Over the course of 18 weeks (plus playoffs), it is likely that a slate or two will not go the way of the handicapper. That occurred in Week 11 with an ugly performance that included a Seahawks team with 5+ points of closing line value falling in maddening fashion and a game in which a favorite scored 15 points and the total went over 50 in the same contest. Fortunately, there are seven more weeks to search for value, and Week 12 should provide some.
We’ll get to the selections momentarily but, first, let’s take stock of the full 2021 season.
- Last Week: 1-4
- 2021 Season: 30-24-1
Come get these winners.
Detroit Lions (+3) over Chicago Bears
It’s hideous, but I think it’s right. The Lions are horrific, but the Bears are starting Andy Dalton with a bunch of injuries. Detroit should also be ready to roll at home on Thanksgiving, with Chicago potentially checked out amid Matt Nagy rumors. This bet is predicated on Jared Goff playing for Detroit but, provided he does, a full field goal is enough.
Las Vegas Raiders (+8) over Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys will be a popular teaser piece, I’m sure, and Dallas is the better team. This line being north of a touchdown is a bit much, though, as the Raiders are more than capable of dialing up some effective offense in this contest. Dallas also may be short on perimeter weapons due to injuries, and the backdoor should be open, at the very least.
Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints UNDER 23 points in the first half
There is a risk that Buffalo finds it offensively, but there are murmurs that Taysom Hill may appear for New Orleans. The Saints also have a stark lack of playmakers, and both of these defenses are trustworthy. It may open up after the break, but the Saints are more than willing to keep things slow and vanilla early. Hopefully they’ll bring the Bills with them.
New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles UNDER 46 points
New York is 4-0-1 to the under in the last five games. Philadelphia has been a bit more explosive, but the Eagles are going to lean heavily on the run, and the Giants have shown the propensity to be feisty on defense. This has the feel of a hideous NFC East battle.
Cincinnati Bengals (-4.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers scored 37 points and covered the spread on national television last week. Pittsburgh’s offense simply isn’t as explosive as that performance makes it seem, and the Steelers are a public dog here. It’s off-brand to lay more than a field goal, but the Steelers are still banged-up from an injury standpoint, and I trust Cincinnati’s offense considerably more right now.