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NFL Betting: Free Picks Week 12
(4-6) vs. Carolina Panthers (4-6)
Sunday, November 25th — Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: New Orleans -3 (41.5)
Who would’ve believed at the onset of the 2007 NFL season that the Panthers would have Vinny Testaverde at the helm, or that the New Orleans Saints would be stinking it up at 4-6 SU? The Saints are coming off huge losses to Houston and St. Louis, but the Panthers are faring no better with a four loss skid of their own. However, the Panthers are 8-2 SU against the Saints in their last ten meetings heading in to a matchup pinning them as a home dog.
The question in this game is if Vinny has the tools to beat the listless Saints secondary. New Orleans has the twenty-eighth ranked passing defense, allowing 254.8 yards per game. The Panthers will have Steve Smith back, who has had a terrible year due to inconsistent quarterback play. The Panthers betting faithful can rest assured that Smith has all the tools to destroy this pitiful secondary.
But that doesn’t mean you should put your money on the Panthers to upset the Saints in the slightest. Drew Brees has been erratic at best, but the Panthers have been horrific at home. They are 0-4 SU and Testaverde is only throwing a 54.2 completion percentage. Reggie Bush has been blowing up in the past few weeks, and will suck the attention of the defense towards him as Drew Brees slices and dices in a make-or-break game for the Saints.
NFL Betting Free Pick: New Orleans 27 Carolina 14
Tennessee Titans (6-4) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (3-7)
Sunday, November 25th — Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Cin/Ten (47)
Not even the oddsmakers can decipher if the pass-first Bengals are better than the run-first Titans. The odds are slightly tiled in favor of the Titans but, as Denver proved last weekend, the Titans are extremely vulnerable to the dreaded ‘big play’. And only a small few have a bigger canon than the one Carson Palmer sports. Each of his top three receivers had eight receptions last weekend.
The Titans have owned this matchup in the past, going 8-2 SU in their last ten meetings with the Bengals. The crazy thing about this team, however, is that, as Vince Young becomes a better passer, the team is registering more and more losses. The Titans are 9-2 when VY passes for less than 200 yards, and only 2-3 when he goes for more than 200.
Cincinnati has only proven they can beat marginally bad football teams. They have two victories over the Ravens, and one over the Jets. But that was without receiver Chris Henry, who opens up this passing offense tremendously. The problem is that Palmer has been tossing up interceptions like candy at Halloween. He had four picks last weekend against Arizona.
But with Tennessee’s inability to score points on a regular basis, their betting faithful should stay away from this game, or take Cincinnati. The Bengals can throw all over the field, and the Titans’ defense was ineffective against Jay Cutler last weekend. The Bengals may only be 3-6-1 ATS, but they are a whole new team with Henry. Palmer won’t post back-to-back interception totals like that because he’s simply too good.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Tennessee 17 Cincinnati 21
Buffalo Bills (5-5) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3)
Sunday, November 25th — Jacksonville Municipal, Jacksonville — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Jacksonville -7.5 (36)
The Bills have gone 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games and are road dogs as they head south to Jacksonville, who have come off back-to-back victories over San Diego and Tennessee to keep their playoff hopes afloat. J.P. Losman will be at the helm for Buffalo, but that shouldn’t make too much of a difference because Marshawn Lynch remains sidelined with a high ankle sprain.
The Bills rank second-to-last with 264.4 total yards per game, and only manage 15.3 points per match. Jacksonville’s defense has gained their vicious swagger back, and that means trouble for Losman and Lee Evans. Despite getting the coach’s favor, nobody should be placing their betting faith in Losman’s dubious hands.
The Jags are a run-first team that averages a startling 140.0 rush yards per game. Buffalo allows 119.3 yards per game, so expect Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor to have a big game against this speedy defense. David Garrard still can’t take over games, but he does a fantastic job of managing it properly to set up the run. The Jaguars betting faithful can rest assured in their 6-4 ATS Jags. Buffalo is only 2-2 SU on the road.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Buffalo 13 Jacksonville 27
Oakland Raiders (2-8) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (4-6)
Sunday, November 25th — Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Kansas City -6 (34.5)
The usually high-octane battle between the Raiders and Chiefs is about as lackluster as it gets. Daunte Culpepper versus Brodie Croyle! Kolby Smith against Justin Fargas! Raiders battling Chiefs! Kansas City squeaked out the last game with a 12-10 victory and virtually own the Raiders with a 9-1 SU record against their rivals.
Brodie Croyle hasn’t looked bad in his last two starts, though he hasn’t looked great either. He has thrown 62.2 % and averaged 165.5 passing yards between the two games. Too bad they were both losses. Meanwhile, Kolby Smith will be entrusted with a rushing attack that averages a paltry 77.5 rushing yards against a defense that gives up 152.6 yards per game. If Smith wanted a chance to shine, this is as good as it gets.
