NFL Picks Week #12 (2021 regular season)
NFL PICKS (WEEK #12)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
Written Wednesday November 24th, 2021 at 11 AM Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed)
We enjoyed another good week with the picks against the spread (ATS) last week by posting a 3-2 record on official picks, as well as a 2-1 record on the leans.
Through the first 11 weeks of the 2021 NFL season, our record now sits at 24-14-1, a 63% success rate.
As for the NFL proposition bets shared with my members on Patreon, we have now accumulated 39 wins versus 27 losses, which equates to a 59% winning rate. In other words, we are clearly enjoying a very lucrative NFL season!
Buckle up for my top 3 NFL picks for Week #12. I may only have three good value wagers this week, but I like them all pretty good since they are all rated 3 stars out of 5 or better.
In this article, I will also provide you with 4 leans. Let’s get started right now!!!
PICK #1 (4 STARS): SEATTLE SEAHAWKS +1 AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
If you have been following me for a while, you have heard the following betting system before: betting a team from the West facing a team from the East in a late primetime game.
The reasoning behind this strategy goes like this: researchers have found that peak athletic performance occurs in the late afternoon or early evening. That means that when a game starts at 8 PM Eastern Time, this is the perfect timing for West Coast teams for which the game feels like it is 5 PM. This has generated great results for me over the past few years, and it’s one of the reasons why I like the Seahawks in this spot.
There are also three trends about the Seahawks that get me excited:
- They are 11-4 ATS as road underdogs lately;
- They are 36-16-4 ATS after a straight up loss;
- They have covered the spread in four of their past five Monday Night games.
Moreover, Seattle is more effective THROWING the ball, especially with Chris Carson done for the year, and that turns out to be Washington’s weakness on defense. I also trust Russell Wilson more than Taylor Heinicke, even though the latter has been doing a fine job. And obvisouly the Seahawks have an elite tandem at the wide receiver position with Metcalf and Lockett.
In summary, let’s go with Seattle as 1-point underdogs as the first pick of the week!
PICK #2 (3 STARS): PITTSBURGH STEELERS +4.5 AT CINCINNATI BENGALS
Last week, the Steelers were missing three huge pieces on defense: T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Joe Haden. From what I have read, Watt and Fitzpatrick have a good chance of returning. That’s one of the reasons I expect this line to drop to 3.5 or perhaps even 3.0 later in the week.
We are talking about a big rivalry and divisional matchup that’s likely to be very tight. Personally, I wouldn’t trust the Bengals to win this meeting by 5 points or more; this outcome has much less than a 50% chance of happening, in my opinion.
Pittsburgh has historically enjoyed a lot of success in Cincinnati, as evidenced by their 16-4-2 record against the spread. Also, the Steelers have been great at covering spreads as road underdogs. As a matter of fact, they hold an impressive 19-7-1 record in such situations.
Revenge for an earlier lost meeting is another factor that I like to keep track of. In this case, Pittsburgh lost 24-to-10 in Week 3 against those same Bengals.
Another NFL betting system that I trust applies here: betting a road underdog following a road loss. This strategy has produced a 160-97-5 record ATS in recent seasons. Considering the Steelers lost in L.A. last week and they are indeed viewed as road underdogs this week, that’s one more argument favoring them.
Let me end this pick with a final statistic: Cincy has beaten the spread just once the last five times they were home favorites.
For all of those reasons, I am putting my money on Pittsburgh this weekend.
PICK #3 (3 STARS): BUFFALO BILLS -5.5 AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
The Saints are stuck in a downward spiral. They have lost their last three games, including an ugly 27-25 home loss to the Falcons and a disappointing 40-29 defeat at the Eagles last week.
At QB, Trevor Siemian is simply not a good solution. He tossed two costly interceptions last week, and there were a few more passes that could have been intercepted. When the Saints play from behind, they are in big trouble with him under center. And that might happen against Buffalo’s high-octane offense. Taysom Hill seems to still be bothered by a foot injury.
At running back, both Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram missed practice Tuesday and seem in line to be out for this game. The receiving group was also pretty weak to begin with, but things got even worse with tight end Adam Trautman being placed on injured reserve. He was one of the lone bright spots in the receiving department in New Orleans.
To make matters worse, both tackles are also questionable to play: Terron Armstread and Ryan Ramczyk. Based on the reports I read, Arsmstead seems to have a shot of suiting up for Thanksgiving, but not Ramczyk. Finally, star defensive end Marcus Davenport is also listed as questionable.
Meanwhile, the Bills are very healthy overall, including linebacker Tremaine Edmunds who is on track to return from an injury.
After losing a game by 15 points or more, Buffalo has a tendency to rebound nicely, historically speaking. In fact, they have posted a 9-1-1 record ATS under such circumstances in recent years.
Let me also mention the fact that New Orleans is 3-7 ATS at home against teams with a winning record.
New Orleans fans may not enjoy their Thanksgiving so much, as I project a Buffalo win by 15-20 points.
It’s time for some unofficial picks, also called “leans”. For clarity purposes, I am not betting those teams. But if I was forced to bet more teams, those are the ones I would choose.
- Las Vegas Raiders +7.5 at Dallas Cowboys (The Raiders are quickly fading following the departures of Jon Gruden, Henry Ruggs and Damon Arnette for shameful reasons. The team seems to lack leadership, but I feel like the point spread is too high. The Cowboys offense struggled last week without Amari Cooper, and CeeDee Lamb for part of the game. Cooper is definitely out for the Thanksgiving game, while Lamb seems to have a 50-50 shot. The Raiders have enough talent to cover this spread, in my humble opinion.);
- New York Giants +3.5 vs Philadelphia Eagles (We have seen this scenario play out very often: a team fires its offensive or defensive coordinator, and the following week the unit in question plays much better. That’s what I expect from the Giants offense after the firing of Jason Garrett. They played below expectations thus far this season, even though they certainly have talent on this side of the ball. Moreover, wide receiver Sterling Shepard is likely to be back on the field after missing a few games due to injuries. Divisional games tend to be hard-fought and tight games, in which case I prefer to back the underdog.);
- Atlanta Falcons -1 at Jacksonville Jaguars (The Falcons have been outscored 68-to-3 over their past two games, which has definitely impacted this line. They are still a stronger team than Jacksonville with a 4-6 record versus 2-8 for the Jags, whose only two wins occurred by a three-point margin. Also, Atlanta will benefit from three more days of rest after playing last Thursday. Both Jaguars’ cornerbacks are listed as questionable. The Falcons are 5-1 ATS on the road against teams with a losing record. Jacksonville is much better running the ball than passing it, but Atlanta’s defense turns out to be more effective defending the run.);
- Minnesota Vikings +3 at San Francisco 49ers (Both teams have been playing solid football, so this has the looks of a great matchup! The Vikings have covered the spread 6 of the last 8 times they were road underdogs, and they are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings on grass. Meanwhile, the Niners are not good when it comes to beating the spread as home favorites, as shown by their 16-35 ATS record in recent years. I expect the Vikings to either win the game, or lose by a maximum of three points.).
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(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)