Week 12 Best Bets

I’ll tell you something. This is a really fun article to write when you like a lot of games!

In a “you don’t know it’s dark until it’s light” kind of moment, I am just now realizing how difficult I have felt like the last few weeks have been to find value. Being committed to picking five games a week has backfired on me a little, because I don’t always like five games. The result is some dubious picks and some stretched logic.

This week, however, I feel as though we can keep everything pretty tight and still be able to get through five games (or more…). One sign that we are into something is the insane line movement that has gone on this week. I will be providing the current lines for you, but this is another example of trying to identify these games early and often in order to capture the best opportunities. Therein lies the real value in the Wednesday WORMS article.

But the even deeper beauty in loving this week is that WORMS is in lock step with us. There is nothing like feeling as though you don’t have to disagree with the algorithm you created to prove yourself right. Also keep in mind that WORMS Deltas change as the lines change, they will be updated here but won’t be updated on the table (for technical reasons that no one understands).

In spite of changing lines, non-updating tables, and our usual healthy skepticism, though, this is a great week to bet! With all of my confidence, excitement, and computer-backed gut feelings, this will be the shortest intro in OEF history!

Let’s dive into the Week 12 Best Bets:

BAL -3.5 @ LAR 4.5 Hoots WORMS Delta: 81 for BAL

81?! What is happening?

Well, the answer is easy. Baltimore is the best team in the NFL and the lines haven’t caught up yet, so WORMS is beeping and booping it’s computer noises trying to alert us to an opportunity. Think of it like a dog that starts barking when the house catches on fire, except this is good news; a dog that starts barking when someone is building you a house.

You can read the deeper version of this write up in the WORMS picks column, but lets run through the major points right here.

Last three weeks:

Baltimore (@SEA, NE, @CIN): 42.3 point per game, 13.3 ppg allowed, 3-0

Los Angeles (CIN, @PIT, CHI): 17.7 points per game, 11.3 ppg allowed, 2-1

Against better competition and playing more road games, Baltimore has put up 25 more points per game while allowing just two more. Both have played Cincinnati, and against that common opponent the Rams grinded out a win while Baltimore blew their doors off and Lamar Jackson didn’t take a snap in the fourth quarter.

Gambling is often about spotting market inefficiencies, and Baltimore is currently in that place. Vegas can’t create lines for who they are right now because the betting public doesn’t see them for who they truly are.

If this line was a more accurate 10 point line, then all of the action would be on the Rams and Vegas would stand to lose a ton if LA won. This line is designed to get balanced action, and that might be fine for most, but for us we see Baltimore for who they truly are: a powerhouse with multiple paths to big victories.

If you want some X’s and O’s reasons, the Ravens cover exceptionally well and coverage is more important in generating sacks than pressure is (at least that is the prevailing theory). The idea behind that is that open receivers create completions no matter how quick the pass rush while covered receivers make completions virtually impossible no matter the time given.

In this case, then, it could be a long day for Jared Goff and Sean McVay.

But one man’s long day is another man’s quick buck. Let’s make some money off their misery and give Baltimore 4.5 Hoots to go with their 81 Delta from WORMS.

TEN -3.5 vs JAX 4 Hoots WORMS Delta: 8 for TEN

I have been staring at this line and this game for the better part of the week, and I cannot quit it.

It scares me how easily I talked myself into this, but this is where we are and I have to speak my truth.

Again, this was written up in the Wednesday article, but the main driver of this is how bad the Jaguars have been on defense lately.

Over their last three they are 22nd in the league in points allowed at 24.7, and that is even with a 15 point performance against the Jets. On offense, they have been equally as weak scoring 13 points per game if you remove a garbage time TD late in last week’s blowout loss to the Colts.

Nick Foles coming back does represent a gain for them, but this may be a team that is too far gone to fully compete.

Meanwhile Tennessee has the opportunity to pull within one game of Houston with a win, with two games still to play against the Texans. They are 3-1 with Tannehill as the starter and are the 7th best offense (27.3 ppg) in the league over the last three games.

