Sometimes, less is more. I’m not talking about my Thanksgiving appetite, but rather my slate of picks for Week 12. After a 6-2 week last week, I’m 13-7 on the year and 58-25 since the start of last year, a 70 percent success rate. But this is a tricky week, with a schedule of games I don’t have the greatest feel for. So I’m keeping things a bit on the lighter side this week, going with only three games I feel (somewhat) good about:
Last week: 6-2
2017 Season: 13-7
Since 2016: 58-25
New Orleans at Los Angeles Rams (-2)
The Saints are rolling right now, surviving a scare from the Redskins in OT last week as they take their eight-game winning streak out west. You have to wonder if last week’s throttling of the Rams by Minnesota shook L.A. a bit, and whether the resurgent offense can keep pace with the Saints’ potent attack. This figures to be close, but the Saints’ winning streak doesn’t feel ready to end quite yet. Pick: Saints.
Buffalo at Kansas City (-9.5) (Buying up to +10 to -120)
It’s hard to figure the Chiefs out. They started 5-0, but have lost four of five. They just lost to the Giants and didn’t score a touchdown, so it’s safe to say they are officially reeling. The Bills just got smashed, 54-24, by the Chargers, but fortunately Tyrod Taylor is back starting at QB. This has the feel of a game where all the pressure is on the Chiefs since the Bills now realize they are a fraud and have no business being in the playoff picture, and Buffalo has held its own in past matchups at Arrowhead. Here’s thinking they keep things just close enough to cover, even though the Chiefs will likely get to 7-4. Pick: Bills.
Seattle (-7) at San Francisco
It doesn’t feel like the Seahawks are a 6-4 team, but they are gunning for their third road division win against the Niners. San Francisco is on a one-game winning streak and all the pressure is on Seattle to stay in the hunt, so here’s thinking the 49ers’ slight momentum carries them to a cover in this one. Pick: 49ers.
Houston at Baltimore (-7)
This Ravens defense isn’t the 2000 Ravens defense, but it sure looks like it when it plays inferior teams with backup quarterbacks. Expect that trend to continue Monday night against Tom Savage and the Texans. Houston got a win last week and scored 31 points, making any offensive success Monday night that much less likely. The Ravens, at 5-5 and currently holding the final wild card spot in the mediocre AFC, are smelling an opening with a remaining schedule featuring mostly backup QBs. Pick: Ravens.