It's Week 12 of the NFL regular season, and thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday, we have just 11 games on Sunday, and one game on Monday, of course.
I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving, and hopefully you made a little bread on the three NFL games, too!
On the injury front, the Cleveland Browns received good news to be thankful for, as RB Kareem Hunt (calf) and OT Jack Conklin (elbow) are each returning from the reserve/Injured list to play Sunday night in a pivotal AFC North Division game in Baltimore. Hunt re-joins an already potent rush attack which has seen RB Nick Chubb go for triple-digit yardage totals in four of the past five games. Conklin will not only help the run game, but he'll be a strong addition to the O-Line to help keep QB Baker Mayfield upright.
For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the pass attack will be missing WR Antonio Brown (ankle) for a fifth consecutive game in a row. WR Mike Evans didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday due to a back injury, and he is in line to be a game-time decision, so total bettors will want to watch that situation closely.
Another injury to watch is that of Atlanta Facons RB-WR Cordarrelle Patterson, as he has been dealing with a wonky ankle. As such, he carries a questionable tag into Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. If he was to be inactive, that changes the complexion of the offense significantly.
Game of the Week?
N.Y. Jets at Houston: No really, I am dead serious. The Jets have hit the OVER in six of the past seven games, and a lot of that has to do with its defense. Gang Green has allowed 24, 45, 45, 31, 54, 27, 25 and 24 across the past seven outings. The Jets offense hasn't been totally futile, averaging 24.5 PPG across the past four outings, so this is a game with a low number (44.5) to watch. The OVER is also 6-2 in the past eight against teams with a losing record, and 6-1 in the past seven as an underdog, too.
The Texans are riding high after a stunning 22-13 upset at Tennessee in the rain. The UNDER cashed for the fourth time in five games. The 22 points for the Texans offense actually tied the most points produced since Week 1, when they opened with 37 points against the Jaguars. On its home field, Houston has hit the OVER in three of four games at home, including each of its three Sunday home games. The OVER is also 5-2 in Houston's past seven after a straight-up win.
Division Over-Under Notes
The UNDER went 3-1 in the four NFL Divisional battles in Week 11. We have four more divisional matchups on tap for Sunday.
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati: These AFC North Division rivals met in Pittsburgh back on Week 3, and the Bengals came away with a 24-10 win as the UNDER connected.
The offense for Cincinnati has been mostly good lately, posting 32, 16, 31, 41 and 34 across the past five outings. The 16 points came in a home loss to Cleveland in Week 9 which saw the OVER cash because of a poor defensive effort. The OVER/UNDER has split in four home dates for the Bengals, although the OVER is 2-0 in the past two divisional games for the Bengals.
The Steelers posted a season-high for points last week on Sunday Night Football against the Chargers. That's the good news. The bad news is that they also allowed a season-high 41 points. The OVER has cashed in two of the past three for the Steelers, both prime time games. The UNDER has hit in the past two games on Sunday afternoon for the Steelers. The UNDER is also 3-1 in four road games for the Steelers this season, too.
Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants: This is the first of two meetings in the next four games for these bitter NFC East Division rivals.
Philadelphia enters the week on a 4-1 OVER run, as the offense has been showing out. Philly has posted 40, 30 and 44 across the past four outings, as the critics of QB Jalen Hurts have started to be a lot more silent lately. It might not be your brand of football, but it certainly has been effective. Hurts, who leads the team in rushing with 618 yards, has rushed for eight touchdowns while passing for 13. He has thrown for 198 or fewer yards in six of the past seven outings, but the ground-based attack is working. Normally, a lot of runs mean a lot of UNDER results, but that hasn't been the case for Philly lately.
The G-Men aren't big on the OVER. The offense has gone for 10, 23, 17, 25, 11 and 20 across the past six outings, and the UNDER is on a 4-0 run, and 4-0-1 across the past five outings. The last OVER was a 44-20 beatdown at Dallas in Week 5. The UNDER is 4-0-1 in New York's five home games this season, although none have been against divisional teams so far.
L.A. Chargers at Denver: The Chargers and Broncos meet for the first of two in the next six games.
The Chargers offense punished the Steelers for 41 points last week, as the Chargers won on SNF. They're three OVER results in the past four games overall, going for 41, 20, 27 and 24 on offense, while allowed 37, 27, 24 and 27 on defense. In fact, the Bolts have yielded at least 24 points in six straight outings, and seven of the past eight.
The Broncos enter Sunday's action on a 4-0 UNDER run, going for an average of just 18.5 PPG on offense during the span. The defense has allowed 18.3 PPG in the four-game run, too. In five home games for the Broncos the UNDER has cashed in four outings, with the lone exception a 34-24 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 6, the only previous home games against a divisional foe.
Cleveland at Baltimore: (see below in primetime section)
Week 11 featured five non-conference matchups and the UNDER went a perfect 5-0.
We have three more AFC vs. NFC battles on tap for the Week 12 schedule, and we saw the go in the two AFC-NFC matchups on Thanksgiving, too.
Atlanta at Jacksonville: The Falcons offense has shriveled up and scored just three more points than you and I in the past two weeks. Atlanta was blanked 25-0 on Thursday night in Week 11 against the New England Patriots, while getting dusted 43-3 in Dallas in Week 10. The UNDER is on a 3-1 run for the Falcons after some high-scoring affairs in the middle of the season. The OVER is 2-1 in three previous games against AFC foes.
