Don’t @ Me – Week 12 NFL Picks
Enjoying the NFL season? Is Fantasy Football just not enough excitement anymore? Well you have come to the right place. Here at “Don’t @ Me” we see ourselves as financial advisers, looking to help you to diversify your portfolio, and allocate your capital wisely in order to maximize profits for shareholders. In other words, I’m going to attempt to pick some winning wagers, in this, my week 12 NFL picks.
All odds/spreads are accurate as of 24th November 2017. And as always, if you were foolish enough to part with cash listening to this advice, don’t @ me.
Happy Thanksgiving to all the Overtime Ireland readers out there. What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? I’m thankful that week 11 is over! Week 11 didn’t go exactly to plan for me. We had our first push of the season, with the Lions hitting the three point handicap exactly against the Bears. Meanwhile, my beloved Denver Broncos put in another performance that raised my blood pressure to all time highs, dominating the Bengals in terms of 1st downs, total yards, yards per play, turnovers AND time of possession in a home game but of course that wasn’t enough to secure a victory, never mind cover. But none of that mattered because I’m sure you doubled down on the Shoe in of the Week Minnesota Vikings right? The Vikings easily brushed aside the LA Rams to stretch the Shoe in of the Weeks undefeated streak to 7 weeks. With a 1-1-1 week behind us, lets look forward to week 12.
Season Record: 22-10-1 (.681)
Shoe in of the Week: 9-2 (.818)
Cleveland Browns +8 over Cincinnati Bengals (10/11):
In a week with many heavy favourites I thought I’d take my chances with a few underdogs this week. Yes, Cleveland are 0-10. But, they didn’t completely embarrass themselves last week against a good Jaguars team, with some promising signs. This is the second time these two Ohio based teams will meet this season, with the first meeting being a landslide Bengals victory. So why would I take the Browns then? Good question. Firstly, the Browns were without 1st overall pick in the 2017 NFL Myles Garrett in that game, and who has shown some early promise in his rookie season. Secondly, the Browns rushing attack has the advantage in this matchup, averaging 101 yards per game compared to an embarrassing 68 yards per game for the Bengals. With the rushing game for Cincinnati being so wretched, they will look to pass on this Browns team. This should lead to one of the more intriguing matchups in week 12, with star Bengals wide receiver AJ Green going up against Browns corner back Jason McCourty. In their previous meeting this season, McCourty lined up against Green on 97.1% of Greens snaps in that game, recording only two catches and 31 yards. McCourty is the third ranked corner back in the entire league per Pro Football Focus and if the Browns can remain stout against the run (currently ranked 7th best run defense in terms of yards), they will force Andy Dalton to either throw toward McCourty, or have to look to other options in the passing game, with the Bengals 2nd and 3rd leading receivers (Brandon LaFell and Tyler Kroft) combining for over 100 yards less than Green this season. Look for a low scoring game, in which the Browns run the football and try to manage their turnovers, and hope they cover.
Denver Broncos +5 over Oakland Raiders (20/23):
I will pick this Broncos team until they finally win their 4th game of the season, with their last coincidentally coming against the Raiders in week 3. This is the matchup between a Denver team that fired their offensive coordinator this week, going up against an Oakland team that fired their defensive coordinator this week. SOMETHINGS GOTTA GIVE. As mentioned previously, the Broncos were very unlucky last week against the Bengals, winning the 1st down battle, total yards, yards per play, turnovers as well as time of possession, baring a 99 yard interception by Bengals corner back Dre Kirkpatrick, the Broncos probably win that game and aren’t as big as underdogs this week. It will be very interesting to see how Paxton Lynch will look in this game, with Lynch expected to work with a reduced playbook (how does he not know the entire playbook at this stage of the season I don’t know). Lynch is however going up against the only defense in the league without an interception this season, so as long as he takes care of the football and will rely heavily on the run. In their previous meeting this season, the Broncos were able to limit the Raiders to 10 points and will hopefully be able to get to Derek Carr and keep it close.
And now its time for the Shoe in of the Week…
New Orleans Saints +2.5 over LA Rams (20/21):
That time of week again folks, with the Shoe in of the Week looking to make it 8 straight weeks. My Shoe In isn’t the only streak on the line this week, as the Saints have won their last 8 games after starting the season 0-2. The Saints currently rank 2nd in Football Outsiders DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) and the same publication gives them a 13.1% chance of winning the Super Bowl! That’s ahead of the Patriots FYI! Last week I made the Vikings who were going up against the Rams my shoe in, and they got the job done, limiting the most explosive offenses in the league to just 7 points. That game confirmed what I had said in last weeks article, that yes, the Rams have the potential to score 50 in any given game against a below average team, and this is mainly result of Rams head coach Sean McVay’s innovative play calling. When the Rams go up against good to elite defenses, Rams QB Jared Goff just isn’t enough to get the job done. New Orleans currently ranks 9th in total passing yards allowed per game, and Goff will have to beat them with without his most productive receiver Robert Woods, who has accounted for 4 touchdowns and over 700 yards this season. The Saints have relied on their 4th ranked rushing attack in terms of yards, behind Mark Ingram (4th in the NFL in rushing) and odds on Rookie of the Year favourite Alvin Karmara, but you get the feeling that if needed to, Drew Brees can still put up monster numbers like his performances of old. The Saints are 4-1 on the road this year, whereas the Rams haven’t exactly been lighting it up in the LA Colosseum this year, with a 3-2 record. My prediction: both the Saints and I extend our winning ways and the streak continues. Shoe In.
This OTI piece was written by Sean Keown. Sean is a Denver Broncos fan from Co Down, and is currently studying at Queens’ University Belfast. Sean can be found on twitter at @sean__keown