2012 Week 12 NFL picks

All 32 NFL teams already had their bye week and have played 10 out of 16 regular season games. Week 12 will start with 3 games on Thanksgiving, 2 early games and 1 night game in primetime. I’ll post the rest of my picks for Week 12 later on, but first, here are my picks for 3 Thanksgiving games:

Houston Texans @ Detroit Lions, Thursday 12:30 PM (ET). The Lions are at home for an early Thanksgiving game. Normally that should be a big advantage, but not for Detroit. The Lions are 0-8 in last 8 seasons. Schedule is one of the reasons for Lions’ poor record over the past 8 thanksgiving games as they’ve faced opponents with a 60-21 combined record. This year is no different, coming up for the Lions, 9-1 Houston Texans.
Pick: Texans 24-20, Result: Texans 34-31 (OT)
Against The Spread: Texans (-3.5) 

Photo: nfl.com

Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys, Thursday 4:15 PM (ET). Last year Dallas came away with a 20-19 win over the Miami Dolphins on Thanksgiving. I expect another close game this year when the Cowboys meet division rival Washington Redskins. RGIII will enjoy all the attention he’ll get on Thursday and will try to lead his team to a victory. QB Tony Romo is 5-0 on Thanksgiving games and I think he will improve to 6-0.
Pick: Cowboys 27-24, Result: Redskins 38-31
Against The Spread: Redskins (+3.5)

New England Patriots @ New York Jets, Thursday 8:20 PM (ET). Patriots scored 45, 37, and 59 points in their last 3 games, but before that the Jets held them to ‘just’ 29 points and forced them to play overtime at home. This time its New York with a home-field advantage. Still, the Jets don’t have enough on offense to win in the end, but will again play hard and keep this game close.
Pick: Patriots 28-21, Result: Patriots 49-19
Against The Spread: Patriots (-6.5)

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). I will assume QB Jay Cutler gets cleared and will play on Sunday. With him in the lineup Bears have a chance to win. Also look for Chicago’s defense to rebound after poor MNF performance. RB Adrian Peterson will have his day but eventually it will be QB Christian Ponder who’ll have to make plays and I’m not sure he will have success against Bears’ defense.
Pick: Bears 23-17, Result: Bears 28-10
Against The Spread: Bears (-5.5)

Oakland Raiders @ Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). I expect both quarterbacks to have a big day in this matchup. QB Carson Palmer will be extra motivated against his former team but it will be QB Andy Dalton who’ll have bigger day against Raiders’ defense with WR A.J. Green on his side.
Pick: Bengals 34-24, Result: Bengals 34-10
Against The Spread: Bengals (-7.5) 

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). The Browns lost a lot of games this season, but have been competitive in each game. Steelers will be without starting QB again and will have plenty of problems against Cleveland who plays solid on both sides of the ball. For the Browns this must be their highlight of the season. I’m going with a home team to upset the Steelers.
Pick: Browns 20-17, Result: Browns 20-14
Against The Spread: Browns (+3.5)  

Buffalo Bills @ Indianapolis Colts, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). The Colts are completely different team at home than on the road and so are the Bills. Both offenses will have success in this game but it is Indianapolis who will have home-field advantage. The Colts are due for a rebound after an embarrassing loss to New England in Week 11.
Pick: Colts 31-28, Result: Colts 20-13
Against The Spread: Bills (+3.5)

Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). QB Peyton Manning on one side and Brady Quinn on the other… The way the Chiefs are playing at the moment they really don’t stand a change against Denver Broncos. Behind QB Peyton Manning the Broncos will get their 6th straight victory and advance to 8-3.
Pick: Broncos 30-17, Result: Broncos 17-9
Against The Spread: Broncos (-10.5) 

Seattle Seahawks @ Miami Dolphins, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). Seattle Seahawks play much better at home than on the road and now have to travel cross-country to play early game in South Florida. That’s always tough to do, but the Seahawks had a chance to rest and prepare during bye week which will compensate for a long trip. Miami hasn’t played good lately and will have hard time scoring against Seattle’s defense.
Pick: Seahawks 23-13, Result: Dolphins 24-21
Against The Spread: Seahawks (-2.5) 

Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). With a 6-4 record Buccaneers are in a Wild-Card playoff race but have little chances to win NFC South division. Still, they will be a tough opponent for Atlanta who had a great start to the 2012 season but hasn’t played as good lately. QB Matt Ryan probably won’t duplicate his bad Week 11 performance. With lots of receiving weapons the Falcons should beat the Bucs and advance to 10-1.
Pick: Falcons 31-24, Result: Falcons 24-23 
Against The Spread: Falcons (-0.5)

Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). The Jaguars surprisingly showed some life on offense, what’s even more surprising is that it came against Houston’s defense. It will be interesting to see if the Jaguars can keep it up this week against the Titans. It will be close but I’m going with the Titans and their balanced offense.
Pick: Titans 34-30, Result: Jaguars 24-19
Against The Spread: Titans (-2.5) 

Baltimore Ravens @ San Diego Chargers, Sunday 4:05 PM (ET). Remember last season’s 34-14 loss the Ravens took against the Chargers? The Ravens probably remember it too well which must be bad news for the Chargers. QB Joe Flacco has a history of bad play on the road but this time I think he gets it done with a little bit of help from RB Ray Rice.
Pick: Ravens 27-24, Result: Ravens 16-13 (OT)
Against The Spread: Ravens (-0.5)

San Francisco 49ers @ New Orleans Saints, Sunday 4:25 PM (ET). After a rough start the Saints are playing much better and have improved on defense. Next for the Saint are the 49ers who beat up the Bears on MNF. Saints have a much better O-line and QB Drew Brees is no Jason Campbell either. Tough spot for the 49ers who will have hard time containing Brees and Co.
Pick: Saints 26-24, Result: 49ers 31-21
Against The Spread: Saints (+1.5)

St.Louis Rams @ Arizona Cardinals, Sunday 4:25 PM (ET). This should be a low-scoring game between 2 NFC West teams who are playing much better on defense than on offense. After a 4-0 start Arizona lost 6 straight and I can’t see how Cardinals can improve, at least not with Ryan Lindley at quarterback.
Pick: Rams 17-16, Result: Rams 31-17
Against The Spread: Rams (+2.5)

Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants, Sunday 8:20 PM (ET). An important game for both teams. Packers need to win this game to stay on top of NFC North division. Giants are coming off a bye week and will look to get back on track after a couple of bad performances. The Packers will look to get some revenge for last season’s playoff loss and I think they’ll get some.
Pick: Packers 31-27, Result: Giants 38-10
Against The Spread: Packers (+2.5)

Carolina Panthers @ Philadelphia Eagles, Monday 8:30 PM (ET). When it’s all said and done in Week 12 in the NFL we’ll get to see 2-8 Panthers against 3-7 Eagles play on MNF. Not a lot of people will want to see this game between 2 teams who constantly underperformed this season. Assuming there won’t be another tie, I’m picking the Panthers to win this one on the road.
Pick: Panthers 24-21, Result: Panthers 30-22
Against The Spread: Panthers (+2.5)

Week 11 record straight-up: 11-3
Overall: 104-55-1

Against The Spread: 7-7
Overall: 84-76


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