NFL Week 12 best bets
Welcome to Week 12 of the 2022 NFL season.
Throughout the season, our VSiN experts will combine to give their best bets on every game. Check back for more picks as we get closer to kickoff.
Odds are from DraftKings (unless noted) as of Friday night. Go to VSiN.com for Betting Splits for each game and live odds across the NFL market.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Danny Burke: People tend to forget how hard it is to consistently win in the NFL. Did the Ravens look pretty in their win, this past Sunday, against the Panthers? No, of course not. But they still found a way and it still counts the same in the win column. Also, let’s not fail to neglect that, heading into their bye week, Baltimore was on a three-game winning streak. So the off time put a halt on their momentum. And, typically, when teams are riding a hot streak into a hiatus, they come out a tad bit sloppy in their next spot. That’s all that was for the Ravens in their sloppy dub. Now that they’ve gotten that rust out from under them, they get to play at Jacksonville, against a Jags team that finds themselves losing their last six out of seven games and off a bye week of their own.
Furthermore, Baltimore has had a lot of success on the road this year winning straight up and against the spread in four out of five of those spots. Currently you can find Baltimore laying three and a half to four points. John Harbaugh’s crew has managed to cover that number in every win, with the exception of two games that ended in wins, but failed as covers against division opponents. The Ravens have an average winning margin of 7.1 points. Conversely, the Jags, in each of their losses, have lost by at least four or more points in each game. Jacksonville has an average losing margin of 6.9 points.
To put it plain and simple, the Ravens are too explosive offensively. Lamar Jackson will take advantage against this Jacksonville defense that ranks 31st against the pass according to DVOA. Also, you can expect second year quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who is seemingly plateauing since his promising rookie year, to continue to underperform and probably toss another costly red zone interception.
Play: Ravens -3.5
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Adam Burke: It would take a lot for Sam Darnold to play worse than Baker Mayfield or PJ Walker. He’ll get his first action of the season on Sunday following a group of quarterbacks that has posted a 58.4% completion rate and a 9/10 TD/INT ratio. The Panthers are averaging just 191.2 passing yards as a team and 4.84 adjusted net yards per pass attempt. The bar is tremendously low in Carolina.
It shouldn’t take much for the Panthers to keep this game close. They have a league average defense and should find a little bit more offense because it can’t get any worse. They’re going up against a Broncos team that has only scored 14.7 points per game. Somehow Nathaniel Hackett is still gainfully employed after the most recent debacle against the Raiders and this is a rare week where the Panthers aren’t at a disadvantage with interim head coach Steve Wilks.
The Broncos have topped out at 23 points and have scored more than 16 one other time. Giving the Panthers eight points in a game with a total of 36 against an opponent that doesn’t light up the scoreboard at all makes sense, even if Darnold doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence. It’s also an early kickoff across the country for an offense that is sluggish to begin with, plus KJ Hamler and Jerry Jeudy didn’t practice on Wednesday.
We’re getting the key numbers of 3 and 7, which is extremely valuable. Put the Panthers in a teaser with the Titans.
Pick: Panthers +8 / Titans +8 6-point teaser
Adam Burke: The Broncos have a pretty stout defense, but that unit has been clearly better against the pass than the run. Given the teams that are on the schedule twice in the AFC West, that is a really good thing, but given the opponent on Sunday, it may not be as helpful. With Sam Darnold set to get the start for the Panthers, a steady diet of D’Onta Foreman seems to make sense.
Foreman’s rushing yards prop line is 57.5 with a little bit of over juice, but the Panthers are unlikely to let Darnold throw it around the yard and that isn’t the best strategy anyway. Denver is fourth in Dropback EPA against and second in Passing Success Rate against. On the flip side, the Broncos are only 14th in Rushing EPA against and 11th in Rushing Success Rate against. It isn’t the biggest of differences, but with the limitations of Darnold and the likely workload for Foreman, who has gone over 100 yards in three of the last five games, this game lines up for a strong performance.
Pick: D’Onta Foreman Over 57.5 Rushing Yards (-120)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Adam Burke: The Falcons draw a really tough assignment on Sunday because the Commanders own one of the league’s top rush defenses. Washington ranks third in Rush EPA against and fourth in Rushing Success Rate against. For a Falcons team that tries to do most of its damage on the ground, this may be the week where Arthur Smith needs to rely a bit more on Marcus Mariota.
Mariota’s passing yards prop is set at 158.5, which is about 12 yards below his season average. Given the stinginess of the Commanders up front against the run, this is the type of game where Mariota is going to be asked to do a little bit more. The Falcons haven’t faced a ton of great rush defenses to this point, but this one is and Mariota’s workload is likely to be a bit higher than what we’ve seen in other games. Given that his season average is north of this number and the matchup is far from favorable for Atlanta’s style, this one is worth a look.
