Bleacher Report's Expert Consensus Week 12 NFL Picks

NFL StaffContributor INovember 25, 2020

Bleacher Report's Expert Consensus Week 12 NFL Picks

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    Terrance Williams/Associated Press

    Editor's Note: After publishing, the NFL announced that the Ravens-Steelers game will be postponed until Sunday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter


    Thanksgiving may look and feel a tad different this year, but what won't change is your ability to win or lose bacon before consuming turkey.

    Before you get your bets in for Thursday's NFL trifecta, Bleacher Report NFL correspondents Gary DavenportBrad GagnonKalyn KahlerMatt MillerBrent Sobleski and Master Tesfatsion have a full range of fresh picks against the spread. 

    And no, it hasn't gone well for the crew lately. But the law of averages may be on their side. 

    Here's where they're at: 

    1. Gagnon: 81-77-2 (7-7 last week)

    2. Miller: 77-77-2 (7-7 last week)

    3. Kahler: 77-80-2 (7-7 last week)

    4. Tesfatsion: 76-79-2 (6-7 last week)

    5. Davenport: 77-81-2 (1-13 last week)

    6. Sobleski: 76-83-2 (3-11 last week)

    Consensus picks: 68-71-1 (4-9 last week)

    And here are 16 new takes and 11 new consensus picks for Week 12. 


    Lines are from DraftKings as of Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 8 p.m. ET. Check DraftKings for the latest odds info. Information on public betting trends courtesy of the Action Network.  

Houston Texans (3-7) at Detroit Lions (4-6)

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    DraftKings Line: Houston -3

    Unfortunately, the first of five deadlocks this week comes right off the bat as the unpredictable Detroit Lions host the untrustworthy Houston Texans in the annual Thanksgiving matinee at Ford Field. 

    The Lions have hosted this game every year since 1983. And while they've taken advantage of home field against opponents traveling on short rest to cover the spread in six of their last eight Turkey Day games, they've lost straight up in each of their last three. 

    Right now, they have to be feeling pretty crushed after a tough loss to the Carolina Panthers that severely damaged their playoff chances, while the Texans are coming off a nice win over the New England Patriots. Still, you could argue three points is a lot to lay with a three-win Houston team that hasn't won a road game by more than a field goal in nearly a calendar year. 

    Davenport on the Lions: "I probably need my head examined for taking a Lions team that was shut out last week by the Panthers, but I was also 1-13 ATS last week, so anything I say needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Maybe it's the traditionalist in me. Maybe it's the old betting axiom about home underdogs. Or maybe it's a lack of faith in a three-win Texans team. Lions in an 'upset' to kick off the Turkey Day tripleheader."

    Sobleski on the Texans: "While the early Thanksgiving matchup may make it hard to hold down your first serving of turkey and favorite side dishes, one thing can save this festive meeting of two bad teams: Let Deshaun Watson cook. Considering the Lions are ranked among the bottom 10 in passing defense and yards per attempt allowed, the Texans quarterback should be just fine moving Houston's offense."

    Watson is quietly the league's sixth-highest-rated passer, he might get left tackle Laremy Tunsil back, and both Matthew Stafford and Kenny Golladay are still banged up for Detroit. Still, there's nothing close to a consensus here. 


    Davenport: Detroit
    Gagnon: Detroit
    Kahler: Houston
    Miller: Houston
    Sobleski: Houston
    Tesfatsion: Detroit
    Consensus: Push 

    Score Prediction: Texans 27, Lions 24 

Washington Football Team (3-7) at Dallas Cowboys (3-7)

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    David Berding/Associated Press

    DraftKings Line: Dallas -3

    Did we write off the Dallas Cowboys too soon? In the farcical NFC East, Dallas is very much alive and potentially rejuvenated after covering the spread in a respectable five-point loss to the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers and then defeating the surging Minnesota Vikings on the road. 

    That's enough for the vast majority of our experts to back the 'Boys as a three-point favorite at home Thursday against a Washington Football Team that has experienced just about as much loss and failure this year. 

