NFL 2021-22: Week 12 Preview & Betting Tips

November 24th 2021, 8:55pm, By: Tom Kelly

NFL Week 12 Betting Tips

Week 12 of the NFL season gets underway on Friday morning (AEDT) with a triple header for Thanksgiving Day. As always, Tom Kelly has you covered with his preview for the three marquee games of the week as well as betting tips for the rest. 

Week 11 saw us go 6-9, taking our record to 81-84 on the season. Remember to check out our NFL Tips page each week for regular updates. 

NFL Week 12 Betting Tips

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

Ford Field, Friday 4:30am AEDT

It’s lucky this is the first game of the day, because we’re getting an Andy Dalton v Jared Goff/Tim Boyle/David Blough matchup. The 3-7 Bears are without Justin Fields and Allen Robinson again, and will likely rely on David Montgomery who has played two games since returning from injury and now gets one of the worst run defences in the NFL. The defence has lost some key members recently, with Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks in particular big losses, but I doubt it matters in this matchup.

The winless Lions have the aforementioned QB issue, as well as having very little of substance in the receiving game to throw it too. Kalif Raymond has been their main receiver, while DeAndre Swift has been just as important as Raymond & T.J. Hockenson. The less said about the Lions defensive unit, the better. They have tended to find themselves in very crappy games, but I think Andy Dalton will look like a competent QB in this one, and Montgomery will be a bit too much to handle.

Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys

AT&T Stadium, Friday 8:30am AEDT

The 5-5 Raiders were humbled by the Bengals last week, and other than their week 1 upset of the Ravens, they are yet to beat anyone of substance. Thats now 3 straight uninspiring losses, with the offense struggling to move the ball. Josh Jacobs/Kenyan Drake are making limited inroads not he ground, and it’s basically just Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow in a low impact passing game. The defensive unit is middling at best, with the only highlight a strong pass rush led by Maxx Crosby & Yannick Ngakoue.

The 7-3 Cowboys couldn’t handle the resurgent Chiefs last week, and have now lost 2 of their last 3. While it’s far from panic stations with a comfortable lead in the NFC East, they will be looking to regain some momentum. That will be complicated a little by the absence of Amari Cooper (covid) and possibly Ceedee Lamb (concussion). If both are unavailable, the Michael Gallup will have to step up with Cedrick Wilson & Noah Brown in a supporting role. Ezekiel Elliot has a knee complaint, but any limitation will be easily made up for by electric backup Tony Pollard. The Cowboys defensive outfit is a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but they still have the upside to cause major problems for a limited Raiders attack. At home and heavily favoured, I’m going to trust the Cowboys to deliver a comfortable thanksgiving victory.

Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Friday 12:20pm AEDT

The 6-4 Bills are starting to worry, having lost 3 of their last 5 when comfortably favoured in all of them. A 41-15 humbling at the hands of the Colts and Jonathan Taylor last week will have them searching for answers in a short week. Josh Allen has been a little off at times, but expecting that to continue seems unwise. He still has a great cast of Stefan Diggs, Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders and Gabriel Davis to throw the ball too, along with a trio of RBs and TE Dawson Knox who can all contribute handily. The defensive side of the ball will be asked to do a lot more after being embarrassed by Taylor.

The Saints are 5-5, but have lost 3 winnable games in a row. Without Jameis Winston, Trevor Siemian is struggling to move the ball efficiently enough to keep up in games. It doesn’t help that Alvin Kamara has also been out, and likely will be again. Adam Trautman was a casualty last week with a knee injury, and Mark Ingram is also battling a knee issue in practice this week. That leaves an offense that might not have their top player available at any position, a big problem against a strong opposition. The defensive unit has been strong all season, but they will have their work cut out for them containing an angry Bills team in the dome, and I can’t see how this is anything other than a big bounce back spot for the visiting team.

