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NFL Picks Week 12: Early Bets for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, More



NFL Picks | Week 12

Our betting analysts have already found their NFL Week 12 picks, including two bets on Thanksgiving and one more on Black Friday. Check out the two sides and three totals we’ve already bet.

By John LanFranca

It’s time to start questioning just how strong this Lions defense really is.

According to DVOA, Detroit’s variance rank is 30th in the league, meaning they’re one of the least consistent defenses in the NFL. The explanation is pretty simple, though, and it’s that they’ve played well against the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo, Baker Mayfield, Desmond Ridder, and Bryce Young, but they haven’t played so well against better competition.

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The Bears accounted for 25 first downs and took their first off the gas in the fourth quarter as they tried to preserve a win. The Lions were able to complete the comeback, but they still allowed Justin Fields to complete nearly 70% of his passes.

As for the Packers offense, things are starting to click for this ascending unit. After putting up 399 yards against the number seven defense in DVOA (Steelers), they followed that with another 397 total yards in a win against the Chargers.

This line is a bit inflated since the Packers have not been an underdog of more than four points this season. I expect a pretty tight game to begin Thanksgiving.

I’d bet the Packers down to +7.

Pick: Packers +7.5

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By Brandon Anderson

My favorite part about Thanksgiving after the turkey and pumpkin pie is betting the under on the NFL nightcap. Thanksgiving evening unders are 11-5 all time (69%).

I’ve turned on Seattle. I am no longer on the island. The Seahawks gave away a win against the Rams, and the offense is now 21st in DVOA over the past six weeks. This offensive line will struggle against an elite pass rush, of which Seattle has a strong unit, as well.

Seattle scored 14.3 points per game in three games against the 49ers last season. Both regular-season matchups maxed out at 34 points scored.

Also, the injury bug bit Seattle. QB Geno Smith and RB Kenneth Walker III both left the loss to the Rams early, so we could see Drew Lock under center here. Yikes.

A couple of things I like about this, too:

  1. Games with a home underdog are 62% to the under over the past two seasons.
  2. Primetime Unders! They’re 25-8 this season, entering Vikings vs. Broncos on Sunday night.

Grab 44 if you can since 43 and 44 are key numbers in totals.

Pick: Under 44

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By Ricky Henne

The Jets are likely praying the Dolphins feast on a ton of turkey on Thanksgiving leading into the NFL’s first ever Black Friday game. After all, their best chance of keeping up with Tua Tagovailoa and company is if they’re loaded up on tryptophan.

It’s hard to imagine a wider gulf between a pair of offenses than these two teams. Miami’s averaging a league-high 30.5 points per game, which is more than double the 15.0 points per game that New York’s averaging.

Meanwhile, Jets coach Robert Saleh might finally be willing to pull the trigger on a QB change. He benched Zach Wilson in favor of Tim Boyle, and was non-committal after the game about who’ll be under center going forward.

The Jets defense is terrific, ranking sixth in overall DVOA and fifth against the pass. However, it likely won’t matter much. The Dolphins rank second in overall offensive DVOA, and it’s not hyperbole to think two touchdowns might be enough to cover this spread.

I managed to grab this at -6.5 earlier before it moved to -7.5. There’s a good chance the line continues to move, so you may want to act fast. Personally, I’d take this one all the way up to -10.5.

Pick: Dolphins -7.5

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By Ricky Henne

Jake Browning vs Kenny Pickett – can you feel the excitement?!

This is one of the worst quarterback matchups to date, and that’s saying a lot considering some of the showdowns we’ve seen in 2023.

My modus operandi has been taking Steelers unders each and every week, and I don’t plan on letting up now as it’s hit in eight of their last 10 games. Additionally, there’s been less than 37 points scored in half their games, including five of their last seven.

Meanwhile, it’s hard to back a Browning-led offense as he faces the daunting task of replacing Joe Burrow. He completed eight of 14 passes for 68 yards and one touchdown against the Ravens, with nearly all that production coming on a meaningless drive in the final minutes. The Steelers are also tough to throw against, ranking eighth in pass DVOA.

AFC North games are typically low-scoring affairs, and it’s easy to see this being another one considering who’s under center for both teams.

Finally, as of Sunday night, BetRivers and bet365 are providing ridiculous value compared to other books. They’re listing it at 41.5 while it’s around 36.5 everywhere else. So, if you can still get it at 41.5, jump on it ASAP. I doubt it will be that high for very long.

Nonetheless, I still like this at 36.5 if that’s all you’re able to grab it at.

Pick: Under 35

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By Brandon Anderson

These are two of the most underrated defenses in the NFL. Over the last six weeks, entering Week 11, the Chiefs were the No. 3 defense per DVOA and No. 3 against the pass, also in the top three against opposing WR1s.

The Raiders, meanwhile are the No. 13 defense and rank in the top 10 against the pass. Also, this unit is better when playing in Vegas. Las Vegas is 31st against the run, but the Chiefs are dead last in the same span on the ground.

Raiders games have hit the under in all three that have been played with Antonio Pierce as interim coach. The game plan has been focused on the ground game and chewing up the clock.

In fact, the Raiders are an NFL-best 9-2 to the under this season. The Chiefs are 7-2 to the under, entering their Monday Night Football matchup against the Eagles.

A few more trends to back this pick…

  1. Raiders games are averaging 37 points this season, while Chiefs games are at 39.
  2. Unders with a home underdog have cashed at a 62% rate over the past two seasons.
  3. Unders above 44 for home ‘dogs of seven or more points over the last decade are 86-48-2 (64%).

Pick: Under 43.5

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