Thanksgiving week serves up a veritable buffet of NFL games to spot and in this space we select some of the best bets that can be placed as single sport bets or lumped together in a two-team parlay.
So, let’s get cracking
Week 12 Best Bets
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3 at Indianapolis Colts
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are faced with a short week, but after finding their mojo in a 30-10 victory over the New York Giants on Monday Night Football, they appear to be peaking. Granted it was a win over an inconsequential team in the broad spectrum of the 2021 NFL season. But sometimes it’s these kinds of innocuous games that lead to bigger and better things.
The Buccaneers’ offense had its best performance in several weeks, aided along by the return of Rob Gronkowski. Brady added a couple of touchdowns to his total, extending his lead over the quarterback field with 29 touchdowns on the season. He added a few yards on the ground, showing off his never-before-seen dual-threat talent.
The real story of the day was the Buccaneers defense, which was all over the place and on top of Daniel Jones at every turn. Jones was under so much pressure, he seemed to fall out of sight all too often with all the bodies swarming him in the pocket. When the Buccaneers play like this, they’re a force to be reckoned with and the sportsbook is taking stock.
.@mspears96 says Tom Brady and the Bucs are looking “scary as hell.”
“Everybody in the NFC should be worried now about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. … When you see Tom Brady operating at this level, it is very rare that he loses a football game.” pic.twitter.com/8Hv9S2XcQ5
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) November 23, 2021
Carson Wentz and the Colts finally got a signature win under their belts this season at the expense of the Buffalo Bills in Week 11. It was a comprehensive beatdown of the Bills that few saw coming, including bookmakers who tipped the Bills as the touchdown favorites at home.
The Colts roughed up the Bills in a 41-15 victory. The defense tossed Allen around like a rag doll while Colts’ rising star running back Jonathan Taylor shredded the Bills defense on the ground.
Lookahead lines had the Buccaneers tipped as the -3½ favorites before Week 11 was even in the books. However, at the close of Week 11, markets reopened with the Buccaneers at -2½ before it jumped to a field goal as early bettors — recognizing a good deal — bet up Tampa Bay.
If you can find the Buccaneers at 2 ½, that would be the ideal number to bet here. It may yet go down later in the week if there is strong buyback on the Colts. However, there is no guarantee which way the line will move. So, for those looking to back the Buccaneers, you don’t want it to go back up to 3 ½.
Pick: Buccaneers -3
Carolina Panthers -2 at Miami Dolphins
The Carolina Panthers are 1-1 since the return of Cam Newton. They beat the Arizona Cardinals 19-13 on the road with Newton playing a limited role in his Panthers debut, and then they lost 27-21 to the Washington Football Team with Newton as the starter in his 2021 home debut.
With such a small cross-section, it’s impossible to get a true sense of the Panthers. However, overwhelmingly, the Panthers are meeting the eye test with Newton as the offensive pivot. An assessment that is clearly echoed on the NFL odds hoard with Carolina opening as the road favorites over the Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins are enjoying a mini-run of good form on the back of three wins in a row. Tua Tagovailoa appears to be back in coach Brian Flores’ good books and the Dolphins appear to be playing generally better.
Then again, they’ve had a couple of soft games during this run of form against the New York Jets and the Houston Texans. The only win worth noting was a 22-10 win over the Ravens at home.
The market on this game has been on the move since the markets opened with the Panthers as the -1 road chalk (or thereabouts). Carolina -1 is a much better number than Carolina -2, but the slightly bigger point spread isn’t big enough to be off-putting. Carolina is a much better team than the Dolphins are, so at -2 they still offer value. The ceiling would be Carolina -2½, so grab the Panthers before the line swells further.