Bleacher Report's Expert Week 12 NFL Picks

BR NFL StaffNovember 23, 2022

Bleacher Report's Expert Week 12 NFL Picks

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    Dak Prescott (left) and Ezekiell Elliott (right)
    AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King

    With every NFL team set to play in Week 12, bettors can bank a lot of extra cash with some action on a full slate of games. Bleacher Report’s experts delivered the goods a day early for anyone who wants to place wagers on early lines in advance of the Thanksgiving Day triple-header.

    NFL analysts Gary Davenport, Brent Sobleski, Kris Knox and Maurice Moton, editor Wes O'Donnell and B/R Betting host of "Winners Only Wednesdays" Greg Ivory have a tight competition going, specifically at the top, with three panelists separated by one correct bet. With that said, O'Donnell has jumped into second place while on a hot streak as of late.

    Before you dive into Week 12 picks, take a look at where our experts rank in the overall standings for the 2022 season, with last week's records in parentheses.

    1. Davenport: 84-75-5 (6-8)

    2. O'Donnell: 83-76-5 (9-5)

    3. Moton: 82-77-5 (4-10)

    4. Ivory: 77-82-5 (5-9)

    5. Knox: 75-84-5 (6-8)

    6. Sobleski: 74-85-5 (8-6)

    Consensus picks: 80-68-5 (4-7)

    Lines are from DraftKings as of Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET. Check DraftKings for the latest odds info. Information on public betting trends is courtesy of the Action Network. Against the spread records are provided by Team Rankings.

Buffalo Bills (7-3) at Detroit Lions (4-6)

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    Jamaal Williams
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Editor's Note: Bills defeated the Lions 28-25 on Thursday.

    DK Line: Bills -10

    In continuation of NFL tradition, the Detroit Lions will host the opening Thanksgiving Day game. This year, they’ll go head-to-head with another team that fields a top-eight scoring offense, so football fans could see these clubs score a lot of points in the first contest of a triple-header.

    The Lions ride a three-game winning streak into this matchup with a defense that's forced seven turnovers during that span. Their defensive unit will face a tough test with quarterback Josh Allen and wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis capable of going up and down the field in a flash.

    Davenport took a look at the Lions' history of Thanksgiving Day games and liked what he saw—enough for him to take them with the points.

    "It's not hard to imagine a scenario here in which the Bills mash the Lions like a bowl of potatoes. Beat the stuffing out of them. Give them the yamming of the year (OK, I went one too far). Three-game winning streak or not, the Lions aren't great defensively, and the Bills will want to set an early Week 12 pace in the AFC East.

    "But the Lions have been playing better these past few weeks, and Detroit has a tendency to hang around on Turkey Day. There has been just one instance in the last decade in which the Lions wouldn't have covered a spread this big. Give me the home team and Thanksgiving tradition. Pass the gravy."


    Davenport: Lions

    Ivory: Bills

    Knox: Bills

    Moton: Lions

    O'Donnell: Bills

    Sobleski: Lions

    Consensus: None

    Score Prediction: Bills 34, Lions 26

New York Giants (7-3) at Dallas Cowboys (7-3)

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    Tony Pollard
    AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn

    Editor's Note: Cowboys defeated the Giants 28-20 on Thursday.

    DK Line: Cowboys -9.5

    In their traditional midday Thanksgiving spot, the Dallas Cowboys will host the New York Giants, whom they beat 23-16 in Week 3 with Cooper Rush under center.

    The Cowboys should feel good about a chance to sweep their season series with the Giants after their 40-3 road win over the Minnesota Vikings (8-2) last week. Quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott are healthy, and Tony Pollard looks like an ascending game-breaking playmaker out of the backfield, logging 63 carries for 409 yards and four touchdowns on the ground along with 12 catches for 164 yards and two scores over Dallas' last four games.

    Last week, the Lions throttled the Giants 31-18. In that game, Big Blue turned the ball over three times, and several players went down with injuries. The Cowboys' No. 1-ranked scoring defense and seventh-ranked scoring offensive attack could overwhelm head coach Brian Daboll's squad on Thanksgiving.

