We're rolling now. Back-to-back 4-1 weeks in the SuperContest have made up some ground, though the Circa Sports Million picks have been just 3-2 in each of the last two weeks. 5-0 certainly seemed like it should've been in play, but roughly two minutes after I locked in my picks Lamar Jackson was downgraded to questionable and eventually did not play due to illness. The Ravens still won and covered the closing number but fell short of the contest lines of -5 and -4.5. The pick we highlighted at the top of this column last week came through in a big way, with the Texans winning outright despite being double-digit underdogs. I have a strong play in their game this week as well, which I'll get into below.
I've been SportsLine's No. 1 NFL expert over the last four years, going 354-292-22 against the spread in particular during that stretch. I've also delivered a 57.1 percent hit rate on my SuperContest picks over the last six seasons, which is exactly what you're getting below. And that run includes two finishes in the money, including finishing 18th out of 2,748 entries back in 2017.
If you're a SportsLine subscriber, you can get all my picks, which in a typical NFL week number in the double digits, at the same time as I make them by downloading the app and signing up for alerts on my expert page. That's crucial, as you might not have access to the same lines from the Las Vegas contests, which don't move after they're posted mid-week. This week, I'm fading a team coming off a rare win and backing another one of the worst teams in the league: the New York Jets +2.5 vs. the Houston Texans.
The Texans are 5-5 ATS this year, but that's because they're usually pretty big underdogs. Just twice this year have they closed shorter than eight-point 'dogs: Week 1 at home against the Jaguars, in a line that clearly didn't make sense on its face; and in the game before their bye, when they lost by eight as four-point 'dogs in Miami. This will be their first appearance as favorites this year, and that should fire off some alarm bells for you.
Why? Because the offense didn't play very well last week despite the win. They had a five-yard TD drive, a zero-yard FG drive and a minus-4-yard FG drive all off turnovers, with Tennessee basically gifting Houston those 13 points. The Texans offense managed just 190 yards, including 107 on the ground. If they hadn't been blessed with unbelievable turnover luck, that game would've likely ended with another loss.
I can't make a hugely positive case for the Jets. Their defense is atrocious, and rookie Zach Wilson is stepping back in under center after an unimpressive start to the season prior to his injury. But they did play the Dolphins pretty evenly in the box score last week, and Wilson has apparently looked much better in practice this week than he did during the early portion of the season. Now, that certainly may be coachspeak, but for a No. 2 overall pick, you have to figure odds are there will be improvement during his rookie season at some point. He couldn't be returning in a better spot, facing an awful team coming off a win. So I'm trusting the Jets to get the ball into the hands of their playmakers, particularly fellow rookie Elijah Moore, and get a W here.
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