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Free Week 12 NFL Pick, Game Odds and Preview

Although the Falcons did their best to upset the Saints on Thursday night, Drew Brees was able to keep the Saints train running and rack up another win for New Orleans. Now as we look forward to the rest of the weekend, we have some great games on tap that could shape the outlook of the playoffs in both conferences.

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Two weeks ago the Bucs were a winless team with no hope. Now, they are on a two game win streak and, well they probably still don’t have much hope. This is especially true as they are playing against a team like the Lions. Not only are the Lions coming off a loss, so you know they’ll be eager to shake that off, but they also find themselves in a heated race in the NFC North, tied with the Bears at 6-4. The Lions did lose to a 3-win Steelers team last weekend, but that was in Pittsburgh and the circumstances were a bit different. Heading into this game, the Lions are a nine-point favorite. And with Calvin Johnson on your team, who already has over one thousand receiving yards on the season, they can easily put up points at Ford Field.


In an AFC South showdown this weekend, the Houston Texans will look to stop their franchise worst eight-game losing streak against Jacksonville. In previous years, this may have looked like a no brainer. However, Jacksonville had their first win of the season two weeks ago and they likely see the Texans as another chance to notch at least one more win on the season. They’d hate to finish the season with only win, so they have to get as many wins as they possibly can against teams like the Texans who only have two wins. Nobody would’ve guess that two weeks into the season, when the Texans were 2-0, that the next eight weeks would result in an epic slide that will likely result in a lot of firings in Houston. And if they loss to Jacksonville this weekend, things will only get worse. The Texans are a 10-point favorite in this one, which probably speaks to the success that they have had against the Jags in recent years.


The Vikings are likely excited to see the Packers this weekend. On the other hand, the Packers might be just as happy. The Vikings have had issues at quarterback all season long and, despite being a playoff team last year, have only been able to get two wins on the season. The Packers, who started out hot at 5-2, have now lost three in a row after Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone. So while the Vikings may be licking their chops to see rookie Scott Tolzien behind center, the Pack may be just as excited knowing that Minnesota has a quarterback carousel that makes for uncertainty in playing time for either Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel or Josh Freeman. The Packers are only a 4.5 favorite in this one, which is due to Rodgers being sidelined. A loss here would be huge for the Packers, as they would likely be too far back to catch up with either the Bears or the Lions for a spot in the playoffs coming out of the NFC North.


A week after their first loss, the Chiefs will face off against another AFC West foe. This time, it’ll be Phillip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs, maybe surprisingly to many, are only favored by five in this one, despite a differential in both teams’ records. At 4-6, the Chargers have now lost three in a row and find themselves at the bottom of the division with the Raiders. However, the Chargers may find themselves in the perfect spot to play the Chiefs. Not only did KC lose to the Broncos last weekend, but they’ll play them again next weekend. Being the middle game of this trio, may allow the Chargers to fly under the radar a bit. Alex Smith has got to step it up for the Chiefs is they hope to prove they can beat good teams. Smith is dead last in the NFL with 5.97 yards per attempt, and only completed 21 of 45 passes last weekend against the Broncos. On the other hand, Philip Rivers may be the most clutch element for the Chargers, who are noticeably weak at all other areas. This should be a good AFC battle, as the Chiefs fans will be looking to welcome the Broncos to town next weekend.


There aren’t many teams in the NFL hotter than the Carolina Panthers. Not only have they now won six in a row, but their last two wins came against the 49ers and the Panthers. The Panthers experienced quite a bit of limelight last year, as Cam Newton was criticized for not being an effective leader who can lead his team in good and bad times. This year, Newton has allowed for any negative talk and proved to be a major gamer in the game on Monday night against the Patriots. The Panthers will also hope to keep winning, as they look to keep pace with the Saints, as those two NFC South teams will play each other twice in the final four weeks of the season. While the Panthers find themselves in the limelight of success, the Dolphins are still trying to get out of the spotlight with the Richie Incognito and Jonathon Martin bullying scandal. Ryan Tannehill was able to get a win last weekend against the Jets, which pulled the Dolphins back into the wildcard hunt with those Jets. It would be nearly unimaginable to see the Dolphins, with all of their struggles this year, in the playoffs. However, their huge 4-0 start was helpful in terms of gaining ground and having room for a few slipups. Another good note for the Dolphins is that the Panthers haven’t won in their last four attempts in Miami, and they’ll try and make it five on Sunday. The Panthers are a 4.5 favorite in this one.


Everyone watch out for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Along with the Panthers and Giants, the Steelers may be another hot team to keep an eye on in the final weeks of the season. But in order to be in that conversation, they’ll need a win against divisional opponent Cleveland on Sunday. At 4-6, the Steelers and Browns have had similar seasons that have them both in the wildcard hunt. The Browns experienced a three-game winning streak back in late September, after the trade of Trent Richardson. However with losses in four of their last five, that streak seems to be a complete memory now. As for the Steelers, they have won four of their last six, despite starting the season 0-4. Ben Roethlisberger is 15-1 against the Browns, a number he’ll loo to add to this weekend. This is a huge win that the Steelers need to not only get back into the conversation of the playoffs, but to show people that they can turn their season around despite a slow start. This one should be a close one, as the Browns are a one-point favorite.



