NFL Betting: NFL Matchups for Week 12

Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2012 NFL betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 12!

Houston Texans (9-1 SU, 7-3 ATS) @ Detroit Lions (4-6 SU, 3-6-1 ATS)
Spread: Houston -3, Total: 50

Ford Field, Detroit, MI – Thursday, November 22nd, 12:30 ET

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If you’re a believer in following the NFL trends, you definitely will just want to avoid this game like the Plague. On one hand, the home team has never failed to win or cover a game in this series. On the other hand, the Lions are 0-8 SU and ATS over the course of the last eight years playing on Thanksgiving Day. Houston is 9-1, which is obviously the best start that the franchise has ever had to a season, and it is hoping to pick up its tenth win in its very first Thanksgiving Day game. It’s going to take a yeoman’s effort to stop the Detroit passing game, though that unit is clearly going to be hampered by the loss of WR Titus Young to disciplinary reasons this week. This is a game that the Lions really have to have if they want to stick around in the playoff picture in the crowded and very top heavy NFC.

Washington Redskins (4-6 SU, 5-5 ATS) @ Dallas Cowboys (5-5 SU, 4-6 ATS)
Spread: Dallas -3, Total: 48

Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX – Thursday, November 22nd, 4:15 ET

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There have been six Thanksgiving Day battles between the Redskins and the Cowboys before, and they haven’t generally gone all that well for the visitors. In fact, Washington is 0-6 when playing on Thanksgiving Day in Big D. Second place in the NFC East is on the line in this one, and the fact of the matter is that the winner is going to have a great chance to make up some ground this week on the Giants, who are hosting the Packers. The Redskins have lost three games in a row in this series from an SU standpoint, but they have covered all three of those games and four in a row overall against the Cowboys. Washington is 8-2 ATS dating back to 2007 in this series as well, though it is the first time that QB Robert Griffin III is going to get a taste of this rivalry game, one which he hopes to be playing in for quite a number of years.

New England Patriots (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS) @ New York Jets (4-6 SU, 6-4 ATS)
Spread: New England -7, Total: 48

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ – Thursday, November 22nd, 8:20 ET

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The Patriots and the Jets have already met once this year, and the game came down to the wire. New York ended up losing the game in overtime on a K Stephen Gostkowski field goal, but at least it was a solid showing for a team that hasn’t had a heck of a lot to smile at this year. This would be a win that could save Head Coach Rex Ryan’s job and the season for the team, as there are a lot of teams in the middle of the pack right now in the AFC that are struggling. Here’s the problem: New England can really put away the AFC East with a win in this one, and that’s something that it isn’t going to want to punt away. The Pats have scored at least 29 points in the last three in this series, and the Jets only have one SU victory in the last five dating back to the end of the 2010 regular season.

Oakland Raiders (3-7 SU, 3-7 ATS) @ Cincinnati Bengals (5-5 SU, 4-5-1 ATS)
Spread: Cincinnati -8, Total: 49

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH – Sunday, November 25th, 1:00 ET

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It’s going to be an emotional weekend for QB Carson Palmer, who is back in the saddle in Cincinnati, where he was drafted and started what has turned out to be a pretty darn good career. However, there is no team that he would love to beat more than this one, especially if it meant taking the Bengals out of the playoff picture for the time being. Both of these teams are on the wrong side of the proceedings, but both could still get back into it. It’ll be a heck of a lot harder for Oakland at just 3-7, but it isn’t impossible with all of the games against lousy AFC West teams that still have to be played. The home team has won four straight SU and covered three of the last four in this series, but the last meeting was in 2009 when Palmer was playing for the Bengals and was a visitor at the Black Hole.

Seattle Seahawks (6-4 SU, 7-3 ATS) @ Miami Dolphins (4-6 SU, 4-6 ATS)
Spread: Seattle -3, Total: 37.5

Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL – Sunday, November 25th, 1:00 ET

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Remember when the Seahawks were only a team that could win on the road and the Dolphins were an up and coming team destined to make the AFC playoffs this year? What happened to those notions? The Dolphins have lost three straight games both SU and ATS to really fall out of the playoff discussion in the AFC for the time being, while the Seahawks have really played well on the road all year long. They only have one win to show for their work, but they had Arizona dead to rights, they competed with San Fran, and they really should have had the Lions and Rams as well. Miami has covered and won four of the last five in this series dating back to when these two teams shared the AFC together. This might be the longest road trip in football possible, but ironically, the road team has covered three in a row dating back to 2001.

