Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good when it comes to gambling, and NFL bets, specifically. There is a certain thrill to making money when you know, deep down in your heart, that you didn’t deserve it. I had a three-team parlay that was still alive going into Monday Night Football. For those that didn’t watch, MNF was not a great game to watch. Part of the issue is that the field was absolute garbage. Players were slipping everywhere. If this had happened on a regular NFL field, it is all talking heads would be lathered up about this week. When you are watching two teams that heavily lean on offense, it kind of ruins the dynamic.
The other issue is that neither offense has been particularly good lately. The Chargers are very much a hit or miss team, and Philip Rivers looks like he’s on the “more misses than hits” side of his career. Including Monday, he has seven interceptions in the past two games. It’s been increasingly obvious over the course of the season that Rivers has lost his fastball. That made betting on the Chiefs feel really easy.
Of course, the game happened, and it was obvious that the Chiefs offense just isn’t functioning as well as it did before Patrick Mahomes went down with his knee injury. The running game isn’t there. Travis Kelce still isn’t being utilized to the best of his ability. The Chiefs defense is probably garbage again. The Chargers had every chance in the world to not only cover the spread but flat out win the game. And then Philip Rivers kept on happening. They literally tripped over themselves to lose the game.
The Chiefs had no business covering the spread, and with 30 seconds left, it looked like somehow, someway, the Chargers were going to pull this off. Then Philip Rivers happened…again. He threw an interception in the end zone to end the game, giving the Chiefs the win and the cover, and giving me the three-team parlay. Football is funny, sometimes. Especially when it puts money in your pocket. Now onto the Week 12 Picks.
As always, before we get going, remember to never bet more than you can afford to lose. If you can only afford to bet five dollars this week, then only bet five dollars. Never go in debt, and never get yourself in trouble over gambling. If you think you have a problem, then step away. It’s easier to walk away than to be dragged away. If you think you need help in this area, please visit Gamblers Anonymous.
Sure Thing NFL Bets for Week 12
Seattle Seahawks (+1.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
Did I miss the part of the NFL season when everyone forgot that the Eagles were a thoroughly mediocre team, playing in a garbage division, with at best a fading hope for a wild card spot? Did I also miss the part where, in their last game, the Seahawks went in and beat the last undefeated team in the NFL? When they firmly entrenched themselves near the top of the NFC? Where they have MVP candidate Russell Wilson as their starting quarterback?
I get that Philadelphia is the home team, but the fact of the matter is, the Seahawks are one of the five best teams in the NFL this season. The Eagles are absolutely not. Seattle getting points this late in the season is silly. This goes beyond stats. Some things emerge over the course of the season that can be seen on television that doesn’t show up in box scores. The Seahawks have a veteran presence at all areas on the field that know how to hit the gas, and also know how to grind down opponents. Some teams find ways to win because they are smartly coached, play smart football on the field, and don’t make the big mistakes that bad, undisciplined teams make.
I’m predicting that the Seahawks will meet the Packers in the NFC Championship. So obviously I’m going to be taking the Seahawks getting the point and a half.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-7) at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are the tenth-worst defense in the NFL against the pass. That’s downright quaint compared to the fact that they are the WORST team in the NFL against the run this season. They are giving up a truly absurd 167 yards per game this season on the ground. Unfortunately, they have the good (bad) fortune of taking on the dumpster fire that is the Steelers running game. James Conner hasn’t been healthy and wasn’t particularly good when he was. Jaylen Samuel is a thing from time to time. There are any other number of future XFL players grabbing carries for Pittsburgh this year. The Steelers are 27th in rushing yards this season, and the only teams behind them are a regular parade of terrible offenses.
Their passing game is just as bad. Like, literally. They are 27th in passing yards this season as well. I guess you come to expect that from people with names like Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges.
And you know what, that doesn’t matter. The Bengals are actively trying to lose every game this season. Ryan Finley being their quarterback does nothing to change that trajectory. I believe that the Bengals are going to fall ass-backward into a victory this season, but this won’t be the week.
I’ll take the Steelers giving the touchdown on the road.
Oakland Raiders (-3) at New York Jets
What fresh hell is this? The Oakland Raiders have played themselves into, not only wild card contention, but they are right in the thick of the AFC West division title chase. The New York Jets are coached by a googly-eyed boner who can’t run a Papa Johns, let alone an NFL team.
The New York Jets have won a couple of games this season in the toilet paper soft part of their schedule. The Raiders seem to have their season completely turned around because Jon Gruden’s folksy sense of coaching is starting to take effect on the team. The Raiders’ pass defense is currently their weakest aspect, and I’m not of the belief that Sam Darnold can take advantage of this.
The Jets have given up the fewest rushing yards in the NFL this season, and are a middle of the road team in terms of passing defense. This isn’t specifically an accreditation of the Jets defense as much as an indictment of the fact that the Jets turn the ball over too much and the opposing offenses are playing on a short field.
I’m at the point of the year where it is becoming increasingly easier to just bet on the teams that are making a run at the playoffs over teams that are openly bad. Take the Raiders.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+3) at Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans make absolutely zero sense to me. I mean, that’s not entirely true. They are the football embodiment of the color beige. There is nothing interesting on this team. If any team in the NFL needed to hit or be hit by a helmet, it’s the Titans. They have all of the likability of a trigonometry class.
So, of course, they are going to win this game. The Jaguars are at least interesting. DJ Chark is emerging as an upper-tier wide receiver in the NFL. Leonard Fournette is quietly having a very good season. The defense is pretty good, even without Jalen Ramsey. And there is every chance in the world that the Titans are going to win this dumb game. I have no way of backing this up, but the Titans are going to win and cover the spread at home.
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) at Los Angeles Rams
The Ravens are the best team in the NFL. The Rams are not. Sometimes betting is easy. Take the Ravens.
You can find the rest of our Week 12 advice here (be sure to check back as the week develops!)