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2020 Week 12 NFL Game Picks & Locks

HOU (3-7) @DET (4-6) / DET +2.5

- Simply put the Lions are coming off one of the worst offensive performances we have seen from them in recent memory. It's true that they were hurt by the absences of Swift, Golladay, and Amendola offensively, but with Stafford under center you still expect a few points. To make matters worse some of those big names could be out again on a short week and that will be problematic vs a Houston offense that has had success scoring. When you compound that with the fact that the Lions are one of the worst defenses in the NFL then things start to look even more grim. To be fair the Texans defense isn't all that great either, but if the Lions are down several key pieces we just don't see how they will keep pace with the Texans. This has the potential to be a high scoring game just because of the two defenses involved but unless Swift and Golladay both get cleared we are avoiding Detroit as the Texans could run away with this one when it's all said and done.

Outright: HOU

Spread: HOU

WAS (3-7) @ DAL (3-7) / DAL -2.5

- These division rivals might only have 3 wins each but they still have EVERYTHING to play for here. The Cowboys finally got Andy Dalton back last week but we tend to believe their success had more to do with facing a bad Minnesota defense than anything else. Now though things pivot back to facing a stout defense, especially up front, which we think will be a real problem for this Dallas offense. Washington is much more capable of slowing down Ezekiel Elliott which at this point has become the way to stop Dallas offensively. The reason for this is that without a successful rushing attack Dalton will face a lot more pressure and the Cowboys become too predictable. On the flip side, even though Washington isn't an offense that will put up a bunch of points they still have a good matchup vs this Dallas defense and have the playmakers necessary to take advantage. In all honesty, we don't expect too many points in this game but we know that Alex Smith is great at limiting mistakes and we tend to believe the side that plays cleaner football wins this game. This coupled with the fact that Washington has the better defense makes us like them as underdogs.

Outright: WAS

Spread: WAS

BAL (6-4) @ PIT (10-0) / PIT -3.5

- We said it the first time these two teams played, but the Ravens are nowhere near what they were offensively last year. In large part that has been because of the struggles of Lamar Jackson and the passing attack and unfortunately facing the best defense in the NFL isn't the best way to try and fix that issue. Add to this that the Ravens have had several COVID cases that will likely impact the RB position and that means that Lamar will have to shoulder even more responsibility as a rusher than normal. Offensively the Steelers are in a much better spot even with some struggles rushing the football as their WR's are making people forget about any other issues. Big Ben has also been quietly very efficient this year and vs a banged up Baltimore defense we expect this to continue. In our eyes the Steelers are the better team in all phases, but we do think that this game will be close as these are two divisional opponents that always play each other tough. However, the spread isn't large enough to dissuade us going with the Steelers.

Outright: PIT

Spread: PIT

LV (6-4) @ ATL (3-7) / ATL +3.5

- For the sake of this Atlanta offense the Falcons better hope that Julio Jones can play this Sunday. Without Julio, Matt Ryan and this offense statistically take a big step down and when you consider how porous their defense is this isn't something they can afford. In all honesty if Julio misses this game we think this could turn into a blowout rather quickly. Even though the Raiders don't have big name WR's, Derek Carr has been extremely efficient and with the help of Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs the Raiders have been very competitive all season long. The matchup defensively also favors the Raiders as we expect the Raiders will have a lot offensive scoring success. Right now the play of Matt Ryan has been too inconsistent and unreliable performances from the rushing attack have also become a serious issue for Atlanta. The unfortunate part is that even if Julio plays he might still be limited so we are going with the Raiders regardless and also really like them on the spread.

Outright: LV

Spread: LV

LAC (3-7) @ BUF (7-3) / BUF -5.5

- This is a game that could feature one of the highest scoring totals of the week as we get to see two very talented offenses in what should be a back and forth game. Regardless if the Chargers get Austin Ekeler back this week, we still believe their offense will be able to keep up with that of the Bills for the most part. Defensively even though both of these teams have several stars they have been rather inconsistent and as a result we think this will come down to a battle between Justin Herbert and Josh Allen. If that is the case, then we tend to give the advantage to the Bills as they have the more experienced and versatile QB. On top of that, the Bills also have had more success playing complete games and closing out opponents when leading as opposed to the Chargers who we all know struggle in this department. For that reason, we are taking the Bills to win outright, but in a game that will likely be high scoring and close we think the Chargers will have their chance to win too, but will ultimately fall short so we mainly like them on the spread.

