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Week 12 NFL capsules

HOUSTON TEXANS at DETROIT LIONS

 

This early Thanksgiving matchup (12:30 p.m. ET) features nonconference opponents coming off polar opposite Week 11 performances. The Texans (3-7 SU, 3-7 ATS) pulled off a big 27-20 upset win over the Patriots, winning outright as 2.5-point home dogs. On the flip side, the Lions (4-6 SU, 4-6 ATS) are coming off a listless effort against the Panthers, losing 20-0 as 3-point road favorites. This line opened with Houston as a 2.5-point road favorite. The public is rushing to the window to lay the points with the Texans coming off a big win and fading the struggling Lions. This lopsided support has pushed the line to the key number of 3. We are now seeing some buyback on Detroit + 3, with a possible drop back to 2.5 based on the heavy Lions juice (+ 3 at -120). Detroit has value as a contrarian dog in a heavily bet game and a buy-low home dog off a blowout loss. Keep an eye on the Detroit injury report, specifically offensive weapons D’Andre Swift, Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola. All three missed last week and are questionable for this one. We've also spotted some Over money, which has pushed the total up slightly from 51 to 51.5. The over is 4-0 in Lions home games and 4-1 in Texans road games. 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM at DALLAS COWBOYS

 

This longtime holiday rivalry renews at 4:30 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving. Both teams are coming off wins and are still alive in the NFC East race. Washington (3-7 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) just took down the Bengals 20-9, covering as a 1.5-point home favorite. The Cowboys (3-7 SU, 2-8 ATS) are coming off a huge upset of the Vikings 31-28, winning outright as 7-point road dogs. This line opened with Dallas as a 3-point home favorite. The public says give me the Cowboys laying the short spread. However, despite this lopsided support, we've seen the line remain frozen at 3. In fact, the juice on the Washington + 3 is -120, indicating liability on the Football Team and a possible drop to 2.5. Washington has value as a divisional dog (31-24 ATS, 56% this season) and a short road dog + 6 or less (38-24 ATS, 61%). Clay Martin, the lead referee, is roughly 70% ATS to road teams. We've also seen some sharp money hit this Under, dropping the total from 47.5 to 46.

 

 

 

BALTIMORE RAVENS at PITTSBURGH STEELERS

 

This AFC North grudge match is the prime-time showdown on Thanksgiving (8:20 p.m. ET). After starting the season 5-1, the Ravens (6-4 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) have fallen on hard times the last month, going just 1-3 in their last four games. Baltimore has lost two in a row and just fell to the Titans 30-34, losing outright as a 6-point home favorite. Meanwhile, the Steelers (10-0 SU, 8-2 ATS) continue to roll as the NFL's only remaining undefeated team. They just crushed the Jaguars 27-3, easily covering as 10.5-point road favorites. This line opened with the Steelers as 3-point home favorites. A combination of heavy action and COVID-19 concerns on Baltimore has driven the line up to Pittsburgh -4.5. We've seen some books fall back to 4, signaling some respected money buying low on Baltimore + 4.5. The Ravens are expected to be without their top two running backs, Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins, because of the virus. Despite the bad news, Baltimore still has buy-low value with inflated line value, along with being a divisional dog (31-24 ATS, 56% this season) and a short road dog + 6 or less (39-24 ATS, 62%). These teams met roughly a month ago, with the Steelers winning 28-24 as 4-point road dogs. 

 

 

 

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS at ATLANTA FALCONS

 

Both of these nonconference foes are coming off disappointing losses. The Raiders (6-4 SU, 7-3 ATS) saw their three-game winning streak end last week, falling to the Chiefs 35-31 on Sunday night, although they managed to cover as 7.5-point home underdogs. Similarly, the Falcons (3-7 SU, 4-6 ATS) saw their brief two-game winning streak end last week, losing to the Saints 24-9 and failing to cover as 3.5-point road dogs. The early line on this game was a pick-’em, but it was quickly adjusted with the Raiders moving to 3-point road favorites. The public just watched Las Vegas nearly knock off Kansas City in prime time, while Atlanta was crushed by New Orleans. As a result, Average Joes are rushing to the window to lay the points with the Raiders. However, now that the line has reached three, it is frozen. Some shops are even juicing up the Falcons + 3 to -115, signaling some liability. If you see this line fall to 2.5, it will be an indication of late Falcons money. Atlanta has value as a contrarian home dog playing a West Coast team traveling east for an early 1 p.m. ET start. 