    Yet O'Donnell expects the Giants to respond with their backs against the wall.

    "This is a recipe for disaster for the New York Giants. It's a road game on a short week at a division rival that has already beaten them this season without Dak Prescott. The Giants lost the last semblance of a dynamic threat not named Saquon Barkley after Wan'Dale Robinson's unfortunate ACL tear. Top cornerback Adoree' Jackson, who was injured while inexplicably returning a punt in last week's game, is also out.

    “All signs point to the Cowboys running wild offensively while making life miserable for Daniel Jones, who was sacked five times and absorbed 12 QB hits in their last meeting. Talent-wise, New York loses the tale of the tape in nearly every position battle of this game. And all of that is why I'm riding with Big Blue. Everything is stacked against the Giants. Give me the points."


    Davenport: Cowboys

    Ivory: Cowboys

    Knox: Cowboys

    Moton: Cowboys

    O'Donnell: Giants

    Sobleski: Giants

    Consensus: Cowboys -9.5

    Score Prediction: Cowboys 31, Giants 21

New England Patriots (6-4) at Minnesota Vikings (8-2)

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    Justin Jefferson
    AP Photo/Stacy Bengs

    Editor's Note: Vikings defeated the Patriots 33-26 on Thursday.

    DK Line: Vikings -3

    In the third game of this year's Thanksgiving triple-header, the Minnesota Vikings will host the New England Patriots in a matchup between two teams that probably come into this contest with completely different attitudes.

    On one side, the Patriots will attempt to win their fourth consecutive outing. They'll face a Vikings squad that lost by 37 points at home last Sunday.

    Moton hasn't soured on the Vikings, though.

    "Bettors should resist the urge to sell stock in the Vikings after their 40-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11. Typically, when a good team endures that type of embarrassment on its home turf, it comes out with razor-sharp focus and produces a quality performance in the following outing. The Vikings remain at U.S. Bank Stadium for the Thanksgiving Day nightcap, and they'll bounce back against the Patriots.

    "Sure, the Patriots have won three consecutive games, but they beat the New York Jets in two of those contests—a squad that’s noncommittal to its second-year quarterback in Zach Wilson. Between those division victories, New England dominated the Indianapolis Colts (26-3), who were starting second-year signal-caller Sam Ehlinger for the second time in his career.

    "Don't let the Patriots' record fool you. They're still struggling on offense with the 20th-ranked scoring attack and the 25th spot in total yards. New England won't keep up with Minnesota as the NFC North club tries to shake off its worst showing of the 2022 season."


    Davenport: Patriots

    Ivory: Vikings

    Knox: Vikings

    Moton: Vikings

    O'Donnell: Vikings

    Sobleski: Vikings

    Consensus: Vikings -3

    Score Prediction: Vikings 26, Patriots 20

Chicago Bears (3-8) at New York Jets (6-4)

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    Michael Carter
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    DK Line: Jets -4.5

    Both the Chicago Bears and New York Jets have a big question mark at the quarterback position.

    Head coach Matt Eberflus called Justin Fields day-to-day with a shoulder injury. Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Bears signal-caller suffered a dislocated left shoulder. Trevor Siemian is the primary backup in Chicago.

    As for the Jets, lead skipper Robert Saleh hasn't committed to starting Zach Wilson after his abysmal performance (nine completions out of 22 attempts for 77 yards) against the Patriots last week.

    Moton sorted all of this out and took the squad with the better defense.

    "If Fields came into this game healthy, the Bears would've been the easy choice, but that's not the case," Moton said. "Even if he plays, don't expect him to be the same dynamic signal-caller you saw in the past several weeks.

    "Gang Green have a top-10 defense in total yards and scoring, so the unit should have a strong performance against a banged-up quarterback or a backup in Siemian. The Jets need Wilson to make easy throws and avoid turnovers for the offense to chip away at the league's 27th-ranked scoring defense.