    "Dallas looks like it has a second wind," Gagnon said. "That might not be a fluke because the Cowboys are, in fact, healthier than they've been in weeks. What's most encouraging is that running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard looked strong in Minnesota. If Elliott in particular is coming around, that could allow the offense to counter Washington's stellar defensive front with a balanced attack to take the pressure off Andy Dalton. Washington has won back-to-back games just once in the last two calendar years, and this isn't a great spot for the WFT."

    But we don't have a unanimous decision thanks to Sobleski, who offered this dissenting opinion: "As the lone wolf for this particular contest, one matchup speaks to where the difference between these two squads lies. The Dallas offensive line has been almost completely retooled because of injury. All-Pro guard Zack Martin is now at right tackle. Connor McGovern took over at guard. Plus, Cameron Erving, who has been a human turnstile most of his career, handles blindside duties after Tyron Smith's season-ending injury. Washington, meanwhile, features one of the game's most talented and aggressive defensive fronts. It's not a favorable matchup for the Cowboys to say the least."

    It's worth considering, especially with the Cowboys being just 1-8 ATS in their last nine Thanksgiving home games, but we're also only looking at a three-point spread in favor of the home squad. 


    Davenport: Dallas
    Gagnon: Dallas
    Kahler: Dallas
    Miller: Dallas
    Sobleski: Washington
    Tesfatsion: Dallas
    Consensus: Dallas -3

    Score Prediction: Cowboys 26, Washington 17

Baltimore Ravens (6-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0)

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Editor's Note: Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Ravens-Steelers games has been postponed to Sunday afternoon. 


    DraftKings Line: Pittsburgh -5

    We actually had another hung jury in the Thanksgiving prime-time meeting between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers until Tesfatsion made a last-minute move to shift the vote in favor of the Steelers, who are laying five points at home.

    His rationale? 

    "I was thinking the Ravens could cover before 10 people in the organization tested positive for COVID-19, but that's much harder to believe now," he said. "Baltimore could be without its top two running backs and three front-seven starters on defense. Granted, the Ravens could surprise us and somehow pull this out like the Tennessee Titans did following their outbreak (earlier this season against the Buffalo Bills). Let's hope this game gets postponed out of precaution. But it's the NFL, and it unfortunately will do everything possible to avoid postponing a Thanksgiving game."

    So long as that's the case, it's easier to argue the Ravens are at a significant disadvantage on short rest on the road with a depleted roster.

    "The Steelers are not the team for Baltimore to wage a bounce-back game against," Kahler added. 

    The trajectory indicates this line might continue to grow, depending on developments related to COVID-19 in Baltimore. Regardless, it's worth noting the Steelers haven't defeated the Ravens by more than four points in any of their last three meetings. The Ravens are a tough veteran team, and the Steelers might be due for a dud after cutting it close on several occasions in October and November. 

    If you haven't already bet the Steelers, you might want to hold to see if you might find some line value for Baltimore to cover even as a loser. It's worth noting that our top two pickers this season remain on the Ravens.  


    Davenport: Pittsburgh
    Gagnon: Baltimore
    Kahler: Pittsburgh
    Miller: Baltimore
    Sobleski: Pittsburgh
    Tesfatsion: Pittsburgh
    Consensus: Pittsburgh -5

    Score Prediction: Steelers 26, Ravens 20

Miami Dolphins (6-4) at New York Jets (0-10)

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    Justin Edmonds/Associated Press

    DraftKings Line: Miami -7

    Our second deadlock comes in the first early Sunday game on this list, with three writers backing the Miami Dolphins as a seven-point road favorite over the New York Jets and three taking the points. 

    Gagnon on Gang Green: "I don't relish justifying a Jets selection, but I'm mildly discouraged by the quarterback situation in Miami, and I think this line is pushing it considering the Jets have covered in three of their last four games. They're very familiar with the Dolphins. And yes, they were blown out in Miami last month, but they've picked it up since then and this time they're at home. I think the Dolphins win but by less than a touchdown."

    Miller on Miami: "The Dolphins, one week after a brutal defeat by the Denver Broncos in which Tua Tagovailoa was benched? Yep, I'm on Miami this week thanks to a matchup against the 0-10 Jets. I could go on and on about the matchups in this game and how the Dolphins' stout defense will be able to thwart the plans of Joe Flacco (or Sam Darnold) and the Jets offense, but instead I'll remind you that Adam Gase is still the head coach of those Jets. Yes, the Adam Gase the Dolphins fired in order to hire Brian Flores. This game matters to owner Stephen Ross. It matters to general manager Chris Grier. It also matters to the Dolphins as they look to stay in the playoff hunt at 6-4. Pound those seven points."

