NFL Week 12 Line Movement: Seahawks Downgraded Big After Another Loss

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on November 28, 2021

Each week during the 2021 NFL seasonTheLines will examine how the coming week’s NFL lines have changed relative to preseason or prior expectations. Often, early lines can give an objective look at teams’ relative talent levels, absent week-to-week recency bias when the weekend results take hold. Let’s take a look at NFL Week 12 spreads and see which numbers have changed and, potentially, why.

Tracked lines below come from FanDuel Sportsbook. Prices are -110, unless otherwise noted.

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The Two Biggest Week 12 NFL Spread Moves

Two NFL Week 12 spreads saw significant movement, the type of movement that has become less common in recent weeks. Remember, the market gains more information with each passing week about these teams, so drastic moves generally become an unusual occurrence as team strength becomes more of a known commodity.

GameLook-Ahead LineNov. 23, 5 p.m. ET
Tennessee Titans at New England PatriotsPatriots -3Patriots -6 (-114)
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football TeamSeahawks -3.5Football Team -1

Titans At Patriots

Last week in this space, we noted how the market had finally woken up to the idea that the Patriots are a really good team. Still, the correction proved too light as they went out and made the Falcons look like a practice squad team in a 25-0 rout.

So, what does the market do? Particularly after next opponent Tennessee does its best Jets impression with a five-turnover loss to Houston?

Violently correct the Patriots upward once again. This time, they’re priced like they’re a demonstrably better team than the Titans, who still lead the AFC.

At this point, it’s tough to argue the other way given that the Pats have looked like a Super Bowl contender for multiple weeks straight. The Titans, meanwhile, rank 21st in offensive EPA since losing Derrick Henry to injury.

Certainly, with a couple of star receivers, the Titans have enough to stay afloat on offense when healthy. But the continued absence and limited effectiveness of Julio Jones has rendered this group impotent.

Bill Belichick just showed how easily his team can strangle an offense with no weapons and the Titans look like another pretty easy target.

Seahawks At Football Team

One might have given the Seahawks and Russell Wilson a pass for their putrid performance in Green Bay. After all, they played against a solid team in a tough environment with Wilson having to knock off considerable rust.

It’s a lot tougher to explain away getting dominated at home by the short-handed Cardinals. When Colt McCoy walks into your stadium and thoroughly outplays your alleged All-Pro QB, you have some serious issues to sort out.

The evidence has piled up that this just isn’t a very good team. Opposing offenses have feasted on the secondary all year, and the offense, while capable of big plays on a whim, doesn’t possess the down-to-down consistency to move the sticks and sustain drives.

Thus, facing another middling team in Washington, the market has decided Seattle no longer deserves to be clear favorites.

More Week 12 Moves Through Key Numbers

In addition to those sizable moves, several other games moved through key numbers. We’ll briefly run through each.

GameLook-Ahead LineNov. 23, 5 p.m. ET
Chicago Bears at Detroit LionsBears -3.5Bears -3
Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas CowboysCowboys -7Cowboys -7.5
Philadelphia Eagles at NY GiantsEagles -2.5Eagles -3.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis ColtsBuccaneers -3.5Buccaneers -3
Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers49ers -2.549ers -3

Bears At Lions

Both teams involved in this game have QB situation in a bit of flux

The Lions started backup Tim Boyle last week to fairly disastrous results as he had 77 yards passing and a pair of picks. It sounds like starter Jared Goff is about 50-50 to play but they obviously have no reason to hurry him back.

While starting Boyle, it seems pretty likely the Lions are the worst team in the league by some distance.

Meanwhile, Chicago will plug Andy Dalton back in after Justin Fields sustained a rib injury. Again, they have no reason to risk worsening the damage in a lost season. Fields has been the worst high-volume starter in the NFL by Football Outsiders’ DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement metric). Dalton had a positive DYAR when he played.

So the line moved off a key number toward Detroit? This one is tough to parse unless the market seems certain Goff will return.

Raiders At Cowboys

Another slight move off a key number, the one toward Dallas also seems a bit odd.