    "If the Jets choose to start Mike White or Joe Flacco, wideouts Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore and tight end Tyler Conklin would become viable pass-catching threats. Regardless, New York should be able to run the ball effectively against the Bears' 29th-ranked run defense. Michael Carter and James Robinson should have a big day on the ground to carry the Jets to a victory by at least a touchdown."


    Davenport: Jets

    Ivory: Bears

    Knox: Bears

    Moton: Jets

    O'Donnell: Jets

    Sobleski: Bears

    Consensus: None

    Score Prediction: Jets 23, Bears 17

Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) at Tennessee Titans (7-3)

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    Derrick Henry
    AP Photo/Morry Gash

    DK Line: Bengals -1.5

    These teams played in the 2021 divisional round of the playoffs, and the Cincinnati Bengals won that matchup thanks in large part to Evan McPherson, who made four field goals, including a pair of 52-plus-yard kicks in a tight 19-16 finish.

    Both clubs have picked up steam headed into this contest, though the Titans look exceptionally impressive with seven wins in their last eight outings.

    Sobleski added context to the tale of the tape between these AFC playoff contenders, and he went against the consensus.

    "Aside from some unexpected witchcraft against the Cleveland Browns on Halloween, the Bengals won four of their last five contests by scoring an average of 36 points per game. Comparatively, the Titans haven't scored 30 points once this season. To be fair, Tennessee's scoring defense ranks eighth overall by allowing 18.5 points per contest, but the unit is vulnerable through the air with the league's 30th-ranked pass defense.

    "When the Bengals are rolling, their aerial attack is nearly impossible to stop. To make matters worse for Tennessee, a previously hobbled Ja'Marr Chase (hip) will practice this week, and the elite vertical threat could play Sunday."


    Davenport: Titans

    Ivory: Bengals

    Knox: Titans

    Moton: Titans

    O'Donnell: Titans

    Sobleski: Bengals

    Consensus: Titans +1.5

    Score Prediction: Titans 27, Bengals 23

Atlanta Falcons (5-6) at Washington Commanders (6-5)

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    Cordarrelle Patterson
    Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

    DK Line: Commanders -4

    A pair of surprisingly competitive teams (in the standings) with similar records will square off. Both have a shot to win a division in the NFC.

    Despite a limited passing attack (ranked 31st) with Marcus Mariota under center, the Atlanta Falcons have found ways to win with their third-ranked ground game that features four ball-carriers (including Mariota) with at least 335 rushing yards.

    As for the Washington Commanders, head coach Ron Rivera has named quarterback Taylor Heinicke the starter over Carson Wentz for the foreseeable future. They've activated Pro Bowl edge-rusher Chase Young (torn ACL and MCL) from injured reserve, and he could make his 2022 debut Sunday.

    Though Knox thinks the Commanders will continue their winning ways with Heinicke, he expects the Falcons to cover the spread in rainy conditions.

    "Unlike my picks, the Commanders are trending in the right direction and have won five of their last six games," he said. “I think there's a very good chance that they make it six of seven, but I think we'll also see a very close game between these clubs.

    "Atlanta's biggest defensive deficiency is against the pass, but I don't expect Heinicke to air it out Sunday. We'll see rain in the forecast this weekend, and FedEx Field isn't exactly known for pristine conditions. I anticipate a low-scoring, somewhat sloppy game between teams that desperately want to win with the run."


    Davenport: Commanders

    Ivory: Falcons

    Knox: Falcons

    Moton: Commanders

    O'Donnell: Commanders

    Sobleski: Falcons

    Consensus: None

    Score Prediction: Commanders 23, Falcons 20

Denver Broncos (3-7) at Carolina Panthers (3-8)

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    Russell Wilson
    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    DK Line: Broncos -2.5

    Before the Denver Broncos' Week 11 matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders, head coach Nathaniel Hackett gave up play-calling duties to quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Klint Kubiak.

    Russell Wilson had a decent outing against the Silver and Black, completing 24 of 31 passes for 247 yards, though the Broncos made a poor decision to throw the ball, which went incomplete, as opposed to milking the clock late in regulation. As a result, the Raiders had more than enough time to tie the game with a field goal to force overtime.

