NFL Confidence Pool Picks Week 12: Expert Pick'em Predictions No Point Spread
After this weekend's action, teams will have played three-quarters of their season, and I simply cannot believe that's the case. It feels like just yesterday we were getting ready for Week 1 only to have the Thursday night game (GB 10 - CHI 3) set the tone for what was a rather big dud of a weekend. Because of that game, we've turned away from the point spread and focused more on confidence pools success.
The concept of just picking a team to win straight up is much more appealing to the average bettor who is still understanding how the point spread part of the equation works. There have been many instances where we wished we had taken a team straight up instead of on the point spread, only to have them not cover by half a point. It's frustrating, but with a Confidence Pool, you won't ever have to worry about that. For the entire season, I'll be breaking down the game list and ranking each game from most confident to least confident.
Week 12 Confidence List (my selection listed first)
Cleveland Browns vs Miami Dolphins: Don't look now, but the Browns are on a two-game winning streak and have looked somewhat competent during that streak. Now they get to take on a Dolphins team that is coming off a tough loss against their division rivals Buffalo and now have to face another good defense. Baker and Co. do enough for the win.
New Orleans Saints vs Carolina Panthers: The Panthers are in free-fall mode, and a date with the Saints won't help them stop the bleeding. The Saints are a good team and bounced-back last week with a dominating win over Tampa Bay. The Panthers have nothing positive to speak of on offense, and we don't see them being able to keep up with the likes of Brees, Kamara, and Thomas.
New England Patriots vs Dallas Cowboys: This game is going to be a great game to watch, and it'll be interesting to see if the Cowboys take a page out of the Baltimore game plan and run right at the Patriots defense. They have the running back/quarterback combo to do just that, but sometimes teams just don't get out of their own way. New England is the more complete team, and I don't see Jason Garrett putting together a better game plan than Bill Belichick. Patriots win this game going away.
Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles: For some reason, the Eagles are listed as the favorites in this game and we just simply aren't buying it. Seattle is a great team and they play well on the road - boasting a 5-0 record. The Eagles lost a heartbreak to New England last week while the Seahawks were on the bye. Give me Russell Wilson over Carson Wentz any day of the week
Buffalo Bills vs Denver Broncos: As the week's pass the Bills are inching closer to a playoff spot and that just feels good to say. The Bills aren't the flashiest team in the league, but they get the job done by being efficient on offense and relying on their top three defense to get turnovers and key stops. The Broncos have been a nice story the last few weeks, led by Brandon Allen, but they blew a 20-point lead last week to Minnesota and now have to play their second road game in a row across the country.
Houston Texans vs Indianapolis Colts: Great division showdown for the Thursday night game as the Texans hook up with the Colts . Houston was flat out embarrassed last week by Baltimore, so they'll want to bounce back, while Brissett returned for the Colt sand led them to a big win over the Jags. I like the home team to get the win in this game and we like Deshaun Watson to make more plays than Brissett to win his team the game.
Oakland Raiders at New York Jets: The Raiders are rolling right now having won three straight games and now get to take on a Jets team that still hasn't impressed me despite winning their last two games and putting up 34 points in each contest. Those games were against the Giants and Redskins - two teams with nothing to play for - so we like the Raiders to show up in a big way and get a much-needed win.
San Francisco 49ers vs Green Bay Packers: For me, the side here is Niners or nothing. San Fran bounced back with a solid win against the Cardinals after they had their unbeaten streak snapped the week before. Moving forward they should be able to exploit the Green Bay defense and put up plenty of points. We also believe their defense can contain Rodgers and get them to 10 wins on the season.
Baltimore Ravens vs Los Angeles Rams: This game could very well be one of the best games of the weekend as you have a legitimate Super Bowl threat in Baltimore taking on the Los Angeles Rams who are in desperate need of stringing some wins together. Despite winning last week, the Rams didn't look all that impressive against a terrible Bears team which leads me to believe they won't be able to keep pace offensively with the Ravens.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons: All aboard the Jameis-coaster once again. Betting on Winston is bound to give you a heart attack but it's just so much fun. We'll back him this week again as he faces an Atlanta team that continues to ruin their draft stock in the upcoming draft by winning football games. At some point that has to stop and against a good run defense, the Falcons will become one-dimensional and the Bucs will eke out a close win.
Tennessee Titans vs Jacksonville Jaguars: The only reason we are taking the Titans is that they are off a bye week and that the Jacksonville Jaguars are just a brutal football team. Nick Foles returned last week and didn't do much of anything to lead us to believe that he is what the Jags need. Titans have a good home-field advantage and we like them to get a second-straight win.
Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins: I am in no rush to back the Washington Redskins to win a football game for the rest of the year. However, I have no clue if Stafford is going to be back under center for the Lions. Either way, Detroit has better playmakers and showed some fight against the Cowboys last week.
Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers: I want absolutely no part of this game and I don't see a legitimate reason you would want to put your hard-earned money on two teams that are going nowhere fast. The Bengals are the worst team in the league and scored their first rushing touchdown of the season last week (in Week 11). The Steelers are completely banged up and after their loss against the Browns and the playoffs are looking more and more unlikely. I'll take the Bengals here though as they have fewer injury concerns.
New York Giants at Chicago Bears: This is another game that I want absolutely no part of. Offensively, both teams suck and while the Bears do have the better defense, we like the Giants group of skilled players more than the Bears and you need to score points to win football games. Giants win this one in front of all 30 fans at Soldier Field.
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