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 Post subject: football picks week 12
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2021 10:01 am 

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п»їNFL picks, predictions against spread Week 12: Chiefs edge Bucs; Eagles stun Seahawks; Raiders rebound.
Our Week 11 picks and predictions straight up and against the spread can be summed up in one word: Bru-tal. Injury effects and wild last-minute finishes all didn't go in the right way, leading to the toughest results of the season.
There's only one way to overcome what just happened — focus on doing better with the next set of pigskin prognostications. It's time to remain fearless with Sporting News' weekly pro football forecast, diving headfirst into every upcoming matchup.
Week 12 brings up a lot of close lines, starting with two games on Thanksgiving Thursday. Here's to your health and here's to being more feast than famine with the picks. This week, we get a full heaping of 16 games with no teams on bye:
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NFL picks against the spread for Week 12.
Game of the Week: Chiefs (-3, 53 o/u) at Buccaneers.
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC.
The Chiefs are coming off a thrilling, emotional last-minute comeback win over the Raiders. The Buccaneers are coming off a short week with a physical Monday night game against the Rams. This game simply comes down to whether you like Patrick Mahomes and his weapons to outperform Tom Brady and his. At this point, counting against Mahomes is a mistake. He'll be under less pressure than Brady and will come through with another clutch fourth-quarter drive.
Pick: Chiefs win 31-27 and cover the spread.
NFC Game of the Week: Bears at Packers (-8, 45 o/u)
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC.
The Packers know they will have red-hot Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, trying to make up for the Colts loss by finishing better. The Bears don't know if they will have Nick Foles, MItchell Trubisky or Tyler Bray at quarterback. Coming off a bye helps for a strong Chicago defense, but the offense will cost the distant second-place team in the NFC North another prime-time division game.
Pick: Packers win 27-20 but fail to cover the spread.
Lock of the Week: Bills (-5.5, 54 o/u) over Chargers.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
The Bills are coming off a bye and should have their offense revved up around Josh Allen to attack a Chargers' secondary that's really struggling. Justin Herbert will duel him well, but he's also going into a hostile environment with some weather concerns on a cross-country trip against a Buffalo defense that can dial up some good pressure.
Pick: Bills win 34-17 and cover the spread.
Upset of the Week: Eagles over Seahawks (-5.5, 51 o/u)
Monday 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN.
The Eagles desperately need this game to hold off the pack of even weaker NFC East teams behind them. They came through with a key win over the 49ers earlier and get that result here at home in prime time. The Seahawks are much more vulnerable on the road defensively. Wentz uses all his weapons and running style to outduel Russell Wilson with some help from his defense, too.
Pick: Eagles win 27-24.
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Dolphins (-7, 44.5 o/u) at Jets.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
The Dolphins need to shake off that bad loss against the Broncos and resettle at quarterback with Tua Tagovailoa. The good news is they did pitch a shutout against the Jets the first time. The bad news is New York seems to playing with a little more life to keep from going winless. Miami still wins on the strength of the defense, but it's another grind offensively to edge a team led by former coach Adam Gase.
Pick: Dolphins win 23-20 but fail to cover the spread.
Cardinals (-2.5, 49.5 o/u) at Patriots.
The Cardinals profile very similarly to the Texans, who just ripped the Patriots with a running QB and big pass plays all over the field. Kyler Murray is hard to stop and the Patriots' front seven is not equipped to do so with limited speed. They also will have trouble contaning DeAndre Hopkins downfield. The Cardinals' defense has a lot of holes, but they pick spots to slow down and stop Cam Newton.
Pick: Cardinals win 27-20 and cover the spread.
Panthers at Vikings (-4.5, 49.5 o/u)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox.
The Vikings' defense put them in a tough spot again in the loss to the Cowboys. They need to get ahead of the game script and blast Dalvin Cook to a big lead. The Panthers' run defense is terrible, so you can bet Cook will be fed all day to compensate for the Dallas experience. Teddy Bridgewater, if he returns from his knee injury as expected, has a nice chance for a good "revenge" game, but Cook's constant chunk running will put this game out of reach in the end.
