Las Vegas odds-makers were extremely accurate last week. Three games finished as pushes, with the betting odds falling in line with the final score. In the other contests, the favorites were dominant. The Oakland Raiders and MIami Dolphins were the only underdogs to win outright.
There aren’t many large betting lines in Week 12. Only the Texans, who are 10-point favorites, are favored by double-digits.
Below are picks against the spread for every game.
New Orleans Saints (-9.5) at Atlanta Falcons
It might be hard to find a team that’s playing worse than the Falcons right now. They’ve lost four straight games and none of them have been close. Most recently, they fell to the Buccaneers, who were winless until Week 10, by 13 points. The Falcons are fortunate to be at home, considering the Saints aren’t nearly as good on the road. Don't expect Atlanta to be a serious challenger against one of the NFL’s elite teams.
Prediction ATS: New Orleans
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+9) at Detroit Lions
The Buccaneers have a two-game winning streak after losing their first eight games. Both wins came at home, as Tampa Bay controlled the game with a strong rushing attack. On Sunday, they’ll have to visit the Lions, who have one of the best run defenses in the league. Mike Glennon has been efficient lately, but he’ll have a hard time keeping up with Matthew Stafford and one of the league’s best offenses.
Prediction ATS: Detroit
Jacksonville Jaguars (+10) at Houston Texans
Even though the Jaguars are the worst team in football, it’s hard to expect a team that hasn’t won since Sept. 15 to win by double-digits. The Texans make too many mistakes (19 turnovers) and don’t force their opponents to do the same (eight takeaways). They should have enough to beat Jacksonville, but a comfortable victory against anyone won’t be an easy task, considering they hold the worst record against the spread.
Prediction ATS: Jacksonville
Minnesota Vikings (+4.5) at Green Bay Packers
With Aaron Rodgers and backup quarterback Seneca Wallace sidelined, Scott Tolzien will get his second straight start. Against the Giants last week, Tolzien showed why he began the season as the third-string signal caller, throwing three interceptions and no touchdowns. Without the 2011 MVP, the Packers are a below-average team, and they could be in for a fourth straight loss.
Prediction ATS: Minnesota
San Diego Chargers (+5) at Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are no longer undefeated, but they’re still one of the best teams in the league. The Chargers have lost three straight, including two very winnable games against the Redskins and Dolphins. Seven of Kansas City’s nine wins have come by at least six points, and they should cover against last-place San Diego.
Prediction ATS: Kansas City
Carolina Panthers (-4.5) at Miami Dolphins
The Panthers are probably the hottest team in the NFL. From Week Six to Week Nine, they went undefeated, winning every game by six points. In their last two contests, the Panthers have managed to keep that winning streak alive while playing two Super Bowl contenders in the 49ers and Patriots. There’s no reason to believe they won’t win comfortably over a .500 team like the Dolphins.
Prediction ATS: Carolina
Pittsburgh Steelers (+2) at Cleveland Browns
The Steelers are on a bit of a roll after their slow start, winning two in a row and four of their last six. Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh offense are finally clicking and taking advantage of big plays in the passing game. The Browns, on the other hand, have regressed from the start of the year, losing four of their last five. With the way both teams are playing right now, it’s almost odd that the Steelers aren’t favored.
Prediction ATS: Pittsburgh
Chicago Bears (+1) at St. Louis Rams
Jay Cutler will miss another game, but backup quarterback Josh McCown has actually outperformed him this season. The Rams did have one of the most surprising wins of 2013 in their last contest when they beat the Colts by 30 points, but that was an aberration. St. Louis forced five turnovers in the game, but they’ve been just average in that area all year.
Prediction ATS: Chicago
New York Jets (+3.5) at Baltimore Ravens
The Jets have alternated wins each week in 2013 and the Ravens have covered the point spread in every home game, so one of those trends is about to end. The Ravens have been inconsistent this season, but it seems more likely that New York will lose in back-to-back games. Not only have the Ravens been good at home, but the Jets are just 1-4 away from MetLife Stadium. Their losses have come by an average of 23 points, and their one victory was against the two-win Falcons.
Prediction ATS: Baltimore
Tennessee Titans (PK) at Oakland Raiders
Perhaps it’s because of their terrible record over the last decade, but no team has been undervalued like the Raiders in 2013. They’re tied for the best record against the spread at 7-3. Matt McGloin will get a second straight start at quarterback after helping Oakland have their best offensive performance of the year. The Titans only win since Week Four came against the Kellen Clemens and the Rams.
Prediction ATS: Oakland
Indianapolis Colts (+2.5) at Arizona Cardinals
All season, the Colts have excelled against their toughest competition, while struggling against the lesser teams. The Cardinals have been just the opposite. Indianapolis has beaten the 49ers, Seahawks, and Broncos, and lost to the Dolphins, chargers and Rams. In their last five games, Arizona lost by double-digits to the Seahawks and 49ers, followed by three straight wins against the Texans, Falcons and Jaguars, who have a combined total of five wins. Evidence suggests the Colts will take the victory on Sunday.
Prediction ATS: Indianapolis
Dallas Cowboys (+2.5) at New York Giants
The Giants are on a roll with four straight victories, and they’ve catapulted themselves back into the NFC East discussion. Their wins, though, have come against bad teams and backup quarterbacks. New York’s improved defense could get a reality check when they face Tony Romo and the No.5 scoring offense in the NFL.
Prediction ATS: Dallas
Denver Broncos (-2.5) at New England Patriots
Tom Brady’s teams are usually successful when they face Peyton Manning, but the Broncos are on a different level than the Patriots this season. The Pats don't have the high-powered offense that they’ve sported in recent years, while the Broncos are on their way to setting several offensive records. The Patriots are unbeaten at home, but they nearly lost to the Saints and might not be as lucky on Sunday night.
Prediction ATS: Denver
San Francisco 49ers (-5.5) at Washington Redskins
The Redskins are 1-6 against teams with a .500 or winning record. The 49ers are 4-0 against losing teams, winning by an average of 25 points per game. San Francisco shouldn’t have a problem on Monday.
Prediction ATS: San Francisco