Week 12 of the 2013 NFL regular season is underway. The New Orleans Saints kicked things off with a 17-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
As the week progresses, teams will look to improve their position in the standings as the postseason approaches. While some are expected to win, others are viewed as underdogs as we enter the final stretch.
Here are the teams that will beat the odds.
|Week 12 NFL Predictions|
|Date||Road Team||Prediction||Home Team|
|Thursday, Nov. 21||New Orleans Saints||35-24||Atlanta Falcons|
|Sunday, Nov. 17||Pittsburgh Steelers||23-17||Cleveland Browns|
|Sunday, Nov. 17||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16-28||Detroit Lions|
|Sunday, Nov. 17||Minnesota Vikings||20-23||Green Bay Packers|
|Sunday, Nov. 17||San Diego Chargers||16-21||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Sunday, Nov. 17||Chicago Bears||17-13||St. Louis Rams|
|Sunday, Nov. 17||Carolina Panthers||24-14||Miami Dolphins|
|Sunday, Nov. 17||New York Jets||21-20||Baltimore Ravens|
|Sunday, Nov. 17||Jacksonville Jaguars||13-23||Houston Texans|
|Sunday, Nov. 17||Tennessee Titans||17-20||Oakland Raiders|
|Sunday, Nov. 17||Indianapolis Colts||20-24||Arizona Cardinals|
|Sunday, Nov. 17||Dallas Cowboys||35-27||New York Giants|
|Sunday, Nov. 17||Denver Broncos||34-30||New England Patriots|
|Monday, Nov. 18||San Francisco 49ers||26-17||Washington Redskins|
|Week 11: 8-5, Season: 91-56|
Opponent: at Cleveland Browns
Betting Line: Browns (-1) via BOVADA
Prediction: 23-17, Steelers
According to BOVADA, the Pittsburgh Steelers enter Week 12 as one-point underdogs against the Cleveland Browns. This is somewhat understandable considering the Browns and Steelers are both 4-6, and this game will be played in Cleveland.
Pittsburgh is the hotter and more skilled team, however, and it will win this game.
The Steelers have won four of their past six outings. In that time, Mike Tomlin's crew has earned wins over postseason contenders such as the Detroit Lions and New York Jets. This stretch of victories is a direct result of both Le'Veon Bell and Heath Miller returning to full strength.
Bell has helped create balance on offense by providing aid on the ground, while Miller has helped Roethlisberger as both a receiver and as a blocker.
The Browns make for an interesting opponent in this game due to their defensive prowess. Jason Campbell has performed well at quarterback, but the key here will be Cleveland's big-play-or-bust rushing attack going up against a Steelers defense that is due for a dominant rebound performance.
Pittsburgh earns a close, relatively low-scoring win here.
New York Jets
Opponent: at Baltimore Ravens
Betting Line: Ravens (-4) via BOVADA
Prediction: 21-20, Jets
The New York Jets will travel to face the Baltimore Ravens during Week 12. BOVADA currently lists Baltimore as four-point favorites to win, which is to be expected when a Jets team that's 1-4 on the road travels to play the defending Super Bowl champions.
Fortunately for New York, Baltimore is what its 4-6 record says it is: average.
Joe Flacco is completing less than 60.0 percent of his passes for the third consecutive season. He has 13 touchdowns to 13 interceptions, Ray Rice has just one game with at least 100 rushing yards, and the defense can only do so much for this dreadful offense.
Thus far, Baltimore has scored more than 20 points in three total games.
The Jets aren't an explosive offense, but Chris Ivory is shining at running back, and New York possesses the No. 1 run defense. Geno Smith is a major question mark, but the Jets pull out odds-defying wins, and Baltimore secures head-scratching losses.
That trend will continue as New York wins 21-20 here.
Opponent: vs. Tennessee Titans
Betting Line: Titans (-1.5) via BOVADA
Prediction: 20-17, Raiders
The Oakland Raiders are currently listed as 1.5-point underdogs against the Tennessee Titans, per BOVADA. Both teams are 4-6, but Oakland is 3-2 at home, and Tennessee is in the midst of a two-game losing streak.
Worst of all, the Titans have lost five of six.
Oakland has question marks all over, specifically at quarterback, but its rushing attack has been amongst the best in recent weeks. The Titans defense has been very strong, but it's No. 20 against the run in 2013.
That opens the door for surprising star Rashad Jennings to continue tearing opposing defenses apart.
Jennings has 340 rushing yards and two touchdowns during his past three games. That includes a 150-yard performance against the Houston Texans during Week 11, and that should be enough for Oakland to enter winning position.
It won't be a pretty game, but I trust Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Titans as little as I do Matt McGloin of the Raiders. Oakland wins ugly.
Opponent: at New York Giants
Betting Line: Giants (-3) via BOVADA
Prediction: 35-27, Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys have been one of the most frustrating teams in the NFL. The New York Giants are, arguably, the hottest team in football, securing four straight victories after starting at 0-6.
In that time, New York hasn't faced a quarterback who's even in the stratosphere of Tony Romo.
New York's winning streak has come against teams with Matt Barkley, Josh Freeman, Terrelle Pryor and Scott Tolzien at quarterback. With all due respect to those players, none are the prolific passers that Romo has become during his time as the Cowboys' field general.
Say what you will about his fourth-quarter struggles, but even during New York's winning streak, Eli Manning hasn't been the model of consistency.
Manning has three passing touchdowns during New York's four-game winning streak, while Romo has three during his past two games. Romo is coming off a performance in which he was dominated by Drew Brees, and that means he's in store for something big.
New York doesn't have the defense to counter Dallas' passing attack, and that will be the deciding factor.