Week 12 NFL Picks: Biggest Locks to Cover the Spread

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVNovember 21, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 17:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints throws a pass the San Francisco 49ers at  Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 17, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Saints defeated the 49ers 23-20.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

With the season now past its halfway point and teams jockeying for playoff position amid a parity-stricken NFL, tensions are high as most of the league is still fighting for the postseason.

Even though we're entering Week 12, very few teams are out of the running, as records such as 5-5 and 4-6 dominate the landscape. But despite that parity, a few favorites are guaranteed to cover the spread this week. 

Here is a look at teams that are locks for victory in Week 12.

Week 12 Picks + Spread
Away TeamHome TeamSpreadPick
New Orleans SaintsAtlanta FalconsNO -7.5Saints
Pittsburgh SteelersCleveland BrownsCLE -2Steelers
Tampa Bay BuccaneersDetroit LionsDET -9.5Lions
Minnesota VikingsGreen Bay PackersGB -3Packers
Jacksonville JaguarsHouston TexansHOU -10Texans
San Diego ChargersKansas City ChiefsKC -4.5Chiefs
New York JetsBaltimore RavensBAL -3.5Jets
Chicago BearsSt. Louis RamsSTL -1Bears
Carolina PanthersMiami DolphinsCAR -3.5Panthers
Indianapolis ColtsArizona CardinalsARI -1Cardinals
Tennessee TitansOakland RaidersOAK -1.5Titans
Dallas CowboysNew York GiantsNYG -2.5Giants
Denver BroncosNew England PatriotsDEN -3Broncos
San Francisco 49ersWashington RedskinsSF -549ers
VegasInsider

 

Kansas City Chiefs (4.5) over San Diego Chargers

Nov 17, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) leaves the field following the loss to the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY S
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Not only did the Chiefs lose their unbeaten record this past weekend, but they also showed an inability to get to the passer for the first time this season. 

Playing in Denver and against Peyton Manning had a lot to do with both of those developments, and it just so happens that Kansas City enjoys a return home this weekend to face the Chargers, who have lost three straight. 

The Chiefs defense got exposed for the first time all season against the Broncos, but holding Manning to 27 points is actually quite the feat. The fact that it was the first time in 10 games that Kansas City has given up more than 17 points says all you need to know about the defense—it's one of the best units in the NFL.

About the only chance for the Chargers to pull off the upset would be if they get the ground game running with Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews. However, the Chiefs' front seven will be hungry in Week 12 after being questioned all over the place due to their ineffective performance in Denver.

After shutting down the run, the Chiefs should be able to make Philip Rivers pay, as they average more than one interception per game. 

Chiefs 24, Chargers 14

 

San Francisco 49ers (-5) over Washington Redskins

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 17:  Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers throws a pass against the New Orleans Saints at  Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 17, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Saints defeated the 49ers 23-20.  (Photo by Wesley
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Speaking of hungry teams, the Niners are coming off another two-game losing streak. They are ready to overcome the controversial call on Ahmad Brooks in last weekend's loss to the Saints and get back in the win column. 

Colin Kaepernick has struggled to find his rhythm in the passing game, throwing for less than 200 yards in the last two games. That should change in this matchup because the Redskins pass defense is one of the worst at 26th in the league.

The Washington offense is having all sorts of problems as well. The unit matched up well last weekend against Philadelphia's putrid secondary, and Robert Griffin III still completed less than half of his passes and threw a pick. His two fourth-quarter touchdowns didn't make a difference.

RG3 won't be able to rally back in a game like this. The 49ers boast one of the scariest defenses in the league with playmakers at each level and rank in the top 12 both on the ground and through the air. 

49ers 27, Redskins 17

 

Green Bay Packers (-3) over Minnesota Vikings

Sunday's matchup against Minnesota is just what the doctor ordered for Green Bay's sudden starting quarterback Scott Tolzien. 

In one start and one game coming in for Seneca Wallace (practically two starts, considering Wallace was hurt early against Philly), Tolzien has thrown just one touchdown and five picks. But those results don't do his performances justice.

In those two games, he is averaging more than 300 yards per contest and has completed 65.8 percent of his passes. 

Better?

Unfortunately for the Pack, Tolzien's encouraging games came against clubs who got things going early offensively. The same can't be said of the Vikings, who have scored a first-quarter touchdown in just one of their last three games. 

It will be Tolzien's second game at home, but he was thrust into his first, and that makes all the difference when it comes to starting quarterbacks. 

In these last three weeks, the Packers have realized their playoff hopes are in jeopardy. That sobering dose of reality should be all they need to light a fire under them against an overmatched opponent.

Packers 27, Vikings 14