 

 

 

ARIZONA CARDINALS at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

 

This nonconference matchup features a pair of teams looking to bounce back from disappointing losses. The Cardinals (6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS) have lost two of their last three games, most recently falling to the Seahawks 28-21 last Thursday night, failing to cover as 3-point road dogs. Meanwhile, the Patriots (4-6 SU, 4-6 ATS) saw their two-game winning streak end last week, falling 27-20 to the Texans as 2.5-point road favorites. This line opened with Arizona listed as a 2.5-point road favorite. The public has given up on New England and is rushing to lay the short spread with Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. However, every time the oddsmakers move this line from Cardinals -2.5 to -3, they’ve been getting hit with Patriots buyback, dropping the line back to 2.5. The Patriots have value as a buy-low short contrarian home dog. We’ve also seen a steady diet of Over money hit the market, driving the total from 48 to 49.5. This rise is intriguing because both teams have actually been profitable to the Under, with the Cardinals 6-3-1 and Patriots 6-4. Weather shouldn’t be an issue as the forecast calls for high 40s, clear skies and little to no wind, perfect football conditions. 

 

 

 

NEW YORK GIANTS at CINCINNATI BENGALS

 

These nonconference opponents both have putrid records, but one is on the rise and in contention for a division title while the other is down and out and just lost its star quarterback to a season-ending injury. The Giants (3-7 SU, 7-3 ATS) have been one of the best teams in the NFL to bet on this season, covering 70% of their games. New York is riding a two-game winning streak and just took down Philadelphia 27-27, winning outright as a 4.5-point dog. Meanwhile, the Bengals have lost two straight and just fell 20-9 to Washington, failing to cover as 1.5-point dogs. This line opened with the Giants as 4.5-point road favorites. With Joe Burrow out and Ryan Finley in, the public is hammering New York, which has driven the line to Giants -5 or even -5.5 at some shops. The Giants have value as road favorites off a bye, a historically profitable situation over the last decade. If this line rises to 6, expect some natural buyback on the Bengals as a contrarian home dog getting a key number. We’ve also seen some Under money drop this total from 43 to 42.5. 

 

 

 

CLEVELAND BROWNS at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

 

These AFC non-division opponents are trending in opposite directions. The Browns (7-3 SU, 4-6 ATS) have won two straight games and just took down the Eagles 22-17, covering as 2.5-point home favorites. Meanwhile, the Jaguars (1-9 SU, 4-6 ATS) have lost nine games in a row and have their sights set on a top draft pick. Jacksonville got crushed by the Steelers 27-3 last week, failing to cover as a 10.5-point home dog. This line opened with Cleveland listed as a 6-point road favorite. The public says the Jags are awful and has no problem laying this number against one of the NFL’s worst teams. The lopsided support has pushed the Browns from -6 to -6.5. Road teams with a line move in their favor are 49-38 ATS (56%) this season. If the line continues to rise to 7, you could expect some buyback on the Jaguars getting a key (and inflated) number at home. Historically, teams coming off a blowout loss of 20-point or more have been a profitable bet over the last decade (roughly 54% ATS). Jerome Boger, the lead referee, is 56% ATS to the home team. Pros really like this Over. They’ve pushed the total from 46.5 to 48.5. The Over is 59% in games that Boger calls. 

 

 

 

TENNESSEE TITANS at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

 

This AFC South showdown has huge playoff implications as the teams are tied atop the division standings. The Titans (7-3 SU, 4-6 ATS) have won two of their last three games, including a huge upset win over the Ravens last week 30-24, winning outright as 6-point road dogs. Similarly, the Colts (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS) have won two straight and just posted a dramatic, 34-31 overtime win against the Packers, covering as 1.5-point home favorites. This line opened with the Colts listed anywhere between 3.5-point and 4.5-point home favorites. Pros and Joes seem to be united on the Titans plus the points, as we’ve seen the number fall to 3.5 across the board. The next move will be critical. If you see the line fall to 3, that will be further evidence of wise guys grabbing Tennessee plus the hook. The Titans have value as a divisional dog (31-24 ATS, 56% this season) and a short road dog + 6 or less (39-24 ATS, 62%). This is also a revenge spot for the Titans, who got embarrassed by the Colts 34-17 two weeks ago, losing as 1-point home dogs. Pros also are eying this Over, which has risen from 49.5 to 51. Both teams have been profitable to the Over, with the Titans 7-2-1 and the Colts 6-4. 

