All three favorites won and covered on Thanksgiving Day, and three more ugly underdogs will be difficult to bet during the Week 12 NFL late games on Sunday afternoon. There are some big numbers on the board here that may generate some temptation, but tread lightly. Let’s take a look and break down these games.
Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts (-8) – The total is 51.5 and that’s a lofty number with Miami’s offense averaging just 313.6 yards per game. The Dolphins (5-5) enter off their bye week and QB Ryan Tannehill returns to the lineup hoping to ignite the offense. He’s missed the last five games with a shoulder injury. Andrew Luck has been leading the Colts (5-5) resurgence with four straight wins while scoring at least 29 points in each victory over losing teams Buffalo, Oakland, Jacksonville, and last week’s 38-10 trouncing of division foe Tennessee. The line may seem inflated, but the Dolphins took early action. Not sure why other than the team is rested and returning form the bye week. Also, the Colts have a bad scheduling situation off a pair of division wins with two division road games on deck. Still, Miami has lost four straight road games by double-digits. Tannehilll’s return finds fast, big-play receivers Jakeem Grant and Albert Wilson both lost to injury. The offensive line remains erratic. Tannehill acknowledges he isn’t 100 percent. It’s pass or fail time for Tannehill and his future in Miami. I’ll ride Andrew Luck, who has not been sacked in five straight games, and put Indianapolis in all teaser bets as the better play.
Week 12 NFL Late Games Pick – Indianapolis Colts -8.0
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angels Chargers (-12) – The total is 44 and despite the Cardinals sporting the league’s worst offense averaging just 240.8 yards per game and 4.4 yards per play with rookie QB Josh Rosen, we think their will be more scoring than expected. Arizona (2-8) does hold opponents to an average of 218.2 passing yards per game to rank 4th in the league in pass defense. But facing QB Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense on the road is a tougher challenge. Los Angeles (7-3) will hold nothing back after blowing last week’s game at home against Denver 23-22 despite dominating the proceedings with 384 passing yards and 95 rushing yards while controlling the ball for nearly 38 minutes. Rivers is completing a strong 9.1 yards per pass attempt, and the Chargers will take out their frustrations against an Arizona team that lost at home to the lowly Raiders last week while scoring 21 points in defeat.
Week 12 NFL Late Games Pick – LA Chargers -12.0
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos (+3.5) – Back-to-back road games for the Steelers (7-2-1), who trailed Jacksonville last week 16-0 before rallying for a last second win, 20-16. That was Pittsburgh’s sixth straight win. Every Steelers road game has been against teams with losing records (or .500 records), and now the Broncos (4-6) appear to be next with their clueles head coach who will be fired at the conclusion of his second season. The Steelers have a long history of failures against AFC West opponents, going 0-9 ATS when favored by more than 3 points. Now they travel to altitude where Denver is 9-1 ATS as a home underdog against .500 or greater opponents, and that includes against Kansas City a month ago in a 30-23 defeat when the Bronco’s offense was balanced with 189 rushing yards and 222 passing yards with undrafted RB Phillip Lindsay leading the Broncos strength in rushing. The Steelers running game ranks in the bottom quartile of the league and has struggled the past two games, and while QB Ben Roethlisberger has bailed out the offense, the situation this week makes it a tougher challenge. Denver plays four poor teams after Pittsburgh, and while seemingly out of the playoff picture, a victory over the Steelers provides hope and an all-in effort is expected with a positive mental approach following last week’s road win over the Chargers.
Week 12 NFL Late Games Pick – Denver Broncos +3.5
Fairway Jay is a professional handicapper based out of Las Vegas. He focuses primarily on the four majors along with college football and college basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @FairwayJay.