Buffalo Bills (4-6 SU, 5-5 ATS) @ Indianapolis Colts (6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS)
Spread: Indianapolis -3, Total: 51

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN – Sunday, November 25th, 1:00 ET

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The race for the two AFC Wild Card slots will either get a heck of a lot closer or a heck of a lot farther apart this week when the Colts and Bills meet. Indy is a 6-4 team that has a chance to open up two games of safety on the pack and three games with the tiebreaker on Buffalo. The Bills can get back within a game and hold the tiebreaker if this one is won. It’s going to be a tough task to win in Indianapolis though, especially knowing that the Colts have to be seething to get back on the field after losing 59-24 last weekend in Foxboro. The offense for QB Andrew Luck and the gang has been great, but the defense has started to take a shoddier turn for sure. This could be a get better game against a Buffalo team that has been all over the place. The Bills have scored 19, 31, 9, 34, 19, and 3 in the last six games. Buffalo is 2-0 ATS and 1-1 SU in the two games that these two teams have played against each other dating back to 2006.

Minnesota Vikings (6-4 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) @ Chicago Bears (7-3 SU, 5-4-1 ATS)
Spread: Chicago -5, Total: 41

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL – Sunday, November 25th, 1:00 ET

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The time to panic might officially be here for the Bears. We do have to remember that they do have seven wins already, but in the NFC, getting to 10 might not be good enough to get into the playoffs, especially in the NFC North, where the Packers have now taken over first place and appear to be set to be in the driver’s seat for the rest of the year. Minnesota is still hanging in there, and it stopped its two game skid and its four game coverless streak by beating the Lions two weeks ago at home 34-24. Now off of its bye, the Vikes are getting healthy and look ready to pounce, and if they can win this one, they’ll be in second place in the division with just five games left to play. QB Jay Cutler’s status is clearly still up in the air in this one, and if he can’t give it a go, it’ll be up to QB Jason Campbell.

Denver Broncos (7-3 SU, 1-9 ATS) @ Kansas City Chiefs (1-9 SU, 3-7 ATS)
Spread: Denver -10.5, Total: 44

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO – Sunday, November 25th, 1:00 ET

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A double digit road favorite in a divisional game? It’s really not something that you see all that often in the NFL, and it’s not usually a recipe for a winning bet if you’re planning on backing the visitors. However, the Broncos still have almost 70% of the betting action on their side, and the Chiefs are tough to justify betting. KC did win the last meeting of these teams last year, an ugly 7-3 win in Week 17 that nearly kept Denver from winning the AFC West. However, the Broncos had covered the previous three meetings, and they have to be salivating at the idea of playing this game, even though it’s on the road. Denver has scored at least 30 points in five straight games. The last time that Kansas City scored 30 in two consecutive games combined was back in Weeks 2 and 3. It’s not looking good to be doing the Tomahawk Chop on Sunday afternoon.

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) @ Cleveland Browns (2-8 SU, 5-4-1 ATS)
Spread: Pittsburgh -1, Total: 35

Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH – Sunday, November 25th, 1:00 ET

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The Steelers are really in the midst of a trap game, and the opening betting lines for this one suggest just that. QB Ben Roethlisberger is out, and so is QB Byron Leftwich, which really leaves just QB Charlie Batch to run this offense. Batch is a seasoned veteran, and he knows what he’s doing, but he isn’t going to win many games for you with his arm. On top of that, Pittsburgh is coming off of a physical game against the Ravens and has another one with Baltimore waiting in the wings as well next week. If Cleveland were going to break this four game losing streak to the Steelers, this is the game for it to happen. The Browns might ultimately be favored in this game, and if that were the case, it would be the first time in years and years that that were to happen. The Browns have covered four out of six though, so it might not be unprecedented to think that this could be a modest “upset” at the Dawg Pound.

Atlanta Falcons (9-1 SU, 6-4 ATS) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-4 SU, 8-2 ATS)
Spread: Atlanta -1, Total: 50

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL – Sunday, November 25th, 1:00 ET

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The lead in the NFC South once looked to be insurmountable. The Falcons have only lost once since starting at 8-0, but they have really started to look mortal. The feeling has to be there that they might blow this division if this game is lost. Tampa Bay needs this one, not just because it is just barely on the wrong side of the playoffs at the moment, but to prove that it can beat some of the best teams in the NFC. If it is going to reach the ultimate goal of the Super Bowl, it is going to have to beat teams like the Falcons on the road, so it had better be able to win games like this at Ray Jay. Last year when these clubs met in Week 17, Atlanta embarrassed Tampa Bay 45—24 in a game that was 42-0 in the first 24 minutes of the contest. The Bucs though, were 7-2 ATS prior to that.

Tennessee Titans (4-6 SU, 4-6 ATS) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9 SU, 5-5 ATS)
Spread: Tennessee -3, Total: 44

EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL – Sunday, November 25th, 1:00 ET

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AFC South battles generally don’t make for great games, but at least last week, the Jaguars made a massive exception to that when they pushed the Texans right down to the wire in overtime before finally conceding the game winning score. The gross truth for Jacksonville though, is that it is a 1-9 team that has no chance of doing anything any more productive than winning the first pick in the NFL Draft this year. The Titans are still hoping to get back into the AFC Wild Card picture, something that will happen with a win this week. Tennessee has been all over the place in its last two games, winning by 34 over Miami and losing by 31 to Chicago. The Jags have covered three straight in this series, though the last game between these two was a 23-17 win at LP Field for the Titans last Christmas Eve.

