Week 12 NFL betting picks and predictions

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NFL Week 12 best bets and betting odds

The first week in the NFL without byes since Week 4 started early with games on Thursday and Friday, so we more or less have the same number of games on Sunday that we usually do. We do not have a good Monday Night Football game this week, but it is at least an interesting one with the Bears and Vikings.

Sunday has a lot of closely-lined games, so we could get some drama in the witching hour, but we also have some tough decisions to make with the card.

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Here are my favorite Week 12 NFL picks:

(Odds as of November 22, 10:50 p.m. PT)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5, 44)

This was a game I highlighted in my Opening Line Report on Sunday night and it is still a play that I like as we get closer to the weekend. The Colts are coming off of a bye and I think Shane Steichen is a pretty good head coach. While it isn’t that high of a bar most seasons, the fact that the Colts went nine straight weeks scoring at least 20 points is pretty impressive, especially with turnover at the quarterback position with Anthony Richardson’s season-ending injury and Jonathan Taylor working his way back into the mix.

The Buccaneers are not off of a bye, but just scored 20 or fewer points for the fifth time in six games. This is not a very good roster and that has been on display since the bye week with five losses in six games. The Bucs are being outgained by 0.8 yards per play and it could be even worse if they weren’t +6 in turnover margin.

The Colts aren’t a perfect team by any means, but they’re better than the Bucs and I think they should play well coming off the bye.

Pick: Colts -2.5

Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos (-1.5, 35.5)

Cleveland hits the road with the top defense in the NFL and an offense that mustered just 10 points last week, so it makes sense to expect a really low-scoring game. However, I think we’ll see a different gameplan from Kevin Stefanski this week and a little bit more aggressiveness.

The importance of that game against the Steelers and the threat of Pittsburgh’s pass rush led to a really conservative approach in Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s second career NFL start and first with the knowledge that Deshaun Watson would be out for the season. Per Pro-Football-Reference, the Broncos are 31st in Pressure% and they are tied for the fifth-fewest sacks.

So, I could see Stefanski letting Watson stretch the field a little bit more. Denver has allowed 6.3 yards per play this season, so their defense has had a lot of holes, though it is worth pointing out how the Dolphins game skews the data. Only recently did they start forcing takeaways with 12 over the last three games, but I don’t see that being the case this week against Cleveland.

I like the Browns here. It is DTR’s first road start and the Broncos have won four in a row, but they’re also +11 in turnover margin in that span and still have only mustered 22 points per game. Regression is coming.

Pick: Browns +1.5

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