NFL Week 12 best bets: Titans' offense in trouble vs. stingy Patriots

Adam Glanzman / Getty Images Sport / Getty

We went 1-2 on our NFL picks against the spread in Week 11, though the Ravens still covered the closing line with Lamar Jackson on the sidelines. Here are our best bets for Week 12:

Jets @ Texans (-2.5, 44.5), 1 p.m.

It's jolting enough that the Texans are favored for the first time all season. It's even more surprising they're worth laying the points for in this spot. That's what happens when you replace rookie Davis Mills - who was arguably the league's worst quarterback during his seven-game run - with veteran Tyrod Taylor, who ran for two scores in last week's surprising 22-13 win over the Titans.

He'll face off against rookie Zach Wilson, who leads all starters in interception rate (5.0%) and faces a Houston defense that's forced seven fumbles and six interceptions in its last two games. It's not like the Jets were great without him: they're an NFL-worst 2-8 ATS and 1-4 ATS since their bye week, losing those four games by a combined 91 points.

This is only the 12th time in the last 20 seasons - and the first time since 2016 - that two teams have met this late in the season with a win percentage of 20% or lower. Two of those games went off at pick 'em, but in the other nine instances, the favorite went 6-3 ATS, including 4-1 ATS in the previous five tries.

Pick: Texans -2.5

Titans @ Patriots (-7, 43.5), 1 p.m.

A week after putting up just 13 points against those pesky Texans, what will the Titans manage against the NFL's best defense? The Patriots have allowed a league-low 16.1 points per game and have held their last three opponents to a combined 13 points. Yes, you read that correctly.

Tennessee at full strength might have a shot to end that hot spell for New England, but this offense is far from a complete unit. The Titans will enter Sunday without Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, and Julio Jones, who've combined for 43.3% of the team's scoring and 49.9% of its total offensive output.

Since losing Henry, in particular, the Titans have scored just seven offensive touchdowns in three games and have struggled to find any sort of rhythm. Don't expect that to change in their toughest test yet.

Pick: Titans under 17.5 points

Browns @ Ravens (-3.5, 47), 8:20 p.m. ET

Has the luster finally worn off on these Browns, or are bettors still holding onto the flashes we've seen over the past two years? There haven't been many recently - Cleveland is 4-4 in the past eight weeks, with three single-digit victories and a combined -33 point differential.

Offense has been the chief concern for the Browns, who've scored 17 points or fewer in six of their last eight games after last week's 13-10 victory over the winless Lions. Poor quarterback play has been the culprit - since missing Week 7 with an injury, Baker Mayfield is averaging 173 passing yards with a 4-3 TD-INT ratio and a lousy 80.2 passer rating in four games.

The Ravens haven't been stellar as of late, either, but injuries have played a significant role in that. Lamar Jackson should be back at full health this week for Baltimore, which is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games as a favorite against a divisional opponent. Expect Jackson and Co. to take care of business in a crucial AFC North contest.

Pick: Ravens -3.5

C Jackson Cowart is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on Twitter (@CJacksonCowart) or email him at cjackson.cowart@thescore.com.

Comments
NFL Week 12 best bets: Titans' offense in trouble vs. stingy Patriots
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox