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NFL Week 12 picks against the spread: Necks outstretched

You can use a neck to lean in, try to win a race or get it chopped off. When you’re betting on the NFL all are equal possibilities.

March Madness Viewing Party At The Westgate Las Vegas Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Chris: We tied last week. Both of us. So I’m getting these sentences in here and then the rest is goes to Ryan, for whatever he might have. It’s a split.

Ryan: How charitable. You’re really going to great lengths to charge these articles with your good, Christian values. Speaking of values, let’s find some lines worth riding.

Chris’s Record: 40-42-1 (Last week 4-4)

Ryan’s Record: 35-35-1 (Last week 4-4)

Carolina at New Orleans -9.5

Chris: The star of Kyle Allen is fading, the superstar diminishing to a dwarf star, spitting neutrons across the endless void of space. There is no sound in space, there is no way to breathe, there is no warmth that will not fry you and no chill that won’t annihilate your cells. That is Carolina’s fate.

Still, I had Atlanta last week even after knowingly taking the arse-side of the game, so I consider myself somewhat of an expert now on the NFC South. You see, it’s a black hole, and in the Big Easy, you should consider yourself sucked. New Orleans -9.5.

Ryan: Nothing about me wants to stray from the parade route down Bourbon Street but there’s something about this line that stinks—and it’s residual. It seems like a bit of an overreaction to the flaming bag of poop the Panthers left on their own doorstep against Atlanta last Sunday.

Sure, Chris touts himself as an expert of the NFC South, but would you trust someone who is a self-proclaimed embodiment of adequacy? So much so that it was his Twitter handle before he went off and got a Master’s degree in journo??? Shootin’ from the hip on this one, let’s get physical. Carolina +9.5.

Chris: The nature of the NFC South is adequacy. This is a division that sent a 7-8-1 team to the playoffs one year. It is so close to the platonic ideal you can taste the beige.

Seattle at Philadelphia -1.5

Ryan: Vegas is up to the plate and they’re calling their shot with this one. What, Seattle battles their way to a couple of overtime victories and Sin City thinks the ‘Hawks are due for a hangover? Bury that nonsense out in the desert with Nicky after it catches an aluminum bat to the forehead. Die, Eagles, die. Seattle +1.5.

Chris: Remember a few months ago when the Eagles were seemingly imploding before the season began as drama swept through their locker room? How many juicy stories we got and all the Carson Wentz back-biting? I thoroughly miss those days.

It’s hard for me to take a side because while I’m leery about Seattle playing east (they’ve been able to win those road trips, but only by the smallest of margins) I really can’t take the Eagles until I know whether Jordan Howard is going to play or not. With such an injury lingering, I’ll join Ryan on the Seahawks side. Seattle +1.5.

Green Bay at San Francisco -3.5

Chris: Combine this game with Cowboys and Patriots and you have an unbearable national Sunday slate. Just breathless whoring at the biggest franchises this side of the Walt Disney Corporation.

But the more fascinating game exists on Sunday night. The 49ers have one of the most devastating defenses, but not much of a quarterback to speak of. It pains me to say this about Jimmy Garoppolo, it really does. We guidos deserve a champion.

I normally hate taking the wrong side of a hook on a field goal (principle of mine; always stick by them when you delve in sin) but it’s hard for me to take the Packers in this spot. I like this Niners defense to keep things close, dirty and deliver to us State Farm McGhee whining to the press afterwards. San Francisco -3.5.

Ryan: With the Golden State Warriors so entirely imploded by bruised egos, injuries, and all other illnesses that eventually plague uber-successful teams, I’m really not ready for another Bay Area team to step into the limelight. It was nauseating enough to see how the bourgeoisie made Oracle so stuffy and synthetic in contrast to when it was genuinely beautiful. My Detroit is showing, but enough with their success.

I mentioned two weeks ago how the Seahawks were going to end the 49ers hot start and it happened. The only reason the 49ers are going to find a way into the playoffs is because they made short work of the AFC North so far, but a date with the league’s MVP—Lamar Jackson—is waiting for them next week. Much like their AFC counterpart the Buffalo Bills, this team is the paper elephants of the NFC. Sorry, defense is important, and they’re pretty good at it by a lot of metrics, but I’m not trusting Mr. 28-3 to have this offense humming come playoff time.

The Packers need a win to keep them all alone atop the NFC North, and that’s what’s going to happen. Sorry to see you’re ending up on the wrong side of history, Perfett. Green Bay +3.5.

Indianapolis at Houston -4

Ryan: The horned bulls need this game far more than the shoe-fitted horses, especially since Indy currently holds the divisional tiebreaker over Houston after beating them 30-23 a couple of weeks back.

Houston had their lunch money took by Lamar Jackson—the NFL’s MVP—last week in what many thought would be a back-and-forth throwback to Deshaun Watson and Jackson’s collegiate contest. But Houston’s back at home, the Colts are a little fat on themselves after trouncing the Jaguars last week when they lost to the 2019 Miami Dolphins two weeks ago. This screaming I hear is someone calling for a revenge game, and I’m listening. Houston -4.

Chris: You’re hearing the drums wrong, Mathews. That thudding ritual is the annual culling of the Houston Texans, when their hopes and dreams die on the slab like the fat cattle they are.

The home record for the Texans is unbeaten, but consider that the measly gruel that’s found its way into their pen has been pathetic also-rans like the Jaguars and Panthers and Falcons. Vegas-brains say it’s time for them to get taken out in H-town, perhaps as cosmic vengeance for what the Astros have done or something.

If you want more proof you shouldn’t back the Texans and laying points, consider the following. Without J.J. Watt (yes, I have to give that GLORY BOY some credit now) the Texans pass rush win rate is 29%, 31st in the league. Who is 32nd? Take a guess, it has something to do with this blog. Indianapolis +4.

Personal Picks

Chris

Carolina at New Orleans UNDER 47.5
Miami +10.5 at Cleveland
Oakland -3 at NY Jets

Ryan

Dallas at New England OVER 45
Denver +4 at Buffalo
Detroit -3.5 at Washington