The 2012 NFL season moves to week 12 and I’m back with my free picks and predictions against the spread. We have an exciting week this week as there no longer any teams with a bye week and three of this week’s full slate of 16 games will be played on Thursday. This is of course due Thanksgiving and the tradition of playing football on this day which dates back the 1890s. I’m writing this post on early Monday morning, so understand most of the free picks given in the article use the early lines. If you’re reading early in the week as well, you should look to get your bets in as soon as possible. All this said let me get to my week 12 free picks.
Houston Texans -3 @ Detroit Lions +3
Using a lazy handicapping method that is fairly good for a base number, I capped this game to have a predicted score of Lions 21.7 / Texans 25.2 which means at -3 the Texas would normally be worth a play. However there are factors not yet considered in that prediction. The first is a major one and involves short rest. Both teams played on Sunday and this is the early game played on Thursday. The Lions played at home last week and remain at home for this Thursday game. The Texans have travel time involved so this certainly factors as advantage Lions. Also the Lions are coming off a close game loss, where the Texans are coming off a hard fought OT win in a game they were a heavy favorite but it took to the 13th minute of overtime to decide. That’s a lot of extra wear on the Texans. Also teams coming off close losses generally do better the following week than teams coming off close wins. In this match I like the Thanksgiving Day home underdog +3.
Free Pick #1: Lions +3 -110 @ www.5dimes.eu.
Thanksgiving 2-team 6-Point Ties Win Teaser
My second pick this week is a 2-team 6-point ties win teaser at 5Dimes. As mentioned several times in previous free pick articles, I contacted 5Dimes using live chat at the start of the season and had my rewards package changed from option #1 reduced juice to option #5 which gives better odds on teasers. This gives me 2-team 6-point ties win at -105.
The first leg of the teaser I suspect the market might not support it as +EV but I am going off my own handicapping here. The suspicion I have is the New York Jets performance last week will have the market a little higher on them as will usual short rest home team bias. Understand however the same travel situation does not apply here as it does in the game mentioned above.
The Patriots home stadium is only a 3.5 hour drive from the Jets stadium and is a very short flight. The Jets played on the road last week where the Patriots played at home. Any added advantage to the Jets is minimal and the Patriots being the team with a veteran coach/quarterback should help offset this. As both teams are also coming come off decisive wins I can handicap this one straight up. The nontraditional play I am giving here is teasing the Patriots down to a pick.
The other leg for this teaser comes from the remaining Thanksgiving Thursday game where I’m teasing the Dallas Cowboys from -3 to +3 ties win. While the money lines are not out at the time I’m writing this post, this play should turn out mathematically correct, using the same teaser math I’ve covered in past posts.
Free Pick #2: Patriots -1 “ties win” / Cowboys +3 “ties win” @ www.5dimes.eu odds -105.
Seattle Seahawks +3 / Miami Dolphins -3
This is another match I feel it is important to jump on the early line. www.bookmaker.eu has the Dolphins +3 +105. As far as the handicapping goes I have the Seahawks a very slight favorite on a neutral field. The two teams are very closely matched statically but the Seahawks do give up fewer points per play. Miami is built to limit the possessions here and has home field advantage. The effects of the bye week with Seattle being a better coached team might explain the market overreaction. However the Dolphins did play on Thursday the week prior so some of this is negated. It’s a very important game for both teams and I really feel this one is correctly priced Seattle -2.5 / Miami +2.5. Getting Miami +3 +105 makes this in my strong opinion a very solid play.
Free Pick #3: Dolphins +3 +105 at www.bookmaker.eu.
That’s all I have on the early lines. I’ll get us caught up on season to date records and such when I return next week for 2012 Week 13 picks and predictions against the spread.