 

 

 

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS at BUFFALO BILLS

 

This non-division matchup looks lopsided on paper. The Chargers (3-7 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) are tied for the fourth-worst record in the AFC, while the Bills (7-3 SU, 5-5 ATS) are tied for the third best. The Chargers snapped a three-game skid last week, beating the Jets 34-28 but failing to cover as 10-point home favorites. On the other hand, the Bills had their three-game winning streak snapped their last time out when they lost 32-30 to the Cardinals 32-30 on a Hail Mary, although they managed to cover as 3-point road dogs. This line opened with Buffalo listed as a 6-point home favorite. The public says give me the Bills off a bye against an inferior team. However, despite the majority of tickets laying the points with Buffalo, we’ve seen this line tumble from -6 to -5.5. This signals some respected money coming in on Justin Herbert and the Chargers, causing reverse line movement. Short road dogs + 6 or less are 39-24 ATS (62%) this season. We've also seen a barrage of money hit this Over, pushing the total from 51.5 to 54.5. Both teams have been excellent to the Over this season. Los Angeles is 7-3 and Buffalo is 8-2. 

 

 

 

MIAMI DOLPHINS at NEW YORK JETS

 

This AFC East game looks incredibly lopsided on paper. The Dolphins (6-4 SU, 7-3 ATS) fell to the Broncos 20-13 last week, losing outright as 4-point road favorites. But before that hiccup, Miami had won five straight games. Meanwhile, the Jets (0-10 SU, 3-7 ATS) are the only winless team in the NFL and have their sights set on the No. 1 overall pick. However, New York has shown some fight the last two weeks, losing to the Patriots 30-27 and the Chargers 34-28 but covering both spreads as roughly 10-point dogs. This line opened with Miami as a 7-point road favorite. The public sees the Jets as an auto-fade and expects the Dolphins to get back to their winning ways in a “get right” spot. However, despite receiving a clear majority of bets, we've seen the Dolphins remain frozen at -7. In fact, the Jets + 7 is juiced up to -120, signaling liability on the home dog and a possible move down to 6.5. New York has value as a divisional dog (31-24 ATS, 56% this season) and a buy-low “bad ATS” team against a sell-high “good ATS” team. We’ve also seen some respected money hit this Under, dropping the total from 46 to 44.5. 

 

 

 

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS at DENVER BRONCOS

 

This nonconference matchup features one team fighting for the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs and the other fighting for their postseason lives. The Saints (8-2 SU, 5-5 ATS) are the hottest team in the NFL and riding a seven-game winning streak. Last week New Orleans made quick work of the Falcons, winning 24-9 and easily covering as 3.5-point home favorites in Taysom Hill’s debut as quarterback. Meanwhile, the Broncos (4-6 SU, 6-4 ATS) were once left for dead but secured a huge upset win last week, taking down the Dolphins 20-13 and winning outright as 4-point home dogs. This line opened with New Orleans listed as a 5.5-point road favorite. This public is all over the Saints laying less than a touchdown. This lopsided support pushed the line to -6. We’re seeing some buyback on the Broncos + 6, which has kept the line at 6 or dropped it back to 5.5. Denver has value as a contrarian home dog with an inflated line. Pros also seem to love this Under. Despite public bettors going Over, we’ve seen the line drop from 46 to 43.5. 

