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November 29, 2021

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Vegas pick’em: NFL Week 12 winners against the spread

Jonathan Taylor

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Running back (28) Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates after the Colts defeat the Buffalo Bills 41-15 in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Orchard Park, NY. The Colts defeated the Bills 41-15.

Jonathan Taylor is the future market’s flavor of the week, as the Indianapolis running back’s price to win the MVP award crashed from 100- to 20-to-1 at BetMGM after a 185 rushing yard performance in a win over Buffalo.

But, to those paying close attention, Taylor has already been a cashing machine in smaller, week-to-week futures. Player proposition pools like most passing yards, most receiving yards and most rushing yards each week have become more widespread in Las Vegas this season.

Taylor has been the most profitable player in the final of those three categories. He was 14-to-1 to have the most rushing yards in the league last week at William Hill before winning by nearly 49 yards in the 41-15 blowout win over the Bills.

It’s the third time this year he’s led the league in a single week as he also did so in Week 6 and Week 10. Before going down with a broken foot, Titans running back Derrick Henry also cashed the prop three times — Weeks 2, 3 and 4 — but he was the weekly favorite at odds usually around 3-to-1.

Can Taylor do it again this week? The odds don’t usually post until closer to kickoff, on Friday or Saturday, but his price shouldn’t be hard to find — just look at the top of the board.

Read below for picks on every Week 12 game. Picks are separated into three confidence categories and listed in rough order of confidence. Lines are the best currently available in Las Vegas on the chosen side. The record for the year picking every game against the spread stands at 82-82-1 after a disappointing 6-9 Week 11.

Plays (31-25)

Pittsburgh Steelers +4.5 at Cincinnati Bengals It’s probably a safe assumption the Steelers get back at least some of the injured starters from last week’s game at the Chargers, and that would make this price a steal. The Bengals were far less impressive than the final score of last week’s 32-13 win over the Raiders indicated as they were outgained by 1.9 yards per play.

Jacksonville Jaguars +1 at Atlanta Falcons The Falcons’ good fortune in having gone 4-2 in games decided by less than a touchdown as opposed to the Jaguars’ more expected 2-2 record in the same situation is the only thing keeping this spread so compressed. If anything, the Jaguars have been the slightly more efficient team and shouldn’t be a home underdog to the Falcons in any form.  

Buffalo Bills -5 at New Orleans Saints The Bills’ 1.38 net yards per play still towers above the rest of the NFL despite inexplicable losses in two of their last three games. Some may be writing their demise, but they’re too well-coached and too talented to stay down for long.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -2.5 at Indianapolis Colts The Colts were extremely impressive in their victory over the Bills, but so were the Buccaneers in blowing out the Giants 30-10 as 10.5-point favorites on Monday Night Football. Tampa Bay is allowing only 3.8 yards per rushing attempt, making it the best run defense Indianapolis has seen all season.

Leans (26-29)

San Francisco 49ers -3 vs. Minnesota Vikings Football Outsiders’ DVOA ratings and EPA (expected points added) per play both rate San Francisco as a hair above Minnesota. The 49ers were a play earlier in the week at -2 but might still be worth backing with the Vikings traveling East to West for the second time in three weeks. The fair price might be closer -3.5.

New England Patriots -6 vs. Tennessee Titans The Patriots have covered five games in a row, leaving the betting market in a rush to catch up — and it appears it still hasn’t done so. New England should be laying the full 7 points here.

Detroit Lions +3 vs. Chicago Bears Detroit quarterback Jared Goff is expected to return, and yes surprisingly, that’s a big deal after seeing replacement Tim Boyle labor his way to 3.3 yards per attempt in a 13-10 loss at Cleveland last week. The Bears’ defense is severely beaten up, cutting into their biggest edge.

Houston Texans -2.5 vs. New York Jets The return of quarterback Tyrod Taylor has given the Texans’ offense a level of consistent competency that the Jets haven’t been able to reach all season. There’s not much value here, but also not a strong enough reason why this number moved down off of 3 in the first place.

Baltimore Ravens -3.5 vs. Cleveland Browns The market has steadily drifted in Cleveland’s favor in this spot, but it’s difficult to figure out why without any positive injury news. The Ravens offense should be back near full strength with quarterback Lamar Jackson expected back from illness while the Browns will be limited as long as counterpart Baker Mayfield plays through a shoulder fracture.

Guesses (24-28-1)

Dallas Cowboys -7.5 vs. Las Vegas Raiders The Raiders’ offense in its current form inspires little to no confidence. And yet, it’s hard to lay the extra half point with the Cowboys because of their preponderance of injuries on offense. Dallas -7 was tempting, but that price didn’t last long.

Denver Broncos +3 vs. Los Angeles Chargers Los Angeles might be a buy-on side over the coming weeks considering it’s played one of the toughest schedules in the league and the competition is about to lighten, but this number seems slightly too expensive. Denver should be fresh out of a bye week.

Seattle Seahawks +1 at Washington Football Team Despite their downturn, the Seahawks still have a higher ceiling than a large portion of the league, and especially the Football Team, if Russell Wilson can ever settle back in after thumb surgery. This is the lowest point Seattle has reached in the betting market this season while it’s conversely the highest Washington has been rated.  

Carolina Panthers -1.5 at Miami Dolphins Should a three-game winning streak even count if two of the games came while getting outgained on a per-play basis by the Jets and Texans? The Dolphins have improved, but they may not have improved as much as the market is indicating.

Green Bay Packers pick’em vs. Los Angeles Rams This line seemed to move with news of Aaron Rodgers’ toe injury even though he said he could and would play through it. The Rams have been the more efficient team on the year and probably would be the pick at any plus-price, but Rodgers tends to find a way to get it done at Lambeau Field.

Philadelphia Eagles -3.5 at New York Giants Here’s this week’s “number looks exactly right” game. It seems like the spread would close a little higher if anything, however, considering the Eagles have consistently taken a large amount of support from sharp money.  

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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