Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:52 AM

Hot & Not Report - Week 12

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Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under - O/U

Editor's Note: The Baltimore-Pittsburgh game will be played on Sunday Nov. 29

NFL Week 12 Betting Angles

Another week in the books and it was another one that held true to form with last week's angle on the best/worst points per game in the NFL.

Dallas (and the N.Y. Jets) cashed ATS ticket(s) as the team on the low end of the spectrum for points per game over their past three games, while fading the top team – Kansas City – in points per game over their last three cashed an ATS ticket as well.

That made it a perfect 5-0 ATS backing the lowest team and 5-0 ATS fading the worst team the past five weeks, and for those that want to continue aboard that train, Week 12 plays in that tracking would suggest to fade the Kansas City Chiefs again (34.3 points/game over last three) and playing on the Cleveland Browns (12.7 points/game over last three).

It's Thanksgiving week though, and among the festivities that a full weekend of wall-to-wall football action I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday no matter how you choose to spend it.

It might not be a traditional Thanksgiving in the truest sense of the word, but we still have football cards to break down and that's a good thing.

So let's take a look at a couple of Turkey Day historical results that I know will have Pittsburgh Steelers fans interested.

But in true 2020 fashion, there is always bad news with the good, and sorry Steelers fans, the schedule makers may have got you for any February celebrations.

Who's Hot

Since the start of the 2006, NFL teams that went into their Thanksgiving Day games with a better W/L record than their opponent are 28-8 SU on Thanksgiving.

Found this historical angle to be rather relevant this week with all three games currently lined at about a FG or less for the favorites, with Houston, Dallas, and Pittsburgh all laying chalk against their respective opponents.

At 3-7 SU for Washington and Dallas, that game doesn't fit here, so more angles you'll want to find on that likely disaster of a game will have to be dug up elsewhere.

The things for that game I can leave you with is that when both sides came into a Thanksgiving Day game with sub-.500 records in that span, the home team has gone 3-2 SU, but did lose the last occurrence last season when the 5-6 Chicago Bears beat the 3-7-1 Detroit Lions in the first contest of the day.

The other thing to note for that Dallas game is the fact that in the six previous games that had both teams come in with identical records in the W/L column, the home team went 4-2 SU, but more importantly there were plenty of low-scoring results.

The highest combined point effort by any of those six contests was a 43-point total in Phildelphia's 33-10 win over Dallas in 2014 when both went inot the game with 8-3 SU records.

Baltimore's 22-20 win over the Steelers in 2013 being the only other game that surpassed 40 points, whereas the other four games finished with 29 points (Minnesota/Detroit in 2016), 35 points (Pittsburgh/Indy in 2016), 22 points (Seattle/SF in 2014), and 32 points (NYJ/Denver in 2009).

The Jets, Colts, and 49ers were all held to seven points or less in those games too.

The other two games this week is where this angle does apply though, as we all know it's the Steelers (good news time for Pittsburgh fans) who come in with a better record than the Ravens, but at 4-6, it's actually the Lions who have that distinction over the 3-7 Houston Texans.

Detroit has lost on Thanksgiving for three straight seasons, but all of those came against division foes. The last time Detroit went out of the division on Thanksgiving was back in 2015 when they routed the Eagles 45-14.

But coincidentally enough, the time before that saw Detroit host this same Houston Texans organization back in 2012 and they fell 34-31 in OT.

Given the ugly play we saw from Detroit on Sunday in their shutout loss to Carolina, pulling the trigger on the Lions this week has to come with some reservation.

However, the only other team to lose by shutout this year was the New York Jets back in Week 6 (24-0 vs Miami) and they obviously didn't win outright the next week, but New York did get the ATS cash in an 18-10 defeat to Buffalo the following week.

All of that makes the Lions a highly intriguing betting option this week, especially if that line creeps higher and you can get +3 with them.

Who could you follow in Week 12?

  • Detroit
  • Pittsburgh

Who's Not

Since the start of the 2006, NFL teams that have PLAYED on Thanksgiving Day have not won a Super Bowl and only three of them have even made the Super Bowl (Arizona in 2008, Seattle in 2014, Carolina in 2015).

It's not hard to poke a few holes in this history given that two of the six teams involved in Thanksgiving Day games are Dallas and Detroit and they haven't won anything in decades, but you'd have to go all the way back to the Cowboys last Super Bowl win in the mid-1990's to find a team that played on Thanksgiving and went on to win the Super Bowl.

Even during the first segment of the Patriots dynasty at the turn of the century, New England found their way to playing the Lions on Thanksgiving in 2000 and 2002, all around their Super Bowl wins during that time.

Heck even in 2017, the entire NFC East except for Philadelphia played on Thanksgiving and wouldn't you know it, the Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl that year.

Of the three teams to make it to the Super Bowl, you could argue that Arizona and Seattle should have won titles in those years had things gone their way in the final minute of those Super Bowls, but they didn't in the end, and who know's maybe it's some kind of “Thanksgiving Curse” or something this league has.

This is the bad news part for Steelers fans, as Pittsburgh is the only unbeaten left, and the first to come into a Thanksgiving Day game unbeaten since Carolina did it back in 2015.

The Panthers rolled Dallas that day (33-14) – good news for Pittsburgh this week – but any thoughts of adding Steelers futures to your portfolio right now may be left in the simmering pot for now.

This is obviously bad news for any Baltimore futures as well (myself included) if the Ravens find a way to right the ship here and find a way into the postseason.

And we can't forget about Washington or Dallas either if one of those two organizations ends up with the NFC East crown, although I'm not sure any Super Bowl futures on either of those teams are seriously being considered right now.

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