Dajani Dimes continues to put together winning weeks. Vegas knows all, but it was great to take advantage of them with that Washington Commanders -3 line against the Houston Texans. We did get bit by the Kansas City Chiefs against the Los Angeles Chargers. Patrick Mahomes is 4-1 straight up vs. Justin Herbert, but is just 1-4 against the spread!
Merry Thanksgiving to you and yours. If you’re looking to get some action on the games while the in-laws argue about politics, then check out my thorough guide,.
Here’s a look at what I’m thinking this week. As always, credit to the CBS Sports research team for making me sound smart.
All odds come courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Top five picks ATS record: 29-25-1
Overall ATS record: 88-70-6
Straight up record: 106-57-1
Thursday, 4:30 pm ET (Fox, FuboTV)
Whatever faith I lost in the Cowboys after their loss to the Green Bay Packers I have regained following their 40-3 win over the Minnesota Vikings. That’s how a legitimate contender responds after a loss. As for the Giants, they were blown out by the Detroit Lions at home on Sunday, and suffered several notable injuries that will affect them on this short week.
This is a big spread, but I want to lay the points with the Cowboys. The Giants have lost two out of their last three games after starting the season 6-1, and they’ve struggled weirdly on first downs — both on offense and defense. Daniel Jones’ unit averages 4.4 yards per play on first downs (second-fewest in the NFL), while the defense allows an average of 6.9 yards per play on first downs (most in the NFL). We saw what the Cowboys did to the Vikings last week. Tony Pollard recorded 189 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns, while the defense did not allow a single touchdown.
These are two teams trending in opposite directions. If Cooper Rush can beat the Giants by seven points on the road, what will Dak Prescott do at home?
The pick: Cowboys -10
Projected score: Cowboys 31-17
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)
Featured Game | New York Jets vs. Chicago Bears
My two cents on the Zach Wilson benching:
- Zach Wilson was benched mostly because of the comments he made following the loss to the New England Patriots.
- Zach Wilson probably deserves to be benched for his play alone.
- Mike White is going to bring some juice to this offense.
The Jets were favored by 4.5 points over the Bears before the news of Wilson’s benching. Now, they are favored by six points.
I said on Twitter before even knowing who the starting quarterback was going to be that the Jets are a best bet this week. They have a great squad! All they need is a quarterback who can complete basic passes, and I think White can do that. As for the Bears, Justin Fields has been on a tear as of late, but he has not been able to will Chicago to victory by himself. Now that he’s banged up, I don’t expect that to change. Give me the Jets to cover at home.
The pick: Jets -6
Projected score: Jets 24-16
Atlanta Falcons at Washington Commanders (-4.5)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)
Featured Game | Washington Commanders vs. Atlanta Falcons
I don’t love laying five points since it’s a weird number, but why not ride the hot hand? If you follow my lucrative column, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been all over the Commanders — picking them to upset the Packers and Indianapolis Colts straight up at plus money as best bets. That WAS -3 line last week was too easy as well.
Ron Rivera’s frown has been turned upside down ever since Taylor Heinicke took over at quarterback. The Commanders head coach used to drop F bombs in press conferences and storm out of postgame media sessions. Now, he’s glowing on Zoom calls and talking about wearing Heinicke T-shirts. Washington is expected to receive another boost in momentum this week with the return of star pass rusher Chase Young — who we all know is going to bring the energy. Heinicke is 10-2-1 ATS in his past 13 starts. Give me the Commanders at home.
The pick: Commanders -4.5
Projected score: Commanders 28-21
Sunday, 1 pm ET (CBS, Paramount+)
Featured Game | Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans
I ain’t some novice when it comes to double-digit spreads. I mean, how many people took the lowly Carolina Panthers to cover 13 points against a rested Baltimore Ravens team at home as a best bet like I did? Miami defeated the Cleveland Browns by 22 points in its last outing. What are the Dolphins going to do to Kyle Allen and the Texans at home coming off a bye?
The Dolphins have recorded three straight 30-point games — which is just one shy of matching the longest streak in franchise history. The Texans, on the other hand, average just 15.9 points per game. I’m expecting a blowout as the Texans look to secure the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The pick: Dolphins -13.5
Projected score: Dolphins 35-14
Sunday, 4:05 pm ET (CBS, Paramount+)
Featured Game | Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Cardinals’ Mexico City vacation could not have gone any worse. One of their assistant coaches got fired for allegedly groping a woman, and then the team was destroyed by the San Francisco 49ers, 38-10. The Chargers are coming off a loss as well, as they gave Mahomes and the Chiefs all they could handle before the MVP frontrunner added yet another game-winning drive to his resume.
Did you know that the Chargers are cover machines? Not only are they 7-3 ATS on the year, but they are 9-4 ATS on the road since 2021 (fourth-best in the NFL), which includes covering the spread in each of the last five road games. The Cardinals, meanwhile, are 4-10 ATS at home since 2021, which ranks worst in the NFL over that span. I think the Chargers have a pretty great offense with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams back, plus that Josh Palmer kid isn’t bad either. At three points, I’ll take the Chargers.
The pick: Chargers -3
Projected score: Chargers 28-24
Other Week 12 picks
Bills (-9.5) 30-20 over Lions
Patriots (+2.5) 23-21 over Vikings
Ravens 28-27 over Jaguars (+4)
Buccaneers (-3.5) 26-21 over Browns
Titans (+3) 27-24 over Bengals
Panthers (+2) 17-14 over Broncos
Chiefs (-15.5) 30-13 over Rams
Seahawks 24-22 over Raiders (+3.5)
49ers 28-21 over Saints (+9.5)
Eagles (-6.5) 29-21 over Packers
Steelers (+2.5) 25-20 over Colts