NFL Week 12 Picks, Predictions Against the Spread: Competitive contests abound

With the NFL playoff picture beginning to form, what are our Week 12 picks and predictions as teams look to position for the postseason?

As we head into the final third of the 2021 NFL season, winning becomes even more important for these teams. Let’s take a look at our Week 12 NFL picks and predictions and the NFL betting landscape as teams look to position themselves for the postseason.

Sunday, Week 12: Free NFL picks and predictions

The Sunday slate will feel a bit lighter than usual. Between bye weeks and Thanksgiving games, we’ve got eight teams not playing over the weekend.

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Fortunately, we still have 12 games to sift through. What are our picks and predictions using DraftKings odds as of 2 PM ET on Saturday, November 27?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) at Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are hot right now. They’re winners of five of their last six, including an impressive 41-15 drubbing of the Bills on the road. The Bucs disposed of the Giants rather easily last week, but they certainly didn’t look as explosive as we’ve come to expect.

I imagine Tom Brady and the Bucs will be a popular public play this week, which forces me to take Carson Wentz and the Colts.

Buccaneers vs. Colts Prediction: Colts 27, Bucs 24

New York Jets at Houston Texans (-2.5)

We officially live in a world where the Texans are favored in a game. Zach Wilson makes his return for the Jets and will be looking to remind the team why they used the second overall pick on him.

The Texans are coming off a stunning victory over the Titans. This feels like a letdown spot. Give me the Jets.

Jets vs. Texans Prediction: Jets 20, Texans 16

Philadelphia Eagles (-4) at New York Giants

This is your typical 3-point road favorite trap. You’ve got me. Hook, line, and sinker.

I just can’t back the Giants right now. Daniel Jones looks to be in his final season as an NFL starter (which shouldn’t be a surprise). Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts has the Eagles looking to make a playoff push.

Eagles vs. Giants Prediction: Eagles 24, Giants 14

Carolina Panthers (-2) at Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are winners of three straight. If they want any hope of making a playoff push, they have to have this game. Unfortunately, so do the Panthers, who are coming off a home loss to the Football Team.

Cam Newton certainly didn’t look like a guy that deserved to be out of a job for half a season. This one is a true toss-up.

Panthers vs. Dolphins Prediction: Panthers 23, Dolphins 20

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-7)

The Patriots are the hottest team in football right now. The defense is playing incredible football. Meanwhile, Ryan Tannehill is doing what he always does when faced with a situation where he has to make big throws — turning it over.

However, the NFL typically makes no sense. I still think the Patriots win, but the Titans keep it close.

Titans vs. Patriots Prediction: Patriots 24, Titans 20

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)

Out of every game on the slate, this is the one I have the most conviction about. The Steelers’ offense actually showed up last week. Ben Roethlisberger looked competent for the first time in a while.

On the other hand, the Bengals won despite failing to get Ja’Marr Chase or Tee Higgins involved. If they make that mistake again this week, it will spell trouble. Most importantly, this is a divisional game, and I don’t see the Bengals sweeping the Steelers.

Steelers vs. Bengals Prediction: Steelers 27, Bengals 20

Atlanta Falcons (-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Similar to the Panthers/Dolphins game, this one is extremely difficult to project. These are two teams going nowhere with awful quarterback play. Eventually, the Falcons have to score some points right?

Falcons vs. Jaguars Prediction: Falcons 21, Jaguars 17

Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5) at Denver Broncos

The Chargers finally played a complete game last Sunday night. Justin Herbert looked like the MVP candidate he was earlier in the season.

The Broncos are rested coming off their bye, and the NFL has a way of not making sense. I expect a strong game plan and for Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams to run wild on the Chargers’ soft run defense.

Chargers vs. Broncos Prediction: Broncos 26, Chargers 23

Los Angeles Rams (-2) at Green Bay Packers

The Packers are coming off a tough loss against the Vikings. Normally, this would be a bounce-back spot. However, Green Bay is banged up. Aaron Rodgers has a significant toe injury (although you certainly couldn’t tell by last week’s performance), and Aaron Jones remains out.

The Rams are coming off a flop against the Titans that they’ve had two weeks to think about. They’re reset, and Sean McVay is going to have a solid game plan against a team Matthew Stafford is all too familiar with.

Rams vs. Packers Prediction: Rams 31, Packers 26

Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers (-3)

I feel like these are two similar, evenly-matched teams. The Vikings and 49ers are both good, but they’re not great.

Kirk Cousins oscillates between looking like a superstar and looking like a guy that lost to Cooper Rush. The 49ers are hot right now, and the Vikings are due for a letdown after a huge divisional win over the Packers.

Vikings vs. 49ers Prediction: 49ers 27, Vikings 20

Sunday Night Football: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5)

This line feels awfully small given the diverging trajectories of these two teams. The Browns are ravaged by injury, particularly at wide receiver. The Ravens aren’t exactly a pinnacle of health, but Lamar Jackson should be back this week. Hopefully, Marquise Brown will be as well.

Browns vs. Ravens Prediction: Ravens 30, Browns 20

Monday Night Football: Week 12 picks and predictions

Seattle and Washington will both attempt to save their seasons on Monday Night Football. Can the Seahawks eke out a victory in the nation’s capital?

Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team (-1)

Given the Seahawks’ recent performance, they have no business being favored here. I can’t tell if it’s just deference to Russell Wilson figuring it out or the line is just wrong.

Either way, the Football Team lost five straight before beating the Bucs and the Panthers. I think they struggle on Monday night as Seattle’s offense gets back on track.

Seahawks vs. Washington Prediction: Seahawks 28, Football Team 20

Jason Katz is a Fantasy Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @jasonkatz13 and find more of his work here.

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