There are tons of resources available to help you make more informed decisions, including our suite of Betting Tools at Fantasy Life.

One of my favorite things to look at is the betting percentage splits.

You can see the breakdown of the number of tickets and money coming in on each side and the total, indicating where the sharp money is landing.

For example, if a team gets 50% of the spread bets but 80% of the dollars, the large wagers – which tend to come from professional bettors – are siding with them.

The public money typically comes in smaller increments, so the other side can have the same number of tickets at a significantly lower handle.

Essentially, this allows us to take a peak at the smart kid’s homework before the start of class.

Sharp bettors are respected for a reason: they win more than they lose. It would be foolish not to take their opinions into account.

It was another 4-1 week for this article in Week 11, going 2-1 on sides and 2-0 on totals. That brings our overall record to 32-21-2 for the year, good for a win rate of more than 60%.

Let’s dive into five games the pros are taking a stand on for NFL Week 12.

Houston Texans (+2.0) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (-110; Caesars)

  • Opening Line: Texans +4.5
  • Target Range: Texans pick’em or better

Home underdogs are the theme for the sharp sides in NFL Week 12, starting with the Texans at home vs. the Jaguars. This game has massive implications for both teams, who are separated by just one game in the standings. The Texans already beat the Jaguars in Jacksonville this season, so another head-to-head win would give them the division lead via the tiebreaker.

C.J. Stroud has been one of the biggest stories of the season. He’s completely flipped the narrative about Ohio State quarterbacks, turning in one of the most impressive rookie seasons at the history of the position. He leads the league with an average of 296.2 passing yards per game, and he’s managed 18 touchdowns with just five interceptions. His average of 8.67 adjusted yards per attempt ranks second in the league, trailing only Brock Purdy.

Stroud gives the Texans a chance every time they take the field, and the Texans will have a sizable QB advantage against the Jaguars. Trevor Lawrence once seemed destined for greatness, but he has struggled to live up to expectations. He’s been merely average this season, ranking 14th at the position in EPA + CPOE and 13th in adjusted yards per attempt.

Making matters worse, the Jaguars will likely be without their top cornerback on Sunday. Head coach Doug Pederson said Tyson Campbell is expected to miss another week due to a hamstring injury, so Stroud and his talented group of pass-catchers should be able to find success through the air.

I don’t think there’s any downside in waiting to see what happens with this line. There’s always a chance the public could push it back towards three, and the difference between +2.0 and pick’em is negligible. Expect to see me on the Texans before kickoff.

You can target the Texans at Caesars, where you can get your first bet of up to $1,000 on the house when you sign up for your new account below!


New York Giants (+3.5) vs. New England Patriots (-105; Caesars)

  • Opening Line: Giants -1.5
  • Target Range: Giants +3.0 or better

Is it possible that Tommy DeVito… isn’t that bad? I wrote him off quickly after his dismal performance vs. the Cowboys, but the Cowboys can make most quarterbacks look terrible. He bounced back with a strong showing last week vs. the Commanders, completing 18 of 26 passes for 246 yards, three touchdowns, and zero turnovers. He finished with 11.77 adjusted yards per attempt, the best mark of any Giants’ passer this season.

DeVito

Nov 19, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; New York Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito (15) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass against the Washington Commanders during the second quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


The Giants still had plenty of issues in that contest. DeVito was sacked nine times, and their defense allowed more than 400 yards. If not for six turnovers from the Commanders, that game might have gone a lot differently.

Still, it seems the Giants aren’t going to be a disaster with the stay-at-home son under center.

The Patriots represent a pretty good matchup for this Giants’ squad. They have the third-worst PFF pass-rush grade this season, so DeVito might have more time to operate than he did vs. the Commanders. They also have the fourth-worst PFF coverage grade.

Ultimately, what have the Patriots done to deserve being 3.5-point road favorites over anyone? They’re just 2-8, and teams with that poor of a record have historically been awful as favorites this late in the season. Underdogs of at least three points are 41-28-6 ATS when facing a team with a winning percentage of 25% or worse from Week 8 on.

We’re not even 100% sure who the Patriots will start at quarterback yet! They’re in just as bad of shape as the Giants, so I’m grabbing more than a field goal in this spot 10 times out of 10.


Atlanta Falcons (+1.5) vs. New Orleans Saints (-105; FanDuel)

  • Opening Line: Falcons +1.0
  • Target Range: Falcons pick’em or better

The Falcons are another divisional home dog in a game with massive playoff implications. They’ve lost three straight games, but they can tie the Saints for first place in the embarrassing NFC South with a win on Sunday.

