Week 12 NFL picks against the spread

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  • Week 12 NFL picks against the spread

    It's hard to believe Week 12 already has arrived in the NFL, which means there are only six weeks left of making game picks and predictions for the 2019 regular season. The prognostications both straight up and against the spread have been good so far, but a fast start needs to be backed up by a strong finish.

    This week, four more teams are on a bye, leaving us with another 14-game slate to navigate point spreads and game totals. After a good rebound last week, it leaves us wanting more success.

    Without further ado, here's our fearless forecast for the results of Week 12.

    MORE NFL WEEK 12: Updated playoff picture | Power rankings

  • 1 Game of the Week: Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers

    (49ers -2 1/2)

    Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

    The Packers will have Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones coming off a bye to attack a 49ers defense that has shown more vulnerability against offenses with athletic quarterbacks and quick backs. But Green Bay hasn't played the run well all season, and the diversity and versatility of San Francisco playing off that strength will be difficult to defend. The 49ers have more viable weapons among their backs, wideouts and tight ends for Jimmy Garoppolo than Matt LaFleur can effectively deploy for Rodgers on the road. In this big game under the spotlight, the Niners will barely have the Packers' number.

    Pick: 49ers win 30-27 and cover the spread.

  • 2 Game of the Midweek: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

    (Texans -3)

    Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, Fox, NFL Network, Amazon Prime Video

    The Colts don't play as well on the road, especially defensively. Neither team can expect to have much traditional rushing success, so it's all about the passing games. Deshaun Watson will buy time at home to deliver some deep balls, while Jacoby Brissett will be short on receivers who can stretch the field. Watson typically rebounds well from a bad game, and Houston's defense will overachieve a bit with the midweek emotional prime-time home bump.

    Pick: Texans win 24-20 and cover the spread.

  • 3 Upset of the Week Dallas Cowboys over New England Patriots

    (Patriots -7)

    Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox

    The Cowboys are built to beat the Patriots. They are loaded with downfield weapons and can be aggressive with a red-hot Dak Prescott, keeping New England's defense, which can struggle against the run, honest with a good dose of Ezekiel Elliott. The Patriots' offense is struggling to run the ball and push it deep, and Dallas is good at not giving up big plays. The only wild card in this game — and it's a big one — is Jason Garrett vs. Bill Belichick. The physical talent of the Cowboys and a fearless Kellen Moore are good upset elements, and they will make sure they start faster than Patriots. Tom Brady's team isn't set up to catch up.

    Pick: Cowboys win 27-24.

  • 4 Lock of the Week: New Orleans Saints over Carolina Panthers

    (Saints -10 1/2)

    Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

    The Saints had that nasty wake-up call at home two weeks ago against the Falcons, and they promptly went on the road to make amends by stomping a different division opponent, the Buccaneers. They won't take the Panthers lightly, even though Carolina also was undressed by Atlanta. The Saints have hinted at having a monster rushing performance with Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray, and it will come here, as the Panthers are built better to play the pass. Kyle Allen did play well during his first shot at the Saints last season, but his pass protection and decision-making will let him down for a third consecutive week.

    Pick: Saints win 38-14 and cover the spread.

  • 5 Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns

    (Browns -12)

    Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

    The Browns will be without Myles Garrett, but they will have all of the core players who have contributed to their two-game winning streak, led by Baker Mayfield and Joe Schobert. They will find ways to bring the heat on Ryan Fitzpatrick and get more takeaways. On the other side, Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. will have their best game together with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt tag-teaming for mighty closer work.

    Pick: Browns win 34-14 and cover the spread.

  • 6 Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills

    (Bills -4 1/2)

    Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

    The Broncos made the Vikings sweat until the very end as even bigger road underdogs last week with the teams trading some big plays in the passing game. This is a trickier road start for Brandon Allen in conference, and Josh Allen is known for having his best games against the weakest teams. Denver will try to make this as ugly as possible, and both defenses will be positioned to rule these matchups. Look for a battle of attrition to break out with field goals deciding it.

    Pick: Bills win 16-13 but fail to cover the spread.

