The NFL season has well and truly reached its pointy end as we enter week 12. An exciting playoff picture continues to take shape, as the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams are locked in an epic battle for the #1 seed in the NFC. The Patriots lost their grip on a top 2 seed in the AFC with their loss to Tennessee and will be looking for a bounce-back game here. With at least 4 division titles and all of the wildcard spots still up for grabs, I’m expecting a very hard-fought and competitive week of action here. Let’s take a look at our best bet on offer in each of the main Sunday slate games, adding in a 4-fold weekly multi for good measure.
Thanksgiving Games: View our Thanksgiving match previews HERE!
BUFFALO BILLS VS JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Monday, November 26, 5am (AEDT), New Era Field
The 3-7 Bills enter this one off their bye last week, after a thumping 41-10 victory over the Jets the week before. Matt Barkley finally delivered Buffalo some solid Quarterback play, going 15/25 for 232 yards and 2 scores. Shady McCoy had one of his better outings on the ground this season, racking up 113 yards and 2 scores. The stellar Bills defence was also excellent in this one. They held the Jets to just 4 yards per passing attempt, managing 2 turnovers and 3 sacks in the process. Against a Jaguars offence that has struggled all season, they must sense an opportunity for back-to-back wins here.
The Jaguars travel to Buffalo also at 3-7 after 6 straight losses, including a last-minute heartbreaker at home to Pittsburgh last week. Blake Bortles was again the catalyst for the defeat, managing only 104 yards passing before being sacked 6 times for 40 yards. Returning RB Leonard Fournette had 28 carries in this one and adds another element to this anaemic offence. Defensively the Jaguars were excellent in this one, limiting Pittsburgh to only 26 rushing yards. They also held the Steelers passing attack in check, intercepting Ben Roethlisberger 3 times. As the best of the 4 units in this matchup, it’ll be up to this defence to seal the win here.
Prediction: Jaguars -3
Despite their big win over New York last time out, I still think the Bills offence is dreadful. I’m expecting a strong performance from the Jaguars defence here and wouldn’t be surprised if they manage a defensive score. Jaguars 23-Bills 17.
CINCINNATI BENGALS VS CLEVELAND BROWNS
Monday, November 26, 5am (AEDT), Paul Brown Stadium
After a promising start to the season, the Bengals enter this one after losing 4 of their last 5. The Bengals rushing attack just couldn’t get going in Baltimore last week, with Joe Mixon managing just 14 yards on 12 carries. QB Andy Dalton didn’t fare much better, completing 19/36 passes at under 6 yards per attempt. Defensively, the Bengals just couldn’t deal with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens rushing attack. Whilst they kept the passing game in check, they allowed an astounding 265 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. In a wide-open AFC, the Bengals can put themselves back in playoff contention with a home win here.
After 4 straight losses, the 3-6-1 Browns bounced back with a big home win over Atlanta before their bye. QB Baker Mayfield was back in the kitchen, completing 85% of his passes for 216 yards and 3 scores. Rookie RB Nick Chubb continued his strong start to the season, enjoying over 200 yards from scrimmage and 3 touchdowns. On defence, the Browns did an excellent job against the usually strong Falcons offence. They allowed just 71 yards on the ground at 3.7 yards per carry, forcing 2 turnovers in the process. Holding Matt Ryan to just 6.3 yards per attempt was also an impressive effort that highlights the quality of this front 7.
Prediction: Bengals -3
Whilst Cleveland did put on a strong display against Atlanta, I think there’s some strong line value on the Bengals here. The Bengals are still very much in the AFC playoff picture and a home game against the Browns represents an excellent chance to get right. Bengals 24-20 Browns.
