What follows are my picks for the NFL’s Week 12:
*Thursday, November 22*
Houston (9-1) at Detroit (4-6) 12:30 p.m. (Line: Houston by 3.5)
If I wasn’t such a homer, I’d pick the Texans by about two touchdowns.
—RJ’s Pick: Lions by 1
Washington (4-6) at Dallas (5-5) 4:15 p.m. (Line: Dallas by 3.5)
If the Redskins lose, their already slim playoff hopes are pretty much done. The Cowboys would move into a tie for first place in the NFC East with a win here and a Giants loss on Sunday Night Football.
—RJ’s Pick: Dallas by 2
New England (7-3) at New York Jets (4-6) 8:20 p.m. (Line: New England by 7)
The Patriots look to more or less end the Jets’ season with a win in East Rutherford. I predict chants for Tebow by the second quarter.
—RJ’s Pick: Patriots by 15
*Sunday, November 25*
Minnesota (6-4) at Chicago (7-3) 1:00 p.m. (Line: No Line)
The Vikings would move into a three-way tie for first place in the NFC North with a win here and a loss by the Packers on Sunday Night Football. There is no line for this game as of this writing presumably due to the fact that Jay Cutler’s status is up in the air. I think he’ll play.
—RJ’s Pick: Bears by 9
Oakland (3-7) at Cincinnati (5-5) 1:00 p.m. (Line: Cincinnati by 7)
The Raiders have lost three straight, while the Bengals have won two in a row.
—RJ’s Pick: Bengals by 11
Pittsburgh (6-4) at Cleveland (2-8) 1:00 p.m. (Line: No Line)
The Steelers are expected to start third string QB Charlie Batch against the Browns due to injuries to starter Ben Roethlisberger and his backup Byron Leftwich. I believe Batch is probably an upgrade over Leftwich, and they are playing the Browns, so I don’t think Steelers fans should be too worried.
—RJ’s Pick: Steelers by 12
Buffalo (4-6) at Indianapolis (6-4) 1:00 p.m. (Line: Indianapolis by 3)
The Colts got Belichick’d last week, 59-24. But they are 4-1 at home this season while the Bills are just 2-4 on the road.
—RJ’s Pick: Colts by 8
Denver (7-3) at Kansas City (1-9) 1:00 p.m. (Line: Denver by 10)
The Broncos are far and away the better team, and QB Peyton Manning would likely get my vote for NFL MVP (if I had a vote to give). But 10 points is an awful lot to be giving to a road favorite, even against the sorry Chiefs in a half-empty Arrowhead.
—RJ’s Pick: Broncos by 7
Seattle (6-4) at Miami (4-6) 1:00 p.m. (Line: Seattle by 3)
It’s not that the Dolphins are all that good at home, but the Seahawks are a putrid 1-4 on the road.
—RJ’s Pick: Dolphins by 3
Atlanta (9-1) at Tampa Bay (6-4) 1:00 p.m. (Line: Atlanta by 1)
The Falcons have the NFC’s best record, but I expect Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman to exploit their questionable defense.
—RJ’s Pick: Buccaneers by 4
Tennessee (4-6) at Jacksonville (1-9) 1:00 p.m. (Line: Tennessee by 3.5)
The Jaguars will be starting Chad Henne this week, and presumably for the remainder of the season. The Titans are somewhat unpredictable, in that they allowed just three points on the road in their last game, while they allowed 51 points at home in the game before that. I’ll take the home ‘dog here.
—RJ’s Pick: Jaguars by 1
Baltimore (8-2) at San Diego (4-6) 4:05 p.m. (Line: San Diego by 1)
The last time the Chargers beat a team not named the Kansas City Chiefs was in Week Two.
—RJ’s Pick: Ravens by 10
St. Louis (3-6-1) at Arizona (4-6) 4:25 p.m. (Line: Arizona by 2.5)
Rookie Ryan Lindley will be starting at quarterback for the Cardinals this week.
—RJ’s Pick: Rams by 3
San Francisco (7-2-1) at New Orleans (5-5) 4:25 p.m. (Line: No Line)
The 49ers now have something of a quarterback controversy after Colin Kaepernick‘s extremely strong performance last week against the Bears. Alex Smith should be ready to start this week, but that doesn’t mean he’ll actually be starting. I really don’t think it will matter, though. The Saints are red-hot, having won five of their last six, and are always tough at home.
—RJ’s Pick: Saints by 7
Green Bay (7-3) at New York Giants (6-4) 8:20 p.m. (Line: New York Giants by 3)
The Packers have won five straight. The Giants have dropped two in a row.
—RJ’s Pick: Packers by 2
*Monday, November 26*
Carolina (2-8) at Philadelphia (3-7) 8:30 p.m. (Line: No Line)
The Eagles have lost their last six games. It’s been just a horrible year for Andy Reid.
—RJ’s Pick: Panthers by 5
[If you're interested, you can check out the full list of Danny Sheridan's Odds here.]