The largest point spread of the year may beckon bettors in Week 12 of the 2022 NFL season.
The Kansas City Chiefs appear ready to exceed the -14.5 mark, held by the Buffalo Bills before they demolished the Pittsburgh Steelers 38-3 in Week 5.
The Chiefs were -14.5 against the Rams on Wednesday morning and look poised to reach -15 at some point, according to Johnny Avello, the Director of Race and Sportsbook Operations for DraftKings.
The large spread poses a quandary for bettors. How many points are too many?
When sportsbooks have listed double-digit favorites this year, the handle has become fairly balanced. Indeed, 60% of the early handle went on the Rams.
“The Rams are going nowhere, and the Chiefs are one of those teams capable of putting up 40 points to cover that number, but the flip side is that this is an awful lot of points to give in the NFL,” Avello told Gaming Today. “Nobody in the NFL is that much better than any other team, and you have to consider the human nature of the players knowing how much they are favored.
“They are going to do enough to win the game, but are you going to give everything once you are at that point that you already have the game won?
“The other thing with a spread this large is that you can be down by three touchdowns and get a late touchdown when the defense is just trying to let the clock keep moving,” he added. “You might get a late cover.”
The Miami Dolphins stood at -13 early in the week against the Houston Texans. Where does the gamesmanship come in here? It could be with bettors teasing the Dolphins down to less than a touchdown and combining it with another game. They may wish to make that bet now rather than if Miami’s line goes up another 1-1.5 points.
Betting parity via big spreads carries into the Thanksgiving Day schedule at DraftKings.
The host Detroit Lions garnered 60% of the early handle at -10 against the Buffalo Bills. Lions bettors also weighed in at a healthy 29% handle for the moneyline price of +340. Not only have the Lions won three straight, but they manhandled the New York Giants in a no-doubt-about-it 31-18 triumph in Week 11.
The Giants have 54% of the early handle at +9.5 against the host Dallas Cowboys.
A low spread also generates a balanced handle on Thursday. The Minnesota Vikings had 57% of the early handle against the New England Patriots at -3.
As for how the book sees the big picture, DraftKings lists the over-under point total for all three games at 140.5 points. That’s just under 47 points each game. The big test to that projection might be the low-scoring Patriots visiting the high-scoring Vikings, who somehow laid an egg in their 40-3 thrashing by the Cowboys on Sunday.
NFL Week 12 Betting Trends at DraftKings
The Los Angeles Chargers gained the highest early backing at 78% against the Arizona Cardinals at -4.5.
The Washington Commanders opened at -3 and quickly went to -4 against the Atlanta Falcons. Part of that move could be 72% of the early betting handle. Washington is rolling behind newly-named starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke and could go two games over .500 for the first time this year.
In what could be the game of the day, the Tennessee Titans are +1.5 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
This is not only a playoff rematch — won last year by Cincinnati — but a classic rubber-meets-the-road battle.
The defending AFC champion Bengals had a sputtering start and twice failed to get over the top in road losses to the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.
They are playing well lately and have reached two games above .500 (6-4) for the first time this year.
Cincinnati had a strong offensive effort in toppling the Pittsburgh Steelers 37-30 last week. The Bengals are putting it together but have yet to light up a quality defense.
And they face one here. The Titans have not allowed more than 20 points in seven straight weeks and the 20 points yielded came against the explosive Chiefs.
The Titans are the Sultans of the Spread, covering eight straight weeks.
But they never gain an overwhelming level of support. Avello said that’s because the Titans are not a public team. They haven’t captured the imagination of the general public.
That’s just how some bettors prefer it.
Panthers Try to Find QB Fit: Darnold, Mayfield, or Walker?
Three weeks, three new starters.
The Carolina Panthers will go back to Sam Darnold when hosting the Denver Broncos as a slight dog Sunday.
Baker Mayfield, whom the team traded for in the offseason, was benched after an ineffective effort against the Baltimore Ravens in a 13-3 loss. He had started in place of the injured PJ Walker.
Darnold gets the nod as the Panthers continue spinning their wheels.
Darnold and Mayfield are part of a bizarre puzzle, showing that some can’t-miss selections don’t pan out.
In the 2018 NFL Draft, Mayfield was the first player chosen by the Cleveland Browns. Darnold was taken third by the Jets.
Both ended up being traded to the Panthers and scuffled. So now the No. 1 pick in the 2018 Draft is benched in favor of the No. 3. pick. And to rub salt in that wound, both players were taken ahead of a player who has thrived: Bills quarterback Josh Allen. He was taken seventh.
Lamar Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, was taken 32nd by the Baltimore Ravens.