NEW YORK JETS VS NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Monday, November 26, 5am (AEDT), MetLife Stadium
New York Jets
The 3-7 Jets enter this AFC East rivalry match after 4 straight losses, including a 31-point home thumping by Buffalo, before their bye last week. QB Josh McCown was dreadful at replacing Sam Darnold, managing only 135 yards and 2 interceptions on his 34 attempts. The early deficit meant that the Jets rushing attack couldn’t get going either, totalling only 83 yards here. Their usually strong defence also struggled, giving up 232 yards and 2 scores to Matt Barkley. They allowed a further 212 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground in what was a poor performance. Things don’t get any easier either, with the rested Patriots coming to town.
New England Patriots
After 6 straight wins, the Patriots had an embarrassing 24-point loss last time out against the Titans. Tom Brady struggled mightily in this one, completing only 21/41 passes for 254 yards and no scores. The rushing attack couldn’t get going either, totalling only 40 yards on their 19 carries. It was also an uncharacteristically poor display from this usually strong Pats defence. They allowed 2 touchdowns through both the air and the ground as the Titans controlled the line of scrimmage. Fortunately, a trip to New York to face the struggling Jets represents a good opportunity to get right.
Under the key number of 10, I’m fairly confident in a Patriots cover here. They need a strong performance to keep pace with the Steelers for the #2 seed in the AFC. The Jets have struggled mightily in recent weeks and are still battling a ton of injuries. Patriots 30-13 Jets.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES VS NEW YORK GIANTS
Monday, November 26, 5am (AEDT), Lincoln Financial Field
The Eagles enter this one at 4-6 after suffering the biggest ever loss from a defending Superbowl champion last week in New Orleans. QB Carson Wentz had possibly his worst game as a pro, throwing for only 156 yards and 3 interceptions on his 33 attempts. There weren’t many opportunities in the running game either as they totalled only 12 attempts. Defensively, they were no match for the outstanding Saints offence. Drew Brees went off on them for an efficient 363 yards and 4 scores, whilst the top 2 Saints Running Backs combined for an impressive 6 yards per carry. A home tilt against the lowly Giants is simply a must win for Philly here.
New York Giants
The 3-7 Giants have looked much better over the last fortnight, registering wins over both the 49ers and Buccaneers. QB Eli Manning was excellent against Tampa, going 17/18 for 231 yards and 2 scores. Rookie RB Saquon Barkley continues to impress, totalling over 150 yards from scrimmage and 3 touchdowns on the day. The Giants were also solid on defence until a late 4th quarter Bucs comeback. They registered 4 crucial interceptions that ultimately made the difference, benching Ryan Fitzpatrick in the process. Against an Eagles side in turmoil, they have every opportunity to make it 3 straight wins here.
Prediction:Under 46 points
Despite their strong offensive display last week, Giants games have generally been low scoring this year. In a high-pressure game between two division rivals, I’m expecting more of a conservative game plan from both coaches in a low scoring affair. Eagles 24-17 Giants.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS VS SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Monday, November 26, 5am (AEDT), Raymond James Stadium
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The 3-7 Buccaneers all but had their season ended last week after a loss to the Giants. Fitzmagic is no more after he was benched for throwing 3 dreadful interceptions. Jameis Winston looked solid after coming in, whilst RB Peyton Barber had an impressive 106 yards on 18 attempts. Defensively, it was an absolutely dreadful display from the Bucs here. They were gouged in the air by the corpse of Eli Manning to the tune of 231 yards on 12.8 yards per attempt. The rushing defence also had no answer for Rookie phenom Saquon Barkley. With the way this defence is playing, it’s tough to see the Bucs adding too many more wins this season.
San Francisco 49ers
The 2-8 49ers travel to Tampa Bay off their bye week, after losing at home to the Giants on Monday Night Football the week before. QB Nick Mullens came back to earth after his strong debut, throwing 2 costly picks and averaging only 6.4 yards per attempt. RB Matt Breida was back to his best after injury, rushing for 101 yards and a score on his 17 carries. It was a mixed display from the inconsistent 49ers defence. They limited Saquon Barkley very well but allowed 3 costly touchdowns to Eli Manning. Against a struggling Bucs side, the Niners have every opportunity to pick up a win in Tampa here.
