Going into Week 12, the Lions and Bucs were unbeaten at home and on the road, respectively, against the spread (ATS), per PredictEm.com. After suffering a 21-point loss to the Patriots on Thanksgiving, however, the Lions saw their streak end. Will the Bucs, who visit Baltimore to take on the Ravens this week, suffer the same fate?
Each week, I pick three NFL games against the spread (ATS). Last week, I was 2-1 ATS and here are my three picks for Week 12:
Through ten games, the Raiders have allowed 200-plus passing yards only three times. Two of those games were their last two without the services of shutdown cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who is expected to return on Sunday.
One player who won't play this weekend is Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall, who has failed to reach 50 receiving yards in each of his past three games. Although Brian Hartline has picked up some of the slack (three straight games with 70-plus yards), that streak may come to an end if Asomugha lines up opposite Hartline.
It only took half a season for the Rams to win more games (four) than they won in the previous two seasons combined (three). In addition to winning four games, the Rams have been competitive in four other games in which they lost by three points or less.
Even though the Rams are 0-4 on the road this season, they have covered three of those games. The Rams have the advantage when it comes to the ground game. The Broncos rank last in run offense (75.4 yards per game) and second-to-last in run defense (143.5 YPG allowed). Plus no team has allowed more rushing touchdowns than the Broncos (15) whereas only two teams—Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns—have allowed fewer than the Rams (four).
While the Colts have lost two close games in the past three weeks, the Chargers seem to be getting their groove back as winners of three straight games. And for whatever reason, the Chargers have had the Colts' number recently winning four of their past five matchups dating back to 2005.
Both teams have struggled staying (or getting) healthy on offense, but the Chargers get back wide receiver Vincent Jackson this week. I expect Jackson to hit the ground running or close to it as he's been able to practice with the team for the past three weeks. This game could go down to the wire so I'll take the points.
FYI: You can discuss all of this week's games in our NFL Gameday Forum.
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