The problem in taking the Raiders, who are 3-7 ATS, against any line is that they simply look like they have forgotten how to score points. Daunte Culpepper will have trouble moving the ball against this defense, which allows 311.6 yards per game. The Chiefs defense only surrenders 18.6 points per game, and have played teams that know how to score points. The betting investors who choose to back the Chiefs in this game will be heavily rewarded as the Raiders prove exactly why you can never find them on national television.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Oakland 13 Kansas City 21
Minnesota Vikings (4-6) vs. New York Giants (7-3)
Sunday, November 25th — Giants Stadium, New York — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: NYG -7.5 (41)
It’s easy to get excited about Minnesota’s Chester Taylor this week, and incoming return of Adrian Peterson against a Giants defense that lost linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka. The Giants have looked unmotivated in their past three matchups, where they have lost to Dallas, only beat Detroit by six points and were almost derailed by the Dolphins in a 13-10 victory. So why should the Giants’ betting faithful stay the course?
The Vikings secondary is the worst in the league, that’s why. They allow 288.0 yards through the air and, you can say what you will about Eli but, the Vikings lack anybody who can stop Plaxico Burress. Big Brandon Jacobs will be used to bash in an incredibly stiff Vikings rush defense, but that he will also be used to keep the Minnesota defense honest.
The Giants aren’t a stellar defensive team in the slightest, but the Vikings are a one-dimensional team that will be facing Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora on the edges. That, in itself, makes life far more difficult for AP and Chester Taylor. Eli Manning and the Giants are 3-2 SU at home, while the Vikings have gone 1-4 SU on the road, which is another reason the NFL betting community should lean towards the Giants.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Minnesota 14 NYG 28
Washington Redskins (5-5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-4)
Sunday, November 25th — Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Tampa Bay -3 (36.5)
The last few times these teams have met, the barn has been burned right down to the ground. Tampa Bay holds a slight edge in the matchup, going 6-4 ATS in their last 10 against Washington. Tampa needs this win to keep some distance in the NFC South, and are 4-1 SU at home.
Washington sealed its own fate by losing to Dallas and Philadelphia in the last two weeks. Jason Campbell is seriously coming in to his own, steadying a passing game that has notched 201.5 passing yards per game. Clinton Portis is doing a fine job at tailback, helping the Skins gains 125.1 rushing yards per game. However, the Tampa defense only surrenders 284.1 total yards per game and allows the second-fewest points per game with 15.1. That means both points and yards will be hard to come by for a Redskins team that has never played well on the road.
The Bucs, meanwhile, have come alive on defense finally turning the ball over in the right direction lately. They squashed the Falcons last weekend 31-7 and Jeff Garcia continues to be one of the most consistent quarterbacks in the league. Almost everyone overlooked Earnest Graham when Pittman and Cadillac went down, but the Bucs still average 116.6 rushing yards, which is more than enough to force a team like the Redskins to stay honest and leave Joey Galloway open down the sidelines for some big scores.
The Bucs betting faithful have been rewarded by this team, which has gone 4-1 ATS when playing at home. With the way they are playing lately, there is no reason to bet against them with a margin this small. Still, except this game to be exciting and stiff on both ends of the ball with Tampa Bay coming out with the victory.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Washington 17 Tampa Bay 24
Seattle Seahawks (6-4) vs. St. Louis Rams (2-8)
Sunday, November 25th — Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Seattle -3 (44.5)
While nobody is ready to proclaim that the Rams have returned from the gutter, they are certainly on their way. And nothing would cement that further than a victory over the Seattle Seahawks. If you want any indication of the distance between these two teams, besides the win/loss column, look at how they each played San Francisco in the last two weeks. Seattle shut the Niners out 24-0, while St. Louis held them off in a 13-9 victory.
But that doesn’t necessarily make this an open and shut case. There is some hope for the Rams, who are home dogs this weekend by three points. The Seahawks are 4-11-1 ATS in their last 16 road games. Plus, Bulger and Steven Jackson seem to be fully healthy again, and playing with confidence despite the woes of their shoddy offensive line. Since the bye week, Bulger has yet to register a pick, and this Seahawks secondary strikes fear in to absolutely nobody.
The problem is that Seattle and Matt Hasslebeck have been playing exceptionally well lately. Holmgren said he would open up the passing offense, and he hasn’t lied. Hasslebeck is averaging 40+ attempts per game and the Seahawks are averaging 254.0 passing yards per game. The Rams defense is atrocious, allowing 211.2 passing yards and 111.4 rushing yards per game.
