Week 12 NFL Picks: Odds, Prop Bets and Predictions for Sunday's ScheduleNovember 25, 2018
After feasting on college football for the last two days, we get to finish off our Thanksgiving weekend football feast with a slate of 11 NFL games.
The early window possesses what could be the best game of the day, as Seattle visits Carolina in a showdown in the NFC wild-card race.
The AFC takes center stage in the late window, as Pittsburgh attempts to keep its hot streak going in Denver.
Mixed in between Sunday's marquee clashes are the second start for an exciting rookie quarterback, a must-win game for the defending Super Bowl champion and much more.
Week 12 Sunday Schedule and Odds
Jacksonville (-3) at Buffalo (1 p.m, CBS)
Cleveland at Cincinnati (-1) (1 p.m., CBS)
New England (-10.5) at New York Jets (1 p.m., CBS)
Oakland at Baltimore (-11.5) (1 p.m., CBS)
New York Giants at Philadelphia (-5) (1 p.m., Fox)
San Francisco at Tampa Bay (-2) (1 p.m., Fox)
Seattle at Carolina (-3) (1 p.m., Fox)
Arizona at Los Angeles Chargers (-13.5) (4:05 p.m., Fox)
Pittsburgh (-3) at Denver (4:25 p.m., CBS)
Miami at Indianapolis (-8) (4:25 p.m., CBS)
Green Bay at Minnesota (-3) (8:20 p.m., NBC)
All Times ET. Odds obtained from OddsShark. Predictions against the spread in bold.
Prop Bets (via OddsChecker)
Jimmy Graham Anytime Touchdown Scorer
Figuring out who Aaron Rodgers is throwing the ball to on a weekly basis is tough given the wide array of targets he's thrown to.
Eight different players have caught a touchdown pass from Rodgers, but only Davante Adams has more than two.
Although tight end Jimmy Graham is banged up, he'll have a chance to replicate his success from Week 2 against Minnesota, when he was Green Bay's top receiver.
Graham is listed as questionable on the league injury report, but head coach Mike McCarthy said there's no reason to believe he'll be limited against the Vikings, per the team's official website.
With odds listed from 7-2 to 11-4, placing a bet on Graham to score against a team he had success against earlier in the season in a key NFC North game is worth the risk.
Baltimore Total Points
One of the most intriguing stories to watch in the set of early afternoon games is how Lamar Jackson builds off his first start in Baltimore.
The Jackson-led Ravens offense welcomes a struggling Oakland side to M&T Bank Stadium, and with the Raiders comes the lack of an effective pass rush that could fail to contain Jackson when he escapes the pocket.
With Jackson's elusiveness and Oakland's lackluster defense in mind, it's worth going after a high points total for the Ravens.
Currently, the best odds sit at over 34.5 and over 36, which is a reasonable goal for the Ravens to hit since the Raiders have given up over 30 points in two of their last three losses.
Carolina Gets Back on Track, Gains Control of NFC Wild-Card Race
Despite suffering defeats in each of the last two weeks, the Carolina Panthers still sit in a decent position to snag one of the two NFC wild-card berths.
However, Ron Rivera's team can't afford a third straight loss, especially with Seattle climbing up the standings with Minnesota, Washington and Carolina in its view.
In order for the Panthers to take control of the Sunday afternoon clash at Bank of America Stadium, they need to establish a more balanced offense than what they've had in the last two weeks.
In the road losses to Pittsburgh and Detroit, the Panthers failed to eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark as a team, but it wasn't because of a lack of effort, as Christian McCaffrey carried the ball 27 times.
Going up against the 17th-rated rushing defense in the NFL, the Panthers should be able to open up some holes for McCaffrey, which would take some pressure off Cam Newton in the pocket.
Defensively, the Panthers have the capability to silence Seattle's rushing game, as they rank sixth in the league in rushing defense and are one of eight teams to give up fewer than 1,000 yards on the ground.
The key, as it usually is, for the Panthers on defense is getting Luke Kuechly, who recorded 11 tackles against the Lions a week ago, into the backfield early and often.
If Kuechly and Co. disrupt the Chris Carson-led Seattle ground game, it'll put more pressure on Russell Wilson to win the game for the Seahawks.
While it's possible for Wilson to take over, he'd have to throw for over 250 yards on the road for the first time since Week 1.
With Carolina controlling the clock by way of a balanced offense and the defense keeping the Seattle running backs at bay, the Panthers will cover the three-point spread and earn some safety as the No. 5 team in the NFC standings.
Steelers Continue to Roll
If you've been paying attention to other high-scoring teams, it's understandable, but some of your focus has to be directed at what the Pittsburgh Steelers are doing.
Mike Tomlin's team surged up to the No. 2 seed in the AFC with a victory over Jacksonville in Week 11, which extended its winning streak to six games.
In those six victories, the Steelers have won by at least seven points on five occasions, with the four-point triumph in Jacksonville being the lowest margin of victory during the run.
Pittsburgh's trip to Denver will be a tricky one since the Broncos will be playing with a sense of desperation at 4-6 with six teams ahead of them in the AFC wild-card race.
A Denver loss would most likely end a quest for a postseason berth unless something remarkable happens in December, but the Broncos won't be able to contain all of the weapons in the Pittsburgh offense.
Ben Roethlisberger has already eclipsed 3,000 passing yards, while JuJu Smith Schuster and Antonio Brown are both over 800 receiving yards.
If those numbers weren't scary enough, James Conner is 204 yards away from hitting the 1,000-yard barrier in the rushing department.
Against a Denver defense that gives up 375.5 yards and 23.5 points per game, the Steelers should assert their dominance, cover the three-point spread and stay ahead of New England in the race for a first-round bye in the AFC.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.