FansBet NFL expert John Arnette returns for week 12 of the NFL with his enhanced acca preview and betting tips for what promises to be another round of high scoring action. This week John has gone for the Browns, Eagles and Raiders in his acca and the Chargers -12.5 against the Cardinals. Check out John’s betting preview below and back the enhanced odds!
Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns to beat the Cincinnati Bengals at 2.45
Backing the Browns has not been a profitable venture over the past few seasons, and when the plug was pulled on the Hue Jackson era three weeks ago, there was a pronounced “here we go again” feeling amongst… well, pretty much anybody who follows the NFL, I would think. But defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has taken over and steadied the ship, and after a double-digit win over Atlanta in their last game followed by a bye, the Browns feel like a team that’s trending in the right direction.
New offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens has simplified things for rookie QB Baker Mayfield, scaling back some complexities in the passing attack and relying more on the 1/2-read, quick passing game mostly consisting of slants and quick outs. The results have been promising: against Atlanta, Mayfield completed 17 of his 20 passes for 216 yards and a career-high 3 touchdowns. He’s been helped immensely by fellow rookie Nick Chubb, who exploded for 176 yards on 20 carries against the Falcons and is now averaging an eye-popping 6.2 yards per carry on the season.
This week Chubb will face a Bengals defense that ranks last in the NFL against the run, surrendering 153.6 yards per game (!!) and 5.0 yards per carry, so he’s a good bet to run wild once again. The Bengals are crumbling: they’ve lost 4 of 5, their offense has produced 21 points or fewer in each of their losses, and the defense is absolutely dreadful, ranking next-to-last in the NFL in yards allowed and surrendering 36.4 ppg over the team’s past five contests. Look for Cleveland to win this one outright.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles to beat the New York Giants at 1.38
The defending Super Bowl champions have found life considerably more difficult this season, as they’ve now lost 3 of 4 to fall to 4-6 on the year, their playoff hopes hanging by a thread. The last loss was particularly forgettable— a 48-7 humbling at the hands of the New Orleans Saints. But I don’t think there’s any reason to suspect that the players have folded the tent and begun making offseason plans; indeed, emotions were spilling over on the sidelines and in the locker room after last week’s embarrassment, and I firmly expect Doug Peterson’s team to respond with a focused effort this week.
Their opponent, division rival New York, is coming off back-to-back wins for the first time all season, though the victories came against two of the NFL’s bottom-feeders— Tampa Bay and San Francisco— and they weren’t exactly dominating performances, as the G-Men surrendered 58 combined points in the two games and escaped by the slimmest of margins— 4 points against the Niners, and 3 points against the Bucs. Though the Giants offense is loaded with skill-position talent, it’s been an inconsistent unit thanks largely to the spotty play of quarterback Eli Manning, and the defense has been downright awful, ranking 25th in the league in yards allowed and 26th in points allowed (26.3 ppg).
When these teams met just over a month ago it wasn’t competitive, as Carson Wentz threw three touchdown passes en route to a 34-13 Eagles blowout, and though Philly has won just one game since then, I’m not sure they’ve fallen quite far enough to lose a must-win home game to an inferior team. I anticipate a big day from Wentz against the generous New York secondary, and though a close game wouldn’t surprise me, I think the Eagles are a safe bet on the moneyline.
Oakland Raiders @ Baltimore Ravens
Oakland Raiders +10.5 V Chicago Bears at 1.89
In the midst of a dismal season the Raiders showed some fight last week, coming from behind in the 4th quarter to pull out their first win since September. And while I’m not suggesting that a victory over Arizona portends some dramatic turnaround for Oakland, I do think the performance and the jubilation in the locker room afterwards, with players shouting and celebrating as if they’d just won a playoff game, should be taken as evidence that the effort and desire is still there— Jon Gruden still has his team’s attention. Now they head to Baltimore to face a Ravens team that will be without its starting quarterback, as Joe Flacco is nursing a hip injury and is expected to miss his second consecutive game.
In his stead, rookie QB Lamar Jackson led the team to a 24-21 win over Cincinnati last week, but Jackson’s performance was unconventional, to say the least— he ran the ball 27 times, becoming the first quarterback since Tim Tebow nearly a decade ago to log 20+ rushing attempts in a game, and he threw for just 150 yards and was intercepted once, with another easy interception dropped by a Bengals defender.
The upshot is clear: as many suspected after his collegiate career, Jackson is more of a glorified running back at this stage. Not only is he not a threat with his arm, he actually endangers Baltimore’s chances of winning every time he drops back to pass due to the high possibility of a crippling turnover. The Ravens barely scratched out a win last week against a Cincinnati team that has been in a 6-week death spiral, and with Jackson at the helm I think they’re a ripe target as a double-digit favorite here.
NFL Week 12 Best Bet – Arizona Cardinals @ L.A. Chargers
Recommendation: L.A. -12.5 at 1.9
The Chargers burned me last week, failing to cover as a 7-point home favorite against Denver despite holding a 19-7 lead midway through the third quarter. They actually ended up losing the game 23-22, and the players were rightfully disgusted afterwards, with star receiver Keenan Allen pointing out that L.A. had “dominated the game” and saying of the Broncos, “they suck”.
Well, if that’s the way Allen feels about Denver, I wonder what he thinks about this week’s opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, who have a pretty sound claim as the worst team in the entire NFL after losing to Oakland last week to fall to 2-8 on the season. I mean… where do you even begin with this Arizona team? They start a rookie quarterback and they rank last in the NFL in total offense, producing just 240 yards and 14.5 points per game; their defense has allowed more rushing yards (141.5 ypg) than all but three teams leaguewide and has surrendered 105 combined points in the team’s four road games, and first-year coach Steve Wilks has shown so sign of being able to right the ship. Five of Arizona’s eight losses have come by double-digits, and they’ve lost to the two AFC West opponents that they’ve faced this season by 47 combined points.
Now they get a shot at another AFC West team, and there’s no reason to believe that the outcome here will be any different. Prior to last week the Chargers had won six straight games, and they should be plenty motivated to get things right after inexcusably letting a double-digit second-half lead slip away against Denver. The offense is among the NFL’s best, ranking in the top-10 in both yards per game and points scored, and the defense is whole again now that star pass-rusher Joey Bosa is back in the fold. Cardinals rookie QB Josh Rosen will likely face intense pressure from Bosa and Melvin Ingram, and Rosen has been turnover-prone this season, so we can expect L.A. to pounce on a few of his mistakes.
If you’re worried about the big number here, you should keep in mind that the Chargers have already notched four double-digit wins this season, while Arizona has absorbed five double-digit losses. As I said, the Chargers burned me last week, but you’re not supposed to let one game beat you twice, and I’m not going to allow last week’s failure to prevent me from jumping on a clear opportunity here: the chance to back an elite, highly-motivated team against one of the NFL’s true sad sacks. This will be a “name the score” type of game for the Bolts.
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*odds subject to change.