Welcome, welcome, and happy Thanksgiving folks. With Week 12 of the NFL season here and three games out the way already from the Thursday slate, we have a unique week of Sunday games with no teams on bye week either.
A week ago we went 2-2 with our picks - taking us to 16-2-18 on the season against the spread in our picks. Our two metrics did fine staying around .500 on the week going against the Vegas spreads with EW going 5-1-6 (the Mexico game had no differential) overall against the spread and YPP at an even 6-1-6 on the week. Also, a week ago I tried something that worked well in last season’s playoffs adjusting our metrics to account for quarterback injuries; those adjusted spreads were 1-1 with the Houston Texans versus the Arizona Cardinals being the loss. A more reasonable sample size is probably still needed here in all honesty, but do be wary when looking at our numbers for teams like the Green Bay Packers in the following weeks before we come up with a more trustworthy adjustments.
Before getting into it all you’ll notice on our chart below that this week our EW suggested spreads are as close to the actual Vegas lines as we could possibly be. In fact, EW has only one game with a differential over three points with nine of our spreads being within 1.5 or less. That’s a pretty baffling correlation - while it doesn’t always translate into winning a metric that is that spot on in generating close to identical spreads to Vegas can be pretty valuable. Because of that, the teams worth picking aren’t nearly as obvious as they are other weeks and YPP’s been a bit inconsistent meaning we’re sticking to two clear-cut picks, you can browse the numbers to find more - but be careful, when you play with fire you’re bound to get burned.
EW pick of the week
Jacksonville Jaguars -5 at the Arizona Cardinals
The Jaguars are quickly becoming our home team here at BSN ATS as our numbers keep loving them thanks to their great defense and we keep winning money off of them. Last weeks Jaguars cover was their best one yet after they managed to cover the spread with a wild late defensive touchdown which has been their bread and butter all year.
The Cardinals issues with big-time injuries on offense have plagued them all season and the Jaguars defense will make for a really tough test. While defensively the Cards haven’t been nearly as good as they’ve been the last few years. All that doesn’t bode well for Arizona who has a 2-and-3 record at home this year with their two wins coming against the lowly San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their three home losses have come at an average of 16 points per, with their two wins coming by a measly eight points combined. The Cards just aren’t good and while Vegas keeps undervaluing the Jaguars we’ll take it.
Even without adjusting the Cards numbers to their post-David Johnson and Carson Palmer play EW still has them as -12 point underdogs, a full 6.5 over the actual spread. With the Jaguars playing lights out defensively against a backup quarterback and struggling offense, all Jacksonville will need to do is feed running back Leonard Fournette to put this one away. Anything less than a touchdown is a great bet on this one.
YPP pick of the week
New York Jets +5 versus the Carolina Panthers
Here we have a matchup between the 4-6 Jets against the 7-3 Panthers, which is why New York’s a home dog. Look at the two teams records against the spread and they’re much more evenly matched with the Jets going 6-3-1 against the spread this year while the Panthers are 6-4. A much more even matchup.
Once you look at these two teams on the field too they play similar styles, with two physical front-sevens and attacks built around the run. Obviously, the Panthers are slightly superior in most of those areas which makes them the clearly better team, with two caveats; they’re on the road and quarterback Cam Newton now has a thumb injury and is listed as questionable.
A slightly limited Newton changes things significantly for the Panthers on offense leveling out the playing field quite a bit. Add the similar styles and strengths of the two teams and this promises to be no cakewalk for the Panthers. Also, consider that in their four losses in their last five games the Jets only lost one game by more than five points back in Week 6 against the New England Patriots, where the Jets were affected by some poor refereeing calls.
The Panthers instead have only won two games all year by more than six points against the lowly San Francisco 49ers and the Miami Dolphins a week ago. The Jets are at least a competent team that battles in every contest. YPP has New York as -1.5 point favorite, a full 6.5 difference from the actual line.
With everything that’s going into this game, the J-E-T-S feel like a nice bet here with the Panthers as -5 point road favorites. Jump on it early before things shift with more Newton news surfacing.
BSN ATS’ YPP & EW Week 12 lines
You'll see we've left the Thanksgiving picks in here with the numbers going 1-and-2 on the Turducken games, though all with pretty miniscule differentials.