Beating the Book: Seahawks Win at Home, Ravens Handle Jags + Full Week 12 ATS Picks and Predictions

Beating the Book: Seahawks Win at Home, Ravens Handle Jags + Full Week 12 ATS Picks and Predictions

This article is part of our Beating the Book series.

Welcome to the NFL Week 12 edition of Beating the Book. Although these last two weeks this column would more aptly be titled Getting Beat by the Book.

We're coming off of another tough week, headlined by our best bet – the Giants covering 3.0 points at home against Detroit – going up in flames by halftime. We were also burned by the Bears blowing a double-digit lead for the second straight week, as well as the Broncos making it explicitly clear that they're the saddest operation in the league (that one really hurt).

On top of those, we had another double-digit home favorite fail to cover the spread. With the Ravens' 13-3 win over Carolina (our line was Ravens -11.0), double-digit underdogs are now 10-4 ATS on the year.

Looking ahead to Week 12, we're presented with a unique slate given the Thanksgiving holiday. That means the customary three games on Thursday, 12 on Sunday and, of course, Monday Night Football (I, for one, am fired up for Steelers-Colts). Thankfully, we have no teams on bye for the first time since Week 5 – a welcomed reprieve for fantasy managers who suffered through a brutally low-scoring Week 11. The byes do pick back up for Weeks 13 and 14, but then we're home free for the final four weeks of the season

As always, before we dig in on Week 12, let's take our customary look back at the best and worst calls from my Week 11 picks.

Welcome to the NFL Week 12 edition of Beating the Book. Although these last two weeks this column would more aptly be titled Getting Beat by the Book.

We're coming off of another tough week, headlined by our best bet – the Giants covering 3.0 points at home against Detroit – going up in flames by halftime. We were also burned by the Bears blowing a double-digit lead for the second straight week, as well as the Broncos making it explicitly clear that they're the saddest operation in the league (that one really hurt).

On top of those, we had another double-digit home favorite fail to cover the spread. With the Ravens' 13-3 win over Carolina (our line was Ravens -11.0), double-digit underdogs are now 10-4 ATS on the year.

Looking ahead to Week 12, we're presented with a unique slate given the Thanksgiving holiday. That means the customary three games on Thursday, 12 on Sunday and, of course, Monday Night Football (I, for one, am fired up for Steelers-Colts). Thankfully, we have no teams on bye for the first time since Week 5 – a welcomed reprieve for fantasy managers who suffered through a brutally low-scoring Week 11. The byes do pick back up for Weeks 13 and 14, but then we're home free for the final four weeks of the season

As always, before we dig in on Week 12, let's take our customary look back at the best and worst calls from my Week 11 picks.

Last week: 5-7-2 ATS; 10-4 straight up; best bet lost (Giants -3.0 vs. Lions)

On the season: 78-80-6 ATS; 104-59-1 straight up; 3-8 best bets

Best calls of Week 11: 

  • The Packers finally gained some momentum last week and could absolutely keep it rolling, but the value is on the Titans here in what feels like an overcorrection from last week's inflated Dallas line.
  • Frankly, it's hard not to envision a similar script playing out for New York – especially with this rematch taking place in Foxborough. As was the case a few weeks ago, I like the Jets to hang around, but I'm not picking against Belichick with 13 days to prepare.

Worst calls of Week 11:

  • The Rams' defense is probably the best individual unit in this matchup, so I'll put some trust in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey to make this a game on the road.
  • The Broncos may be a disaster – we're 10 weeks into the season and they're yet to score more than 23 points – but they're not as much of a disaster as the Raiders.

NFL Week 12 Picks: Predictions, Props and Best Bets for Every Game

As will be the case every week throughout the regular season, we'll start with Thursday Night Football and go game-by-game, picking each contest against the spread. My best bet will always be highlighted in gold.

All odds this week via BetMGM, as of Wednesday at Noon ET.  If you don't have a BetMGM account yet, you can use the BetMGM promo code for a generous welcome bonus.

Thanksgiving Day Games

Buffalo Bills (-9.5) at Detroit Lions

Buffalo got off to another slow start last week, but we'll give the Bills somewhat of a pass seeing as the game was moved mid-week and some Bills players had to literally dig themselves out of their homes to make the trip to Detroit.

While the Bills flew home Sunday, and will head back to the Motor City on Wednesday, they'll do so with some positive momentum. Prior to Week 11, Buffalo suffered back-to-back letdowns against the Jets and Vikings, but Josh Allen and Co. – plus a ferocious run defense – got their act together against Cleveland.

