With three games on Thanksgiving this year, there isn’t as much to look forward to on Sunday, and bettors have to deal with tighter lines and more action per game in Week 12.
However, we’re going to do our best to help you pick every game for your office pool, personal bets or any other possible reason you may need to predict these contests for.
Let’s take a look at the slate of games and pick some winners.
*Point spreads courtesy of ScoresAndOdds.com, home team in CAPS.
CINCINNATI BENGALS (-8) over Oakland Raiders
The Cincinnati Bengals have found themselves back in the playoff hunt and aren’t going to botch that opportunity against the Raiders this Sunday.
If this game was in the Black Hole, perhaps Oakland would have a chance to cover, but its hopeless taking a road trip to Cincy. We predict the Bengals will win this by at least 10 as Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and the rest of the offense decimate the undermanned and outmatched opposition.
CLEVELAND BROWNS (+1) over Pittsburgh Steelers
Without Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers are going to drop this AFC North rivalry game as a road underdog.
With Trent Richardson looking like an absolute beast and franchise RB, Cleveland can lean heavily on his talents and allow rookie QB Brandon Weeden to manage the game, rather than forcing downfield throws.
As long as the Browns avoid turning the ball over, they will outright win this game.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-3) over Buffalo Bills
Andrew Luck seems to get better every contest, and aside from his three-interception performance against the New England Patriots last week, he’s been helping his team win and putting up big numbers.
The Colts are surprisingly right in the thick of the playoff race at the bottom of the AFC and have a must-win matchup vs. Buffalo in Week 12. With the game being held at Lucas Oil Stadium, there is no way Indy drops two in a row.
Denver Broncos (-10.5) over KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Peyton Manning’s Broncos are on an absolute tear and simply will not be slowed down by the lowly Chiefs in an AFC West battle. What is tougher to determine is if they will cover this double-digit spread, and we believe that they will.
Manning is on fire right now and should put up enough TDs to cover this spread easily.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (+3) over Tennessee Titans
It’s somewhat of a shock that the Jags are getting a field goal at home after taking the AFC-leading Houston Texans to overtime last week. Tennessee is coming off a bye (following a Week 10, 37-3 destruction of the Dolphins) and should be refreshed, but has been one of the more inconsistent teams in the NFL.
We certainly don’t look forward to backing Chad Henne in his first start for Jacksonville, but due to his performance in a hostile environment after replacing Blaine Gabbert in Week 11, we have no choice.
Minnesota Vikings (?) at CHICAGO BEARS
There is currently no line for this game, likely due to Jay Cutler’s uncertain status. We like the Bears playing at home, giving up to six points in this NFC North matchup. Anything more and you should consider backing the Vikes.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (+1.5) over Atlanta Falcons
With the Falcons looking vulnerable following a loss to the New Orleans Saints and a narrow-victory that they nearly gave away to the Arizona Cardinals, we like the resurgent Bucs in this one.
The team showed its resolve last week against Carolina, coming back from a huge fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime and win the game, their fourth in a row and fifth in sixth games.
If Josh Freeman continues to play the QB position as well as he has, he’s going to pull yet another underdog victory out.
MIAMI DOLPHINS (+3) over Seattle Seahawks
When gambling on the NFL, it’s always wise to take the Seahawks at home and fade them on the road.
Rookie Russell Wilson isn’t the same signal-caller away from CenturyLink Field, and is extremely prone to turnovers. If Wilson starts throwing interceptions and losing fumbles, that will give the ‘Phins plenty of opportunities to score points and pull away for a win, or at least a cover.
Take the points and get paid with the Fish.
San Francisco 49ers (-1) over NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Colin Kaepernick will be starting his second career game after a great showing last week, and may actually steal the QB1 gig permanently from Alex Smith. He was able to decimate the Chicago defense, one of the best in the NFL, and will not have any troubles against the worst in the league—New Orleans.
Because the second-year signal-caller has the Niners' vaunted defense behind him, there will be ample chances to score points and help lead the squad to a road victory against a rejuvenated Saints squad.
Green Bay Packers (+3) over NEW YORK GIANTS
The G-Men knocked the Packers out in last year’s playoffs, and now GB has a chance to extract revenge.
Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the high-powered Pack are coming into MetLife Stadium as an underdog, just the way they like it. If they can hand New York a defeat following their bye week, it will keep them spiraling down and in danger of actually missing the playoffs. How fitting it would be for the Packers to facilitate that tailspin, and we predict they will outright win, obviously covering the spread.
Carolina Panthers (-2.5) over PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Week 12’s Sunday Night Football contest features two teams that did not live up to lofty expectations in 2012. Both the Panthers and Eagles have struggled tremendously, but Philly’s QB switch to rookie Nick Foles will doom them in this game.
Foles looked absolutely awful against the Washington Redskins last week and is going to take plenty of lumps until he develops into a starting-caliber signal-caller.
We believe Cam Newton will take center stage in this primetime matchup and his Panthers will come away with the road cover.
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