It’s hard to imagine that five teams that entered the season with legitimate hopes of making a deep playoff run this year could all find themselves realistically eliminated from playoff contention by the time Week 12 ends Monday night.
All five are already on the brink of elimination – Los Angeles Rams (3-7), Green Bay Packers (4-7), Las Vegas Raiders (3-7), Arizona Cardinals (4-7) and Pittsburgh Steelers (3-7). All five are underdogs in their Week 12 matchups. If the spreads hold up, any hope of making the playoffs will go up in smoke.
It’s difficult to fathom these five having no say in how the playoffs run, but, for different reasons, all of them are almost certain to be on the outside looking in to the playoffs when the week concludes and their death blows came in November.
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook
Take Tennessee Titans on the moneyline (+125) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
After a 0-2 start, the Titans have won seven of their last eight games, including a 4-1 record on the road. They’re not fluke. The Bengals have had a habit of winning two games and then losing one since September, and this week is in line with that trend seeing them lose. The Titans don’t get the respect they deserve and will likely pound Derrick Henry at the Bengals early and often. If the Titans can control time of possession, this will be win for Tennessee that shouldn’t be viewed as an upset.
Take Cleveland Browns plus 3.5 points (-119) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers have won two straight against lesser teams and the Browns have been hard-luck losers this season – losing four games by three points or less. Tampa Bay continues to get more respect than its performance would lend you to believe it deserves. The Browns know their season is on the line in this one and have the ground game to work the clock and make this a field position battle that should be close – making the gift of 3.5 points a higher spread than it should be.
Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins: Take the Under of 47 points (-114)
Miami is hitting its stride and is coming out of its bye week on a four-game winning streak. This O/U is one of the highest of the week, and I’m not convinced the Texans can put up enough points to do their part to hit the Over. The Dolphins may have to score 35 points to get this one past the point needed, and that’s a lot to ask of any team prior to kickoff – especially one that is learning that it needs to have more ball control to protect its defense.
Take Philadelphia Eagles and lay 6.5 points (-112) vs. Green Bay Packers
The only win the Packers have had in almost two months came when they were down by 14 points in the fourth quarter against the Cowboys. After being the last unbeaten team in the league this year, the Eagles have had back-to-back sloppy games – losing one and narrowly escaping in the other. Philadelphia is due for a game where all three phases play at a high level and a blowout is possible here in a home primetime game.
Take Baltimore Ravens and lay 3.5 points (-111) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Ravens are 7-3, and their three losses have been by a total of 11 points. They blew two of those games in the fourth quarter, so they could easily be 9-1 and be viewed as a Super Bowl favorite. The Jaguars have lost six of their last seven games, including three of their last four at home, and all seven of their losses have been by four points or more. The Ravens will have to shoot themselves in the foot multiple times not to cover this spread.
Bet on sports with Tipico Sportsbook
Place your bets at BetMGM
Gannett may earn revenue from sports betting operators for audience referrals to betting services. Sports betting operators have no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. See operator site for Terms and Conditions. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available. Call the National Council on Problem Gambling 24/7 at 1-800-GAMBLER. Must be 21 or older to gamble.