(Image credit Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
Now I want to start this article by saying that I want to wish each and every one of you guys reading this article a Happy Thanksgiving. I can't believe that it is Week 12 of the NFL Regular season. Time has gone fast. Before we take a look at my picks for week 12 let's take a look at my week 11 pick performance. And which teams are on a bye week.
Week 11 Record: 6-8
Overall Record: 64-82-3
Teams on a Bye Week
Kansas City Chiefs
Now that we have gone through how I went Week 11 and showed what teams are on a bye Week, I will now give my weekly NFL draft picks with spreads for week 12. The Spreads from these games were all found on Draftkings.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (Spread +3.5)
We start off with the tradition of the Lions playing on Thanksgiving. But that's not all. Why? As this is the 7th Tank Game in the Tournament for the 1st overall pick. Two teams in the bottom of the NFC North only battling for bragging rights and trying to ruin their draft capital value. Oh wait I forgot the Bears first round pick is New York Giants Property due to the Justin Fields trade. Both teams are a complete mess that could start their own backup quarterbacks. Both defenses are a mess as well. Boy after that game against Baltimore I have to ask, Why Is Matt Nagy Still the Head Coach for the Chicago Bears? I mean the play calling in that game was abysmal and Nagy looks defeated when he is on the sidelines. I still like the Bears and I will take them in this game. If the Bears somehow lose this game then Nagy must be fired immediately no question. Oh and if you have not read my survivor pick article the Bears would have been my survivor pick.
My Pick Chicago Bears (-3.5)
Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys (Spread -7)
This is a spread I just don’t understand. Say what you want about the Las Vegas Raiders but they impressed me with how many wins they have had during this Dark season for the organization. But I got to say I really like them this week. Especially as they will be facing a poorly coached Cowboys team and will be without OL Tyron Smith in this game most likely. If the Cowboys are without Tyron Smith then they will struggle. They are a different team without him as the blind side blocker. Even if he plays I still think that this is way too many points in this game. The Raiders defense is sneakily underrated and I still like Derek Carr. Just imagine if the Raiders had Henry Ruggs on this team as a speedy receiver. Unfortunately due to Henry Ruggs fall from grace they are stuck with their speedy receiver being DeSean Jackson who has never been the same since he left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Raiders are going to be my pick for this game spread wise and they are my superlock for this week.
My Pick: Las Vegas Raiders (+7)
Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints (Spread +4.5)
Last week was an embarrassing one for both teams. The Bills got dominated all game by Jonathan Taylor and the Indianapolis Colts. Where the New Orlean Saints are dominated by Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles. What both teams exposed is how bad their running defense really is. I expect both teams to utilize the running game a lot and I think they must start for each team for fantasy. I have no clue what to think of both teams. The Bills should be a lot better than what they are and they show how lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars at one point. I thought they would have woken up at this point but I was wrong. The Saints would be good if they had consistency at the quarterback position. I wonder what they will do during the offseason if they keep Jameis at QB or draft a QB in the draft. At least they signed Taysom Hill to a unique contract. I debated who to pick in this game but I decided to flip a coin. I will go with the Bills in this game but this is not a game I will be betting
My Pick: Buffalo Bills (-4.5)
Sunday Football 1pm
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (Spread -3.5)
This is a must win matchup for both teams due to how competitive the AFC North is. The Steelers earlier in the season played down to competition against the Bengals because it's a Mike Tomlin tradition. For the Steelers last week it was a miracle that Big Ben looked good and that the team did not play down to competition. No word yet on if TJ Watt, Joe Haden and Mikah Fitzpatrick will be ready to go for this week and they are the main strengths of this defense. At least last week the defense looked better and Devin Bush woke up from his slump. The Offense looked fine (Which is a rarity excluding RB Najee Harris) but their o-line will have their hands full with how good the Bengals pass rush is. It also hurts that the Steelers o-line is one of the worst in the NFL today. The Bengals offense should have an easy time if the Steelers defense is not healthy this week. Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase should have strong games against a weak Steelers secondary and safety Terrell Edmonds is not good at all. I think this game will be a close one but I think the Bengals are better and are the home team so they will be my pick for this week.
