NFL odds and lines, Week 12: Titans vs. Raiders 2017

Despite sitting with 4-6 records, the Raiders and Titans are still in the thick of the AFC playoff race. Both teams are one game back in the wild card chase and the winner on Sunday could be tied for the No. 6 seed. The oddsmakers give Oakland a slight edge with the Raiders a 1.5-point favorite in the opening line, according to OddsShark.com.

Our experts at SBNation.com have a 4-2 split going in favor of the Texans, with Ryan Van Bibber and Stephen White rolling deep with Jacksonville. At ESPN.com, only Mike DItka believes the Jaguars will win out of the network’s 13-man panel.

Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News is a believer in Houston, while five of the eight men of CBSSports.com have Jacksonville covering the 10.5-point spread, but only Ryan Wilson has it winning.

The good news is that Adrian Peterson is going to play in this one. The bad news is that Christian Ponder is going to play too, so is Scott Tolzien, the Packers backup quarterback. Adrian Peterson almost single-handedly beat the Packers last season, rushing for a 199 yards and one touchdown (plus a receiving touchdown) in a Week 17 win.

Green Bay is the better team, quarterbacks being a push in this case. But are you really confident enough in the Packers without Aaron Rodgers to win by five points?

Quarterback issues remain a common problem in Cleveland, but the Browns failed on Sunday largely because they couldn’t win the turnover battle. The depth of the team needs to be overhauled, and it’s something that will happen slowly over time. Blocked punts for touchdowns and fumbles are products of a team that needs more experience, as it’s often easy to overlook how young this team is.
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Fantasy Fallout: Adrian Peterson is back, but he’s got nothin’ on Kenneth Farrow

What a story it would be: Adrian Peterson, one of the NFL’s all-time great running backs, makes an unlikely return from a knee injury in Week 15 — and leads your team to a fantasy championship.

Unfortunately, that scenario seems a little far-fetched even in a fantasy world. Yes, Peterson declared Friday that he is “ready to roll” and plans to return for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. And ESPN’s Bob Holtzman reported that one of Peterson’s teammates said he “looks like Adrian” in practice.

But expectations have to be low for a guy who has not played since Week 2 and who was averaging only 1.6 yards per carry at the time for a rushing offense that ranks last in the NFL with 73.4 yards per game.

ESPN Vikings reporter Ben Goessling said that if Peterson does in fact play this week, the Vikings will likely work him in slowly. He could play more in Week 16, but that might depend on whether the Vikings are still in playoff contention.

“Peterson says he’s playing Sunday, but the Vikings have cautioned this week that he’s got some things to get reacquainted with, particularly considering the fact Pat Shurmur wasn’t the offensive coordinator the last time Peterson played,” Goessling said. “The Vikings have been in the shotgun two-thirds of the time since Shurmur took over for Norv Turner, and shotgun sets haven’t exactly been Peterson’s preferred method of getting the ball. Still, the Vikings are likely to use him for the potential of explosive plays.”

The Bears are getting top receiver Alshon Jeffery back from a four-game suspension. ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson said the cold weather also could limit Chicago’s passing attack. Other than that, he would trust Jeffery to make an immediate impact. Jeffery also needs to develop a rapport with backup QB Matt Barkley — who estimated that he had never thrown a practice pass to Jeffery before this week. But Jeffery predicted this week that, “It won’t take long. We’ll get it together.”

The Miami Dolphins also have to get used to life with a new quarterback in the wake of Ryan Tannehill’s knee injury. ESPN Dolphins reporter James Walker said he thinks almost all of Miami’s skill-position players will be negatively impacted, because the team will likely throw the ball less and because teams will likely stack eight men in the box even more than they already have against RB Jay Ajayi — “which is saying something.” But one player Walker said he could see benefitting is WR Kenny Stills. “He is Miami’s deep threat, and the long ball is [new QB Matt] Moore’s best throw,” Walker said. “I don’t see Moore throwing it 40 times, but there will be a few opportunities to hit big plays over the top.”

ESPN Bengals reporter Katherine Terrell warned fantasy owners against rushing to put receiver A.J. Green back in their lineups. Green is listed as doubtful after returning to practice this week from his hamstring injury. A source told ESPN’s Holtzman that Green is targeting next week for his return. Terrell said Bengals rookie WR Tyler Boyd would be a better option this week — though it’s not a great matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.