  • 7 Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

    (Steelers -7 1/2)

    Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

    The Steelers' offense might be really shorthanded receiver-wise, and the matchup screams for a run-heavy, committee approach, even without James Conner. The Bengals showed enough pride and resistance in Oakland for us to think this won't be a repeat of the Ravens game, because the Steelers aren't explosive enough to run away from them. Still, rookie QB Ryan Finley against a swarming pass defense that has Minkah Fitzpatrick lurking doesn't sound good.

    Pick: Steelers win 20-13 but fail to cover the spread.

  • 8 New York Giants at Chicago Bears

    (Bears -7)

    Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

    The Bears' trust in Mitchell Trubisky has become a true mystery after the ending of the Rams game, but he tends to do well against bad pass defenses at home. Chicago will go heavy with its usage of running backs David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen to facilitate the performance of Trubisky, who will see things open up for Allen Robinson and the rest of his wideouts downfield. This is a tough November road assignment for Daniel Jones coming off a bye, as the Bears will contain Saquon Barkley and tee off on the rookie QB in the second half.

    Pick: Bears win 30-14 and cover the spread.

  • 9 Oakland Raiders at New York Jets

    (Raiders -2 1/2)

    Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

    This is a trap game for a 6-4, playoff-contending team going cross country to face a 3-7 team coming off two wins over lesser opponents. But the Raiders have traveled well in 2019, including a win in London over the Bears and a defeat of the Colts. It's easier to trust what Jon Gruden will do with his game plan around Derek Carr and Josh Jacobs than what Adam Gase calls for around Sam Darnold and Le'Veon Bell. Carr will pick apart a bad back seven to outduel Darnold.

    Pick: Raiders win 27-24 and cover the spread.

  • 10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

    (Falcons -4)

    Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

    The Falcons' defense has suddenly started living up to its pressure and coverage expectations for Dan Quinn with more healthy bodies and better communication. Jameis Winston was under plenty of duress last week and will be forced into more mistakes that take away from the big plays he makes against a shaky secondary. Matt Ryan will exploit the Bucs' bad defensive back seven with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley to best what Winston does with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

    Pick: Falcons win 30-27 but fail to cover the spread.

  • 11 Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins

    (Lions -3)

    Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

    Matt Patricia's defense has been a mess this season, but it gets a break this week against a rookie quarterback in Dwayne Haskins and an offense short on explosive players. Derrius Guice can give the Redskins a little more juice, but Jeff Driskel has proved to be a gamer, and Washington can't cover wideouts Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. The hosts seem checked out and playing more for next year and their next head coach.

    Pick: Lions win 24-20 and cover the spread.

  • 12 Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles

    (Pick 'em)

    Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

    The Seahawks are coming off a bye, so the travel to the East Coast won't be an issue here. Russell Wilson has the receivers to attack the Eagles' secondary downfield, assuming Tyler Lockett will be OK to play to boost DK Metcalf and a more involved Josh Gordon. Seattle got its pass rush going with Jadeveon Clowney and is now better at covering the middle of the field. Philadelphia's compressed passing game won't do much to keep up, especially with the running game being contained.

    Pick: Seahawks win 24-20.

  • 13 Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans

    (Titans -3)

    Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET p.m. ET, CBS

    The Jaguars have pinned their hopes of getting out of last place in a suddenly deep AFC South on Nick Foles. The Titans have become more vulnerable to downfield shots, but they also can control the clock and rush to another big total with Derrick Henry, who tends to dominate at home in November. (He smashed Jacksonville in a similar spot last season.) There's literally no Minshew Magic a second time in this matchup, as Foles will make a critical mistake late to seal his team's fate.

    Pick: Titans win 27-20 and cover the spread.

  • 14 Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Rams

    (Ravens -3)

    Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

    The Rams' defense has two elite players in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, but there are plenty of other holes that the Ravens can exploit with Lamar Jackson, their traditional running game and their intermediate passing game. Jared Goff is struggling, and he faces a top secondary that now has former Ram Marcus Peters behind a revamped pass rush. Jackson will come through with plenty of his usual action, and Goff won't come up with a reaction once Baltimore contains Todd Gurley.

    Pick: Ravens win 23-16 and cover the spread.

    Stats of the Week:
    Week 11 record straight up: 11-2
    Week 11 record against the spread: 6-7
    Season record straight up: 107-53
    Season record against the spread: 86-69
    Upsets of the Week: 5-6
    Locks of the Week: 5-6

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