Five teams have opened as big favorites on the Week 12 NFL odds board, and you can expect casual bettors to hammer all five of those teams once the weekend arrives. Are any of them worth grabbing right now?
Jason’s record after Week 10: 28-39 ATS, 11-16-1 Totals
Profit: minus-37.63 units
Handicapping is not an exact science. We can’t keep track of all the teams and all the players and all the variables when we bet on the NFL. But we can lean on some basic rules of thumb, and one of the oldest tricks in the book is to fade the favorites. We expect casual bettors to overbet favorites – the bigger the spread, the more this rule of thumb applies.
Or at least it used to. Things are a little different now; offense is king, and while teams with great offenses are very, very popular, the NFL betting lines haven’t been keeping up. Favorites have a slight advantage this year at 79-76-4 ATS as we go to press. So the emphasis in identifying “public” teams is no longer on deciding whom to fade. It’s more about betting on the good ones as early as possible, before casual fans come in and move the lines away from us.
When it comes to making your Week 12 NFL picks, we’ve got five public teams to look at who are favored by more than seven points. As we go to press, we don’t have sufficient betting information on the Indianapolis Colts (–14 at home vs. Jacksonville), who were playing Sunday night, and the Philadelphia Eagles (–10.5 at home vs. Tennessee), who were waiting to see what the Titans would do Monday night. But our other big favorites have all checked in as early sharp picks, according to our consensus reports.
The hottest of those three picks is the Denver Broncos (7-3 SU, 5-5 ATS), who have grabbed 97 percent of customers for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins (6-4 SU and ATS). We’ve already touched on this game in our look at which teams the sharps are pounding the most in early betting, and it does seem a bit strange to see Denver getting all this early action, especially with the Dolphins going 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five games.
But it’s easy to imagine the Broncos coming up with a huge effort this week after losing 22-7 to the St. Louis Rams (+8 at home). That was Denver’s third straight road game, by the way. And Miami’s recent run has come at the expense of fair-to-middling teams at best. There’s no question the betting public is going to come in heavily on the Broncos later in the week, so if you want to bet on Denver, now is the time, before the spread gets any bigger.
Niner Niner Niner
Team No. 2 on our hit parade: the San Francisco 49ers (6-4 SU and ATS). They’re back in playoff contention after a pair of victories, including their 16-10 win over the New York Giants (+4 at home) this past Sunday. Our consensus reports show 85 percent of bettors on San Francisco at –9.5 (+105) for Week 12, with lowly Washington (3-7 SU and ATS) providing the opposition at the Field of Jeans. Washington had its chance to impress bettors against the awful Tampa Bay Buccaneers, only to lose 27-7 as a 6.5-point home chalk. No playoff miracle this year.
Lastly, we have the Green Bay Packers (7-3 SU, 6-3-1 ATS), who opened as 7.5-point road faves for next Sunday’s NFC North matchup with the Minnesota Vikings (4-6 SU, 5-5 ATS). This horse has already left the barn: Like San Francisco, the Packers have been bet up to –9.5 and beyond, with 62 percent consensus even at the higher price. People must have liked what they saw when Green Bay pummeled the Eagles (+4.5 away) 53-20 at The Linc. Or maybe it was just those snazzy throwback uniforms that helped the Packers beat the NFL odds.