Coming off of a dominant win over the Giants, the streaking Lions might be the hottest team in the league right now, but this is a bad spot for Jared Goff, Dan Campbell, the city of Detroit and pretty much the entire Lions organization. The defense improbably showed up in a big way last week, but we can't count on that happening again.

While recognizing that we need to approach these big favorites with extreme caution, give me the Bills to cover to kick off the Thanksgiving slate.

The pick: Bills 31 – Lions 20

New York Giants (+9.5) at Dallas Cowboys

The look-ahead number for this game was Dallas -7.0, but it's moved even more in favor of the Cowboys following their 40-3 decimation of the Vikings in Week 11. The Giants, meanwhile, were pushed around at home by the Lions and have now dropped two of their last three games.

For two teams with the same record, 9.0 points feels high, but on the other hand it does seem like the Giants may finally be regressing a bit after catching a slew of favorable breaks early in the season. Far more concerning is the fact that New York emerged from Week 11 with a boatload of key injuries, including starting corner Adoree' Jackson.

If the Lions' defense – of all defenses – can completely shut down Saquon Barkley, you have to like the Cowboys' chances of preventing Barkley from running wild.

In a matchup of the only two quarterbacks nominated for the 2022 Art Rooney Sportsmanship award, I'll take Dak Prescott and the Cowboys to cover a big number at home.

The pick: Cowboys 27 - Giants 17

New England Patriots (+2.5) at Minnesota Vikings

This number is down only slightly from the look-ahead in the wake of Minnesota's no-show against Dallas, and while the Vikings may have been exposed on national TV, they won't have any time to dwell on the loss.

Sitting at 8-2, Minnesota should still be able to cruise to the NFC North title and a home playoff game, but last week's result was so shocking that it forces a complete re-evaluation of the Vikings. This was already a team that was met with plenty of skepticism, and that certainly won't change now that Minnesota has as worse point differential than the Jaguars – as in, the Jacksonville Jaguars – this season.

I've been spreading that stat to as many people as possible this week. Honestly this might be the high point of the Jags' season. I'm considering renting out a billboard in the greater Milwaukee area to help get the word out more efficiently.

New England enters this game having just completed its annual sweep of the Jets, but the Pats aren't exactly firing on all cylinders. The Jets' defense is legit, but New England managed only three points on offense and never truly threatened to score a touchdown the entire afternoon. On paper, Mac Jones had a clean, efficient day, but he remains a hindrance to the rest of the offense. The confidence – I'd even go as far as to say moxie – that was so often on display last season has completely evaporated.

This is all to say I have no idea how this game plays out. Would it surprise me if Minnesota bounces back, Justin Jefferson goes wild and the Vikings roll at home? Not really. And I'd be equally unsurprised if New England comes in and bullies Minnesota much in the way Dallas did just a few days ago.

With Minnesota still in shock, and missing its starting left tackle, I'm leaning toward the Pats to win outright. 

The pick: Patriots 23 – Vikings 21

Sunday Early Games

Denver Broncos (-2.5) at Carolina Panthers

Each week, the Broncos and Raiders seem to be locked in an interminable battle to decide which one is the saddest team in the NFL. The Raiders held the belt going into Week 11, but the Broncos quickly gained the upper hand, blowing a late lead and eventually losing in overtime to hand Vegas the season sweep.

At this point, Denver is well beyond rock bottom. The offense is officially the worst-coached, worst-schemed and worst-executed unit in the league. And, yes, I'm including the Texans in that discussion. Everyone has seen The Stat by now, but just to hammer it home one more time: The Broncos would be 9-1 right now if they had just managed to score 18 points in regulation of every game.

Denver now heads out to Carolina to face a Panthers team with a familiar script. Given the circumstances, the Carolina defense has more than held up its end of the bargain, but the offense has been a train wreck for most of the year. That did not change with Baker Mayfield back under center last week against Baltimore.

With the Panthers moving on to Sam Darnold this week, I can't in good conscience endorse betting on Carolina. As much of a disaster as the Broncos are, and will continue to be, I still trust this defense against any team except the Raiders. All Denver may need to win this game is one touchdown and a couple of field goals.

Cannot emphasize how little confidence I have in this pick. *through tears* Broncos cover.

The pick: Broncos 13 – Panthers 10

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5) at Cleveland Browns

Have the 5-5 Buccaneers finally turned a corner after back-to-back wins over the Rams and Seahawks before their Week 11 bye? Maybe. But then again, maybe not.

