NFL 2017 Best Bets: Week 12 – Keep riding the Jaguars

Thanksgiving is here, which brings a full 16-game slate to pick from. Who are we backing this weekend?

Like a lot of bettors last week, I got stung by the Chiefs losing in New York, however for the most part my other picks were solid. The Jacksonville cover was one of the wildest in a long time, and New England pummeled Oakland in Mexico City to give the best bets another profitable week.

This week is Thanksgiving, which sees every team in action and three games on Thursday to keep you away from the family, so with a full slate to choose from just who are we recommending you put your money on this week?

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-14) over Green Bay Packers

We start with Sunday’s late game. The Steelers are a much better team at home than they are on the road, and the Packers are so much worse without Aaron Rodgers than anyone imagined. After getting shutout last week by the Baltimore Ravens, the Packer now head to Pittsburgh with little faith in backup Brett Hundley to do anything.

While the Steelers secondary is not great, their front seven is a menace that hunts quarterbacks for fun. I doubt the Packers will get shutout again, but it’s not unreasonable to see them held under 15, which keeps the 14-point line well in play. Antonio Brown is having another All-World season and Le’Veon Bell is quietly rounding into form, this could be a route for Pittsburgh.

Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5) over ARIZONA CARDINALS

I love this Jags team when they are giving less than a touchdown. The Cardinals are no great shakes and are struggling to block anything so facing the Jaguars, and particularly their old friend Calais Campbell, is far from ideal. The Cardinals defense is usually tough, but they gave up 31 points to the Texans last week, including over 100 yards on the ground, which bodes well for the Jaguars gameplan.

Blaine Gabbert is going to get the start again on Sunday, which is always nice to bet against. The only worry is that Gabbert has a long history of failing to throw the ball to Jaguars jerseys, so turnovers might be scarce.

Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5) over DALLAS COWBOYS

I don’t usually like betting Thursday games, but the Cowboys are a mess right now, and a short week will do nothing to help them. Sean Lee is still out, Tyron Smith is unlikely to play, and right tackle La’el Collins is hurting too. The Chargers team is fueled by Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa causing chaos in the backfield, and without their starting tackles the Cowboys are extremely vulnerable. I like this line a lot.

With Keenan Allen if full flow right now and rookie running back Austin Ekeler providing a lot of flexibility for Anthony Lynn, the Chargers are making a late surge, having won four of their last six. They should make it five of seven by the time this one is done.

Rest of the picks

Minnesota Vikings (-3) over DETROIT LIONS

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (-7) over New York Giants

Buffalo Bills (+10) over KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Carolina Panthers (-4.5) over NEW YORK JETS

CINCINNATI BENGALS (-8) over Cleveland Browns

Miami Dolphins (+16.5) over NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

ATLANTA FALCONS (-10) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (+3) over Tennessee Titans

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (+7) over Seattle Seahawks

OAKLAND RAIDERS (-5) over Denver Broncos

New Orleans Saints (+2.5) over LOS ANGELES RAMS

Houston Texans (+7) over BALTIMORE RAVENS

Last Week: 7-5-0 (2-1-0)

Overall: 81-66-4 (12-21-0)

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Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.


I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.