Week 12 NFL Picks

The Back Door Cover Week 12 NFL Picks

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My Picks

Last Week: 7-7

Overall: 66-93-3 (41.5%)

Score Predictor* Picks

Last Week: 6-8

Overall: 94-65-3 (59.1%)

(*The Score Predictor is a tool I created that takes over a decade’s worth of score and spread data to predict the final score of each game. It places higher weights on more recent games as well as games against the opponent that week. Ultimately, it outputs a final home team and away team score that is used to make a pick against the spread.)

Week 11 Whiffs

— I’m going to start with my sweetest whiff of the season. I didn’t necessarily think the Texans’ defense would stop Lamar Jackson, but I did think they’d slow him down more than anyone else had. I couldn’t be happier to have been wrong.

— What happened to the Falcons? I had them as my surprise NFC South winner and they proceeded to look like hot garbage. Then, all of a sudden, nobody can score on them. They just went two games against New Orleans and Carolina without allowing a touchdown.

— I had Minnesota having an easy time against Denver’s backup quarterback. They didn’t, and probably should have lost had the Broncos not collapsed late.

I cleaned up this week, going 5-2. If Carolina wouldn’t have killed my parlays, I would have had an even better week, but I can’t complain. From my picks last week, the only one I changed last-minute was the Pittsburgh/Cleveland game. As Thursday night got closer, money kept coming in on the Steelers. Once I saw that, I knew the spread was too good to be true and I hopped on Cleveland at -3. Good, solid week finally.

Eleven weeks into the season and we still haven’t really seen a return to normalcy in regards to away underdogs. I would have expected the numbers to start to come back to about even, but that hasn’t even started to happen yet. At this point, it’s a viable trend.

Here are the ATS rankings through Week 11.

Arizona now sits alone at the top of the rankings with an impressive 5-1 ATS mark on the road this season. Although their overall record has been underwhelming, Cardinals fans can feel good about themselves that Kyler Murray is keeping them in games. If they can add a few defensive pieces in the offseason, they could potentially be dangerous next year.

As always, most importantly:

Disclaimer: Please do not take these picks and expect to make any real money. I enjoy picking games and the discussions they create so feel free to play along. I will provide information for each game, but please make your own decisions and BE RESPONSIBLE!

Here are my Week 12 picks…

Thursday – 11/21/19

Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans (-3.5, o/u 45.5)

The loss of Marlon Mack will hurt the Colts big time this week in a showdown for first place in the AFC South. They’ll also still be without T.Y. Hilton, which will make this an even more daunting task against a Texans team that isn’t as bad as they showed against the Ravens.

The Colts won’t get after Deshaun Watson the same way Baltimore did last week, which will give him plenty of time to throw. He’ll guide Houston to a comfortable win at home.

Indianapolis is 4-0 straight up and ATS in their last 4 divisional road games. The Texans are 12-3 straight up in their last 15 games as favorites.

Score Predictor: Indianapolis 22.3 – Houston 19.7 (Indianapolis +3.5)

My Pick: Houston -3.5

Sunday – 11/24/19

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons (-4.5, o/u 51.5)

If you know what to expect in this game, then you’re lying to yourself. Atlanta has looked like more of a Super Bowl contender than a 3-7 team the past two weeks as they shut down the Saints and Panthers, holding them to only field goals. At the beginning of the season, I thought their defense would be much improved, but after nine weeks, that looked to be anything but the case. Now, we have no idea what to expect out of the Falcons. Are they closer to the league’s worst defense or the one we’ve seen the past two weeks? Your guess is as good as mine.

One thing we are certain of, however, is that Jameis Winston loves throwing the ball to the other team. When he does, the Bucs struggle. How’s that for hard-hitting analysis?

My best guess in this game is that Winston will add to his league leading 18 interceptions and the Falcons will continue their heater.

The Bucs are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games and 0-5 straight up in their last 5 against Atlanta. Atlanta is 6-3 ATS in their last 9 November games and 5-1 straight up in their last 6 divisional games.

Score Predictor: Tampa Bay 24.8 – Atlanta 30.5 (Atlanta -4.5)

My Pick: Atlanta -4.5

New York Giants vs. Chicago Bears (-6, o/u 40.5)

Surprisingly, the Giants’ offense has performed well over their latest six-game losing streak. It’s the defense that has struggled. All they have to do is look in the mirror and they’ll see the Bears who are the exact opposite. The Bears’ defense has performed well, but their offense can’t get out of their own way. Because of those mirror images, this game should stay close as Mitch Trubisky’s (or whoever plays quarterback) struggles will continue and Daniel Jones will do enough to keep it within a touchdown.

The Giants are 0-6 straight up and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games. Chicago is also 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games.

Score Predictor: New York 20.4 – Chicago 24.2 (New York +6)

My Pick: New York +6

Miami Dolphins vs. Cleveland Browns (-10.5, o/u 44.5)

Cleveland salvaged a little bit of hope for a wild card berth this season with last week’s win over the Steelers. With Miami coming to town, they should keep the train rolling and gain some more momentum as they continue with the lighter portion of their schedule.