The Falcons have a myriad of different issues. They spent the No. 8 pick on a running back they refuse to give the ball. Their starting quarterback has already been benched once this season. Their head coach seems to call plays with the sole purpose of frustrating fantasy players and bettors.

Despite all that, I don’t think the Saints are that much better.

The Saints have had a strong defense for most of the year, but they’ve been a bit exposed recently. They’ve surrendered 27 points or more in three of their past four games, with the lone exception coming against Tyson Bagent.

Offensively, the Saints have been a mess. They can move the ball – they’re 13th in the league in yards per game – but they can’t punch the ball into the endzone. They’ve been a bit better in that department of late, but they’re merely 23rd in redzone touchdown rate for the year.

The fact that they’re playing their best quarterback as a backup tight end certainly doesn’t help matters. Derek Carr continues to stand out as one of the more overrated players in football, averaging just 6.7 adjusted yards per attempt while ranking 20th in EPA + CPOE. That’s not exactly the type of guy you want to pay $150M over four years.

As long as Carr continues to struggle, the Saints will not live up to their overall talent level. I see no reason why the Falcons can’t pull off the upset.

You can tail the Falcons on FanDuel, where you can get $200 in bonus bets when you sign up for a new account below and place a first bet of at least $5 or more!
 


Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis Colts Over 44.5 (-110; BetMGM)

  • Opening Total: 41.5
  • Target Range: Over 45.5 or better

The over has started to make a little bit of a comeback. It has been a massive season for unders in general – they’re 99-67-1 for the year – but we did have eight overs in Week 10. The under bounced back with a 10-4 showing in Week 11, but we had three overs on Thanksgiving.

The sharps believe this game is a great candidate to keep the over renaissance going. This number opened at 41.5, but they’ve pushed it up three full points to 44.5. The over has received 74% of the bets and 99% of the dollars (per the Action Network), so it could continue to rise until kickoff.

JT

Nov 12, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) celebrates after an NFL International Series game against the New England Patriots at Deutsche Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The Colts set up as one of the better over teams in the NFL. Their defense is mediocre at best – they’re 15th in EPA/play – and they’ve been exploited in recent weeks. They allowed at least 37 points in three straight games between Weeks 6 and 8 before bouncing back with solid performances vs. the Patriots and Panthers. I don’t think I’m going out on a huge limb by saying you don’t get much credit for shutting down Mac Jones and Bryce Young.

Meanwhile, their offense is capable of putting up points. They’re ninth in the league in scoring, so they can play catch-up if their defense struggles.

The Buccaneers are another squad with a sneaky-good offense and a poor defense. Their D has dipped to 31st in EPA/play since returning from the bye in Week 6, while Baker Mayfield has made the offense respectable. His numbers dipped briefly while dealing with a hand injury, but he’s bounced back with seven touchdowns and 7.37 adjusted yards per attempt over his past four games.

I’ve already locked in a play on over 43.0 in the NFL Bet Tracker, but I still think there’s value in the current number. Since we’re already over the key number of 44.0, you can play this pretty comfortably up to 45.5.

You can tail the over at BetMGM, where you can get up to $1,500 paid back in bonus bets if your first bet does not win! Simply sign up below to start betting today:


Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders Under 43.0 (-110; FanDuel)

  • Opening Total: 45.0
  • Target Range: Under 42.5 or better

The Raiders and Chiefs have been two of my favorite under teams to target recently, and they’ll square off in a head-to-head matchup on Sunday.

The Raiders are 3-0 to the under with Antonio Pierce as head coach. They’ve had two games with a “run-heavy” archetype over that stretch, logging a pass rate over expectation (PROE) of -9.0% or lower. They deviated from that scheme last week vs. the Dolphins, but I expect them to return to the ground game vs. the Chiefs. Kansas City has an elite pass defense, but they’ve been vulnerable against the run.

On the other side, the Chiefs’ offense has some issues for the first time in the Patrick Mahomes era. Those issues were on full display in their marquee matchup vs. the Eagles, with their receivers failing to come down with key catches on multiple occasions.

Overall, this unit is down to eighth in yardage and 14th in points this season after ranking first in both categories in 2022.

Add in the fact that this is a divisional game, and points should be at a premium in this spot. The under on anything better than 42.5 stands out as an excellent wager.

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Matt LaMarca
Matt LaMarca
Matt LaMarca has worked full-time in the sports betting and DFS industry since 2018, with his work appearing on sites like The Action Network, DraftKings, Awesemo, and Props.com. He has a proven record as a bettor thanks to his analytic approach focused on line movement, public betting percentages, and trends. He specializes in the NFL and NBA sides, but he’s also had success in MLB, college football, and the player prop market. Matt is also an avid Mets fan who hopes to be alive for the team’s next World Series, whenever that may be.