Final NFL Week 12 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread: Jets, Commanders, Seahawks Continue Playoff Pushes

Happy post-Thanksgiving. Here’s a final look at our NFL Week 12 predictions and picks for the remaining 13 games. The following betting odds are for picks against the spread, as well as moneylines based on DraftKings Sportsbook.

NFL Week 12 Predictions and Picks

Each week of the NFL season features the expected, the moderately unexpected, and the completely unexpected. When betting on point spreads and moneylines, we need to focus on the first two outcomes.

What are the highest-probability game scripts? Which interesting subplots could emerge? For example, we cannot anticipate when a little-used fullback will fall into the end zone twice in one half. But we can assess the likelihood that one team’s backfield will earn more scoring opportunities.

With that in mind, here are our final assessments of how each game might proceed.

Miami Dolphins (-14) vs. Houston Texans

  • Date: Sunday, Nov. 27
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

Miami’s coming off a bye week, while Houston just got shut down by the suddenly intriguing Commanders. The Texans’ best hope lies, as always, with rookie Dameon Pierce. Pierce never averaged more than 8.8 carries per game in any of his four college campaigns. He’s currently averaging 17.5.

Perhaps that’s why the Texans signed Eno Benjamin. Perhaps we’ll start to see a usage shift as this 1-8-1 squad looks to keep its core guys healthy for September 2023.

MORE: How “Mastermind” Mike McDaniel Builds Devasting Game Plans

Regardless, the Dolphins are on the verge of earning an “offensive juggernaut” moniker. The Texans don’t have the personnel to slow them down, and they need a perfectly executive offensive game plan to keep pace. I don’t see it happening.

Against-the-spread prediction: Dolphins
Moneyline winner: Dolphins

Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens

  • Date: Sunday, Nov. 27
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

In seven games since the start of October, Lamar Jackson has only seven touchdowns. The loss of Rashod Bateman hurt, and Mark Andrews’ missed time recently also forced the Ravens to adjust. But still, this 7-3 team hasn’t looked dominant on offense, and leaning heavily on Andrews and Demarcus Robinson isn’t sustainable.

I like the Jags keeping this one close. It helps that they’re playing at home, and it also helps that Travis Etienne Jr. is ascending at the ideal time. This is a tough team to stop, as evidenced by the 17+ points they’ve scored in all but one game. Yielding the 14th fewest points per game, they’re a good bet to put a scare in the Ravens.

Against-the-spread prediction: Jaguars
Moneyline winner: Ravens

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Washington Commanders (-4) vs. Atlanta Falcons

  • Date: Sunday, Nov. 27
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

Washington is on fire. No NFL division since the 2002 realignment has sent four teams to the playoffs. This year’s NFC East might. Washington should win this one by double digits. Taylor Heinicke realistically could hit 300+ passing yards against a defense giving up the league’s most passing yards.

Kyle Pitts’ torn ACL certainly doesn’t help a Falcons’ pass attack that often looks more like a pass retreat. They’re one of the most overweighted 5-6 teams in years, with four of their wins coming by four points or less. The Desmond Ridder era nears.

Against-the-spread prediction: Commanders
Moneyline winner: Commanders

Cleveland Browns (+3.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Date: Sunday, Nov. 27
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

A fascinating game on the eve of Deshaun Watson’s return. If the Browns lose, they’ll be 3-8 and nearly out of the playoff hunt. But assuming all their core guys are healthy (looks good at the moment), I think they can run the ball effectively against a defense that’s surprisingly yielded 4.5 yards per carry — worse than last year, and a far cry from the Bucs’ 3.6 mark two years ago.

Against-the-spread prediction: Browns
Moneyline winner: Browns

New York Jets (-6) vs. Chicago Bears

  • Date: Sunday, Nov. 27
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

If MVP awards could be bestowed to a player based not on his team’s record but on how much worse the team would be without him, perhaps Justin Fields would earn some votes. While he remains a work in progress in the passing game, he’s arguably one of the best QB playmakers in the league, and he’s only in Year 2.

His injury creates a vacuum in this offense — one that the Jets’ impressive defense should be able to expose. Will newly installed QB Mike White seize the moment? It might not matter. I’m expecting Michael Carter to get back on track against a Bears defense yielding the NFL’s most rushing scores (18).

Against-the-spread prediction: Jets
Moneyline winner: Jets

Carolina Panthers (+1) vs. Denver Broncos

  • Date: Sunday, Nov. 27
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

We know what went wrong with the Panthers. It began when Cam Newton — largely through injuries — could no longer function as a franchise-elevating QB beginning in the latter half of the 2018 season. They haven’t won more than five games since, and trading Christian McCaffrey in October was the final massive step in their slow rebuild.

But Denver? They’re more of a mess because rather than rebuilding, they tried to patch together a winning team with a first-time head coach, with a recently acquired (post-prime and injured?) QB, and in a brutally tough division.

MORE: NFL Head Coaching Hot Seat List Led By Nathaniel Hackett 

While losing Javonte Williams in September didn’t help, the Broncos are a mess. Their crowning achievement — an elite pass defense — couldn’t stop Davante Adams at home. I’m not confident they can overpower the up-and-coming Panthers on the road.

