Taking a look at the NFL Week 12 schedule
Week 12 gets busy quickly, as we’ve reached Thanksgiving Week on the calendar. That means we have three games on Thursday and six teams will be in action, with every game lined at a touchdown or more. Breaking away for that family football game or passing out on the couch in a tryptophan-induced coma may come easy if those games hold as forecasted based on the spreads.
We also have a Black Friday game this time around, which also features a favorite of over a touchdown. For the first time since Week 4, there are no teams on a bye, so we’ll have all 32 teams in action and all 16 games to think about.
Here are some Week 12 thoughts:
(odds as of 11/19, 8:25 p.m. PT)
Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET
Game 1 of 16 features a Lions bunch on a short week coming off of one of the most shocking wins in franchise history. Detroit was -3 in turnover margin, only had the ball for 19:36, and trailed the Bears by 12 points with under three minutes left in the game. The 31-26 win was the third in a row for the Lions. Now they face the Packers, who narrowly snuck past the Chargers, who Chargered away another game. Detroit was predominantly favored by 8 against the Bears and needed a furious comeback to win. The line is in a similar spot here against Green Bay, but it sure feels like Chicago is playing better than Green Bay in a lot of ways, so this will be one to follow.
Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET
The late game on Turkey Day is an NFC West showdown between the 49ers and Seahawks. San Francisco has looked like a much different team in the two games after the bye, while Seattle is coming off of a rough loss to the Rams in which Jason Myers missed a 55-yarder to take the lead in the waning seconds. Geno Smith left hurt for a time and Drew Lock came in, so the Seahawks have a QB at less than 100% on a short week with a 49ers team that has won 61-17 over the last two weeks against the Jaguars and Buccaneers. In looking at the Killer Sports database, which goes back to 1989, this is the biggest road favorite role since at least then for the 49ers against the Seahawks.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
What a game this is and the stakes are suddenly a lot higher than anybody expected. The Texans would tie for first place in the division with a win here. They would also hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, as Houston won 37-17 back in Week 3. The Texans have rattled off three straight wins and the C.J. Stroud hype machine is chugging down the tracks. The Jaguars looked a lot better against the Titans than they did the previous week against the 49ers, so they are riding a little wave into the Lone Star State. Let’s see what the market does with this game. I think this is the most fascinating game of the week.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
The Steelers Magic wore off for a week, as they lost a one-score game that was there for the taking against the Browns. Meanwhile, the Bengals spent their Sunday trying to figure out what the rest of the season could possibly look like with Joe Burrow out and Jake Browning in. Heading into Thursday Night Football, Cincinnati was a 5.5-point favorite. Burrow would typically be worth about 6-7 points to the line, but the Steelers managed to look bad enough against the Browns to be a Sunday night favorite at some shops. This might be a game that bettors want no part of, but the Steelers really do look bad for having a winning record.
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET
Even with the loss of Mark Andrews, who means virtually everything to Baltimore’s passing game, this line has grown slightly from where the early-week lookahead number was prior to the Andrews injury. Baltimore was listed at -3.5 at some shops and is now -4, even without Lamar Jackson’s top target. It sure feels like the leash for Brandon Staley should be getting shorter by now and the Chargers are a really desperate team after losing yet another winnable game. I’m interested to see where this line goes. We’ve got a huge coaching mismatch and the Ravens are definitely the better team, but the absence of Andrews really is a big deal. Is it big enough for influential bettors to trust the Chargers, though?
Early line I like for Week 12:
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
I like what the Colts are putting together with Shane Steichen and the new coaching staff. Missing out on important weeks of Anthony Richardson’s development is a bummer, but the Colts really have a good chance at making a playoff push over the next few weeks. They are a short favorite here against Tampa Bay and will probably be in a pick ‘em-ish scenario against the Titans the following week and same with the Burrow-less Bengals after that. They host the Steelers, visit a marginal Falcons team, and host the Raiders and Texans. I like this spot for them off a bye with a better coaching staff than the Bucs, who had to go all the way out to San Francisco and now have to go up to Indy. Tampa has won one game since October 1 and it was against a Titans team I think is really bad.
Pick: Colts -1.5