Who said anything about shedding some Thanksgiving holiday weight? If you had any money on the Raiders/Cowboy game we’re betting you chewed your nails down to your knuckles. The teams scored 69 points between them and ended on a field goal, on the THIRD try, for the Raiders in OT.
Today is The Day After Thanksgiving and we get to enjoy some turkey and gravy leftovers on the couch while planning out the rest of the NFL weekend. We’ve done most of the heavy lifting for you with our NFL picks and predictions for week 12.
The NFL experts at Betting.com have been working overtime now that we’re drawing nearer to the Super Bowl and all teams are rallying for that final push. Here are our week 12 picks and predictions, and we’re fairly confident about getting it right. In addition to our expert picks, we selected for you the best sportsbook bonus for NFL week 12.
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NFL Week 12 Quick Picks
You’ll find full game analysis below our quick picks for NFL week 12. Get in on the action early before the odds start moving!
Carolina Panthers @ Miami Dolphins
Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots
Atlanta Falcons @ Jacksonvile Jaguars
New York Jets @ Houston Texans
Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 49ers
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Bengals to sneak past Steelers in key AFC North showdown
The AFC North is shaping up as the NFL’s most competitive division this year, with all four teams above .500. For the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4-1), a tight divisional race is nothing new. Despite a string of injuries, the Steelers have a reasonable platform to attack the second half of the season.
But the Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) and their young core are sensing their moment. With a healthier roster and a more dynamic quarterback, look for the Bengals to make just enough big plays to grab a win.
Cincinnati steadying the ship after two-game skid
The Bengals rediscovered their early season form on Sunday to sweep past the Las Vegas Raiders, halting concerns stemming from disappointing losses against the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns. Joe Burrow was steady but Joe Mixon grabbed the headlines with 123 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Cincinnati earned the bragging rights in the teams’ first meeting of the season – a 24-10 win in Week 3. The hosts will be counting on another strong afternoon from a run defense that is allowing the fifth fewest rushing yards per game in the NFL (98).
Pittsburgh expecting key defensive playmakers to be back in action
On Sunday night, the Steelers’ offense showed up in a frantic second-half rally but the defense was shredded by Justin Herbert and Austin Ekeler. This Pittsburgh team is not built to come out on top in 41-37 shootouts. However, there is optimism that defensive leaders T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick (and maybe even Joe Haden) will be available to face the Bengals.
Back in Week 3, Ben Roethlisberger attempted 58 passes and the Steelers scored just ten points. Even against Cincinnati’s talented run-stoppers, expect to see Najee Harris handling 15-20 carries. Eric Ebron (knee) is facing a few weeks on the sidelines, but Harris can absorb some of the intermediate checkdown routes.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver Broncos
Well-balanced Chargers offense to sink Broncos
The Los Angeles Chargers (6-4) are still searching for the consistency needed to join the ranks of true Super Bowl contenders. But the offensive firepower is there, as the Chargers showed with a 41-point eruption on Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That should be enough to get past the Denver Broncos (5-5). The Broncos are coming off a bye week but, with the exception of a shock win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9, their offense has routinely struggled to reach 20 points.
Ekeler, Herbert in sync for Los Angeles in red zone
The Chargers’ defensive issues reared their head again in the nervy Sunday night finish against the Steelers, but Justin Herbert and Austin Ekeler had laid the groundwork with a dominant first three quarters.
Ekeler finished with four touchdowns as Los Angeles cashed in on its red zone trips, while Herbert rushed for 90 yards. Facing a Denver defense that gave up 216 rushing yards against the Philadelphia Eagles in its last game, that duo should be busy again on Sunday.
An inexperienced defensive line made some key plays against Pittsburgh, but expect Brandon Staley to use the week of practice to dig into his team’s fourth quarter missteps.
Denver offense needs more from Bridgewater and passing game
Despite faltering badly since a 3-0 start to the year, the Broncos can still work their way into the playoff mix. A timely bye week after a disappointing loss at home to Philadelphia should help.
Denver’s passing game needs to step up, though. Teddy Bridgewater threw for 226 yards against the Eagles but with no touchdown passes. The Broncos have not managed more than one passing touchdown in any of their past three games.
Still, Vic Fangio’s game plan should start with Melvin Gordon III and Javonte Williams in the ground game against the Chargers’ shaky run defense. Denver may also be boosted by the return of linebacker Bradley Chubb after an ankle injury.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Indianapolis Colts
Buccaneers to shut down Colts and strengthen Super Bowl credentials
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3) ended a mini-slump with a solid Monday night win over the New York Giants, grabbing a two-game lead at the top of the NFC South.