After two straight wins, the Dolphins came back to earth in a 17-point loss to the Bills. Things won’t get easier for them against a desperate Cleveland team. They’ll find it hard to move the ball on offense and won’t be able to contain the Browns’ offense.

Cleveland wins by two touchdowns.

Miami is 0-7 straight up and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games against teams with losing records. The Browns are just 4-12 straight up in their last 16 games following a win.

Score Predictor: Miami 19.4 – Cleveland 21.4 (Miami +10.5)

My Pick: Cleveland -10.5

Seattle Seahawks vs. Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5, o/u 48.0)

Seattle headed into their bye week with a big win over the 49ers. That placed them in a position to have a shot at the NFC West title. Their offense has been clicking, but their defense has lagged far behind.

For Philadelphia, it’s their offense that hasn’t lived up to the hype. Carson Wentz has struggled and has never regained his MVP-like form after his injury in his sophomore season. Even with his struggles, he’ll put up some points against the Seahawks, but it won’t be enough.

With the season Russell Wilson is having, I find it hard to pick against him in what is basically a pick-em game. Seattle wins outright and the over hits.

Seattle is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games and 9-0 ATS in their last 9 games as an underdog. The Eagles are 0-4 straight up and ATS in their last 4 games against the Seahawks, losing by an average of 13 points.

Score Predictor: Seattle 22.3 – Philadelphia 23.0 (Seattle +1.5)

My Pick: Seattle +1.5

Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints (-9.5, o/u 46.5)

Carolina rolls into New Orleans on a two-game losing streak having fallen to 5-5 on the season. The Saints, on the other hand, were rolling until they ran into the “buzz saw” that now is the Atlanta Falcons. However, they’re still 7-1 over their last 8 games and running away with the NFC South.

I had Carolina here as I ran through the games the first time, but the more I think about this game, the more I don’t trust Kyle Allen. After a solid start, he’s come back to reality with a four-interception game against the Falcons last week. Things won’t get easier for him against one of the NFL’s top teams who are in the conversation for a first round bye. I can see New Orleans having their way with the backup quarterback and keeping the Panthers’ offense sputtering. New Orleans by double-digits.

The Panthers are 1-5 straight up and ATS in their last 6 November games. New Orleans has won 16 of their last 20 home games.

Score Predictor: Carolina 24.5 – New Orleans 26.8 (Carolina +9.5)

My Pick: New Orleans -9.5

Oakland Raiders vs. New York Jets (+2.5, o/u 46.5)

Oakland is in line to make a strong push for the playoffs and they can’t afford to lose a game here to the Jets if they want to make that a reality.

I’ve seen this spread as high as 4.5 and as low as 2.5 as of today and that volatility scares me off of this game. All of the Raiders’ victories this season have been by a single possession and I can’t come up with a good reason why this one won’t also be close. I’ll take the Jets to cover, but I’m not confident in this one.

The Raiders are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games. New York is 2-8 straight up and 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 home games.

Score Predictor: Oakland 22.9 – New York 26.6 (New York +2.5)

My Pick: New York +2.5

Denver Broncos vs. Buffalo Bills (-4, o/u 37.0)

After the removal of Joe Flacco from the equation, the Broncos have suddenly looked better on offense. It’s almost like we’ve seen that story before…

To me, this game comes down to which team can you trust more. The true answer is, neither, but we have to pick someone, right? Let me run down the teams the Bills have beaten this year: Jets, Giants, Bengals, Titans, Redskins, and Dolphins x2. Those five teams have a total of 13 wins between them. That list doesn’t strike fear in anyone and even though the Dolphins have only three wins, they have looked much better post-Flacco.

I’m not confident enough to pick Denver to win outright, but I do think they keep it close and if you’re giving me four points, I’m going to take it.

Denver is 4-0 ATS in their last four November games. The Bills are 10-2 straight up in their last 12 games as a home favorite.

Score Predictor: Denver 19.4 – Buffalo 21.3 (Denver +4)

My Pick: Denver +4

Detroit Lions vs. Washington Redskins (+3.5, o/u 42.0)

Detroit has been susceptible to the pass so far this season, but the Redskins’ passing game is nothing to fear so something has to give this week. I’m going to stay away from this game, but if you’re telling me the Redskins will keep a game close, I’m not going to believe you until I see it. Detroit to win and cover.

Detroit is 1-6 straight up in their last seven games and 0-5 ATS in their last five. The Redskins are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games.

Score Predictor: Detroit 24.1 – Washington 19.9 (Detroit -3.5)

My Pick: Detroit -3.5

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals (+6.5, o/u 39.0)

Coming off Helmet Gate, the Steelers look to keep their slim playoff hopes alive against the lifeless Bengals. Cincinnati did keep it close last week, but found a way to lose as most bad teams do.

