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NFL Picks, Week 12

Syndication: The Record Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the New York Jets are 2.5 point underdogs on the road against the Houston Texans on Sunday. That’s a pretty fair spread. These two teams are roughly equally bad. This one’s a tough game to pick. Zach Wilson will be back under center. Has he learned anything in the several weeks he was forced to sit and watch other quarterbacks run this offense, often with much greater success than Wilson had? There’s really no way to know the answer to that question ahead of time. If Wilson has learned some valuable lessons then the Jets might be in good shape in this game. If Wilson keeps making the same old mistakes then this may be another disappointing turnover-fest. I’m a Jets fan, so without any evidence to support this, I’ll go with my wishful thinking. I’ll say Wilson comes out a better quarterback than when he left, and the Jets benefit. Upset special: Jets over the Texans.

Last week I had a bit of a bounce back week with my picks. I went 9-5, including 2-2 in my upset specials. That brings my record for the year to 39-26-1, and 9-6-1 on my upset specials.

Here are my picks for the rest of the NFL matchups this week. These picks are just a simple who wins the game deal. Odds do not factor in. DISCLAIMER: This is just for fun. I make no claims to actually being any good at this. Anyone who chooses to bet according to my picks will likely prove the old maxim, a fool and his money are soon parted.

SUNDAY 1 PM GAMES

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants. The Eagles have gotten hot lately, winners of three of their last four games. They’ve averaged nearly 35 points per game on offense in that stretch. The Giants are not hot. Losers of four of their last six, the Giants have averaged less than 18 points per game on offense in that stretch. Go with the hot team and the sizzling offense. Eagles over the Giants.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are as hot as any team in the NFL. They have won six of their last eight games, and their only two losses in that stretch both went into overtime, against the two teams tied for the best record in the AFC. The Buccaneers have struggled with turnovers lately with eight in their last five games. The Buccaneers also have just a 2-3 record on the road this year. I’ll take the hotter team at home. Colts over the Buccaneers in an upset special.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers are not a very good team on offense or on defense. Yet they still have a winning record, courtesy of a soft schedule. The Bengals are a good team. The last time the Steelers beat a good team was opening day. They won’t do it this week. Bengals over the Steelers.

Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins. The Panthers are a bad team with a good defense. The Dolphins are a bad team with a good nothing. Go with a good something over a good nothing. Panthers over the Dolphins.

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots. Mike Vrabel has gotten the better of his old mentor Bil Belichick the last two times these teams met. Not this time. Without Derrick Henry the Titans are no match for a surging Patriots team that has been blowing out opponents on a regular basis. Patriots over the Titans.

Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars. These two teams are terrible. The Falcons have lost three out of four. In the three losses the Falcons never gained more than 214 yards of total offense, turned the ball over a combined nine times, and scored a combined 16 points. Yikes! The Jaguars have also lost three out of four. They have not scored more than 17 points in any of those games. Ugh. It’s terrible versus awful. When in doubt take the home team. Jaguars over the Falcons in an upset special.

SUNDAY LATE AFTERNOON GAMES

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos. The Broncos have scored 17 points or less in three of their last four games. The Chargers have scored 17 points or more in all but one game this year. I like the team that can score over the team that can’t. Chargers over the Broncos.

Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers. Two of the best teams in the NFL go at it. This could easily be a preview of the NFC Championship game. The Packers are home, where they have not lost all year. I’ll take the home team in what promises to be a great matchup. Packers over the Rams in an upset special.

Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers love to run, run, and run some more. The Vikings’ achilles heel is their run defense, ranked 31st in the NFL in yards per attempt. Advantage, 49ers. 49ers over the Vikings.

SUNDAY NIGHT GAME

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens. The Browns offense is atrocious. They have scored 17 points or less in five of their last six games. The Ravens have scored 17 points or more in all but one game Lamar Jackson has started this year. Ravens over the Browns.

MONDAY NIGHT GAME

Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team. The Seahawks have completely fallen apart after Russell Wilson went down with a finger injury, losing five out of six. Wilson has been back for two weeks, but he probably came back too soon. Another week of healing and a Football Team defense that has mostly struggled this year might be just what the doctor ordered. Seahawks over the Football Team.