But this Sunday matchup will be a far sterner test against a confident Indianapolis Colts team (6-5), fresh off a statement win in Buffalo. With the NFL’s stingiest run defense, look for the Buccaneers to escape with the road victory.
Tampa Bay run defense equipped for Taylor threat
The Colts’ Jonathan Taylor ran all over the Bills’ defense at the weekend, with 185 rushing yards and five total touchdowns. But the Buccaneers are giving up just 78 rushing yards a game this season – the second straight year that this run defense has been an elite unit.
This matchup at the line of scrimmage should decide Sunday’s showdown, and Tampa Bay could be boosted by the return of Vita Vea (knee), one of the NFL’s best run-stuffers.
Tom Brady provided a steady performance on Monday night, throwing for 307 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Rob Gronkowski’s return was a boost, and Brady may also have Antonio Brown back on Sunday after an ankle injury. With his full receiving corps, there is always a mismatch to exploit.
Play-action opportunities for Wentz in passing game
With Tampa Bay sure to be focused on shutting down the running lanes for Taylor and Nyheim Hines, watch for Carson Wentz to take some shots down the field.
As Indianapolis piled up 41 points against Buffalo, Wentz only threw for 106 yards and attempted just 20 passes. He will need to make more plays with his arm on Sunday. Still, the game plan has to start with Taylor’s hot hand and the Colts’ bruising offensive line.
Amid all the Taylor headlines, Indianapolis’ strong defensive effort against Josh Allen (including two critical interceptions) went somewhat under the radar. They will not back down from the challenge of stopping Brady.
Los Angeles Rams @ Green Bay Packers
Refreshed Rams to outlast Packers for statement win
With a 4-0 home record, the Green Bay Packers (8-3) have made Lambeau Field a fortress once again this year. But Sunday’s showdown with the Los Angeles Rams (7-3) promises to be the Packers’ sternest test so far.
The Rams enter Week 12 after two lacklustre losses and a much-needed bye week, particularly for Matthew Stafford. But it is for games like this that Los Angeles went all-in for playmakers on both sides of the ball. Expect a big response.
Stafford’s struggles put Los Angeles offense in the spotlight
Over the first eight games of the year, the Stafford-Sean McVay partnership was flying high and a Super Bowl run appeared there for the taking. But back-to-back rough outings for Stafford (two interceptions in each game, two pick sixes) have raised doubts.
Losing Robert Woods for the season with an ACL injury does not help, but expect a better performance from Stafford with two weeks to prepare. If Cooper Kupp sees a crowd of defenders, Van Jefferson and Odell Beckham Jr. are good enough to cash in on one-on-one coverage. Greater traction in the ground game would also take some of the heat off Stafford.
But the roadmap to a Rams win begins and ends with a dominant defensive effort. That means Aaron Donald and Von Miller causing chaos in the pocket against a depleted Green Bay offensive line, while Jalen Ramsey wins his battle with Davonte Adams.
Toe injury unlikely to slow down Rodgers
Much of the build-up to Sunday’s game will centre around Aaron Rodgers’ toe injury. But Rodgers was still able to throw for 385 yards and four touchdowns in last weekend’s 34-31 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The injury seems unlikely to be a major factor, but the continued absence of left tackle David Bakhtiari will be particularly felt here.
With Aaron Jones (knee) returning to practice this week, the Packers could have their star running back available again after missing last weekend’s loss. Even if Jones is active, look for him to split carries with A.J. Dillon.
Though Green Bay is only giving up 213 passing yards a game (seventh best in the NFL), it is tough to overlook how easily Kirk Cousins shredded the Packers’ secondary in Week 11. They may be short on answers for the tricky Kupp assignment.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants
Eagles to ride Hurts, running game and take down NFC East rivals
The Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) appear to have turned a corner after a shaky start to the season, with their Jalen Hurts-led offense taking off in recent weeks. While the NFC East crown may be beyond them, the Eagles are shaping up as a dark horse wildcard team.
While the New York Giants (3-7) will likely give Saquon Barkley a bigger workload as he eases back from an ankle injury, they enter Sunday’s matchup on a short week after losing 30-10 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night. The momentum is all with Philadelphia.
Philadelphia backfield proving its among NFL’s best
It is no surprise that Hurts’ mobility has made him a red zone threat – he ran for three touchdowns in the Eagles’ impressive 40-29 win over the New Orleans Saints last weekend. But his ability to elude tacklers seems to have brought the best out of Philadelphia’s backfield too.
The Eagles racked up 242 rushing yards against a top-tier New Orleans run defense, with Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders both routinely finding holes to attack. While Howard (knee) will likely sit out this weekend, expect a similar game plan here to exploit a Giants run defense that ranks in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards allowed (118 per game).