But most of all, when we gamble, we want to try to think of the most likely flows of a game and find the value within them. In this game it seems most likely that Derrick Henry will be unstoppable and that Jacksonville’s passing attack will have success. The worst case scenario would be Jacksonville jumping out to a big lead early and then Henry becoming less effective, but this is also an unlikely scenario. The Jags are on the road, coming off two bad losses, with little hope of the division or the playoffs.

These are two of the teams in the large middle class of the NFL, but as I outlined Monday, one is trying to break into the upper class while the other is tumbling down to the lower class.

Let’s hop on the one moving up.

SEA +1 @ PHI 4 Hoots WORMS Delta: 11 for SEA

By far the scariest line movement of all, this game opened at SEA +3 and is down to a pick ‘em in some places.

The reason this is scary is because, with Seattle coming off a bye, it isn’t exactly obvious why they weren’t favored to begin with. Philadelphia is banged up, not playing well, and coming off a bruising loss to the Patriots. They could be without their top three wide receivers and will be without a left tackle who has correlated with their quarterback’s success.

With all that being said, sometimes it’s best not to look a gift horse in the mouth and assume that Vegas out thought themselves. There are write-ups across the industry for this game, and the numbers are obvious.

Everyone else loves the Seahawks, WORMS loves the Seahawks, I love the Seahawks, the only question is whether or not you think this is a trap.

If it is, hopefully we can still get some cheese out of it.

MIA +10.5 @ CLE 3 Hoots WORMS Delta: 8 for MIA

Let’s be clear, although Miami has been kind to us all season, this could easily be a blow out.

But more likely, I think this will be a quasi-shoot out. Miami’s defensive struggles have been made clear and the only quarterback they have stopped this season has been Brian Hoyer.

The element that will push this over the top, though, are the injuries and suspensions on the Cleveland defense. After the Myles Garrett incident, both Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi will be missing from the defensive line. Safety Morgan Burnett will also miss the game with an injury.

This means that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be slinging the ball all over the field with little pressure and a secondary that has been hurting all season. Given Miami’s total lack of running game, this seems like an opportunity for the Dolphins to be aggressive and push the ball downfield. The personelle seems to indicate they will do this with some success.

On the flip side, there are signs of life in the Browns offense, but maybe not as much as is being indicated. The Browns have scored 21 or less in three straight, and with two of those being wins, have been relying on their defense.

That defense is in tatters coming into this week while Miami is coming off of 300 yards passing against a difficult Buffalo defense.

Again, there is a good chance that Mayfield, Odel Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt all find success in this game. What is equally likely, though, is that Fitzpatrick and his army of misfit toys find as much success and keep this game close.

You can read more about the over below, but if we think Miami can score 25+ in this game, it seems like it will be hard for Cleveland to hit 35+ and cover.

GB @ SF over 48 3 Hoots

In Week 4, we would have labeled this a defensive struggle and probably avoided this over like the plague.

But this is Week 12, baby, and we need to adapt to the world around us.

And in the world around us, both of these teams give up points. Over their last three games, respectively, the Packers are allowing 22 points per game Niners are allowing 26! Right on those averages, we are looking at 48 points in this game.

What puts it over, however, are the offenses. In three of Green Bay’s last six games they have scored 30+ points. Meanwhile, San Francisco has averaged almost 35 over its last four.

That may be cherry picking sample sizes, but I promise that is just the most efficient way of communicating that each of these offenses has been putting up points the past few weeks.

In a game with massive implications for the playoff picture, it wouldn’t be surprising to see either team be aggressive in trying to get a win here, which can often lead to bigger plays and more scoring.

Of course, there is a possibility that this game flames out, but given the strong talent on each side as well as the recent trends, we should be looking at a high scoring affair in the Sunday Night matchup.

Other Best Bets

TB @ ATL over 51 3 Hoots

TB +4.5 @ ATL 2.5 Hoots

What would this line have been two weeks ago?

Although I think that Atlanta has improved, I think that their gains have been over exaggerated.

Last week against Carolina, Kyle Allen threw two red zone interceptions and the Panthers threw for over 300 yards and ran for more than 5 yards a carry.

Although Jameis Winston will likely throw plenty of dubious passes this game, it is also likely he connects plenty with his stud wide receivers.

This moneyline intrigues me, but getting four and a half points feels like a good opportunity.

