NFL Picks Week 12: Expert Predictions, Odds Guide and Over-Under LinesNovember 22, 2018
It's Week 12 of the 2018 NFL season, and football fans have a lot to be thankful for—including a trio of divisional matchups on Thanksgiving Day itself.
The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys naturally kick off the week, hosting the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins, respectively. For the nightcap, the New Orleans Saints host the Atlanta Falcons.
The excitement certainly doesn't end on Thursday night, as we have a number of intriguing matchups, including five other divisional battles.
If you're looking to find just a little extra to be thankful for, though, we certainly understand. We're here to help you find some additional opportunities by checking out the latest odds and over/unders from OddsShark.
We'll also check in with the opinions of experts from around the internet and media world and take a closer look at the most unpredictable games.
NFL Week 12 Lines and Over/Unders
Thursday, November 22
Chicago Bears (-3, 43) at Detroit Lions
Washington Redskins (+7, 41) at Dallas Cowboys
Atlanta Falcons (+12.5, 60) at New Orleans Saints
Sunday, November 25
Cleveland Browns (+3, 47.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
Seattle Seahawks (+3.5, 47.5) at Carolina Panthers
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3, 37) at Buffalo Bills
Oakland Raiders (+10.5, 43) at Baltimore Ravens
San Francisco 49ers (+3, 54) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New York Giants (+5.5, 46.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
New England Patriots (-9.5, 46) at New York Jets
Arizona Cardinals (+12.5, 44.5) at Los Angeles Chargers
Miami Dolphins (+7.5, 51) at Indianapolis Colts
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3, 46.5) at Denver Broncos
Green Bay Packers (+3, 47.5) at Minnesota Vikings
Monday, November 26
Tennessee Titans (+6.5, 41) at Houston Texans
You can find picks from most major media outlets listed at NFLPickWatch.com. This week, we seem to have a large consensus on most games.
The only games even close to an even split are the Bears-Lions matchup and the Browns-Bengals tilt. Let's take a closer look at why these could be contested games.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Though the Bears are looking and playing like the class of the NFC North, there are a couple reasons why this game could go either way.
The biggest—and likely the reason why plenty of experts are picking the Lions—is that starting Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is going to miss the game with a shoulder injury:
It will be journeyman Chase Daniel getting the start instead, and with Trubisky finally coming into his own as a high-end dual-threat quarterback, the complexion of the Bears offense will change.
Don't expect it to change too much, though. Daniel spent three years with the Kansas City Chiefs, the same three years Bears head coach Matt Nagy was the quarterbacks coach there.
"We've got some tweaks here and there, obviously the personnel," Daniel said, per Larry Hawley of Chicago WGN-9. "I know the offense like the back of my hand, right. It's the fifth or sixth year going in the league in this offense."
Daniel isn't likely to be the running threat that Trubisky is, but the rest of the offensive game plan should remain the same.
The Bears' quarterback situation isn't the only reason why this game could go Detroit's way, though. The reality is that the Lions have been an inconsistent team but have also beaten quality opponents like the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers.
With Chicago coming off an emotional Sunday night win over the rival Minnesota Vikings and on the road, the situation could call for an upset. Of course, the Bears aren't the only team missing a key player in this one. Detroit will be without both running back Kerryon Johnson and wide receiver Marvin Jones.
This truly is a game that could go either way, though we're inclined to give the edge to Chicago and its smothering defense.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
The other game that experts are torn on is the Sunday matchup between the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals. There is plenty of intrigue in this one, including the presence of fired Browns head coach Hue Jackson on Cincinnati's sideline.
However, the Browns don't seem to believe Jackson will give Cincinnati an overwhelming amount of insight into Cleveland's offense.
Don't expect Jackson to have much of an impact on this game, other than the fact he isn't coaching the Browns anymore. Cleveland's offense has been more efficient and more effective in the two games with Freddie Kitchens at the offensive controls.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield has definitely been a more effective quarterback.
PFF CLE Browns @PFF_Browns
#Browns offense under Freddie Kitchens has looked to get the ball out early. Mayfield’s numbers/rank: WK 3-8: 2.56 secs avg time to att. (23rd) & 88.3 passer rating when <2.5 secs (25th) WK 9-10: 2.26 secs avg. time to att. (3rd) & 128.4 passer rating when <2.5 secs (7th)
The Browns have also been using running backs Duke Johnson and Nick Chubb more now that Jackson and former offensive coordinator Todd Haley are gone. Chubb shined two weeks ago in Cleveland's win over the Atlanta Falcons, racking up more than 200 offensive yards and two touchdowns.
This version of Cleveland's offense can be trouble for Cincinnati's league-worst defense (449.4 yards per game allowed).
The Bengals, though, have their own cache of weapons and should be getting star receiver A.J. Green back from injury.
At 5-5, the Bengals are the better team on paper, but this is going to be both a fun and hotly contested game. As the experts seem to believe, this one could go either way, though we won't at all be surprised if Cleveland pulls off the upset.