Pick: Vikings win 31-24 and cover the spread.
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Titans at Colts (-3.5, 50.5 o/u)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
The Titans' offense woke up with a monster day from Derrick Henry to come back and clip the Ravens. The Colts' mighty defense is a different story, coming off the confidence of a Week 10 beatdown in Nashville. The Titans' defense still isn't very good and slowing down in many aspects, while Philip Rivers is suddenly red-hot. He delivers again as Ryan Tannehill goes back to slumping.
Pick: Colts win 27-20 and cover the spread.
Browns (-6.5, 48.5 o/u) at Jaguars.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
The Browns won't mess around in this game where weather won't be a factor, unlike their past three home games. Look for them to trust in a heavy dose of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the running and short passing games, with a few calculated high-percentage big-play passes from Baker Mayfield. The Browns' defense rallied around Myles Garrett's absence last week and does it again this week, facing Mike Glennon.
Pick: Browns win 30-20 and cover the spread.
Giants (-5.5, 42.5 o/u) at Bengals.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox.
The Giants get a massive break after the bye as Daniel Jones has a much better chance of outdueling Brandon Allen on the road than Joe Burrow. The Giants' defense is well rested and will go hard after Allen, forcing sacks and mistakes. The Bengals' defense is ill-equipped to stop any of Jones' versatile weapons.
Pick: Giants win 23-17 and cover the spread.
Raiders (-3, 55 o/u) at Falcons.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
The Raiders will shake off that Mahomes magic loss of Week 11 in style with a strong road trip to the NFC South. Derek Carr is playing too well to be contained by the Falcons awful pass coverage with no rush behind it, taking advantage when they blitz. Matt Ryan can't seem to keep his key receivers healthy and now his offensive line and running game are crumbling at the wrong time for an improving, youthful defense.
Pick: Raiders win 31-27 and cover the spread.
В© Provided by Sporting News Derek-Carr-101420-GETTY-FTR Ravens at Steelers (-3, 45)
Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET, NBC.
The Ravens are going into this road game reeling from the devastating loss to the Titans and have new COVID-19 concerns (Mark Ingram, J.K. Dobbins). Lamar Jackson is coming off a rough home game and the Steelers' defense won't make things any easier on the road in this rematch. Pittsburgh found its balance and explosiveness last week while Baltimore's once nasty defense keeps wilting everywhere.
Pick: Steelers win 27-20 and cover the spread.
49ers at Rams (-6.5, 46.5 o/u)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox.
The 49ers will still have Nick Mullens starting at quarterback but they should be healthier in their skill support at running back and wide receiver. Kyle Shanahan and Robert Saleh would have game-planned well during the bye for a team they were able to beat when healthy in Week 5. With the 49ers rested and the Rams tired from Monday night, look for a tighter rematch than expected at SoFi Stadium.
Pick: Rams win 24-20 but fail to cover the spread.
Saints at Broncos (-5.5, 44 o/u)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox.
Taysom Hill shined in his home debut as a starting quarterback, but now goes to a hostile road environment in the elements, back in Mountain West country. The Broncos woke up defensively with a good pass rush and more respectable run defense. They tend to play better at home while the Saints, Drew Brees or not, aren't the best west- and outdoor-traveling team. They still survive with the better running game and the superior run defense.
Pick: Saints win 23-20 but fail to cover the spread.
Game of the Midweek I: Texans (-2.5, -51.5) at Lions.
Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET, CBS.
The Texans have Deshaun Watson cooking with gas with all of his wide receivers and is also feeling it as a runner. They have great confidence offensively after having their way with the Patriots. They draw a weaker defense this week and their run defense will get another break, assuming D'Andre Swift misses another game with a concussion. Houston has been more motivated without Bill O'Brien while Detroit is now going through the motions with Matt Patricia.
Pick: Texans win 27-24 and cover the spread.
Result: Texans won 41-25.
Game of the Midweek II: Washington Football Team at Cowboys (-2.5, 46.5)
Thursday, 4:30 p.m. ET, Fox.
