Sunday, November 26, 2017

Week 12 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are Dan Yanotchko's Week 12 NFL picks against the spread:

Miami Dolphins +16.5 over New England Patriots (3 units)

This has been quite the underdog year, and it seems the spreads have jumped quite wide in the last few weeks as we separate the haves from the have-nots. The Dolphins always play New England tough at home, but they will try to stay in the playoff race with a victory at Foxboro, and they will be without starting quarterback Jay Cutler. For me, this is a win for Miami, as I believe the Dolphins are a better team with Matt Moore under center.

The Dolphins do have a decent defense, as they are middle of the pack in allowing 229 yards per game thorough the air, and of course, Tom Brady showed up on the injury report with an Achilles injury, and he will be without his starting center and right tackle. The Dolphins will also be able to grind out yards on the ground, as the Patriots allow 119 yards rushing per game, and 5.0 yards per carry. Miami is not in the level of New England, but I think they are within 16 points of them.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +10.0 over Atlanta Falcons (3 units)

The Falcons have shown signs of life recently, and they are coming off a massive Monday Night Football win on the road in Seattle. Tampa certainly has to be one of the most disappointing stories of the year, as they had such high expectations and an amazing offensive core. I still think that 10 points is just too high for a divisional game, and not while Atlanta still has not found their entire footing. I feel that Atlanta is due for a mental let-down on a short week, and also I look for the Buccaneers to be able to control the clock with their running game. The Falcons allow 115 yards rushing per game and 4.5 yards per carry, so I expect them to use Doug Martin heavy this game, and still have the quick strike ability with Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson for the back-door cover. Atlanta should win this game, but I think the number is too high here.

Baltimore Ravens -7 over Houston Texans (4 units)

What can you really say about these two teams, but hope you like defense, as this will be one of the ugliest Monday Night Football games in recent memory. The Texans have looked awful with Tom Savage at quarterback, and things do not get any easier for him, as he is going against one of the best passing defenses in the league. The Ravens have been amazing against the pass, as they only allow 185 yards passing per game, a 56.9% completion percentage to opposing quarterbacks, and they have more interceptions (16) than touchdowns allowed (11). This will be a game where the Ravens smother the Texans, and probably grind it out on eight Justin Tucker field goals. I just think the Texans have lost too many key players to injury, and will not be able to handle this Baltimore defense.
- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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