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


Carolina Panthers @ Miami Dolphins
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Panthers by 4
Somehow the Dolphins withstood both the loss to Tampa and Bully-gate to beat a good Chargers team last week. Clearly Vegas seems to think that they won’t be able to beat a good team two weeks in a row – and I tend to agree.
Pick: Carolina 27, Miami 17

Chicago Bears @ St. Louis Rams
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Rams by 1
St. Louis is coming off a bye and the Bears are coming off an ugly win over Baltimore, and both desperately need to win these types of games to make the playoffs. Only one of them can, though, and I’ll go with my rule of “anything less than 2 just take the better team to win” theory – you know, the one that rarely works?
Pick: Chicago 24, St. Louis 20

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Texans by 10
So way back in the preseason, I predicted the Texans would lose in the AFC championship game. Just three short months later, a loss here would put Houston as the worst team in the entire conference. Clearly I was wrong on my impression of the Texans, but there’s just no way I’m picking them to be 16th out of 16 teams at the end of this week. I am, however, taking the points.
Pick: Houston 21, Jacksonville 16

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Packers by 5
Hardest game on the board. The Vikings aren’t good, but neither are the Packers without Rodgers. The best player on the field will be in a Minnesota uniform, but Green Bay is at home. Five points is a lot to wager on Scott Tolzein. But… I’m going to have to do it anyway.
Pick: Green Bay 31, Minnesota 24

New York Jets @ Baltimore Ravens
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Ravens by 3.5
Part of me says I should stick with the Jets whole “win-one-lose-one” formula. They are, after all, the first team in NFL history to alternate win-loss through ten games. But then I remember that I’d have to pick Geno Smith on the road against a just-as-desperate Ravens team, who also happens to be the defending Super Bowl champions (albeit a shell of last year’s team) and I just can’t bring myself to pull the trigger.
Pick: Baltimore 24, New York 16


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Browns by 2
The Browns had their chance and couldn’t come through last week against the Bengals in a game that would have helped their playoff chances tremendously. They still have trips to the Patriots and Jets on the schedule and a home game with the Bears in addition to this and the final week’s games with Pittsburgh, so the road is rough for Cleveland. They need this win if they want to remain in serious playoff contention, but I just don’t think they’re going to get it.
Pick: Pittsburgh 20, Cleveland 13

San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Chiefs by 4.5
Now we’ll really get to see what kind of team Kansas City really is. They’re finally forced to have to rebound from a loss, but it’s not like the schedule is easy. They have a good San Diego team this week before the return game with Denver, so it’s not unfathomable to think the Chiefs could finish Thanksgiving weekend 9-3. That would take some serious wind out of the sails, but there’s enough positivity surrounding this team to believe that it won’t happen. This will be close, though, so I’m taking Philip Rivers and the Chargers to cover.
Pick: Kansas City 20, San Diego 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Detroit Lions
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Lions by 9
Tampa’s hallmark is defense, and they’re on a two-game winning streak, and Darrelle Revis is possibly the one corner on the planet who can contain Calvin Johnson, and the Lions are prone to imploding… but really? If I’m laying money on this game, the last thing I want to see is that shot of Greg Schiano yelling and Mike Glennon with Detroit is kneeling out a two-touchdown victory.
Pick: Detroit 34, Tampa Bay 20

Indianapolis Colts @ Arizona Cardinals
Sun, 4:05pm, CBS
Line: Cardinals by 2.5
I keep vacillating between believing the Colts can win the AFC and wondering how in the world they beat Jacksonville, let along San Francisco and Seattle. The Colts need to be significantly more consistent, and it start with winning this road game against a coach (Bruce Arians) that should know the Colts personnel extremely well. I believe in Luck!
Pick: Indianapolis 30, Arizona 24

Tennessee Titans @ Oakland Raiders
Sun, 4:05pm, CBS
Line: Raiders by 1
So the saying goes a little like this. If an NFL game is played in Oakland and no one in the country watches it, does it still count in the standings?
Pick: Oakland 23, Tennessee 20


Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants
Sun, 4:25pm,
Line: Giants by 2.5
One of two things will happen here – either the Cowboys will win and effectively end any realistic hopes the Giants had of the playoff, or the Giants will win and we’ll have a wildly entertaining three-team race… er… crawl… to the finish between Dallas, New York, and Philadelphia. Who’s up for an 8-8 division winner?!
Pick: New York 34, Dallas 30

Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots
Sun, 8:20pm, NBC
Line: Broncos by 2.5
If you’re reading this looking for some betting advice and you need me to articulate the storylines in this game, why do you go take the money you were going to wager and light it on fire. It’ll be just as effective. Oh, and take the Broncos.
Pick: Denver 37, New England 32

San Francisco 49’ers @ Washington Redskins
Mon, 8:30pm, ESPN
Line: 49’ers by 5.5
I think it’s time we acknowledge what everyone’s seeing – RGIII clearly isn’t 100%, which only serves to further prove that Adrian Peterson is, actually, a machine, because if even an athlete like Griffin can’t recover in 10 months from a torn ACL, then what Peterson did two years ago simply isn’t human. All of which says, “Ignore the last two tough losses and take the Niners.”
Pick: San Francisco 28, Washington 17

Straight-Up: 104-59
Against Spread: 78-80-5


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