NFL Picks: Kevin Stott Highlights Early Week 12 Betting Value

Kevin Stott

Monday, November 23, 2015 8:49 PM GMT

Let’s look at each game this week from the context of what we know with what happened in Week 11, the fresh lines & provide some first-gut NFL picks for our Sportsbook Review readers.

New Orleans Saints at Houston Texans -3 47½ (Pinnacle)
There was no Early Line on this game because Houston Texans (5-5 ATS, 5-5 ATS, W3) starting QB Brian Hoyer (Concussion) was injured and made way for backup TJ Yates on Sunday where the Texans topped the Jets, 24-17 in Houston. Expect Yates to likely get the start against Drew Brees and the Saints (4-6 SU, 4-5-1 ATS)—who will be coming in off their Bye Week and have had 13 Days Rest but were pummeled by the Redskins in Washington in their last game in Week 10. When these two teams last met, the Saints beat the Texans 40-33 and covered as 3-point favorites in New Orleans in 2012 while in the last meeting here at NRG Stadium in Houston, the Texan won 23-10 and covered as 1½-point favorites in 2007. Brees (56-49-4 ATS on Road) and the Saints seems to wobble this year and this looks like a good spot for the host Texans—without RB Arian Foster, out for Season—who have started to play some ferocious D behind DL JJ Watt after being embarrassed in the 1st Half at Miami in Week 6 (41-0).

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Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons -2½, 46 (The Greek)
Teddy Bridgewater (Shoulder) and the Minnesota Vikings (7-3 SU, 8-2 ATS) face Matt Ryan and the slumping Atlanta Falcons (6-4 SU, 4-6 ATS) in this NFC inter-divisional tilt from the Georgia Dome this Sunday in Atlanta in Week 12 play. The last time these two played, the Vikings defeated the Falcons, 41-28 last season in Minneapolis, easily covering as 5½-point favorites while in the last meeting here at Atlanta between the two, the Falcons won 24-14 as 10-point chalks, pushing the number in 2011. With the Vikings playing so well on the Road this season (3-2 SU, 4-1 ATS), taking Minnesota and the early 3 points (The Greek) seems like a wise thing here in a game the visitors can easily win. Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (Concussion), the NFL’s leading Rusher averaging 126.8 ypg, hurt himself in the Falcons OT loss to the Colts.
NFL Pick: Vikings +3 (The Greek)

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St. Louis Rams at Cincinnati Bengals -8, 42½ (Pinnacle)
The St. Louis Rams (4-6 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) head to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati to face the Bengals (8-2 SU, 8-1-1 ATS) on Sunday afternoon in this Week 12 inter-conference meeting which is very important to both teams. The last time these two met, the Bengals won 20-13 in 2011 in St. Louis, pushing as 7-point favorites while in the last game here in the Queen City in 2007, Cincinnati won 19-10 but failed to cover by 1 points and 10-point chalks. The Rams and Head Coach Jeff Fisher—who have decided to go with Case Keenum in Week 10 over Nick Foles—have dominated this series ATS over the last decade, with St. Louis going 4-0-1 ATS the L5 overall in this series and 1-3 ATS the L4 here at Home in Cincinnati. But obviously, those were much worse Bengals teams than this humming unit. On Sunday, st. Louis fell in baltimore while the Bengals lost a tough one late in Arizona to the Cardinals, 34-31 after rallying late at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale on Sunday Night Football. Sunday’s Loss for the Rams was brutal, living in the NFC West with the Cardinals and defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks.
NFL Pick: Bengals -8 (Pinnacle)

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis Colts -3, 46½ (Pinnacle)
The upstart Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5 SU, 6-4 ATS) and Rookie QB Jameis Winston (5 TD Passes on Sunday) head to Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis to face the Colts (4-5 SU, 4-5 ATS, Open Date) and unbeaten Colts backup QB Matt Hasselbeck as starter Andrew Luck (Kidney) sits ailing. The last time these two played, the Colts lost, 24-17 at Tampa Bay in 2011 but covered ATS getting 10 points as the underdog while the last meeting here in Naptown, Indianapolis won, 34-19 in 2007 and also covered ATS in that one, this time giving 9 points as the favorite. The Colts—also without Rookie WR Phillip Dorsett (Mid-December return expected)—are 5-1 ATS in their L6 against the Buccaneers. With the Buccaneers, Winston and RB Doug Martin (27 rushes, 235 yards, 8.7 ypc) looking so good Sunday in their trouncing of the Defenseless Eagles, earlier thoughts of backing the Colts and laying the -3 need to be revisited although, In Hasselbeck We Trust. Right?