Prediction:Under 55 points
I know the Buccaneers defence has been very poor of late, but 55 points is simply too high for a 49ers game. They’ve gone under this total in all but 2 games since the early injury to Jimmy G. I expect this one to sail under in one of my best bets of the week. Buccaneers 27-24 49ers.
CAROLINA PANTHERS VS SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Monday, November 26, 5am (AEDT), Bank of America Stadium
The Panthers enter this one at 6-4 after consecutive worrying losses on the road. Their ground attack struggled to get going in Detroit last week, totalling just 56 yards on 16 attempts. QB Cam Newton did put up an impressive 357 yards and 3 scores, however 2 missed kicks from Graham Gano cost Carolina in a 1-point loss. The Panthers defence was again very strong in this one. They held Matt Stafford under 6 yards per attempt and allowed only 3.6 yards per carry. Against an upstart Seahawks offence, this unit will need to be at their best here.
The Seahawks enter this one at 5-5 after a big home win over Green Bay on Thursday Night Football last week. It was another strong display from the Seahawks rushing attack, totalling 173 yards and a score on their 35 attempts. QB Russell Wilson had another efficient outing, throwing for 225 yards and 2 touchdowns of his own. Defensively, Seattle did a very good job of limiting the Green Bay rushing attack, allowing only 48 yards. They did just enough to limit Aaron Rodgers, sacking him 5 times and forcing some crucial pass break-ups. It won’t be easy here against a Carolina side that is 5-0 at home this season.
Both of these sides are very strong at home but tend to struggle somewhat on the road. With their 5-0 home record to start the season, I’m expecting Carolina to get right against a plucky Seahawks side. The early Eastern time zone is never easy for West Coast teams and I don’t see Seattle winning this. Carolina 27-21 Seahawks.
BALTIMORE RAVENS VS OAKLAND RAIDERS
Monday, November 26, 5am (AEDT), M&T Bank Stadium
Lamar Jackson got his first win as the Ravens starting QB at home to Cincinnati last week. In an unusual QB stat line, he had 27 carries for 117 yards as the Ravens totalled 265 yards on the ground. He also added an efficient 150 yards through the air to keep the offence ticking over. It was an excellent display from the Ravens vaunted defence that really won this game. They completely stifled the Bengals rushing attack and allowed under 6 yards per pass attempt. I fancy their chances of a repeat performance against a Raiders offence that has struggled a lot this season.
After 6 straight embarrassing losses, the Raiders got back to winning ways last week with a 2-point win in Arizona. The Oakland rushing attack controlled the game in this one, totalling 152 yards on their 33 carries. QB Derek Carr delivered a mistake-free performance, throwing for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was also great to see Rookie Kicker Daniel Carlson kick the game winner after the journey he’s had this season. The Raiders pass defence had an upstart performance, allowing just 136 yards and forcing 2 interceptions. Against this versatile Ravens rushing attack, they’ll need to improve on their 5 yards per carry allowed.
Opting for a more rush-heavy attack under Lamar Jackson, I expect some low scoring games for the Ravens in near future. I don’t see them covering the gaudy 11.5-point spread, but I definitely don’t see Oakland pulling off the upset here. This makes Ravens 1-13 the best value play on the board. Ravens 24-13 Raiders.
LA CHARGERS VS ARIZONA CARDINALS
Monday, November 26, 8:05am (AEDT), StubHub Center
Los Angeles Chargers
After 6 straight impressive victories, the 7-3 Chargers fell at home to the Broncos last week. This was despite an impressive display from QB Phillip Rivers, who threw for over 400 yards and 2 scores. The usually strong rushing attack somewhat struggled, totalling just95 yards on 26 carries. Defensively, the Chargers were dominated on the ground, allowing 5.7 yards per carry and 3 touchdowns in this one. In a defence filled with playmakers, failing to register a sack or turnover is a bit of a disappointment. Against a struggling Cardinals offence, they’ll have every chance to right the ship here.
