NFL Week 12 Picks: Underdogs Most Likely to Surprise in Upcoming Weekend

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NFL Week 12 Picks: Underdogs Most Likely to Surprise in Upcoming Weekend
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The NFL's 2013 season has been a whirlwind of unpredictability. Whether it's the Kansas City Chiefs going from worst to first, the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans turning from possible Super Bowl contenders to candidates for the No. 1 pick in the draft or everything in between, there hasn't been a lack of surprises. 

Week 12 should only breed more of the same with a handful of matchups that could go either way. Count on these underdogs to test their opponents and potentially give us an upset. 

Week 12 Picks and Spreads
Away Team Home Team Spread Pick
New Orleans Saints Atlanta Falcons NO -7.5 Saints
Pittsburgh Steelers Cleveland Browns CLE -2 Steelers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Detroit Lions DET -9.5 Lions
Minnesota Vikings Green Bay Packers GB -3 Packers
Jacksonville Jaguars Houston Texans HOU -10 Texans
San Diego Chargers Kansas City Chiefs KC -4.5 Chiefs
New York Jets Baltimore Ravens BAL -3.5 Jets
Chicago Bears St. Louis Rams STL -1 Bears
Carolina Panthers Miami Dolphins CAR -3.5 Panthers
Indianapolis Colts Arizona Cardinals ARI -1 Cardinals
Tennessee Titans Oakland Raiders OAK -1.5 Titans
Dallas Cowboys New York Giants NYG -2.5 Giants
Denver Broncos New England Patriots DEN -3 Broncos
San Francisco 49ers Washington Redskins SF -5 49ers

Pittsburgh Steelers against Cleveland Browns

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The Steelers were all kinds of bad early in the season, surprising anybody who knows how successful this organization has been year after year. It shouldn't be a surprise, then, that they've won four of six and suddenly have their season back.

It is quite a shocker, however, that the Steelers are underdogs. 

Surprises have come all over the place for Pittsburgh's competition. From trading Trent Richardson to starting a promising 4-6, the Browns have seen a bit more winning than they're used to but still have a ways to go.

Cleveland does boast one of the stronger defenses in the league, but Ben Roethlisberger has been just too dangerous in recent weeks to see that stopping him. He's had huge days in a loss to New England and win against Detroit in the last three weeks, sprinkled in with a solid performance against Buffalo in which he led his team to a victory. 

Big Ben has nine passing TDs through the air in his last three games, and more than one or two will be enough to put a stagnant Cleveland offense still aiming to find consistency on its heels. 

Steelers 30, Browns 23

New York Jets against Baltimore Ravens

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

The Jets have been incredibly inconsistent this season, bouncing back from each of their losses to get back into the win column—albeit for only a week at a time. But it's just more than that trend that they have going for them in a Week 12 showdown against Baltimore. 

Even in a 37-14 loss against the Bills last week, New York still had success running the ball with 134 yards on the ground. Buffalo had just 68, even though it enjoyed a large lead and had the opportunity to run the ball as much as it wanted in the second half.

Will the Jets continue their up-down trend with a W?

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Facing the top run defense in the league, Ray Rice won't be able to continue his recent effectiveness and will go back to the rusher who failed to surpass 45 yards in all but two games this season. 

The only way to get up on the Jets is to shred them through the air, and Joe Flacco has regressed at a notable pace this season after a memorable 2012 that earned him a hefty amount of dollars.  

All stats, unless otherwise noted, courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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