Koerner: The 4 NFL Bets to Make in Week 12 Based on My Projections

Koerner: The 4 NFL Bets to Make in Week 12 Based on My Projections article feature image
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Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Dwayne Haskins

  • Sean Koerner breaks down which NFL bets to make based on his Week 12 power ratings.

Every week I use my NFL Power Ratings to project spreads and over/unders for every game and find the best bets. So which are still showing value?

Let’s take a look at four picks to make based on my power ratings in the following games:

  • Dolphins at Browns: 1 p.m. ET
  • Lions at Redskins: 1 p.m. ET
  • Seahawks at Eagles: 1 p.m. ET
  • Packers at 49ers: 8:20 p.m. ET

Dolphins-Browns Under 46

I have this total projected at 43.5, and the expected game flow should favor the under.

If the Browns play with a sizable lead, it’s likely they lean on their running game and slow the pace down to help eat the clock and shorten the game. We saw this in their Week 11 win against the Steelers. In fact, when leading, the Browns’ pace of play drops from 18th to 29th (per Football Outsiders).

The Dolphins don’t necessarily play more up-tempo when losing, either. Their pace of play ranks 10th in the NFL, but slows down to 21st when trailing (a game script they are quite used to).

Give me the under here.

Redskins +3.5 vs. Lions

This matchup features two teams I backed against the spread last week and lost.

The Redskins were brutal, but a lot of that result had to do with Sam Darnold and the Jets turning into the underrated team I pegged them as heading into 2019.

Meanwhile, the Lions are without Matthew Stafford for at least one more game. I had him being worth 3-4.5 points to the spread, but I’m bumping that up to 4-5.5 points. Jeff Driskel has put up solid fantasy numbers in garbage time, but it’s clear it’s a bit egregious to have him be a 3.5-point road favorite.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jeff Driskell

The Redskins are a below-average team that’s better equipped to pull off a win in what’s perceived to be a tight matchup. A close game would allow them to take the ball out of Dwayne Haskins’ hands and lean on their running game. Their defense was showing signs of improvement heading into the bye, which makes me think they bounce back against an inexperienced QB like Driskel.

Still, no matter how you slice it, these are two below-average teams and I’m willing to bite on the home squad getting a key number in +3.5 here.

Eagles -1 vs. Seahawks

I’ve mentioned how there’s value in getting ahead of public perception. The Falcons over the past two weeks are a great example; the Eagles are poised to be that team this week.

Philly sports a +2.6 edge over Seattle in Pythagorean win differential — a clear sign that the public is likely to overrate the Seahawks and underrate the Eagles. Betting behavior has aligned with this theory given more than 70% of the tickets have been printed for Seattle (see live public betting data here). It’s sent the line down from Eagles -3 all the way down to -1.

Packers-49ers Under 48

Both teams are likely to lean on their running game on Sunday night. And the 49ers have been vulnerable on the ground on late, which makes it likely the Packers attack them with Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams.

On the other side of the ball, Emmanuel Sanders is still dealing with a nagging rib injury and George Kittle could miss his third straight game due to his knee injury, which will likely force the 49ers to lean on their running game more as a result. (Both are listed as questionable as of Sunday morning.)

The 49ers are the 25th ranked team in terms of pace of play while the Packers are 31st, so it’s more likely this matchup favors the environment for the under.