    Confused by those two conflicting cases? Consider sitting this one out.


    Davenport: New York
    Gagnon: New York
    Kahler: Miami
    Miller: Miami
    Sobleski: Miami
    Tesfatsion: New York
    Consensus: Push

    Score Prediction: Dolphins 24, Jets 17

Los Angeles Chargers (3-7) at Buffalo Bills (7-3)

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    Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

    DraftKings Line: Buffalo -5.5

    Few likely feel much more comfortable betting on either the Los Angeles Chargers or the Buffalo Bills with Buffalo laying 5.5 points at home Sunday afternoon. After all, this game is plagued by significant questions. 

    How will the inconsistent Bills respond to a devastating Week 10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals? In that respect, will Buffalo benefit from its Week 11 bye? The choke-happy Chargers finally avoided a full meltdown Sunday against the Jets, so have they turned it around? They lost Uchenna Nwosu in that victory but might get Austin Ekeler back. How much might that help? And critically, should we consider that the Bolts have only been about two points per game worse than Buffalo when it comes to their respective scoring margins this season? 

    A good counter to that last question might be that Buffalo still has a sizable edge on Los Angeles in total DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) at Football Outsiders. They're at home and certainly more trustworthy, which is why they get the edge from our crew despite the points.

    "When last we saw the Bills, they were getting their hearts ripped out by Kyler Murray," Davenport said. "The Chargers offense has been lights-out under Justin Herbert. And the Buffalo defense isn't great. But neither is the Chargers defense, and playing at home after a week off, the Bills should be able to win this one by a touchdown or more."

    But the gang is closer to a split than it is to unanimity here, which is probably appropriate considering the many questions above. Keep that in mind. 


    Davenport: Buffalo
    Gagnon: Los Angeles
    Kahler: Los Angeles
    Miller: Buffalo
    Sobleski: Buffalo
    Tesfatsion: Buffalo
    Consensus: Buffalo -5.5

    Score Prediction: Bills 30, Chargers 23

New York Giants (3-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-7-1)

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    DraftKings Line: New York -5.5

    Not only do we now live in a world in which the New York Giants are favored by nearly a touchdown—a development that seemed unfathomable regardless of opponent when the G-Men started 1-7—but nearly two-thirds of public money is coming in on Big Blue as a road fave Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. 

    There are times when you want to fade the public under those circumstances, but the Giants are suddenly playing formidable football, they're coming off their bye, the Bengals have been dominated in back-to-back games, and we don't really know what to expect from Cincy sans franchise quarterback Joe Burrow. 

    That being the case, a near-unanimous consensus of our predictors is laying the points here. 

    "The Giants aren't any good," Sobleski said in a somewhat jarring introduction to his defense of Giants giving 5.5. "But they're less bad than the Bengals right now, especially after Burrow's unfortunate season-ending knee injury. The Bengals will move forward with second-year signal-caller Ryan Finley. The young quarterback will have his moments, but he can't carry the offense and consistently make the type of throws Burrow could."

    It'll certainly be more difficult to take advantage of a pass defense that ranks 29th in DVOA, while a Cincy D that ranks 28th in that field could have trouble with an increasingly confident and responsible Daniel Jones. 

    But Davenport is due for a strong week. Here's his dissenting take in favor of the Bengals: "While the Giants are playing better and the Bengals looked terrible after Burrow got hurt against Washington, New York remains one of the worst offensive teams in the league, and Finley will at least get a week of practice reps ahead of this one. The Bengals may not win here (and won't if they're smart), but Cincy can keep it close enough for a cover."

    At the very least, siding with the 3-7 Giants with that many points can't be easy. 


    Davenport: Cincinnati
    Gagnon: New York
    Kahler: New York
    Miller: New York
    Sobleski: New York
    Tesfatsion: New York
    Consensus: New York -5.5

    Score Prediction: Giants 27, Bengals 16

Cleveland Browns (7-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9)

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    Emilee Chinn/Associated Press

    DraftKings Line: Cleveland -6.5

    Another tie comes from Sunday's matchup between the contending Cleveland Browns and a Jacksonville Jaguars squad that is getting a little more than a touchdown as it tries to avoid a 10-game losing streak at home in the early window. 

