NFL Week 12 Opening Odds Analysis
NFL Week 12 Opening Odds Analysis
Let’s take a look at a few games that are sure to draw attention from bettors for Week 12. We will just be discussing the matchups; if you are looking for more concrete predictions and projections, be sure to check back throughout the week for our game picks.
All odds are courtesy of our friends at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Odds: Steelers -3, O/U 46.5
The Baltimore Ravens have now lost two games in a row and sit at 6-4 on the season. The Super Bowl favorites prior to the season, the Ravens would not make the playoffs, despite the expansion, if the season ended today. They sit in eighth place in the AFC and have taken a noticeable step back after losing All-Pro offensive linemen Marshal Yanda to retirement and Ronnie Stanley to a fractured and dislocated ankle. There are also some major problems at receiver. Baltimore spent draft capital addressing the depth chart but have thus far failed to thrust their new players into prominent roles. They looked to the street for help, bringing in Dez Bryant, who played 54% of the snaps in Week 11, hauling four of his five targets. Baltimore is going to need Calais Campbell to return from his groin injury if they are going to have a chance against Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are now a stunning 10-0 on the season, with just three out of the six games left on the schedule raising any possibility of a letdown. Pittsburgh is as complete as they have been in years thanks to a surging defense, and if they can get past Baltimore this week, they will only need to worry about Indianapolis and Buffalo, as their dates with Washington, Cincinnati, and Cleveland should all be easy wins. The Steelers went back and forth with the Ravens earlier this season, making this matchup the one they most need to worry about, as the Ravens were one pass away from destroying the Steelers’ perfect record. It is quite amazing that Pittsburgh has continued to play at such a high level despite losing star middle linebacker Devin Bush, but with players like Robert Spillane stepping up and the front office making the shrewd trade addition of Avery Williamson, the team has barely missed a beat.
This is going to be the most hotly wagered contest on the Thursday slate. It is the Thursday Night Football game and also presents the most compelling matchup of the day. Not only that, but the -3 spread on the Steelers, who are playing at home, is sure to have bettors from both sides running to get their action in before the inevitable line movement (-120 on Steelers). Baltimore may have lost a lot of their casual backing in Week 11, so it will be interesting to see how the handle plays out for this contest. The 46.5 over/under is an interesting number that again is sure to attract action on both sides (-114 on the under). The last contest between these two teams ended with a 28-24 score, but the under has been on fire in the Ravens’ recent contests. There is one thing to be sure, if you have any definitive lean for this contest, lock it in, as the sharps may be thinking the same thing, and we are undoubtedly going to see line movement.
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts
Odds: Colts -3.5, O/U 49.5
Tennessee is 7-3 on the season but sits in second place in the AFC South thanks to the head to head tiebreaker owned by Indianapolis. They have the stronger strength of victory, strength of schedule, and conference win percentage, but head-to-head rules all when deciding playoff seeding. This is a must-win for a Titans team that is likely not interested in being in the heated battle that is playing out at the bottom of the wild card standings. The 7-3 Browns have Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12, meaning the Titans could drop to seventh or worse depending on what Baltimore, Las Vegas, and Miami do in Week 12. The Titans will be hoping to welcome back star players Jadeveon Clowney and Adoree’ Jackson (who has yet to play this season) for their critical divisional tilt against the Indianapolis Colts, especially with star linebacker Jayon Brown suffering a season-ending injury in Week 11.
The Indianapolis Colts have been downright impressive this season. The addition of DeForest Buckner transformed the defensive unit into one to fear, and Philip Rivers is doing enough on offense to help the team win games despite a questionable supporting cast that cannot fight off the injury bug. Indianapolis has all of the pieces to make a deep playoff run but will need to get past Tennessee in Week 12. If they do not win their division, all of the various tiebreakers will come into play, potentially knocking them out of the playoff mix when all is said and done due to their poor strength of schedule and strength of victory. A loss to the Titans would also bounce them down a .428 win percentage against conference opponents. Calling this a must-win for the Colts is an understatement. Expect a playoff-like competitive atmosphere on Sunday.
The -3.5 line is an interesting one. The early money has come in on the Titans, with the juice currently sitting at -114 at +3.5 for the Titans. The market likely would not have had a problem with either team being tapped as the favorite here, but this number is sure to attract sharp action. We may see more of an even split if and when the number drops to +3 on the Titans. While we do expect to see some early week movement in a particular direction, there is no guarantee that the subsequent movement follows the same pattern. This may be a game for bettors to lock their lean in for sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment. As far as for the over/under, the 49.5 number is rather interesting. There were 51 points scored in the Week 10 meeting, and that was despite the Titans scoring just 17. The total is likely to see some quick movement and could shift by early Tuesday.
Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Odds: Chiefs -2.5, O/U n/a
The Kansas City Chiefs were able to avenge their lone loss of the season by defeating the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 11. However, it has become clear that the Raiders have studied the Chiefs hard, and could be a problem for them if they meet in the postseason. Now 9-1 on the season, the Chiefs plan to run the table while rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers to lose, something that would instantly drop the Steelers to second place due to tiebreakers. The expanded playoffs mean only one team gets a bye and is something the Chiefs have been cognizant of ever since losing to the Raiders earlier this season.
If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their way, this could indeed be a Super Bowl preview. The Buccaneers are 7-3 on the season and only one game back of the New Orleans Saints; however, two of their three losses have come to New Orleans. This means that Tampa Bay will need to finish with a better record than the Saints in order to earn the divisional crown and a possible bye week. They will also need to find a way to get past the Los Angeles Rams on Week 11’s edition Monday Night Football. NFL Red Zone has become a major impediment to individual games getting the viewership they once did outside of their home markets, but this contest appears set to make people tune in from all over the globe.
This contest’s spread was set well, especially when the casuals and public are taken into account. The line hedges against Kansas City volume but also protects the books by keeping the line small enough that sharps won’t be auto pounding Tampa Bay. There is no over/under line posted at FanDuel at the moment due to Tampa Bay playing later today on Monday Night Football.