Updated NFL MVP Odds for Week 12: Patrick Mahomes Leads the Pack

Happy Wednesday football fans. Before I begin, I’d like to take a moment to wish everyone and their families a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Last week, the list of players in the running for the NFL MVP award were Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Patrick Mahomes. Both Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes led their respective teams to victory, but Rodgers and the Packers came up a bit short despite jumping out to a 14-point lead. Despite that, did Rodgers do enough to close the gap with the other two QBs ahead of Week 12?

Third-Best NFL MVP Odds: Aaron Rodgers (+500). Last Week (+300)

Aaron Rodgers continues to hold down the third spot on our weekly list. Going up against one of the better defensive units in the league — the Indianapolis Colts — everyone knew that Rodgers would have his work cut out for him.

Thanks to three touchdown passes in the first half, the Packers appeared to be on their way to an easy victory, as they led 28-14 at the break. However, the Colts’ defense came to life in the second half, and in a big way. Not only did Indianapolis hold the Packers to just three points after the break, they also forced a fumble in OT, which set up Rodrigo Blankenship’s game-winning field goal, enabling the home team to escape with a 34-31 victory.

Rodgers finished 27-of-38 for 311 yards and three touchdowns. While Rodgers eclipsed the 300-yard mark for the third straight outing, it wasn’t enough to prevent his team from losing in heartbreaking fashion.

Second-Best NFL MVP Odds: Russell Wilson (+300). Last Week (+225)

Russell Wilson was the frontrunner in the MVP race for most of the season. But thanks to a stretch of three losses in four games, along with 10 turnovers in those losses, Chef Wilson has been sitting at the No. 2 spot on our weekly list over the past couple of weeks.

Coming off his worst performance of the season – a 23-16 loss against the Los Angeles Rams—Wilson bounced back to help lead his team to a 28-21 victory against the Arizona Cardinals. While Wilson had a somewhat modest outing – throwing for just 197 yards – he made enough plays to keep his team in a division race that is heating up quickly.

Also, being that the Seahawks’ next four opponents have a combined record of 8-28-1, Chef Wilson still has an opportunity to make up some ground in this race.

The NFL MVP Odds Favorite: Patrick Mahomes (-121). Last Week (+180)

Patrick Mahomes took over the top spot in the league MVP a week ago and remains the frontrunner for the second straight week. Going into the Week 11 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders, Mahomes and Co. were looking for a measure of revenge against the team that handed them their only loss of the season back in Week 5.

Thanks, to a late-game drive, the Kansas City Chiefs came away with a 35-31 victory. Mahomes completed 34 of 45 passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns. After totaling just two 300-yard games during the team’s first seven games, Mahomes has thrown for at least 300 yards in each of his last three outings. He has also thrown nine TD passes and just one interception during that stretch. Simply put, Mahomes will be difficult to catch if he and the Chiefs’ offense continue playing at this level.  

Best Betting Picks for NFL Week 11: Doubling Down on the Packers, Chiefs, and Steelers

Happy Thursday football fans and welcome back to another edition of our best picks column. There was an interesting trend that unfolded in Week 10; four teams that finished below .500 last season posted victories. The list includes the Cleveland Browns, Las Vegas Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, and the Miami Dolphins. Not only that, but these teams are a combined 24-12 this season and they’re all in the playoff hunt. This just proves that anything can happen on any given Sunday.

Last week, I predicted wins for the Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, and the Green Bay Packers, but hedged my bets by saying the Ravens wouldn’t cover while the Saints and Packers would win big. Although the Saints did win big while losing Drew Brees, the Packers only beat the fiesty Jaguars by four.

As a result, I posted a 2-1 mark to improve to 23-6 on the season. The picks for the upcoming week will be somewhat challenging as there is only one matchup that offers a double-digit point spread. So, without further delay, here’s a look at my best bets for Week 11.

Week 11 NFL Best Bet No. 1: Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts

This is a classic game featuring one of the better offensive teams in the league squaring off against one of the better defensive units in the league. The Packers are ranked third in scoring (30.8 points per outing), sixth in total yards (395.8), and passing yards per game (274.3). Green Bay also falls just outside the top-10 in rushing, averaging 121.4 yards per contest on the ground.

As good as the Packers are from an offensive standpoint, the Colts’ defense is just as formidable. Indy has allowed the second-fewest passing yards per contest (198.7) and they are ranked third in rushing yards allowed per contest (91.8). Along with that, the Colts are the top team in the NFL in yards per play (4.8) and third in rushing yards per attempt (3.5). Talk about a difficult pick.

