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NFL Week 12 Predictions, Picks Against the Spread

Posted by in NFL Picks on November 24th, 2009 | Comment »

Back-to-Back TrophiesBack-to-back-to-back-to-back SUNDAY & MONDAY NIGHT winners. Yes I will boast about a 4-0 record in the past 2 weeks in the prime-time games. Even after bad starts and let’s be honest here, 5-8 in the last two week for the top picks is not what I’m shooting for, but we kept you in the game and hopefully made up some ground with our prime-time picks.

All it would have taken is 2 games to go our way to post a winning record and I will throw out 2 injuries to “justify” or “excuse” my poor record: QB Kyle Orton’s injury last week, which cost us the game against the Redskins and QB Kurt Warner’s injury when the Cardinals were beating the Rams 21-3, but then failed to cover by a mere point when Leinart scored 0 2nd-half points.  I will also consider the Steelers loss complete BS due to “luck.”

However, all was not melancholy in the end! We picked the Eagles and Titans and got two big wins after a less than ideal start to our Sunday.  We did it the previous week with the Patriots/Ravens double-whammy and we did it again this week.

We’ve battled back and made up a ton of ground going into Week 12.

Why do the statistical analysis when a kickoff return, a turnover, or even a crucial penalty call will determine the outcomes of at least 67% of these games against the spread. Let’s just roll with it from the gut.  So now I give you a more condensed version of our weekly picks without all the garbage and some “fearless” predictions.  I also throw out about a half-dozen teasers that I like more than the actual spreads.



When Aaron Rodgers plays the Detroit Lions, it’s like he’s playing a video game.  I’m counting on at least 350 yards from him and at least 2 TDs and maybe even 3 or 4.  As long as he doesn’t throw any INTs or the Packers fumble away the football, I think you can expect the Packers to cover.  The Packers offensive line is always a concern, but the Lions don’t generate pressure. Look for Aaron Rodgers to throw darts all over the field.  With Stafford unlikely to play and Calvin Johnson questionable (game-time decision), you don’t have to worry as much about GB defense that can give up a significant amount of points, so I’m in favor of giving up the points here to take A-Rod.  If Calvin Johnson and Stafford are out, which is likely, I think you’re safe with taking the spread or you could also tease the Packers down to -3.5 and tease the under to 54.5 (or over 40.5 if you expect the Lions to put up some points).  Also keep in mind, DE Kampman and CB Al Harris are both out for the season for the Packers.

Prediction: Packers 31 – Lions 20

Free Pick: 7-Point Teaser: Packers -3.5, Under 54.5 (Confidence: 4/5) (W)

* Consider the Over 40.5 since Calvin Johnson was determined active in the last minute


So much for the Cowboys putting up a lot of points at home.  Just 7 points against the Redskins.  I don’t like this spread since the Cowboys have been held to just 7 points in their last two games and I’m not expecting the Raiders to do much with the football either.  After the Raiders topped the Benglas last week, I’m entertaining the idea of taking the 13.5 points here, but it’s the Raiders on the road and that could mean a 31-0 loss.  This spread is in the no action category, but for the sake of Thanksgiving, I’m going to throw out another teaser that I think you’ll find end up in the money. Although I have very little confidence in since a Raiders loss by 21+ will not shock me a single bit, I think you can take the Raiders +20.5, but I’m expecting a big Cowboys win at home against a crappy road team on their big Thanksgiving Day game.  Add the points to the Raiders (hopefully the spread moves to 14 so you can get 21), or take the Cowboys at a mere -6.5, and count on the Raiders and Cowboys to play defense and limit the amount of points in this one.  Injuries to note: TE Witten and CB Jenkins are questionable for the Cowboys.

Prediction: Cowboys 24 – Raiders 13

Free Pick: Cowboys -6.5 (or even Raiders +20.5 if you have confidence in them), Under 47.5 (Confidence: 3/5) (W)


I doubled down on the Chargers last week when they announced QB Kyle Orton would be out and that gave me a big boost last week.  Not only is Orton on a bum ankle, but Brandon Marshall is banged up (neck and back) and was held to less than 30 yards last week.  With the Denver’s QB and their best WR ailing, I’m in favor the Giants.  Since I’m always about “what have you done for me lately,” I would like to point out that the Broncos are 0-4 in their last four games.

Update: With RB Ahmad Bradshaw out, LB Antonio Pierce out, WR Hakeen Nicks questionable, and OG Seubert questionable, I am slightly less optimistic about the Giants having to travel out west on a short week to win this game.  I’ll stick with them, but a little “buyer beware” on this one.

