NFL Survivor Pool Picks Week 12: Advice and Predictions
The biggest football holiday of the year is here to coincide with Week 12 of the NFL season. The Thanksgiving slate is packed with three games to kick off this week in which no teams will be on their bye week. This gives survivor pool participants as many choices as possible as they look to keep the streak going. Many teams have a lot to play for as the playoff picture is beginning to shape up. In Week 11, favorites went 10-4 straight up but just 5-8-1 against the spread. With the end of the season in sight, here are the top NFL Week 12 survivor pool picks ranked from strongest to weakest.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
Miami Dolphins (-12) over Houston Texans
The Miami Dolphins are the real and have a chance to continue to prove this when facing off with the 1-8-1 Texans, who rank 30th in scoring and 32nd in yards while giving up the second-most yards defensively. This is not good news against a 7-3 Dolphins team that has two wide receivers in the top five for receiving yards, with Tyreek Hill leading the NFL with 1,148. As a team, the Dolphins rank 6th in scoring and 3rd in yards. Miami is also coming off their bye week so will have had plenty of time to rest. Expect them to comfortably take care of business and for this game to likely end in a blowout.
San Francisco 49ers (-8.5) over New Orleans Saints
The 49ers look to be hitting their stride at the right time and most recently produced a 38-10 victory over the Cardinals on Monday Night. They sit at 6-4 on the season and will face off with a 4-7 Saints team which has been inconsistent all season. Jimmy Garoppolo has looked terrific after regaining the starting quarterback role, and San Francisco’s is holding opponents to the fourth fewest points and fewest yards on the season. Look for them to continue making a statement about why they deserve to be in the Super Bowl conversation and produce a convincing victory.
Kansas City Chiefs (-14.5) over Los Angeles Rams
This is an obvious pick as the Chiefs are 8-2 on the year with sole possession of the top seed in the AFC while riding a four-game winning streak. In contrast, the Rams are one of the NFL’s greatest disappointments and sit at 3-7 on the year following their Super Bowl victory last season. Kansas City’s offense leads the NFL with 429.3 yards and 30 points per game. Los Angeles has struggled in this area and is producing the third-fewest yards and fourth-fewest points per game across the NFL. Count on Kansas City to take care of business once again and add cushion to their control of the top seed.
Washington Commanders (-4) over Atlanta Falcons
The 6-5 Commanders have picked up some steam, winning four of their last five games with Taylor Heinicke under center. The franchise officially named him the starting quarterback due to the success, and the team has a new spark with him running the show. They most recently took down the Texans 23-10. The Falcons enter the matchup 5-6 and rank 27th in points allowed and 30th in yards allowed. With Chase Young set to return to the field for Washington and Heinicke riding the excitement of his first game as the official starter, count on the Commanders to get the victory in front of their home crowd.
Thursday (12:30): Buffalo Bills (-9) over Detroit Lions
The Bills got back on the right track by defeating the Browns 31-23 and moved their record to 7-3 on the year. Their offense has scored the second most points in the NFL and is 5-1 in their last six games straight up against the Lions. However, Detroit has played some better football in recent weeks and is riding a three-game win streak into the matchup. They also have scored over 30 points in back-to-back matchups. While it seems it should be a clear-cut victory with the Bills going against Detroit’s defense that allows a league-worst 28.2 points per game, there is something about the Thanksgiving magic which could give the Lions a chance. Count on this to be a high scoring matchup and for the Bills to do enough to get the win in the end.
Chicago Bears (+4.5) over New York Jets
Justin Fields and Zach Wilson were two of the top quarterbacks from the 2021 draft but look to be heading in opposite directions on the field. Fields has injected some life into this Bears team and been one of the more exciting players across the NFL, but this has not translated to wins. In contrast, Zach Wilson is coming off a terrible performance in which he completed just nine of his 22 pass attempts for 77 yards and was criticized for his lack of responsibility following the game. The Jets defense has impressed and will keep this a game, but this is a great chance for the Bears to pick up a long overdue victory. Expect another strong performance from Fields and for the team to get the win.
Denver Broncos (-2.5) over Carolina Panthers
The 3-7 Broncos have been disappointing this season and rank dead last in scoring at 14.7 points per game. However, their defense has impressed by holding opponents to just 17.1 points per game. If Denver had scored 18 points each game, they would be sitting at 9-1 on the season, but this has not been the case. Carolina has little on the roster to get excited about and ranks in the bottom ten in points and yards as well as yards allowed. Expect the Broncos to do enough to get in the win column in this one even if it isn’t the prettiest performance.
Baltimore Ravens (-4) over Jacksonville Jaguars
The Baltimore Ravens sit at 7-3 on the season and are looking to climb to the top seed in the conference. They rank 2nd in the NFL in rushing yards and 9th in scoring overall with Lamar Jackson recently rebounding from his brief midseason blip. Jacksonville has cooled off from their impressive start to the season and sit at 3-7 overall. The Ravens are 9-2 straight up in their last 11 games against AFC South opponents, while the Jaguars are 0-5 straight up in their last five matchups with AFC North opponents. Count on the Ravens to continue adding to their postseason resume and pick up a convincing win and stay in the running for the top seed in the AFC.