Despite the Colts’ stout defensive stats, I’m predicting that Rodgers and the Packers will have another good outing in what should be a competitive game.

James’ pick: Packers win by a field goal

Week 11 NFL Best Bet No. 2: Kansas City Chiefs (-7) at Las Vegas Raiders

For those of you who have been following my picks this season, it is no secret that KC is one of the teams that I go with a lot. And I don’t make any apologies for doing so, either. After all, they are the defending champions and they are 8-1.

However, this matchup against the Raiders could be a shot at redemption for the reigning NFL champs; the Raiders handed the Chiefs their only loss – a 40-32 victory back in Week 5.

There are two reasons I’m going with the Chiefs here: First, they are a perfect 4-0 since losing to the Raiders and they have won those games by an averae of 16 points per contest. Second, Andy Reid is 18-3 in his career coming off a bye week. Considering those factors, I’m picking the Chiefs to split the season series in a close one.

James’ pick: Chiefs get revenge but don’t cover the spread

James’ NFL Best Bet of Week 11: Pittsburgh Steelers (-10) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Remember when I mentioned there was one matchup on this week’s slate of games that featured a double-digit favorite? Well, this is the one. On one side of the coin, we have a Jaguars’ squad that has dropped eight straight games. Sure, they hung tough with the Green Bay Packers but they’re still just 1-8 on the season.

Furthermore, the Steelers are a top-five team in passing yards allowed per contest (211.3) and they are a top-10 squad in rushing yards given up per outing (106.8). On top of that, the Steelers have the third-best scoring defense, giving up just 19 points per contest.

Based on how they played against Green Bay, the Jaguars will make this a competitive affair. In the end, though, the Steelers will prevail and remain the lone unbeaten team in the NFL.

James’ pick: Steelers win AND cover the spread

Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts Betting Preview

Sunday, November 22, 2020, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, 4:25 p.m. ET

Packers at Colts Betting Preview: Packers (+2,5/-105), Colts (-2.5/-115)

Green Bay Packers

Co-owners of the NFC’s best record despite steady injury concerns, the Packers (7-2) may have close to a full complement at their disposal. Receiver Allen Lazard was activated from injured reserve this week following his recovery from recent core-muscle surgery, while fellow receiver Davante Adams is expected to suit up after aggravating a previous ankle injury in the Packers’ 24-20 home win against Jacksonville in Week 10.

The Packers have continued winning despite a shaky defense that is tied for 30th in the NFL with 0.8 turnovers forced per game and 27th in opponent passer rating. The unit could receive a boost, however, as starting cornerback Kevin King is expected back after missing the past five games with a quad injury.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers ranks second in the league with 26 touchdown passes and has thrown just three interceptions while completing 67.8 percent of his throws.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts grabbed the AFC South tiebreaker lead with last week’s 34-17 road victory at Tennessee, and enter Sunday’s meeting with a few extra days of rest after beginning the Week 10 slate on a Thursday.

Indianapolis (6-3) excelled down the stretch against the Titans behind a no-huddle attack piloted by veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, who was 29-for-39 passing for 308 yards and a touchdown. Rivers again will look to utilize his check-downs when needed.

Running back Nyheim Hines leads the Colts with 33 receptions as the team tries to generate a more consistent running attack. After suffering their first home loss of the season against Baltimore in Week 9, the Colts will look to keep winning behind a top-ranked defense led by linebacker Darius Leonard.

Packers at Colts Betting Pick for Week 11

The Colts seem to fare as Rivers does. He has 10 touchdowns and two interceptions in the team’s six victories, but just one TD against five interceptions in the three losses.

If the Packers’ jelling pass rush and improving secondary can bait Rivers into a pick or two, that could be the difference in what shapes up as a shootout in Indy.

Packers at Colts Betting Pick: Packers 34, Colts 28

Packers at Colts Best Bet for Week 11

Rodgers with a (mostly) full stable of playmakers for a game played indoors? That figures to favor the Packers despite the hefty ranking of the Indy ‘D.’

Look for the teams to trade their share of points, yards and gutsy play-calls. Coaches Frank Reich of Indianapolis and Matt LaFleur of Green Bay both aren’t shy about going for it on fourth down.

Packers at Colts Best Bet: OVER 51 total points (-115)