N.F.L. Week 12 Predictions: Our Picks Against the Spread


The Patriots try to enhance to 10-1 with the Cowboys of their method; the Seahawks are in search of an essential street win at Philadelphia; and the Falcons — sure, the Falcons — try to remain purple scorching. These video games make for stable appetizers, however the actual meal will happen close to San Francisco, the place Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will strive their finest to seek out room to move in opposition to the dominant move rush and secondary of the 49ers.

Here is a have a look at N.F.L. Week 12, with all picks made in opposition to the level unfold.

Last week’s file: 7-7

Overall file: 85-75-2

Packers at 49ers, Eight:20 p.m., NBC

Line: 49ers -Three | Total: 47

With each the Packers (Eight-2) and the 49ers (9-1) having exceeded expectations this season, this recreation was flexed into the “Sunday Night Football” spot, knocking a wonderfully good matchup between Seattle and Philadelphia out of prime time. Beyond the Seahawks and Eagles’ gamers, households and followers, it’s onerous to think about anybody else arguing that they’d not want to see Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers take on San Francisco’s punishing defense.

The 49ers knew they needed to rush the passer better this year, and they addressed that need in a huge way by trading for Dee Ford, who had 13 sacks for Kansas City last season, and selecting Nick Bosa with the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft. Those two, with help from a strong group of defensive tackles, have made converting third downs nearly impossible for opposing teams, as their pressure routinely overmatches offensive lines. Even with Ford being a gametime decision this week because of a hamstring injury, San Francisco’s defense can still punch holes with DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead, letting Bosa run free toward Rodgers.

Seahawks at Eagles, 1 p.m., Fox

Line: Eagles -1.5 | Total: 48.5

After going ahead, 10-0, against New England last week, only to lose, 17-10, Philadelphia has to be frustrated. Especially with that loss putting the Eagles (5-5) a game behind Dallas in the N.F.C. East. Philadelphia will have no chance to lick its wounds, though, as the Seahawks (8-2) are riding high, with their bodies fresh after a bye week and their morale peaking after a dramatic overtime win over San Francisco. The Eagles seem to have righted what was wrong with their defense over the season’s first seven games and that gives them a chance to win against anyone. But Russell Wilson is a legitimate candidate for the Most Valuable Player Award, and if he wants to hold off other contenders like Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, these are the kinds of games he will need to win. Pick: Seahawks +1.5

Panthers at Saints, 1 p.m., CBS

Line: Saints -10 | Total: 47

With losses in three of their last four games, it’s reasonable to assume the wheels have come off for the Panthers (5-5) after a competitive start to the Kyle Allen era. But a generous person would note that the losses have come against San Francisco (9-1), Green Bay (8-2) and the Falcons, a bad team that is on an incredible hot streak — just ask the Saints (8-2), who got crushed by Atlanta two weeks ago. New Orleans can be counted on to win at home, but an assumption that it will outscore Carolina by 10 seems to overestimate the Saints’ defense. Pick: Panthers +10

Buccaneers at Falcons, 1 p.m. Fox

Line: Falcons -4.5 | Total: 51.5

What are we to make of the Falcons (3-7)? After starting 1-7, they were comically dominant in their last two games, crushing the N.F.C. South’s two best teams, with both wins coming on the road. Now they return home to face a far more flawed division rival in the Buccaneers (3-7). If they can muster even 60 percent of the intensity they had over the last two games, this one should be easy. Pick: Falcons -4.5

Raiders at Jets, 1 p.m., CBS

Line: Raiders -2.5 | Total: 46

A three-game winning streak has the Raiders (6-4) filled with optimism for the first time in quite a while, but those wins came against the Lions, Chargers and Bengals, with Los Angeles in particular having done its best to lose the game. That’s not to say Coach Jon Gruden hasn’t turned the ship around this season. But with only one of Oakland’s wins having come against a team with a winning record, the Raiders should not be printing playoff tickets just yet. But a fourth win in a row, courtesy of the Jets (3-7)? Sure. Pick: Raiders -2.5

Steelers at Bengals, 1 p.m., CBS

Line: Steelers -6.5 | Total: 39.5

The Steelers (5-5) are surviving because of their defense and running game, with quarterback Mason Rudolph providing little in his season-long fill-in role for Ben Roethlisberger. The team’s starting running back, James Conner, is expected to be out with a shoulder injury, and its top wide receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster, is likely out with a concussion and a knee injury. Despite all that, Pittsburgh is still favored by nearly a touchdown on the road. Yes, the Bengals (0-10) are bad. But that bad? Pick: Bengals +6.5

Lions at Redskins, 1 p.m., Fox

Line: Lions -3.5 | Total: 42

It appears Jeff Driskel will get at least one more start at quarterback for the Lions (3-6-1), which downgrades that team’s offense regardless of his decent numbers against Dallas last week. The Redskins (1-9) are not good by any stretch of the imagination, and their quarterback Dwayne Haskins will continue to make rookie mistakes, but he gives his team a 50-50 shot to win at home against Driskel. That makes Washington a good bet as an underdog. Pick: Redskins +3.5

Giants at Bears, 1 p.m., Fox

Line: Bears -6 | Total: 40.5

Watching the Bears (4-6) simply give up against the Rams last week was something to behold. Down by 10 points in the fourth quarter, Coach Matt Nagy pulled quarterback Mitchell Trubisky — the team said Trubisky injured his hip, but he was a full participant in practice this week — and they meekly turned the ball over on downs to effectively end the game. The Giants (2-8) are on a six-game losing streak, and the Bears are a much more talented team, but Chicago’s offense is so unreliable that this game is more evenly matched than oddsmakers have predicted. Pick: Giants +6

Ravens at Rams, 8:15 p.m., ESPN

Line: Ravens -3 | Total: 46

To say this is a matchup of last year’s hottest offense and this year’s hottest offense would be true, but it might be hard to believe when you watch the two teams play. The Rams (6-4) have slowed considerably from a year ago, partly as a result of injuries but also because of the regression of quarterback Jared Goff. The Ravens (8-2), meanwhile, have turned into a juggernaut using a blend of running and passing that no one beyond the Chargers in last year’s playoffs has been able to figure out.

As different as they look on offense, the teams are eerily similar on defense. The Ravens allow 19.6 points a game and the Rams allow 19.8. The Rams allow 324.6 yards a game and the Ravens allow 332.9. They are both top-10 teams against the run, and they are both more middling against the pass — though some advanced metrics suggest Baltimore’s pass defense is better than its raw yardage totals suggest, which is backed up by last week’s dominant win over Houston.

The Rams may get a boost this week from the expected return of receivers Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods, which would open up their offense considerably. But with the way the Ravens have played recently, it’s hard to imagine a team they would not be favored against. Pick: Ravens -3



Source link Nytimes.com

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