With Thanksgiving weekend behind us, the NFL Week Twelve schedule is a bit of an abbreviated one. That doesn’t leave many betting choices for the punters to make, something you always desire when looking at a slate of games. Injuries have also begun to take their toll and influence the betting lines.

Quick…with Bengals QB Joe Burrow out for the season after tearing a tendon in his wrist, who is his backup? If you knew that it was Jake Browning, you are either a big fan of the Queen City Kitties or you must be a family member of Browning’s. This also applies to the Minnesota Vikings, who saw Joshua Dobbs do some great things after QB Kirk Cousins’ season ended, although they did come back down to earth against the Broncos last week.

By this point in the season, there are dinging injuries – if not outright season-enders – on every squad in the NFL. It is part of what makes the season intriguing, how these teams handle adversity. It is also what makes wagering on the games an adventure in its own right.

For the NFL Week Twelve slate, a dozen games are remaining (there were three games on Thanksgiving – and if anyone had the Packers beating the Lions, they are a liar). We’re going to try to give you that same great insight as we take on some picks for the NFL Week Eleven schedule. As always, all advice is offered for entertainment purposes only, but be ensured that a significant amount of thought has gone into each selection (home team in ALL CAPS).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-2.5)

Would you believe me if I told you that this game has playoff implications? Yes, with the fourteen-team playoff schedule, both the Bucs and the Colts are still in the fight for their respective places in the playoffs come January. While the realistic among us probably will not be choosing either side to make the post-season tournament, it still gives a bit of something for these teams to play for.

This is a tough game to pick. The Bucs have a string of mediocrity that is indicative of their season – 2-3 at home, 2-3 on the road – but they are relatively healthy as they take the trip to the dome in Indy. Surprisingly, the Colts have been abysmal at home – 1-4 overall, 4-1 on the road – and QB Gardner Minshew has been a big part of that home record (responsible for two of the four losses). The Bucs defense should have a second feast this week after the Thanksgiving holiday, taking a victory on the road to keep alive their playoff hopes.

PICK: Buccaneers +2.5

Jacksonville Jaguars (-1.5) v. HOUSTON TEXANS

Once again, we have another game here that has MASSIVE playoff implications. Leading the AFC South are the Jaguars, who have been perfect on the road and are 4-1 in their last five games. Surprisingly, the Texans have risen to challenge the Jags hold on first, only losing once at home while putting together a 4-1 streak of their own and watching QB C. J. Stroud become a star before their eyes.

What tips my pick in this game is the simple fact that the Jaguars seem to play to the skills of their opposition. In games that they should have an easy time, they make it difficult. On paper, this should be an easy win for the Jacksonville squad, but don’t be surprised if the Texans win this one outright and take over first place in the AFC South.

PICK: Texans +1.5 (and a Texans ML bet here isn’t out of the question)

Pittsburgh Steelers v. CINCINNATI BENGALS (O/U 35.5)

With the backup in for Cincy and the anemic offensive production of the Steelers (so much so that the team fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada earlier this week), this game should be a defensive battle from the start. Both teams pride themselves on their defensive prowess, so don’t tune in thinking that the sides are going to thunder up and down the field. Take the UNDER here and avoid watching if you can.


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