After a pretty solid 2-1 record with my NFL picks on the three biggest spreads for Week 12, here are my top plays for today.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts (-14 on NFL odds)
One can certainly understand why this is one of the biggest spreads of the season at sportsbooks. The Colts are going to want a bit of redemption after getting blasted 42-20 last week at home by New England. Now Houston is just a game back in the AFC South. Meanwhile, Jacksonville appears to be regressing since its only win, 24-6 at home against Cleveland in Week 7. The Jags have lost three straight since then, all by at least 10 points. In addition, when Jacksonville hosted Indianapolis in Week 3, the Colts rolled 44-17. It was 30-0 at halftime and that's when the Jaguars made the switch from Chad Henne to rookie Blake Bortles at quarterback. Bortles hasn't come out since. He has thrown at least one interception in every game. Colts star Andrew Luck threw for 370 yards (and three TDs) and that started his current eight-game streak with at least 300. He would tie the NFL record held by Drew Brees with another here. Indy has won five straight in the series and 10 in a row vs. AFC South foes.
NFL Free Pick: If there is significant movement in the NFL odds and this line rises to 14.5, take the points. But otherwise go Indy. The Jags have covered just one of their past six road games on NFL odds. Indianapolis has covered four straight in this series.
Tennessee Titans vs. Philadelphia Eagles (-11 at 5Dimes)
The Titans have topped 17 points just once in their past five games and have lost the past four. Predictably, rookie QB Zach Mettenberger has struggled at times. Frankly, it would be smart for the Titans to lose out and get as high a draft pick as possible to potentially land Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. It's a short week for Tennessee, which blew a 24-13 home lead to Pittsburgh on Monday. The Titans were gashed for 206 yards rushing, and that's still what Philly wants to do first: run the ball. The Eagles will want some redemption of their own after they were embarrassed 53-20 in Green Bay last Sunday, the Eagles' worst loss under Chip Kelly. It was 30-6 at the half and the fat lady was singing. Eagles QB Mark Sanchez threw for 346 yards and two scores but had three turnovers, two of which led directly to Packers defensive touchdowns. Philadelphia is 5-0 at home this season.
NFL Free Pick: Take the points. The Eagles will be caught looking ahead to Thanksgiving Day's huge game in Dallas. Philly has covered only three of its past 11 at home against teams with a losing road record.
Washington Redskins vs. San Francisco 49ers (-9 on NFL betting lines)
Could Washington coach Jay Gruden be one-and-done? Redskins owner Dan Snyder isn't exactly known for his patience, and Gruden might be overmatched as a head coach. He called out quarterback Robert Griffin III earlier this week publicly and then apologized for it a few days later. Some guys are meant to be coordinators and not head coaches. The Redskins looked terrible last week in a 27-7 home loss to a one-win Tampa Bay team. And that was out of Washington's bye week. That's on the coaching staff. The 49ers really have no wiggle room to lose a game like this and return to the playoffs. They have won two straight but can't be thrilled with last week's 16-10 victory at the Giants. Only 16 points when New York QB Eli Manning had five interceptions? The Niners are still making too many mental mistakes. The only worry here for San Francisco backers: a huge game on Thanksgiving Night with Seattle. Will the Niners look ahead?
NFL Free Pick: 49ers. Washington looks like it has quit. The Skins are 1-6 ATS at sportsbooks in their past seven overall. San Francisco has covered seven of its past 10 vs. teams with a losing record.