I’m thankful for plenty of things in my life. Last week’s NFL picks clearly isn’t one of them. A losing week straight up and 2-11 against the spread! TWO. AND. ELEVEN! And considering my blood bank guarantee was the Rams -3.5, Monday night’s incredible game was fairly painful for me to say the least!
So it’s time to go back-to-basics (spoiler alert: that means I’m picking a lot of favorites).
But in regards to Thanksgiving…it’s a time we can all celebrate our family, friends, and let’s be honest, football. I’ll be playing flag football with my buddies at 8:30am on Thursday morning for the 20th year-in-a-row…more than half my life!
Thank you all for reading this column as often as you do (maybe only this one as far as I know)…and by all means, fade these picks as you see fit! Probably a money-making strategy right now…
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!
Week 12 NFL Picks
Last Week: 6-7 Straight Up (SU), 2-11 Against the Spread (ATS)
Overall: 108-51-2 SU, 83-78 ATS
(Picks against the spread in parentheses; home teams in caps)
Chicago 23, DETROIT 17 (ATS: Bears -4.5)
Count on the Bears D to keep this one low-scoring. Even on an extra short week due to the Sunday night game, I just don’t see Chicago underestimating what once was a potent Detroit offense.
DALLAS 26, Washington 17 (ATS: Cowboys -7.5)
The Cowboys are on a roll…winning two impressive road games (at Philadelphia and Atlanta) while the Redskins fortunes are left in the hands of Colt McCoy…you know, the former Texas Longhorns ‘great’. Sorry Washington fans, your playoff chances will be in dire straits after Thanksgiving afternoon.
NEW ORLEANS 41, Atlanta 24 (ATS: Saints -13.5)
Can anyone stop the Saints offense right now? Likely not. And definitely not the Falcons…who week-by-week are getting closer to the end of the Dan Quinn era.
Jacksonville 17, BUFFALO 13 (ATS: Jaguars -3.5)
How do I pick this ‘Toilet Bowl’? Give me the team with the better defense and the slightly better QB despite being on the road.
CINCINNATI 27, Cleveland 21 (ATS: Bengals -3.5)
I’d love to pick Cleveland to upset a struggling Bengals team in the first annual ‘Hue Jackson Bowl’ (now that the axed Browns coach is a special assistant for the Bengals) but Cinci has to win this game at home to keep their playoff hopes somewhat in reach. Joe Mixon goes crazy on the ground in what should be a fairly entertaining game.
New England 34, NEW YORK JETS 16 (ATS: Patriots -9.5)
The Patriots had a week off to think about their horse-bleep effort against the Titans. Do you think they’re going to go easy on the Jets now?
PHILADELPHIA 28, New York Giants 20 (ATS: Eagles -6.5)
The Giants are playing by far the better brand of football right now, which is weird to say…but Philly has to turn it around one of these weeks. If not on Sunday, then you can put an X through the rest of Philly’s season. Super Bowl champion hangover, anyone?
TAMPA BAY 30, San Francisco 17 (ATS: Bucs -3.5)
I really like the Bucs to bounce back in a big way this weekend with former #1 overall pick Jameis Winston at the helm. Here’s my ‘play of the week’ which hasn’t gone so well lately!
CAROLINA 27, Seattle 21 (ATS: Panthers -3.5)
Do you really trust Seattle to go on the road and get an important win? Do you think Carolina will come out flat after a tough loss to Detroit last week? To me, both of those answers are a resounding NO!
BALTIMORE 26, Oakland 6 (ATS: Ravens -10.5)
Despite their (fluky) win in Arizona last week, if Oakland scores a touchdown on the Ravens defense, I’d be super surprised…
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 34, Arizona 14 (ATS: Chargers -12.5)
Speaking of the Cardinals, I believe we’ve reached the part of the season where it’s not prudent to pick them again…to win or cover the spread!
Pittsburgh 28, DENVER 24 (ATS: Steelers -3.5)
Interesting game if only because the Steelers tend to struggle on the road. But I feel like the Steelers very well could be the team to beat in the AFC…finally…so I’m not going to pick Denver to pull back-to-back upsets over likely AFC playoff teams.
INDIANAPOLIS 27, Miami 20 (ATS: Dolphins +9.5)
I can’t even believe that I’m saying this…the Colts might not be all that bad. And Andrew Luck…the guy I claimed had a permanent noodle arm…he’s been playing elite. I definitely think Indy wins this game but Miami makes it fairly interesting throughout.
MINNESOTA 34, Green Bay 27 (ATS: Vikings -3.5)
I’d love to pick my Packers to win this game outright but I want coach Mike McCarthy fired so much so that it’s just easier to pick Minnesota and move on.
HOUSTON 23, Tennessee 13 (ATS: Texans -6.5)
The Texans are among the hottest teams in football…seven straight wins and a relatively easy schedule upcoming. If they don’t win the AFC South, my last name isn’t Cohen! OK…that was super corny…but you get the point. Houston wins easily on Monday night to continue the streak.
Week 12 Fantasy Football Guidance
‘Boom & Crush’ Record (15+ PPR fantasy points from a non-must start player)
Last Week: 2-1
‘Be Careful’ Record (12 or less PPR fantasy points from a top-15 player)
Last Week: 1-2
Boom & Crush:
QB: Lamar Jackson (BALT vs. OAK)
RB: Gus Edwards (BALT vs. OAK)
WR/TE: Courtland Sutton (DEN vs. PIT)
QB: Deshaun Watson (HOU vs. TEN)
RB: Marlon Mack (IND vs. MIA)
WR/TE: Jack Doyle (IND vs. MIA)