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New York Giants at Washington Redskins -1½, 46½ (5Dimes)
Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins (4-6 SU, 5-5 ATS) welcome Eli Manning and the New York Giants (5-5 SU, 6-3-1 ATS) to FedExField in Landover, Maryland on Sunday afternoon in this NFC East Week 12 game between two teams in the thick of the divisional race—but then again everyone in the NFC East is still in the thick of the race, right Ralph? The last time these two met on a gridiron was in Week 4 of this Regular Season where New York defeated Washington, 32-21 at Home, covering as 3-point favorites while the last meeting here at FedExField in Landover was last season where the Giants rolled 45-13 in Week 3, winning outright as 3-point underdogs. The G-Men—who announced last week that WR Victor Cruz is done and will be having season-ending Calf Surgery—will be coming off of their Bye Week and will be playing on 13 Days Rest. New York is 5-0 ATS the L5 vs. the Redskins and with unheralded Offensive threats outside of Odell Beckham Jr. now like RB Shane Vereen, WR Rueben Randle (475 yards, 3 TDs, 12.2 ypc), Rookie (Tulane) RB Orleans Darkwa (109 yards, TD) and WR Dwayne Harris (12.2 ypc, 4 TDs), are a team to truly be watched and if anyone outside of the Packers and Seahawks are going to rock the Panthers-Cardinals Cradle in the NFC, it will be likely these Giants.
NFL Pick: Giants -1 (5Dimes)

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Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans -2, 44 (5Dimes)
This Week 12 game from LP Field in Nashville on Sunday sees QB David Carr, Rookie Amari Cooper and the Oakland Raiders (4-6 SU, 5-5 ATS) heading to Opryland to face Rookie Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans (2-8 SU, 4-6 ATS) in an AFC inter-divisional game which matters to both teams despite the .500 or sub-.500 records. When these two last played, the Titans won 23-19 at O.co Colisuem in Oakland and covered as 2½-point chalks in 2013 while the last meeting here in the Volunteer State saw the then Tom Cable-coached Raiders got smashed here in Nashville in Week 1 in 2007, 38-13 failing to cover ATS as 6½-point underdogs. The Titans are 7-2 ATS the L9 in this series here at Home at LP Field and previous stadia. Oakland has been historically bad travelling east—the Silver and Black will lose 3 Body Clock Hours going from EST to PST here so will be basically be playing the game at 10 a.m. (PST) and lost in this Time Zone last week at Detroit to the Lions in Week 10 play, 18-13—but Tennessee has been bad everywhere going 2-12-2 ATS its L16 against teams with a Losing record and a miserable 7-21-2 ATS its L30 overall (25.0%). Oakland K Sebastian Janikowski may be the difference here.
NFL Pick: Raiders -1 (5Dimes)

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Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs -3½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs (5-5 SU, 5-5 ATS) play host to Tyrod Taylor and the Buffalo Bills (5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS; at New England Patriots on Monday Night Football; NFL odds: Patriots -7, 48½ (SIA) at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Sunday in this huge inter-divisional tilt which will seems to have early AFC Wild Card implications. The last time these two teams met, the Chiefs won outright, 17-13 last year in Buffalo getting 2½ points, while the last meeting here in Missouri was back in 2012 where the Bills won 35-17 outright as 3-point underdogs. The Bills are a dominating 6-2 ATS the L8 ATS overall in the series and 6-1 ATS the L7 on the Road at Arrowhead Stadium. But Head Coach Andy Reid has a much better Kansas City team than in those leaner years and the Bills were a little bit stronger. Chiefs RB Charcandrick West (Hamstring), replacing the already out RB Jamaal Charles is hurt but this Chiefs team is better than this Record and should win here, although backing on the Money Line over the Point Spread over the Bills (coming in off 5 Days Rest only) will likely be preferred. also seems like a good Under game.

