Week 12 Trends: Are Patriots Smart Bet as Monster Favorites vs. Fins?

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 4:07 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 4:07 PM UTC

Our Week 12 NFL situational trends and angles uncover a profitable Thanksgiving Day pick, spots to fade double-digit favorites, the Lions, and the Dolphins, while continuing to chase the Browns ATS in their quest for a win.

Turkey Day Trends: Favorites Cash

Since 1989, betting favorites in NFL Thanksgiving Day games are 41-23 ATS, winning at a 64 percent clip. The Vikings (-3) and Redskins (-7.5) are firm favorites over the Lions and Giants, while the Chargers-Cowboys tussle is posted as a pick’em on the NFL oddsboard as of Tuesday. We’re not going to advocate following this trend blindly, or any for that matter, as the reasoning is illogical and hardly situational outside of short rest for each team. Nonetheless, you can impress your dinner company with this little factoid. We suggest saving it for when the table discussion spirals into politics.

Double-Digit Doom?

As of Tuesday, there are five favorites lying double digits on the NFL oddsboard. Only two other seasons has seen as many in Week 12 since 1990. Overall, heavy chalk has not faired well against the number. Favorites laying 10 points or more in this span are 19-28 ATS. Those owning a winning percentage under 70 percent are the weak link. They are 3-12 ATS in this spot, failing to cover a -11.8 average line by 6.2 points per game. The Falcons and Chiefs, both 6-4 SU on the year, are the ones to fade here, each spotting 10 points in home matchups vs. the Bills and Buccaneers, respectively.

Brady, Patriots Big Favorites

The Patriots are 17-point favorites hosting the Dolphins on Sunday. It will be the 18th time Tom Brady takes a snap lying two touchdowns or more in a contest — the first in 2017. New England is 10-7 ATS in this situation. More than half (10) occurred in the 2007 when the franchise went 18-0 SU before losing to the Giants 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII. Since, New England is 5-2 ATS, winning by 20.9 points per game. This is the only time other than the perfect 2007 season Brady has gifted this many points to an AFC East rival. The Patriots are 4-2 ATS in the prior six, covering the number (-18.1) by 9.8 points per game. Overall, in the 17 contests the New England averages 34.2 points and allows 13.5 per game. Brady and crew have won by 17 points or more in all but six.

Stafford’s Home Dog Blues

Lions quarterback Matt Stafford is 3-14 SU and 6-11 ATS are a home underdog in his NFL career, including a 1-2 mark on Turkey Day. The offense puts up just 20.5 points per game. Stafford averages 278.8 yards (6.8 per attempt), 1.5 TDs and 1.2 INTs on a wildly high 41.0 passes in this spot.  The Lions fail to cover a 4.4-point spread by 2.2 points per game. Stafford is 0-7 SU and 1-6 ATS against NFC North rivals, including losing 27-13 to the Vikings in 2009.

Trend Points to Browns Cover in Defeat

That elusive first win is coming for the Browns, but not this week. They are 0-10 SU and 2-8 ATS, posting a -10.9 average scoring margin. Since 1989, only 10 teams have entered Week 12 winless. They are 18-9-1 ATS the rest of the season while chasing a victory. None of the 10 teams picked up their first victory on the road. They are, however, 8-2-1 ATS, covering the number by 3.8 points per game. The Bengals are 8-point favorites for the AFC North clash.

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