My Pick: Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)
Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins (Spread +2)
Cam Newton is back and boy was he impressive against Arizona and Washington. Imagine if they signed Cam earlier in the season. I hate to say it but It is not looking good for Sam Darnold in the long term. I wish Darnold worked out with the Jets but Cam’s return is not looking good for Sam. While the Panthers did lose last week to Washington it was mainly due to how bad the defense performed in certain points of the game. But that game was a great Ron Rivera Bowl that Washington won for their coach. But luckily they face the Dolphins who have been disappointing this season. Miami was impressive on this winning streak but it was against a beaten up Ravens and Jets team. This is a game I debated as well but I will take the Panthers in this game is a No bet for me.
My Pick: Carolina Panthers(-2)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis Colts (Spread +3)
This is the game of the week for me. I really am interested to see what happens. This game will prove if the Buccaneers have officially gotten on the right track or if the Indianapolis Colts are legit. I like both teams and Jonathan Taylor was fantastic as he was running all over the place vs the Bills. Taylor is proving and making himself a candidate as a MVP for the season (I doubt he gets it but he is a candidate). Something we have to remember is how strong the Buccaneers run defense is this season. They have been fantastic shutting down the run in this game. The Colts defense is good at stopping the run but their secondary is mediocre and it will be tough defending against the Buccaneers depth at wide receiver. Gronk looked like Gronk and is now healthy. Antonio Brown despite the Legal issues with the vaccine card might not be ready to go this week due to his ankle injury. I think the spread is right here and I think it will be a close one but I think Tampa Bay wins this by 4 maybe 5 points so I will take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in this game.
My Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)
New York Jets at Houston Texans (Spread -2.5)
Here it is the 8th Tank Game in the Tournament for the 1st Overall Pick. This is a true battle where both teams in the long term want to lose this game all in the journey to get higher draft capital. This one is important for a potential tiebreaker scenario as well in this draft. According to Tankathon.com the New York Jets have the 2nd pick and the Houston Texans have the 4th overall pick. It is a big game draft value wise for both teams. But One team has to win and the other team has to lose. To be honest there is no word yet on who will be the New York Jets starting QB in this game but the Jets won’t have Michael Carter who has been fantastic in his rookie season. At least Elijah Moore will be healthy for this team but the Jets Defense has not been good this season. I trust the Texans more with Tyrod at QB and he showed it when they upsetted the Tennessee Titans. I will take the Houston Texans in this game especially as they are the home team.
Update: Right when I finished this section news came that both Mike White and Joe Flacco are now on the Covid list. So it is now looking like the Jets will have Zach Wilson start at QB. Again not going to change my pick as I will still be taking the Texans in this game but I would rather not bet it.
My Pick: Houston Texans (-2.5)
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (Spread +3.5)
I contemplated making this a tank game but Philadelphia is a very underrated team and they have a chance to make the playoffs this season. The Giants however are a complete mess. They just fired Jason Garrett who was their offensive coordinator and he may not be the only person in that organization that could be out of a job soon. I would not be shocked to see the Giants clear house getting rid of everyone at the end of the season. The Giants signings have not worked out and did you know Andrew Thomas has more receiving touchdowns then Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney combined. Crazy right. I have no clue what to think about Daniel Jones as he has moments of brilliance and foolishness. I really like the Eagles as I feel that they are more talented and have a better culture than the New York Giants do. I will take on the Philadelphia Eagles in this game.
My Pick: Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5)
Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (Spread -5.5)
This is a spread that I do not get at all. How is this spread this low? The Tennessee Titans are right back where they were Week 4 when they faced the New York Jets. This time the Titans will be without RB Derrick Henry due to injury. I doubt AJ Brown will play this week and who knows if and when Julio Jones will be back for the Titans. The Titans defense has been struggling this season. Mac Jones has been a great fit to Bill Belichick’s offence and has been the best rookie QB so far in this draft class. The Patriots made the right moves to fix their defense and I expect Matthew Judon to have a big game sacking Ryan Tannehill. I will no doubt take the New England Patriots in this game and it is a must bet for everyone. I'd be shocked if the Patriots lost this game.
My Pick: New England Patriots (-5.5)
Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars (Spread -1)
We're not done yet as it is the 9th Tank Game in the Tournament for the 1st Overall Pick. On a serious note this was another spread I don't understand either. First off Why are the Jaguars favorites in this game? Yes they play games close but you do realize they have done nothing excluding a Bills victory weeks ago to warrant a favorite spread. To make it more confusing Atlanta played on Thursday Night so they are going to be more prepared than the Jaguars have been. The Falcons do have troubles on defense and offense but they should rebound this week. The coaching in Atlanta is a lot better then it is in Jacksonville. I will be betting on the Atlanta Falcons in this game.