Against-the-spread prediction: Panthers
Moneyline winner: Panthers

Tennessee Titans (+2.5) vs. Cincinnati Bengals

  • Date: Sunday, Nov. 27
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

Derrick Henry is leading the NFL in rushing attempts per game for the fourth straight season, and he’s turning 29 in January. Early last season, I warned that his 2020 over-usage made him a high-probability injury/regression risk. This season, I fear the Titans are playing with fire once again.

Joe Mixon is out, though it shouldn’t matter as much as we might think. Samaje Perine’s yards after contact have been better than Mixon’s throughout the season, and his abilities in the passing game are underrated. Meanwhile, with a Ja’Marr Chase return looming, Cincy looks like a team on the rise once again. And opposing RBs’ sub-par 4.1 yards per carry should serve the Bengals well as they seek to contain Tennessee’s best weapon.

Against-the-spread prediction: Bengals
Moneyline winner: Bengals

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Arizona Cardinals (+2.5) vs. Los Angeles Chargers

  • Date: Sunday, Nov. 27
  • Start time: 4:05 p.m. ET

A fascinating game, given the huge stake for the 4-7 Cardinals and the even bigger stakes (based on their more realistic playoff hopes) for the 5-5 Chargers. Kyler Murray should return, jolting this offense back into top-14 form. Additionally, Arizona might lean heavily on James Conner, which against many teams might not work. But L.A. is surrendering an insane 5.8 RB yards per carry. Advantage: Arizona.

Against-the-spread prediction: Cardinals
Moneyline winner: Cardinals

Seattle Seahawks (-4) vs. Las Vegas Raiders

  • Date: Sunday, Nov. 27
  • Start time: 4:05 p.m. ET

Kenneth Walker III finally looked human in Munich two weeks ago, rushing for only 17 yards on 10 carries against the Bucs. Facing the Raiders’ more porous defense, he and Geno Smith, and the rest of Seattle’s impressive playmakers should shine.

The biggest question might be whether Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams can keep the Raiders competitive. Short answer: yes. Longer answer: if they can’t slow Seattle, they’ll need to comfortably exceed their middling 22.5 points per game.

Against-the-spread prediction: Seahawks
Moneyline winner: Seahawks

Kansas City Chiefs (-15.5) vs. Los Angeles Rams

  • Date: Sunday, Nov. 27
  • Start time: 4:25 p.m. ET

How historically bad are the Rams? The worst record for a Super Bowl loser in the following season was 4-12 (2003 Raiders). Except that team lost starting QB Rich Gannon for nine games, while their top two receivers — Jerry Rice and Tim Brown — were 41 and 37 years old, respectively. So yeah, a regression seemed likely.

Among defending Super Bowl champions, excluding the abbreviated 1982 strike season, the 1999 Broncos had the worst record at 6-10. Why? Partly because QB John Elway retired and 2,000-yard-rusher Terrell Davis went on to miss 12 games. QB Brian Griese (incidentally, an old camp friend of mine) earned his first career start in a nearly untenable situation.

MORE: The Chiefs Are the Thanos of the NFL — Inevitable

But the Rams have no such excuses. On paper, they’re largely the same team they were last year. And no, losing Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t make all the difference.

With the team reeling and with a 4-13 record looking increasingly likely (maybe they’ll beat the Broncos at home later this season), the Rams are poised for an ugly blowout loss.

Against-the-spread prediction: Chiefs
Moneyline winner: Chiefs

San Francisco 49ers (-9) vs. New Orleans Saints

  • Date: Sunday, Nov. 27
  • Start time: 4:25 p.m. ET

Surely, the Saints can keep pace, right? Except that assumes Andy Dalton can keep pace, and I’m not convinced he can.

The 49ers are elite or nearly elite against the run and the pass, and their offense is one of the most explosive in the league. Let’s roll with San Francisco, assuming they score enough in the first half to put the Saints on their heels, forcing New Orleans out of their game plan.

Against-the-spread prediction: 49ers
Moneyline winner: 49ers

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Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) vs. Green Bay Packers

  • Date: Sunday, Nov. 27
  • Start time: 8:20 p.m. ET

How much do the Eagles miss Dallas Goedert? Heading into last week, the now sidelined tight end was No. 5 in the league in yards after catch — not among TEs, but among all players. He trailed only Austin Ekeler, Christian McCaffrey, Cooper Kupp, and Justin Jefferson. He also leads all tight ends in catch rate (81%). Simply incredible.

It also means Jalen Hurts has a little less room for error, while Miles Sanders (career-high 15.6 carries per game) needs to step up more than ever. It’s doable against the fading Packers. But it’s not automatic, especially with an Aaron Jones blow-up game continually looming and with Christian Watson turning into a veritable star.

Against-the-spread prediction: Packers
Moneyline winner: Eagles

Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Date: Monday, Nov. 28
  • Start time: 8:15 p.m. ET

Earlier this week, I wrote that I was “shocked this line isn’t five points or more.” The Colts have kept four of the last five opponents below their season points average. Meanwhile, the ascending Parris Campbell has helped elevate Matt Ryan’s formerly suspect passing attack. This is a team on the rise. They should be able to clamp down on the overmatched Steelers.

Against-the-spread prediction: Colts
Moneyline winner: Colts

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