NFL Week 12 Betting Previews and Picks

NFL Week 13 Betting PicksThe playoff picture is taking so many twists – especially in the NFC – that it’s hard to keep track at this point. The situation in the NFC seemed so much clearer a few weeks ago but now, all bets are off. There are multiple division races plus the races for each of the two wild card spots in the conference. Seattle is still the clear leader for the top seed and New Orleans still has a lead in the race for the second spot, but after that, who knows what will happen?

The NFC North is a three-team scramble involving Chicago, Detroit and Green Bay. Meanwhile, NFL online betting cappers have watched the NFC East become a three-way race as well – especially if the New York Giants can beat Dallas this upcoming Sunday. The Arizona Cardinals have caught the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West, much to the surprise of everyone in pro football as well as those who like to bet on the NFL.

The AFC is a confused and cluttered conference in the race for the sixth wild card spot. Several teams are going to fight over that one part of the playoffs but the first five spots are clear. New England and the AFC West winner (Denver or Kansas City) will be the top two seeds. Indianapolis and Cincinnati will be third and fourth in some order and the AFC West runner-up is a near-lock for the fifth seed. How will things change, if at all, in the coming weeks?

Here’s the inside scoop on Week 12 of the NFL season.

New York Jets @ Baltimore Ravens

Game Line: Ravens -4, 40.5 O/U

The Jets had such a good opportunity this past weekend to gain a lead in the race for the sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture but they got trampled by a Buffalo stampede, as the Bills rolled them in Western New York. The Jets are clearly a deficient road team this season. They have a split personality in terms of how they treat home games and road games. With this game being in Baltimore and with the Ravens facing a must-win situation after taking a very tough loss in a weather-delayed game in Chicago, the Jets’ road fortunes simply aren’t likely to improve.

Free Pick: Take the Ravens and the over. Ravens 27-20.Free Pick: Take the Ravens and the over. Ravens 27-20.

San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs

Game Line: Chiefs -5, 41.5 O/U

This game is San Diego’s last stand for the 2013 season. The Chargers have failed to take a few very winnable games the past few weeks, stumbling against Washington and then this past Sunday against Miami. The Chargers have to play Kansas City not just this weekend but later in the season as well. They have to play the Denver Broncos on the road as well, so they really don’t have much maneuvering room. Covering the NFL betting odds isn’t good enough here; they have to win this game. The Chargers will probably keep this game close enough to cover the NFL odds but the Chiefs’ defense should be too tough in the end.

Free Pick: Take the Chargers and the over. Chiefs 26-23.Free Pick: Take the Chargers and the over. Chiefs 26-23.

Indianapolis Colts @ Arizona Cardinals

Game Line: Cardinals -1, 44.5 O/U

The Colts were expected to be a playoff team at this point in the season but the Arizona Cardinals have been a revelation by getting to 6-4. Those who like NFL betting tips might want to keep this sub plot in mind: Arizona head coach Bruce Arians was the offensive coordinator for the Colts last season. He worked with Andrew Luck and knows what the young quarterback likes to do in terms of making reads and progressions. Arians should be able to do an above-average job in terms of scouting Luck and giving his defensive staff some clues as to how to game-plan for the Indianapolis offense. The Cardinals should be fully prepared for this game. Since they get to play it at home in front of a loud crowd, they should gain even more energy on defense.

Yet, while Arizona is a lot better than people have been giving it credit for, Luck is still a special quarterback and a player who is likely to grow in confidence and toughness as the season winds its way to the final few weeks. Luck will make plays and Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer will make a big mistake. The better team is an underdog on the NFL point spread. Take the Colts.

Free Pick: Take the Colts and the over. Colts 30-23.Free Pick: Take the Colts and the over. Colts 30-23.

Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants

Game Line: Giants -3, 46.5 O/U

In the Week 12 schedule, this has turned into a main-event game with the featured late-afternoon time slot elevating the visibility of this NFC East clash. The Giants had been 0-6 but they’re now 4-6 while the Cowboys are muddling along at 5-5. If the Giants win here, the NFC East will become a very interesting and tangled three-way race – at least for a few weeks if not the full duration of the regular season. The Cowboys will be hurt by the fact that their most important defensive player, linebacker Sean Lee, will be out with an injury. New York quarterback Eli Manning now has a better chance of being able to identify gaps in the Cowboys’ defense. He is more likely to catch Dallas defenders out of position, which should lead to a smooth performance for the Giants’ offense. It seems hard to believe but New York will likely enter the playoff picture for the first time all season.

Free Pick: Take the Giants and the over. Giants 34-30.Free Pick: Take the Giants and the over. Giants 34-30.

Home Dog with the Best Chance to Win is… The Washington Redskins

The Redskins are the home underdog with the best chance to win only because there are no attractive alternatives. If the Chicago Bears become a 1-point dog over the St. Louis Rams, the Rams would become a good choice, but right now, the Bears are a 1-point favorite on the betting line. The same thing goes for the game between the Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders. If visiting Tennessee becomes a favorite by a point, take the Raiders plus the point. Yet, that game also has the home team as a slight favorite. Atlanta is a home underdog to New Orleans but the Falcons are horrible right now. That leaves us with Washington as the choice.

Home Dog of the Week: Redskins +4

Most Important Injury of the Week Is…

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers. The Packers just can’t be seen as a clear-cut choice over the improving Minnesota Vikings at home. It’s startling to write that but it’s hard to deny. Minnesota can score and Green Bay quarterback Scott Tolzien will have to improve a lot for the Packers to win this game. The Packers are sinking quickly without Rodgers.

7-Point Teaser of the Week: Steelers +8 and Jaguars +17

The Steelers have been playing well and are back in the playoff mix. That’s why we’ll shift the NFL lines in their favor and take them as an 8-point dog in Cleveland. The Browns are rugged but they’ve been doing nothing on offense in recent weeks. They’ll make it easy on Pittsburgh.

As for our second line, we’ll tease the Jaguars up to +17. The Texans are a mess and have no direction. It’s crazy to think that they are a huge 10-point favorite after they lost outright as a 10-point favorite last Sunday at home to the Oakland Raiders. Take the Jags with the extra points.

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