While the Rams win doesn't mean anything to me, Tampa did seem to truly unlock something against Seattle. For the first time in weeks, the Bucs ran the ball effectively and were able to generate chunk plays through the air. I need to see it for at least one more week before I fully buy back in on the Bucs, but they're catching the Browns at a good time. With a 31-23 loss to the Bills on Sunday, Cleveland has now dropped six of its last seven games.

It'll be an emotional day in Cleveland as Jacoby Brissett plays his final game as the starting quarterback, but with an extra week of preparation, I'll side with the Bucs to limit Nick Chubb and continue to make incremental progress on offense.

The pick: Buccaneers 24 – Browns 20

Baltimore Ravens (-4.0) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Gotta be honest: this is a lower number than I expected to see. The oddsmakers must've been peeking at that Jaguars +11 point differential.

In all seriousness, it feels like the worst thing that could've happened to the Jags was Baltimore struggling against Carolina last week. Chances are, that doesn't happen again – even against an underrated Jags defense coming off of a bye. Jacksonville is an average-at-best team against the run and leads the NFL in missed tackles – not exactly a recipe for slowing down Lamar Jackson, who will apparently be coming into this game hungry.

If Trevor Lawrence can use the bye to study up and string together a third straight strong performance, the Jaguars can go score-for-score with Baltimore. I've been hard on Lawrence this season – it comes from a place of love, I promise – but he deserves praise for how well he played against Las Vegas and Kansas City.

At the end of the day, though, I don't trust this defense to generate the big fourth-quarter stop it'll need to win. I think we get a competitive game, but I like Baltimore to walk into Josh Scobee Field and cover the 4.0.

The pick: Ravens 28 – Jaguars 23

Sports betting is officially LIVE in Maryland! Here are the latest offers and bonus codes.

Houston Texans (+13.5) at Miami Dolphins

This number has ballooned over the last week (it's up to 13.0 at DraftKings, as of Tuesday) in light of the Texans' latest discouraging loss to Washington. Davis Mills led off the game with a pick-six, and his 169-yard, 2-interception day officially cost him his job.

With apologies to the Broncos and Rams, the Texans have firmly established themselves as the worst team in the NFL at this point. With that being the case, a matchup against the NFL's hottest offense is a near-worst-case scenario. Of course, the Dolphins are also coming off of a bye, adding even more fuel to the fire.

This is one of those so obvious it might be too obvious spots, and we know to beware of double-digit dogs, but I'm taking the bait once again. Give me the Dolphins to win big at home. I'm pretty comfortable with his one, especially if that number stays under 14.0.

The pick: Dolphins 28 – Texans 13

Chicago Bears (+4.5) at New York Jets

This number is hanging on at 4.5 but would certainly move if the Bears end up ruling out Justin Fields, who emerged from last week's loss to Atlanta with a dislocated left shoulder. 

While we may not get final word on Fields until later in the week, I'd jump on this number now just to be safe. I can't speak for the Bears, but my assumption is they'd prefer to have Fields starting at quarterback rather than Trevor Siemian. If it's Siemian, then the Bears are in major trouble against a ferocious Jets defense that ranks third in overall EPA (5th vs. run, 5th vs. pass), third in yards per play, fourth in pressure rate and fourth in total sacks. Frankly, the Bears are in trouble either way.

Obviously, the Jets aren't exactly killing it at quarterback themselves right now. Zach Wilson is coming off of a statement game against New England last week. The statement is that he's one of the worst starters in the league – he left little doubt about that. Frustration is clearly mounting within the organization, and the Jets officially announced Wednesday that Wilson will be benched in favor of Mike White.

The last time we saw White was Week 9 of last season when he tossed four picks in a 44-24 loss to the Bills. He did flash some upside in two previous starts – most notably leading the Jets to a 45-37 win over Cincinnati – but for now this should be viewed as a lateral move. White does play a more confident brand of football, and the Jets clearly needed some sort of shake-up, but the status of Fields is the far bigger factor to monitor ahead of this game.

We don't have the benefit of waiting on confirmation, so assuming Fields is either out or limited, I'll take the Jets to win with defense at home.

The pick: Jets 20 – Bears 13

Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5) at Tennessee Titans

Are the Titans being undervalued for the third straight week? At least last week's game was at Lambeau Field, but the 7-3 Titans now find themselves home dogs to Cincinnati. Perhaps it's a letdown spot for Tennessee, but Mike Vrabel's team has an extra few days to prepare for the league's 21st-ranked run defense.

