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NFL picks against the point spread, Week 12

Let’s look into the Thanksgiving Week crystal ball

NFL: New England Patriots at San Francisco 49ers
Jesse says Tom Brady and the Patriots will pound the Jets.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Vikings (+1) at Detroit Lions

The Minnesota Vikings aren’t all the way back, but their defense is getting healthy again, which was a big problem in their losing streak. Stephon Diggs will be out though which will impact their offense. I think on the whole it’s better for the Lions to win the division than the Vikings (since the Vikings will have the tie-breaker for the wildcard over the Giants for two teams). I just don’t think they have enough, plus the Lions despite how bad they are usually how up on Thanksgiving, but this year they’re solid

Pick: Lions

Washington Redskins (+7) at Dallas

Who to root for? If you think the Giants can still win the division, root Washington. If you want to have the fallback of the wild card, root for Dallas. If you hate everything both teams stand for, root for a tie!

Pick: 7 points is too many to give against a tough Washington team, plus a division game anything goes

Pittsburgh Steelers (-9) at Indianapolis Colts

I don’t know why, but I’m going to say the Colts play surprisingly well tonight. Short week, simplified game plans and the Steelers’ offense is just bad. The Colts will be without Andrew Luck, though.

Pick: Colts

San Diego Chargers (-1.5) at Houston Texans

When you don’t have a quarterback, but you have a good team you draft a young QB or you pay a young, terrible one eleventy billion dollars like the Texans did. Brock Osweiler right now is terrible.

Pick: Chargers

Tennessee Titans (-4.5) at Chicago Bears

This is about 1.5 points more than I want to give, but the Bears are really, really beat up right now and the Titans can put up a bunch of points in a hurry. The Titans are also the kind of team who’ll just run a bad team into the ground and force them to give up early.

Pick: Titans

Jacksonville Jaguars (+7.5) at Buffalo Bills

Do you know who the best running team in the league is? It’s not Dallas. It’s the Bills. Part of that is Tyrod Taylor’s explosiveness on offense because he adds in another running dimension but even lining up man-on-man the Bills have had a ton of success on the ground this year. Still their passing game is limited, they can’t throw to the middle of the field and their WR corps is really banged up until Sammy Watkins gets back.

Pick: Jaguars

Cincinnati Bengals (+4) at Baltimore Ravens

I’m not sure what the Ravens are yet, but the Bengals just lost two of their better offensive playmakers on and offense that was having consistency issues. Baltimore needs this game to keep pace and I think they get it by more than four.

Pick: Ravens

Arizona Cardinals (+4) at Atlanta Falcons

Falcons are coming off a bye getting a Cardinals team traveling across country for a 1 p.m. start. I think the Falcons take this.

Pick: Falcons

San Francisco 49ers (+7.5) at Miami Dolphins

Maybe I”m crazy, but I think the 49ers are slightly better than everyone else thinks. Granted they are not good, but they can be competitive. The Dolphins are very solid, but not great, especially if you can control the run game and the 49ers have some big bodies up front.

Pick: 49ers

Los Angeles Rams (+7) at New Orleans Saints

The Rams defense is good and I think this will be the best you’ll see the Rams offense look all year. Jared Goff’s second start against the terrible Saints defense and you might see what looks like a competent Rams offense.

Pick: Rams

New York Giants (-7) at Cleveland Browns

The Browns have the league’s absolute worst defense. They struggle at the safety position and they really only have one play maker per level. Danny Shelton, Jamie Collin and Joe Haden. The Giants’ offense needs a breakout performance, and I’ll say they get it.

Also, as a Public Service Announcement. I live in Rochester, N.Y. and am driving up to the game in Cleveland because tickets prices are INSANE! I got tickets in section 127 for $25 a piece. Let that sink in. Nose bleeds are as low as $8. To a National League Football game. This is literally cheaper than going to a movie. This is going to be a home game on the road for the Giants, I think.

Pick: Giants

Seattle Seahawks (-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The more teams that are not division leaders lose games the better for the Giants and the Seahawks should do their part here. The Buccaneers played surprisingly well last week beating a very good Chiefs team, but I think the Seahawks are just starting to this their stride.

Pick: Seahawks

Carolina Panthers (+3) at Oakland Raiders

Oakland is legit. The Raiders have a terrific offense and game wreckers on defense. For Giants fans rooting interests, the more AFC teams that beat NFC teams the better for the Giants in the long run. Will the Panthers soon embrace the role of spoiler or start packing it in?

Pick: Raiders

Kansas City Chiefs (+3.5) at Denver Broncos

The Chiefs lost last week, which means that in their last 20 games they are now 17-3. That’s still terrific. The Chiefs match up very well with the Broncos because the Broncos want to force you into mistakes on defense and then beat you with field positions and a few timely plays by Trevor Simian. However, the Chiefs don’t make mistakes on offense and their defense forces mistakes on players like the young Trevor Simian.

Pick: Chiefs win outright

New England (-8) at New York Jets

Brady and Belichick love to run up the score.

Pick: Patriots

Green Bay Packers (+4) at Philadelphia Eagles

How the mighty have fallen. The Packers offense is really struggling and this is not a matchup they’d like. I’m done counting on the Packers to help us our after this week they will have lost to the entire NFC East except for their win against the Giants. I think the Eagles pass rush gives them big problems and the Eagles have been terrific at the Linc.

Pick: Eagles

Week 1: 8-7-1

Week 2: 9-7

Week 3: 7-9

Week 4: 6-8

Week 5: 5-9

Week 6: 5-8-1

Week 7: 8-7

Week 8: 6-7

Week 9: 9-3-1

Week 10: 10-4

Week 11: 6-8

Overall: 79-77-3