- Can the Tennessee Titans get swift revenge on the Indianapolis Colts?
- Will the Taysom Hill experiment succeed for another week?
- It’s a full-blown slump! An 0-3 Week 11 cost us 4 units, bringing our season profit down to just +6.32
What was more disappointing about last week’s picks? The team that blew a huge halftime lead and still fumbled away a chance to win it in the end? Or the two that were dead on arrival? Either way, these aren’t happy times for upset picks.
The good news is that Week 12 began with a minor upset on Thanksgiving, after Washington blew out Dallas. The bad news is, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of great underdogs on the weekend NFL betting slate. Should we keep stepping on that Falcons rake? Should we bank on the Jets finally getting that first win? Should we fade the most terrifying team to bet against in the hopes that the Buccaneers sort it out?
Ultimately, these are the options I’ll be backing instead.
NFL Week 12 Upset Picks
|Tennessee Titans vs Indianapolis Colts||IND – 3||+160||Titans||1|
|Los Angeles Chargers vs Buffalo Bills||BUF -4||+195||Chargers||1|
|New Orleans Saints vs Denver Broncos||NO – 6||+245||Packers||1|
Odds taken Nov. 27 from DraftKings and FanDuel
Titans Tighten Up Their Special Teams
There’s a lot to like about the spot the Titans this week heading into a must-win game against their division rival. But perhaps the most promising nugget is that punter Brett Kern should be returning to their lineup after a Week 8 injury.
The Colts routed Tennessee 34-17 on a Thursday night a few weeks ago, largely a result of the Titans punting unit gifting Indianapolis 14 points.
Trevor Daniel with a 17-yard punt ? pic.twitter.com/BeuzVegsvR
— National Football Post (@FootballPost) November 13, 2020
Minus the special teams miscues, it was an evenly matched game and this Sunday should be more of the same. The Titans’ offense continues to excel with their outside zone runs and play action shots, rallying back from an 11-point second half deficit in Baltimore with that very gameplan.
#Titans come back from down 21-10 to beat the #Ravens in OT. Derrick Henry with the game winner.pic.twitter.com/qi61wieNoo
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) November 22, 2020
Indy dug themselves out of a 14-point hole and closed out the Packers thanks to some poor clock management by Aaron Rodgers. Now, the man who recovered a fumble in overtime to set up that Colts win, DeForest Buckner, won’t be available for this week’s game after going on the COVID-19 reserve list.
The #Colts will be without defensive tackle DeForest Buckner for Sunday’s game against the Titans. He’s going on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
That’s a big loss, obviously, any week. But it’s particularly huge in preparation to face Derrick Henry.
— George Bremer (@gmbremer) November 25, 2020
The dominant defensive tackle joins the team’s sack leader, Denico Autry, on the sidelines. For a team with one of the lowest blitz rates in the league, these losses along the Colts front four are especially troubling.
Tannehill is second in EPA among all quarterbacks, so we’re well past the point of doubting whether he can execute at a high level against a defense like the Colts. And the Titans are 7-5 straight up as an underdog since the start of 2019.
Chargers Shock Bills
The Buffalo Bills went into their bye week in just about the worst way possible, getting posterized by DeAndre Hopkins.
DEANDRE HOPKINS. pic.twitter.com/5ul86kWCyc
— NFL (@NFL) November 16, 2020
But while I usually would be worried about the Bills having a real pissed-off energy the following week, I think the bye gave them some time to cool off. Which is why we’re going to back the 4-point underdog Bolts in Ralph Wilson.
Buffalo’s defense is not the same unit as last season, ranking 17th in DVOA and allowing explosive runs at the second-highest rate in the league. While the Chargers do most of their damage through the air, they should have Austin Ekeler back in the lineup for this one.
Austin Ekeler with Justin Herbert under center is going to be borderline eroticpic.twitter.com/hvsSeMei9j
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) November 24, 2020
It’s tough to win a shootout against Josh Allen and this high-powered offense, but typically the Bills will commit a few stupid turnovers to aid their opponent. Taking Justin Herbert to win a duel like this only seems farfetched because it would involve the Chargers winning a close game. It’s still a risk I’m willing to take.
Broncos Tame Taysom
Taysom Hill wasn’t a disaster in his first NFL start, rushing for two touchdowns as the Saints beat last week’s upset pick. But the gadget player still didn’t look confident as a pocket passer, and his deep ball left a lot to be desired.
Taysom Hill just threw the ugliest deep ball completion you’ll ever see…and then Emmanuel Sanders fumbled it ??pic.twitter.com/ZnjOHL0DQr
— NFL Retweet (@NFLRT) November 22, 2020
There’s no doubt in my mind that Vic Fangio and this loaded Broncos defense will be able to slow down Hill now that they have some film to work with. The reason to be apprehensive about this bet is that Denver’s offense will need to hold up their end of the bargain against a New Orleans defense that has been playing excellent lately.
But after a promising showing from the Broncos ground game last week against a solid Dolphins’ defense, I’m willing to give Denver the benefit of the doubt. They can score the 20 points needed to win this week.