Week 12 NFL Predictions And Picks: Great Slate Of Games Makes For Tough Picks

After going 9-5 last week, Steve von Horn is back at it again with the Week 12 picks.

Week 12 in the NFL offers fans great matchups like Packers vs. Lions, 49ers vs. Ravens and Giants vs. Saints, just to name a few. It's enough to make St. Louis Rams fans feel even worse about the state of their own team, but thankfully there will be Turkey, family and friends to ease the pain on a football-packed holiday weekend. Winners are picked straight up, but for all the odds on each game be sure to visit the SB Nation NFL Odds page, presented by OddsShark.com

Thursday Games

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions - The Lions have only beaten two teams that currently have records better than .500 (Cowboys in Week 4 and Bears in Week 5), and the Packers happen to be playing 1.000 football right now, so I don't think that bodes well for Matthew Stafford and Detroit. Sure the Lions need this game to stay in control of a wildcard spot, but with everyone talking about how the Lions are primed to knock off the Packers, I expect Aaron Rodgers and Co. to assert their dominance once again in a Turkey Day shootout. Pick: Packers

Miami Dolphins @ Dallas Cowboys - The Dolphins are a "hot" team at the moment, riding a three game winning streak over less than impressive opponents (Chiefs, Redskins, Bills), but it is important to remember that they are still only a 3-7 team overall. That's right, those are the only three wins for the Dolphins all year, so this recent talk might have a bit to do with lowered expectations. On the flip side, the Cowboys always have high expectations coming into the season and have felt a bit like a failure once again, despite the fact they are 4-1 over their last five games and 6-4 overall. Tony Romo and the Cowboys are just the better team, plain and simple. Pick: Cowboys

San Francisco 49ers @ Baltimore Ravens - The Harbaugh brothers get a prime time game on Thanksgiving, and both men have quite a bit to be thankful for, considering their teams both lead their respective divisions. For the Ravens, second-round rookie WR Torrey Smith has exploded on the scene in recent weeks, giving the offense a new explosive element it hasn't had for quite a while. Meanwhile, the 49ers haven't been able to develop any consistent big play elements in their passing game, but still rank 8th in the NFL in scoring offense (25.6 pts/gm). This is a close call, but the Ravens are a perfect 5-0 at home this season, and the 49ers have to make a dreaded cross-country trip as well. Pick: Ravens

Sunday Games

Minnesota Vikings @ Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons are fighting for their playoff lives, while the Vikings will likely be without Adrian Peterson (high ankle sprain). That makes this pick pretty simple to me. Pick: Falcons

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals - After two straight losses to the Steelers and the Ravens, Andy Dalton and the Bengals can finally get back to doing what they do best: beating up on non-playoff teams. The Bengals have not beaten a team that currently has a winning record all season long, but they won't have to this weekend. Pick: Bengals

Carolina Panthers @ Indianapolis Colts - The Colts have been outscored by 169 points so far this season, which is both a sign of a stagnant offense and a bad defense. Cam Newton has continued to put up points for the Panthers all season long, and the Colts offense won't be able to keep pace. Pick: Panthers

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars - Matt Schaub is out. Blaine Gabbert isn't very good. Matt Lienart might be the most accomplished QB on the field in this one, which means it should be a smash-mouth affair. Arian Foster is good enough to keep the pressure off of Lienart this week, and the Texans will an important win. Pick: Texans

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets - A lot has been made of the Bills' recent three-game losing streak (1-4 over their last five games as well), but I'm not ready to hand the edge to the Jets just yet. Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn't very good when these teams met back in Week 9 (Jets won 27-11), but it was only a 3-0 game at halftime of that game, and I have learned to never trust Mark Sanchez. I think the Bills get back on track. Pick: Bills

Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams - This really isn't a compelling matchup for any reason except the fact that the Rams can pull the Cardinals down into a tie for last place with a victory. You would think the Rams would be better than 1-4 at home, but that just isn't somewhere to look for encouragement in this game. Instead, I would think the image of Patrick Peterson 's OT punt return would be enough to get the Rams focused for revenge in this game. Pick: Rams

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Tennessee Titans - Jake Locker has taken over at QB for the Titans, which should be an interesting thing to watch in this matchup, but not enough to give the Titans the edge. Truth be told, the Bucs have only struggled against playoff-caliber teams this year, so I expect them to show they are still a cut above teams like the Titans. Pick: Buccaneers

Chicago Bears @ Oakland Raiders - Caleb Hanie has been thrust into duty for the Bears after Jay Cutler's thumb injury, but it's important to remember that the Bears are still riding a five-game winning streak going into this game. They are really playing well on defense and special teams, and can lean a bit more on Matt Forte for offense, so I like them to win. The Raiders have been so-so at home (2-3 on the year), and although the Bears are traveling to the west coast for this game, the Raiders have had to make that same trip after playing in Minnesota last weekend. Pick: Bears

Washington Redskins @ Seattle Seahawks - Both of these teams are a mess, but the combination of Washington's poor road record (1-4) and the Seahawks' long-standing home field advantage is enough for me to give the Seattle the edge. Pick: Seahawks

New England Patriots @ Philadelphia Eagles - Bill Belichick will find a way to confuse Vince Young and force a couple turnovers, and that should be enough for the Pats to build a lead. Pick: Patriots

Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers - Tim Tebow continues his pseudo-quarterbacking tour with a trip to San Diego, where Philip Rivers simply can't stop turning the ball over. The Chargers are really banged up, especially on the offensive line, and Von Miller of the Broncos will be all over Rivers on Sunday afternoon. The Tebow experiment works for yet another week. Pick: Broncos

Sunday Night Game

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs - Tyler Palko + Steelers defense = Steelers' win. Pick: Steelers

Monday Night Game

New York Giants @ New Orleans Saints - Don't bet against Drew Brees and the Saints at home (4-0 on the season). Just don't do it. They are built for that dome environment. Pick: Saints

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