Sunday Night: Philadelphia Eagles (-7) over Green Bay Packers
The Philadelphia Eagles have the best record in the NFL at 9-1 but are coming off a narrow victory over the Colts by a score of 17-16 and lost to the Commanders the week before. The team added some help at defensive tackle in Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph, which is important moving forward. They will face off against a 4-7 Green Bay Packers team that continues to disappoint. They most recently lost to the Titans 27-17 and look to have eliminated themselves from the playoff race. Green Bay ranks 26th in points scored and 16th in points allowed on the season. Expect the Eagles to put forth a win, but they will need to improve their level of play from the past two weeks.
Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) over Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders completed their season sweep of the Broncos by defeating them again last week to move to 3-7 on the year. They will face a more difficult challenge against the Seahawks, who have a record of 6-4 and are well within the playoff picture. Geno Smith has shined this season and the team ranks 5th in the NFL in points scored. The Raiders are also 1-6 straight up in their last seven road games. It is time to fully hop on the Smith bandwagon and count on the Seahawks to take care of business against one of the most frustrating teams in the NFL.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) over Cleveland Browns
The Buccaneers will be coming off their bye week with the last time they stepped on the field occurring in Germany in Week 10. They hold a record of 5-5 on the season but still sit in first place in the NFC South. The Browns are 3-7 after losing to the Bills last week and desperately need a win before Deshaun Watson makes his return to the field. Cleveland is allowing 26.9 points per game, which is the second-worst mark in the NFL. Despite a slow start, Brady and the Buccaneers look to be finding their stride. Expect them to prove this in the matchup and add another to the win column and get above .500.
Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5) over Arizona Cardinals
Neither the Chargers nor the Cardinals have gotten off to the start they hoped this season, but both teams are still looking to turn thing around. The Chargers sit at 5-5 on the year, while the Cardinals are a disappointing 4-7. Kyler Murray was unable to suit up for the Monday Night matchup with the 49ers in which Arizona was dominated by a score of 38-10. Arizona ranks 31st in points allowed and 24th in yards allowed on the season. The Chargers also have a disappointing defense that ranks 29th in points allowed and 25th in yards allowed. Expect this one to be a shootout but for the Chargers to secure the victory and put forth a more complete performance.
Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5) over Tennessee Titans
Both the Titans and Bengals are heading in the right direction and solidifying their path to the playoffs. Tennessee is 7-3 on the year and riding a two-game win-streak, with their most recent victory occurring over the Packers. Cincinnati is 6-4 on the season and are coming off back-to-back wins as well, with the most recent coming in come-from-behind fashion over the Steelers. The Bengals are also 5-0 ATS in their last five matchups with the Titans. Stopping Derrick Henry is the biggest key, and the Bengals 12th ranked rushing defense at least gives them a chance. This will likely be a close matchup, but I lean toward the Bengals getting the win due to the different ways they can pick up victories.
Thursday (8:20): New England Patriots (+3) over Minnesota Vikings
The 6-4 Patriots are coming off a thrilling walk-off punt return victory over the Jets and have now won five of their last six games. They also have held opponents to under 17 points in all five of these wins. On the other hand, the Vikings are coming off a statement loss to the Cowboys in which they were dismantled 40-3. Minnesota has struggled defensively and allowed over 30 points and 450 yards in back-to-back weeks. While a bounce-back performance from the 8-2 Vikings cannot be ruled out, they looked extremely poor in the previous game with Kirk Cousins throwing for just 105 yards. Count on Bill Belichick to have the team ready to play and do just enough to get the win.
Monday Night: Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers
This has the potential to be another Monday Night dud with neither of these teams set to make much noise this year. The 3-7 Steelers have taken some strides forward and are 5-1 ATS in their last six matchups with the Colts. However, the Colts have looked like a new team under Jeff Saturday as head coach and narrowly lost to the 9-1 Eagles by a score of 17-16 last week. They also are 1-9 straight up in their last 10 matchups with the AFC North. Despite this, expect the Colts to do enough to get the win and continue playing inspired football. The Colts should come out on top in this one, but this is a matchup you might be better off avoiding.
Thursday (4:30): New York Giants (+9) to cover vs Dallas Cowboys
There is plenty at stake for this NFC East matchup as both teams hold a record of 7-3. The Giants most recently suffered a disappointing loss at the hands of the Lions while the Cowboys are coming off arguably the most impressive performance of any NFL team all season. It is tough not to believe in them after such a strong performance, but divisional matchups tend to always be closer than expect. At the minimum expect the Giants to keep it a one score game but the winner may very well be a toss-up in this matchup.
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