Thanksgiving Day came and went with two close, entertaining football games preceding a pretty lopsided beatdown.
With the first game coming down to a last second field goal and the second going into overtime, you might have come away from Thursday feeling like you experienced a full-blown Sunday slate, but thankfully that’s not the case. There are 13 more games to be played in week 12, including multiple matchups where the two head coaches are former coworkers. One of those, if you haven’t made the connection just yet, is the Chargers and Broncos with Brandon Staley — who used to coach outside linebackers in Denver — and Vic Fangio.
Enough blabbering, let’s get into these picks. Of course, all odds below are via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Sunday Morning Games
Buccaneers (-3.5) vs. Colts - O/U 53
Prediction: Buccaneers - The high-flying Bucs offense is going to have to run through a Colts defense that’s quietly leading the league in turnover differential by quite a bit. Indy currently has a +15 differential while the next closest team is sitting at +9 (Bills). Tom Brady doesn’t turn the ball over all that often, so I’m taking the Bucs in a close one.
Jets vs. Texans - O/U 44.5
Prediction: Texans - Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson is set to start his first game after in some time after coming back from injury. Fellow rookie running back Michael Carter is out this week but Wilson can still look to first-year wideout Elijah Moore and veteran Corey Davis as two players he can rely on for big plays against the Texans.
However, the Texans looked like a much better team last week against the Titans and I like how Tyrod Taylor is playing at the moment. A game against the Jets is an easy way for him to continue his positive momentum.
Eagles vs. Giants - O/U 45
Prediction: Eagles - The Giants just look so bad week-in and week-out and I can’t imagine them doing enough to keep up with an Eagles team that has seemed to find its’ groove on offense as of late. Jalen Hurts is living up to his reputation as a pure playmaker and that has the Eagles feeling pretty good behind their quarterback.
Panthers vs. Dolphins - O/U 45
Prediction: Panthers - I like the jolt of energy that Cam Newton has given back to the Panthers since resigning with the team. Tua Tagovailoa is only playing better as the season has gone on, but the overall synergy of the club is nowhere near the same as it was a year ago when they won 10 games. A lack of consistent playmakers is hard to overcome in a hyper-competitive NFL season. Give me Newton, CMC, and Moore in this one.
Titans vs. Patriots - O/U 43.5
Prediction: Patriots - This game is about to be a blast if you love the style of football that both the Titans and Patriots want to play. That includes tough, energetic, and high-motor defenses while combining an efficient passing attack with a ground game that is able to assert its’ will when they need to. This one can go either way, but it’s hard to bet against the Patriots and how they’ve been playing lately. The New England defense is just smothering opponents.
Steelers vs. Bengals (-4) - O/U 45
Prediction: Bengals - Even after the Steelers showed they can still move the ball at a decent pace against the Chargers, I have a feeling that type of performance is more the exception than the norm which means I’m taking the Bengals. With an overachieving defense, the Bengals should be able to win this one fairly handedly if the Joe Burrow-Ja’Marr Chase connection continues to be hot.
Falcons (-1.5) vs. Jaguars - O/U 45.5
Prediction: Falcons - In a game between two teams with lackluster defenses, I like the team that has the higher chance to score more points. To me, that’s the Falcons who are still being led by Matt Ryan and their stud rookie tight end, Kyle Pitts. Pitts leads the team with 635 receiving yards while offensive weapon Cordarrelle Patterson leads the team in total touchdowns. Patterson is set to return this week after missing last week’s game which I believe really puts this game in the Falcons’ favor.
Sunday Afternoon Games
Rams (-1) vs. Packers - O/U 47
Prediction: Packers - Aaron Rodgers is still a magician with the football in his hands. Regardless of what happened in Minnesota, this is still one of the best team’s in the NFL as long as he’s the quarterback. The Rams have looked surprisingly mortal in recent weeks and this Packers squad is not the team they needed to see in an attempt to right the ship. Stafford has been a bit turnover-happy in recent weeks and an opportunistic Green Bay defense could easily exploit that on Sunday.
Vikings vs. 49ers (-3) - O/U 49
Prediction: 49ers - The Vikings defensive front was decimated over the past week due to injuries and a very scary situation involving defensive end Everson Griffen. Defensive tackles Dalvin Tomlinson was recently placed on the NFL’s COVID-19 list while Michael Pierce and Danielle Hunter both remain on IR. As it stands, the entire Vikings defensive line will trot out backups against the Niners. San Francisco wants to run the football so yes, I do think they find success early and often en route to keeping this a low-scoring game before walking away with a victory at home.
Sunday Night Football
Browns vs. Ravens (-4) - O/U 47
Prediction: Ravens - Lamar Jackson will return this week after missing last Sunday with a non-COVID related illness. The Browns will also have their dynamic running back duo back, so I could easily foresee a high-scoring affair. In the end, I think Jackson makes enough plays with his legs to keep the Browns at bay. It also doesn’t help that Baker Mayfield is currently dealing with a serious shoulder injury.
Monday Night Football
Seahawks vs. Washington (-1) - O/U 46.5
Prediction: Washington - The WFT is playing some great football right now and I think that momentum continues behind quarterback Taylor Heinicke and the team’s promising defensive front. With his thumb injury, Russell Wilson hasn’t been his usual self but that’s not enough to justify writing him off entirely. As long as he’s throwing to guys like D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, Washington can expect their fair share of a fight. In the end, I like the WFT defensive front to dominate Seattle’s offensive line and help down the Seahawks in primetime.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.