NFL betting, odds: Bucs among top contest picks for Week 12

I’m in a NFL contest submitting five ATS picks each week. Through 11 weeks, those picks are 28-27. Picking a single winner can be tough, much less picking five, but it’s a good challenge. The lines are set spreads released each Wednesday and selections are submitted Friday night.

Here are my five ATS contest picks for Week 12 in the NFL.

Chargers -3 vs. Cardinals

Bolts quarterback Justin Herbert is sixth in the NFL in total passing yards. He’s been able to do this without having his best receivers on the field in Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. Williams is questionable, but even just having Allen in the lineup is beneficial against a Cardinals defense that is 30th in points allowed per play. Arizona has four wins this season. Those wins were against Raiders, Panthers, Saints and Rams — four teams with losing records that are a combined 13-29 on the season.

Packers +6.5 vs. Eagles

The playbook is out on how to contend against Philadelphia: Run the ball. Packers RB Aaron Jones will need to have a big day to keep Green Bay competitive. It is possible since Jones did rush for nearly 150 yards against the Bills a few weeks back. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers could also find some success, considering he seems to play well against NFC East opponents. Rodgers and the Packers had a competitive two-point loss against one of the league’s best defenses in Washington and followed that up with a win over Dallas. In those two NFC East matchups, Rodgers threw five touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Colts -2.5 vs. Steelers

Jeff Saturday may be a fine coach after all. With him, the Indianapolis Colts nearly upset the Eagles last week in a one-point loss as 6.5-point road underdogs. Colts quarterback Matt Ryan has not thrown an interceptions in back-to-back games, a first this season. Ryan has an opportunity to exploit a Steelers secondary that is last in passing yards allowed, 30th in opponent yards per pass attempt and last in yards allowed per completion. If the Colts' offensive line can keep Ryan upright long enough, there’s a big opportunity to run away with this.

Bucs -3.5 vs. Browns

I’m riding with the idea that Tom Brady and the Bucs have found something in winning back-to-back games. A key part is the Bucs' offense (32nd in rushing yards) maybe finding a ground game with Rachaad White, who rushed for 105 yards against the Seahawks in Week 10. The Browns in back-to-back games allowed the Miami Dolphins (27th in rushing offense) to rush for 195 yards and the Bills to rush for 171. White has a chance to have a huge game. With Tampa still possessing a top-five defense and now potentially a ground game to complement its offense, I like the Bucs to keep on winning.

Jaguars +4 vs. Ravens

Let’s look at the schedule. The Jaguars have played a pretty tough slate of opponents since Week 4, starting with the Eagles and facing the Chiefs last week. Jacksonville has stayed competitive, losing five of those games by one score, while holding Mahomes and the Chiefs to 27 points and forcing an interception. The chance is here for the Jaguars. Despite having a losing record, Jacksonville has a +11 point differential. The Jags remain competitive this week against a Ravens team that is 31st in fourth-quarter points allowed.