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NFL

NFL Week 12: Part 2

Week 12: Part 1 is live and can be found here. The last eight games for Week 12 are listed below in Part 2.

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Titans at Patriots -7

The Titans are in trouble, but it’s hard to know just how much trouble they’re in. In a season full of weird, unpredictable teams, the Titans are among the most volatile. We’ve seen them recently manhandle the Rams without Derrick Henry. They also smashed the Chiefs. Then again, they’ve lost to both the Jets and the Texans. Now, the Titans are turning to signing free agent Golden Tate to help their WR woes.

The Patriots are firing on all cylinders. They now have five straight wins with four of them coming by at least 18 points. The defense appears to be in synch, while Mac Jones appears to get more and more potent each week. My concern here is the trend of how good the Titans are after a loss. Mike Vrabel’s tendency is to have a solid week, following a loss, is a real concern if we go with the Pats. The other side of the coin is, who on the Titans is going off against the Pats?

Wednesday’s cash report had 54% of the cash on the Patriots at -6.5. Since then, AJ Brown has been ruled out and moved to IR. As of Sunday early morning, the Patriots are at 69% at -7. The Patriots just make so much sense here.

Patriots 34 Titans 13

 

Steelers +3.5 at Bengals

The Steelers should be getting a number of key players back this week against the Bengals. Joe Haden, TJ Watt, and Minkah Fitzpatrick are all likely to play. This would be massive news for a defense who was completely shredded last week, surrendering 41 points on defense (after not giving up more than 27 in a game this year). There isn’t a lot of time, but hopefully they get healthy in time.

The Bengals had been on a rough patch for a few weeks prior to the bye. After the rest, the Bengals were able to overcome a sluggish start and leave the Raiders in the dust last week. Their balance on offense is huge factor, and their defensive play is the most critical aspect of their game. The key this week will be on whether or not they can repeat their play against the Steelers from Week 3.

Early Sunday, the Steelers are cash favorites at 73%. Even with the one-point line drop since Wednesday, the Steelers are still heavy on the cash. Expect a different game plan for the Steelers this time around. Regardless, you have to like the hook this week for Pittsburgh.

Bengals 24 Steelers 23

 

Falcons at Jaguars +2

The Falcons are a lot like the Raiders. They sometimes have good games against pretty decent teams, but they’re also occasionally awful. The last two weeks, the Falcons have been ridiculously terrible. They’ve lost their last two by a combined total of 68-3. The Jags are the perfect rebound team for them. The issue is, will the Jags blitz the Falcons heavily, knowing their pass D is suspect?

The Jaguars are a bad team. We have known this all season, but we have seen cases where the Jags run a balanced, effective attack to moderate success. I think this is one of those games where the Jaguars can lean on their run game and the defense can pin their ears back like they did against Buffalo.

The Falcons were up to 77% early Sunday morning. By noon Sunday (hour prior to kick), the cash swung all the way to 60% for the Jaguars. The Falcons are very average. Due to their recent sub-par performances, this might be another “who cares” performance from the banged-up Falcons. I like the Jags to cover here.

Falcons 24 Jaguars 23

 

Chargers at Broncos +3

The Chargers are flying high after a heart attack of a fourth quarter vs Pittsburgh in which the Chargers allowed 27 points in the final quarter. Now, they travel to Denver to face the Broncos, who matchup quite well against the Chargers. The Chargers have shown they can pass the ball with great success when they get protection. Will the weak right side of their line hold up this week?

The Broncos were a moderately good team until a few weeks back, and then the volatility kicked-in. After drubbing the Cowboys, the Broncos were soundly beaten by the Eagles. The key to them is game script and unit matchups. They have all the good unit vs unit matchups this week, but the important part for them this week is how they start. If they get an early lead, they’re golden.

Sunday’s numbers opened with the Broncos garnering 66% of the cash. Even with a low spread and the recent volatility from the Broncos, the run-friendly matchup really bodes well for their outlook this week.

Broncos 24 Chargers 20

 

Rams -2 at Packers 

The Rams are not the same team we saw early this season. After a red-hot start to the season, the Rams sputtered for a half against the Lions, got smashed by the Derrick Henry-less Titans, and were annihilated by the 49ers. There’s not a lot going for them this week, as they face a surprisingly stout Packers defense. However, this smells like a bounce-back, based on the spread and location.

The Packers suffered a heartbreaker last week after seemingly locking it up with a late pick that was overruled. Now, they’re back at full strength with Aaron Rodgers, as AJ Dillon is really carving out a bigger role in the backfield. If Aaron Jones sits, the Packers will be a little less dynamic, but it should help them get another point on the spread.

Early Sunday, the Rams were cash favorites at 68%. By Sunday later in the morning, the spread shifted another point towards the Rams and the cash dropped to just 52% in favor of the Packers. With the late movement and split, I still lean Rams, because this line just stinks.

Rams 24 Packers 21

 

 Vikings +3.5 at 49ers

The Vikings are one of the hottest teams in the NFL (5th hottest, technically). After blowing the Ravens game a week after losing to the Cowboys backup QB, the Vikings have a big road win against the Chargers and the thrilling win over the Packers a week ago. With the offense clicking and the defense playing well enough in spurts, the Vikings are a formidable threat.

The 49ers are finally looking like the team we expected they could be this season. With back-to-back wins of 20 plus, the 49ers are finding an ideal level of balance offensively. Defensively, the reduced time on the field (thanks to the offense sustaining drives) appears to be the elixir they’ve needed. Their schemes and defensive creativity also appear to be improving.

Even on the road, we’re not surprised the 49ers are 3.5-point favorites. We are surprised the cash numbers are so heavily in-favor of the Vikings at 70% early Sunday.

49ers 29 Vikings 27

 

Browns at Ravens -3

The Browns are getting healthier, while Baker Mayfield is doing his best to distract the fans in each unpredictable week. After a promising start, the Browns have weathered some drama and are still a playoff contender (even if they’re last in the division). Kareem Hunt is returning this week, so the Browns offense might resemble the offense we expected this season.

The Ravens beat the Bears last week, even without Lamar Jackson. With Lamar back this week, the Ravens look like they might actually be at full strength. The defense looks to be improving and tends to play well against more one-dimensional teams.

The Wednesday numbers were in favor of the Ravens at 56%. Once action began to push the line to -3.5, the action went hard in the direction of the Browns. Now, the Ravens have the cash edge at 55%. I’d stay away from this game altogether.

Ravens 23 Browns 20

 

Seahawks +1 at WFT

The Seahawks might just not be that good after all. They have a lot of pieces, but the team reminds of the Chargers in the sense there are major holes in some lower profile positions. Part of this may still be issues with Russell Wilson’s hand, but another part of it is the results we’ve been seeing. Last week, they couldn’t even get it done against the Cardinals backup QB.

The WFT just keeps grinding out wins. A week after silencing Tom Brady and the Bucs, the WFT went into Carolina and got the best of the re-vamped Panthers. With the way Taylor Heinecke is playing, you can’t dismiss the Washington Football Team. If the defense continues to get better each week, we could see them knocking on the door for the playoffs again.

The early Sunday cash numbers were all Seahawks at 68%. By Monday afternoon, the Seahawks were still favorites at 65%.

Seahawks 23 WFT 20

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