NFL Week 12 Top Betting Picks: Can Sam Darnold Lead The Panthers Over Denver?

Sam Darnold Celebrates Carolina Panthers NFL
Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers and teammates celebrate Darnold’s touchdown against the Buffalo Bills. Eakin Howard/Getty Images/AFP

Although the slate of games on the NFL odds board is a bit smaller due to three games on Thanksgiving Day, we’ve still got an electric slate of football games on Sunday. Here are our top three bets for the day.

Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers

Sunday, November 27, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at Bank of America Stadium

The Denver Broncos are currently 3-7 and heading out on the road to take on the Carolina Panthers. Yet, the Broncos are two-point favorites, despite taking on a Panthers team that is also 3-7.

The Panthers have decided that they’ll start Sam Darnold for Sunday’s game, the quarterback that the players seem the most comfortable with. The offense had struggled with Baker Mayfield. But despite trading away some of their talents, the Panthers still have enough offensive firepower to be competitive.

A Challenge for Darnold

Darnold doesn’t have an easy task against Denver’s defense, as the Broncos are dominant in the secondary and have a reliable pass rush. But on the other hand, the Carolina pass protection has actually been good. It’s the quarterback play that has struggled. Darnold deserves another chance to prove himself.

He’s not going to have a major impactful game against Denver, but the Panthers have allowed three points in two of their last five games defensively. Carolina’s got a solid defense and just needs a couple of touchdowns to win games.

Darnold should be able to provide that. Let’s take the Panthers at home at +3.

NFL Pick: Panthers +3 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

Chicago Bears vs. New York Jets

Sunday, November 27, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at MetLife Stadium

The New York Jets have decided to roll the dice with Mike White at quarterback on Sunday. The Jets have struggled offensively and believe that the quarterback position has been holding them back.

The Bears have lost four straight games, giving up at least 27 points in each of those games. The Cowboys dropped 49, the Dolphins scored 35, the Lions added 31, and the Falcons scored 27. All in wins against the Bears.

What’s Holding Chicago Back?

But Chicago’s offense hasn’t been the problem, either. They’ve added at least 24 points in every loss. That’s how bad the Chicago defense has been. Mike White isn’t going to throw the ball downfield and wow you with his arm talent. Instead, he’s going to make easy, basic passes to his running backs to move the sticks.

That’s good enough. The Jets have a bunch of talented wide receivers that are just not getting enough reps. They can’t show their ability because they’re not getting opportunities. This is the time for New York receivers to shine against a Bears defense that has been miserable this year.

And although the Jets have played extremely well defensively, Justin Fields is hard to stop. Fields is always finding ways to gain yardage with his feet. He’s also getting better as a passer.

I like the Jets to win, but believe this will be a close, higher-scoring game.

NFL Pick: Over 38.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Sunday, November 27, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at TIAA Bank Field

The Ravens have won four straight games and are now just four-point favorites against the Jaguars on the road.

Jacksonville, meanwhile, has lost four of its last five games. They’re coming off a bye week and might be a little bit more healthy. But the Ravens are a Super Bowl contender. The Jaguars aren’t.

The Ravens don’t have much of a passing game. But against the Jaguars, they might. Jacksonville has allowed nearly 260 yards per game in the air this season. They’ve also struggled against the run and continue to miss tackles at an extremely high rate.

Baltimore’s Defense in Top Form

Jacksonville has a solid pass rush, but Baltimore’s got one of the best pass protections in the league. Therefore, we like the Ravens to score a whole bunch of points against Jacksonville on Sunday.

On the other hand, the Ravens started the season extremely poorly defensively. But they’ve really worked their way back, after holding the Panthers to three points last week.

In each of their last four wins, the Ravens have allowed no more than 22 points and have kept teams under 21 points in three of those four games. When the Ravens lost to the Giants, Baltimore only allowed 24 points.

The coverage has looked solid and the pass rush has been effective. Jacksonville is also solid with their pass protection but they’ve been awful with their run block.

Let’s back the Ravens to take care of business on the road and cover the four-point spread.

NFL Pick: Ravens -4 (-109) at Unibet