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Best Matchups – NFL Betting Week 12

NFL Week 12 Weekend Preview

All eyes are on the AFC East on Sunday, as New England and Miami go head-to-head in a game with huge playoff implications at Dolphin Stadium. The Fish are currently seeing slim chalk on the NFL betting board, but that could change considering the flood of money coming in on New England. 

The division-leading Jets travel to Dixie Land to face the Titans, who are poised to stall New York’s progress and continue their improbable ascendancy into the history books. Oddsmakers like Tennessee’s chances, and have the Titans as comfortable 4.5-point favorites for the showdown.

In another potential conference title-game preview, the Giants hit the gridiron opposite the Cardinals. Kurt Warner gets his chance at retribution against the franchise that dropped him in favor of Peyton Manning’s kid brother, although life is pretty good in the desert with Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald at his disposal.

New England at Miami (-1.5, 42) – 1 PM ET

If someone had told you before the season the New England Patriots (6-4, 5-5 ATS) and the Miami Dolphins (6-4, 5-5 ATS) would be playing an important football game in late November, you would have assumed they were talking about the Pats’ playoff aspirations.

While New England is certainly in the hunt despite the season-ending injury to Tom Brady, it’ll have to go through Miami because of the Dolphins’ dramatic improvement. Miami has won six of its last eight games SU to position itself for a postseason spot, and it currently has the tiebreaker against New England.

The Fish dominated the Pats 38-13 when the teams met on September 21 in Foxboro, as Miami stunned oddsmakers as 12.5-point underdogs. Chad Pennington was an efficient 17-of-20 for 226 yards, while Ronnie Brown rushed for 113 yards on 17 carries with four touchdowns for the Dolphins. Brown also managed a TD pass to tight end Anthony Fasano in the upset, as Miami often used a wildcat formation to surprise the New England defense.

The Patriots have had trouble cashing for bettors at Dolphin Stadium in the Bill Belichick era, but that hasn’t stopped action on New England throughout the week. Nearly 70% of wagers have come in on the Pats despite New England’s 3-7 ATS record in its last 10 games at Miami.

NY Jets at Tennessee (-4.5, 40.5) – 1 PM ET

Think a meaningful matchup between the Patriots and Dolphins is unlikely? How about a battle of the AFC’s top two teams featuring the Brett Favre-led New York Jets (7-3, 6-4 ATS) and the Kerry Collins-enabled Tennessee Titans (10-0, 9-1 ATS)? This is the type of stuff usually reserved for franchise mode in Madden ’09, but here we are with Favre and Collins leading the best teams in the conference.

Favre’s Green Bay Packers got the best of Collins’ Carolina Panthers in the 1996 NFC Championship game, and that’s where the rivalry should have ended. Collins has never led his team to victory in four career games against Favre, but he’ll have his best chance at redemption on Sunday.

Tennessee has allowed the fewest points of any team, and it’ll need to be at its best against New York. The Jets have won four straight and six of seven to sit second in the conference, as Thomas Jones has led a New York running game averaging 163.8 yards over its last five games.

NY Giants at Arizona (+3, 48) – 4:15 PM ET

Bettors will get a good idea of what the Arizona Cardinals (7-3, 7-3 ATS) are made of when they host the New York Giants (9-1, 8-2 ATS) at the site of the Giants’ Super Bowl victory.

The Cardinals have looked great in racking up an impressive SU and ATS record in the NFC West, where their competition has been mediocre at best. Seattle, San Francisco, and St. Louis would have trouble moving the ball in the Pac-10 let alone the NFL, so handicappers are anxious to see how Arizona does against the conference’s best team.

That’s probably why almost two-thirds of bets have come in on the Giants, and it would be more if not for the status of running back Brandon Jacobs. Jacobs – the focal point of the league’s best running game (172.7 yards per contest) – is questionable with a knee injury. Jacobs didn’t practice on Wednesday, and will likely see limited carries even if he suits up in the backfield. Bet on Tom Coughlin playing it safe with his workhorse considering the Giants are already looking ahead to the playoffs.

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