Even though some of the Rams betting faithful might scoff at Maurice Morris, he has been running with authority in place of Shaun Alexander, who will miss his third straight game. Don’t be shy because the Seahawks are on the road. Any game where a good quarterback like Matt Hasslebeck gets to play in a dome, should make a football betting investor smile.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Seattle 27 St. Louis 23
San Francisco 49ers (2-8) vs. Arizona Cardinals (5-5)
Sunday, November 25th — University of Phoenix Stadium, Arizona — 4:05pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Arizona -10.5 (38)
The Niners have failed to score more than 17 points in their eight straight losses. They are an absolutely pathetic display of football on the field. The Cardinals, however, have been executing plays on both sides of the ball, and they’ll be looking for revenge for that 20-17 loss to the Niners in Week 1.
The Cardinals have scored 30+ points in their back-to-back victories over the Bengals and Lions. Last weekend, they picked off Carson Palmer without the help of Adrian Wilson, who was limited in practice this week with a heel injury. Their offense is twelfth best in the league with 225.2 yards per game and they average 22.3 points per as well.
There is absolutely nothing to write positively about the Niners. They can’t run. They can’t throw. They have the most anemic offense in the league. They have a superior pass defense because of Walt Harris and Nate Clements, but unless those two plan on playing quarterback, receiver and tailback as well, the Niners are screwed in this one.
The Cardinals betting faithful have been rewarded with a 6-3-1 ATS record this season. Feel comfortable taking the Cards with this double-digit line as they steam roll the Niners and send this message to the Seahawks: “We’re right behind ya.”
Baltimore Ravens (4-6) vs. San Diego Chargers (5-5)
Sunday, November 25th — Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego — 4:15pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: San Diego -9 (38.5)
The Ravens are officially the worst team to bet on in football. They are 1-9 ATS on the season, and have one of the worst offenses in the league. They average 303.1 yards per game and only 16.8 points per game. Kyle Boller has looked better in place of Air McNair, but he has a horrible history of inconsistency. Do not expect a repeat of last week’s 279 yard performance against a much better Chargers defense.
If anything encapsulates the San Diego season, it’s Shawne Merriman getting pancaked by Maurice Jones-Drew last week. The defense is bad, and Baltimore will be able to move the ball, but the key for Baltimore will be keeping Philip Rivers in check.
Rivers is starting to create some solid chemistry with Chris Chambers, and already has a fantastic rhythm going with Antonio Gates. Bet on the Chargers going airborne against a vulnerable Baltimore secondary that allows 209.3 yards per game, in order to free up LaDanian Tomlinson on the ground.
Nothing is more life-sucking than losing a game after a ball bounces off the cross-bar, like it did last weekend when the Ravens played the Browns. Bet on the Ravens keeping this game close. The Chargers are much better than the Ravens, haven’t won by nine points for over a month. It’s not going to happen against Baltimore.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Baltimore 17 San Diego 24
Denver Broncos (5-5) vs. Chicago Bears (4-6)
Sunday, November 25th — Soldier Field, Chicago — 4:15pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Chicago -2.5 (41)
Denver rocked the Titans for four huge plays that catapulted them to a win. Can they do the same against a Bears defense that is a virtual shell of themselves? If Jay “Mr. Olympia” Cutler has anything to say about it, then they will.
Home is not sweet for Chicago, which is 1-3 SU at Soldier Field. Making matters worse is that they are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games at home. Their offense is squarely outclassed in this matchup, and there is no way that Grossman stands a chance against the combination of Dre Bly and Champ Bailey. The Bears only manage 219.1 yards per game, and rush the ball for a mediocre 81.6 yards.
Denver got lucky last week, in that they cashed in four big plays, but they proved that they can get on the scoreboard at any given time. They average 122.6 rushing yards per game, and Jay Cutler is riding a high wave of confidence. It definitely shows in his 224.5 passing yards per game.
The Broncos are even on the road at 2-2 SU, but there is virtually no reason to bet on the Bears in this one. Take the Broncos as they hit the road as dogs. Odds makers are counting on the fact that Chicago is a yo-yo team, and while that is a trend I usually love, the Broncos should have no problem with the hapless Bears.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Denver 24 Chicago 17
Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) vs. New England Patriots (10-0)
Sunday, November 25th — Gillette Stadium, Foxboro — 8:15pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: New England -17.5 (49)
While we usually do a full Sunday night preview, there is virtually no point in this one. Donavan continued to be cursed by Week 11 as he went down with pivotal thumb and ankle injuries that will probably sideline him for the tilt against the Patriots this weekend. Philadelphia may be 4-2 ATS in their last six games, but against New England, this game is an open and shut case.
The Patriots have a passing offense that is rocking the league for 305.0 yards through the air and a ground game that is crushing opponents with 131.8 yards on the ground. They average a league high 41.1 points per game and are 9-1 ATS. Their betting faithful can stay true to the Pats and take them against an Eagles team that is simply far too one dimensional.
NFL Betting Free Pick: Philadelphia 6 New England 38
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