Thanksgiving served up three highly entertaining games, particularly Washington’s upset win over Dallas at Cowboys Stadium. With a total of 212 points on the board, those three games really were all about spectacle.
Week 12 resumes in the NFL with a 12-game slate jam-packed with intriguing match-ups. To help you get started with your picks, CasinoReview has picked out three of the best games on offer, and gone through them with a fine-toothed comb.
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After losing to New Orleans in Week 10, Atlanta (9-1, 4-1 road) returned to winning ways with a 23-19 victory over the Arizona Cardinals last week. Alarmingly for the Falcons though, the win only came after a late Michael Turner touchdown erased a lead that the Cardinals had sustained for long portions of the game.
This weekend, Atlanta travels to a very in-form Tampa Bay (6-4, 3-2 home) side, winners of four straight and five of six.
After a rocky start to the season that saw the side lose three of its first four, the Buccaneers have turned things around thanks to a high-scoring offense – the Bucs rank fourth in the league in points scored. That offense has been complimented by the league’s best defense against the run.
The Buccaneers will look to build on a 2-1 record within the division, and make some ground up on the NFC South-leading Falcons. It’ll be tough though; Atlanta has won six of the last seven meetings between the sides.
Odds: Atlanta is a marginal favorite (-1½) on the road. The over/under is 48.
Take: Tampa Bay – Atlanta’s most convincing wins came early in the season, and bar a beat down of the Eagles, the Falcons have not won by more than a touchdown since Week 3. Tampa Bay meanwhile has been menacing opponents, winning four of the last six by 10 points or more. The Buccaneer’s 8-2-0 ATS record is the best in the entire NFL. Take the total to go over; both sides rank in the top six in points scored.
San Francisco 49ers @ New Orleans Saints
San Francisco (7-2-1, 3-1 road), winners of three of the last four – the fourth being a tie with St. Louis – will head to the Big Easy this weekend looking to add another win the tally. Of course, most of the focus this week has been on who will play quarterback for the Niners.
After suffering a concussion in that 24-24 tie with the Rams, Alex Smith missed last week’s home game against Chicago. His replacement, Colin Kaepernick led the Northern California side to a 32-7 trouncing of the Bears, who were without their own starting quarterback, Jay Cutler. Following the result, pressure has fallen on Jim Harbaugh to start the rookie out of Nevada. Despite Smith being fully cleared by medical staff on Friday, it looks as though Kaepernick will indeed get a second shot at leading the side.
With so much focus on San Francisco, New Orleans (5-5, 3-2 home) has quietly been preparing for the late afternoon game, and will be looking to win a fourth straight game and six of the last seven. At .500, that 0-4 start already looks a long way off, and the Saints are once again marching.
Drew Brees and the Saints’ No. 1 ranked passing offense will be up against the stingiest defense in the league though. San Francisco has given up just 13.4 points per game, so we’ll be left witnessing a classic offence versus defense match-up.
San Francisco’s victory in the divisional round of last season’s playoffs snapped a six-game losing streak against the Saints. In fact, prior to the loss, New Orleans had run out winners in nine of the previous 11 head-to-head meetings, a stretch that dated back to November 1999, when both teams could be found at the bottom of the old NFC West.
The last time San Francisco won in New Orleans was in January 2002, in a matchup that was rescheduled following the 9/11 bombings. The Niners will be looking for a repeat of that 28-27 victory.
Odds: San Francisco is preferred is preferred (-2½) entering the game. The over/under is 48½.
Take: New Orleans – Distraction is always a killer in the NFL and San Francisco has had plenty of that this week. The Saints meanwhile offer a legitimate threat to the defensive-minded side; the team tallies yards and points as though they’re going out of fashion. Alongside the upset win, take the total to go over; San Francisco has proven all season it can score and we know the Saints can also.
Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants
Sunday Night Football sees a clash between two sides currently experiencing opposing fortunes. Green Bay (7-3, 3-2 road) has hit its stride, winning five straight and six of seven. The New York Giants (6-4, 3-2 home) meanwhile have slipped up recently, losing two in a row, both of which were winnable games (Pittsburgh at home, Cincinnati on the road).
Sunday’s showdown will be a chance for the Packers to garner some revenge after the Giants eliminated the Wisconsin side from last season’s playoffs. In favor of the Packers is a 6-3 record over the past nine meetings between the sides.
The Giants however have had an extra week to prepare for the arrival of the Packers, thanks to a bye in Week 11, whilst Green Bay arrives at MetLife Stadium following a close 24-20 victory over Detroit.
Odds: The Giants are favored (-1½) over the Packers. The over/under is 49.
Take: Green Bay – History suggests that once Green Bay finds its form, it rarely lets a foot off the gas. That’s bad news for the Giants, who once again look anything but dominant. Washington’s win over Dallas on Thanksgiving afternoon does give the Giants a bit of breathing space still. Take the total to go over; the last three contests between the sides have smashed the 49 mark, with an average score of 30-34 in favor of the Packers.
Week 12 Schedule
Thursday: Houston 34-31 Detroit (OT) | Washington 38-31 Dallas | New England 49-19 NY Jets
Sunday: (1 PM ET) Minnesota @ Chicago | Oakland @ Cincinnati | Pittsburgh @ Cleveland | Buffalo @ Indianapolis |Tennessee @ Jacksonville | Denver @ Kansas City | Seattle @ Miami | Atlanta @ Tampa Bay; (4:05 PM ET) Baltimore @ San Diego; (4:25 PM ET) St. Louis @ Arizona | San Francisco @ New Orleans; (8:20 PM ET) Green Bay @ NY Giants
Monday: (8:30 PM ET) Carolina @ Philadelphia