 

 

 

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS at LOS ANGELES RAMS

 

These NFC West rivals are trending in opposite directions. The 49ers (4-6 SU, 4-6 ATS) have lost three straight games, most recently falling to the Saints 27-13 and failing to cover as 9.5-point road dogs. Meanwhile, the Rams (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS) have won two in a row and just posted a huge upset win over the Bucs on “Monday Night Football,” winning 27-24 as 4-point road dogs. This line opened with Los Angeles listed as a 7-point home favorite. The public is more than happy to fade the struggling 49ers and lay the points with the Rams after an impressive prime-time showing. This lopsided betting pushed the Rams from -7 to -7.5. But now we’re seeing sharp buyback on the 49ers getting the hook, dropping the line back to 7. San Francisco has value as a divisional dog (31-24 ATS, 56% this season). The 49ers also have a big rest advantage as they are coming off a bye and the Rams are on a short week having played Monday night. The Cowboys (+ 7, beat Vikings 31-28 in Week 11) and Dolphins (+ 3.5, beat Rams 28-17 in Week 8) both covered in this ultimate “rested vs. tired” spot earlier this season. Dogs off a bye are 5-3 ATS (62%) this season. 

 

 

 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

 

This possible Super Bowl preview features two nonconference powerhouses with a combined record of 16-5. The Chiefs (9-1 SU, 6-4 ATS) have won five in a row and just outlasted the Raiders 35-31, although they failed to cover as 7.5-point road favorites. Meanwhile, the Bucs (7-4 SU, 5-6 ATS) have lost two of their last three games, most recently falling 27-24 to the Rams on Monday night, losing straight up as 4-point home favorites. This line opened with the Chiefs listed as 3-point road favorites. Pros immediately laid the points with Kansas City, which forced oddsmakers to adjust the spread to Kansas City -3.5. The next move will speak volumes. If it falls back to 3, that will signal respected money grabbing the Bucs with the hook. If it rises to 4, that will be further evidence of wise guys backing Kansas City. Road teams with a line move in their favor are 49-38 ATS (56%) this season. The Chiefs also enjoy a rest advantage as they played on Sunday night while the Bucs played Monday night. We’ve also seen Pro and Joe money hit this Over, driving the total from 53 to 56. 

 

 

 

 

CHICAGO BEARS at GREEN BAY PACKERS

 

This “Sunday Night Football” matchup features one team bottoming out and another looking to bounce back from a tough loss. The Bears (5-5 SU, 5-5 ATS) are in a tailspin. After starting the season 5-1 they have lost four straight, most recently falling to the Vikings 19-13 and failing to cover as 3-point home dogs. Meanwhile, the Packers (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS) saw their two-game winning streak come to an end last week, losing a heartbreaker in overtime to the Colts 34-31, failing to cover as 1.5-point road dogs. This line originally opened with the Packers as 7.5-point home favorites. Pros and Joes have both sided with the Packers, which has pushed this line to -9. Some books have taken this line off the board while we await word on who will start at quarterback for the Bears. Both Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky are hurt. If neither can go, it would be Tyler Bray behind center. The Bears have a rest advantage as they are coming off a bye. They are also divisional dogs (31-24 ATS, 56% this season) and prime-time dogs (22-12 ATS, 65%). Also, keep an eye on this total. It has fallen from 45.5 to 45. Prime-time Unders are 21-13 (62%) this season. The forecast calls for 15- to 20-mph winds at Lambeau Field. The Bears are 7-3 to the Under. The Packers are 6-4 to the Over.

 

 

 

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

 

This “Monday Night Football” matchup looks like a no-brainer at first glance. The Seahawks (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS) snapped a two-game skid Thursday night, beating the Cardinals 28-21 and covering as 3-point home favorites. The Eagles (3-6-1 SU, 3-7 ATS) have lost two straight and just fell to the Browns 22-17, failing to cover as 2.5-point road dogs. This line opened with Seattle as a 5.5-point road favorite. The public sees an easy win and cover by Seattle and they are absolutely hammering the Seahawks. This pushed the line to 6. But then we saw some respected buyback hit the Eagles at the key number of + 6, dropping the line back to 5.5. Some books even touched 5 before settling back to 5.5. The Eagles are the top contrarian play of the week as they are getting only about one out of five tickets in a prime-time game. Prime-time dogs are 22-12 ATS (65%) this season. Pro money also has hit the Under, dropping the total from 52 to 50.5. Prime-time Unders are 21-13 (62%) this season. Weather could be an issue with 15-mph winds and rain possible.

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