess that’s the AFC North for you.
Eagles -2.5 First Half: The Eagles had the ball on the goal line at the end of the half when a touchdown would have put them up by 3. Outside of a Greg Ward drop on a difficult ball to catch, the Eagles didn’t come close to scoring, even after going for it on fourth down. A tough loss to swallow, but I probably didn’t deserve to win this one anyway.
Vikings over 2.5 Touchdowns: The Vikings’ managed to get the ball in the end zone four times on Sunday, making this one an easy winner. They actually didn’t do too much offensively because of the 49ers’ ball control, but they managed to score three times on offense, and once with a kick return touchdown.
Now, let’s get to some picks.
Patriots Team Total O/U 20.5
I always like to preface any of my picks involving the Patriots by saying that I am one of the lucky people who was raised a Patriots fan, so there may be some bias in this pick. I’d also like to credit myself for not writing up the Patriots moneyline and passing it off as a prop bet, even if they do look like the best team in the league with a rookie quarterback. This game is taking place in Buffalo on Monday night and has all the makings to be one of the best games of the entire weekend. The weather is definitely something to monitor as heavy snow could be in the forecast, but that doesn’t affect my reasoning very much for this pick. The Bills are coming off a big win on Thursday night against the Saints, so they do have a slight rest advantage coming into this matchup.
The Patriots team total for this game is set at 20.5, a number they’ve hit in nine of twelve games this season, the three times they didn’t were all in the first four weeks of the season. Buffalo is allowing just 16.5 points this season, but they’ve beat up on some weak opponents like the Texans, Jaguars, and Jets. Bill Belichick is
one of the greatest coaches of all time and is a master at exploiting an opponent’s weaknesses. Against the Buccaneers, he had Mac Jones throw the ball 40 times while handing the ball off just seven times. Although it was in a loss, it shows Belichick’s willingness to attack a weakness relentlessly rather than being balanced for the sake of being balanced. Against the Titans and Colts, the Bills allowed 34 and 41 points respectively on the back of Derrick Henry and Jonathan Taylor. The Patriots don’t have a Henry or a Taylor, but Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson are both very capable runners. I expect the Patriots to run the ball early and often on Monday night much like the Titans and Colts did to expose the Bills’ defense. Star cornerback Tre’Davious White is also done for the season with a torn ACL, a huge blow to the Buffalo secondary.
Pick: OVER 20.5 (-105, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Chiefs Team Total O/U 28.5
I don’t know if I subconsciously have a crush on Andy Reid or if it’s because I think public overreactions to the Chiefs’ performance influence the lines, but I find myself making picks on the Chiefs’ game week after week after week. It’s probably a mix of the two. I don’t know how successful I’ve been on those picks, but I’m going back to the same well again this week. The Chiefs are hosting the Broncos on Sunday night football this week as 9.5 point favorites with the total set at 47.5. Vegas has this game as a Chiefs’ blowout win, but Denver has allowed just 17.8 points per game this season, and divisional games tend to be tight.
The Chiefs team total is set at 28.5 points, a number they’ve managed in five of eleven games this season, and just twice in their last seven games. Kansas City certainly has an offense capable of scoring over 28 points in any given night, but I’m not convinced Sunday night is that night. The Broncos do an excellent job at limiting explosive plays, so while the Chiefs may move the ball, they hopefully won’t hit too many big plays that keep drives short and time on the clock. Speaking of clocks, this game should be one of the slower games of the weekend, with each team taking their time on offense in neutral situations. Part of Denver’s defensive success has to be given to the offense, they do a great job of controlling the ball, averaging over 31 minutes of possession per game. The Broncos aren’t the strongest team in the league, but they aren’t the weakest either. I like them to hold their own on Sunday night and keep the Chiefs under 29 points.
Pick: UNDER 29.5 (-115, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Dolphins Team Total O/U 22.5
Back-to-back-to-back team totals this week. Hopefully, this is the way I find my way back in the black for the rest of the season. The Dolphins are riding a four-game win streak and take on the Giants at home this week as four-point favorites with the total set at just 41 points. The Giants, on the other hand, are coming off a win against Philadelphia and have alternated wins and losses for each of the last six weeks. I’m not the smartest guy around, but I do know that suggests they’ll lose this week in Miami. I’m not taking the Dolphins as an official pick, but I do think they win their fifth straight game here. Going on the road to Miami late in the year is always difficult, especially for teams from cold weather areas like New York.
Tua Tagovailoa (If there’s one thing I’ve learned from writing these articles, it’s how to spell “Tagovailoa” without googling it every time) has been decent this year, earning a 73.5 grade from ProFootballFocus this year, good for 17th of qualified passers. He’s not going to carry a team to a super bowl any time soon, but he’s serviceable with good coaching, and Brian Flores is a very good coach in my opinion. Moving on, Daniel Jones has been terrible against pressure and the Dolphins have been excellent at getting to the quarterback. And while hitting the quarterback doesn’t count for points, it can help get the ball back with better field position and make scoring points even easier. The Dolphins are forcing turnovers (1.6 per game), while the Giants have been giving the ball away (1.3 per game). I see the Dolphins working with some short fields on Sunday, and turning that into points. They’ve scored at least 22 points in three of their four wins on their current win streak. I like the Dolphins to win the game and get to the mid-20s on Sunday.
Pick: OVER 22.5 (-110, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Featured Image by Jacob Roy (@jmrgraphics3 on IG)