Panthers interim coach Steve Wilks is using the rest of this year presumably to see if any of these three quarterbacks can inspire confidence. If not, one may be used to groom a 2023 pick.
Two Notable Monday Night Football Week 11 Hits
DraftKings bettors cashed in on Jimmy Garoppolo to toss more than 1.5 touchdowns. He threw four in San Francisco’s 38-10 rout of the Arizona Cardinals.
Gamblers also cashed at +800 for Brandon Aiyuk to haul in the first touchdown.
Notable Bets from NFL Week 11
One customer placed a $0.25 bet on a 2-leg parlay that paid out $650.25. The following selections were:
- ATL Falcons 27, CHI Bears 24
- LA Chargers 27, KC Chiefs 30
Now, THIS is research.
One customer turned a $5 bet into $7,505 after hitting on a 10-leg Same Game Parlay on the Chiefs-Chargers Sunday Night Football game. The following legs of the bet were:
- Austin Ekeler: Over 49.5 Rushing Yards
- Patrick Mahomes: Under 29.5 Rushing Yards
- Austin Ekeler: Under 49.5 Receiving Yards
- Kadarius Toney: Under 49.5 Receiving Yards
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling: Under 49.5 Receiving Yards
- Travis Kelce: Over 84.5 Receiving Yards
- Each Team Total Touchdowns: Under 3.5
- Each Team Total Points: Over 23.5
- Each Team Total Points: Over 11.5 (1st Half)
- Each Team Total Points: Over 0.5 (1st Quarter)
One customer placed a $15.63 wager on 4-leg SGP at +60000 odds that paid out $9,393.63. The following legs were:
- Travis Kelce: To Score 2 or More Touchdowns
- Joshua Palmer: To Score 2 or More Touchdowns
- Travis Kelce: Over 94.5 Receiving Yards
- Josh Palmer Alternate Receiving Yards: 65+
A customer placed a $5 SGP bet that paid out $5,605 at odds of +80000 with a 40% profit boost. Below are the winning legs:
- Melvin Gordon III Alternate Receiving Yards: 38+
- Latavius Murray Alternate Receiving Yards: 20+
- Courtland Sutton: Over 79.5 Receiving Yards
- Davante Adams: Over 84.5 Receiving Yards
- Josh Jacobs: Over 84.5 Rushing Yards
- Josh Jacobs: Over 34.5 Receiving Yards
One customer placed a player to score 2 or more touchdowns parlay. Only three players were needed for this parlay, but the 3-legger was able to pay out $9,240 from a $20 bet. The following players needed were:
- Tony Pollard: To Score 2 or More Touchdowns
- Najee Harris: Score 2 or More Touchdowns
- Davante Adams: To Score 2 or More Touchdowns
This was a betting version of a come-from-behind score. Harris scored a garbage-time TD for the Pittsburgh Steelers in their 37-30 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Adams delivered the bet winner in overtime, hauling in the game-winner as the Raiders topped the Broncos, 22-16. And to think Denver was one play away from a regulation kneel-down before the Raiders stopped them.
Juggling the Lines at FanDuel
The book enabled some Minnesota action on Thursday by moving the line from -3 to -2.5 at a price of -118. This at least gets bettors off the dreaded “3” number. That’s where they usually wait to see whether the next half-point move works in their direction.
FanDuel also moved the Cincinnati game to -2.5, a big enticement for Titans bettors seeing +1.5 elsewhere.
Square Odds on Rushing Honors at Caesars
It’s a field of three for the touchdown title. Beat two players and get +300. That’s what bettors weigh in a fair wager.
The competition to garner the most rushing touchdowns has Jamaal Williams at 12 touchdowns, Nick Chubb at 11, and Derrick Henry at 10.
Jalen Hurts has eight touchdowns for Philadelphia and would be quite a price at +1100. But making up four scores is quite an assignment.
Kansas City Stock, Philadelphia Value Rise at PointsBet
Faith in the Kansas City Chiefs is soaring, as the book vaulted Kansas City all the way up to +400 as the Super Bowl favorite.
Buffalo, which dominated this spot for the first half of the season, slid to + 425 (+450 at DraftKings). The Bills had been under +200 until having three less-than-dominant performances, two of them losses.
On the flip side, Eagles bettors get a dip-buying opportunity.
The Eagles have hit a rough patch with a loss to the Washington Commanders and a narrow victory over the Indianapolis Colts. They have been elevated to +650, a deal for their backers of about 50-100 basis points over other books.
In a large-sized bet, that matters.
NFL Week 12 Odds
Here are point spreads, totals, and moneylines from top sports betting apps for the week’s card: