Week 12 is upon us as the NFL season just keeps on flying by. There are no teams on byes this week, as the schedule looks a lot different with three Thanksgiving games on Thursday. The Turkey Day tripleheader always features the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, but this year’s version brings the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings.
Oddsmakers and bettors have made their adjustments based on what transpired in Week 11 and that gives us a whole new set of games to analyze and handicap. We don’t have a whole lot of “in between” this week, as several games are hovering around the key number of 3, while several others are well north of a touchdown.
Check out the latest NFL betting splits and NFL odds.
Here are three early lines I like for Week 12:
The Cowboys were able to put it in cruise control with a blowout win over the Vikings, which certainly helps heading into a short week, but the win wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows. Defensive stud Micah Parsons injured his knee and missed some time before returning to the field to take a few reps in the ongoing blowout. He’s part of an elite pass rush group for the Cowboys, which helps in a lot of games, but may not mean quite as much going up against a Giants team that wants to run, run, run and run some more.
The Giants fell to the Lions at home, which is never a good look, but the Giants had 5.7 yards per play and Daniel Jones put up some decent yardage numbers. The problem was that the Giants were -3 in turnover margin. Graham Gano also missed two extra points. It was an odd game for New York, who had taken excellent care of the ball and paid close attention to detail otherwise. The Lions turned two turnovers into 14 points with short fields and that was the difference in the game. The Giants should be able to keep this one close and it may be a low-scoring affair where eight points are quite valuable with a pregame bet.
Pick: Giants +8
Daaaaa Bears came up on the short end of a 27-24 decision against the Falcons and only managed 4.4 yards per play against a very weak Atlanta defense. Chicago takes on a much stiffer defense in the Jets this week, but the bad Bears defense should get a respite going up against Zach Wilson and the uncoordinated mess that is the New York offense. The Jets mustered just a field goal against the Patriots and clearly have a quarterback problem. Wilson was 9-of-22 for 77 yards and took 33 yards worth of sacks, so he had a net of 44 passing yards.
Amazingly, Wilson was the leading rusher with three carries for 26 yards, so that gives you an idea of just how well this offense played coming out of the bye. The Bears may not have the Patriots defense, but the Jets still have the Jets offense. Outside of Fields making plays with his legs, it is very difficult to find explosive plays in this matchup and that should lend itself to an under.
Pick: Under 46.5
The Eagles made a couple of noteworthy signings last week, adding Ndumakong Suh and Linval Joseph to the defensive line. Those two guys were brought in specifically to fill the holes in the interior rush defense. The Colts only managed 3.8 yards per carry on their 26 attempts and that is a bad sign for a Packers team that has been focusing more on the run with a lack of wide receiver talent alongside Aaron Rodgers. Suh and Joseph combined for seven tackles and one sack in the come-from-behind win for the Eagles.
Another big development is that Jalen Hurts ran more and that should ultimately help Philadelphia long-term. With A.J. Brown banged up and Dallas Goedert out, Hurts ran 16 times for 86 yards. The Eagles weren’t terribly effective on offense against the Colts, but can move forward now knowing Hurts is back in the run game and that there are ways to attack the Packers and move the ball. Green Bay is a below average defense by both EPA/play and Success Rate, while the Eagles seem to have fixed their biggest bugaboo on defense.
Pick: Eagles -6.5