NFL Week 12 Picks - Early Games

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NFL Week 12 Early Games

All times Eastern

Click here for late games.

Week 11 results: Rick: 8-6; Coin: 7-7
Cumulative: Rick: 74-84-3; Coin: 85-73-3


PLEASE NOTE: This game has been moved to Wednesday, December 2, 3:40 pm ET (NBC)
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4, 44 1/2) 3:40 pm (NBC) - There are surely some angry Ravens after dropping their third game in the last four, 30-24, in OT to Tennessee. The first of those three recent losses was a 28-24 defeat by these Steelers, who have a comfy cushion in the division of three games over 7-3 Cleveland.

These two know each other too well to see this game get out of hand either way, so the four points look mighty juicy for Ravens fans and who can blame them? They need a win badly here or risk falling to the back of the pack of playoff contenders.

UPDATE: December 1: Line is now Pittsburgh -10, 42. The Ravens are dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19, with many players out of action for this game, including QB Lamar Jackson, who will be replaced by Robert Griffin III, so we're revising the prediction. (coin flip stays the same) from Ravens 26 Steelers to SEE BELOW.

It's actually possible that RG3, who was all the rage when he entered the league, can engineer some kind of offense with limited players at his disposal, but, Baltimore's front line is decimated, so there's not going to be much of a pass rush, which means Ben Roethlisberger will be picking apart the Ravens' secondary at will. It's an unfair advantage, and Baltimore will adjust, but the Steelers really have the upper hand here.

Coin Flip: Baltimore

Prediction: Steelers 27 Ravens 13


Thursday, November 26

Houston Texans (-3, 51 1/2) at Detroit Lions 12:30 pm (CBS) - With seven losses pretty much on the outskirts of playoff contention, both the 4-6 Lions and 3-7 Texans are sorely needing a win, as Houston did last week, upending the Patriots, 27-20, while the Lions were shut out on the road by the Panthers.

Houston has won two of its last three, in between wins, a 10-7 loss at Cleveland. Houston is 1-4 on the road; Detroit, 1-3 at home. The Lions' problems are mostly defensive. They're tied with Seattle, at 29th league-wide, allowing 28.7 points per game. Houston QB< deshaun watson, may have a field day.

Coin Flip: Houston

Prediction: Texans 34 Lions 20


Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys (-3, 46) 4:30 pm (Fox) - Like it or not, these 3-7 teams each have a legitimate shot at winning the NFC East, where Philly leads with a 3-6-1 mark and the Giants are also 3-7.

Dallas has gotten a boost from backup QB Andy Dalton, who has plenty of experience and led the Cowboys to a 31-28 win over Minnesota last Sunday.

Alex Smith has been a plus for Washington. In games he's started, they've scored 20, 27, and 20, last week winning, 20-9, over Cincinnati. Dallas is 2-3 at home. Washington, 0-4 on the road. Washington won the first meeting, 25-3, in week seven. The Cowboys still have the worst defense in the league, allowing 31.8 points per game. They've failed to give up fewer than 20 points in any game this season.

Coin Flip: Dallas

Prediction: Football Team 24 Cowboys 19


Sunday, November 29

Las Vegas Raiders (-3, 55) at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm (CBS) - The kids from Vegas may be rolling sevens all day against the struggling Falcons, who are fresh off a serious, 24-9, thrashing by the Saints.

The Raiders are also coming off a loss, though theirs was a more respectable, 35-31, downing by Kansas City. Losing to the reigning champs by four points is no disgrace. Vegas is a legitimate playoff team, with young players and a hungry coach (Jon Gruden). Both teams are near the bottom of the league in defense, so expect some highlights, but the Raiders should provide more punch.

Coin Flip: Las Vegas

Prediction: Raiders 34 Falcons 24


Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills (-5 1/2, 54) 1:00 pm (CBS) - The difference between these two exciting to watch teams is experience. The Bills have been rebuilding now for three years, whereas the Chargers are just starting that effort after the departure of Phillip Rivers.

In the QB department, Buffalo's Josh Allen has two-plus years under his belt. This will be rookie Justin Herbert's 10th start for LA. Lots to like about the 7-3 Bills over the 3-7 Chargers.

