NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expert’s Biggest Edges, Including a Seahawks-WFT Play on Monday Night Football
Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Russell Wilson
NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions
|Colts +3.5 vs. Bucs|
|Falcons-Jaguars Over 45.5|
|Vikings-49ers Under 49.5|
|Browns +3.5 at Ravens|
|Seahawks +1 at WFT|
1 p.m. ET on Sunday
At time of writing, 69% of the bets and 71% of the money has come in on Tampa Bay here, which makes me believe the public wasn’t buying the Colts’ 41-15 win over the Bills last week. However, I feel the 6-5 Colts are an underrated team, and according to my Expected Wins metric, they have an expected record of 7.4-3.6. This is mainly due to averaging 32:53 of game time with the lead this season, fourth in the league. Bad luck in close games (1-3 in one-score games) is why they are only one game above .500 and why the public is overlooking them right now.
Assuming Quenton Nelson (questionable) suits up, the Colts offensive line will be at full strength for the fifth straight game. It’s a big reason why Jonathan Taylor has become a dark horse MVP candidate over that stretch. Carson Wentz has made some costly turnovers this season, but overall, he’s doing an excellent job of keeping the ball out of harm’s way, as seen by his 2.4% turnover worthy play rate, per PFF, which ranks eighth-lowest out of 38 QBs. I believe the Colts offense can keep pace with Tom Brady and the Bucs here.
Ali Marpet has been ruled out for the game, which is a massive blow to Tampa’s o-line. He is the glue that holds the o-line together, and his replacement Aaron Stinnie is a significant downgrade. To make matters worse, Stinnie will likely have to matchup with DeForest Buckner, which seems like an impossible task. The Bucs went 1-2 when Marpet missed Weeks 9-11 last year, and Brady struggled, throwing for five interceptions over that three-game span. One of Brady’s few weaknesses has been dealing with pressure up the middle. The Buckner vs. Stinnie mismatch could create that pressure up the middle that can cause issues for Brady.
I may be on an island here, but I love the Colts at +3.5.
1 p.m. ET on Sunday
The Falcons (30th) and Jaguars (29th) matchup features two bottom-five ranked defenses in DVOA. There are enough playmakers on each offense to take advantage and create a higher-scoring game in Week 12.
The injury report also favors the over for this game. The Jaguars’ top cornerback, Shaquill Griffin, has been ruled out, while linebacker Deion Jones is shaping up to be a game-time decision for the Falcons. Offensive weapon Cordarrelle Patterson is expected to make his return, while the Jaguars will be getting back their best o-lineman in center Brandon Linder after a five-game absence.
As a result, I’m projecting this total closer to 47 and would bet it up to 46.
4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday
The 49ers offense has excelled at methodical, clock-killing drives the past couple of games. In Week 10, they opened up against the Rams with an 18-play, 88-yard drive that lasted for 11 minutes. Last week, they had a 20-play, 87-yard drive that took 13 minutes off the clock.
I’m expecting them to have similar success against a Vikings defensive line that will be without Danielle Hunter, Dalvin Tomlinson and Everson Griffen. Keeping Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen on the sidelines is only going to help lower the scoring environment for this game. Therefore, I’m projecting it closer to 47 and like it down to 48.5.
Sunday Night Football
According to my Expected Wins metric, the Browns are one of the most underrated teams right now (8.1-2.9 expected record, 6-5 actual record), while the Ravens are one of the most overrated teams (4.9-5.1 expected record, 7-3 actual record). Therefore, I like getting +3.5 on the Browns here.
The Browns also have a massive edge on the injury report, with Kareem Hunt and Jack Conklin returning from the IR, which should give their offense a much-needed boost. Meanwhile, the Ravens are dealing with a plethora of injuries on both sides of the ball.
Monday Night Football
I’m buying the dip on Russell Wilson after two poor performances upon his return from a finger injury that knocked him out for three-plus games. However, it’s only a matter of time before he breaks out of his slump, and I think his think game back will be the charm.
The Seahawks are much better than their 3-7 record would indicate, while Washington is coming off back-to-back wins over Tampa Bay and Carolina. The market is overrating them a bit here, especially considering they recently lost Chase Young to a season-ending injury. I’m projecting Seattle as two-point favorites here, so I love getting a point. Would bet this up to Seattle -1.