Pick: Marcus Mariota Over 158.5 Passing Yards (-115)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Adam Burke: This week represents the last week with Jacoby Brissett as the starting quarterback of the Browns. The 3-7 start is hardly his fault, as he’s played better than most expected and has actually led a passing attack that ranks ninth in Dropback EPA and 12th in Dropback Success Rate. Obviously the running game is exceptional and has been all season, but Brissett has done an extremely admirable job.
Furthermore, he seems to be well-liked by his teammates and he’s been saying all the right things in the lead-up to the inevitable Deshaun Watson takeover. At this point, he’s playing for a starting gig somewhere else next season and the rest of the offense is going to give him as strong of a push as possible this week against the Buccaneers. But, that emotional appeal isn’t the only reason to like the Browns this week.
The Tampa Bay running game stinks. The Bucs are dead last in Rush EPA and 29th in Rushing Success Rate. Those two things are a bad combination when 20 mph sustained winds and 30 mph gusts are expected in Cleveland this Sunday. The Browns got boned out of a game in bad weather that they could have won last week, but now may get one back in their favor this week.
The Bucs are eighth in Dropback EPA and 10th in Dropback Success Rate on defense, but 21st in Rush EPA and 13th in Rushing Success Rate against. Their defense has been more successful against the pass than the run. On a day when throwing the ball is going to be very difficult, the Browns should find success, even with a really banged-up offensive line.
Now that this line has moved to 3.5, the Browns look like a reasonable play with a low-scoring expectation and conditions much more conducive to their offensive style.
Pick: Browns +3.5
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Adam Burke: Like many others, I’m not a huge believer in the Titans. However, there are a lot of things to like about their matchup against the Bengals this week. For starters, there is a pretty clear coaching mismatch here between Mike Vrabel and Zac Taylor that favors the slight home underdog. Second, there may be some breezy conditions that will hurt a Bengals offense that passes more than the Titans.
That huge disparity in pass attempts is worth mentioning. The Bengals have 376 pass attempts to 241 for the Titans. You would expect to see more than a 0.4 yards per play difference between the two teams with how much the Titans like to run and with how much easier it is to get chunk plays through the air. The offensive line woes and the 34 sacks have a lot to do with that.
On Sunday, the Titans bring a defense that ranks 10th in Pressure% and 10th in sacks against a Bengals team that has had major problems protecting Joe Burrow. Furthermore, the Titans have the fourth-lowest Blitz% in the league, so they are getting pressure without sending extra rushers.
Maybe the Titans don’t win, but they are an ideal team to throw into a six-point teaser and take up from +2 to +8. They haven’t allowed more than 20 points in a game since Week 3 and play a lot of tight games. Getting the six-point boost in the line should pay off here.
Pick: Titans +8 / Panthers +8 6-point teaser
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Dave Tuley: The Dolphins (7-3) were tied for first place with the Bills in AFC East heading into Thursday and hold the tiebreaker since they upset them 21-19 back in Week 3 as 4.5-point home underdogs (though there’s a rematch in Buffalo in Week 14).
Since his concussion issues earlier in the year, Tua Tagovailoa has the offense clicking as it’s No. 3 in the league at 391.5 yards per game led by the WR tandem of Tyreek Hill and Jayden Waddle along with an improved running game with Jeff Wilson Jr. coming over from San Francisco to share duties with Raheem Mostert (another former-49er).
The Texans are again in the running for the No. 1 draft pick at 1-8-1 as it doesn’t look like it’ll get any better with the No. 30 offense and No. 31 defense. It’s hard to make a case for the Texans; however, as I’ve written tons of time this season, parity is alive and well in the NFL. Besides, double-digit underdogs are 10-4 ATS this season, plus the Texans are 2-0 ATS in that role as they covered as 10-point road dogs in a 16-9 loss at the Broncos in Week 2 and as 14-point home dogs vs. the Eagles in a 29-17 loss in Week 9. In addition, our Best Bet of Week 11 ended up being the Panthers +13 vs, Ravens as we were also fading a double-digit favorite coming off a bye (that trend now 16-6-1 ATS the last 23 times it’s happened).
Kyle Allen can’t be any worse than Davis Mills (league-high 11 INTs), so with the move to +14, we can’t resist.
Pick: Texans +14
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Tuley: When we jumped on the Bears on “The Greg Peterson Experience” on Sunday night and in my daily “Tuley’s Takes Today” columns, we didn’t believe Justin Fields’ injury was too serious. The line has since gone up to +6 on speculation that he could be out at least this Sunday and possibly longer; however, he’s not being shelved for the season and is expected to be a game-day decision. Most reports make it sound like he’s expected to play, so we grabbed the inflated line.
Meanwhile, the Jets have their own QB issues with Zach Wilson throwing his teammates under the bus after the 10-3 loss to the Patriots in Week 11 and being replaced by backup Mike White.
