The (Under) Dogs Are Barking: Week 12

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee (USA TODAY Sports)

We’re in the midst of the best football week of the year, one that got started off in spectacular fashion (from my standpoint). The Packers were the only underdog to hit on the Thursday and Friday slates and only six of the remaining games have spreads of three or greater, meaning the pickins’ are slim.

Fear not, I found three that I expect to hit.

Giants +3 ½ vs. Patriots
Yes, I know that Bill Belichick traditionally feasts on rookie quarterbacks, but these Patriots in no way resemble any reincarnation of any recent New England team. At 2-8, they’re right in the wheelhouse to have an opportunity to draft a franchise altering quarterback. Winning should not be a priority.

Of course, Belichick may not be around by draft time and has no interest in sullying his Hall of Fame resume, but his team isn’t good enough to be favored by anyone, let alone by more than a field goal. They’re coming off their bye and have been secretive about whether Mac Jones will be under center, or if Bailey Zappe will get the call. Neither will have the Giants quaking in their cleats.

Rookie Tommy DeVito shocked the world with his productive performance in a win in Washington last week. That boost in confidence should carry over against a Patriots defense that’s been ravaged by injuries. In what should be a low scoring game, I’m happy to take the three and a hook and the home team.

Raiders +10 vs. Chiefs
KC is out for blood after their home loss to the Eagles on Monday night, but they have a few things working against them as they try to get their offense back on track. First off, they still have the same butter fingered receivers on their roster that we saw on Monday night.

The Raiders have gotten a boost from rookie QB Aiden O’Connell, but the offense is still a work in progress. It’s the defense that’s taken a monumental leap since Antonio Pierce replaced Josh McDaniels as head coach. With the Chiefs on a short week going on the road for a divisional matchup, ten points seems a little rich. My only caveat: if pass rushing stud Maxx Crosby is inactive (he’s listed as questionable), I’m getting off this pick. If he’s out, I’ll pivot to the Bills catching three in Philly.

Chargers +3 ½ vs. Baltimore
I’m going with the more desperate team here. LA’s flickering playoff
hopes may come down to winning this one. A loss may dash those hopes and send their head coach packing. The Ravens may just be the AFC’s best team and will finally get to rest up, with their bye coming next week.

With that in mind, John Harbaugh may play a little more conservatively when it comes to Lamar Jackson, who tweaked his ankle in last week’s win against the Bengals and seems to always get hurt right around this time of the year.

The Chargers have been money against the spread as underdogs and struggle, as they did last week, as favorites. They’ll have to deal with thousands of Ravens fans, as well as the absence of Joey Bosa, but they’re a team that surprises you when you least expect it. They’re adept at finding ways to lose and this week may be no different, but I’ll take the three and a half and believe that Justin Herbert can keep it close.

Last Week: 1-2
Season: 17-15-1

Green Bay Packers
This One Hurt, But the Pain Wasn’t Acute
By Dave Sinykin - Jan 22, 2024
Green Bay Packers
Say Cheese!
By Dave Sinykin - Jan 19, 2024
Green Bay Packers

How ‘Bout Them Packers?!!

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee (USA TODAY Sports)

I know I’ve had more fun watching a playoff football game over the years. We Packer fans have been blessed to watch some amazing Super Bowls and […]

Continue Reading