wEEK 12 NFL PICKS: PART 2
By: Grant Poarch
So far this week, I am 3-1 on the money line and 2-2 on the spread. That brings my overall record on the year to 103-65 on the money line and 85-83 on the spread. I’ll be in person for the Saints-Falcons game this week so I will be cheering on my prediction hard core. I’m more than ready to make y’all some money this week so lock these picks in while you can. With that said, fade me at your own risk and tail me at your benefit. The odds listed are provided by DraftKings.
11/26: New Orleans Saints (-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (O/U 42.5), 1:00PM EST, FOX
The NFC South is a bad division. Everyone who watches the NFL knows this. Well, not everyone knows the implications of what this game can be on the playoff representative from this division. According to ESPN’s FPI, the Saints have a 80% chance to make the playoff with a win against Atlanta and just a 44% chance to make the playoffs with a loss in this one.
I’m leaning towards the Saints in this one. This week, the Falcons announced that Desmond Ridder will return to his starting role. That along with the Saints having their bye week to heal and prepare for this game leads me to believe that New Orleans is in for a good day tomorrow.
All I can say is if the Saints lose to Desmond Ridder, it is time to tear the team down and rebuild. If they win, I’m fully prepared to watch my team lose another playoff game which will likely happen in the first game.
Prediction: New Orleans wins, New Orleans covers -2
11/26: Pittsburgh Steelers (-2) @ Cincinnati Bengals, O/U 34.5, 1:00PM EST, CBS
I would have been a lot more intrigued by this game had Joe Burrow not been injured and declared out for the rest of the season in the last week. If this wasn’t a divisional game, the spread would be much higher. I highly doubtthat backup quarterback Jake Browning has what it takes to successfully navigate against the Pittsburgh defense.
To make things better for the Steelers, they just fired former offensive coordinator Matt Canada. There have been several videos coming out over the recent years that indicate the locker room was not a big fan of his. This could lead to an offensive skyrocket we never saw coming tomorrow.
Overall, without Joe Burrow, Cincinnati is not very good. People will see how truly valuable Joe Burrow is once his team loses a bunch of games without him.
Prediction: Pittsburgh wins, Pittsburgh covers -2
11/26: Carolina Panthers @ Tennessee Titans (-3.5, O/U 36.5), 1:00PM EST, FOX
This is going to be an absolute crap shoot of a game. Let’s just hope that this game is not the first tie of the season.
Overall, the Titans are the better team all around. I trust their roster and coaching way more than I do Carolina’s. Playing this one in Nashville also helps out the Titans.
The key to this game is going to be the running attack for both teams. Last week, Derrick Henry was held to less than 40 yards rushing and he hasn’t rushed for 100 yards in his last three games. On the other side of the ball, the Titans balled out in slowing down the Jaguars rushing game.
A rookie quarterback with no rushing attack bodes terribly for the Panthers. As a result, I see Carolina embarrassing themselves yet again. Give me the Titans.
Prediction: Tennessee wins, Tennessee covers -3.5
11/26: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Indianapolis Colts (-2.5, O/U 43.5), 1:00PM EST, CBS
This year for the Bucs, Baker Mayfield determines how this team performs. In this one, he will be tasked with facing a hit or miss defense. The Colts are giving up a ton of yards and points but also getting turnovers in sacks in drones as well.
I’m anticipating Baker Mayfield having a poor outing once again and Indianapolis taking advantage of turnovers like they have in their five victories so far this year.
On the defensive side of things, Tampa Bay’s secondary has been questionable as of late. They allowed Brock Purdy to pass for 333 yards and multiple scores. If Michael Pittman can get open and fed the ball, the Colts should be able to do just enough to win this one.
Prediction: Indianapolis wins, Indianapolis covers -2.5
11/26: New England Patriots (-4) @ New York Giants, O/U 33.5, 1:00PM EST, FOX
Don’t watch this game if you can avoid it. This game features the two lowest scoring teams in the league and with that sport some of the worst records out there.
Despite not doing anything of note this year, the Patriots are road favorites. This in large part is due to Bill Belichick’s record after a bye week. Since becoming the coach of the Patriots, he has led New England to ⅔ winning percentage after a bye. Beyond that, the Patriots defense should be able to handle Tommy Devito.
Devito has been improving but New England should be able to slow him down especially after having two weeks to prepare. Also, the Giants are awful. Their win against Washington seemed to be a fluke to me.
Either way, I don’t feel great about picking this game. However, the Patriots are long overdue for a win and are desperate to do so.
Prediction: New England wins, New York covers +4
11/26: Jacksonville Jaguars (-1) @ Houston Texans, O/U 48.5, 1:00PM EST, CBS
This one might just be the game of the week. If I wasn’t going to the Saints-Falcons game, I would no doubt have this one on my TV. Trevor Lawrence against C.J. Stroud is sure to be must-watch television.
Outside of just the quarterback matchup, this game will be huge in determining the division’s winner as the Jags are 7-3 while the Texans are 6-4.