    Gagnon on Jacksonville: "The Browns have lacked consistency all season, and I'm not about to get too excited about one-score home victories over the Texans and Philadelphia Eagles. On the road without their best two defensive players in Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward, I think they'll have trouble pulling away from a Jags team that has had some fight in it this month. I'd buy half a point if possible, but this feels like a three- or four-point game."

    Sobleski on Cleveland: "The Browns will be without Garrett and Ward, which could make this game much closer than it looks on paper. Still, Cleveland bludgeons opponents with its commitment to the run game, whereas the Jaguars rank 24th against the run. Expect the Browns O-line and the running back combo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to take over at some point in this contest."

    That could easily happen and 6.5 points isn't too wacky, but running back James Robinson has experienced a superb rookie year for the Jags, and Cleveland had trouble defending the run even before losing Garrett and Ward. 

    This is one to avoid. 


    Davenport: Jacksonville
    Gagnon: Jacksonville
    Kahler: Cleveland
    Miller: Cleveland
    Sobleski: Cleveland
    Tesfatsion: Jacksonville
    Consensus: None

    Score Prediction: Browns 28, Jaguars 21

Arizona Cardinals (6-4) at New England Patriots (4-6)

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    DraftKings Line: Arizona -3

    The Arizona Cardinals failed to build on the momentum from the Hail Murray when they lost on short rest against the Seattle Seahawks in the Pacific Northwest last week, but now they should benefit from extra rest against a New England Patriots team that appears to be running out of gas. 

    With that in mind, the majority of our experts are backing Arizona as a mere three-point favorite in Massachusetts. 

    "New England hasn't been able to put together complete, consistent games all season," Kahler said. "The win over Baltimore was probably their best game of the year, but they couldn't follow it up against Houston and Deshaun Watson, and now they'll face their third elite athletic quarterback in a row."

    That quarterback is Kyler Murray, who was hardly the problem in Seattle and now has a 107.6 passer rating in his last seven starts. Now, the sophomore sensation gets to face a formerly magnificent defense that now ranks dead last in DVOA after struggling against Watson and Co. in Week 11. 

    While you never want to count out Bill Belichick, that defeat might have been a death knell for the 2020 Pats. They've now lost underrated back Rex Burkhead for the season, and the roster is practically a shell at this point.

    This line is likely only at three points because both Murray and DeAndre Hopkins are banged up and missing some practice time for Arizona, but it's hard to imagine either sitting out Sunday. This could be your chance to get some value for the Cards, even if a pair of our correspondents aren't ready to completely eulogize a New England team that has defeated the Dolphins, Ravens and Las Vegas Raiders at home this season.


    Davenport: New England
    Gagnon: Arizona
    Kahler: Arizona
    Miller: Arizona
    Sobleski: Arizona
    Tesfatsion: New England
    Consensus: Arizona -3

    Score Prediction: Cardinals 27, Patriots 21

Tennessee Titans (7-3) at Indianapolis Colts (7-3)

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    DraftKings Line: Indianapolis -3.5

    Almost nobody wants to touch that hook in favor of the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday against the division-rival Tennessee Titans. The public is betting heavily on Tennessee as a 3.5-point underdog, and all but one of our predictors are taking the points. 

    Still, Tesfatsion admitted: "This is a tough one."

    "I'm not the biggest believer in the Colts or Titans, both of whom have benefited from soft schedules to start the season," he said. "But I am a big believer in Derrick Henry, and I am a big believer in that Titans offense. Even though the Colts won by two scores two weeks ago, the Titans will keep it close in this rematch."

    Henry and the Titans have won straight up in two of their last three trips to Indy, and the star back compiled 166 scrimmage yards at Lucas Oil Stadium one year ago to the week. The Colts held him in check earlier this month, but that's not an easy thing to do twice. Plus, the inconsistent Colts are arguably due for a dud after consecutive victories. 

    Still, no unanimous consensus here. Davenport is going against the grain. 