Add in the fact that Tampa Bay hemorrhages passing yards and the Falcons have two explosive receivers and a former MVP at QB, and this could be a big score quickly.

MIA @ CLE over 46 3 Hoots

This was sooooo close to making the cut into the top five Best Bets, but I think San Francisco-Green Bay offers us a safer bet when weather and the stakes of the game are added in. In a rainy game these two teams could hypothetically fold.

Based on everything I wrote up in Miami +10.5, this game looks to be one where the scoring is back and forth. Ryan Fitzpatrick with a license to cut it loose?

If that’s case, this line could be 60 and I would still be looking at the over.

OAK @ NYJ over 46.5 2.5 Hoots

OAK -3 @ NYJ 2 Hoots

There are a lot of scary things about this game, but the scariest is that the Raiders could be in first place in the AFC West after this game.

There is also the West Coast team in an early game on the East Coast, the Raiders poor road record, and Adam Gase’s desire to ruin everything, but I still like the Raiders here.

It’s a team that plays winning football, and although they could lose to anyone, the Jets aren’t just anyone.

As far as the total, the number one thing we look for in an over is a game that will feature a lot of successful passing.

Although the Raiders desire to run the ball, this game sets up with two defenses that can’t cover the pass and are asking for opponents to put it in the air.

Despite winning last week, the Jets gave up 200+ yards and 2 TDs to Dwayne Haskins, who is not ready to be an NFL quarterback. The Raiders held Ryan Finley in check, but Ryan Finley has never been out of check before.

This is by no means a lay-up, but it could be free throw.

GB +3 @ SF 2 Hoots

Pretty simple logic here. If everything I wrote in the over for this game is true, then we should be putting our money on the better quarterback.

That’s all I got.

The Big Money Makers

Old parlay fingers (please don’t call me that) has been tickling the ivories this week!

Since I like so many games this week, it was hard not to go nuts on a bunch of different combinations. Per the mathematical analysis done by the Night Owl on our parlay success this season, I have tried to keep the game selection diverse and tight.

What I mean by that is we are not looking to predict every game right, we are just looking to predict a few right but have them in different combinations. I have shown self-restraint by not putting Baltimore in every parlay to preserve our paths to victory.

With that being said, some of these are really juicy and I encourage all Owl Hive members to empty the savings accounts, bet big, and send me my very reasonable 5% finders fee (looking at you Kevon).

But in all seriousness, these are long shots that we are using to buy restaurants not meals, don’t count on them!

Here are the Week 12 Big Money Parlays:

PARLAY 1 - The 3 Hooter

BAL -3.5 (-110)

SEA to win (-105)

DET to win (-195)

NE to win (-280)

NO to win (-500)

TEN to win (-190)

$30 to win $390.49


SEA +1 (-115)

TEN -3.5 (-110)

BAL -3.5 (-115)

$25 to win $141.49

PARLAY 3 - The One Hooter #1

OAK @ NYJ over 46.5 (-110)

OAK to win (-165)

GB @ SF over 48 (-110)

GB +3 (-105)

TB @ ATL over 51 (-110)

TB +4.5 (-115)

$25 to win $994.73

PARLAY 4 - The One Hooter #2

OAK @ NYJ over 46.5 (-110)

OAK to win (-165)

MIA @ CLE over 46 (-110)

MIA +10.5 (-110)

TB @ ATL over 51 (-110)

TB +4.5 (-115)

$25 to win $971.73

PARLAY 5 - The I don’t give a Hoot #1

BAL -3.5 (-115)

GB @ SF over 48 (-110)

NE to win (-280)

TEN to win (-190)

SEA to win (-105)

DET -4 (-105)

TB @ ATL over 51 (-110)

NO to win (-500)

MIA @ CLE over 46 (-110)

MIA +10.5 (-110)

$5 to win $1171.52

PARLAY 6 - The I don’t give a Hoot #2

OAK @ NYJ over 46.5 (-110)

OAK to win (-165)

MIA @ CLE over 46 (-110)

MIA +10.5 (-110)

TB @ ATL over 51 (-110)

TB +4.5 (-115)

GB @ SF over 48 (-110)

GB +3 (-105)

SEA @ PHI over 47.5 (-110)

SEA PK (-105)

$15 to win $8296.56

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