Outright: BUF

Spread: LAC

NYG (3-7) @ CIN (2-7-1) / CIN +5.5

- Unfortunately, we have got yet another season ending injury and this time it's to Joe Burrow. With no Burrow the Bengals are essentially done for the 2020 season. This offense was so reliant on Burrow to sustain the passing attack and extend plays with his legs that what we will see going forward will be a far cry from that. The Bengals have decided it will be Brandon Allen under center, but it doesn't really matter at this point as this offense doesn't have nearly the same scoring upside as it did before. The loss of Burrow will also have a trickle down affect as it will impact the already porous Bengals defense. The translation to all this is hammer the Giants in this matchup. We expect a big offensive performance from the Giants with a big game from Wayne Gallman and on the other side a solid defensive outing vs a spiraling Bengals offense.

Outright: NYG

Spread: NYG

CLE (7-3) @ JAX (1-9) / JAX +6.5

- The Jaguars are now looking to Mike Glennon for salvation at QB and that's all you really need to know when it comes to this game. In case you had forgotten about Glennon, he was beaten out at QB by Mitch Trubisky last time he was a starter so that should tell you enough. This is the perfect situation for the Browns as they continue to get great opportunities to pile up wins. The game plan should be simple and that's have Baker Mayfield throw the ball at most 15 times and then let Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt take care of the rest. We also expect a big day from the Cleveland defense in what could be one of the biggest blow outs of the week.

Outright: CLE

Spread: CLE

TEN (7-3) @ IND (7-3) / IND -3.5

- A HUGE divisional game and a rematch of a matchup we saw only a few weeks ago. We said it back then and we'll say it again, this is a series that will likely be split. The Titans left a lot of points on the board last time as they had multiple missed TD opportunities after which the game got away from them. This time around we expect an equally high scoring affair as the Titans have the necessary offensive pieces but are also hurting defensively. Just like last time though, we think this game will come down to the play of Philip Rivers and if he can play mistake free football again then the Colts have the advantage. At this point in time we are not confident in that and for that reason are going with the underdogs in what should be a very close game, where your best bet might be to go with the Titans on the spread.

Outright: TEN

Spread: TEN

MIA (6-4) @ NYJ (0-10) / NYJ +6.5

- We say it every week, but the perfect get right game is getting to face the Jets and it holds true this week too. Even though the Dolphins shockingly benched Tua last week we know that he will start again and this is the perfect opponent to get his confidence back against. In fact, we expect a team wide bounce back game from the Dolphins as the Miami defense should also have an opportunity for a big day regardless of who plays QB for the Jets. There isn't too much else to break down here the Dolphins are practically a lock outright and the spread isn't all that high where we are scared of it so we like Miami across the board.

Outright: MIA

Spread: MIA

CAR (4-7) @ MIN (4-6) / MIN -4.5

- The Panthers are coming off a shocking shut out victory over the Lions, while the Vikings are probably still wondering how they lost to the Cowboys. The bigger takeaway for us though has to be the Minnesota loss as it confirmed our suspicions that they still haven't quite figured things out and are a liability defensively. With that being the case we actually think that the Panthers are a great pick as an underdog and especially on the spread. We anticipate that Teddy Bridgewater will return and even though P.J. Walker delivered a victory last week, Bridgewater is still the better option at QB. It also seems like Adam Thielen will be available for this game which is a huge win for the Vikings and should make this game much closer and one where we see a lot of points. Our prediction at this point is predicated on the assumption that Bridgewater plays and the belief that the Panthers have the better defense. If Bridgewater is ruled out we would however pivot to the Vikings.

Outright: CAR

Spread: CAR

ARI (6-4) @ NE (4-6) / NE +2.5

- The Patriots continue to show us that they simply can not be trusted offensively. While they are getting more respect in this home on the spread compared to a few weeks ago vs the Ravens, unless there is a torrential downpour yet again we don't see this one going in favor of New England. The Patriots only managed 20 points vs a bad Houston defense last week and even though the Cardinals aren't elite defensively this will come down to if the Patriots can keep pace with Kyler Murray and the electric Cardinals offense. And sure we expect Belichick to limit Murray a bit but the Arizona QB is just too versatile as a rusher to be completely shut down. Even though this game might be close to begin with, we believe the Cardinals can pull away late and the Patriots simply don't have the firepower to keep up.