My Pick: Atlanta Falcons (+1)
Sunday Football 4:05
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (Spread +3)
After their last performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers I have no clue what to think of the Los Angeles Chargers. They have all the talent in the world on offense and defense yet every year they continue to struggle. The offense is excellent as they have the talent in o-line, QB, WR, and RB. The defense definitely needs to be upgraded but they should be a lot better then they were. They should have heavily defeated the Steelers but I guess during film review they took notes on how to play down to competition like the Steelers always do. This time the Chargers will face a Broncos team that is clearly tanking the rest of the season. The Broncos don't have a long term franchise QB as Teddy Bridgewater is injury prone and the organization has given up on Drew Lock. The defense is a mess due to coaching. I think Vic Fangio might be gone at the end of the season but who knows what they will do. I just think the Chargers are better in every way against Denver. The Spread to me is about right but I will take the better team with the Chargers.
My Pick: Los Angeles Chargers (-3)
Sunday Football 4:25
Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers (Spread +3)
This is a very underrated matchup here. It is the Shanahan vs Cousins bowl. I honestly like this matchup more than the Rams Packers game at this time. The Vikings were impressive last week when they defeated the Green Bay Packers. Then later news came out that Aaron Rodgers was dealing with a foot/toe injury. The Vikings still look like they have a lot of fight and want Mike Zimmer to keep his job as the head coach. If the Vikings miss the playoffs then I won't be shocked to see Mike Zimmer be out of a job. But while this defense is awful they did a solid job. The Offense has gotten a lot better than usual. The 49ers offense has been excellent and Deebo Samuel is fantastic when he is on the field for the 49ers. Jimmy G is more ready then Trey Lance is and Jimmy G should be the starter for the season unless he gets injured later in the season. Let's be real: The 49ers run defense stinks and I think Dalvin Cook will run all over the 49ers. But I think San Francisco is the better team. This is a good spread as the Vikings play games close but I will take the points with the 49ers but this game is a no bet for me.
My Pick: San Francisco 49ers(+3)
Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers (Spread -1)
Oh dear where to begin with this game. Let's get this out of the way both QB’s are dealing with injuries. Stafford has a back issue and Rodgers has a Foot/Toe injury. If I could label this game as an injury bowl. I will start with Green Bay as they fought a hard battle and lost to the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers lost an important piece to the o-line as Elgton Jenkins suffered a Torn ACL and will be out for the rest of the season. But David Bakhtiari should be back soon which is a plus to the o-line. But there is a big issue with the Packers defense as their run defense is awful. I expect Darrell Henderson and Sony Michel to have big games this week. The Rams though are coming off a bye which is a big advantage for them in this game. I'm not going to bet the game but I will go with the healthier team and I think the Rams are healthier than the Packers are.
My Pick: Los Angeles Rams (+1)
Sunday Night Football
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (Spread -4)
Every week that passes I lose confidence in both of these teams. I have no clue what to think of the Baltimore Ravens as they surprisingly beat Chicago last week without Lamar Jackson yet they lost one game to Miami. I don't know if they are mediocre or above average or good. Lamar Jackson Should be ready to go after he was inactive due to a non Covid illness. But he will be a lot healthier than Baker is. I am convinced that Baker is seriously hurt and will not be 100% in this game. I'd be more confident starting Keenum then I would be with Baker this week. The Browns receiver core is also not healthy so to shut this offense down definitely attack the run game in Nick Chubb. I see this as a bounce back game for Baltimore so I will take them for this week.
My Pick: Baltimore Ravens (-4)
Monday Night Football
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team (Spread +1)
You thought we were done. Nope. Welcome to the 10th Tank game in the Tournament for the 1st Overall Pick. One thing is clear after last week, Seattle’s season is done. No question as with how tough of a division the NFC West is they needed to beat Arizona last week and they failed to do so. Seattle is a mess and who knows what they will do during the offseason. I wonder if Pete Carroll will be gone at the end of the year. He is 70 years old now so we will see what happens. I won't be surprised If Seattle decides to Blow it up as well and start their rebuild. This team looks like it has given up and they are going to face a Washington team that is also a mess on defense. Taylor Heinicke is a good QB but I don't see him being a franchise QB but more of a backup/solid starting QB. I think Seattle will lose this game so I will take Washington. At least Seattle can be hyped getting a high draft choice at the end of the season. Oh Wait they can’t because their first round pick is New York Jets property due to the Jamal Adams trade.
My Pick Washington Football Team (+1)