NFL Picks Week 12: Expert Predictions, Odds Guide and Over-Under Lines

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2018

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions passes the ball against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 11, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

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


Expert Predictions

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:

Adam Caplan @caplannfl

#Bears QB Mitch Trubisky (right shoulder) is inactive. Veteran QB Chase Daniel makes his first start since 12/28/2014 (vs. Chargers). This will be just the 3rd start of his career. The previous 2 were with the #Chiefs. #CHIvsDET

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.

Kyle Meinke @kmeinke

Kerryon Johnson and Marvin Jones are officially OUT against the Bears

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.

Andrew Gribble @Andrew_Gribble

Browns OL Joel Bitonio says perceived advantage Bengals will have against Browns because of Hue Jackson’s knowledge of offense/defense no different than going up against a former teammate.

Daryl Ruiter @RuiterWrongFAN

Q: Will Hue Jackson give #Bengals and advantage Sunday? Baker Mayfield: “no”

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.

ig: josinaanderson @JosinaAnderson

Source told me that #Bengals WR AJ Green (toe) has a ‘good chance’ of playing next Sunday vs. the #Browns, barring any setbacks, following Green’s visit with Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay, WI.

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.