    "The Titans are admittedly coming off an impressive win over the Ravens on the road," he said. "But the Colts notched a big one of their own last week against the Green Bay Packers. The week before that, these teams met in Nashville—and the Colts doubled the Titans up. Laying that extra half-point makes me nervous, but the home team is the play here. Long live the lone wolf."

    That isn't a bad case. Indy beat Tennessee handily on the road, won again and is now at home for a rematch with the Titans, who have since been hit pretty hard by the injury bug. Maybe everyone else is overthinking this, but do consider buying back half a point if you want to join lone-wolf Davenport. 


    Davenport: Indianapolis
    Gagnon: Tennessee
    Kahler: Tennessee
    Miller: Tennessee
    Sobleski: Tennessee
    Tesfatsion: Tennessee
    Consensus: Tennessee +3.5

    Score Prediction: Titans 24, Colts 23

Carolina Panthers (4-7) at Minnesota Vikings (4-6)

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    DraftKings Line: Minnesota -4

    "Whether it's Teddy Bridgewater or P.J. Walker taking the snaps for the Carolina Panthers this week, it looks good for Carolina as an underdog against the Minnesota Vikings," Miller said in defense of the gang's selection of Carolina getting four points in Minneapolis. "It might be unfair to expect a similar output in Week 12 as we saw against the Lions last week from the Carolina offense, but Matt Rhule has this team playing so well and with limited mistakes.

    "That can be a recipe to at least control the clock, keep the ball and limit what damage Dalvin Cook can do. Picking the Panthers to win outright would be risky but understandable, which is why I'm taking them to at least cover."

    This line likely wouldn't be where it is if not for uncertainty surrounding Bridgewater and star running back Christian McCaffrey, but the Panthers have fared well without both this season, and NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday that both are expected to practice this week. 

    Meanwhile, the Vikings might be deflated after a shocking home loss to Dallas crushed their playoff hopes, and Minnesota touchdown machine Adam Thielen's status is in doubt as he takes up residence on the reserve/COVID-19 list. That being the case, it's hard to justify laying more than a field goal with the unreliable Vikes. 

    Still, two experts did exactly that. And for what it's worth, Cook, who has 750 scrimmage yards in his last four games, could take over against a D that ranks 22nd against the run in DVOA.

    In other words, shoulder shrug?


    Davenport: Minnesota
    Gagnon: Carolina
    Kahler: Minnesota
    Miller: Carolina
    Sobleski: Carolina
    Tesfatsion: Carolina
    Consensus: Carolina +4

    Score Prediction: Vikings 24, Panthers 23

Las Vegas Raiders (6-4) at Atlanta Falcons (3-7)

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    Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

    DraftKings Line: Las Vegas -3

    Only Davenport is willing to fade the Las Vegas Raiders as a strong public favorite against the Atlanta Falcons on the road Sunday. The rest of the crew is comfortable with the fact that offensively efficient Las Vegas is laying just three points against a Falcons squad that looked lifeless in an embarrassing double-digit-margin post-bye loss to the Taysom Hill-quarterbacked New Orleans Saints in Week 11. 

    "Take Sunday's last-minute loss to the Kansas City Chiefs out of the equation because all it did was show that the Raiders are capable of playing with the league's best," Sobleski said. "As such, the loss shouldn't hurt Las Vegas' standing as one of the AFC's better squads. Derek Carr is playing as well as he has throughout his career. The offensive line is made up of a bunch of bullies. Josh Jacobs is a pain to tackle. The Falcons, on the other hand, haven't managed a victory over a team with a winning record this season."

    And even if the Falcons hang around at home and lose this one by just a field goal, you're getting a push. 

    But considering Atlanta's shoddy performance despite two weeks to prepare for the familiar, short-handed Saints, it's hard to imagine the Falcons sticking around. They have nothing to play for now, and without a healthy Julio Jones or a half-decent running game, it'll be difficult for them to exploit the Raiders' bottom-10 defense in terms of DVOA

    What's more, the Raiders are road warriors this season. After beating the Panthers, Chiefs, Browns and Chargers away from home, they're unlikely to be scared off by a far-from-full Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 


    Davenport: Atlanta
    Gagnon: Las Vegas
    Kahler: Las Vegas
    Miller: Las Vegas
    Sobleski: Las Vegas
    Tesfatsion: Las Vegas
    Consensus: Las Vegas -3

    Score Prediction: Raiders 34, Falcons 21

New Orleans Saints (8-2) at Denver Broncos (4-6)

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    David Becker/Associated Press

    DraftKings Line: New Orleans -5.5

    Was the New Orleans Saints' easy Week 11 victory an indictment on the Falcons or an indication that, even without Drew Brees, New Orleans is taking off as the home stretch arrives? Apparently, our crew doesn't fully agree one way or another. 

