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NFL Week 12 Predictions: Saints, Texans, & Playoff Implications

Grab your Thanksgiving leftovers and get ready for a full slate of football this weekend. FanDuel Research has all your NFL Week 12 predictions here.

This article originally appeared at FanDuel Research

After the Thanksgiving slate and the Black Friday game, we still have lots of football to help ourselves to on Sunday.

The headline game for Sunday is a matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles — two teams expected to be Super Bowl contenders this season.

Another big matchup is a battle in the AFC South. The Houston Texans have won three games in a row and sit one game behind the Jacksonville Jaguars — who will be their opponents this week.

We also have a game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons that could decide first place in the NFC South.

These games will have huge implications for the playoffs, but which games could have implications for our wallets, if we decide to bet them? Let’s look at the Week 12 odds and see what value could be out there.

All NFL odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Lines may change after this article is published.

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NFL Week 12 Predictions

NFL Week 12Kickoff (ET)Favorite
New England Patriots at New York Giants1 p.m.NE
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals1 p.m.PIT
Carolina Panthers at Tennessee Titans1 p.m.TEN
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans1 p.m.JAX
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons1 p.m.ATL
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianpolis Colts1 p.m.IND
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals4:05 PMARI
Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos4:05 PMDEN
Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders4:25 PMKC
Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles4:25 PMPHI
Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Chargers8:20 PMBAL

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

  • Time: 1 p.m. EST
  • TV: FOX
  • Spread: ATL -1.5 (-102)
  • Moneyline: NO -102/ ATL -116
  • Total: 42.5

It may be the worst division in football this year, but the winner of the NFC South will still get a playoff berth.

Both the Saints and the Falcons come into this week off of their bye after losing their last game. Atlanta has actually lost their last three games, and the screws are starting to be tightened on Arthur Smith. He called talk of Desmond Ridder potentially being benched “toxic group think” before eventually benching Ridder. Now, he’s turning back to Ridder for the remainder of the season.

The Saints lost their last game to the Minnesota Vikings, and Derek Carr went down injured. It looks like Carr will be healthy enough to go this Sunday.

Best Bet: Saints +1.5 (-120)

I’m backing the Saints in this spot. They have enough offensive weapons to do damage versus a Falcons’ defense that ranks just 14th, according to numberFire’s metrics.

Atlanta has good numbers against the run, but a lot of that came before Grady Jarrett went down with an injury. They haven’t won a game without Jarrett and have allowed 4.68 yards per carry since he’s been out of the lineup.

New Orleans can win this game if they find ways to involve all of their key offensive players. In their last win, Taysom Hill scored two touchdowns. He may be seen as a gadget player, but he’s a very effective red-zone piece to this offense.

Arthur Smith has really struggled to get his talented offensive players consistently involved. Top-10 picks Kyle Pitts, Drake London and Bijan Robinson are not put in positions — by their coach or their quarterback — to create big plays. Bijan got 22 carries last game, but that was in a losing effort, which could cause Smith to change the game plan.

It’s unlikely that the Falcons have their breakout offensive performance against this Saints defense that ranks seventh by numberFire. If you back the Saints, you’re getting points with the better QB and better coach. That’s a recipe I like when looking to bet a side in the NFL.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans

  • Time: 1 p.m. EST
  • TV: CBS
  • Spread: JAX -1.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: JAX -124/ HOU +106
  • Total: 48.5

The Houston Texans were widely criticized for their draft day trade to move next year’s first-round pick to take Will Anderson Jr., with some thinking they could have potentially traded a top-five selection if things went poorly.

Luckily, head coach DeMeco Ryans, offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, C.J. Stroud and Anderson have all been contributing to a surprising surge for the Texans. They’ve now won three games in a row and are in position to make the playoffs.

The Jacksonville Jaguars bounced back with a win last week after a poor showing in Week 10. Prior to that, they had won five games in a row, with the previous loss being at home against these Texans.

Best Bet: Texans ML (+106)

I’m riding with the Texans to keep this streak going. Despite throwing three interceptions last week, Stroud says he won’t slow down. This is definitely a good thing for Houston, as he had thrown only two interceptions before that over the entire season.

Houston’s passing offense is the fourth-best in the NFL, according to numberFire’s metrics. It was hard to envision that happening before the season, with a rookie QB and no amazing weapons for him to target. That’s where credit has to be given to the coaching staff, as they’ve been successful even with wide receivers going in and out of the lineup throughout the season.

Jacksonville’s offense hasn’t been amazing despite their overall team success. The Jags’ O ranks 21st overall by nF. They look unlikely to thrive in the run game this week, as their 30th-ranked rushing offense is up against the eighth-best rush defense.

There’s a case to be made for Houston just being a better overall team than Jacksonville, so I’ll take the odds and back them as a home underdog in this spot.

Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles

  • Time: 4:25 p.m. EST
  • TV: CBS
  • Spread: PHI -3 (-120)
  • Moneyline: BUF +140/ PHI -166
  • Total: 48.5

The Buffalo Bills needed to get their season back on track last week with a dominant win over the New York Jets. Whether it was firing Ken Dorsey or playing the Jets, Buffalo got exactly what it needed.

Also last week, the Philadelphia Eagles got what they had been longing for since February, a win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Of course, they would have liked to have the Super Bowl win, but for this season, this was as sweet as it gets.

Sometimes after important wins, teams can be in a letdown spot the next week. That’s unlikely to be the case here, with both teams knowing how good their opponent is.

Best Bet: Eagles -3.0 (-120)

It’s still too early to say the Bills’ offense is fixed. They faced a Jets team that did most of the damage to themselves. New York turned the ball over four times, leading to 17 points for the Bills.

Josh Allen limited himself to just one interception on the day and three touchdowns. A whopping 81 of his 275 yards came from one play to Khalil Shakir, which featured some very questionable routes to the ball carrier by the defense.

Buffalo still couldn’t really get Stefon Diggs involved. Their star wide receiver had just four catches for 27 yards. A lot of their offensive success came from throwing to running backs — and Philly defends backs in the passing game better than any team in the league.

Philly’s pass defense hasn’t been the same this season, but they were able to contain Patrick Mahomes for the most part. They should be able to play even better at home this week.

The Bills lost another key defensive player when Taylor Rapp got hurt last week. Add him to Tre’Davious White, Matt Milano, Kaiir Elam and Taron Johnson, and you have one banged-up defense — especially in the secondary. That doesn’t bode well against A.J. Brown, who’s tied for second in the league in receiving yards.

The Eagles’ offensive line gave up some sacks last week but played well overall against the Chiefs. The unit is currently ranked second by PFF and should have an advantage this week.

With Philly arguably the best team in the league this season, I’ll lay the three points with the Eagles in this game.

— Nicholas Vazquez

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