NFL Week 12 Betting: Darius Butler's favorite bets of the week

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) hands off the ball to Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, during a game against the New York Jets at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

I followed my 1-2 record in Week 10 with another disappointing 1-2 betting card in Week 11, bringing my overall betting record to 17-16 this year. Hopefully, I can bounce back this week.

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Every week, I look at who has the edge in these five categories: quarterback, defense, offensive talent, play in the trenches and coaching.

Let’s get to my favorite bets of NFL Week 12.

Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) over New York Giants

The two starting QBs in this contest seem to be trending in opposite directions. Eagles QB Jalen Hurts is getting better and playing with more confidence every week while Giants QB Daniel Jones’ offensive coordinator was just fired after an embarrassing performance vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Quarterback comparison | Last 4 weeks
Metric Hurts Jones
PFF Grade 79.2 53.7
Passer Rating When Clean 104.8 105.4
Passer Rating Under Pressure 58.0 43.3
Big-Time Throw % 2.5% 1.0%
Turnover-Worthy Play % 2.0% 4.5%

The Eagles defense is becoming more and more opportunistic, as cornerback Darius Slay seems to get in the end zone every week. Slay currently boasts PFF's eighth-highest grade among cornerbacks, and I expect him to make a few splash plays against Jones and the Giants offense this week.

This game means much more to the Eagles at this point in the season. With the Dallas Cowboys losing another game on Thanksgiving, the Eagles have a real opportunity to vie for the NFC East crown. Can’t say the same for the Giants.

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Carolina Panthers (-2.5) over Miami Dolphins

I was very impressed by Cam Newton’s performance last week in his first start for the Panthers. He looked good as a passer and explosive as a runner, finishing as PFF's sixth-highest graded QB (73.3) in Week 11. I expect Carolina to open up the offense even more against the Dolphins.

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The Panthers defense has played well for the majority of the year, especially when it comes to getting after the passer, as Carolina ranks seventh (73) in QB knockdowns (QB hits plus sacks). Last week, the Washington Football Team dominated the Panthers on the ground, as Carolina allowed eight explosive runs while missing eight tackles. I expect Carolina to bounce back this week against Miami's weak offensive line — 30th in team pass-blocking grade — with a borderline dominant performance.

Safety worth way more than 2 points. Help protect your family with fast, free will.

Dog Of The Day: Indianapolis Colts (+3) over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After dealing with injuries up and down the roster earlier this season, the Colts are healthy and playing their best football of the season.

Carson Wentz has been extremely efficient this season — 18 touchdowns to just three interceptions — which gives the Colts a chance to win beat any team in the NFL. Among QBs with at least 100 dropbacks this season, Wentz has the eighth-lowest turnover-play percentage (2.4%).

Jonathan Taylor is right in the thick of the MVP conversation after his five-touchdown performance against the Buffalo Bills in Week 11, and I see no signs of him slowing down. Taylor is PFF's highest-graded running back (min. 10 snaps) and boasts 185 rushing yards more than second-place.

Tampa Bay’s offense has not looked nearly as explosive without Antonio Brown in the lineup for the last five weeks. Vita Vea will play but won't be 100%. I think Tampa would need Brown and Vea at full strength to knock this Colts train off the tracks.

Darius Butler is a former NFL free safety. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts.

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