Being a successful sports bettor is not about betting on the best team but betting the best number.
Scoring the optimal odds for your wager can sometimes be a race to the window – or your mobile – to get the spread or total you want before it changes. Or, sometimes it’s a waiting game until just before kickoff, projecting how the public players will manipulate the numbers.
Covers’ Senior Industry Analyst Jason Logan gives you a heads-up on the best “Bet Now/Bet Later” games on the NFL Week 12 board, so download the new Covers Live App and punch these odds into your line alerts.
SPREAD TO BET NOW: DALLAS COWBOYS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-6, 46)
Being “America’s Team”, the Cowboys always attract action at the window from legions of Dallas backers blindly betting the Boys. And it would seem, even in a matchup with the defending Super Bowl champs, early money is siding with Dallas.
The Cowboys opened as big as +6.5 at New England in Week 12 and books have trimmed that down to +6 at most books. The juice on Patriots -6 is seeing a discount as low as -105 and there’s even a -5.5 on the board as of Monday afternoon.
New England hasn’t been overwhelmingly impressive this season and is coming off an ugly win over Philadelphia this past Sunday. Dallas also took a “fugly” victory over a Stafford-less Detroit squad but the offense is firing on all cylinders – something Tom Brady & Co. can’t say after scoring 20 and 17 points respectively in their last two games. If you like the Cowboys collect the points at the key number of six while it still stands.
SPREAD TO BET LATER: GREEN BAY PACKERS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-3, 45.5)
According to bookmakers, they expect money on the underdog Packers in this Sunday Night Football showdown. San Francisco hasn’t looked great in its last three games: two near losses to Arizona and a OT defeat at the hands of Seattle. Granted, the 49ers were dealing with dual-threat dynamos, Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson, who amounted for 154 yards rushing on 19 total carries in those three games.
Green Bay gunslinger Aaron Rodgers has plenty of weapons in his arsenal but he’s not as spry as those two QBs. The Cheeseheads are coming off a bye in Week 11, but before that squeaked out a win against Carolina (was McCaffrey in?) and fell to the L.A. Chargers.
San Francisco should get some bodies back in Week 12, with kicker Robbie Gould coming around and TE George Kittle listed at day-to-day. If you’re giving the Niners the nod, wait it out and see how low you can grab them under the key of a field goal.
TOTAL TO BET NOW: OVER 45.5 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT HOUSTON TEXANS
This number has made a significant dive, from as high as 47 to 45.5 points. Now might be the time to strike if you like the Over. For one: this is a primetime game and the public loves to root for high-scoring football in those night games, so action on the Over is expected.
The Colts will lean on the arm of QB Jacob Brissett more with RB Marlon Mack out with a hand injury. Indianapolis runs the ball on 47 percent of snaps but may have to resort to the air more often in this AFC South matchup, lending value to the Over. Brissett did enjoy his best game of the season at home to the Texans in Week 7, passing for three touchdowns on 326 yards - a game that scored 53 total points and topped the 46.5 Over/Under.
Houston just got cracked for 41 points versus Baltimore and hasn’t been that stout a defense in 2019, allowing 30 or more points four times this season. The Texans offense – namely Deshaun Watson – will be eager to shake a stinky 7-point showing in Week 11, in which the QB passed for only 169 yards and an interception. Beat the public to the window and bet this Over now.
TOTAL TO BET LATER: OVER 39 PITTSBURGH STEEELERS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS
This total is already on the way down, moving from 39.5 to 39, and I project it going even lower between now and kickoff Sunday. The Steelers mustered only seven points in a short week versus Cleveland last Thursday, which is fresh in everyone’s mind. But before that ugly result, Pittsburgh’s offense was finding its footing, averaging 24 points between Weeks 4 and 10 with second-stringer Mason Rudolph at the wheel.
The Bengals surrendered 27 points in a Week 4 loss at Pittsburgh, managing a lonely field goal in rebuttal. Cincinnati hasn’t been much better ever since, averaging only 15 points per outing in the six games since that dismal Monday night display.
That said, with a total this low, Over bettors may not need much more from Cincy to slide in above the number. The Bengals are notably better on offense at home - 17.5 points per home game versus 12.5 points per away game – and are 6-2-1 Over/Under in their previous nine games inside Paul Brown Stadium. If you like the Over, set your Covers Live App alert and see if you can get something in the 38-point range later in the week.