The Steelers will be without Maurkice Pouncey in this one after his three-game suspension for (rightfully) coming to the defense of his quarterback. That loss has the potential to be a big one for Pittsburgh. If you couple that with the possibility that they’ll be without JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, and James Conner, it could be tough sledding for the Steelers.

Luckily though, they’re playing the Bengals and I can’t come up with another real reason why Pittsburgh won’t cover the 6.5. Cincinnati will struggle to score on the Steelers defense and Rudolph will find a way to do just enough to cover.

The Steelers are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games as a favorite. Cincinnati is 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games at home.

Score Predictor: Pittsburgh 23.3 – Cincinnati 19.9 (Cincinnati +6.5)

My Pick: Pittsburgh -6.5

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans (-3, o/u 41.5)

What happened to the Jaguars defense? Last week they gave up 264 yards on the ground and this week they get to face the NFL’s fifth-leading rusher in Derrick Henry.

I love Tennessee in this spot. Ever since Ryan Tannehill took over, their offense has scored at least 20 points in every game. With the suddenly weak Jacksonville defense, there’s no reason to think that trend won’t continue and the Titans cover the three points easily.

Jacksonville is 2-10 straight up in their last 12 November road games. The Titans are 7-2 ATS in their last nine divisional home games.

Score Predictor: Jacksonville 20.3 – Tennessee 28.3 (Tennessee -3)

My Pick: Tennessee -3

Dallas Cowboys vs. New England Patriots (-6.5, o/u 46.0)

I’ll say this straight away: I like the Cowboys to win outright. The Ravens showed that the Patriots can be bullied a bit on the ground, which is what the Cowboys do best. They’ll feed Zeke and then feast on the play-action. However, the real reason I like Dallas this week is the struggling Patriots’ offense.

Her majesty expressed concerns about the Patriots’ offense after their Week 11 win in Philadelphia and he should be concerned. They have not looked like the Patriots of old and that’s partly because, well, he is old. Add to that the fact that they have no real weapon as they have had in the past, and that equals offensive struggles.

All of your Cowboy friends will come out of the woodwork and be talking Super Bowl come Monday morning. Consider yourself warned.

New England has won 20 straight home games. The Cowboys are 6-1 ATS in their last seven November games.

Score Predictor: Dallas 19.4 – New England 26.0 (New England -6.5)

My Pick: Dallas +6.5

Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers (-3, o/u 46.0)

I love teams coming off bye weeks and that’s exactly what we have here in Green Bay. After covering against Carolina in Week 10, they got to watch the rest of the football world beat up on each other as they sat at home and rested with an overall healthy team.

San Francisco has struggled on the defensive side of the ball the past few weeks so I’d imagine Aaron Rodgers will have a hand in continuing that downward trend. I like Green Bay to win outright here regardless, but if George Kittle and Matt Breida miss this week (both are questionable), I’m very confident in that pick.

The 49ers are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games as a home favorite of three or fewer points.

Score Predictor: Green Bay 24.6 – San Francisco 26.7 (Green Bay +3)

My Pick: Green Bay +3

Monday – 11/25/19

Baltimore Ravens vs. Los Angeles Rams (+3, o/u 46.5)

The Ravens have been the best team in football over the past month and they’ve demolished some of the other contenders for that title along the way. On paper, the Rams have the talent to be one of those top teams, but Jared Goff has struggled this season, which has held the Rams back.

With the league’s best defense since Week 7 coming to L.A., I don’t see Goff righting the ship on offense and until someone stops Lamar Jackson, how can you bet against him?

I’ll take the Ravens to cover.

Since 2018, the Ravens are 2-3 straight up and 1-3-1 ATS as road favorites of 3.5 or fewer points, but are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight road games. Los Angeles is 0-3 straight up and 0-2-1 ATS in contests where they are a home dog of 3.5 or fewer points.

Score Predictor: Baltimore 27.2 – Los Angeles 21.0 (Baltimore -3)

My Pick: Baltimore -3

This week there are several games I like. I’ll hop all over Tennessee (-3), Seattle (+1.5), and Cleveland (-10.5) and combine those into a little parlay and hope for the best.

Good luck in Week 12!

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Drew Kordula

About Drew Kordula

I was born and raised in Baltimore. I'm a graduate of Eastern Tech and UMBC. Baltimore/Maryland sports have always been a huge part of my life. Whether it be going to University of Maryland Football games with my dad as a kid, or climbing to the top of Mt. M&T Bank Stadium for my seats in section 540 today. I'm a Joe Flacco apologist, Buck Showalter groupie, and Wild Bill Hagy disciple. I love writing about Baltimore sports because I know how passionate of a fan base we have here. Everyone has an opinion and I invite you to share yours on any of my blogs no matter if you agree or disagree. Feel free to follow me on twitter @DrewKordula More from Drew Kordula

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