    The gang is divided down the middle with the Taysom Hill-quarterbacked Saints laying 5.5 points on the road this week against the lowly Denver Broncos. 

    Tesfatsion on Denver: "Shoutout to everyone who took the Broncos last week. There weren't many of us, but I'm gonna ride with Denver again here. New Orleans can win against the Falcons with Hill under center, but that offense does not look sustainable. I think reality hits with the Hill experiment this week, and it's going to take another incredible performance from the Saints defense to cover the spread. Give me the Denver dogs, again."

    Kahler on the Saints: "Denver's defense is good, but so is New Orleans', and Broncos quarterback Drew Lock isn't having a great sophomore season. This should be another game the Saints can easily put away."

    Fair. Tesfatsion, Davenport and Gagnon might be overthinking this one. After all, the New Orleans defense has given up just one touchdown in its last three outings. That defensive front shut down Matt Ryan and should be able to obliterate Lock. 

    But on the other hand, the Broncos have won back-to-back home games against the Chargers and Dolphins. Using tape from Hill's first career start, Vic Fangio's squad could certainly hang in here at home. That defense quietly has risen into the top 10 in DVOA, so this should be a whole new challenge for Hill.

    At 5.5 points, this one is tricky. 


    Davenport: Denver
    Gagnon: Denver
    Kahler: New Orleans
    Miller: New Orleans
    Sobleski: New Orleans
    Tesfatsion: Denver
    Consensus: None

    Score Prediction: Saints 26, Broncos 20

San Francisco 49ers (4-6) at Los Angeles Rams (7-3)

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    DraftKings Line: Los Angeles -7

    The depleted San Francisco 49ers might be coming off a bye while their Week 12 opponent, the Los Angeles Rams, will be operating on short rest when the two meet Sunday, but Sean McVay's squad is in a groove, and it will realistically take a full offseason for the Niners to get healthy. 

    So even though the Rams lost to San Francisco just last month, the majority of our correspondents are fine with laying a full touchdown in favor of Los Angeles in this spot. 

    "The Rams look stout of late with the passing game flowing well and the defense able to create turnovers and frustrate the hell out of even future Hall of Fame quarterbacks," Miller said. "With a banged-up San Francisco team coming to SoFi Stadium, the Rams should easily pad their 7-3 record with another victory.

    "This isn't about McVay vs. Kyle Shanahan; this is about a healthy roster (Rams) versus one of the NFL's most decimated by injury (49ers). Take the Rams and know you'll be peacefully napping off leftover turkey by the third quarter."

    Against teams that are currently .500 or worse, the Rams are 5-1 this season with an average margin of victory of 9.2 points. They're clicking in almost every respect, while free-falling San Francisco has lost three consecutive games by double-digit points. 

    This line just appears to be too low. 


    Davenport: Los Angeles
    Gagnon: Los Angeles 
    Kahler: San Francisco
    Miller: Los Angeles
    Sobleski: Los Angeles
    Tesfatsion: Los Angeles
    Consensus: Los Angeles -7

    Score Prediction: Rams 27, 49ers 17

Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4)

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    David Becker/Associated Press

    DraftKings Line: Kansas City -3.5

    Another nasty hook might be responsible for our final divided vote of the week. Because while few are likely willing to bet that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will defeat a Kansas City Chiefs team that has lost one road game since December 2018, it's easy to see Sunday's heavyweight bout between Kansas City and Tampa Bay being decided by a field goal or less. 

    Davenport on the Bucs: "While the Buccaneers are now just 1-3 at night this season, Tampa has just one loss when the sun is up, and I expect the Bucs to be able to move the ball with more ease against the Chiefs on Sunday. Would love to get the hook here, but I'll still ride with yet another home 'dog."

