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November 23, 2017

Week 12 NFL picks

Eagles NFL

For the gambling degenerates, here are my Week 12 NFL picks. To note, the helmets indicate who I think will win the game, not cover the spread. At the end of the picks, I'll note a few teams that I like based on the spread.

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Vikings (-3) at Lions: My condolences to the Vikings' beat writers who have to go to Detroit on Thanksgiving to cover this game. I feel your pain. Yeah, I know, whah-whah, poor football writer. Well, you know what? Shut up. 

OK, this is gotten off to an unnecessarily confrontational start. Sorry.

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Chargers (-1) at Cowboys: After starting their season 0-4, the Chargers have quietly stayed alive in the weak AFC, as they are only one game out in the wildcard hunt. I may be falling victim to extreme recency bias, but the Chargers are coming off a 30-point win last Sunday, while the Cowboys are coming off an (almost) 30-point loss. These teams are going in different directions, and I don't even care if Tyron Smith returns to the lineup or not.

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Giants at Redskins (-7): As we noted in our obituary of Washington's season earlier this week, the Redskins' schedule has been brutal, as they have faced teams with a combined 63-37 record. They finally get an easy opponent on Thanksgiving night with their season basically over.

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Buccaneers at Falcons (-9.5): The Falcons are heating up. That's not ideal for the rest of the NFC.

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Browns at Bengals (-8.5): The Browns have six games to find a way to win a game. Here are their next six opponents, with their chances of winning in each game, via ESPN's 'Matchup Predictor.'

 OpponentPercentage chance of winning 
 At Bengals25.3% 
 At Chargers8.6% 
 Packers37.9% 
 Ravens28.7% 
 At Bears29.5% 
 At Steelers8.7% 


In my professional opinion, the Browns should have just drafted Carson Wentz instead of trading the pick.

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Titans (-3.5) at Colts: The Colts have the second-worst point differential in the NFL, at -101.

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Bills at Chiefs (-9.5): My analysis of the Bills and the Chiefs is the same -- What the hell happened?

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Dolphins at Patriots (-16.5): I haaaaate big point spreads. Hate them. But the Patriots are going to beat this garbage Dolphins team by 30. This feels like an appropriate place to updates the records of the 2016 head coaching hires:

 CoachRecord 
 Doug Pederson, Eagles16-10 
 Mike Mularkey, Titans15-11 
 Adam Gase, Dolphins14-12 
 Ben McAdoo, Giants13-13 
 Dirk Koetter, Buccaneers13-13 
 Chip Kelly (fired)2-14 
 Hue Jackson, Browns1-25 


Some of these guys will soon be joining Chip.

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Panthers (-4.5) at Jets: The hot and cold Panthers are due to cool down again, but I'm not about to pick the Jets.

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Bears at Eagles (-13.5): It's hard to fathom the Eagles are likely about to be 10-1, but, well, here we are.

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Seahawks (-7) at 49ers: If you go a few weeks without watching the Seahawks, you can kind of forget how good Russell Wilson is. Even with a banged-up defense, this Seahawks team is still dangerous. That is, you know, as long as they're not calling idiotic fake field goals.

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Saints at Rams (-2.5): I'm beginning to get a vibe that the Rams are pretenders. Is that too harsh after one bad loss? I'm nearly certain the Saints aren't pretenders, and wait, I get 2.5 points with them, too? Yes, please.

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Jaguars (-4.5) at Cardinals: How is this line only 4.5? The Jaguars are +104. The Cardinals are -78. Do people still think the Cardinals aren't a dreadful football team?

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Broncos at Raiders (-5): I remember back during the buildup to the 2016 NFL Draft, when Doug Pederson had no media savvy whatsoever, he was fielding questions about the quarterbacks in the upcoming draft. He was complimentary of Carson Wentz and Jared Goff, but when asked about Paxton Lynch, he was basically like, "Oh, no. Gross. No way. Ew, for real? Just leave. Now." (I'm paraphrasing.)

I was about to start writing an article about it, when news suddenly came down that the Eagles had traded up to pick No. 2, which was clearly going to be Wentz.

Anyway, Lynch ended up going to the Broncos late in the first round. He'll get his first start of the season on Sunday. I don't expect it to go well.

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Packers at Steelers (-14): If they lose this game, which they will, you can put a fork in the Packers.

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Texans at Ravens (-7): Prediction: This game will not be on my TV Monday night.

BYE: All teams have had their byes. Bye-bye, byes. (Sorry for that.)


• Picks against the spread: Vikings (-3), Saints (+2.5), Jaguars (-4.5).


• 2017 season, straight up: 106-54 (0.663)
• 2017 season, ATS: 25-16-1 (0.607)
• 2016 season, straight up: 171-94-2 (0.644)
• 2016 season, ATS:  41-34 (0.547)
• 2015 season, straight up: 163-93 (0.637)
• 2015 season, ATS: 46-30-2 (0.605)


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