Andy Dalton finally played well filling in for Dak Prescott, a far cry from his first effort against Washington. The Cowboys also got their running game going with Ezekiel Elliott to help and also played more inspired defense against the Vikings. Dalton has more weapons than Alex Smith and Dallas evens the season series at home to resurrect its NFC East chances.
Pick: Cowboys win 24-20 and cover the spread.

NFL Week 12 game picks: Chiefs edge Buccaneers; Colts top Titans.
Around The NFL Editor.
Gregg Rosenthal went 6-8 on his predictions for Week 11 of the 2020 NFL season, bringing his total record to 98-61-1. How will he fare in Week 12? His picks are below.
Miami Dolphins 30, New York Jets 17.
Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will come after rookie quarterback п»їTua Tagovailoaп»ї on Sunday because that's what Gregg Williams does, especially when trying to avoid his second 0-16 record in four years. I expect the Dolphins to have an answer because they learn from mistakes and already out-coached the Jets staff in a 24-0 shutout back in Week 6.
Arizona Cardinals 27, New England Patriots 24.
After facing Russell Wilsonп»ї, п»їPatrick Mahomesп»ї, Josh Allenп»ї, Lamar Jackson and п»їDeshaun Watsonп»ї this season, Bill Belichick is probably ready to end his tour of the Quarterback Revolution. It's clear that no amount of scheming is going to make the Patriots' front seven talented enough to hang with players like п»їKyler Murrayп»ї, especially when the opposing QB's backed by a dynamic running game. п»їCam Newtonп»ї is playing well enough to stay close in games, but not well enough to survive a defense ranked 25th in EPA and dead last in DVOA.
Carolina Panthers 28, Minnesota Vikings 27.
These teams are evenly matched, with efficient offenses doing their best to cover up holes defensively (especially rushing the passer). The status of п»їTeddy Bridgewaterп»ї and п»їChristian McCaffreyп»ї makes a difference here, but I like that Carolina's coaching staff puts Teddy Two Gloves in more advantageous situations than п»їKirk Cousinsп»ї by throwing more on early downs. In this Thanksgiving week, Teddy winning in Minnesota makes me sentimental.
Cleveland Browns 30, Jacksonville Jaguars 20.
The Jaguars' defense has played far better since the bye week (promise!), but a devastating new wave of injuries (Josh Allen, D.J. Haydenп»ї, C.J. Henderson and Daniel Thomas) should end that progress. The matchup sets up well for Baker Mayfield to finally put up numbers in normal weather. My original score prediction was closer when I thought п»їGardner Minshewп»ї (thumb) could return to the starting lineup for the Jaguars, but the ascension of Mike Glennon to the job makes you wonder about Jacksonville's priorities down the stretch.
Indianapolis Colts 30, Tennessee Titans 27.
п»їPhilip Riversп»ї is playing well, fitting passes into tight windows to a growing group of receivers, while the Colts' running game has suddenly come alive. These developments are not unrelated. Beating the same team twice in three games is a tall order, but I remain convinced that Indianapolis is quietly the tougher team up front on both sides of the ball than the Big, Bad Titans.
New York Giants 24, Cincinnati Bengals 11.
The Giants' COVID issues and coaching staff strife off the field belie a team that is increasingly cohesive on it. Daniel Jones is a big part of a running game that is giving the Giants an identity, while defensive coordinator Patrick Graham has schemed confusion and mistakes from much better quarterbacks than Bengals surprise starter Brandon Allen.
Buffalo Bills 31, Los Angeles Chargers 30.
The Chargers, Steelers and Chiefs remain the only three teams to avoid a two-score loss this season. That figures to remain true for the Bolts this week against a Bills outfit still allergic to putting together a complete game on both sides of the ball. The return of Joey Bosa last week and possibly Austin Ekeler this week gives Los Angeles hope in what should be another narrow loss to a quality opponent.
Las Vegas Raiders 32, Atlanta Falcons 28.
