Trio of ATS & ML Plays to Consider for Your Week 12 NFL Picks

Darin Zank

Saturday, November 28, 2015 8:47 PM UTC

Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015 8:47 PM UTC

This handicapper didn't exactly dazzle with our free NFL picks last week, but hey, at least the price was right. So we shoot for improvement in Week 12.

Vikes on the Rebound in Atlanta
Minnesota, coming off a home divisional loss to a rival, is a short road dog on the NFL odds at the fading Falcons.

Minnesota had won five games in a row, but suffered a letdown last week and lost a home divisional game to Green Bay 30-13. The Vikes never got their running game going, as the Packers first stymied Adrian Peterson, then took him out of the game by bumping their lead back to two scores.

On the day Minnesota got outrushed for just the second time in its last six games; it covered five of those.

Atlanta, meanwhile, has regressed back to what it was doing last year, namely losing games. The Falcons, following a 5-0 start under their new head coach, have lost four of their last five, and three in a row, after coughing up a 21-7 third-quarter lead and losing at home to Andrew Luck-less Indianapolis 24-21. Atlanta outgained and outrushed the Colts, but Matt Ryan threw three interceptions.

The Falcons also just lost leading rusher Devonta Freeman to a concussion.

Minnesota lost the lead in the NFC North last week with that disappointing defeat against Green Bay, but regained it when the Packers lost Thursday to Chicago. And that's got to be encouraging, heading into this one.

We like the Vikes here, although we'll take the points, rather than go for the win, because the +108 on the NFL moneyline at 5Dimes isn't quite enough.

NFL Picks: Minnesota +1.5 at Bookmaker

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Backing the Bucs, Again
Tampa Bay, fresh off a dominating upset at Philadelphia last week, looks to avoid the letdown when it visits Indianapolis.

The Bucs blew out the Eagles last week 45-17, making this handicapper look good with our NFL pick on that contest. Tampa racked up 283 yards on the ground, as Doug Martin went off for 235, while rookie quarterback Jameis Winston threw five touchdown passes, without a pick.

Now, normally after a performance like that, in which almost everything goes right, we might consider this team ripe for a letdown. But the Bucs do some things that help stave off letdowns; they run the ball well, they're playing decent defense, and Winston has only thrown two picks over his last six games.

Indianapolis, meanwhile, won again last week without starting quarterback Andrew Luck, coming from behind, as mentioned above, to beat the Falcons in Atlanta 24-21. The Colts are now 3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS with Matt Hasselbeck behind center.

However, we also note that over the last four weeks teams starting backup quarterbacks are 3-10 SU, 4-8-1 ATS.

We always liked betting Lovie Smith's teams with Chicago, because of the type of ball they played. We're still not quite sure why the Bears got rid of him. Now, he's got something going with Tampa.

Indy, meanwhile, is 3-0 with its backup quarterback, but how long can that go on? Those guys are backups for a reason.

Are the Bucs for real already? We won't go that far. But we'll bet them this weekend, for the win.

NFL Picks: Tampa Bay +134 on the moneyline at Heritage

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Charging Along with the Chiefs
Finally, the Kansas City Chiefs, winners of four games in a row, shoot to make it five when they host the road-weary Buffalo Bills.

Kansas City started this season 1-5, and lost running back Jamaal Charles to a knee injury. But the Chiefs circled the wagons, soldiered on and have now won four games in a row, after chumming the Chargers in San Diego last week 33-3. KC outgained the Bolts 385-201, and has now outgained its last five opponents, going 4-1 ATS in the process.

Buffalo, meanwhile, is playing its third straight game on the road, and on a short week, after losing at New England Monday night 20-13. The Bills managed to tie that game at 10-10 early in the third quarter, but couldn't do much from there, although they did pull off a back-door push as seven-point dogs.

Both these teams are 5-5 and tied with three others in the AFC for the second wild-card spot, but the Chiefs, considering where they've' come from, are probably happier with their lot than Buffalo.

Kansas City has beaten the Bills each of the last two seasons, by an average score of 20-13. We'd settle for that score Sunday.

NFL Picks: Kansas City -6 at BetOnline

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