Baltimore Ravens (8-2 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) @ San Diego Chargers (4-6 SU, 5-5 ATS)
Spread: Pick ‘Em, Total: 47

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA – Sunday, November 25th, 4:05 ET

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The Chargers and the Ravens are going in different directions right now. Baltimore has won eight games this year, and it is going to be in the playoffs as long as it can win a few more games. The Bolts might need to win out to get into the second season, and they really don’t have a chance to win the AFC West. QB Philip Rivers has turned into an INT machine over the course of the last several weeks, and he gets a decent draw this week with QB Joe Flacco on the other side of the field. Baltimore came to San Diego last year full of sound and fury, but it left with a 34-14 loss in a game that helped put the Bolts back in the playoff race. It was one of the few wins that helped save Head Coach Norv Turner’s job. A win in this one might do the same thing. The Ravens though, have covered four of the last six in this series.

San Francisco 49ers (7-2-1 SU, 6-4 ATS) @ New Orleans Saints (5-5 SU, 6-4 ATS)
Spread: San Francisco -1, Total: Off

Mercedes Benz Dome, New Orleans, LA – Sunday, November 25th, 4:25 ET

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The 49ers and the Saints played each other last year in the NFC playoffs (you’ll hear that again in a second), and they are clearly building up a rivalry that is going to only build more and more. New Orleans has one of the best offensive teams in the league. San Francisco has one of the best defensive teams. The big question is going to be who will be under center for the Niners. QB Collin Kaepernick made a compelling argument to be the permanent starter last week against the Bears, but it is tough to see QB Alex Smith getting benched. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh said that he is going to go with the “hot hand,” assuming that Smith is healthy. The Niners have now covered two in a row in this series after last season’s 36-32 win at home in the NFC Divisional Round of the playoffs. The Saints had won the previous six meetings of these teams prior to that point.

St. Louis Rams (3-6-1 SU, 6-4 ATS) @ Arizona Cardinals (4-6 SU, 4-5-1 ATS)
Spread: Arizona -2.5, Total: 37

University of Phoenix Stadium, Phoenix, AZ – Sunday, November 25th, 4:25 ET

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The Rams and the Cardinals are both in the bottom of the NFC West at the moment, and these two teams both know that there are a lot of growing pains to go through to get out of this hole. It won’t happen this year for either one barring a huge run, knowing how hard it’s going to be to get into the playoffs in this conference. The Rams are 0-4-1 SU in their last five games, but they do have a pair of covers in that stretch on the road. In fact, St. Louis is a rock solid 3-1 ATS in its four road games this year. The Cards have lost six in a row though, and they only just covered their first game in that stretch in last week’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Arizona is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 in this series, but the Rams scored the win when these two played earlier this year on Thursday Night Football.

Green Bay Packers (7-3 SU, 5-5 ATS) @ New York Giants (6-4 SU, 4-6 ATS)
Spread: New York -2.5, Total: 50

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ – Sunday, November 25th, 8:20 ET

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Green Bay and New York were the other two teams in the Final Four of the NFC playoffs. The Packers were supposed to have a remarkable run to the Super Bowl last year, but it was the Giants that had the last laugh when these teams met at Lambeau Field, as they pulled off the 37-20 upset. QB Eli Manning and QB Aaron Rodgers are two of the best quarterbacks in the league, and they are sure to be engaged in a great battle in this one. These two teams are likely to win their divisions for the second straight season, thus this one might go a long way towards determining a potential first round bye in the playoffs, or home field advantage should these two meet up in the second season. New York has covered two straight in this series. The road team has won seven of the last eight SU, but is just 5-3 ATS in those games.

Carolina Panthers (2-8 SU, 4-6 ATS) @ Philadelphia Eagles (3-7 SU, 2-8 ATS)
Spread: Philadelphia -2.5, Total: 43.5

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA – Monday, November 26th, 8:30 ET

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This isn’t going to be the most thrilling game of the week by any stretch of the imagination, as it is a battle between two clubs that are clearly out of the playoff picture. Both teams are likely to fire their head coaches at the end of the year if things don’t at least show some signs of turning around, and the winner of this game is only going to have a false sense of security in all likelihood. QB Cam Newton and QB Nick Foles are two of the younger starting quarterbacks in the NFL, and they are going to be showcased against each other. Philly has won and covered three straight games in this series dating back to 2004, and in all three games the team scored at least 27 points. Of course, last week, Foles couldn’t get the ball in the end zone against a porous Washington defense. This might not be an exception.

Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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