The Complete Bettor's Guide to NFL Week 12

Wes StueveContributor IIINovember 22, 2012

The Complete Bettor's Guide to NFL Week 12

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    With the three Turkey Day games out of the way, 13 Week 12 NFL games remain. And for those 13 games, many people still have bets to make.

    Every bettor needs a little help making his or her picks. Nothing is certain, and the more opinions, the better. 

    With an exciting week in progress, many tough decisions lie ahead. Which way should you bet in every game? 

    Read on to find out.

    Spreads via

Oakland Raiders (+8) at Cincinnati Bengals

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    With a 3-7 record, Oakland is a well below-average team. Cincinnati may not be great, but it is clearly better.

    Andy Dalton has been on a bit of a roll lately, and he should be able to pass against the Raiders with ease. Oakland may move the ball some, but the team will struggle to put points on the board.

    The eight-point spread makes this a little more difficult, but playing at home, Cincinnati should be able to beat the spread.

    Pick: Cincinnati 

Pittsburgh Steelers (-1) at Cleveland Browns

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    Without Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich, Pittsburgh could be in trouble here. Cleveland isn't as bad as its record suggests, and a Charlie Batch-led Steelers team isn't overly intimidating.

    With a one-point spread, bettors are essentially predicting the winner here. The Steelers may also be without Antonio Brown against Cleveland, so their far-from-elite rushing attack needs to step up.

    There's no doubt that Pittsburgh is a better team than the Browns, but injuries make the difference. Go with Cleveland.

    Pick: Cleveland

Buffalo Bills (+3) at Indianapolis Colts

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    Buffalo has an average pass defense, and the Colts tend to air it out.

    The Bills should be able to run on Indianapolis, but, point for point, they will struggle to keep up with the Colts. Ryan Fitzpatrick's struggles will again hold back the Bills.

    With Indianapolis likely to win, the small point spread is insignificant. 

    Pick: Indianapolis 

Denver Broncos (-10.5) at Kansas City Chiefs

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    Will Denver be able to overcome this huge spread? Kansas City has arguably been the NFL's worst team in 2012, and Denver has been one of the league's best teams.

    Peyton Manning should be able to carve up the Chiefs defense, and Kansas City will struggle to score against Denver's No. 5-ranked defense.

    It is often unwise to bet on the favorite when there is such a huge point spread. In this case, however, it would be foolish to bet against the Broncos. Expect a blowout.

    Pick: Denver

Tennessee Titans (-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars

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    After a shocking offensive performance last week, Jacksonville may be on the upswing. Odds are, however, that the Jaguars overperformed one week and will fall back to earth the next.

    Tennessee isn't a great team by any means, but it is clearly more talented than the Jaguars. The Titans aren't so good for an upset to be impossible; it's just unlikely.

    This is a small spread, and with Tennessee the easy pick to win, the pick against the spread should be no different.

    Pick: Tennessee 

Minnesota Vikings (+1) at Chicago Bears

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    This is a potential upset. Chicago's run defense is ranked No. 8 in the NFL, but it will get a big test against Minnesota.

    Adrian Peterson is in the midst of his best season ever, and even the Bears seem unlikely to stop him. Meanwhile, Minnesota's multifaceted pass rush should have no problem getting to Jay Cutler, assuming he starts. 

    Even playing at Chicago, the Vikings have a good shot to win this game.

    Pick: Minnesota

Atlanta Falcons (-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    After a rough win against Arizona, the Falcons are looking to rebound in Tampa Bay. The Falcons have struggled a bit lately, but they are still one of the NFL's best teams.

    The Buccaneers rushing attack does cause potential problems for Atlanta, but Tampa Bay's secondary will struggle to contain Roddy White and Julio Jones. The Falcons should be able to pass at will.

    Tampa Bay still has a shot to win this game, and it shouldn't be a blowout. However, the Falcons are the better team, and the one-point spread or home field doesn't change this.

    Pick: Atlanta

Seattle Seahawks (-3) at Miami Dolphins

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    Because of its No. 9 run defense, Miami stands a decent chance to upset the Seahawks. However, Seattle's rushing attack still poses a huge threat to the Dolphins and isn't likely to be stopped.

    The Seahawks aren't too shabby on defense themselves, and they should be able to limit Miami's offensive success. Pete Carroll will no doubt have his defense ready to confuse rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

    This is a game that could go either way, but Seattle is the better team and matches up fairly well with the Dolphins. 

    Pick: Seattle 

Baltimore Ravens (-1) at San Diego Chargers

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    I'm not entirely sure why this is just a one-point spread.

    Sure, Baltimore hasn't been amazing in 2012, but San Diego has been far worse. The home-field advantage doesn't come close to making the Chargers the favorite.

    Baltimore should have no problem passing all over San Diego, and Ray Rice will be able to pick up some yards if he's given the chance. Philip Rivers will probably throw a couple interceptions, and Ryan Mathews will continue to struggle.

    San Diego has been incredibly predictable this year, and Baltimore is still a good enough team to feel confident here.

    Pick: Baltimore

San Francisco 49ers (-1) at New Orleans Saints

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    The Saints are on a roll right now, winning five of their last six games.

    New Orleans got off to a rough start, but its offense is now looking like the Saints offense of old, scoring with ease. Even San Francisco's defense will struggle to contain it.

    The Superdome will surely be rocking, and the Saints should be able to come away with a victory facing Colin Kaepernick.

    Pick: New Orleans

St. Louis Rams (+2.5) at Arizona Cardinals

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    In this matchup, we have two below-average teams that are good enough to beat upper-level teams but bad enough to lose to bottom-feeders. In other words, both teams are unpredictable.

    The key here is St. Louis' pass rush. The Rams have done a good job at getting to the quarterback in 2012; Arizona, on the other hand, is awful at protecting the quarterback.

    Arizona might struggle to put points on the board offensively.

    Pick: St. Louis

Green Bay Packers (+3) at New York Giants

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    It's surprising to see the Giants favored here. Green Bay has been on quite the run, and New York has struggled, losing its last two games.

    After getting off to a rough start, Aaron Rodgers is dominating as much as ever, and the entire Packers offense is playing well. Eli Manning, on the other hand, is playing horribly.

    It's possible this will be the game in which the Giants turn it around, but there's no reason to really expect it. With the points in the Packers' favor, this is an easy call.

    Pick: Green Bay

Carolina Panthers (-2.5) at Philadelphia Eagles

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    Right now, there may not be a worse team in football than the Eagles. Philadelphia is massively underperforming, and the team doesn't seem likely to turn that around anytime soon.

    Carolina hasn't been particularly good this year, but Cam Newton is still capable of taking over a game. And he's more likely to do so against the Eagles than any other time.

    With Nick Foles starting, this is an easy pick. For once this year, pick the Panthers to win.

    Pick: Carolina