Week 12 NFL panel picks: Raiders a popular Thanksgiving underdog

NFL handicapper Adam Chernoff joins Follow The Money to break down the Thanksgiving night cap between the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints, and why he thinks you should go all in on the Bills in this one; Also weighs in on Jets vs. Texans.

Throughout the 2021 season, a panel of Sportsnet’s NFL contributors will preview each week’s slate of games from a gambling perspective. Staff writer/host Donnovan Bennett, staff writers Emily Sadler and Mike Johnston, plus fantasy writers Andy McNamara and Matt Marchese will pick one FAVOURITE, one UNDERDOG, one OVER, one UNDER, including their personal LOCK, as they attempt to beat the odds

U.S. Thanksgiving means a Thursday triple-header to start a stacked Week 12 in the NFL.

Bears-Lions, Raiders-Cowboys and Bills-Saints get things rolling before a Sunday slate chock full of playoff implications with Titans-Patriots, Steelers-Bengals, Buccaneers-Colts, Rams-Packers and Browns-Ravens among the anticipated games on tap.

The Sportsnet.ca panel went a combined 15-5 on their picks in Week 11. Can they repeat that success? Or will they end up looking like a bunch of turkeys this NFL Thanksgiving week?

Here are the Week 12 picks.

Donnovan Bennett, staff writer/host
2021 record: 25-19-0
Last week: 3-1-0
Locks: 6-5-0

🏈 Buccaneers (-3) at Colts
🏈 Seahawks (+1) at Washington
🏈 Bills at Saints UNDER 46.5
🔒 Raiders at Cowboys OVER 50.5

Dak Prescott is averaging 284 pass yards per game, which is good enough for sixth in the league. Derek Carr is averaging 304 pass yards per game good, enough for second in the league. Darren Waller has six or more receptions in two of the last three games. Expect an aerial shootout on Thanksgiving.

Emily Sadler, staff writer
2021 record: 24-19-1
Last week: 3-1-0
Locks: 5-6-0

🏈 Eagles (-3.5) at Giants
🏈 Browns (+3.5) at Ravens
🏈 Falcons at Jaguars UNDER 46.5
🔒 Bills at Saints OVER 46.5

Thursday's Thanksgiving triple-header is looking, well, maybe a little underwhelming considering it starts with a Bears-Lions matchup and also includes a Raiders squad looking pretty hopeless and riding a three-game losing skid. So, maybe it's just wishful thinking to select a high-scoring affair between the Bills and Saints to cap it all off. I'll be ever-so-thankful for a tight Browns-Ravens contest Sunday, too.

Mike Johnston, staff writer
2021 record: 21-23-0
Last week: 3-1-0
Locks: 5-6-0

🏈 Vikings at 49ers OVER 48
🏈 Jets at Texans UNDER 45
🏈 Colts (+3) vs. Buccaneers
🔒 Texans (-2.5) vs. Jets

This is my “respect to Tyrod Taylor, a regarded veteran QB still capable of a thrilling highlight or two each week, who has burned me on multiple bets this season because I underestimated him so there’s no way I’m doing that when he’s at home against the bleeping Jets” lock of the YEAR.

Andy McNamara, analyst/fantasy sports writer
2021 record: 25-19-0
Last week: 3-1-0
Locks: 3-8-0

🏈 Browns at Ravens OVER 46
🏈 Bears at Lions UNDER 41.5
🏈 Bills (-6) at Saints
🔒 Raiders (+7.5) at Cowboys

I do believe the Cowboys will come away with the W on Thursday afternoon, but not by more than a touchdown. Dallas's usually potent offence has had two prominent pieces chopped away with star receivers Amari Cooper in COVID protocol and Ceedee Lamb recovering from a concussion. Plus, the Raiders have proven they can score in bunches, eclipsing 26 points five times this season. That output has stalled recently, however Las Vegas is getting healthier and I'm making it my LOCK that they cover the spread.

Matt Marchese, radio host/producer/fantasy football writer
2021 record: 17-27-0
Last week: 3-1-0
Locks: 4-7-0

🏈 Panthers at Dolphins OVER 42
🏈 Rams at Packers UNDER 48
🏈 Raiders (+7.5) at Cowboys
🔒 Falcons (-1) at Jaguars

Atlanta has really struggled this season, there’s no question about that, but Jacksonville is just as bad. In a pick’em game I like the Falcons to bounce back on the road against a team they are 5-0 against the spread in their last five matchups.

Bonus stat: Vegas is 4-1 against the spread in Dallas in their last five meetings in the Lone Star State.

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