The 2-8 Cardinals enter this one off a disappointing home loss to Oakland last week. QB Josh Rosen will need to do more after only completing 9 passes for 136 yards. The form of RB David Johnson has noticeably improved of late and he managed over 150 yards from scrimmage last week. It was an average display from this usually strong defence, as they allowed consistent yardage on the ground to this Raiders attack. They managed 4 sacks in this one but failed to force an elusive turnover that could’ve made the difference.
With a lack of home field advantage, it’s tough to take the Chargers at the 11.5-point number. I don’t see Josh Rosen and Co doing too much damage against this excellent Chargers defence. The Cardinals have held their own defensively so far and can do enough to limit Rivers and Co. Chargers 27-14 Cardinals.
DENVER BRONCOS VS PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Monday, November 26, 8:25am (AEDT), Broncos Stadium at Mile High
The 4-6 Broncos return home after a surprising upset win over the Chargers in Los Angeles last week. RB duo Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman have continued to forge a strong partnership, totalling over 100 rushing yards and 3 scores between them. QB Case Keenum did enough in a game manager role, throwing for 205 yards and avoiding any turnovers. Defensively, the Broncos did just enough to bring this one home. They limited the Chargers rushing attack nicely and avoided giving up too many big plays against a dynamic passing attack.
The 7-2-1 Steelers travel to the Mile-High city after 6 straight wins, including a last-minute comeback in Jacksonville last week. It was an uncharacteristically poor display from the rushing attack last week, totalling just 26 yards. QB Ben Roethlisberger threw 3 interceptions but came through when it mattered most to continue his strong season. It was an excellent display from the Steelers defence that won this game. They completely shut down the Jaguars passing attack, forcing 6 sacks and allowing just 64 total yards. Against a Broncos pass attack that has largely struggled so far, I expect another strong display from Pittsburgh here.
Whilst this appears to be a trap game for the Steelers, they can maintain their #2 spot in the AFC with a tough win here. I expect Roethlisberger to continue to lead this dynamic offence, whilst the Steelers pass rush does enough to limit Case Keenum. Steelers 27-20 Broncos.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS VS MIAMI DOLPHINS
Monday, November 26, 8:25am (AEDT), Lucas Oil Stadium
After a disappointing 1-5 start, the Colts enter this one off the back of 4 straight impressive wins. QB Andrew Luck was outstanding against the Titans last week, going 23/29 for 297 yards and 3 touchdowns. This was balanced nicely by a strong display from the Colts rushing attack, who also totalled 2 scores in this one. Defensively, the Colts did an excellent job in this one. They allowed just 176 yards through the air, forcing 5 sacks and 2 interceptions in the process. Against a Dolphins offence that has struggled of late, I’m expecting another strong display from the Colts defence here.
The 5-5 Dolphins travel to Indianapolis after their bye week, which was proceeded by a poor loss in Green Bay. QB Brock Osweiler again struggled, totalling just 213 yards and an interception on his 37 attempts, being sacked 6 times in the process. RB duo Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake combined for 117 yards on their 21 attempts and should see more carries here. Defensively, the Dolphins have tailed off as of late. They allowed a whopping 195 yards and 2 scores on the ground to the Packers, whilst Aaron Rodgers efficiently carved them apart through the air. This level of performance will simply need to improve against a thriving Colts offence.
This total is simply too high for a Dolphins game. Against an upstart Colts defence, I just don’t see Brock Osweiler putting up the points to keep competitive. This will allow Andrew Luck and the Colts to control the game on the ground in a relatively low-scoring affair. Colts 30-17 Dolphins.
With some intriguing matchups on this Sunday slate, we’ve gone for a four-leg multi here. Each of these teams are still very much in the playoff picture and have games against 4 of the worst teams in the NFL so far. Whilst 4-leg multis are never easy, this one represents excellent value at $2.