Philadelphia’s defense has quietly improved in November too, coming up with key turnovers to slow down the Saints and, in the prior game, the Denver Broncos. That unit will like its chances of luring Daniel Jones into errors on Sunday.
Uncertainty for Giants’ offense after Garrett’s exit
Sunday will be the first chance to assess New York’s decision to fire offensive coordinator Jason Garrett in the hopes of shaking up a stumbling offense. The Giants managed just ten points on Monday against the Buccaneers, with Barkley running the ball only six times and Jones throwing two costly interceptions.
Any new offensive game plans will depend on the health of Kyle Rudolph (ankle) and Kadarius Toney (quadriceps) who both picked up knocks in Tampa Bay and are questionable for Sunday.
Defensively, the number one priority for New York will be limiting the Philadelphia running game. The Giants’ best hope of an upset here is to force Hurts to beat them with his arm on third-and-long. The Eagles needed just 147 passing yards in Sunday’s win, but look for Hurts to target DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert more often in this matchup.
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
Ravens to handle Browns with Jackson back running the show
With Lamar Jackson expected to return from the illness that sidelined him in Week 11, the Baltimore Ravens (7-3) have a chance here to strengthen their position at the top of the AFC North.
But the Cleveland Browns (6-5) are eyeing the playoffs too. Despite starting the weekend at the bottom of the division, a strong finish to 2021 could still propel the Browns into the playoffs. Still, with home field advantage and the spark that Jackson provides, look for the Ravens to grab the win.
The Pick: Ravens to win – Bet at BetMGM with odds around -145
Baltimore trying to bounce back after two rough offensive outings in a row
At times this year, the Ravens have looked unstoppable in grinding out first downs with their multi-layered running game. But the past two weeks have been a major struggle. Baltimore managed just ten points in a shock loss to the Miami Dolphins, then (without Jackson) limped to a 16-13 victory over the Chicago Bears. A healthy Jackson should have the running game humming again.
The Ravens also hope to have Marquise Brown (thigh) back to boost an offense that has scored just one passing touchdown over the past two games. With four cornerbacks on the early Week 12 injury reports, keep an eye on whether the Baltimore secondary remains banged up.
Browns’ running game has to lead the way as Mayfield plays through the pain
Like the Ravens, the Browns did just enough to pick up a win in Week 11, beating the Detroit Lions 13-10. Baker Mayfield, carrying a string of injuries, had another underwhelming afternoon as he threw two interceptions.
But Nick Chubb’s big game – 130 rushing yards and a receiving touchdown – rescued Cleveland. Chubb and the ground game should again feature heavily on Sunday, with the extra boost of Kareem Hunt potentially returning from a calf injury. They will fully test a Ravens defense that is allowing the second fewest rushing yards per game this season.
Seattle Seahawks @ Washington Football Team
Washington to add to Seahawks’ misery and stay in playoff hunt
At 3-7, the Seattle Seahawks are enduring their worst season of the Russell Wilson era. With two straight losses since Wilson’s return from a finger injury, and five losses from their last six games, the Seahawks have become also-rans this season.
But things are on the upswing in Washington. Back-to-back wins over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers have breathed life into their season. Look for that momentum to carry over into this Monday night showdown.
Fearless Heinicke growing into starting role
With every passing week, Taylor Heinicke looks increasingly comfortable leading this Washington offense. There are plenty of reasons for the team’s improved recent form, but it all starts with Heinicke making big plays and avoiding turnovers.
Heinicke was interception-free in Washington’s last two games and, particularly against the Panthers, picked the right moments to use his legs to challenge the defense. It obviously also helps to have Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin both clicking in the same game, as they did in Carolina last weekend.
Washington’s injury woes at tight end are beginning to ease, with Logan Thomas (hamstring) returning to practice. But Monday’s game may come too soon for Thomas and fellow tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (hip).
Wilson still shaking off the rust as Seattle continue to stumble
When Wilson returned in Week 10 against the Green Bay Packers, there was optimism that the Seahawks could still push their way into the wildcard conversation. Two weeks later, that ship has surely sailed and Wilson is yet to throw a touchdown pass since his finger surgery.
Though Seattle’s defense has rounded into better form, it is hard to feel confident about Wilson, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett putting up 20+ points. Against a physical Washington run defense, the Seahawks’ ground game may at least get a boost if Rashaad Penny is available on Monday after a hamstring injury.
With both teams vulnerable against the pass and ranking in the bottom five in passing yards allowed per game, this is set up to be a stern test for the secondaries.
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