Yes, they get LT Tyron Smith back from injury. And that’s pretty huge considering the drop-off they have experienced without him the past few years. But, does it really outweigh losing their top two WRs — Amari Cooper to COVID and CeeDee Lamb to concussion protocol?

That seems like a tough case to make, but the Raiders are indeed now getting the hook a week after both offenses muddled through ugly afternoon losses.

The Raiders sustained their second loss in three weeks where they easily outgained the opposition, and it’s fair to wonder whether that can continue. Dallas needs Cedrick Wilson and Noah Brown to hit the JUGS machine and cure their cases of the dropsies if they hope to cover a number like this against a capable offense.

Eagles At Giants

In a week where the Falcons got blanked and the Lions passed for 77 yards, you might not be out of line if you said the Giants had the worst offensive performance.

The offensive line got steamrolled by a short-handed Bucs pass rush, leading to 3.6 YPA through the air against a defense that has allowed the likes of Taylor Heinicke and Trevor Siemian to sustain drives on them in recent weeks.

The Eagles appear to have finally justified the betting market’s continued faith in them. They’ve won three of their last four, all convincingly, with the loss a respectable one to the Chargers. Philly has rounded into a solid team after leaning into their running game. DVOA agrees, ranking them 12th.

It counts as little surprise this one moved through 3.

Buccaneers At Colts

This line looked for all the world like it would be around Bucs -7 for the first couple of months of the season as the Bucs crushed weak opposition early and the Colts looked like a disappointment.

Then, the Bucs lost a couple of games to uninspiring opposition while the Colts reeled off five wins in six games. They beat several weaklings but also defeated the 49ers and Bills easily.

Suddenly, this looks like the marquee game of the week, or at least a co-headliner with Rams at Packers.

A strong Bucs effort on national TV probably helped keep this at -3, but nobody raised their profile more than Indy this week after they smashed Buffalo. The question is how much that run-centric attack translates to a Bucs team that nobody has run on. The Colts will surely hope middle stopped Vita Vea sits another week to clear the way for Jonathan Taylor.

Vikings At 49ers

A move on the Vikings at 49ers game doesn’t rate as much of a surprise as the Vikings continue to outperform market expectations. After all, they banked their second straight win over a contender. That number would have been three in a row had they not blown a 14-point advantage against Baltimore.

What’s that? The number moved toward the 49ers and onto a key number?

The Niners have been all over the place, stomping the Rams and also getting trounced by the Murray-less Cardinals recently. It’s surprising the market expresses this much confidence in them, so much so you could find the Vikings as high as +3.5 in some spots early this week.

A revitalized 49ers rushing attack meeting the worst-in-class Vikings run defense (last in adjusted line yards) may play a role here.

NFL Week 12 Spreads, Movement Tracker

GameLook-Ahead LineNov. 23, 5 p.m. ETNov. 28, 5 p.m. ET
Chicago Bears at Detroit LionsBears -3.5Bears -3N/A
Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas CowboysCowboys -7Cowboys -7.5N/A
Buffalo Bills at New Orleans SaintsBills -4.5Bills -5.5N/A
Tennessee Titans at New England PatriotsPatriots -3Patriots -6 (-114)Patriots -7 (-115)
NY Jets at Houston TexansTexans -2.5Texans -2.5Texans -2.5
Philadelphia Eagles at NY GiantsEagles -2.5Eagles -3.5Eagles -3.5 (-112)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis ColtsBuccaneers -3.5Buccaneers -3Buccaneers -3 (-112)
Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville JaguarsFalcons -1Falcons -1 (-112)Falcons -2 (-112)
Carolina Panthers at Miami DolphinsPanthers -1.5Panthers -1.5Panthers -1.5 (-112)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati BengalsBengals -3.5Bengals -4.5Bengals -3.5
LA Chargers at Denver BroncosChargers -2Chargers -2.5 (-118)Chargers -2.5 (-115)
Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers49ers -2.549ers -349ers -3 (-118)
LA Rams at Green Bay PackersPackers -1.5Packers -1 (-106)Rams -1.5
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore RavensRavens -4.5Ravens -3.5 (-114)Ravens -3.5 (-104)
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football TeamSeahawks -3.5Football Team -1Football Team -1 (-106)
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Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

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