    On Monday, Denver released running back Melvin Gordon III, who fumbled inside the Raiders' 5-yard line last week. By the way, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Broncos running back Chase Edmonds will miss multiple weeks with a high ankle sprain.

    Denver has an underwhelming passing attack (ranked 15th with the second-fewest touchdowns). The team's backfield features Latavius Murray, whom the team signed from the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad in October, and Marlon Mack, who signed with the club a month ago. Don’t expect this squad to score a lot of points—even against the lowly Carolina Panthers.

    Despite all of that, Moton backed the Broncos.

    "With Kubiak as the play-caller last week, Wilson posted his best passer rating (99.8) since Week 4 (also against the Raiders), which provides some hope that the Broncos' passing attack will improve over the next several weeks," he said.

    "Meanwhile, the Panthers have tabbed quarterback Sam Darnold as their starter. He hasn't played since the preseason because of a high ankle sprain.

    "Bettors should take the Broncos in a low-scoring game. Up against Denver's third-ranked scoring defense, Carolina may fail to record a double-digit point total in consecutive weeks."


    Davenport: Broncos

    Ivory: Broncos

    Knox: Broncos

    Moton: Broncos

    O'Donnell: Panthers

    Sobleski: Broncos

    Consensus: Broncos -2.5

    Score Prediction: Broncos 17, Panthers 13

Houston Texans (1-8-1) at Miami Dolphins (7-3)

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    Tua Tagovailoa
    AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

    DK Line: Dolphins -13

    The Miami Dolphins may have to prepare for the unknown headed into this matchup.

    On Monday, during a press conference, Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith said the team will make changes going forward. That may result in a start for quarterback Kyle Allen over Davis Mills, who's thrown for 11 touchdowns and a league-leading 11 interceptions.

    At 1-8-1, the Texans must change something about their method, but Moton doesn't think it matters as they go against an offensive juggernaut in Miami.

    "Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel can toss his hat in the ring of Coach of the Year candidates. With two more wins, Miami can match its win total from the 2021 campaign. Under the first-year lead skipper's tutelage, Tua Tagovailoa has grown exponentially as he leads the league in touchdown rate (7.3 percent of his pass attempts result in a score), yards gained per pass attempt (9.1), yards per completion (12.9), passer rating (118.4) and QBR (83.1).

    "Of course, wideouts Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle deserve some credit for Tagovailoa's impressive passing numbers, but McDaniel put the pieces in place for the Dolphins' sixth-ranked scoring offense. By the way, Miami added running back Jeff Wilson Jr. before the Nov. 1 trade deadline, and he's brought life to the team’s ground attack, rushing for 170 yards and a touchdown in two contests since the move to Miami.

    "McDaniel had an extra (bye) week to game-plan for this matchup, which sets the stage for a blowout victory at home. If Tagovailoa doesn't throw for 250-plus yards and multiple touchdowns, Raheem Mostert and Wilson will get the job done on the ground against the Texans' run defense, which allows the most yards per game."


    Davenport: Dolphins

    Ivory: Dolphins

    Knox: Dolphins

    Moton: Dolphins

    O'Donnell: Dolphins

    Sobleski: Dolphins

    Consensus: Dolphins -13

    Score Prediction: Dolphins 34, Texans 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5) at Cleveland Browns (3-7)

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    Rachaad White
    AP Photo/Alex Menendez

    DK Line: Buccaneers -3.5

    After a rocky stretch through October, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have turned the corner. Before their Week 11 bye, they strung together a couple of wins with the last one against the Seahawks in Munich.

    Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns have been outscored by their opponents 70-40 over the past two weeks.

    Moton believes in Tampa Bay's turnaround, and he can see the Buccaneers offense clicking on all cylinders against a bottom-tier defense.

    "Two weeks ago, Tampa Bay found its ground attack with rookie third-rounder Rachaad White. He rushed for 105 yards on 22 carries and iced the game with an 18-yard run on the final possession. The Buccaneers will likely feed him and Leonard Fournette to poke holes in the Browns' 23rd-ranked run defense, which has allowed the third-most touchdowns in the league this season.

