Wagering interest and partisan excitement greets West Virginia online sports betting fans for NFL Week 12.
The benefit of not having a home NFL team brings four potential playoff teams to the front burner for Mountain State fans. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Washington Football Team have relevance in the standings and in West Virginia.
That converges into a loaded Week 12 lineup.
The 10-0 Steelers, 8-2 against the spread, are on a mission for the ages. They host the 6-4 Ravens to complete a Thanksgiving Day triple-header. After the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions open the schedule, Washington plays the Dallas Cowboys in a late-afternoon first-place battle in the NFC East. And then comes this night game.
Pittsburgh features an excellent offensive line, a strong runner in James Conner, and an avalanche of receiving targets. Juju Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, James Washington, and star-studded rookie Chase Claypool are legitimate anytime-scoring props. The question each week is selecting who will obtain the spotlight. They take turns enjoying big games.
Claypool is a candidate for the league’s top rookie, amassing an NFL first 10 touchdown pass receptions in 10 games. And he didn’t even start the season as a regular.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger continues to underscore his value. The Steelers were 8-8 when he was sidelined with an injury for most of last year. This season, he makes quick decisions, unloads the ball quickly, and still throws as good a deep pass as anyone in the game.
The aggressive Pittsburgh defense delivered four interceptions and four sacks in a 27-3 Week 11 road victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Steelers are special.
The Ravens nearly defeated the Steelers in Week 6, securing a 17-7 halftime lead. But Pittsburgh’s defense set up 14 points, and the Steelers prevailed 28-24 in that game. Since then, Pittsburgh is 3-0, and the Ravens 1-2. The teams are moving in opposite directions. Will that stay the case?
Baltimore lost an overtime heartbreaker to the Tennessee Titans last week, despite a strong passing game from Lamar Jackson. Defenses are doing a better job of containing his big runs this year.
Jackson did a better job utilizing tight end Mark Andrews against the Titans. That’s a recipe he should repeat.
The Ravens are fighting for their playoff lives, having lost three November games after going 14-2 last year.
Washington — the team fights for top spot
Never mind the slow start. Never mind the jokes about the NFC Least, which, honestly, is funny. All four teams have three wins this year, and the entire division has 12, just two more than the Steelers.
Washington is one of the 3-7 teams just off the pace of the 3-6-1 but fading Philadelphia Eagles.
Washington would gain first place with a victory over the Dallas Cowboys, whom they stomped 25-3 earlier in the year.
Antonio Gibson had a touchdown for the fourth straight week when Washington defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 20-9. Watch the yardage and scoring props for him. But bettor beware — he was limited in practice this week with an ankle issue.
Wide receiver Terry McLaurin remains a deep threat. Alex Smith is a steady hand at quarterback.
Washington does not have a road victory this season but could easily have two. It suffered heartbreaking losses to the New York Giants and Detroit Lions.
The Browns are 7-3 and find themselves free from weather elements after three straight nasty weekends at home when they visit the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Cleveland’s offense, which scored 30 points four straight weeks earlier in the season, obtained 29 totals in the last three games, as winds between 30-50 mph and rain hampered the passing game.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield has not thrown a touchdown in three straight games, but the ground game has been dominant. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt give the Browns the best running game in the NFL. Chubb-to-score props are popular, but, near the end zone, it’s Hunt who has been given the most significant carries.
Don’t be surprised if Mayfield tosses one or two scores, and wide receiver Jarvis Landry is due.
What becomes of the Cincinnati Bengals, who received heartbreaking news with the loss of rookie quarterback Joe Burrow for the season?
Burrow had changed the attitude of the Bengals, who were 7-2 against the spread before the loss to Washington. The Bengals play out the string and have an immediate impact on the NFC East race.
They host the New York Giants, winners of two straight, as a decided underdog.
Monday night wrap
The weekend won’t be complete until the Philadelphia Eagles host the Seattle Seahawks, as an underdog.
The 3-6-1 Eagles are scuffling and the sentiment is that they won’t be in first place after this game.
WV sportsbooks look around the league
Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady? The WV sports betting crowd is going to love that. The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet Sunday in one of the league’s top games.
It’s a good matchup of names, but Brady has been under-achieving in big games this season. He threw two second-half picks, including bombs that were nowhere near a receiver, and failed on a fourth down in Los Angeles Rams territory in Monday’s 27-24 loss.
The Bucs can’t get over the hump against the league’s top-tier teams, despite being 7-4.
The East-leading Buffalo Bills endured an agonizing bye after losing on a last-second Hail Mary to the Arizona Cardinals and host the Los Angeles Chargers, who just toppled the still-winless New York Jets.
The Bills hold a one-game lead and an earlier-season victory over the Miami Dolphins, who had been blazing hot before losing to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Miami replaced an ineffective Tua Tagovailoa with Ryan Fitzpatrick late in that contest. Will Fitzpatrick get the starting nod this week against the New York Jets, who are winless but have covered in three of their last four?
The Indianapolis Colts-Tennessee Titans rematch comes two weeks after the Colts won the first game, 34-17 in Tennessee. The Titans roared back to beat the Ravens in OT, and the Colts overcame a 14-point deficit against the Green Bay Packers. In-game sports betting fans: in every week of the season, a team has come back from a double-digit deficit to triumph.
The red-hot New Orleans Saints, winners of seven straight, take on the Denver Broncos. Drew Brees is sidelined. Taysom Hill replaced him in New Orleans’ 24-9 win over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11.
Saints coach Sean Payton is 6-0 last year and this season when the injured Drew Brees is out.