NFL Tips: Week 12

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So close to another winning treble last weekend. The leg that let us down, Arizona to beat Minnesota played out pretty much how we expected to with Arizona being the more impressive team offensively. The game changed on one important to play towards the end of the 2nd quarter. As the Cardinals looked on the verge of the go ahead touchdown QB Carson Palmer was intercepted in the endzone by Xavier Rhodes who unbelievably managed to return it 100 yards for a Vikings TD and a potential 14 point swing!

New York Giants -7 @ Evens vs Cleveland Browns (6pm)

I’m baffled as to how the oddsmakers seem to continually give us these great handicaps in games involving the Cleveland Browns. As I said a few weeks ago any decent team who are facing the Browns really should be a double-digit favourites so I can only assume this is some kind of crazy Black Friday offer!

In their 11 consecutive defeats this season Cleveland have lost by an average of 13 points per game. They are facing a Giants team who are really starting to play good football both sides of the ball. I feel they haven’t got the recognition they deserve this year due to being in the same division as the Dallas Cowboys the hottest team in the league right now. Let’s not forget though that the last time the Cowboys made a 9-1 start to a season, Eli Manning led these Giants to defeating the Cowboys and went on to win the Super Bowl! They are well placed for a Willard spot in the NFC and I can’t see them taking their foot off the gas against a poor Cleveland team.

 

 

 

Tennessee Titans -6 @ 20/23 vs Chicago Bears (6pm)

As we get towards the business end of the season we start to find a number of teams who have little left to play for and among those is the Chicago Bears. It has once again been a very disappointing season for the Bears and to compound matters further here their roster is decimated by injuries and suspensions. With QBs Cutler and Hoyer among those who are injured it will be left in the hands of Matt Barkley to lead the Bears here in what will be his first career start.

The Titans have a pretty poor record against the spread on the road this season and a questionable defence but going up against this weakened Bears team I don’t think that will matter. The inexperience of Barkley will mean that they need to run the balm well to stand any chance in this one but unfortunately stopping the run is the major strength of this Titans defence. On offence they have the dynamic players in QB Marcus Mariota and RB DeMarco Murray to cause this defence problems. Unlike the Bears their season is still very much alive being just one game behind the divisional leading Texans and they should manage a fairly routine victory here.

Baltimore Ravens -4 @ 10/11 vs Cincinnati Bengals (6pm)

Another team that’s suffered a number crucial injuries in the last week is the Cincinnati Bengals. Star wideout AJ Green will be missing for an undisclosed amount of time after suffering a hamstring injury while running back Giovanni Bernard is gone for the season after tearing his ACL. These two players lead the Bengals for receptions this season with 66 and 39 respectively while the rest of the team combined has 22! Quarterback Andy Dalton had been struggling already this season so shorn of his top two targets it’s difficult to see where the yards are going to come from.

To make matters worse they will be on the road facing one of the league stoutest defences in the Baltimore Ravens. Last weekend Baltimore performed admirably in limiting the high-powered offence of the Dallas Cowboys so facing a limited Bengals team should not trouble them. The Ravens themselves have not exactly lit up opponents this season and have been involved in a number of close games. However it is worth noting that they are 3-0 in divisional matchups winning all of the by more than 5 points and are excellent value here to come away with a victory by more than 4.

The preferred double is the combination of the Giants and Ravens while the 3 together amount to a 6/1 treble.

Best of luck

Cathal