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NFL Week 12 betting recap: Inside the week's biggest upsets, best bets and how it all affected the Week 13 lines

Mike Tierney reviews this past week's betting results and previews some of Week 13's line movement
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What might the preseason odds have been that the most colossal spread of the season would be assigned to a Rams-Chiefs game? A million to-one?

And what might the odds have been that the reigning Super Bowl champs would be on the receiving end of 16.5 points? Infinity-to-one?

In the latest version of truth is stranger than fiction, Los Angeles was spotted north of two touchdowns by Kansas City. The defending champs have been so devastated by injury that even coach Sean McVay was wincing after a player inadvertently bumped into his jaw on the sideline.

Naturally with this all-timer oddity, K.C.'s 26-10 win split the game's bettors into happy and sad campers. The line opened a week ago at 9.5 before creeping barely above the eventual 16-point margin by kickoff.

Figure the odds on that. 

Top 'Dogs

None of the four straight-up underdog winners was allotted more than four points. And let's not even count Carolina (+1) beating Denver, which should not be favored if matched against the University of Colorado.

The Week 12 canine king is Las Vegas (+4), which outlasted Seattle 40-34 in overtime. The Raiders pulled even just inside the two-minute warning, then won on Josh Jacobs' 86-yard dash.

Jacksonville (+3.5), one of two teams to convert an 11th-hour two-point conversion rather than kicking the point-after to force overtime, toppled Baltimore 28-27. The Jaguars' touchdown happened with 14 seconds to spare.

Cleveland (+3.5) did require extra work to upset Tampa Bay 23-17 in OT. The Browns, as is their wont, went 55 minutes between TDs in regulation, tying the game with 0:32 remaining. A mere 19 seconds was left in overtime when they crossed the goal line again. 

Bad Beats

The Jaguars' dramatic TD was a bone-crusher for Baltimore backers. The Ravens (-3.5) led by seven before Jacksonville marched the length of the field.

Atlanta (+3.5), trailing by six, was perched at Washington's 2-yard line with a first down and a minute left. An interception by Commanders sealed a 19-13 win and dealt Falcons' supporters the baddest of beat.

A pair of total plays might not qualify for this category but were painful to watch.

Cincinnati, leading Tennessee 20-16 with a total of 42.5, took three knees from the Titans' 6-yard line to run out the clock.

The Los Angeles Chargers moved within a point of Arizona on a TD with 0:15 remaining, then converted a two-point try for a 25-24 win. The conversion vaulted the total (48.5) to an Over, while also dashing the hopes of bettors who played L.A. at -2.5 and were banking on a victory in OT.

The Rams held the Chiefs to a field goal at the 1:44 mark of the fourth after the Chiefs had advanced inside the Rams' 10-yard line with a first down. A touchdown would have delivered a cover to Chiefs backers regardless of what number they yielded. K.C. settled for a field goal that left the final margin a half-tick under 16.5.

Nothing topped the case of indigestion that was inflicted upon some who played the Cowboys-Giants game on Thanksgiving Day.

Dallas was favored by 10, with a total of 45.5. Bettors on the Cowboys and the Under were ready to toast a win as their team led 28-13. Then New York's rickety offense drove 64 yards for a TD with 0:08 left, flipping the ATS verdict to the underdog and the total to an Over. Final score: 28-20.  

How The Books Fared

Several sportsbooks ended the weekend with smiles, according to ESPN. It noted that the upsets by Cleveland and Jacksonville were fruitful for the books.

However, a shortage of surprising results usually means wins for the favorites-loving public, which kept the books from raking it in overall.

At Caesars, most bettors flocked to Miami and Carolina, both ATS winners, but also to defeated teams Seattle, New Orleans and Tennessee. The overwhelming support for the Chiefs produced mixed results because of line movement.

On the totals side, five games generated backing from at least fourth-fifths of the money. The W's came from Unders by Bucs-Browns and Saints-49ers. Those were offset by L's from Bears-Jets Under, Broncos-Panthers Over and Ravens-Jaguars Under.

Week 13 Line Moves

Bettors are losing faith in the Bucs. The most significant shift is the Monday Nighter, with Tampa Bay's favoritism falling from 6.5 to four, even though New Orleans is coming off a shutout loss.

The reeling Broncos are now getting 8.5 from Baltimore, up from 6.5, even with the Ravens stumbling on Sunday.

The lines for two other favorites grew by 1.5 points. Seattle stands at -4.5 against the doubly reeling Rams. The Browns are -7 against Houston as, in another instance of truth stranger than fiction, Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson ends a season-long suspension and confronts his former team.

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Mike Tierney

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