Prediction: Giants 24 – Broncos 13

Free Pick: Giants -6.5 (Confidence: 3/5) (L)


Brady Quinn got the deep ball going last week, but lost to the Lions 38-37 in a wild one.  The good news is that the Browns held the Ravens to 9 offensive points when they played them on Monday night.  The Bengals win games close.  I’ll take the 14 points here.  It’s just too many.  Fearless prediction: Bengals win by 10 after being up by 17 and the Browns score a garbage TD with 4 or 5 minutes left in the game.  Instead of playing the spread, I like the Browns starting the game with a 21-0 lead and having to score just 33 total points in order to cover.  The Browns should give up at least 20 and should be able to muster at least 13 here, of if the Bengals win 31-10, you’re still in pretty good shape!  The Browns lost to the Bengals by the score of 23-20 earlier this season.

Prediction: Bengals 27 – Browns 17

Free Pick: 7-Point Teaser: Browns +21, Over 32.5 (Confidence: 3/5) (L)


I’m an Eagles fan, so I cannot pick this game. I would not take the Eagles as 9-point favorites after seeing the fight the Redskins put up last week against the Cowboys. You can count on the Eagles to win — obviously. They dominated the Redskins earlier in the season, but it’s later in the season in a tough division game. This one could be close, which will make me throw out another teaser for this game. I think you can win this one no matter what way you tease it: Take Eagles -2 or Redskins +16 and Over 33.5 or Under 47.5. I think you will have 4 winning tickets for all 4 combinations.

Prediction: Eagles 24 – Redskins 17

Free Pick: Any Teaser Combination Works. I like Eagles -2, Over 33.5 (Confidence: 2.5/5) (W)


The Dolphins running game just cannot be stopped — Ronnie Brown or not.  The Bills are one of the worst teams in the league against the run, ranked 31st to be precise. Fitzpatrick is garbage, despite throwing to T.O. for over 150 yards last week (Jags were without CB Mathis) and will struggle against a better defensive unit. Dolphins runs on the Bills with ease.

Prediction: Dolphins 26 – Bills 13

Free Pick: Dolphins -3 (Confidence: 4/5) (L)


I never like to bet on the Colts vs. Texans games because the Texans always play the Colts tough. For example, in their last game in Indianapolis, the Colts won by 20-17 and the Texans covered when they were given 7.5 points. Before this spread came out, I was fully expecting the spread to be Colts -6.5 and I would have like it there, so I obviously like the -3.5 spread.  In order for me to consider taking the Texans, I would want at least 7 points. We saw a less-than-dominant Titans team beat the Texans, so I don’t think Manning will have any problems winning this one and I expect him to win this one by more than a field goal. Dwight Freeney will be out for the Colts, which is a big blow.

Prediction: Colts 24 – Texans 20

Free Pick: Colts -3 (Confidence: 3/5) (W)


Both teams are pretty week, but the Seahawks find it easy to pass on teams with poor secondaries like the Rams. The Rams have been solid against the spread lately (4-1 ATS in their last 5), but that’s when they get double digits. This looks like an easy cover for the Seahawks. The Rams have been coming on stronger lately, but Seahawks have won the last 9 meetings between these two, including a 28-0 W from earlier in the season.  QB Bluger will be out, which means Kyle Boller takes over and the Rams’ 1st-round draft pick OT Jason Smith is questionable — that can’t be good for the Rams.  C Richi Incognito, DE Leonard Little, and FB Karney are also all questionable for the Rams.  The Seahawks defense is shaky though and this game has upset alert on it.

Prediction: Seahawks 24 – Rams 17

Free Pick: Seahawks -3 (Confidence: 3.5/5) (W)


Last time I checked, Mark Sanchez is still throwing approximately 2 INTs per game.  The offense is in a rut and with NT Kris Jenkins out, teams have been able to run the ball on them.  I’ll take DeAngelo Williams and that Panthers running game in this one.

Prediction: Panthers 23 – Jets 20

Free Pick: Panthers +3 (Confidence: 2.5/5) (L)


The Falcons have a lot of issues on defense as they give up a ton of yards.  Last week the Bucs went back to their old ways of getting killed, but in the two weeks prior to that, they covered against the Dolphins and beat the Packers.  Fearless prediction: The Falcons win this one by 10 and the Bucs cover by 3 points.

Prediction: Falcons 27 – Buccaneers 17

Free Pick: Buccaneers +13 (Confidence: 2/5) (W)


I’m not very high on the 49ers.  They struggle offensively and were only able to make the Packers game look close since the Packers D slacked off after they had the 23-3 lead.  The Jaguars are shockingly in playoff contention in the AFC and I’m loving MJD right now. This one should be a tight game, so I’ll take the 3 points on the team that actually has a legitimate shot to make the playoffs.

Prediction: Jaguars 20 – 49ers 17

Free Pick: Jaguars +3.5 (Confidence: 2/5) (L)


With two straight wins over the Steelers and Raiders, the Chiefs aren’t looking as pathetic as they started the season.  But with WR Dwayne Bowe still out, I don’t count on their luck to continue again this week, especially when they’re not playing in Arrowhead.  The Chargers are getting hot and they just gave the Broncos the business. I think they cover in this one, but they sometimes lack that “killer instinct” to demolish the teams that they’re supposed to.  I.e., only beating the Raiders 24-16 a few weeks ago. This is way too many points in order to take the spread, but I don’t see this game playing out any other way than the Chargers crushing the Chiefs. I think you tease the Chargers down to a nice 6.5 points and take the under since the Chiefs shouldn’t score much.

