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Week 12 NFL Sunday Against the Spread Betting Guide


Our ATS picks finished 4-2-2 last week, building on week 10's 6-2 out. This solid showing improves our cumulative against the spread record to 45-40-2 this year, and moves us into the black on the season. The following hypothetical performance chart illustrates the ebb and flow of our ATS betting picks from one week to the next, assuming a bettor risked $100 on every ATS game we recommended via wizeowlsports.com, at the same vigorish that we incurred.

We started week 12 with a bang, as our two Turkey Day picks finished 1-0-1. Our framework identifies a bevy of opportunity on Sunday's calendar of NFL proceedings. The following graphic illustrates ten games where our approach sees value.

We are backing six home teams this week, four of which are underdogs. Home dogs are 27-19 (for a 59% win rate) on the season. Thus, in addition to being favored by our framework, the Bears, Texans, Bucs and Jets also enjoy support from this bigger picture trend. However, we are passing on New York at New England, as 1) our framework has not been particularly prescient in Jets and Pats games (6-7 on the season), and 2) flying in the face of the signal from our primary model, our sim work argues strongly for a New England cover.

The two home favorites on our bet slip this week are New Orleans and Buffalo. The Saints -7 vs the Rams is generated by our computer sim work rather than our primary, power rankings factors. Such signals are a cumulative 20-8-2 on the season, including a 3-2-1 record amassed in games featuring either New Orleans or Los Angeles. Further, the Bills are 4-2 in the last half dozen games facing the Jags and 4-2 in their last six at home, while Jacksonville is 2-5-1 most recently on the road.

Of the four away teams we like in week 12, three are not expected to win straight up. Road underdogs are 55-50 on the season--interestingly, almost exactly breakeven (assuming an average -110 vigorish). Thus, on average, taking the away team plus the points is not a painful endeavor.

Our sole play on away favorites his week is the Giants -7 at the Browns. Cleveland's 2-9 record ATS this season, which includes losses versus the number in each of their last five out, evidences their penchant for finding ways to lose. On the other hand, after starting the year 1-4 ATS, New York has covered in four of their last five games. Against this backdrop, a road cover in Ohio Sunday hardly seems a stretch.

Sentiment, as measured by percent of betting volume and as reported by SportsInsights, endorses the Cardinals (31%), Bears (13%), Bengals (29%), Buccaneers (15%) and Jets (15%) to cover this week. Conversely, this measure argues against Buffalo (69%), New York (83%) and New Orleans (73%).

Happy betting!!

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