The commish took one on the chin last week, our first 1-4 effort of the season at Wannamakeabet.com. That brings our season total to 29-55 (52.7%) So it’s true that it happens to even solid handicappers like me. What did we learn? Seattle has much bigger problems than Russell Wilson being out. Everyone in the country knows Philly can only run the ball and yet noone can stop them. Dallas is not ready for the next level. With all that said, it’s time to get back on the horse and strap in for Week #12. Here are my picks for this Sunday in our NFL 2021 Week 12 Predictions. All lines are from Wannamakeabet.com at time of posting.
Tennessee Titans + 7 over New England Patriots
Are the Patriots a full touchdown better than the Titans? No. Motivations are all over the map on this one. The Titans are coming off an embarrassing loss. Vrabel coming home. New England is the new/old darling of the league coming off a pounding of 10 pound weakling Atlanta and could not be playing better. But there appears to be intrinsic line value here for the Titans because the first line we got on the 16th was New England -2.5 and has moved all the way to 7 due to recent events. True, Tennessee is banged up. No Henry, Julio, or AJ Brown, I get it. But the Pats are on upset alert today with next Monday nights game against Buffalo in the back of everyone’s mind. Don’t take the Titans for granted on a day they have a lot to prove.
Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 over Cincinnati Bengals
Apparently the market is anticipating a lot of Bengal money in this one but anyone who knows the AFC North knows this is going to be a hard game for them to win, much less cover. The first matchup was a blowout for Cincy and now the Steelers get a chance to get revenge in a game that will likely come down to the final possession. The Steelers get TJ and Minka back and Ben continues to take care of the ball and has not thrown a pick in over a month. He also owns the Bengals historically. The Cincy win at the Raiders last week is over valued, and perhaps fueled by the Raider win on Thanksgiving. But the single biggest motivating factor for me here is that if the Steelers have any thoughts of winning this division and making the playoffs, which they do, they can’t lose twice to the Bengals.
Tampa Bay Bucs – 3 over Indianapolis Colts
What a perfect spot for the Bucs today. Indy has been running the ball at will on teams (like Buffalo) and so they don’t have to rely as much on Carson to win games, but today, they won’t have that luxury. Talk about sell high, here’s your spot with Indy. The Colts won their Super Bowl last week with that win in Buffalo and now they’re about to get punched in the month by the best team in the league. Jon Taylor, meet Ndamunkong Suh. The Bucs will force Carson to beat them. And a nice indoor spot for Tom today as the Bucs are inside on turf with their electric offense against an iffy Colt defense that is going to get carved. I didn’t get the early week 2.5 but still love this at -3.
Minnesota Vikings + 3 over San Francisco 49ers.
My lone win last week was the Vikings and as we all know I have been riding them for the past month to great success. It continues today as I truly believe they have turned a corner in their ability to finish games and hold onto leads (read: beat Packers). Now they take their show on the road again. Justin Jefferson may be the best in the league. Thielen is no slouch. Cook is healthy. And Kirk Cousins has not laid an egg this year and the trend continues. He has clearly taken a step forward in my mind. Take the better quarterback getting points. Jimmy G has been a bit of a nemesis to the commish this year but the Vikings must be game planning for him to beat them with his arm and I don’t think he can do it.
Cleveland Browns +3.5 over Baltimore Ravens
Similar to my handicap for the Steelers above, this is a field goal game. The Browns are coming in healthy for this one with Hunt back into the offense which makes the running game dynamic again and puts less pressure on Baker. Meanwhile, the Ravens have a laundry list of injuries, especially on defense and even Lamar is coming off an undisclosed non-covid illness. Cleveland’s defense and offense actually outranks Baltimore. And I’m fine even admitting that they should be a field goal favorite tonight but that half point has tremendous value in a division war like this one and so I’m on the Browns in a must win spot if they have eyes on winning the division. The Ravens have almost lost so many games this year and I give them credit for their last second antics and field goals. Here’s another one.
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NFL 2021 Week 12 Predictions