    Gagnon on the Chiefs: "The hook certainly scares me and I'd buy half a point if I could, but the Bucs are 1-3 against teams that currently have seven or more wins, and they've really struggled in big spotlights. This isn't a prime-time game, but it'll feel like one by the second half. Tampa Bay is also 0-2 when playing on short rest, and Sean McVay gave Andy Reid a blueprint for how to exploit that aggressive Buccaneers defense. This could be a blowout."

    Alas, the hook lingers and you never want to count out Tom Brady after a poor performance. This one might be better for entertainment purposes than wagering ones.


    Davenport: Tampa Bay
    Gagnon: Kansas City
    Kahler: Tampa Bay
    Miller: Kansas City
    Sobleski: Tampa Bay
    Tesfatsion: Kansas City
    Consensus: None

    Score Prediction: Chiefs 30, Buccaneers 27

Chicago Bears (5-5) at Green Bay Packers (7-3)

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    Mike Roemer/Associated Press

    DraftKings Line: Green Bay -8.5

    "In Week 6, the Green Bay Packers suffered a shocking loss to the Buccaneers and then bounced back with a one-sided victory in Houston," Gagnon said. "In Week 8, they suffered a surprising loss to the Vikings and then bounced back with a one-sided win in San Francisco. I'm thinking last Sunday's tough loss to the Colts will serve as yet another wake-up call for Aaron Rodgers and Co., who should feast on a Chicago Bears team that hasn't won a game in well over a month."

    Three out of five Bleacher Report NFL writers agree with Gagnon that Green Bay will make a statement and cover an 8.5-point spread at home Sunday night against Chicago. 

    The Bears rarely get embarrassed defensively, but they don't even know which one of their disappointing quarterbacks will be healthy enough to start, and their 32nd-ranked running game won't likely be capable of exploiting a Green Bay run defense that has become notoriously exploitable.

    Meanwhile, the Bears have been beatable at times on the ground, and they might not have Pro Bowl safety Eddie Jackson as he sits on the reserve/COVID-19 list. 

    The backdoor cover is always a possibility with a big line like this in a divisional game in which the underdog is defensively stout. So nobody's faulting Davenport and Tesfatsion for going against the grain with a fade of a heavy public fave, but there's a good chance the angry Packers run away with this thing on national television. 


    Davenport: Chicago
    Gagnon: Green Bay
    Kahler: Green Bay
    Miller: Green Bay
    Sobleski: Green Bay
    Tesfatsion: Chicago
    Consensus: Green Bay -8.5

    Score Prediction: Packers 27, Bears 17

Seattle Seahawks (7-3) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-6-1)

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    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    DraftKings Line: Seattle -5.5

    We all know the Seattle Seahawks are vulnerable through the air on defense, but has struggling Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz given us any reason to believe he and his offense can take advantage of that Monday night? 

    The Philly passing game ranks 30th in DVOA, and Wentz is the NFC's lowest-rated qualified passer. What started out as a slump has turned into a poor season for the ages as the former MVP candidate leads the NFL in interceptions, sacks allowed and fumbles. 

    At home, in a desperate spot, in front of a national audience and against a weak pass defense, it's possible he'll suddenly turn it on as the Eagles put up a fight against Seattle to close out Week 12. But the reality is there's no evidence a turnaround is on the horizon.

    That being the case, the majority of our correspondents are laying 5.5 points with the more rested road team on Monday Night Football

    "This selection has more to do with the Eagles' ineptitude more than anything else," Sobleski said. "Sure, Seattle has Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. Really, Carson Wentz's streak of horrific play continues to place Philadelphia behind the proverbial eightball each and every week. At this point, the Eagles should strongly consider playing this year's second-round draft pick, Jalen Hurts, more and more."

    Seattle is also coming off a minibye after an impressive bounce-back win over the Cardinals on Thursday Night Football. So while that's a scary line considering how much Philly needs this, it's tough to justify taking the Eagles at this point. 


    Davenport: Philadelphia
    Gagnon: Seattle
    Kahler: Seattle
    Miller: Seattle
    Sobleski: Seattle
    Tesfatsion: Seattle
    Consensus: Seattle -5.5

    Score Prediction: Seahawks 28, Eagles 21


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