    "The Buccaneers haven't scored a ton of points (27th leaguewide), but among quarterback Tom Brady, who has a plethora of playmakers at wide receiver in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage and Julio Jones, and White coupled with Fournette, they shouldn't have a problem covering a 3.5-point spread against the Browns' 30th-ranked scoring defense."


    Davenport: Buccaneers

    Ivory: Buccaneers

    Knox: Buccaneers

    Moton: Buccaneers

    O'Donnell: Buccaneers

    Sobleski: Buccaneers

    Consensus: Buccaneers -3.5

    Score Prediction: Buccaneers 28, Browns 23

Baltimore Ravens (7-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7)

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    Lamar Jackson
    Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

    DK Line: Ravens -4

    Atop the AFC North, the Baltimore Ravens will attempt to win their fifth consecutive game in a matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are still trying to find their way under new head coach Doug Pederson.

    While the Jaguars need quarterback Trevor Lawrence to make significant strides if they are to become a playoff contender, they have relied heavily on his former Clemson teammate Travis Etienne Jr. The second-year running back has rushed for 109-plus yards in three of Jacksonville's last four outings.

    Though Etienne will go against the Ravens' third-ranked run defense, Moton took the points with the Jaguars.

    "The Ravens have one of the best records in the AFC, but they're not a dominant team," he said. "This season, they have let opponents hang around. Baltimore has won three of its last five contests by five points or fewer. Though the Ravens beat the Panthers last week, they were tied 3-3 in the fourth quarter in a defensive slugfest.

    "The Jaguars have had time to regroup with a bye and can slow down the run-heavy Ravens with their 10th-ranked run defense.

    "Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson doesn't have prolific playmaking wide receivers to attack the Jacksonville secondary. Over the past four weeks, he has thrown for just three touchdowns with one interception. Tight end Mark Andrews poses the only consistent threat; wideout Devin Duvernay has two catches for eight yards over the last two games. With running back Gus Edwards still on the mend from a hamstring injury, Baltimore won't be able to bully its way to a big victory. Jaguars lose by a field goal at home."


    Davenport: Ravens

    Ivory: Ravens

    Knox: Ravens

    Moton: Jaguars

    O'Donnell: Ravens

    Sobleski: Jaguars

    Consensus: Ravens -4

    Score Prediction: Ravens 26, Jaguars 21

Las Vegas Raiders (3-7) at Seattle Seahawks (6-4)

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    Geno Smith
    AP Photo/Gary McCullough

    DK Line: Seahawks -3.5

    The Seattle Seahawks have had extra time to mull over their mistakes from a 21-16 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Munich and prepare for the Las Vegas Raiders.

    Going into Week 12, Geno Smith leads the league in completion rate (72.8 percent), and he's thrown for 17 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 10 starts. Seattle running back Ken Walker III looks ready for the spotlight, having rushed for 587 yards and seven touchdowns with 103 receiving yards.

    The Seahawks could face a tough test in the Raiders, who have a strong quarterback-wide receiver duo in Derek Carr and Davante Adams. They connected on a game-winning touchdown against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

    O'Donnell remains skeptical of Smith's run, and he's not ready to dismiss the Raiders despite their poor record.

    "One of the most disappointing teams of the season, the Raiders got a morale-boosting overtime win last week in Denver, and I'm willing to roll with that momentum," he said. "Seattle is coming off its bye week, and it's unclear if Smith can keep his magical run going. He hasn't started this many games since his second season in 2014, and I'm still just not a believer.

    "The Raiders need a near-miracle to find the postseason, but I don't think Carr and Co. will roll over. I'll take the points and would not be surprised at all to see them win outright."


    Davenport: Seahawks

    Ivory: Seahawks

    Knox: Seahawks

    Moton: Seahawks

    O'Donnell: Raiders

    Sobleski: Seahawks

    Consensus: Seahawks -3.5

    Score Prediction: Seahawks 30, Raiders 24

Los Angeles Chargers (5-5) at Arizona Cardinals (4-7)

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    Justin Herbert
    AP Photo/Kyusung Gong

    DK Line: Chargers -4.5

    In their previous outing, the Arizona Cardinals couldn't hang with the San Francisco 49ers in Mexico City, going down 38-10 with Colt McCoy as the starter for Kyler Murray (hamstring).