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Miami Dolphins at New York Jets -3½, 42½ (Pinnacle)
Like the above game, this is another Week 12 date could have AFC Wild Card implications as the New York Jets (5-5 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) welcome the Miami Dolphins (4-6 ATS, 4-6 ATS) to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey next Sunday afternoon in a huge AFC East meeting and possible season-ending Loss for both teams, should that be their Fate. When these two met earlier this Regular Season, New York AFC won 27-14 as 2½-point favorites in Week 4, easily covering ATS in Miami Gardens while in this game last season in Jersey, the Dolphins won 16-13 getting 3½ points as under-dolphins. The Jets are 4-0 ATS the L4 meetings and now definitely need the Win here and like the Chiefs above, may be best approached on the Money Line when those lines come out later today (Monday).

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San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars -4, 46½ (Bet365)
Philip Rivers and the crumbling Chargers (2-8 SU, 3-7 ATS) head to EverBank Field in Jacksonville Sunday afternoon to face Blake Bortles and the Jaguars (4-6 SU, 6-4 ATS) in an AFC inter-divisional date which actually means something to the hosts. The last time these two played was in San Diego in 2014 where the Bolts won 33-14, easily covering as 11-point favorites while the last meeting here in the splendid Sunshine State saw the Chargers win 24-6 in 2013 and covering ATS, laying 7 points. The Jaguars will be coming in on 9 Days Rest after beating Tennessee on Thursday Night Football in Week 11 while San Diego is travelling from California (PST) to Florida (EST) and losing 3 Body Clock Hours, basically meaning they will be playing at 10 a.m. their Time and coming off a miserable Loss to the Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Sunday in Week 10 in which Rivers and R Antonio Gates got into a chirp-fest late in the game. Always fade teams chirping at each other. The advanced Line had Jacksonville as just 1½-point chalks so you can see how quickly Oddsmakers perceptions changed on Sunday night they were all when doing their math-work.
NFL Pick: Jaguars -3 (-150) (Bet365)

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Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers -10, 44½ (Island Casino)
Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals (8-2 SU, 6-3-1 ATS) head to Santa Clara, California and Levi’s Stadium to face Blaine Gabbert and the ghostly San Francisco 49ers (3-7 SU, 4-6) on Sunday in a Week 12 NFC West meeting. When these two played earlier this season, the Cardinals rolled 47-7 in Week 4, easily covering as 7-point favorites while the last meeting here in The City By The City By The Bay saw Arizona win 32-20 and cover as 9½-point favorites last season. The 49ers are 9-5 ATS the L14 vs. the Cardinals but San Francisco was had much better Rosters back then and had a real Head Coach by the name of Jim Harbaugh. Arizona defeated the bengals at Home on SNF, 24-31 on a last-minute FG while the Niners were embarrassed (again) in Seattle by the Seahawk,s and are auto-fade material with the least Points scored in the NFL (139) although Gabbert looked pretty good at times and is a QB this franchise can build around once HC Jim Tomsula returns to a Defensive Coordinator’s role which more suits him. Speedy Rookie (UAB) WR JJ Nelson (4 Receptions, 142 yards, TD) was absolutely fabulous against Cincinnati Sunday.
NFL Pick: Cardinals -9½ (Island Casino)

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Pittsburgh Steelers at Seattle Seahawks -5 44½ (Pinnacle)
The second-biggest game of Week 12 sees Russell Wilson and the the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks (5-5 SU, 3-6-1 ATS) play host to star WR Antonio Brown and the rumbling Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4 SU, 5-3-2 ATS) in a big inter-conference meeting for both sides. The last time these two met, the Steelers shut out the Seahawks, 24-0 at Heinz Field in the Steel City while the last meeting here at CenturyLink Field in the Emerald City saw the Seahawks win by a 23-16 score at the old Seahawks Stadium in 2003. Seattle is 6-1 ATS the L7 here in this series, but as you can see, the last of those 7 meetings was way back in 2003 when we had more hair and more patience. Landry Jones and the Steelers will coming in with 13 Days of Rest with their welcome Bye Week coming in Week 10. With Injuries to Roethlisberger, C Maurkice Pouncey and RB Le’Veon Bell, this has been a tough season for the Black and Gold so far but they’re still a huge threat and RB Marshawn Lynch (Seahawks) is hurt and may be out here although Thomas Rawls may have snatched his spot the way he has played. If QB ben Roethlisberger is healthy enough, the Steelers plus 5 (up from Advanced Line of 3) seems to hold some perceived value.

