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There is a free $5K Sportsbook Pool for NFL Week 12. You have to pick each of the games on Sunday against the spread, and the higher you finish on the leaderboard, the more money you earn.
Let’s take a look at all the contests slated for Sunday, including my five personal favorites.
Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots (-2.5)
The Pick: Patriots -2.5
I am the founding member of the “Patriots are overrated” fan club. Yes, they’ve won six of their past seven games, but none of those victories are particularly impressive. Yes, they’ve limited their past three opponents to just 13 total points, but they did it against the Panthers, Browns and Falcons.
Still, it’s hard to pass up this much line value.
The Patriots are up to -7.0 on DraftKings Sportsbook, but we can get them laying less than a field goal in this pool. That’s essentially like taking the Patriots and putting them into a teaser.
The Titans are also ridiculously banged up at the moment. They’re without Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown and Julio Jones on offense, and they’re missing Bud Dupree on defense. I still think this game ends up being competitive, but the Patriots are the correct bet in this pool.
Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5) @ New York Giants
The Pick: Eagles +2.5
The Eagles have put together some excellent performances recently. They went into Denver and beat the Broncos, 30-13, and they followed that up with a 40-29 demolition against the Saints last week.
Their rushing attack has been the biggest reason for their success. They’ve logged at least 176 rushing yards in four straight games, and they’ve racked up at least 216 yards in three of them.
They have another exploitable matchup this week vs. the Giants, who rank 30th in Football Outsiders rush defense DVOA. Unfortunately, they’re likely going to be without Jordan Howard, who has sat out practice to start the week. He’s been arguably their best running back this season, leading the position with 5.4 yards per attempt. They have some other players who can pick up the slack – namely Miles Sanders – but Howard’s emergence in the rotation has correlated directly with the Eagles’ uptick in rushing yards.
This line has also become a bit inflated. The Eagles are listed as 2.5-point road favorites in this contest, which suggests they’re approximately six points better than the Giants on a neutral field. That’s aggressive.
The Giants haven’t been a good team this season, but they have played a lot of competitive contests. That wasn’t the case last week vs. the Buccaneers, but there’s no shame in losing to the defending champs in their building. The Giants secured home wins over the Panthers and Raiders in their last two home contests, and they lost by just three points on the road vs. the Chiefs. They can keep this game competitive.
Carolina Panthers (-2.5) @ Miami Dolphins
The Pick: Dolphins +2.5
The big news last week for the Panthers was Cam Newton taking over as starting quarterback. He finished with excellent fantasy numbers – he had two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown – and he averaged 8.48 adjusted yards per attempt. That’s not an elite number, but it’s clear he’s going to be an upgrade over Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker.
Unfortunately, the Panthers’ defense continues to struggle. They were one of the best defensive teams in the league to start the year, but they allowed the Football Team to rack up 27 points last week. They also gained 369 yards, which was one of their top marks of the season.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins’ defense has played extremely well of late. They dominated in an upset win over the Ravens in Week 11, and they followed that up with a solid performance last week vs. the Jets. Overall, the Dolphins are in the midst of a three-game winning streak and they’re 3-0 against the spread in those contests.
Ultimately, I think the Dolphins are being undervalued in this spot. I’m not sure what the Panthers have done recently to deserve being road favorites.
Additionally, head coach Brian Flores has historically been one of the best in the business at covering games late in the year. Flores is elite against the spread regardless – he’s 25-17-1 ATS as a head coach – but he’s 17-5-1 in Week 8 or later. That’s good for a +46.6% return on investment.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5) @ Indianapolis Colts
The Pick: Colts +3.5
The Buccaneers managed to turn things around last week, snapping a mini two-game losing streak with a victory over the Giants. However, they’re going to face a tough test this week vs. the Colts.
The Colts got off to a dreadful start this season, but they’ve been rolling recently. They’ve won six of their past eight games, and their losses have been overtime defeats against the Ravens and Titans.
The Buccaneers are arguably the best team in football – they own the shortest Super Bowl odds on DraftKings Sportsbook and rank first in DVOA – but the Colts aren’t all that far behind. They rank eighth in DVOA, putting them ahead of teams like the Chiefs, Packers and Ravens.
The spread on this game suggests that the Bucs are nearly a full touchdown better than the Colts on a neutral field, and that feels like an exaggeration.
Los Angeles Rams @ Green Bay Packers (-1.5)
The Pick: Rams +1.5
This is another spread that has been on the move this week. The Packers opened up as small home favorites, but the Rams are now listed as two-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook. There ultimately isn’t much difference between +1.5 and -2.0, but it does suggest that there’s a bit of value with the Rams.
Aaron Rodgers is one of the best home quarterbacks in football, but this will be arguably his toughest test of the year. The Rams are a complete team, and they have the ability to beat you on offense and on defense. They’re also coming off their bye last week, so they have the edge from a preparation standpoint. Good coaches tend to thrive with additional time to prepare, so it should surprise no one that Sean McVay is 3-1 against the spread in that situation.
The Packers might also be without Aaron Jones for the second-straight week, which would be another point in the Rams’ favor.
Here’s who I’m targeting for the rest of the Sunday games. Remember, we’re looking to beat the competition and climb up the leaderboard, so I’ll be looking to gain leverage on the field and fade the public in situations where I don’t see a huge edge on the spread.
Atlanta Falcons (-0.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Falcons -0.5
New York Jets @ Houston Texans (-2.5)
Pick: Jets +2.5
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)
Pick: Steelers +3.5
Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5) @ Denver Broncos
Pick: Chargers -1.5
Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 49ers (-2.5)
Pick: 49ers -2.5
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens (-4.5)
Pick: Browns +4.5
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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