The big swing piece is Ja'Marr Chase, who's practicing this week and looks to be on track to play. If he's able to return, it's an obvious boost to the Bengals' passing attack, which looked just fine without him in wins over Carolina and Pittsburgh. Joe Mixon also landed in concussion protocol after Week 11 and is considered questionable.

Ultimately, this game will come down to whether Ryan Tannehill can play anywhere close to as well as he did in Green Bay on Thursday night. The Titans are a dangerous team even when the defense knows they're running the ball every time. But when they can actually beat you through the air – Tannehill has 588 passing yards in his last two games – they're a completely different animal.

Especially if Chase plays, we could be walking into a trap here – in some ways this feels similar to last week's Dallas -1.5 line – but the value is on Tennessee at home.

The pick: Titans 24 – Bengals 23

Atlanta Falcons (+4.0) at Washington Commanders

With a dominant win over the moribund Texans last week, the Commanders have now won five of their last six and are above .500 for the first time this season. Atlanta is coming off of a win over Chicago in the Bad Defenses Bowl, but they may have lost Kyle Pitts for the season in the process. 

Week-to-week, the Falcons' offense has been difficult to project. When they get things moving on the ground, they're plenty capable of piling up points. But the Falcons have scored 17 points or fewer in four of their last seven, and they'll face one of the league's best defensive fronts on Sunday. Washington ranks 10th in overall defensive EPA, but they've taken over as the No. 1 rush defense EPA in the league. With Chase Young likely to debut this week, that defensive line should only grow stronger.

With the defense rolling and Taylor Heinicke gaining confidence by the week, I'll take Washington to cover at home and continue its postseason push.

The pick: Commanders 23 – Falcons 17

Sunday Late Games

Los Angeles Chargers (-4.5) at Arizona Cardinals

I know the Chargers dropped their second straight game, and may have lost Mike Williams again, but I remain extremely encouraged by the play of Justin Herbert. It was the defense that let the Chargers down on Sunday night against Kansas City.

Herbert threw a bad pick late in the game, but outside of that he went toe to toe with Patrick Mahomes and delivered a handful of unbelievable throws. The emergence of Joshua Palmer, plus Keenan Allen miraculously making it through last week without re-injuring himself, should be enough to keep the Chargers afloat if Williams is unable to go.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if Kyler Murray will be back on the field for Arizona. The Cardinals have a Week 13 bye, so there may be some motivation to hold Murray out for one more game. But with the season slipping away, Murray could push to return.

Either way, the Cardinals are in a tough spot against this Chargers offense. Arizona ranks 27th in pass defense EPA and just surrendered four touchdowns to Jimmy Garoppolo. Over the last five weeks, the Cards have given up 38, 31, 34 and 34 points to non-LA-Rams opponents (Saints, Vikings, Seahawks, 49ers).

If Murray and Hollywood Brown are back in the mix, Arizona's offense should be able to hang around. But I'm not betting against Herbert in this spot.

The pick: Chargers 28 – Cardinals 23

Las Vegas Raiders (+3.5) at Seattle Seahawks

It's been two weeks and I'm still reeling from the Seahawks' loss to Tampa in Germany. To be explicitly clear, I've made plenty of bad picks this season, but I really didn't think that would be one of them. Turns out the Bucs were favored for a reason and Seattle played its worst game since Week 2. 

Coming off of a bye, I'm ready to jump back in on the Seahawks. They've been a markedly better and more consistent team than the Raiders all season, so getting Seattle at 3.5 feels like a minor bargain. I'm not ready to hand Josh McDaniels any tangible credit for beating the Broncos in overtime.

If Denver's defense struggled to contain Davante Adams, the same could certainly happen for Seattle. But the Raiders' defense has been porous all season – the Broncos simply weren't capable of exploiting it.

In a bounceback game for Geno Smith and Kenneth Walker, I'm not only taking the Seahawks to cover at home, I'm also locking them up.

The pick: Seahawks 27 – Las Vegas 21

Los Angeles Rams (+14.5) at Kansas City Chiefs

I don't think we need any more proof that the Rams are a complete disaster. They got their Super Bowl, so a letdown year is by no means the end of the world, but after last week's loss to the Saints, it's time to officially close the book on this season.