You can bet that the Chicago Bears would much rather have Jay Cutler back under center as their starting quarterback. However, at 2-0, Josh McCown has handled the duties well and keeps his team tied atop the NFC North. Looking to go 3-0 as a starter, McCown will face another backup who was thrust into the starting role, as he goes against Kellen Clemens and the Rams. Clemens is coming off his first victory as a starting quarterback, as the Rams put a three-game losing streak to an end two weekends ago with ahuge win over Indianapolis. Not only did Clemens play well last weekend, but so did the Rams defense, which allowed Andrew Luck and company to only put up 8 points and forced three interceptions by the outstanding second-year quarterback. The Rams are also coming off a bye week, so they had a bit of extra time to plan for the Bears to come to town. With their win two weeks ago speaking loudly, and possibly because of McCown under center, the Rams are a slight favorite in this one, with a one-point advantage in their favor.


The Ravens may be a four-point favorite in their game against the Jets, but it’s really anybody’s game when these teams play one another on Sunday. The only thing that the Jets have proved this year, is to not expect anything consistent at all. They have the NFL’s longest streak of alternating wins and losses, which has them at 5-5 on the season. If that continues to play out, then maybe, just maybe, Jets fans can relax this weekend since they lost last weekend against the Bills. The problem is, as mentioned, they lost against the Bills. Not to say that the Ravens are much better. However, the Ravens find themselves where they probably would’ve have guessed at the beginning of the season. They are in the hunt for a wildcard spot in the AFC North, and a win this weekend would be huge. Granted, this isn’t the same Ravens team as last year. But if they could make a strong push in December, could we see another chance for this team to repeat? They’ll need to win this weekend before we get ahead of ourselves with all of that talk.


The Tennessee Titans have had a rough last few weeks. They come into this weekends game against the Raiders on a two game losing streak that has them at 4-6. Luckily for them, the Colts haven’t done much to take a huge lead over the Titans, so Tennessee remains right there in the thick of things for a wildcard spot. This weekend they’ll face a Raiders team that also boasts a 4-6 record. However, while the Titans have solid players like Jake Locker and Chris Johnson as the staples of their team, the Raiders have had a few surprises in recent weeks to make them question their future. Matt McGloin got the start over Terrelle Pryor last weekend, in a game which he threw for three touchdowns. And at back in place of the injured Darren McFadden is Rashad Jennings, who had 150-yards last weekend against Houston. Despite the fact that the Raiders may be looking like the hotter team, the Titans are a slight favorite at one-point. However, what might be more important is the fact that the loser of this game will likely be out of contention in the wildcard race, while the winner will put themselves right where they need to be in remaining few games of the season.


In the same conference as the Seahawks and 49ers, the Cardinals have been flying under the radar all season long. Now on a three game winning streak, the Cardinals fine themselves tied with the 9ers at 6-4 and looking for a huge win this weekend against the Colts. The Colts are 7-3 and hold huge wins over Denver, Seattle and San Francisco. But with a close win against Houston and loses to St. Louis and San Diego over the last month and a half, people may be wondering how strong this Colts team really is. That may be the reason that it’s the Cardinals that are favored in this one. But with a one-point spread, this game is truly up for the taking. The Cardinals would love a ‘W’ to solidify themselves as a threat in the NFC, as well as keep up with the other teams that are pacing the division. And while the Colts aren’t in a huge threat to lose the AFC South, another loss wouldn’t be a good sign. You can bet that Andrew Luck will have his team ready and prepared for the game on Sunday, but that may not be enough against the Cardinals, who are on that list of hot teams in the league right now.


Yet another team to make that list of hot teams is the New York Giants. Winners of four in a row, after losers of six to start the season, the Giants need a divisional game like this to make a mark on how things have been going for their season. The timing couldn’t be any better to play a Dallas team that has its own issues as of late. At 5-5, the Cowboys find themselves in second place in their division, but a Giants win this weekend would flip-flop the two teams in the standings. Losers of two of their last three, the Cowboys have the worst pass defense in the league and hope to be able to shut down Eli Manning with an extra week off to prepare.


For the second week in a row, the Broncos will headline the game of the week on Sunday Night Football. After handing the Chiefs their first loss, the Broncos will look to hand the Patriots back to back loses for the first time on the season. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will face one another for the 14th time, in a matchup that is sure to be one of the most anticipated matchups of the season. Of the 13 matchups previously played, Brady has the advantage over Manning, 9-4. The Broncos will hope to have former Patriot Wes Welker back, as well as Julius Thomas. They’ll also be starting Michael Huff on defense, after acquiring the vet earlier this week. The winner of this game will have a huge advantage when it comes to the playoffs, as it could come down to either of these teams fighting for home field and the top spot in the AFC. Either way, it should be a great game to close up Sunday’s NFL games.

Over 55
+3 Under 55

The 49ers will look to rebound from their loss last weekend on Monday night as they face the Redskins. This has got to be a sigh of relief for the 9ers, considering all of the troubles that Washington has faced lately. The Skins only have three wins on the year, and have dropped their last two. This game will be a home game for Washington, but the 49ers remain a six-point favorite. What might be the most important of all this is that the 49ers will want to show the entire nation on national TV, and rest of the world watching, that they are still a top team and can contend with the Seahawks and Saints atop the NFC.


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Free Pick-

Dallas Cowboys vs NY Giants

Current line is NY Giants -3 – Bet on the Cowboys

Final Score Dallas  35- NY Giants 21

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