For The Win: Week 12

NFL picks against the Las Vegas lines.

Here we are again this year, back for more NFL picks. It is with great pleasure that I begin my second season writing this column. As someone who has won and lost their fair share of money on the NFL (and many other sports), this is bound to be a fun and unpredictable ride. Join me, won’t you?

As with the format in previous years, this article will help those of you who compete in confidence pools and in ranking selections, which may come in handy on those Las Vegas trips. Games are rated based on preference for both the point spread and other angles (such as totals or over/unders) with 1-3 “Stars”, which basically highlight the best bets for the week. Those games which have zero stars are not preferred one way or the other, but will still be covered, discussed and a winner will be predicted for those trying to get some advice for their weekly office pools.

Favorites went 5-8 against the spread this week, something that hurt yours truly as too many wagers were placed on teams laying the points. To date, the favorites are 71-85-2 against the spread as the lack of home-field advantage makes it mark. Thanksgiving is coming at us fast, so this is no time to wallow in last week’s shortcomings.

Note that the over/unders are sourced from

(Thanksgiving) HOUSTON (-2.5) at DETROIT (Over/Under 51.5)

The Texans may just be the best 3-7 team we have witnessed. Deshaun Watson is showing maturity and development in his game in the post-Bill O’Brien era, while fellow franchise cornerstone J.J. Watt looks to have recaptured some of his magic of old. As Thanksgiving openers go, this one may hit the palate with a bit of a sour taste, only to burst into flavor as the game goes on. That the Texans are laying points on the road tells us everything we need to know about Vegas’ opinion of the Lions.

Beware the -2.5, however. This is a back against the walls type of encounter for the home team, whose head coach Matt Patricia must surely be feeling the heat after a shocking 20-0 loss to a P.J. Walker-quarterbacked Panthers team. Granted, Detroit was missing some key pieces, but the effort was poor at times. This game ultimately comes down to trust, and the Texans are the team with more of it in the bank. There should be plenty of action on this game among casual gamblers, so wait and see if you can get Detroit at +3 closer to kick off.

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