NFL Betting Trends for Week 12: Thanksgiving Day Football, First-Ever Black Friday Game & Chiefs

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Gamblers have begun to fade the Kansas City Chiefs.

Wagering skepticism regarding the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs highlights our NFL betting trends for Week 12.

Beneath the allure of three Turkey Day games and a first-ever Black Friday contest between the Miami Dolphins and host New York Jets, one wagering stat highlights the top betting trend.

More NFL odds: NFL Week 12 odds | Super Bowl odds | NFL MVP odds

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Chiefs No Longer Look Invincible

Early DraftKings gamblers pounced on the Las Vegas Raiders +9.5 (Best Live Odds: ) against the visiting Chiefs for Sunday’s game. A robust 79% of the first handle backed the Raiders, who show spunk and three straight covers under new coach Antonio Pierce.

Las Vegas’ optimism is one factor.

What’s happened with the Chiefs is another.

For three straight games, Kansas City has not scored in the second half of a game. Its 53-point season total in that category represents 5.3 a game, the lowest in the NFL. Even that small amount would have helped the Chiefs hold off the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night.

Philadelphia reversed a 17-7 halftime deficit to prevail 21-17. Eerie, isn’t it? The Eagles led the Chiefs by 10 points at halftime and lost the Super Bowl in February. Kansas City led Philly by 10 points, with the ball, in the third quarter in the Monday night rematch, but melted down.

What has gone wrong?

First, it’s the dropsies. The Chiefs lead the league in dropped passes with 26. Three big ones occurred on the final drive and the reliable Travis Kelce also fumbled in the red zone when Kansas City led 17-14 in the fourth quarter.

But, second, the Chiefs have been facing better second-half coverage on their receivers. Given the propensity of quarterback injuries and the knowledge that Patrick Mahomes is Kansas City’s franchise, defenses are less fearful of him running for big gains. He’ll get some, but not as many as before he was hurt in the playoffs last season.

Mahomes in the pocket means fewer third-look pass options and tighter coverage. Yes, some of the passes should have been caught, but the coverage is also much tighter. Kansas City’s mission going forward is to create more space for its receivers.

Some Kansas City bettors on DraftKings sustained major burns on Monday night. There were monyeline and KC -2.5 spread bets above $20,000 that lost. So did the $16,500 wager that the two teams who combined for 73 points in the Super Bowl would exceed 45 here. The rain, dropped passes, and the points Kansas City lost in the red zone kept that total Under.

Going forward, gamblers might look at things like betting against Kansas City in the second half or taking a KC/Opponents ticket for the first and second half.

Prop chalks remained vibrant for at least one more week.

Travis Kelce and Jalen Hurts were the most heavily-wagered players to score on Monday night at DraftKings. They both did, with Kelce returning -110 and Hurts +115.

Another Quarterback Change: This Time It’s the Jets

The team spent lavishly in the offseason, luring four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers to New York. The media went berserk. Super Bowl parades were planned.

In Week 1, the Jets started Rodgers.

In Week 12, it’s, um, well, Tim Boyle. THE Tim Boyle? Yes, the QB with far more interceptions in college and the NFL than touchdowns.

This shows the fragile nature of NFL teams and quarterbacks. Rodgers and Daniel Jones, who account for roughly $80 million in salary this season, have been injured for the Jets and Giants. The teams sharing MetLife Stadium in the country’s largest market now have Boyle and Tommy DeVito as QBs.

Yikes. Nobody ever said the NFL would be easy.

The Jets have finally soured on Zach Wilson, who was considered the next coming of Joe Namath when selected as the No. 2 pick in the 2021 Draft.

He didn’t pan out. Nor has the offensive line given him a chance.

The Jets and Giants situation mirrors the bigger problems of NFL quarterback injuries. A league-record 10 rookies have started behind center this year.

CJ Stroud of the Houston Texans has been far and away the best. Gamblers trust him and the team.

Aidan O’Connell of the Raiders may be second. The coaching change has energized him, as does the presence of Davante Adams.

Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, has told Gaming Today readers throughout the year that rookie signal callers bring projected game totals down.

On a related, heads-rolling note, Under bettors may raise their glasses and toast departed Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada. He was fired this week.

Canada’s struggles helped the Steelers go 8-2 on the Under this season. That’s a lot of money being cashed for offensive inefficiency. Pittsburgh visits the Cincinnati Bengals, who now must go the rest of the season without injured franchise QB Joe Burrow.

Say hello to Jake Browning. Next man up.

Hottest NFL Team Against the Spread: Vikings

Minnesota may be 6-5 on the moneyline but has covered six straight weeks. That’s the longest current league streak and for spread bettors, the Vikings are the hottest NFL team.

Two components impact this. The Vikings play many close games. Their wins have come when they are giving a few points or getting some. And their recent 21-20 loss to the Denver Broncos occurred at +2.5. The moneyline streak ended, but the spread streak remained, thanks to the Vikings snuffing out a two-point conversion.

Minnesota hosts the Chicago Bears at -3.5 (Best Live Odds: ) on Monday night. With Justin Fields in the lineup, the Bears play well, especially in isolated games. Two of their 2023 wins occurred on Thursday night.

Minnesota bettors may be tempted to hope this line hits 3 and then buy down to -2.5. The Vikings have ridden the inspired play of quarterback Joshua Dobbs, but they need more offensive punch.

Otherwise, the Eagles are 6-2-2, sitting atop the spread standings. Philly has two hard games, but reasonable spread obligations coming up. They are -3.5 against the Buffalo Bills this week and -1.5 against the San Francisco 49ers the following week.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys are 7-3. The ‘Boys are rifling through the weak part of their schedule now. They pounded the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers by a combined 55 points and now face the Washington Commanders on Thanksgiving Day at a whopping number of -11 (Best Live Odds: ). Not easy to like that game on either side.

Tampa Bay visits the Indianapolis Colts at +2.5 (Best Live Odds: ). Cleveland, 6-3-1 on the spread, faces the Denver Broncos, winners of four straight, at +2.5 (Best Live Odds: ).

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About the Author
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo

Writer
Dave Bontempo is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, who has covered the sports industry since the 1970s. He won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Boxing Broadcasting by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1997, and is in the New Jersey and Atlantic City Boxing Halls of Fame. Bontempo has broadcast major fights all over the world. The advent of legalized sports wagering shifted his focus to this exciting new industry in 2018.

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