NFL Week 12 Picks Straight Up – Predicted Upsets and Underdogs Showing Value
- Will the Minnesota Vikings come through for us again this week in San Francisco?
- Can the banged up Tennessee Titans hang with the surging New England Patriots?
- Last week’s picks went 1-2, losing 1 unit and bringing our season total to +11.09 (14-16 record)
As a non-American, I have no reason to be thankful this week (real Thanksgiving was in October). So let’s start the column off with a list of things I’m not thankful for this season: John Mara and his stupid taunting rule, injury ruining one of the great running back seasons of all-time (also my fantasy team) and of course, Justin Herbert.
The Chargers QB dashed our hopes of pulling out a winning Week 11. Now, we look to rebound on a lighter schedule, courtesy of three Thanksgiving games already being played. From here on out, oddsmakers expect a tightly contested weekend: no remaining Week 12 spread is set at more than a touchdown.
With so many close games projected, where do we start? How about with the only bet we got right last week…
NFL Week 12 Upset Picks
|Minnesota Vikings vs San Francisco 49ers||SF -3||+150||Vikings||1.75|
|Tennessee Titans vs New England Patriots||NE -7||+265||Titans||1.25|
Odds as of November 26th at DraftKings and FanDuel
SIGN UP BONUS
Get Bet Insurance Up To $1,000
Vikings Keep Rolling Over Niners
Both the San Francisco 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings have launched themselves back into the NFC Wild Card race with back-to-back wins. Which team will make it three in a row when they clash at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, where the Niners are favored by a field goal?
We outlined last week why the Vikings are better than their record indicates, and many of those points also apply to the 49ers.
DVOA pairing this Sunday…
#7 49ers (#4 offense, #11 defense)
#11 Vikings (#9 offense, #13 defense)
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) November 23, 2021
The reason I’m higher on Minnesota here has to do with who’s under center. Though it may sound laughable to some to suggest there’s a difference between Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo, the numbers this season suggest Cousins is in far more elite company.
.@KirkCousins8 is the only QB in the NFL to rank in the top 10 in all of the following categories:
Completion %: 68.2% (6th)
Passing yards: 2,775 (7th)
Passing TDs: 21 (t-5th)
INTs: 2 (t-1st)
Passer rating: 106.3 (3rd)
🗳: https://t.co/LZBJAizF7s pic.twitter.com/20Rpwr78JV
— Vikings Communications (@VikingsPR) November 22, 2021
To his credit, Jimmy G has had an impressively efficient stretch of play since Week 8. But he’ll always be more of a product of Shanahan’s offense, which lately has been all about ball control and milking the clock.
49ers' first drive, Week 10: 18 plays, 93 yards, 11:03.
49ers' first drive, Week 11: 20 plays, 87 yards, 13:05.
Rams and Jags came to play Kyle Shanahan's offense, and somehow the 1990 Giants wound up showing up.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 21, 2021
Shortening the game is all well and good, but the Vikes can score in the blink of an eye, and should against this 49ers secondary. And when it comes to crunch time, Cousins regularly gets Minnesota in a position to win, while Garoppolo has been credited with just one game-winning drive over the last two seasons.
Most TD Passes in 4th Quarter/OT,
Score Margin of Gm Within 7pts,
Since Start of 2020:
Kirk Cousins (9)
Patrick Mahomes (9)
Ben Roethlisberger (9)
Tom Brady (8)
Derek Carr (8)
Justin Herbert (7)
Aaron Rodgers (7)
Russell Wilson (7)
— Dustin Baker (@DustBaker) November 23, 2021
Also, you can throw out the notion of homefield advantage here: the Niners are 2-9 at home since the start of last season. Take Minnesota to keep ascending in the NFC.
Titans Stay Atop AFC
Your eyes do not deceive you. The AFC-leading Tennessee Titans are 6.5-point underdogs in New England as they take on the resurgent Patriots. This tilt between the 8-3 Titans and the 7-4 Pats has the largest spread of the week’s remaining games.
It’s understandable that bettors are down on the Titans. They lost at home to those dreadful Texans and their offense still hasn’t found a rhythm since losing Derrick Henry in Week 8.
Despite my personal opinion on running backs as MVP, this is true. The Titans offense is sucking without Henry. If you include the game where Henry was actually injured, against the Colts Week 8.
TEN offensive DVOA
Weeks 1-7: +5.0% (15th)
Weeks 8-11: -25.4% (28th)
— Aaron Schatz 🏈 (@FO_ASchatz) November 22, 2021
Meanwhile, the Patriots have won five-straight, their defense is dominant and their run game can’t be stopped. Throw in rookie QB Mac Jones making smart decisions with the football, and this is a team that doesn’t appear to have any major flaws heading into the stretch run. In fact, we’re already getting the Tom Brady vs New England Super Bowl pieces.
After all, when has a team everyone bought into this season ever fallen flat?
Me betting on AFC favorites pic.twitter.com/KaCfAT9aWB
— Marthei Ohtani (@MartyVMcfly) November 22, 2021
It’s hard to make an exciting case for the Titans to win, since I’m counting on a fundamentally sound team to avoid the kind of mistakes that cost them last week. But this is a team that rebounds from poor performances: the Titans are 10-4 straight up coming off a loss since 2019.
On the field, Tennessee matches up pretty well with New England. They have a ferocious D of their own that hasn’t allowed an opponent to top 100 yards on the ground since Week 5 and won’t get pushed around by the Pats offensive line.
Mike Vrabel is also 2-0 against his former head coach. He’ll have his depleted team ready to play on Sunday in a spot they’re very comfortable in.
The Titans are 5-0 this season as underdogs.
Titans ML vs. New England: (+205) 👀 pic.twitter.com/BnRbCjy18A
— PFF Bet (@PFF_Bet) November 23, 2021
It appears A.J. Brown won’t be going this Sunday. But in a way, that could help this Titans offense. If the Patriots are notorious for taking away your top option and Tennessee has none left, New England has nothing to focus on.
Take Tennessee to win ugly.
- DRAFTKINGS SPORTSBOOK
GET $1,050 IN BONUSES!
- CAESARS SPORTSBOOK
FIRST BET ON CAESARS UP TO $1,250 + 1,000 TIER CREDITS AND 1,000 REWARD CREDITS®
- FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK
NO SWEAT FIRST BET UP TO $2,500!
- BETMGM SPORTSBOOK
FIRST BET OFFER: UP TO $1,000 PAID BACK