    Per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the Cardinals may hold Murray out until after their Week 13 bye, which would allow McCoy to log a third consecutive start. If that's the case, the Los Angeles Chargers should be able to cover a 4.5-point spread.

    Our entire panel picked the Chargers without hesitation. Moton spoke on behalf of the group's unanimous consensus.

    "Even though wide receiver Mike Williams reinjured his ankle early in last week's game against Kansas City, the Chargers got wideout Keenan Allen back on the field for 68 percent of the offensive snaps," he said. "The latter didn't show any lingering effects from a hamstring injury, hauling in five passes for 94 yards. Meanwhile, Joshua Palmer caught eight passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

    "The Chargers have enough offensive firepower to pierce the Cardinals' 23rd-ranked pass defense. The Arizona offense isn't the same without Murray, who can make plays with his legs, so don't bet your money on McCoy and Co. to keep pace with a quality opponent. We made that mistake with our consensus pick last week."


    Davenport: Chargers

    Ivory: Chargers

    Knox: Chargers

    Moton: Chargers

    O'Donnell: Chargers

    Sobleski: Chargers

    Consensus: Chargers -4.5

    Score Prediction: Chargers 28, Cardinals 20

Los Angeles Rams (3-7) at Kansas City Chiefs (8-2)

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    Travis Kelce
    Harry How/Getty Images

    DK Line: Chiefs -14.5

    In this matchup, the Los Angeles Rams may not have quarterback Matthew Stafford as he goes through the concussion protocol for the second straight week. After Stafford exited Sunday, Bryce Perkins completed five of 10 passes for 64 yards and took three sacks.

    Without wideout Cooper Kupp (high ankle sprain) and with Stafford's status in some doubt, the Rams don't have much of a chance to keep pace with the Kansas City Chiefs' No. 1-ranked scoring offense unless their defense has one of its best performances. Even then, Los Angeles seems like a long shot to put up a fight.

    With the exception of O'Donnell, our crew laid the points with Kansas City. Moton explained why he felt comfortable in his decision to back the Chiefs with a 14.5-point spread.

    "If any team can cover a massive line against a lesser opponent, Kansas City can do it," he said. "This season, the Chiefs have a couple of 21-plus-point road wins against the Cardinals and 49ers. Even though they're 1-3 against the spread as a home favorite, they will face an opponent without its top offensive playmaker in Kupp and with Perkins or John Wolford in place of Stafford. By the way, in an unexpected move, Los Angeles released its leading rusher, Darrell Henderson Jr., on Tuesday.

    "The Saints' 15th-ranked scoring offense racked up 27 points against the Rams defense with Andy Dalton at the helm. As the maestro for the top-ranked offense, Patrick Mahomes will be like a shark that smells blood in the water at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City shellacks Los Angeles to cover the spread."


    Davenport: Chiefs

    Ivory: Chiefs

    Knox: Chiefs

    Moton: Chiefs

    O'Donnell: Rams

    Sobleski: Chiefs

    Consensus: Chiefs -14.5

    Score Prediction: Chiefs 34, Rams 16

New Orleans Saints (4-7) at San Francisco 49ers (6-4)

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    Alvin Kamara
    AP Photo/Butch Dill

    DK Line: 49ers -9

    Fresh off a 38-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Mexico City, the San Francisco 49ers are back home to host the New Orleans Saints, who just avoided a three-game skid with a 27-20 win over the injury-riddled Rams.

    Saints head coach Dennis Allen decided to stick with quarterback Andy Dalton as the starter over Jameis Winston, and that paid off. The 12th-year signal-caller finished 21-of-25 passing for 260 yards and three touchdowns.

    Dalton will face a stingy defense that hasn't allowed more than 16 points in any of the team's last three outings. San Francisco won two of those contests by 17 or more points.

    Davenport sided with the heavy home favorite.

