Week 12 of the 2021 NFL season begins with a three-game showcase on Thanksgiving, and NFL odds have opened up.
Regarding NFL underdog odds, of the 14 matchups this week, exactly half of them currently feature the home team as an underdog.
Home field advantage is always capable of turning a seemingly massive disadvantage into a dog fight, so let’s look at some of the best bets for home underdogs in Week 12.
Detroit Lions (+145)
No, the Lions have not won yet, and yes, the Bears are one of the teams that have beaten them.
According to their overall record (3-7), Chicago is the worst team on the Lions’ schedule. A second crack at them may be just what Detroit needs to notch its first victory.
A key for the Lions will be running the ball. They average 4.7 yards per rush, which is the eighth-best mark in the league.
The Bears defense meanwhile allows the ninth-highest rushing average against per game at 122.8.
The Lions’ last two games were in hostile road environments and resulted in a tie (at Pittsburgh) and a three-point loss (at Cleveland). I believe coming home with renewed confidence while also playing a team without its starting quarterback and experiencing front office turmoil will put the Lions over the top.
New Orleans Saints (+175)
Three losses in a row have dropped the Saints to 5-5 on the year heading into this one. Luckily for them, the Bills are also in a slide that has seen them go from 4-1 to 6-4.
Buffalo was only able to score 15 against the Colts and similarly struggled two weeks prior by only scoring six against Jacksonville. Their chief struggle offensively is running the ball, specifically on designed runs with their running backs.
Bills running backs only got 22 yards on nine carries against the Jaguars and 73 yards against Indianapolis. The Saints defense allows the third-fewest rushing yards per game and is one of three teams holding opponents to under 90 a game.
Suffocating the run early and forcing the Bills to abandon it seems to be a blueprint to shutting down their high-scoring offense.
Indianapolis Colts (+130)
The Colts have won three of their last four home games and have averaged 32.5 in those contests. They’ve also won three straight overall, including two games over 40 points.
The Bucs lost their last two on the road, making their three losses on the season all away from Tampa Bay.
Both teams are top-five in scoring and just outside the top ten in points allowed. Tampa Bay scores an average of 30.9 points per game, while Indianapolis scores 28.1
The key matchup will be the Colts ground game, which is fourth in yards per game against the Bucs, whose defense allows the fewest rushing yards per game.
NFL Underdog Odds
There is good value in taking the money line this week. I believe these NFL underdog odds all present a scenario for huge upset wins this holiday weekend.
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