NFL Odds Week 12: Top NFL over/under bet this week

The NFL season has flown by as we are now at Week 12 of the season, and the PFN NFL betting team returns with some free picks to increase your bankroll on Sunday. Here we will shift our focus to the totals bets that the team has determined to be best bets this Sunday. Our over/under best bet winning streak ended last week as the over in the Saints vs. Falcons game failed to hit thanks to the Falcons’ inability to move the ball, but I am determined to right the ship again with a Week 12 NFL over/under best bet winner.

NFL Odds Week 12 Over/Under Best Bet: Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings over 48.5 | -105

This total opened up at 50.5, which both myself and my simulation model believed was too low for these two teams prone to high scoring games playing in a dome. However, for whatever reason, this total dropped to its current number, cementing this play’s spot as my Week 12 NFL over/under best bet. Perhaps bettors believe that this Panthers defense has figured it out following a shutout of the Detroit Lions last Sunday.

Still, I think this outing was more of a statistical anomaly rather than the new norm for this defense. For the Vikings, their arsenal of weapons on offense and porous defense has led to an over/under record of 7-3 in favor of the over, and there is no reason to suggest that these high scoring affairs stop this Sunday.

These aren’t your father’s Vikings

During the late ’60s and early ’70s, this Vikings defense was the most feared in the NFL. However, we do not even have to look that far back to see the last time this Vikings defense dominated the NFL, as the 2017 Vikings defense also was the best in the NFL in terms of points and yards allowed.

But just three years later and this Vikings defense is one of the worst in the NFL, allowing the sixth-most points per game in the NFL at 27.8. Injuries to Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter have been a massive hit to this pass rush that was supposed to help this inexperienced secondary following the departure of Xavier Rhodes.

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Instead, these Vikings’ corners have been picked on mercilessly as these young players try to find their footing in the NFL. The injury-riddled Vikings relied on cornerbacks Kris Boyd, Jeff Gladney, and Chris Jones in Week 11 versus the Cowboys and allowed Andy Dalton to throw for over 300 yards.

I think very little of Andy Dalton as a passer, being that the last time we saw him before Week 11, he led the Cowboys to just 10 points and only 266 yards on a whopping 54 attempts. The Vikings may get cornerback Cameron Dantzler back from injury, but he is not a significant boost from what they already have.

Watch out for Teddy Bridgewater vs. the Vikings

I wholeheartedly believe this Panthers offense led by Teddy Bridgewater will feast on this second-rate secondary for the Vikings. Bridgewater has exceeded my expectations for him as he has consistently found his three-headed monster of a receiving group in Robby Anderson, DJ  Moore, and Curtis Samuel.

Bridgewater sports a 98.7 rating thus far and is completing 72% of his passes. While his yardage and touchdown numbers aren’t wowing anybody, he seems always to make the right play to keep the chains moving. Expect him to get it to his playmakers in space and allow them to do the rest against this defense that simply does not have the personnel to keep up.

Not everything is different about these 2020 Vikings

While this Vikings defense looks nothing like the Vikings of old, the offense has some players that remind us of the good old days for the purple and gold. Dalvin Cook has looked like the best running back in the league in 2020, eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark in Week 11 despite missing one game to a groin injury. He looks every bit of Adrian Peterson in the late 2000s and is one of the main reasons I made this my over/under best bet as I looked over the NFL Week 12 odds.

Related | NFL Week 12 Picks, Predictions: Betting lines, odds, and scores

While they have a long way to go to be Cris Carter and Randy Moss, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen have looked phenomenal in 2020. We already knew Thielen had what it takes to be a productive receiver in the league, but there was worry about how he would do as the focal point of the offense with Stefon Diggs going to Buffalo.

We may never get the answer to how Thielen would do as a true WR1 because Justin Jefferson stepped into that role from day one, creating a great tandem at Kirk Cousins’ disposal. Jefferson appears to be the steal of the 2020 draft, being the most productive rookie receiver thus far despite being the fifth receiver selected.

Can the Vikings’ offense take advantage of a weak Panthers’ defense?

With the Vikings plentiful with weapons on offense, I expect them to thrash this Panthers defense that had allowed 439 yards per game in the previous four games before their shutout of the Lions. I believe that game was an anomaly that highlights the Lions’ offensive ineptitudes rather than the Panthers’ defensive prowess.

Like the Vikings, this Panthers’ defensive struggles are primarily at the cornerback position. They opted not to re-sign their top corner from 2019 in James Bradberry, and as a result, they have relied on the duo of Rasul Douglas and Donte Jackson on the outside. They have been mediocre, and I expect them to struggle against this Vikings offense.

NFL Odds Week 12 Over/Under Best Bet: Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings over 48.5 | -105

I expect the Panthers to commit to stopping this formidable rushing attack, especially because this Panthers rushing defense is 24th in yards allowed per rush. This Vikings offense is dynamic enough to take what the defense gives them, and I do not believe the Panthers can play balanced and expect to stop this Vikings offense.

Instead, they will have to decide to sell out to take away either the run or the pass, and the Vikings will burn them with whatever they do not choose to stop. I expect a shootout in the dome at U.S. Bank Stadium between these two robust offenses and struggling defenses, so the over is the play for the NFL Week 12 over/under best bet.

Follow Drew @DHaynesPFN and Pro Football Network @PFN365 on Twitter for all the best betting advice for the 2020 NFL season.

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