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New England Patriots at Denver Broncos -5½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
The defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots (9-0 SU, 5-2-2 ATS; vs. Bills on MNF;Odds: Patriots -7, 48½ (SIA) and QB Tom Brady (65-46-1 ATS on Road) head west to Sports Authority Field in Denver to face the Broncos (7-2 SU, 5-3-1 ATS, at Bears Sunday) next Sunday evening in the marquee game of Week 12 and one which likely see the hosts going with Brock Osweiler (74% Completions, 52% 3rd Down Conversions on Sunday) at QB over the injured, aging and statistically horrific 39-year-old Peyton Manning after Osweiler looked pretty darn good in Denver’s 17-15 win against the Bears in Chicago on Sunday in Week 10. When these two AFC giants last met, the Patriots hammered the Broncos, 43-21 last season as 3-point favorites in Gillette Stadium while the last meeting here in the Mile High City was in 2011 when the Patriots and Brady rolled to a 41-23 victory as 7-point chalks. New England—which lost watery WR Julian Edelman for the remainder of the Regular Season to an Injury last week after losing RB Dion Lewis earlier this month—will be losing 2 Body Clock Hours travelling the 1,970 miles from Massachusetts (EST) to Colorado (MST), but with the game at night it won’t really matter and if anything it may seem like a late start to TE Rob Gronkowski and the visitors who will be playing at 5,280 feet Altitude. The Patriots are 6-2 ATS the L8 in this high-profile series and there’s a reason they’re such solid Point Spread chalks on the Road against the best D in the NFL in the Broncos (182 Points Allowed). The Patriots are an elite football team that focuses on playing one game at a time, a decent approach for Life itself.

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Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns -2½, 41 (Pinnacle) 
The Baltimore Ravens (3-7 SU, 1-7-2 ATS) head to FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on next Monday night to face the Browns (2-8 SU, 3-6-1 ATS) in an AFC North game which matters little to either quite honestly and yet another “Why is this here for the love of Roger?” Primetime TV matchup. Cleveland (4-0 Over at Home) will be coming in well-rested off their Open Date, but are not a good team as the Point Spread reflects while the Ravens saw starting QB Joe Flacco (Knee, torn ACL and MCL) get hurt and go Out for the season in Sunday’s 16-13 Win over the Rams in Baltimore. The last time these two played, the Ravens lost 33-30 at Home in Baltimore earlier this season losing outright as 6-point chalks while the last meeting here in Cleveland, the Ravens won 23-21 in Week 3 and barely covered (½ point) as 1½-point favorites. Baltimore is 6-1 ATS the L7 here in Cleveland and even with backup Matt Schaub now taking over the signal-calling, the tackling Edgar Allan Poe’s may be worth a look in this particular spot with the mercurial and frenzied Johnny Manziel looking like the Browns starting QB over Josh McCown for the remainder of the disappointing Regular Season. But with Flacco out as well as veteran star WR Steve Smith and RB Justin Forsett, among others, there are better games on the betting board to back although the Ravens have been the first-instinct play in a fade-Cleveland mentality and do have their precious Pride.

