NFL Week 12 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

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Another quality week for The Big Lead as Liam and Kyle went 8-5 on their picks to bring their season record to a rock-solid 81-77. The landscape of the NFL is beginning to crystalize and Thanksgiving football offers a great opportunity to keep building momentum. Here are our Week 12 NFL picks.

LIONS (+9.5) over Bills

Look, it's no secret that the Detroit Lions are our favorite team to bet on and all they do is continue to reward that confidence. Dan Campbell's suddenly-hot unit went out to New Jersey and absolutely dominated a likely playoff team in all three phases of the game. Aidan Hutchinson is looking like a legitimate game-changer. And there's a confidence present that hasn't graced the Motor City since 2014. If this team wasn't called the Lions, a person could convince themselves that they are actually — gulp — good. As for the Bills, it has to be weird to play two games in five days at the same building, one as the home team and one as the road. Sprinkle a little on the moneyline and pray at the altar of Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor. Lions 24, Bills 23

COWBOYS (-8.5) over Giants

Okay, all those great things we just said about the Lions ... might have more to do with the Giants. Their lack of offensive firepower is beginning to catch up with them. Or has completely caught up with them. That spells disaster against a Cowboys side that certainly looked like the best team in all of football up in Minnesota. The NFC East will begin to shake itself out over the next few weeks and these two are heading in different directions. Cowboys 35, Giants 11

VIKINGS (-3) over Patriots

Okay now take all those things we said about the Cowboys ... and put more stock in them. Because the Vikings are still a legitimate Super Bowl contender even if they took a Sunday off. Kirk Cousins has learned his lesson and will be better against a Patriots' team that feasted on Zach Wilson. Line seems too low. Famous last words yet here we go. Vikings 22, Patriots 14

BUCCANEERS (-3) over Browns

Tom Brady loved Germany more than anyone has ever loved Germany since that Beerfest movie. Suddenly the offense looks okay and the NFC South is there for the taking. Cleveland ... well ... Deshaun Watson is coming to play out the remaining games so there's that. Bucs 33, Browns 20

TITANS (+1.5) over Bengals

A very odd line. Tennessee is chronically under-appreciated and under-valued. They are also at home. Joe Burrow hype a bit out of control? Titans 28, Bengals 20

TEXANS (+11.5) over Dolphins

Absolutely no reason for this pick except the existence of the backdoor and disinterested garbage time defense and officiating. Dolphins 24, Texans 14

JETS (-4.5) over BEARS

Zach Wilson has a real problem now, whether he wants to admit it or not. Justin Fields may not play. This is an all-time stinker and it could decide the Jets' playoff fate. Search all corners of the earth and you will fail to find someone who can confidently predict what's going to happen in this one. Yeesh. Jets 20, Bears 10 WE GUESS


Are either of these teams good? We don't know know and we won't know after a three-point decision in either way. Commanders 20, Falcons 17 or Falcons 20, Commanders 17 whatever


Nathaniel Hackett gave up play-calling duties to Russell Wilson's QB coach and... they still only managed 16 points against an awful Raiders defense. A minor silver lining is that the offense at least looked better. The Panthers' defense managed to keep things pretty close against Baltimore but the offense remains comically inept and will not fare any better against Denver's very good defense. Both teams suck but the Broncos only need a field goal to cover so they're the pick. Broncos 10, Panthers 6


Lamar Jackson's lack of quality pass-catchers is beginning to get really concerning as he managed only 13 points against Carolina last week. Mark Andrews is the only legit receiving option and is banged-up. Baltimore's defense has found its groove but the last few weeks have shown that Lamar Magic can only carry the offense so far. The Jags have many issues of their own but are coming off a bye week and know the season will be lost if they drop this one. Above all, the Ravens simply don't feel like a good enough team to get more than a field goal's spread as the away squad. Jaguars 28, Ravens 26


Word on the street is that we might not see Kyler Murray on the field again until after Arizona's Week 13 bye. Colt McCoy is a competent backup but it's hard to imagine him leading an offense capable of keeping up with a Chargers unit that's getting more dangerous (and, crucially, more healthy) with each passing week. Monday Night's game in Mexico City proved Arizona has very, very little room for error and it's getting harder to believe in Kliff Kingsbury's ability to play mistake-free football. Los Angeles is still maddeningly inconsistent but the return of Keenan Allen is huge and the defense seems like it's rounding into form. If the Chargers stick to what works, this won't be a close one. Chargers 34, Cardinals 20


The Raiders finally managed to win a close one with a walkoff touchdown against the Broncos. The win did not do anything to change anybody's perception of how good the Raiders are, other than they finally figured out that forcing Davante Adams the ball is a good idea. Seattle is coming off a bye, is at home, and is more competent in every facet of the game. Hard to see an upset in the cards here. Seahawks 33, Raiders 22

CHIEFS (-14.5) over RAMS

This is an utterly comical line and yet it somehow feels low. The Rams might have to start their third-string quarterback and their defense rolled over in the face of adversity last week. The Chiefs are still a monster of a team offensively and Chris Jones will always show up to make the big plays on defense when needed. There is obviously a big risk that Kansas City goes up big early and sleepwalks through the rest of the contest to open up a backdoor cover but the Rams are still defending Super Bowl champs and have that target on their back all year. KC will run it up for the first three quarters and it feels unlikely L.A. has the juice to get things within two scores. Chiefs 38, Rams 18

49ERS (-8.5) over SAINTS

The Saints took care of business against the banged-up Rams but if Andy Dalton doesn't hit that 50-yard bomb to Chris Olave things could have turned out very different. This Niners defense is much better than L.A.'s, which portends bad things for an offense that has already had its share of struggles this year. Jimmy Garoppolo has found his stride and looks like the guy who can game-manage his way to plenty of wins. Throw in some home cooking and San Fran shouldn't sweat this one. 49ers 30, Saints 17


This might be the toughest game to pick this week. The Eagles are very good but are certainly not infallible and needed a last-minute touchdown to beat the geriatric Matt Ryan last week. The Packers are not very good but are getting better and their 10-point loss to the Titans was closer than the score suggested. We'll take the risky bet and believe the extra-long rest for the Packers will keep this game close until the end. Eagles 24, Packers 21


Ah, yes. The weekly three-point spread that favors the home team because Vegas has no idea what to make of either team. The Colts are certainly putting up a better fight under Jeff Saturday but how about Kenny Pickett? The young QB led the Steelers' offense to a solid outing against Cincinnati and seems to be figuring it out. Pittsburgh's defensive effort was a bit concerning, to be sure, but will have a much easier time of it against Indy's paltry receiving corps. This may be more entertaining than we realize and it will lead to a road team win. Steelers 27, Colts 24