What we learned: NFL SuperContest Week 12
Las Vegas – I should be a little annoyed with myself after Week 12 of the SuperContest. Actually, I should be more annoyed than I am given the historic run that favorites are on right now in the NFL. I went 3-2 again this week, but I lost two games because I picked dogs in the Lions and Jags to snap an 0-10 ATS run against the NFC West. Neither was a smart move given the other options that were on the board.
In the Super Bowl era, we have never seen a November like we are experiencing right now. So while my record of 12-7-1 this month is good, it’s not what it should be, in my opinion. I’m now over .500 (29-28-3), but I’m still kicking myself for not believing in Vikings and for thinking the Jags have a good coach.
Now, if you are a sports book operator, you aren’t happy with what has happened over the last four weeks of the season at all. It could end up being the first losing month for Vegas in forever. According to ESPN Stats and Info, favorites have gone 37-15-4 in November!
NFL favorites have gone 37-15-4 against the spread in November, the Chalk's best regular-season month of the Super Bowl era: https://t.co/nPicFpHTpj
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) November 27, 2017
After Week 12 of the NFL season, here is a look at how our four SuperContest teams are faring:
After 60 picks, The Action Network’s four teams are separated by just 2.5 points. My main takeaway from that information is that it goes to show you how hard it is to pick games against the number even when the lines don’t move from day to day. On the bright side, it’s cool to see that all four of our teams are in the top half of the field and all of them could finish over .500 for the tournament.
NFL Week 12 betting takeaways:
*Don’t bet against the Patriots at home against a divisional opponent. I know that the 17-point spread was sizable, and history was on your side by taking Miami. I know that it’s an auto play for sharps to take the dog. But I repeat: Do not bet against the Pats at home against a divisional opponent. There are two more of those situations left with the Bills and Jets going to Gillette in the final two weeks of the season.
*The Broncos’ QB situation is worse than we thought. I would stay away from Denver for the rest of the year. They drafted Paxton Lynch to be the QB of the future, but he looked completely lost against the Raiders, who sport the worst pass defense in the NFL.
*Kansas City QB Alex Smith might be hurt or just cooked mentally. Something is wrong, because the Chiefs’ signal caller went from putting up 300-plus passing yards against the Patriots, Texans and Raiders to throwing for less than 250 yards against the Broncos, Giants and Bills. Kansas City has lost five of six, and they have to go back to New York to play the Jets this week at Met Life. In the 12-9 loss to the Giants, Smith threw two interceptions and was 27-for-40. Run away from this game.
*The Panthers are starting to look like a team you can ride for the rest of the season after covering their fourth straight line. Carolina won by eight at New York with a late field goal, and even without dynamic receivers, QB Cam Newton is putting the offense on his shoulders and making plays. New Orleans hosts the Panthers this week, and Carolina will be getting a healthy amount of support from the gambling public. The Saints lost on the road at the Rams and might be coming back down to earth after winning eight games in a row.
*Chicago’s offense is really, really, really bad. The Bears generated only eight first downs the entire game at Philly, losing 31-3. Chicago gained only 6 rushing yards all game, the second fewest in team history (according to Pro Football Focus), and 140 total yards overall. This week, the Bears are favored at home against San Francisco. Jimmy G will get his first start as a Niner, so I’ll be betting against the Bears.
*QB Blaine Gabbert will be on an NFL roster next season. The former Jags signal caller has started two games in Arizona and has won them both, including Sunday against his former team. Gabbert is actually putting up similar numbers to what Carson Palmer posted before Palmer got hurt. In fact, the Cardinals might be willing to ride with Gabbert next year as their starting QB. This week, Arizona hosts the Rams and their ninth-ranked pass defense. A win against the division leader would go a long way toward winning the Gabbert starting gig for next year.
*Jackonsville’s defense has scored a touchdown in back-to-back games. But even their No. 1 pass defense and No. 1 overall defense can’t overcome their quarterback’s mistakes and their head coach’s ill-advised decisions. Jacksonville should have easily been able to get the game at Arizona into overtime, but head coach Doug Marrone clearly can’t make up his mind in crucial moments. Throwing on second down with under 30 seconds left from inside your 25 when you are trying to run out the clock is not ideal. And the pick QB Blake Bortles threw in the fourth quarter was just gross. Luckily, the Jags host the Colts on Sunday, so it should be a bounceback week for Jacksonville.
We’ll return with our Week 13 SuperContest picks on Friday!
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