NFL Week 12 Predictions: Data-Driven Picks for Bengals vs Titans, Broncos vs Panthers, More
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: Latavius Murray.
NFL Odds & Picks
Billy Ward: This game sets up nicely to front load scoring on a couple of fronts.
First, both teams play somewhat quicker in the first half than in the second. While this is partially a result of positive game scripts from two winning teams, they both play slower than average when trailing as well, meaning we shouldn’t expect either to accelerate too much even in a second-half deficit.
The Titans are also much more easily attacked through the air than on the ground. The Bengals are likely to throw their way into a lead, and should find success doing so. On the flip side, Cincinnati is exploitable on the ground, and the Titans have Derrick Henry.
Thus, we should see relatively efficient offenses as long as the game remains close, but a drop off if and when the Bengals start playing with a lead. That won’t happen in the first half – and if it does, we’ve probably already gone over the 21-point total.
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Nick Giffen: Murray has almost no competition at the RB position after the release of Melvin Gordon. Yes, Denver picked up Marlon Mack, but this is his first game with the team and can’t be expected to command a high usage rate.
This isn’t a particularly daunting matchup either, as the Panthers rank 21st in defensive DVOA against the run. That they also rank 21st against the pass means Denver should be able to move the ball.
There’s also 15 mph winds in the forecast – and possible rain – so this could be a game where the ball stays on the ground more than normal. That’s even more likely as the Broncos are missing wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler.
Oh, and our Luck Rankings have Denver 16 places below Carolina.
If the Broncos score a TD, there’s a strong chance it’s through Murray. I’d bet this to +140.
Billy Ward: Draft Kings has done a better job of pricing this prop in recent weeks, but this line still provides huge value. While it’s a limited sample size, games with a total under 40 and a spread of 2.5 or fewer should have the “no” side of this prop as a favorite.
With this game having a total all the way down to 36 and a spread of just one, “no” should be a fairly heavy favorite. (Remember, this bet correlates with both the spread and the total, with lower/closer games being less likely to have three straight scores.)
This line was +155 earlier in the week, but still a very strong play at +140. Jump on it ASAP before it moves further.
Nick Giffen: McManus faces a more difficult situation on Sunday than normal.
First, there’s a 15 mph crosswind forecast throughout the game, with possible light rain early on as well. Additionally, he won't have the advantage of altitude like he does at home.
Combining the conditions and his accuracy from distance, his attempt expectation from distance should go down from his averages. And he's already averaging the worst kicking season of his career – McManus has converted only 79.8% of possible kicking points, with five missed field goals and two missed extra points.
I’m showing value on the under for both his FG and extra point props, so let’s combine them and take his kicking point prop. I have this going under 55.3% of the time, and would bet to -105.
Sean Koerner: Walker’s usage in the passing game has gone up recently — he posted a season-high 73% routes run rate in Week 10.
Coming off the bye, I can see Seattle continuing to use the rookie more through the air and this is a great matchup to do so. The Raiders are last in DVOA against RBs in the passing game and have allowed 14 running backs to clear this number.
I’m projecting Walker’s median closer to 18.5 yards.
Sean Koerner: Kittle is coming off a massive 4/84/2 performance against a Cardinals defense that's been hashed by opposing TEs (31st in DVOA), but he will have to face a Saints defense that has put the clamps on the position (1st in DVOA).
This is a game where the 49ers will likely play with a comfortable lead and not have to throw too much. I’m projecting Kittle’s median closer to 40.5.