Scully’s Week 12 NFL Free Picks

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November 21st, 2018

James Scully took it on the chin last weekend, and has dropped to 23-28-4 ATS on the year but is ready to roll up his sleeves and dive back in to the trenches with his Week 12 NFL free picks! He begins with the Thursday nighter and rolls right in to his top selections for Sunday. Happy Thanksgiving!

*ATS (Against the Spread) / SU (Straight Up) * PK indicates pick *home team in caps

Atlanta Falcons +12 vs NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (Thursday 8:20 ET)

Easy to envision New Orleans stretching their win streak to 10 but after being pumped for big home wins over L.A. Rams and the defending Super Bowl champs, Saints may have trouble bringing same energy against 4-6 opponent. But keep in mind Atlanta (-12) knows how to attack the Saints, winning three of the last six meetings and leading most of the way in an OT setback earlier this season. Falcons still employ a high-octane passing attack, with QB Ryan throwing for nearly 300 yards vs Dallas last week, and the only way to move the ball effectively on the Saints is through the air. Look for Matty Ice and Atlanta to score enough points to cover the spread.

New Orleans playing the best football in the NFL, covering eight straight games, but Saints do have the biggest remaining game on their schedule next week (at Dallas). Defense deserves plenty of kudos but New Orleans was allowing 27 points per game in the first eight contests before dominating the lowly offenses of Cincinnati and Philadelphia the last two weeks. Atlanta is 7-2 ATS on Thursdays and New Orleans only 5-5 ATS in last 10 games as a double-digit favorite. Saints will continue their winning ways but Atlanta gets the cover on Thanksgiving evening!

Week 12 NFL Free Picks – Bet Atlanta +12 over New Orleans!

Seattle Seahawks +3.5 vs CAROLINA PANTHERS (Sunday 1:00 ET)

Road warriors Seattle (+3.5) have covered three straight away from home. Even when they’ve narrowly missed in road tilts at Chicago, Denver and L.A. Rams, Seahawks were in position to win, with possession trailing by 7 points or less in the fourth quarter. They’ve outscored the opposition 106-70 in last four road games and we can expect their best against slumping Carolina, who is doing a lousy job of protecting a banged-up Cam Newton and rushed for only 56 yards last week against Detroit. Love the development of Seattle RB Chris Carson and Russell Wilson getting excellent production from receivers Baldwin, Lockett and Moore.

Want no part of Carolina in their present state. After getting pushed around most of the game by the punchless Lions, Panthers managed to come back and had the opportunity to tie the game when Ron Rivera inexplicably decided to go for 2 with more than a minute remaining (too much time remaining). That kind of poor coaching can have negative ramifications and Carolina already has trouble scoring, being held to 21 or less points in four of their last six games. Seattle had extra days to rest after playing on Thursday and much better situated to make playoffs than inconsistent Carolina. I like Seattle straight up and will gladly take the points!

Week 12 NFL Free Picks – Bet Seattle +3.5 over Carolina!

New York Giants +5.5 vs PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Sunday 4:25 ET)

Points attractive between divisional rivals going different directions. New York Giants (+5.5) enter on the upswing, with improved offensive line play resulting in QB Eli Manning completing 73% of his passes with five TDs and no interceptions over the past two weeks, and Giants have been competitive in every game since Oct. 11. Saquon Barkley finding his best stride as well, recording 142 yards rushing and three TDs last week, and the offense’s progress coincides with improve play from New York’s defense, which has surrendered only 25 points per game the last four weeks after being repeatedly torched earlier in the season.

Philadelphia enters on a 1-3 ATS run and last year’s vaunted defense is only a memory as the last four opponents have rushed for a combined 535 yards and thrown to wide-open receivers all over the field. But the biggest difference has been the lack of a ground game as the Eagles have sunk to the 25th overall after featuring the third-best rushing attack during last year’s Super Bowl run. WRs have been a huge disappointment as well and Philly just isn’t very good, losing three straight at home. Giants arguably the better team presently and seeking a measure of revenge after getting waxed early in the season. They know this opponent well, posting a 3-2 ATS mark in last five meetings, and give me the points in a heated rivalry game lacking luster.

Week 12 NFL Free Picks – Bet New York Giants +5.5 over Philadelphia!

Miami Dolphins +8 vs INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (Sunday 4:25 ET)

There are bigger spreads on the board but Indianapolis (-8) has a legitimate chance to win by the greatest margin. Colts playing as good as anybody in recent weeks and Miami won’t get any pressure against their elite offensive line. And while QB Andrew Luck (second to Patrick Mahomes with 29 TDs) is poised to have another big game, this is also an opportunity for Colts to get the ground game going against the Dolphins’ 30th-ranked run defense. Indy enters on a 3-0-1 ATS run and the defense has twice held lethargic offenses to 10 points or less in recent weeks. Sunday could be the third time.

Miami expected to switch back to Tannehill but anybody who expects the oft-injured QB to return with an efficient game isn’t being realistic. Dolphins lack weapons outside and rank in the bottom five offensively because they can’t run the ball effectively. With the exception of the inept Jets, every team has been able pile up points on Miami since late September and Dolphins are 1-5 ATS in those games. This will be another mismatch as Indianapolis wins by double digits!

Week 12 NFL Free Picks – Bet Indianapolis -8 over Miami!

Pittsburgh Steelers -3 vs DENVER BRONCOS (Sunday 4:25 ET)

Pittsburgh (-3) has played their best football since the start of October and won’t take anything for granted following a sluggish start in Jacksonville.  “Horrible games that you find a way to win? Pretty special,” Ben Roethlisberger said of last week’s dramatic comeback win and I could go on and on about the terrific season Big Ben is enjoying and how WRs Brown & Smith-Schuster are simply unstoppable. But the defense’s improved play has been the catalyst for the team’s success: Steelers bring a ferocious pass rush and hasn’t allowed an opposing QB to pass for more than 213 yards since week 5, most notably shutting down Cam Newton and Joe Flacco along the way. Look for Pittsburgh to harass QB Case Keeneum and hold the Broncos passing game in check.

Denver a putrid 0-7 ATS in the last seven games after playing a divisional foe and will be in hangover mode after an improbable comeback win over Chargers, driving 76 yards with less than two minutes to prevail. Rivers dominated Broncos defense last week, throwing for two TDs and more than 400 yards, but a pair of costly interceptions and missed opportunities proved to be the difference. Broncos were thin at WR to begin with and lost Hamilton last week to a knee injury and it’s difficult to envision Denver’s two-pronged rushing attack (Freeman and Lindsay) making much of an impact Sunday against Pitt’s formidable front seven. Denver doesn’t handle prosperity well, laying an egg after a narrow win over Oakland earlier this season, and we can’t expect their “A” game versus the mighty Steelers. Lay the points!

Week 12 NFL Free Picks – Bet Pittsburgh -3 over Denver!

James Scully is a professional handicapper who hails from the great state of Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @JamesScully.