We obviously prefer Fields to be playing, but we’ll still stick with the Bears even if Trevor Siemian gets the start as he’s still better than White.
Pick: Bears +6
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
Brady Kannon: Prior to their bye, the Seattle Seahawks were beaten by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London, 21-16. Las Vegas got just its third win of the season last week, getting past Denver in overtime, 22-16. The Raiders have owned the Broncos over the course of their last 11 meetings. They are 9-2 SU and 10-1 ATS. I found it to be an interesting parallel with what the Raiders went through last season and what has unfolded this year. Jon Gruden was fired out of the blue last year and the distraction seemed insurmountable when the Raiders went on the road to play Denver in Week 6. Las Vegas hammered the Broncos 34-24 and it was 31-10 after three quarters. This year, Derek Carr was in tears at the post-game podium and it appeared this team had hit rock bottom. How did they respond? They went on the road and beat Denver again.
After last season's win at Denver, the Raiders returned home and beat the Eagles. Will history repeat itself once again with the Raiders getting a second win in a row, on the road at Seattle?
The Seahawks reeled off 4 wins in a row before falling to the Buccaneers in Week 10 but Tampa was really the first decent team they had played in a while other than a very good win on the road over the Chargers. Let's look at the teams they have beaten - Denver, the Lions, the Cardinals twice, the Giants, and the aforementioned Chargers. They have lost to the 49'ers, Saints, Falcons, and Buccaneers. So while Seattle's season has been a huge surprise, are they really as good as their 6-4 record would indicate?
The Raiders are statistically one of the worst teams in the league - but conversely, is Las Vegas better than their 3-7 record shows? I happen to believe yes, that the Raiders are better than this and that the Seahawks may come back to reality a bit here in the 2nd half of the season.
Again statistically, it is not a surprise that my numbers come to Seattle -8, -3, and -5. The look ahead line for this game was Seahawks -8.5. It opened 2.5 on Sunday evening and has been bet up to as high as 4 so far this week.
Given my belief that Seattle may be a bit overvalued - or possibly headed for a bit of a lull and that maybe the Raiders are slightly undervalued - and I do believe it is possible that history repeats itself and rising from rock bottom, the Raiders do again win 2 in a row like they did last season. Given this, I would take the +4 with Las Vegas. Things tend to even out in the NFL and here we have one team that has remarkably overachieved versus another that has grossly underachieved. We may find some balance this Sunday in the Pacific Northwest.
Pick: Raiders +4
Tuley: This was another of my early Week 12 plays on “The Greg Peterson Experience” on Sunday night as we made the point that while a lot of people have been knocking the Raiders for being 0-6 in one-score games heading into their 22-16 OT win at the Broncos on Sunday, but I feel that it’s a good sign that they’ve been in so many close games.
Once again, parity is all about there being a fine line between the haves and have-nots and getting value when we’re getting enough points with our dogs. Even though the Seahawks are 6-4 and tied for first place in the NFC West while the Raiders are 3-7 and tied for last place in the AFC West, I feel this game should be closer to pick-’em as the Seahawks are No. 12 in total offense and No. 26 in total defense while the Raiders are No. 16 in total offense and No. 27 in total defense.
There's a great chance this is another one-score game and decided by a late field goal one way or another.
Pick: Raiders +4
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
Brady Kannon: I saw this tweet from David Lombardi, a 49’ers beat writer for The Athletic, who I think does an excellent job, earlier this week:
This had me immediately thinking Saints plus the points in this game. The 49’ers are fat and happy right now, coming off of their convincing win over Arizona in Mexico City on Monday Night Football. The whole world got to see this team up close and saw how they made easy work of the Cardinals. Ever since, the buzz has become how this team is going to the SuperBowl and that they would be favored over both Philadelphia and Dallas in the NFC. The line on the game opened up 49’ers -8 and was bet up to 49’ers -9.5. I think there is a good chance of finding a +10 in this game before kick-off as the perception and the stock on this team is peaking.
A couple of other notes.. The Niners traveled to Colorado Springs last week to practice in the elevation. It was unseasonably cold, their 2nd day of practice had to be moved indoors, and then they traveled to Mexico City - at even higher elevation. This is a lot of traveling and a lot of elevation change. I have to believe that has taken a bit out of this team and going at it again on Sunday will be more of a test than meets the eye. In addition, San Francisco has the Miami Dolphins on deck. That game likely has their attention as well, considering how well Miami is playing this season and the fact that their former Offensive Coordinator, Mike McDaniel, is now the Dolphins’ head coach.
I believe the 49’ers will win the game but I see them stubbing their toe a bit and not blowing the Saints out. I think a 3-6 point win is likely - maybe by as many as 7 or 8 points but I don’t see it going beyond that. Saints catch the Niners in a flat spot.
Pick: Saints +10