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens

Monday 12:20pm AEDT

With some key injury/illness concerns lingering for both of these teams, this game was looking like a waste of a potentially massive AFC North showdown. The Browns are 6-5, the Ravens 7-3, and the Bengals and Steelers are sandwiched between them in possibly the tightest division in the NFL right now. It now appears that both Baker Mayfield with his various niggles and Lamar Jackson with his illness will be fine to play. Jarvis Landry is okay with his knee, while Marquise Brown is still questionable with a quad issue. The Ravens have a lot of players questionable on the defensive side of the ball. Crucially, Kareem Hunt & Jack Conklin look likely to return for the Browns of injured reserve, giving a big boost to their preferred game plan of running with the ball with their Chubb/Hunt combination.

Injuries aside, it’s been a rough couple of months for the Browns, going 3-4 with a massive loss to the Patriots two weeks ago and a lucky escape agains the winless Lions last week. Odell Beckham leaving and Mayfield trying to play through pain have meant they are relying on good defensive play and whatever running game they can muster with available personnel. They now play the Ravens in consecutive games (with a bye in between), and desperately need to win at least one fo them to keep the season alive. Getting this one on the road would obviously be massive, and they can at least feel good about getting almost everyone back on board, if not at 100%.

The Ravens have been faring a little better, with a 5-2 record in the same timespan and a crucial win last week without Jackson and Brown. With 5 of their last 7 games against fellow AFC North teams, they can control their destiny by by winning at least 3 of those games, especially given the other two games are against the Packers and the Rams. The team continues to be banged up defensively and in the running game, so the reliance on the talents of Jackson is massive. Lose this game and their advantage in the division is gone.

Given the state of both teams, I’m finding it hard to split this one. I like that the Ravens are at home, but I have a feeling the Browns running game is going to be back to grinding opponents into the dirt, so I’m going to take the 3 point head start & root for things to get even tighter in this division.

Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team

Tuesday 12:15pm AEDT

The 3-7 Seahawks have just about reached the point of the season where winning all 7 remaining games still might not be enough to reach the postseason. Losing 5 of their last 6 has been catastrophic, but at least they can blame most of that stretch on the finger injury for Russel Wilson & season ending Neck issue for Chris Carson. This will be Wilsons third game back on the field, and so far it has appeared that the injury is still impacting his play. With star receivers Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf also looking like they are playing hurt at times, the chances of the team overcoming some tough matchups to come are slim at best. 

Washington are 4-6, trailing Dallas by 3 games in the NFC East, but can at least move one closer after the Cowboys Thanksgiving loss. They’ve strung together two nice wins over the Panthers & bugs after losing 4 straight in disappointing fashion before that. With their last 5 games of the season against divisional rivals, including two against the Cowboys, they still have plenty to play for. Taylor Heinecke is doing a solid job at QB, and Antonio Gibson has gradually improved as he manages a shin injury through the season. Injuries to some of the receiving group including Curtis Samuel, Logan Thomas and Dyami Brown have curtailed the passing game, but Terry McLaurin is still balling out. The ACL injury for Chase Young is the devastating blow which makes it hard to see the team going deep into the season.

It’s enough for me that Washington are at home and have more hope of making the playoffs. I expect Seattles injured stars to slowly move back towards their best, but I don’t think they’ll be far enough along this week to get past this gritty Washington team.

Other Tips

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions - See Above
Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys - See Above
Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints - See Above
Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots - Patriots -6 ($1.87 at Sportsbet)
New York Jets at Houston Texans - Texans -2.5 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants - Giants +3.5 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis Colts - Colts +3 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars - Falcons -1 ($1.89 at Sportsbet)
Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins - Panthers -1.5 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals - Bengals -4.5 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos - Chargers -2.5 ($1.84 at Sportsbet)
Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers - Vikings +3 ($2.00 at B365)
Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers - Rams +1 ($1.87 at Sportsbet)
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens - See Above
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team - See Above

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