Here is a 5-Pack of NFL value plays for Week 12 to help build your bankroll Sunday, featuring the Sunday Night Football contest with the Patriots trying to stay unbeaten in Denver.
This Week 12 of the NFL began with two teams still undefeated, and we already know that there will be at least one undefeated team at the end of the week with the Carolina Panthers improving to 11-0 on Thanksgiving Day. The New England Patriots will now try and join Carolina in this week’s Sunday Night Football contest on the road in Denver, and that is the feature game of our weekly 5-pack of Sunday NFL picks.
With Thursday being Thanksgiving, there were three games this week with the underdogs going 2-1 ATS, as the Lions were the only favorite to cover in a 45-14 trouncing of the Eagles. That’s right, the undefeated Panthers were actually small one-point underdogs at Dallas and prevailed 33-14. Then the Bears upset the Packers outright in the nightcap 17-13 as 7½-point underdogs, with that game marking the sixth straight Thursday night game to stay ‘under’.
Now we move on to Sunday, and probably for the first time this season our 5-Pack is comprised of nothing but sides, as we have one favorite and four underdogs. As has become our norm in recent seasons, all of these NFL odds come from Pinnacle Sports.
Sunday, November 29th
Tennessee Titans +1 (-108) over Oakland Raiders (1:00 ET): The Oakland Raiders have made some progress this season and they were actually in the wild card conversation a few weeks ago with their very nice young nucleus on offense of quarterback Derek Carr, running back Latavius Murray and wide receiver Amari Cooper. However, they now appear to be a year or two away following three straight losses, most recently losing as a road favorite last week 18-13 to the Detroit Lions. That marked the second time this season that Oakland was a road favorite and the second time it lost outright in that role, previously falling to the Bears in Chicago. Now, they are a road favorite again this week. Do you see where we are going with this? The Titans may be a 2-8 team, but they have played much harder since the firing of former coach Ken Whisenhunt in favor of interim coach Mike Mularkey, and the defense has actually played well all year ranking sixth in the NFL in total defense and third in passing defense, thanks to also ranking fourth in the league in sacks with 31. The Titans could put nice pressure on Carr here and contain the Carr-to-Cooper hookup, which would go a long way toward winning this game as Tennessee’s prized rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota is capable of having one of his occasional big games vs. an Oakland secondary ranked 30th in pass defense surrendering 290.5 yards per game through the air.
New York Jets -3½ (-110) over Miami Dolphins (1:00 ET): The Jets once sat at 4-1 this season, but four losses in the last five games leaves New York at 5-5. That still has them very much in the wild card hunt in the AFC though, as currently the Pittsburgh Steelers hold the first wild card spot at 6-4 and then the Jets are one of four non-division leaders sitting at 5-5. Thus, they simply must have this game against the 4-6 Dolphins to keep legitimate hope alive, and we feel they will respond with a rather handy home win here vs. a Miami team they beat 27-14 on the “road” in London earlier this season while winning the yardage battle that day 425-226. That was the last game for Joe Philbin as the coach of the Dolphins, and while they responded in their first two games under interim coach Dan Campbell routing Tennessee 38-10 and Houston 44-26 in a game they led 41-0 at halftime, the Fish have regressed again by losing three of the last four games with the only triumph being by one point at Philadelphia, which is not saying much considering how horrid the Eagles look right now. And losing 24-14 at home to the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday while getting shut out in the second half does not exactly ooze confidence either.
San Francisco 49ers +10½ (-111) over Arizona Cardinals (4:05 ET): While there is little doubt that the first place 8-2 Cardinals should win this game over the last place 3-7 Niners, San Francisco has actually shown enough promise lately to suggest it can hang within single-digits of Arizona playing at home. Interestingly, the 49ers are a double-digit underdog at home in this spot after being only seven-point underdogs on the road in Arizona earlier this year, where they were promptly routed 47-7. That was with Colin Kaepernick at quarterback though, who is now on injured reserve, and the Niners have actually looked better with the oft maligned Blaine Gabbert at quarterback! First, Gabbert led them to a 17-16 upset of the Atlanta Falcons here at home, and then although San Francisco just failed to cover as a 14-point underdog in a 29-13 road loss to the Seahawks last week, Gabbert completed 22-of-34 passes for 264 yards and one touchdown without an interception at the most difficult road venue in the NFL. Meanwhile, this is not the best of scheduling spots for the Cardinals, who in the last two weeks posted a season-defining road won at Seattle and then held on for a 34-31 win last week in a hard-fought game over a Cincinnati Bengals team that began the year 8-0. It would now be very easy for the Cardinals to look past the 49ers here given the result of the first meeting in Arizona, especially with a revenge date up next visiting the St. Louis Rams, the team that handed Arizona its only home loss this year.
Pittsburgh Steelers +3½ (-108) over Seattle Seahawks (4:25 ET): We mentioned earlier that the Steelers own the first wild card spot in the AFC, and the Seahawks have actually been more fallible at home this season than in previous years, as they are only 3-2 straight up and 2-3 ATS here at CenturyLink Field, and they could easily be 2-3 straight up if the referees did not blow a call late in a narrow 13-10 win over the then winless Lions. The struggles of the Seattle offensive line have been well documented this year as the Seahawks have allowed a league high 35 sacks, and that makes this a tough matchup vs. a Pittsburgh defense ranked ninth in sacks with 28, with six of those sacks coming in a 30-9 win over the Cleveland Browns when the Steelers last played two weeks ago. And the bye week last week gave the Steelers extra preparation time for this game, not to mention allowing the sprained mid-foot of Ben Roethlisberger to heal. Not that Big Ben seemed any worse for wear when called upon in relief of an injured Landry Jones last game, passing for 379 yards off the bench! On top of all this, there is no precipitation in the forecast as of now, which is always a concern in the Great Northwest in late November, so the Pittsburgh passing attack can perform to its usual standards.
Denver Broncos +2½ (+104) over New England Patriots (8:30 ET): Well, here it is, the Big One if you will, and we are boldly (but hopefully not foolishly) predicting that the Patriots will go down to defeat for the first time this season, leaving the Panthers as the league’s only unbeaten team. Before getting into the specifics of this game, keep in mind that the last time the Broncos lost a game as a home underdog was in 2011 with Tim Tebow at quarterback. They were home underdogs once this season and they stifled Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in an easy 29-10 win. Denver has the best defense in the NFL, leading the league in total defense (284.3 yards per game) and passing defense (190.6) while ranking eighth in rushing defense (93.7) and second in scoring defense (18.3 points per game). That stop unit would make any team look attractive as an underdog, and the Denver offense was also efficient in the first NFL start by Brock Osweiler in a 17-15 win in Chicago last week, as he completed 20-of-27 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns, and with the Chicago defense forced to respect the pass, it opened things up for the running game as it produced 170 rushing yards on 36 carries. The Patriots may be undefeated, but they are beat up physically right now and have a long injury list that has resulted in failing to cover the point spread the last two weeks, when they nipped the Giants 27-26 and beat the Bills 20-13.