Week 12 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)
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Here are my Week 12 NFL picks against the spread:
Arizona Cardinals -3 (over Indianapolis Colts)
The Colts and Cardinals will have an emotional game this week, as former interim head coach Bruce Arians will face off against Chuck Pagano, for whom Arians filled in last season while Pagano was being treated for leukemia. The Cardinals have been quite competitive this year, and they can improve their record to 7-4 with a win at home. The Colts have been sloppy in their last three games, getting blown out at home to the Rams, and also spotting Tennessee and Houston big first-half leads, and needing Andrew Luck to lead them back in the 4th quarter.
The Cardinals have a stout run defense, and will be able to take away Trent Richardson and Donald Brown as they only give up 81.4 yards per game, 3.4 yards per carry, and four touchdowns on the year. The Cards have one of the best cornerbacks in the league in Patrick Peterson, and he will be able to neutralize T.Y. Hilton all by himself. The Cardinals have one of the best swarming defenses, and I see them controlling the clock with Rashard Mendenhall and Andre Ellington, as the Colts give up 126 yards per game on the ground and 4.4 yards per carry.
I will give the points here, as the Colts will stumble.
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New York Giants -2.5 (over Dallas Cowboys)
Since Jerry Jones just gave Jason Garrett a vote of confidence, I think now would be a fun time to speculate on who the Cowboys next coach will be. The Dallas defense is not bad, it is just plain awful, as they have the worst pass defense in the league giving up 313 yards per game and 20 touchdowns on the year so far. The Cowboys also have the 30th-ranked rush defense in the league, as they give up 126 yards per game and 4.4 yards per carry.
If you remember game one of this year between the two teams, the Giants nearly overcame six turnovers to only lose by five points in Dallas. Eli Manning has had his share of rough times this year, but he did throw for over 400 yards in their last matchup, and I also like the ability of Andre Brown to run over a Dallas defense that will be missing stalwart Sean Lee.
The Giants always play well in the second half of the year, and a win here will vault them right into the thick of the NFC East race, and I will give the points here at the Meadowlands.
New England Patriots +2.5 (over Denver Broncos)
In one of the few games that always delivers even with the hype, it's Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady in prime time, and they are going at it for round 14. The Patriots rarely lose two in a row, and this is also going to be the first time they have been home 'dogs since 2005.
The Broncos looked great in dismissing the only undefeated team left in Kansas City last week, and I am certain Wes Welker will definitely like a little bit of revenge against his former team. The Patriots are getting back on track offensively, and Denver has been weak against the pass this year giving up 279 yards per game and 18 touchdowns. Also, the Patriots will look to employ its three-headed monster rushing attack with LeGarette Blount, Stevan Ridley, and Shane Vereen to play ball control offense. The Broncos do give up 92 yards per game on the ground, even tough they are normally up by two touchdowns at the end of the 1st quarter.
I am certain this is part homer pick, but I like the Patriots coming in fired up after a controversial loss, Peyton Manning in Foxboro where the weather is scheduled to be 18 degrees at kickoff, and the Patriots have the ability to hang with Denver defensively and will get the big stop when necessary. I am taking the points here for the home dog, as New England has gone 4-1 against the number in their last 5 against Denver.
Five of our contributors make three weekly picks ATS every week and they will be posted here.