Mike Ivcic’s Week 12 NFL Preview and Free Picks

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Mike Ivcic’s Week 12 NFL Preview and Free Picks ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>


By Mike Ivcic, UltimateCapper Contributing Writer

Ah, the special two-part column for the Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy your turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and Bill Belichick scowl!

Houston Texans @ Detroit Lions
Thu, 12:30pm, CBS
Line: Texans by 3
After getting caught in an actual game against the Jags – probably because they were looking ahead to their short week – I think the Texans win this one handily. Besides, what would Thanksgiving be without the annual blowout in Detroit to start off the holiday?
Pick: Houston 34, Detroit 20

Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys
Thu, 4:15pm, FOX
Line: Cowboys by 3
RGIII gets the national stage in the “House that Jerry built” on Thanksgiving day. What a way to continue a stellar rookie debut. I just don’t think the rest of his team is good enough to pull this one out.
Pick: Dallas 27, Washington 21

New England Patriots @ New York Jets
Thu, 8:20pm, NBC
Line: Patriots by 7
And then there’s this lovely contest. I’m so glad the NFL schedule makers decided to have the Jets embarrass themselves on national television after everyone’s eaten their largest meal of the year. What better recipe is there for getting sick than eating way too much food and then watching the Jets play offense?
Pick: New England 42, New York 13

Check back Friday for the rest of my Week 12 NFL picks!

Welcome to Part 2 of the weekly picks. Looking to build on a 1-1-1 Thanksgiving Day performance – let’s just say I wasn’t all that thankful for Robert Griffin III.

Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Falcons by 1
The Bucs have a legitimate playoff shot with the Cowboys dropping that Thanksgiving game and the Vikings with a tough closing schedule. The easiest path to one of those wild card spots is winning the divisional games, starting here with the Falcons – and I think Greg Schiano and Josh Freeman figure out a way to get this one done.
Pick: Tampa Bay 28, Atlanta 24

Buffalo Bills @ Indianapolis Colts
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Colts by 3
If the Colts want to really be considered a threat to do anything in the postseason – assuming they get to the postseason – then they need a huge bounce-back game from their demolition at the hands of the Patriots. This is a frisky Bills team, and I think this could be the most entertaining game of the weekend, but I think the homefield manifests itself at the end and the Colts pull this one out.
Pick: Indianapolis 37, Buffalo 31

Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Broncos by 10.5
The Chiefs defense is good, but the Broncos have looked like world beaters the last few weeks. I’m taking the chance here and going with the big spread.
Pick: Denver 38, Kansas City 10

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Bears by 6
Really difficult game to predict here – probably the hardest on the board this week. Chicago’s defense got shredded by San Fran last week, but that was mostly through the air, whereas the Vikes are much more run-oriented. Also, the Bears will have the luxury of the Soldier Field crowd at their disposal, so I’m saying they win this game. I’m just not sold on the margin of victory, so when in doubt, take the points.

Pick: Chicago 23, Minnesota 20

Oakland Raiders @ Cincinnati Bengals
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Bengals by 8
Yes, I know the Raiders are bad, but I have a really difficult time understanding how Cincinnati is favored by more than a touchdown over anyone. Also missing in this line is the underlying drama of Carson Palmer returning to Cincinnati. I’m putting this in the same category as Ray Allen and Roger Clemens returning to Boston and Brett Favre returning to Green Bay – in other words, warm and welcoming, except not at all.
Pick: Cincinnati 21, Oakland 20

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Steelers by 3
Charlie Batch is going to play quarterback against what is actually a pretty good defense. Just call this the Browns annual “watch us screw up our draft status by at least a couple places” game.
Pick: Cleveland 20, Pittsburgh 16

Seattle Seahawks @ Miami Dolphins
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Seahawks by 3
I hate taking west coast teams when they play the 1 p.m. game on the east coast. I also hate the Miami Dolphins, though, so just call this a pick coming more from the heart than the head. It’s not the best approach, but hey – it’s the Dolphins.
Pick: Seattle 24, Miami 17

Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Titans by 3
Still going against Jacksonville no matter what, and this time the line is 3 instead of 15 like it was against Houston last week. Make a believer out of me, Mike Munchak!
Pick: Tennessee 23, Jacksonville 13

Baltimore Ravens @ San Diego Chargers
Sun, 4:05pm, CBS
Line: Ravens by 1
Adding the Chargers to the list that already includes the Jets, Raiders, Jaguars, Eagles, and probably the Chiefs and Rams as well. With that in mind, the Ravens win this one going away.
Pick: Baltimore 34, San Diego 17

San Francisco 49’ers @ New Orleans Saints
Sun, 4:25pm, FOX
Line: 49’ers by 3
After a dominating win over the Bears, the Niners now have a short week to go on the road and play an ultra-explosive offense in a legitimate homefield advantage situation and a revenge game against a Saints team that needs this win significantly more than San Francisco does. Sounds like a New Orleans win to me.
Pick: New Orleans 27, San Francisco 17

St. Louis Rams @ Arizona Cardinals
Sun, 4:25pm, FOX
Line: Cardinals by 3
Because of the tie two weeks ago between the Rams and Cardinals, these teams come in separated by a half game. That’s about the best I could muster for this one. Sorry, folks.
Pick: Arizona 20, St. Louis 14

Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants
Sun, 8:20pm, NBC
Line: Giants by 3
Last year Aaron Rodgers came into the Meadowlands at just around this time and nearly lost, escaping unscathed only after a valiant comeback and a late touchdown. Once again the Packers are in a better position than the Giants entering this game, and after the second game between these two teams last season (NY romping all over GB in the Divisional playoffs) it’s probably a safe bet this Packers team will be focused and hungry.
Pick: Green Bay 31, New York 28

Carolina Panthers @ Philadelphia Eagles
Mon, 8:30pm, ESPN
Line: Eagles by 2.5
After watching that debacle of a game by the Eagles against the Redskins last week, I refuse to pick them in any way shape or form until they actually win a game. We’re calling them the NFC’s version of the Jets and Jags. Just take Cam – yes, on the road – and thank us later.
Pick: Carolina 23, Philadelphia 13

(Including Thanksgiving)
Straight-Up: 106-56-1
Against Spread: 76-83-4


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