Week 12 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Here are my Week 12 NFL picks against the spread:

Green Bay Packers -5.5 (over Minnesota Vikings)

It appears we are a few weeks away from the return of Aaron Rodgers, but third-stringer Scott Tolzien gets a favorable matchup against one of the league's worst pass defenses.

The Vikings rank 29th in pass defense and 30th in total defense and although their rush defense has allowed only 3.9 yards per carry, there are only four teams that have allowed more rushing touchdowns this season.

In the first game this season against the Vikings, Jordy Nelson has his best game of the season (123 yards and two scores) and rookie Eddie Lacy rushed a career-high 29 times. Lacy has scored a touchdown in four of his past five games.

While the Packers obviously miss Rodgers, the league's best quarterback in my opinion, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (groin) is playing at less than 100 percent as well. The Pack will end their skid here.

Baltimore Ravens -3.5 (over New York Jets)

This certainly can be an ugly game with not a lot of offense, but I have zero confidence in Jets quarterback Geno Smith to bounce back. Smith has thrown twice as many interceptions (16) than touchdowns (eight) and has a Mark Sanchez-esque 20 turnovers in 10 games.

Only three teams have more sacks this season than the Ravens (34) and I expect Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil to get a lot of pressure on Smith and force a lot of turnovers.

The trend of the Jets playing awfully and then bouncing back ends in B'More, where the Ravens have historically had one of the league's best home-field advantages.

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New England Patriots +2.5 (over Denver Broncos)

Not only has it been rare for the Patriots to be underdogs, it's especially rare for them to be underdogs at home. After being underdogs in Carolina last week, they are now underdogs for a second week in a row.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady finally has a full complement of weapons with Shane Vereen returning last week, tight end Rob Gronkowski and slot receiver Danny Amendola returning a few weeks ago and the rookie receivers developing chemistry.

Even though the Broncos will have Wes Welker will make his return to Foxborough despite suffering a concussion last week, tight end Julius Thomas (knee) will be a game-time decision, which puts his status for tonight into doubt.

Even though the Patriots lost (and failed to cover) last week as the game ended on a contraversial call (or technically non-call), I like the Patriots bounce back from the loss on a cold, windy night in New England. Perhaps a Peyton Manning wobby pass wobbles just a little more tonight?

Five of our contributors make three weekly picks ATS every week and they will be posted here.

Week 12 fantasy rankings: Quarterbacks - Running Backs - Wide Receivers - Tight Ends

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