Prediction: Chargers 28 – Chiefs 13

Free Pick: Chargers -13.5 (Confidence: 1/5) (W), 7-Point Teaser: Chargers -6.5, Under 51.5 (Confidence: 2.5/5) (W)


I really don’t know what to do here.  The Titans have come on strong, winning 4 straight under the reigns of Vince Young and looking like a playoff-caliber team.  Warner is probable for this game and the Cardinals have been playing excellent on the road (5-0).  DE Vanden Bosch is questionable, which is a huge blow for the Titans defense.  The Cardinals are 6-1 in their last 7 and 5-2 ATS in that time.  I think you have to stick to the Cardinals here.  No one has been able to stop their passing game.

Free Pick: Cardinals +3 (Confidence: 2/5) (P)

Prediction: Cardinals 27 – Titans 24


The spread hasn’t been released due to Roethlisberger being questionable with concussion-like symptoms.  Regardless of whether he’s in this one or not, I like the Ravens at home on Sunday Night.  They nearly topped the undefeated Colts last week and the Steelers lost to the Chiefs. With Roethlisberger almost concussed following cracking his head open in a motorcycle accident about 2 years ago, I want him in the game in order to take the Ravens.  If Roethlisberger plays, I think that’s a plus to take the Ravens since his head won’t be 100%, and he’ll likely throw a ball or two to the purple (or black) jerseys.


So Jay Cutler is playing like Mark Sanchez now.  Missing open receivers, throwing picks, and just generally sucking as whole.  I was wary of taking the Vikings -10.5 last week against the Seahawks, but the Vikings rolled over them with ease.  The Bears are in a funk.  They won’t be able to run the ball against a tough Vikings front 7.  Cutler has been inaccurate in the passing game.  The Bears defense has been spotty.  The Vikings should put up their usually 30-31 points and the Bears should be held to less than 20.  I like the Vikings.

Prediction: Vikings 31 – Bears 17

Free Pick: Vikings -10.5 (Confidence: 2.5/5) (W), 7-Point Teaser: Vikings -3.5, Over 40 (Confidence: 3.5/5) (W)


Fantastic Monday Night game to watch. Tons of scoring, lots of lead changes, not a good game to bet one, last team with the ball will win. Good luck trying to figure out who that will be.  The spread on this one has moved from Patriots +3 to +1.5, so the public took the chance to jump on the Patriots with the 3 points.

Prediction: Saints 35 – Patriots 34

Free Pick: No Action on the Spread, 7-Point Teaser: Patriots +10, Over 48.5 (Confidence: 2/5)


* Subject to change following the release of additional spreads.

** Be warned that I’m betting against 4 home underdogs, which is not a good sign, but that’s not going to discourage me from I think are the best games this week ATS.

*** I actually like all of my teasers better than the 4 spreads, but that’s why they’re teasers.

1.) Dolphins -3 over BILLS (L)

2.) Colts -3 over TEXANS (W)

3.) Giants -6.5 over BRONCOS (L)

4.) Seahawks -3 over RAMS (* Seahawks are on UPSET ALERT) (W)


1.) Packers -3.5, Under 54.5 (or Over 40.5 w/ Calvin Johnson active) (W)

2.) COWBOYS -6.5, Under 47.5 over Raiders (W)

3.) VIKINGS -3.5, Over 40 over Bears (W)

4.) CHARGERS -6.5, Under 51.5 over Chiefs (L)

5.) Browns +21, Over 32.5 over BENGALS (L)

6.) Patriots +10, Over 48.5 over SAINTS


1.) THANKSGIVING DAY SPECIAL: Packers -3.5 and COWBOYS -6.5 (W)


3.) NFC NORTH SPECIAL: VIKINGS -3.5 and Packers -3.5 (W)


5.) GIMME THE POINTS SPECIAL: Browns +21, Raiders +21, Buccaneers +20, Chiefs +21 (L)


8-Team Moneyline Parlay (6 Favorites, 2 3-point Underdogs) — 26-1 ODDS — Packers, Cowboys, Vikings, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Jaguars, Panthers.

Note: Replaced Giants with Colts due to better odds and I don’t like that RB Ahmad Bradshaw is out, WR Hakeem Nicks is questionable, LB Antonio Piere is out, OG Seubert is questionable, New York has to travel out west on a short week, and the feeling that the Broncos are “due for a win.”

I’m counting on all the favorites to win and if the Jaguars can pull off the upset against the 49ers and the Panthers can top the Jets, this could seal a huge win.  I think this is something you can place a very, very small bet on for fun and see what happens.

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