Outright: ARI

Spread: ARI

NO (8-2) @ DEN (4-6) / DEN +5.5

- Credit to the Saints last week for getting the win over the Falcons, but if you watched that game you know that the defense was a bigger reason why rather than the play of Taysom Hill. On top of that Hill also benefitted greatly from playing a very bad Atlanta defense which still caused him way too many problems in retrospect. What we're trying to say is that we are not sold on Hill. With that being the case and the Broncos possessing a better defense we think this game could be closer than some expect. Now, we're still going with the Saints outright because we believe they are the better offensive team and primarily because their defense holds the positional advantage. But on the spread, especially if this number keeps rising, we would take the Broncos as Drew Lock is basically a better QB than Taysom Hill at this point in time and that will slow down the Saints offense to a degree sooner or later.

Outright: NO

Spread: DEN

SF (4-6) @ LAR (7-3) / LAR -6.5

- Even though the 49ers beat the Rams earlier on in the year this is a completely different SF team right now due to a plethora of injuries. There is no doubt that without Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle, both of whom had huge games the previous matchup, that this offense isn't at the same level. The Rams have a good enough defense to cause problems for Mullens as we expect a lower scoring affair between two teams that usually play each other tough. Our advice would be to go with the Rams outright as they simply have the healthier offense and defense at this point in time. On the spread it could be a bit of a tossup as you never know how these NFC West divisional games will go, but we'll give the benefit of the doubt to the Rams as they are the more complete team and should be able to win by a TD.

Outright: LAR

Spread: LAR

KC (9-1) @ TB (7-4) / TB +2.5

- A clash of two great QB's and two absolutely loaded offenses on paper, hopefully this is a game that lives up to the hype. The reason we say that is because the Bucs have gone through several stretches of inconsistent play and it's clear to see that they are still figuring out the chemistry offensively with all the new pieces. On the flip side, the Chiefs are a well-oiled machine that doesn't really struggle to score and also has an underrated defense. Right now Mahomes is matchup proof and possesses the much more reliable and consistent offense. Even though the Bucs have the bigger names we think this is a situation where Brady won't be able to keep pace with Mahomes and the Bucs slow down as the game progresses. The spread isn't all that big at this point so we like the Chiefs across the board.

Outright: KC

Spread: KC

CHI (5-5) @ GB (7-3) / GB -8.5

- Plain and simple this is a rivalry that the Packers have owned recently and we don't see that changing this week. At this point in time we don't even know who will start for the Bears at QB as they are dealing with injuries, but we've said it before and we'll say it again, it doesn't matter. This offense is equally inept regardless if it's Foles or Trubisky under center. The offensive line is a mess, the rushing attack is absent and the play-calling is questionable. The only saving grace for the Bears is their great defense. Due to that factor we think that this game will be lower scoring and probably close to begin with but as it goes the Packers will score some points and we just don't see the Bears being able t match that. The Bears offense can't hold a candle to that of the Packers and as bad as the GB defense has been they could very well have a great game here vs the Bears, because that's almost the trend every week regardless of who the Bears play. Outright GB is a lock but the spread is tricky as we wouldn't touch it, but if push comes to shove we probably give the Packers the edge there too.

Outright: GB

Spread: GB

SEA (7-3) @ PHI (3-6-1) / PHI +5.5

- As bad as the Seattle secondary has been do we really have any faith in Carson Wentz being able to capitalize on this? Yes and no, we personally think that as bad as Wentz has been, he will find some success vs Seattle, but we just don't think it will be sustained for a full 4 quarters. And unfortunately that is what is needed when facing an offense with Wilson, Metcalf, and Lockett. On top of that we are finally expected to see the return of Chris Carson which will be a welcome addition as his presence bring a missing wrinkle to the Seattle offense. This should be a higher scoring game, as is usually the case with most Seattle games, but at the end of the day we tend to believe that one or several inopportune turnovers will sink the Eagles as they probably fade late.

Outright: SEA

Spread: SEA



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