For the Jaguars, the UNDER has cashed in five straight games, and eight of the past nine overall. The offense has produced 10, 17, 9, 7, 23, 19, 21, 19 and 13 across the past eight nine games. Surprisingly, the defense has been somewhat effective in the past five outings, allowing an average of just 22.0 PPG.
Against NFC teams, the UNDER is a perfect 3-0 for the Jags this season, with back-to-back games against the Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams on deck. The UNDER is also 4-1 in five home games, and 5-1 in six if you include the London game.
Carolina at Miami: The Panthers are looking to bounce back from a 27-21 loss at home against Washington, an OVER result at home. The last time Carolina was on the road, also an OVER, it won 34-10. The UNDER is a perfect 3-0 for the Panthers in three games against AFC teams so far, averaging 16.3 PPG, while allowing 15.7 PPG. While the defensive effort should still be the same, this offense has a completely different look with QB Cam Newton back under center for the ineffective QB Sam Darnold.
The Dolphins enter on a three-game win streak, and defense has been the key in wins over the Jets, Ravens and Texans. The offense is averaging just 21.0 PPG during the win streak, while the defense has allowed 9, 10 and 17, or just 12.0 PPG.
Against NFC teams, the Dolphins have hit the OVER in two games against the Falcons in Week 7, and the Buccaneers on the road in Week 5.
Tampa Bay at Indianapolis: The Bucs slapped the brakes on a two-game mini skid, posting 30 points in a win over the New York Giants. The UNDER still came through, as the defense allowed just 10 points. Tampa is on a 3-1 UNDER run, with the defense posting mixed results lately. The UNDER is 4-1 in the past five for Tampa, with the D allowing 10, 29, 36, 3 and 22. That's because the offense is good for 30, 19, 27, 38 and 28 in the five-game run. Betting UNDERs in Bucs games can be risky and rewarding. The UNDER is just 1-1 in two games against AFC teams for the Bucs so far.
The Colts hit the field on a 4-1 OVER roll, while going 6-2 across the past eight games overall. If you look on social media message boards and threads, there are a lot of misinformed folks calling QB Carson Wentz a bust. While yes, having a top-notch RB Jonathan Taylor in the backfield certainly helps, Wentz has this offense humming. The Colts have posted 41, 23, 45, 31, 30 and 31 across the past six games.
Indianapolis has hit the OVER in two of three games against AFC teams, with the UNDER cashing in Week 1 against the visiting Seahawks, the first game for Wentz in Indy, as the offense was still jelling.
The UNDER was 2-1 in the three primetime games in Week 11. The UNDER has produced a 16-14-1 (53.3%) clip in 31 primetime games so far this season.
Sunday Night Football Notes
The Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens meet on Sunday Night Football again. The good news for the Browns is that Hunt will be back in action. Cleveland's offense is in need of a boost, posting just 13 in a win over Detroit in Week 11, and just seven points in a rout at New England in the previous outing. Looking at the past six games, the Browns offense has 13, 7, 41, 10, 17 and 14. It's been feast or famine for the Cleveland offense for most of the season, and a lot of famine lately. The UNDER is still just 3-2 in the past five, as the defense has kept this team in games with 16 or fewer points allowed in four of the past six.
The Ravens have also had a power outage. QB Lamar Jackson missed last week's game in Chicago, a 16-13 win, but he was in there for a stunning 22-10 loss in Miami on a Thursday in Week 10. The defense has picked up the pace with just 17.5 PPG, but it will have its hands full against the Browns rushing attack, which will be back at full strength.
Baltimore has played just one divisional game so far, an OVER result in Week 7. Cleveland, which plays its third divisional game, has a scheduling quirk, facing a bye in Week 13, and then the Ravens right back at home in Week 14. It's rare facing a team two times in two games.
Monday Night Football Notes
The Seattle Seahawks-Washington Football Team meet on Monday Night Football at FedEx Field. In all honesty when I was a little kid, I remember Seattle and Washington played each other, and I thought Washington State had two football teams. So anytime I hear the matchup is Seattle-Washington, I think of that. Anyway, please excuse me, but I needed to get that out there.
As far as the game, the Seahawks welcome back QB Russell Wilson (finger) two games ago, but they were blanked 17-0 in Green Bay in Week 9, and they fell 23-13 last week to the Cardinals at home, but UNDER results. In fact, Seattle is 4-0 to the UNDER in the past four outings, and 7-0-1 in the past eight games overall. We've mentioned power outages on offense above, and perhaps nobody has had one worse than Seattle.
The good news is that the Seattle D has produced like we've come to expect over the years. The D has allowed 23, 17, 7 and 13 in the four-game UNDER run, and there is no reason to believe WFT is going to roll up big numbers.
Washington has averaged 28.0 PPG in the past two games, both against NFC South teams, but they're still averaging just 17.8 PPG across the past five outings, hitting the UNDER in four of those contests.
After the Thanksgiving Talk piece, I wasn't so thankful. It is no lie, I went 3-0 ATS on sides, but that doesn't help you here. I was the turkey Thursday, going 0-4 (-430), and it happens sometimes. That's a season total of 9-7 and (+220). Let's start re-building that bankroll for Week 12 and down the stretch, as we need money to spend for the Super Bowl.
Best Over: Over Buccaneers at Colts 53
Best Under: Under Falcons at Jaguars 46
Best First-Half Total: Under 21.5 Panthers at Dolphins
Three-Team Total Teaser (+7, +135)
Over 41 Chargers at Broncos
Under 54.5 Browns at Ravens (SNF)
Under 53.5 Seahawks at Washington (MNF)