After their emotional Sunday night loss, the Raiders have to get up for a dangerous 10 a.m. PT game in a lifeless Atlanta dome. With Julio Jones already dubbed a game-time decision, the Falcons may not have the firepower to keep up with one of the NFL's most balanced, consistent and diverse offenses. Jon Gruden is a good coach, people!
Los Angeles Rams 27, San Francisco 49ers 23.
This score comes from my football-addicted 5-year-old son, Walker, who says, "The Rams beat the Bucs, who are better than the 49ers." It's hard to argue with that logic, although the possible return of Deebo Samuel and Raheem Mostert to a Niners offense that always gives the Rams problems figures to make this another Shanahan-McVay showdown that winds up closer than expected.
New Orleans Saints 30, Denver Broncos 20.
Back in May, I wrote about the Saints having the NFL's best, most complete roster. Now in late November, they are Football Outsiders' top team by far in overall efficiency, ranking in the top five in offense, defense and special teams. They have too many ways to win, no matter who is at quarterback, especially against a team as uneven as the Broncos.
( UPDATE: NFL Network's James Palmer reports Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lockп»ї, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles have all been ruled out for Sunday's game due to close contact tracing linked to fellow Denver QB Jeff Driskelп»ї, who was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday.)
Kansas City Chiefs 30, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28.
I am hesitant to bury the Bucs because their defense is still so good and provides a challenge Patrick Mahomes hasn't faced all season. I am hesitant to pick the Bucs because their offense asks Tom Brady to do the things he's least comfortable doing (holding the ball, taking hits, throwing deep) while providing too few of the things that he likes, such as a running back with two working hands. The Chiefs are 18-1 in their last 19 games. I've picked against them twice in that span and even that feels disrespectful. Nothing makes me feel dumber than watching Patrick Mahomes break the quarterback position when I foolishly thought it might not happen.

NFL picks, predictions for Week 12: Packers bounce back vs. Bears; Buccaneers beat Chiefs in thriller.
The playoff race in the NFL is heating up, and Week 12 is about teams taking care of business if they want to keep pace.
The Sunday schedule features just one matchup between teams with winning records. That's the 4:25 p.m. ET game between Kansas City and Tampa Bay – another showcase game for quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady. The rest of the schedule features matchups in which several teams are looking to play spoiler.
The next-best matchup on the schedule is the timeless rivalry between NFC North rivals Green Bay and Chicago. The Packers can extend their lead in the division to three games with a victory.
Here is a look at our track record in picking games straight-up in 2020:
Last Week: 6-8 Season: 62-47.
With that as the mind, below are our picks and predictions for the rest of Week 12:
NFL picks, predictions for Week 12.
Houston Texans (-2.5) at Detroit Lions.
Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET, CBS.
The Lions have lost their last three Thanksgiving games, and they are coming off a listless performance in a 20-0 shutout against the Panthers. Houston has won two of its last three, and Deshaun Watson hasn’t thrown an interception in five games.
Pick: Texans 28, Lions 23.
Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys (-2.5)
Thursday, 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX.
Andy Dalton was knocked out the last time the Cowboys played the Redskins, and this game might have NFC East title implications. Dallas plays more inspired, however, and Dalton throws the game-winning TD to CeeDee Lamb late in the fourth quarter.
Pick: Cowboys 23, Washington 20.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)
Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET, NBC.
The Ravens have lost three of their last four games, and they have been limited to 24 points or less in the last four games. Baltimore is depleted with 20 players on the COVID reserve list and will play with a sense of desperation, but they must get to Ben Roethlisberger – who has averaged 302 passing yards per game the last three weeks.
Pick: Steelers 29, Ravens 26.
Las Vegas Raiders (-3.5) at Atlanta Falcons.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
The Falcons are just 1-4 at home, and Julio Jones' hamstring injury will be something to monitor throughout the week. The Raiders, meanwhile, are 4-1 on the road – and that includes a cross-country-flight-victory against Carolina in Week 1. Expect a similar game.
Pick: Raiders 31, Falcons 26.
Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills (-5.5)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
Justin Herbert continues to impress as a rookie, and he has two 300-yard games in the last three weeks. The Chargers have yet to win a road game, and the Bills had a bye week to stew about the Hail Mary loss to the Cardinals. The weather won't be a factor, but Josh Allen will take advantage of a weak Chargers' defense.
Pick: Bills 28, Chargers 21.
New York Giants (-5) at Cincinnati Bengals.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX.
The Bengals lost Joe Burrow for the season, and the Giants should be able to get after Ryan Finley – who took four sacks against Washington last week. Daniel Jones leads a low-risk passing attack, and New York wins its third consecutive game. It will be close.
Pick: Giants 20, Bengals 16.
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-3.5)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
The Colts and Titans meet in a rematch, and both teams are coming off emotional overtime victories. It's all about adjustments in the AFC South rematch, and Ryan Tannehill has to make a few more plays in the passing game. The Titans get payback with a late TD run from Derrick Henry.
Pick: Titans 27, Colts 24.
Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX.
The opportunity for a Teddy Bridgewater revenge game is appealing, but if he can't play P.J. Walker proved that that offense can still function. Kirk Cousins has more support, and he has thrown just one interception in his last four games. Dalvin Cook will keep the running game going.
Pick: Vikings 27, Panthers 21.
Miami Dolphins (-7) at New York Jets.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
Tua Tagovailoa took his first loss as a starter against Denver, and he took six sacks. The Jets – the first team to be eliminated from the postseason – do not have the same pass-rushing ability. Tagovailoa makes the right adjustments, and the Dolphins get back on track in the AFC playoff hunt.
Pick: Dolphins 30, Jets 22.
Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) at New England Patriots.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX.
The Patriots are all but out of the playoff race, and the Cardinals are trying to get back on track after a loss to the Seahawks. Arizona's defense has allowed 28 points or more the last four weeks. Will Bill Belichick come up with some defensive wrinkles that test Kyler Murray's patience? Or will Murray do what Deshaun Watson just did to New England? Here is this week's out-of-the-box upset pick.
Pick: Patriots 28, Cardinals 26.
Cleveland Browns (-6.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars.
Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS.
The Browns' defense stepped up with Myles Garrett, and Nick Chubb continues to shine. Cleveland is 4-0 when Chubb rushes for 100 yards or more this season, and that streak continues. This also is a chance for Baker Mayfield to get back on track in nicer weather.
Pick: Browns 28, Jaguars 14.
New Orleans Saints (-5.5) at Denver Broncos.
Sunday, 4:05 p.m., FOX.
Taysom Hill won his first start against the Falcons, but this is an interesting road test knowing the Broncos have won their last two home games. The Saints have the league's best run defense, so Drew Lock will have to force the issue more. That will lead to turnovers, and New Orleans will take advantage.
Pick: Saints 28, Broncos 20.
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-6.5)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m., FOX.
The Rams had a bye week to prepare for the rematch with the 49ers. San Francisco won the first matchup with three TDs from Jimmy Garoppolo, but the 49ers have been riddled with injuries since. Jared Goff leads the Rams to victory with another efficient performance.
Pick: Rams 27, 49ers 23.
Kansas City Chiefs (-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS.
Tom Brady is in yet another big game, and this is the fourth head-to-head meeting against Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs have won five straight, but the defense has allowed 31 points in each of the last two games. Tampa Bay's defense comes up huge in the second half, and Brady delivers a vintage game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. Rematch in the Super Bowl?
Pick: Buccaneers 31, Chiefs 30.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-8)
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC.
Division rivals meet, and the Packers can bounce back after an overtime loss at Indianapolis. The Bears' offensive struggles are well-documented, and Green Bay will bounce back with another big game from Aaron Rodgers. The last five meetings between these teams have been decided by eight points or less.
Pick: Packers 26, Bears 19.
Seattle Seahawks (-5) at Philadelphia Eagles.
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN.
The Eagles are clinging to a half-game lead in a bad NFC East, and the Seahawks are not the team they want to be facing. Russell Wilson broke out of his funk against the Cardinals, and Seattle will take advantage of Philadelphia's run defense.

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