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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Detroit Lions -1½, 45½ (Pinnacle)
The Philadelphia Eagles (4-6 SU, 4-6 ATS) head to Ford Field in Detroit on Thursday afternoon to face the Detroit Lions (3-7 SU, 3-7 ATS) in this Thanksgiving Day opener from the Motor City. The last time these two NFC teams played, Matthew Stafford (17-24-1 ATS at Home, 1-3 ATS this season) and Detroit won 26-23 in Philadelphia in 2012 and won outright as 3½-point underdogs while in the last meeting here in Detroit, the Rod Marinelli-coached Lions were stomped, 56-21 as 5-point underdogs in 2007. The Eagles are 6-2 ATS the L8 in this series but come in on a downer after getting trampled by the Buccaneers on Sunday, 45-17 while the Lions upset the Raiders in Detroit, 18-13 for their 2nd straight Win. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook NFL Games of the Year opened Detroit as 1½-point favorites on this game back in the late Spring, while the SuperBook Advanced Line had Philadelphia -3, so you can see how much perceptions have gone back-and-forth in a game between two teams expected to do much better. Sam Bradford (Doubtful) is still ailing so Mark Sanchez may go again here for the visitors who are still in the NFC East race but seem to be regressing under Head Coach Chip Kelly (Eagles Past Records vs Under CK: SU: 20-12 vs 4-5; PPG 28.6 vs 22.9; 3rd Down: 41% vs 34%; Total QBR: 62 vs 36) who may be feeling some warmth near his Bottom. Ooooh, there he is on my TV now squirming. Maybe it’s warmer than supposed. And this game is punishment for something and if you listen close, you can hear people bitching about it now. Over if anything.

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Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys PK, 46 (Heritage)
After being punished with the a game between cats and birds, our reward is a fun game between cats and dudes who wear spurs as the Thanksgiving turkey aroma begins to waft through the air in the US and not only is the game promising, but Monsieur Oddsmaker has made this game between the undefeated Carolina Panthers (10-0 SU, 8-2 ATS) and the Dallas Cowboys (3-7 SU, 3-7 ATS, L7-8) from AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Thursday a Pick ‘Em. With QB Tony Romo back and healthy for Dallas, America’s Former Team defeated the Dolphins in Miami on Sunday but locking horns with Cam Newton (20-15 ATS on Road, 4-0 ATS this season, W14 straight Regular Season games) and this solid team—which sandblasted the Redskins, 44-16 in Charlotte on Sunday in Week 11—will be a different story. The last time these two teams played, the Cowboys won 19-14 in Charlotte in 2012 and covered as 2½-point favorites while the last meeting here in the Tar Heel State, the then John Fox-coached Panthers lost 21-7 as 8½-underdogs. America’s Team, the Cowboys, are 4-1 ATS the L5 in this series.
NFL Pick: Panthers +1 (Heritage)

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Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers -8, 47½ (Pinnacle)
Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears (4-6 SU, 5-5 ATS) head north across the Illinois state line to America’s Dairyland to face Aaron Rodgers (Right Shoulder) and the Green Bay Packers (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS) on Thanksgiving Day Eve in a big NFC North game for the Cheeseheads. When these two met earlier this season in Week 1 at Soldier Field in Chicago, the Packers won 31-23 and covered ATS as 6-point favorites. Last season in Green Bay, the Packers walloped Chicago, 55-14, easily covering the 9-point spread and the Packers are now 9-1 ATS the L10 against the Bears and 3-1 ATS the L4 in Brown County. The Packers are 4-5 SU and 4-5 ATS on Thursdays and 3-2 ATS at Home in Lambeau Field on Thursday nights while the Bears are 4-5 SU and 2-6 ATS and 2-4 ATS on the Road on Thursday nights. Without prolific WR Jordy Nelson, Green Bay is seeing how hard it is to get back to the NFC Championship Game and what happens here should have significance in both the divisional and conference races. The Advanced Line here was (Packers) 7 and Chicago may again be without WR Alshon Jeffery and RB Matt Forte and be relying on electric Rookie RB Jeremy Langford. Despite the scoring in the first meeting in Chitown and Rodgers and Cutler, the Under (47½) may be worth a look here.

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NFL WEEK 12 EARLY PICKS: Panthers +1 over Cowboys (Heritage), Vikings +3 over Falcons (The Greek), Bengals -8 over Rams (Pinnacle), Giants -1 over Redskins (5Dimes), Raiders -1 over Titans (5Dimes), Jaguars -3 -150 over Chargers (Bet365), Cardinals -9½ over 49ers (Island Casino)