Last Sunday was a letdown even though I came away with a 3-2 finish in Week 11 of the Circa Million IV NFL handicapping contest. It was my second straight winning week but I felt a 4-1 or 5-0 week was in the works.
Week 11 Recap (3-2):
- Eagles at COLTS (+6.5) ✅
- Chiefs at CHARGERS (+5.5) ✅
- Bengals at STEELERS (+4) ❌
- Jets at PATRIOTS (-3.5) ✅
- Bears at GIANTS (-3) ❌
My record improved to 30-24-2 after the Minnesota Vikings covered as 2.5-point home favorites Thanksgiving night vs. the New England Patriots. Post-Week 11, my Geoffrow Records entry was tied for 1,239th place out of 4,683 Circa Million entrants.
Circa’s contest lines lock into place upon release and players have to submit all five picks at once. You have to be confident in your Thursday selection if subbing early in the contest because typically people wait until the Friday injury reports before entering picks.
Minnesota is my second-favorite pick of Week 12 so I said “F*** it” and subbed Wednesday night earlier this week. These are the Circa Million IV lines for NFL Week 12 …
Circa Million IV NFL Week 12 Picks
Listed by order of confidence. First is most confident, and fifth is least.
- Packers (+7)
- Vikings (-2.5) ✅
- Commanders (-4.5)
- Jets (-4.5)
- Ravens (-4)
Circa Pick #1: Green Bay Packers (+7) at Philadelphia Eagles
This is more of a hunch handicap. I’m convinced the Eagles are overrated and I’ve successfully faded them in the past two weeks. Philly’s run defense is a sieve and Green Bay’s two-headed rushing attack of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon will have big Week 12s.
If Aaron Rodgers gets the help of a productive run game then Rodgers is going to pick apart his opponent. Rodgers is building with Packers rookie WR Christan Watson. He has connected with Watson for five TD passes in the past two games.
Finally, Green Bay is 5-2 straight up (SU) and 6-1 against the spread (ATS) as underdogs in primetime games since coach Matt LaFleur was hired in 2019.
(LISTEN to some Packers-Eagles analysis on this week’s episode of OutKick Bets Podcast with Geoff Clark HERE).
Circa Pick #2: New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)
Patriots-Vikings didn’t play out the way I expected but Minnesota still got home for me. My factors for this game were Vikings RB Dalvin Cook running over New England’s overrated rushing defense and Patriots QB Mac Jones being one of the NFL’s worst.
Also, I was rightfully nervous about Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins’ track record in primetime games. Literally, none of that came to fruition. Both Cousins and Jones lit it up on Thanksgiving and New England’s defense shut down Cook.
Whatever. Truth be told, I don’t care how I get there as long as the bet cashes. As Bill Parcels once said: “You are what your record says you are,” and I’ll take the 1-0 going into the weekend.
(LISTEN to some Patriots-Vikings analysis on this week’s episode of OutKick Bets Podcast with Geoff Clark HERE).
Circa Pick #3: Atlanta Falcons at Washington Commanders (-4.5)
We all owe Washington head coach Ron Rivera an apology. Rivera knew what he was talking about when throwing the Commanders’ former starting QB Carson Wentz under the bus.
Washington QB Taylor Heinicke should’ve been the guy the whole time. The Commanders look rejuvenized with Heinicke in the huddle and he torched Atlanta in 2021.
Last season, Heinicke completed 23 of 33 passes for 3 TDs and 0 INT with a 127.1 QB rating in a 34-30 win vs. the Falcons in Atlanta.
Also, Washington’s defense bottled up Atlanta’s ground game last year and the Commanders’ rushing defense is just as good this season. Their defense ranks third in rushing expected points added per play and fourth in rushing success rate allowed.
If Washington takes away the run, I’ll take my chances on Falcons QB Marcus Mariota beating the Commanders through the air.
(LISTEN to some Falcons-Commanders analysis on this week’s episode of OutKick Bets Podcast with Geoff Clark HERE).
Circa Pick #4: Chicago Bears at New York Jets (-4.5)
NY will probably be the most selected team in Week 12 of the Circa Million IV, which is always scary. The Jets’ contest line is -4.5, 2.5 points lower than the current spread of NY -7.
There are indications that Bears banged-up QB Justin Fields will miss Week 12. Chicago activated third-string QB Nathan Peterman and will most likely start QB Trevor Siemian. Fields has been magnificent recently and has the sixth-most rushing yards in the NFL (834).
Even if Fields starts, my plan was to back the Jets here all along. NY has a lot of talent in its front seven and has two of the best cornerbacks in the league.
The Jets have a massive edge in the trenches, both offensive and defensively. NY can stack the box to stop the Bears’ rushing attack and leave the CBs on islands.
Finally, I don’t care who starts for the Jets at QB because the Bears have a bottom-five defense in the NFL. Chicago traded its two best defensive players this season in former LB Roquan Smith and edge rusher Robert Quinn.
(LISTEN to some Bears-Jets analysis on this week’s episode of OutKick Bets Podcast with Geoff Clark HERE).
Circa Pick #5: Baltimore Ravens (-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Baltimore was my last team in because I know it’s a square play. Roughly 80% of the action at DraftKings Sportsbook is on the Ravens but their line hasn’t budged off the opener, per VSIN. But, this is a great price for Baltimore and a great spot.
The Ravens are 19-9 ATS in regular season games in November and later with a +4.6 ATS margin since 2019 (Lamar Jackson‘s first year as the starter). Baltimore is 6-3 ATS as road favorites of -4 or less with a +6.3 ATS margin over that span.
Also, this game is obviously mispriced. The Ravens were 13-point road favorites at the Carolina Panthers in Week 11 and are just 4-point favorites in the contest this week vs. Jacksonville.
The Jaguars don’t have a strong home-field advantage and aren’t 9 points better than the Panthers. Jacksonville is coming off a bye but how many points is that worth? Let’s give the Jaguars 3 points for the bye week.
Where are the other 6 points coming from? Jacksonville has three wins and Carolina has three wins. The Jaguars are 3-7 ATS whereas the Panthers are 5-6 ATS. The market has consistently overrated Jacksonville, which is an NFL-worst 8-19 ATS since 2021.
Lastly, the Jaguars have the worst run-blocking mismatch of Week 12, according to Pro Football Focus. The Ravens have an elite secondary and their defense is trending up after adding LB Roquan Smith at the trade deadline.
(LISTEN to some Ravens-Jaguars analysis on this week’s episode of OutKick Bets Podcast with Geoff Clark HERE).
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Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.
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