Betting angles for NFL Week 12: Falcons have upside over Jaguars

VSiN’s NFL expert offers up a side and a total for Sunday’s card. 

Falcons (-2, 45.5) at Jaguars:

The Falcons have scored three points over the past two games and have allowed 68. It looked like Atlanta was turning a corner with wins in three of four games, but it turns out that it just had a lot to do with playing the Jets and Dolphins, along with the Saints in a bad spot off of a loss to the Buccaneers. 

This line opened pick ’em and hovered there until some bettors with influence sided with the Falcons. Jacksonville has all sorts of problems and Trevor Lawrence hasn’t had more than 162 passing yards in each of the past three games. The play design and scheming for the Jags hasn’t given the rookie much of a chance to this point and he’s made some questionable decisions with the football.

That being said, the Falcons are much closer to Jacksonville’s level than the Colts or 49ers, who are both playing good football right now. This game lined as a toss-up made sense. Atlanta does seem to have more upside, though, which is why the line moved in the road team’s favor. 

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Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan


Cordarrelle Patterson practiced in a limited manner on Wednesday and he has become such an integral part of this offense that his presence actually might be enough to move a Falcons line. There isn’t much to like in this game and a lot of player props were still off the board at time of publish, but Atlanta has more promise and potential than Jacksonville.

Burke’s bet: Falcons -2. 

Browns at Ravens (-3.5, 46.5):

“Sunday Night Football” is a massive game with huge implications in the AFC North, as the Browns have the bye next week and face the Ravens again at home the week after. Furthermore, a win here for Cleveland gives it seven wins, as the crowded playoff picture continues to get more muddled. 

On the flip side, a win for Baltimore pushes the Browns down some more notches and also pushes the Ravens closer to being in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 seed.

While the sharp money on the Browns early in the week has been very interesting, my focus for this game is actually on the total. We’re down to as low as 45 in some places, and that seems to be too low. The Ravens scored 85 points in last season’s two meetings and Cleveland scored 42 points in the second game. Perhaps we can draw a line through the Week 1 matchup, as the Browns started anew with Kevin Stefanski after not having a preseason, but the second game was a 47-42 thriller in a similar spot, albeit on Monday night.

These are two strong rush offenses capable of moving the chains on the ground, as Cleveland ranks first or second in most offensive categories and the Ravens are sixth in rush offense DVOA. Baltimore’s pass defense is atrocious, and the Browns do throw the football a lot more than you would expect with the potency of their running game. The Ravens don’t tackle well in space and neither do the Browns. 

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Nick Chubb leads Cleveland’s strong rushing attack.


The Cleveland offense has not lit up the scoreboard lately, but two of the home games were played in windy conditions and the Patriots just suffocated Cleveland, as they have a lot of teams. Baltimore’s defense isn’t on that level. The weather looks good for Sunday, and I think this game has a higher expectation of points than what the line move suggests.

Burke’s bet: Over 46.5. 

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