We've reached a point in the NFL season where motivation is key. Teams that are fighting for their playoff lives tend to play a little harder than those with players planning offseason vacations. With that in mind, here are three favorites that will cover the spread in Week 12.
Green Bay Packers (-6)
Everybody expected the Packers to be good this season, but a far smaller numbers expected them to be this good. Aaron Rodgers is in a class of his own and that's saying a lot when you consider how many elite quarterbacks are trying to emulate his success.
Even though the Detroit Lions will provide a solid Thanksgiving test, Detroit's defense just gave up 35 points to Carolina. That makes it hard to imagine them slowing down Green Bay enough to keep the game close in the fourth quarter.
Prediction: Packers by 13
New York Jets (-8)
New York beat the Bills by 16 points just three weeks ago and that game was in Buffalo. Now the teams face off again in what amounts to an AFC playoff elimination game and it's hard to imagine the result being much different.
The Jets are a bad matchup for Buffalo, which is fading away with each passing week because of their physical style. Add that to a Bills defense that has looked like the league's worst in recent weeks and it should equal a big Jets win.
Which of these teams is the best pick in Week 12?
Prediction: Jets by 17
Carolina Panthers (-3.5)
Carolina might not be in playoff contention but they continue to fight hard as evidenced by last week's game vs. Detroit. It's hard to say the same about the Colts, who appear to be going through the motions until the nightmare season is over.
Cam Newton will give the Indianapolis defense fits with his dual-threat ability. And, while the Panthers defense isn't as efficient, the Colts offense doesn't have enough playmakers to make them pay. A winless season is certainly possible.
Prediction: Panthers by 10