While Jacksonville might be the smart pick with an experience edge over Houston, I see C.J. Stroud solidifying his Rookie of the Year status here with a impressive victory.
Prediction: Houston wins, Houston covers +1
11/26: Cleveland Browns @ Denver Broncos (-1.5, O/U 34.5), 4:05PM EST, FOX
Will Broncos’ country continue to ride here? I’m not really sure but when I have faded either team in this game I have lost a lot lately.
This game to me is a coin flip. Both teams are coming into this game extremely hot and both weren’t exactly teams people saw this kind of success coming for.
With this game being in Denver, I like the Broncos to win. To make things better in the Mile High city, they are facing Dorian Thompson-Robinson as the Browns are forced to have him start at quarterback once again. I see the altitude and a wild home environment making an impact on this game. Give me Denver in a close one.
Prediction: Denver wins, Denver covers -1.5
11/26: Los Angeles Rams (-3) @ Arizona Cardinals, O/U 44.5, 4:05PM EST, FOX
When this line opened, the Rams were favored by just a half of a point. Now with them being a three point fvorite, what does Vegas know that we don’t?
I’m not confident that the Rams are a very good team but their upset win over Seattle recently gives me confidence that they can pull this one off.
In a divisional rivalry game like this one, you would expect there to be two sides of the coin. In this case, that isn’t necessarily true as the Rams are 12-2 against the Cardinals under head coach Sean McVay. To make things better for LA, Kyren Williams is returning for this matchup. Beyond that, the Cardinals just aren’t a very good team this year.
I’m going with the trends in this one as much as that will inevitably bite me later.
Prediction: Los Angeles wins, Los Angeles covers -3
11/26: Kansas City Chiefs (-9) @ Las Vegas Raiders, O/U 43.5, 4:25PM EST, CBS
If it weren’t for a Marquez Valdes-Scantling dropped touchdown pass, the Chiefs would have likely beaten the Eagles, Despite the loss and a 7-3 record, Kansas City is one of the best teams in the league. They will show that here as Mahomes will have an absolute field day and Aidan O’Connell won’t be able to lead the Vegas offense to keep up.
To make things better for the Chiefs, Mahomes has a 9-1 career record against the Raiders. I fully anticipate that going to 10-1. The league isn’t going to allow for the Chiefs to lose two games in a row.
Beyond that, Raiders interim coach Antonio Pierce hasn’t faced an offensive challenge like this in his career. Although I hope he does well, there are just some times where things won’t go your way.
Prediction: Kansas City wins, Kansas City covers -9
11/26: Buffalo Bills @ Philadelphia Eagles (-3, O/U 48.5), 4:25PM EST, CBS
If I pick against Philadelphia again, I’m pretty sure my girlfriend is going to kill me. This week, it should be a bit easier to take the Eagles as they return home against what has been an inconsistent Buffalo team.
The fact of the matter is that the Eagles are a buzzsaw this year. They look well on their way to being the NFC’s representative in the Super Bowl yet again this year.
In this one, the quality of this game relies on how Josh Allen plays. If it is anything like Mahomes played against the Philly defense a week ago, the Bills are in trouble here.
I just can’t bring myself to pick against Philadelphia. They are a buzzsaw and until they look bad for more than just the Jets game, I will be picking this team basically every week. Also, it feels good that I only have to lay a field goal to take the Birds.
Prediction: Philadelphia wins, Philadelphia covers -3
11/26 (SNF): Baltimore Ravens (-3) @ Los Angeles Chargers, O/U 46.5, 8:20PM EST, NBC
I don’t really know why this line is as close as it is. The Chargers have not shown the ability to beat anyone that’s good and the Ravens are one of the best teams in the league. I know the Ravens just lost Mark Andrews, but they shouldn’t have a problem beating the Chargers in primetime.
The Ravens are going to have a field day offensively. The Chargers’ defense is not very good and they are going against a Baltimore offense that is averaging more than 34 points per game in their last five matchups. Furthermore, the Ravens have had a few extra days to rest since they last played on Thursday Night Football a week ago.
On the other side, Baltimore does have a solid unit defensively. Given that they get a few stops in this game, they will have no problem taking this one.
Prediction: Baltimore wins, Baltimore covers -3
11/27 (MNF): Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings (-3, O/U 43.5), 8:15PM EST, ABC/ESPN
Chicago has to be demoralized after how last week ended. They should have beaten Detroit in Justin Fields’ return from injury but a late collapse led to the Bears’ eighth loss of the season. On the other side, Minnesota has been improving in a significant way since their 1-4 start.
In this one, I see Josh Dobbs balling out once again and avoiding key mistakes that would keep the Bears in this game. Another thing that could help the Vikings is the potential return of Justin Jefferson. According to rotowire.com, Jefferson has been practicing this week in a limited fashion. It certainly helps that he gets one extra day than normal since this game is on Monday night. If he is able to play, that’s a wrap here.
Outside of the on-field matchups, this game being in Minnesota is a huge deal. The stadium is sure to be rocking and will cause Chicago lots of trouble.
Prediction: Minnesota wins, Minnesota covers -3