    "Laying this many points two weeks in a row with the 49ers is a tad unsettling—San Francisco has no shortage of offensive firepower, but Jimmy Garoppolo isn't going to throw four touchdown passes two weeks in a row. With that said, the Niners are getting healthy on both sides of the ball and showed impressive balance in curb-stomping the Cardinals on Monday.

    "The Saints under Dalton really aren't measurably better than the Cardinals, and New Orleans is 0-4 against the spread in its last four games on grass. Niners cruise in the first contest of a three-game homestand."


    Davenport: 49ers

    Ivory: 49ers

    Knox: Saints

    Moton: 49ers

    O'Donnell: 49ers

    Sobleski: Saints

    Consensus: 49ers -9

    Score Prediction: 49ers 27, Saints 17

Green Bay Packers (4-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (9-1)

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    Aaron Rodgers
    AP Photo/Matt Ludtke

    DK Line: Eagles -7

    The Green Bay Packers have had a few extra days to prepare for the NFL's win-loss leader in the Philadelphia Eagles, who squeaked past the Indianapolis Colts with a 17-16 win on Sunday.

    Under Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are in an unfamiliar position well outside the playoff picture with the NFC North title almost completely out of reach during the week of Thanksgiving.

    On a positive note, Rodgers has built a rapport with wideout Christian Watson over the last couple of weeks. Since Week 10, the rookie second-rounder has hauled in eight passes for 155 yards and five touchdowns.

    Though most of our crew believes the Packers will score enough to remain within one possession of the Eagles, Sobleski had a different thought because of Philadelphia's stifling defense.

    "Could this be as simple as picking the NFL's best team (record-wise) over an opponent that's lost six of its last seven games? The real question revolves around the spread, as the Eagles must make this a two-score game," he said. "Rodgers is experiencing the NFL's first back-to-back MVP hangover campaign, since he ranks outside the top 15 in passing yards per contest, yards per attempt and QBR.

    "The Packers are far more effective when they smartly employ both Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon in the running game. With that said, the Eagles reinforced their second-ranked defense last week with the shrewd signings of defensive tackles Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh—both of whom played well on a short week against the Colts."


    Davenport: Eagles

    Ivory: Packers

    Knox: Packers

    Moton: Packers

    O'Donnell: Packers

    Sobleski: Eagles

    Consensus: Packers +7

    Score Prediction: Eagles 28, Packers 24

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-7) at Indianapolis Colts (4-6-1)

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    Matt Ryan
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    DK Line: Colts -2.5

    As an interim head coach, Jeff Saturday is 1-1, and the Colts have shown a competitive fire in both contests after a 26-3 loss to the New England Patriots in Week 9.

    Saturday's decision to reinstate quarterback Matt Ryan as the starter over Sam Ehlinger has stabilized the offense, and running back Jonathan Taylor has reached paydirt in back-to-back games after going scoreless in five consecutive outings.

    Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers have struggled to win games with rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, who is 2-4 as a starter and has thrown for 1,426 yards and three touchdowns against eight interceptions with a 65.4 percent completion rate in seven contests. He has yet to throw for multiple touchdowns in a game this season.

    We had a split decision for this Monday Night Football showdown, though the Colts—under Saturday's tutelage—have gained Knox's trust.

    "I don't know if Indianapolis' decision to hire Saturday will pay long-term dividends, but the Colts have been a more disciplined, driven and physical team over the last two weeks," he said. "They nearly upset the Eagles in Week 11 and have allowed fewer than 21 points in four of their last five games. I don't expect to see a ton of scoring from Pickett and Co. in this one.

    "My concern is T.J. Watt and the Pittsburgh pass rush against an inconsistent line and a statuesque Ryan. There's a chance Indy's game plan will get wrecked and the Steelers defense scores a few points itself. However, I trust Ryan just enough against arguably the worst secondary in the league to take the Colts by a slim margin at home."


    Davenport: Steelers

    Ivory: Colts

    Knox: Colts

    Moton: Colts

    O'Donnell: Steelers

    Sobleski: Steelers

    Consensus: None

    Score Prediction: Colts 23, Steelers 20

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