Coin Flip: Los Angeles Chargers

Prediction: Bills 27 Chargers 17


New York Giants (-6, 43) at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm (Fox) - The Giants as six-point road favorites against any NFL team is a hard sell, but the Bengals lost Joe Burrow for the season last week and will be starting Brandon Allen, a 6th round 2016 draft choice out of Arkansas whose NFL experience is three games last season with the Broncos, where he was 1-2, hitting 39 of 84 passes for 515 yards, 3 TDs and two picks.

The Giants' Daniel Jones looks much better in terms of experience and game management. He's improving with just about every start and the Giants are in the thick of the race for the NFC East title. The Bengals, in last place in the league's toughest division (25 wins combined) will be looking forward to next season when Burrow returns. Neither team is very exciting offensively, but the Giants get an edge on defense and with Jones behind center.

Coin Flip: Cincinnati

Prediction: Giants 24 Bengals 13


Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-3 1/2, 51 1/2) 1:00 pm (CBS) - In what could be the game of the week, these two 7-3 squads are tied atop the AFC South, though Indy holds a tie-break advantage via their 34-17 win over the Titans two weeks ago. Both went to overtime last week to gain their victories, the Colts edging the Packers 34-31, while the Titans out-muscled the Ravens in Baltimore, 30-24, on a Derrick Henry 30-yard romp.

Henry leads the league in rushing and went over 1000 yards last week (1,079). The previous meeting was lost by Tennessee's special teams and that's unlikely to happen again. The Titans are the league's most physical, tough-minded bunch and they're out for blood here though the Colts are surely no pushovers.

Coin Flip: Indianapolis

Prediction: Titans 30 Colts 27



Cleveland Browns (-6 1/2, 49) at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm (CBS) - Gordon Minshew couldn't get it done. In three starts, Jake Luton isn't the answer either for 1-9 Jacksonville. Cleveland's 7-3, they've won three of their last four and are in second place, chasing the Steelers. With the playoffs in mind, this is a must win for the Browns and one they should dominate.

Jacksonville is 30th in scoring defense, giving up 29.8 points per game. Cleveland's backfield tandem of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb is the NFL's best, averaging 156.8 yards per game. They both may rush for 100 in this one.

Coin Flip: Jacksonville

Prediction: Browns 38 Jaguars 10


Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings (-4, 48 1/2) 1:00 pm (Fox) - Minnesota has managed to play themselves right out of the playoff picture with a 1-5 start, three straight wins and last week's loss to the Cowboys, 31-28, leaving them at 4-6.

Carolina shut out Detroit last Sunday, 20-0, breaking a string of five straight losses, doing so with Teddy Bridgewater on the bench due to injury. He'll be back this week, helping the Vikings find a way to lose again.

Coin Flip: Carolina

Prediction: Panthers 26 Vikings 24


Arizona Cardinals (-2 1/2, 49 1/2) at New England Patriots 1:00 pm (Fox) - Don't count out New England here. Last week's 27-20 loss at Houston hinged on two second quarter TDs by the Texans in the final 3:54 of the half, turning a 10-7 Patriot lead into a 21-10 deficit. Despite holding the Texans to a pair of second half field goals, they could not overcome that bulge. The week prior they stunned the Ravens 23-17.

Now at 4-6, New England is in "must win" territory and no doubt coach Belichick will have a defense dialed up to contain Kyler Murray. Arizona lost last week at Seattle, 28-21, and are in the thick of the NFC West race at 6-4 behind the 7-3 Rams and Seahawks. Should be a good one.

Coin Flip: Arizona

Prediction: Patriots 25 Cardinals 23


Miami Dolphins (-7, 44 1/2) at New York Jets 1:00 pm (CBS) - The Jets managed to cover the spread in last week's loss to the Chargers, but still are winless on the season at 0-10. They are the anti-matter Steelers.

Miami already dumped the Jets, 24-0, in week six, so another romp would not be out of the question as 6-4 Miami needs to keep winning in the ultra-competitive AFC.

Coin Flip: New York Jets

Prediction: Dolphins 30 Jets 17


Click here for late games.


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