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NFL Week 12 best bets: Sifting through Sunday leftovers

Don Juan Moore / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Last week, we wondered - and made bets around - who might be able to stay hot. The answer? Us.

We were a Broncos two-point conversion away from sweeping the entire board. With that kind of pressure on Denver, it was no wonder they ran the least-inspired conversion play imaginable. Alas, we'll be content with above 60% ATS on the season while nearing profitability on upsets and teasers.

Best bets ATS

We've already discussed the five underdogs (one being the Seahawks who lost on Thursday night) with a shot to win outright relative to their price, and as always, they're worth a look against the spread.

Bills +3.5
Raiders +9
Giants +3.5
Bears +3.5

However, there are more plays worth making this week.

Jaguars @ Texans (+1.5, 47.5)

A 37-17 Texans win in their first meeting looks ugly for Jacksonville, but the Jaguars actually outgained Houston in Week 3. After a surprise start had the Texans up 17-0, the Jags were on the comeback trail in the third quarter, only to suffer a fluke kick-return touchdown that put the lead back to 14.

Trevor Lawrence shouldn't have the issues he's had against teams with a good pass rush. The Texans get pressure at a below-average rate and are unable to effectively blitz with any frequency.

If the Jaguars are going to be contenders, they should be better than the teams C.J. Stroud has faced during a stretch in which his stock couldn't be higher. Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, and Arizona are 26th or worse in opponent yards per pass attempt.

Pick: Jaguars (-2)

Panthers @ Titans (-3.5, 36.5)

The Titans are one of only two teams to be sent on the road for three straight games this season. The Giants were able to overcome those circumstances and get a win last week, but they were playing the Commanders. Tennessee, meanwhile, had to take on a fresher, motivated playoff-calibre team in Jacksonville.

The market will frequently sour on a team after three straight road losses, but if that's what's making this line closer to a field goal than a touchdown against the 1-9 Panthers, I'm all for it.

Carolina scored more than 15 points in the two games Bryce Young started this season, and both contests featured late scenarios in which the game was already out of hand. So, while the Titans' pass defense isn't good, the Panthers aren't the team to exploit it.

Little has changed personnel-wise from when the Titans last played at home - a convincing win over the Falcons - and this looks to be the last chance we'll get to fade the Panthers on the road with a point spread this short.

Pick: Titans (-3.5)

Browns @ Broncos (-1.5, 36.5)

The Broncos' defense is creating turnovers (12 in the last three games), and a fifth straight win would put Sean Payton and Co. directly into the playoff mix. It's the type of midseason turnaround that would garner attention for Coach of the Year (available at +5000).

Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw 43 times for a measly 165 yards last week and now goes on the road to take on defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who should have the rookie under pressure.

We're getting the better quarterback, coach, and home-field advantage in a game lined under a field goal, meaning we only have to pay a little extra so it doesn't come down to a two-point conversion.

Pick: Broncos moneyline (-120)

Ravens @ Chargers (+3.5, 48.5)

The way to play the Chargers is to ask them not to win a game against quality competition, but to come painfully close. The Ravens are comparable to the Dolphins, Lions, and Cowboys, all teams that went to Los Angeles and won by the skin of their teeth. That fits with the Chargers' 64% cover rate in games where they've gotten more than a field goal since 2015.

The Chargers' loss to the Packers became more excusable after Green Bay's win in Detroit. It was also preventable and included a series of wide-open drops, including a pair of uncharacteristic ones from Keenan Allen. With California rays not an issue at SoFi Stadium and Mark Andrews' absence hurting Baltimore's offensive efficiency, the Chargers should provide the usual drama in a close game.

Pick: Chargers (+3.5)

Moneyline upset of the week

Bills (+145) over Eagles

The Bills' new play-caller, Joe Brady, was the next big thing after his time at LSU. Beating the Jets isn't particularly impressive, but almost 400 yards, 22 first downs, and 32 points against New York's defense in his first game with the call sheet is noteworthy. Plus, Brady should have better access to Josh Allen's best weapon this week since Stefon Diggs doesn't have to deal with Sauce Gardner or Pat Surtain.

The Bills' defense remains shallow, but Jalen Hurts still isn't moving well and looked to be missing Dallas Goedert on Monday night. If the Eagles' offense can't take full advantage of Buffalo's lack of depth, a rare chance to bet the Bills as 'dogs might pay off.

Best 6-point teaser

Bengals +8.5 / Buccaneers +8.5 (-130)

There's more uncertainty than we'd like in the Steelers-Bengals matchup, but with a few extra days of prep, Jake Browning could run a basic version of Cincinnati's offense. At Pittsburgh -2.5, the market has stretched this point spread to where the Bengals can be teased up over a possession. That's asking a lot of a Steelers offense going through a play-caller change, even if that change is for the better.

We'll pair that with the Buccaneers and Colts, who I have rated equally and profile similarly, playing in a controlled indoor environment, which should result in a tight game in Indianapolis.

Matt Russell is the lead betting analyst for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on social media @mrussauthentic.

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