Welcome to the Week 12 best bets article. 

Here we’ll highlight some of the best bets for the week from around the site. Some of these will be based on site projections and some we’ll just be tailing from the hive of minds inside the Fantasy Life bet tracker.

Others will simply be lines I deem worthy of attacking for reasons I’ll lay out below. 

I’ll be including a wide variety of bets (props, spreads, totals) but will try to list off a few favorites from each category even if they don’t get a write-up. 

If you want more, be sure to check out the Fantasy Life Bet Tracker afterward.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +2.5 (-105, BetMGM)

  • Play to +2.0 (-110) or Tampa Bay ML +110

The Buccaneers are no world beaters but we shouldn’t hold a loss to, potentially, the best team in the NFL against them last week either. The truth is, Tampa Bay, who was within a FG of the 49ers at halftime in Week 11, did better in sticking with the 49ers last week than their divisional rivals did this week. 

Truth be told, these teams rank out remarkably similar in a lot of respects as well. Tampa is slightly better defensively (12th DVOA, Indy is 13th) but slightly worse offensively (23rd DVOA, Indy is 22nd). Where they do differ is at quarterback, where Baker Mayfield is 13th in EPA + CPOE composite (0.119 EPA), and ranked vastly above Gardner Minshew, who is 22nd (0.002 EPA). 

The trends favor Tampa Bay somewhat as well. They’re 5-0 ATS on the road this season, and Mayfield, for his career, is better as an underdog going 23-20 ATS when getting points. Minshew is just 6-10 ATS in games where the spread is 4.0 points or less (per The Action Network). 

Taking the points and the better QB seems proper in this spot.

You can tail the Bucs on 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:

Texans +2.0  (-110, BetMGM)

  • Play to Texans ML (-105)

The Texans come into this game with the 9th best offense in terms of overall DVOA (JAX is 16th). While their defense does trail Jacksonville’s in the same rankings (18th vs. 6th), this is potentially a poor matchup for the Jaguars' funnel-to-the-pass scheme, which has been torched by many of the higher-end QBs they’ve faced. 

Stroud himself passed for 9.33 yards per attempt (280-2) against Jacksonville in the Texans' Week 3 upset, and it was just two weeks ago that the Jaguars allowed Brock Purdy to waltz into their home stadium and throw for 296 yards and 3 TDs on just 26 attempts. Most analysts won’t acknowledge it yet, but there is a pretty solid gap between these QBs as well. Stroud currently ranks out eighth in EPA per play (0.165), while Lawrence is just 15th (0.077). 

The Texans have been underrated by the market and public most of the season, and that’s been reflected in their ATS record as they are now 5-1 ATS as underdogs. On the flip side, Lawrence, for his career, is just 5-8 ATS in divisional games and just 1-4 ATS against Houston. 

Bengals vs. Steelers over 35.5 (-110, FanDuel)

  • Play to 36.0 (-110)

Both of these offenses come in with something to prove, and we will have at least one bottom tier defense in the Bengals on the field (22nd in defensive DVOA) who are also now dealing with an injury issue to their top corner (Cam Taylor-Britt - questionable). The firing of Matt Canada aside, if there was ever a place to trust Pittsburgh to score us some points, this would be it. They’ve started to up Jaylen Warren’s usage and face a Bengals defense who is 30th in yards per rush against (5.0 YPC allowed). 

On the other side, Jake Browning got put into a tough spot last Thursday night but still managed to deliver on a TD pass and showed good upside as a rusher with 40 yards on 4 carries. The Bengals are still a team who can score points quickly if they get put into an up tempo situation, and Ja’Marr Chase will face a defense that is just 24th in yards per play against—which has also allowed the 8th most yards to opposing WRs. 

This total has now dropped from 41.0 at open to 35.5 points and the reaction is likely a little too severe. While the circumstances this week are obviously different with no Joe Burrow, it’s worth noting that five of the last six games between these teams have gone for well over 40.0 points. 

You can tail the over on FanDuel, where you can get $200 in bonus bets when you sign up below and place your first bet of only $5 or more!

Props: Javonte Williams over 52.5 rushing yards (-110, bet365)

Williams’s props have been fascinating to watch over the past month or so. They were slow to rise when he started getting more work (15 carries Week 7 / 27 carries Week 8 / 21 carries Week 9) but may have overcorrected against Minnesota when he went off with a rushing total between 62-67 yards (depending on when you bet it). 

Javonte Williams

Nov 13, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (33) is pushed out of bounds by Buffalo Bills defenders in the fourth quarter at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

This week, though, Williams’s total may have overcorrected once again—but this time to the downside. His rushing prop is a full 12-15 yards lower than in Week 11, and yet he’ll be facing a Cleveland team who has allowed 4.5 YPC over their last three games (and just ceded 164 yards rushing to Pittsburgh’s backfield last week). 

Usage here is key as well. With Cleveland’s offense being led by a late-round rookie, it’s more than likely we get a close contest and a game flow where Williams can potentially see 15+ carries. In that scenario, the over on his 52.5 total will likely smash. Our projections (61.6 yards) like this one as well, giving us a 7-8 yard edge to attack at Williams's current total. 

You can tail Williams on bet365, where you can get $365 in bonus bets when you sign up and bet just $1 below!

Props: Rashid Shaheed, Same Game Parlay (+1000, DraftKings)

  • Anytime TD
  • 70+ receiving yards
  • (Play to +900)

The Saints are favored in this game (22.0 implied team total) but will be facing an Atlanta defense that has allowed zero rushing TDs this season to opposing RBs. The Saints aren’t really a great rushing team to begin with and are just 23rd in rush rate, suggesting they’ll likely be happy to throw the ball in both the middle of the field and the red zone when they arrive there. 

Shaheed saw a season-high nine targets in his last game with Michael Thomas injured, and the Thomas injury will likely force the Saints into playing Shaheed on more snaps going forward, whether they want to (they should want to) or not. 

Same game parlay

We’re getting +1000 odds (9.09% implied probability) for Shaheed to hit the 70+ yards and a TD same-game parlay from above, and it’s worth noting that this is a milestone that Shaheed has actually exceeded in three of 10 games already this season (30% hit rate).

Regardless, given the boom-or-bust nature of this player, and the terrific matchup, it’s a great time to play for some bigger odds and hope we get another Shaheed breakout performance.

You can tail the SGP at DraftKings, where you can get $200 in bonus bets when you sign up for a new account below and place your first bet of just $5 or more!

Week 12 Best Bets
Geoff Ulrich
Geoff Ulrich
Geoff Ulrich is a writer and content provider who works in the daily fantasy and gambling space for DraftKings and other operators. He loves the quest of finding the next batch of underrated breakout players for his season long and best ball teams and then proudly watching them become mainstream stars. An inquisitive person by nature, you can often find him on twitter (@thefantasygrind) tilting his latest bet or going over his favorite plays for the upcoming NFL or Golf slate.