Week 12 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 12 NFL picks against the spread:

Oakland Raiders -3.5 over Carolina Panthers (3 Units)

If the playoffs were to begin now (and obviously they won't), the Raiders would have the No. 1 seed over Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Patriots in the AFC. With a win on Sunday, the Raiders would guarantee their first season with a winning record since the 2002-03 season when they lost to the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl.

The Raiders have one of the league's best offensive lines and no team has allowed fewer sacks (11) this season. A clean pocket has helped Derek Carr take another step forward in his third season and the Panthers will be without their best pass rusher, Mario Addison, in addition to All-World linebacker Luke Kuechly this week.

On the other hand, it's been a disappointing season for reigning-MVP Cam Newton, who has thrown for multiple touchdowns only twice this season -- Week 2 vs. the 49ers and Week 6 vs. the Saints. The Saints have been playing better defense lately and they held Cam to 14-of-33 passing for 192 yards in Week 11.

If there's any concern, it's that the Raiders are playing on a short week after traveling to Mexico City and the Panthers have a mini-bye since their Week 11 matchup was on Thursday night. That said, the Panthers are dealing with numerous injuries on their offensive line as well as Michael Oher (IR) and Ryan Kalil are out.

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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Green Bay Packers, Over 48 (3 Units)

The Packers are only the second team this season to allow four consecutive opponents to score 30-plus points against them. The 49ers did so earlier in the season as well. The Eagles offense may not be the most explosive and they will be without Ryan Mathews this week, but who can't score on the Packers?

And while the Packers can't stop anyone, Aaron Rodgers has accounted for three-plus touchdowns (counting a rushing score) in five consecutive games. If this game devolves into a shootout with the Packers defense surrending points in a fast-and-furious pace, Rodgers and the Packers should in turn be able to rack up points as well.

I'm not sure that the Packers lose a fifth straight game, but it wouldn't surprise me if this game turns out to be a 31-27 (or more) type of shootout.

Tennessee Titans -6 over Chicago Bears (2 Units)

Before the injuries and suspensions, the Bears were bad. With Matt Barkley drawing the start with limited weapons on Sunday, it's going to be a long day for the Bears. With as well as DeMarco Murray and Marcus Mariota are playing lately, the Titans could get out to an early lead and if so, I have little faith in Barkley's ability to engineer a comeback.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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