Cooper Kupp is on IR. And for the second time in three weeks, Matthew Stafford is being evaluated for a concussion and could end up missing this game. That means it may be the John Wolford or Bryce Perkins show against *checks notes* ah, yes, the Kansas City Chiefs.

Also of note: Case Cookus

Once again, I'm morally obligated to mention that double-digit dogs are 10-4 ATS this season. And once again, I'm going to run a 31 dive directly into the belly of that trend.

Chiefs cruise to a win at home without much resistance.

The pick: Chiefs 27 – Rams 10

New Orleans Saints (+9.0) at San Francisco 49ers

A few weeks ago, the 49ers were a sub-.500 team coming off of a 21-point beatdown at the hands of the Chiefs. Fast forward a month and San Francisco is now riding a three-game winning streak and sitting atop the NFC West.

Coming off of a dominant performance against Arizona in Mexico City, the Niners once again feel like the team no one wants to face right now. It's a phase they seem to go through around this time on an annual basis. This matchup against New Orleans kicks off a three-game home stand for San Francisco. There's a chance the Niners could get caught looking ahead to their showdown with Miami next week, but it's hard to imagine this defense having a true letdown against Andy Dalton.

While the Saints did find their footing against a bad Rams team last week, they managed just 23 total points in losses to the Ravens and Steelers. I'll take the Niners to keep it rolling and cover the 9.0 points at home.

The pick: 49ers 31 – Saints 17

Sunday Night Football

Green Bay Packers (+7.0) at Philadelphia Eagles

Green Bay's win over Dallas in Week 10 felt like a potential season-changing victory, but any hope of making the playoffs went out the window with Thursday night's soul-crushing loss to the Titans. While Ryan Tannehill played the game of his life, the Packers were handed several chances to respond in the second half. The lack of top-end weapons has been an obvious issue all season, but the four-time MVP has to be able to win a shootout at home in the cold.

With the season now all but officially over, it'll be interesting to see how Green Bay responds. Going on the road to Philly is a borderline-nightmare matchup, even if the Eagles have shown some cracks in the foundation over the last two weeks. The absence of Dallas Goedert hurts, and Jordan Davis landing on IR is a major blow to Philly's run defense.

Based on the dramatic ups and downs of this Packers season, this feels like a spot where they could improbably show up – much like the Dallas game – but with nothing to play for, I can't put my money on Green Bay. I like the Packers to remain competitive, but I'll take Philly to clean up its act and cover the touchdown at home.

Something to consider: Philly is debuting its all-black look, including a new blacked-out helmet. Not a good sign for Green Bay.

The pick: Eagles 31 – Packers 23

Monday Night Football

Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5) at Indianapolis Colts

Pardon my language, but holy moly is this is a brutal matchup to pick. Indy is at home and coming off of a second straight competent performance, so getting the customary 2.5 makes sense.

For the most part, Jonathan Taylor is back to looking like Jonathan Taylor, and the Colts returning to Matt Ryan gives them a much higher floor week-to-week. Still, Ryan versus this Steelers pass rush with T.J. Watt back in the mix is not an appealing matchup.

On the other side, Pittsburgh's offense remains among the worst in the league, though it did just pile up 30 points on Cincinnati in Week 11. Quietly, Indy has been among the top defenses in the league – particularly against the run – so chances are this is a low-scoring, first-to-20-points type of game.

In a mild upset, I'll take Pittsburgh to get to Ryan, force at least one turnover and win a close, ugly game to close out the week.

The pick: Steelers 20 – Colts 17

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NFL Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NFL fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Whalen
Now in his 10th year with the company, Nick is RotoWire's Senior Media Analyst, a position he took on after spending several years as the Head of Basketball Content. A two-time FSWA award winner, Nick co-hosts RotoWire's flagship show on Sirius XM alongside Jeff Erickson. He also co-hosts RotoWire's Football and Basketball podcasts. You can catch Nick's NBA and NFL analysis on VSiN and DraftKings, as well as RotoWire's various social and video channels. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @wha1en.
IDP Analysis: Week 12 Review
IDP Analysis: Week 12 Review
Backfield Breakdown: Week 12 Running Back Usage & Week 13 Waivers Preview
Backfield Breakdown: Week 12 Running Back Usage & Week 13 Waivers Preview
Monday Night Football DFS Breakdown: Steelers at Colts
Monday Night Football DFS Breakdown: Steelers at Colts
Monday Night Football Picks: Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Odds and Best Bets
Monday Night Football Picks: Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Odds and Best Bets