The New York Post’s Dave Blezow breaks down his Week 12 NFL Sunday predictions after the Thanksgiving Day slate
New England Patriots (-3) over NEW YORK GIANTS
It was nice to see Tommy DeVito and his family enjoy the Giants’ victory over the Commanders, a team the Giants always seem to be able to beat. The Patriots are another team Big Blue has had historical success against, but those required the best days of franchise quarterback Eli Manning and a little magic.
The main question is whether the Patriots are tanking. If they are, then Bill Belichick will find a way to lose. But I doubt that. He may not be back to coach a high pick, a 2-15 season would tarnish his legacy and make it harder to catch Don Shula for all-time wins. So let’s just look at this as Belichick off a bye with two weeks to prepare for an ultra-inexperienced quarterback.
ATLANTA FALCONS (+1) over New Orleans Saints
Arthur Smith turns back to Desmond Ridder. The Falcons have some big weapons in Bijan Robinson, Drake London and Kyle Pitts, but the coach and quarterbacks haven’t yet made it work. It’ll help them that Marshon Lattimore will be missing from the Saints’ defense.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-1) over CINCINNATI BENGALS
Wondering if the season-ending injury to Joe Burrow will send all of the Bengals to the exits mentally. They’re still 5-5 and in playoff contention, but a few series of watching Jake Browning against the Pittsburgh defense could serve as a reality check. We’ll see if the Steelers’ firing of offensive coordinator Matt Canada provides a spark like the Raiders and Bills have seen.
TENNESSEE TITANS (-3.5) over Carolina Panthers
Titans have lost three in a row and five of six, and in the past two games Derrick Henry has logged only 22 carries for 62 yards. Figuring this will be a more favorable game script for Henry to be the workhorse and Will Levis to thrive off play-action.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2.5) over INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Baker Mayfield has been managing the games fairly well with 15 touchdowns to only six interceptions, and Vita Vea looked active on Sunday against the 49ers. Type of game where even a few points in the spread could make a difference.
HOUSTON TEXANS (+1.5) over Jacksonville Jaguars
Surely DeMeco Ryans has this point spread on the bulletin board alongside a photo of HOU 37, JAC 17 on the scoreboard from Sept. 24. It’s a huge revenge spot for the Jaguars but that doesn’t mean they get it. Their defense is no mystery to CJ Stroud.
DENVER BRONCOS (-2.5) over Cleveland Browns
My sense is that the Browns have an excellent defense, but if you isolate the road games, you see they allowed 26 at Pittsburgh, 38 at Indianapolis, 24 at Seattle and 31 at Baltimore. They won two of those games — one with P.J. Walker and one with Deshaun Watson — but have scored just eight points per game in Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s two starts.
Los Angeles Rams (-1) over ARIZONA CARDINALS
Cooper Kupp is iffy but the Rams will be happy to have Kyren Williams back. The last time we saw him, he ran for 158 yards in 26-9 rout of the Cardinals. Kyler Murray certainly has no reason to tank but you wonder what’s going through Jonathan Gannon’s mind.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (+9) over Kansas City Chiefs
The Raiders are 2-1 with three covers under Antonio Pierce, and they did a good job defensively in Miami. Kansas City travels on a short week after an all-night, physical battle with the Eagles. It’s not often the Chiefs commit two red-zone turnovers and drop the winning touchdown pass, but this opponent is no picnic either.
Buffalo Bills (+3.5) over PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Yes I’m very concerned about what A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith can do to a depleted Bills secondary but I also believe the Bills’ pass rush can make things miserable for Jalen Hurts the way the Jets did. Happy to get a field goal with a quality team.
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) over LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
The Bolts are in a stretch when they’re 2-4 with the wins over the Bears and Jets. Baltimore has extra rest off its Thursday night win over the Bengals and are playing only its second road game in the last seven weeks.
Betting on the NFL?
MINNESTOA VIKINGS (-3.5) over Chicago Bears
This line is so low probably because the Bears gave the Lions a scare with Fields back, and because the Vikings play almost exclusively one-score games so there’s so little margin for error. Still, I’m all in on Joshua Dobbs at this number.
Best bets: Dolphins, Cowboys, Falcons
Lock of the week: Dolphins (Locks 3-8 in 2023)
Last week: 7-7 overall, 2-1 Best Bets.