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NFL 2018 SQ Insiders: Week 12

Austin Taliaferro

Our insiders pick the Week 12 games to help you beat Vegas and your pick’em league.

After the slate of Thanksgiving matchups, we’re left with a few good matchups in Week 12, led by the showdown between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. This game is a must-win for the Packers, as a loss would all but eliminate them from the playoff race. Our insiders are split in this one, and in aggregate expect a 27-27 game, apt for two teams that tied in Week 2. If you’re looking at the line, you get +3.5 with Green Bay, so that might be the way to go. Check out the rest of the predictions below.

Matchup

Max V

Hunter B

Matt F

Adrian N

Chicago at Detroit
Washington at Dallas
Atlanta at New Orleans
Jacksonville at Buffalo
Cleveland at Cincinnati
Miami at Indianapolis
New England at NY Jets
NY Giants at Philadelphia
San Francisco at Tampa Bay
Seattle at Carolina
Oakland at Baltimore
Arizona at LA Chargers
Pittsburgh at Denver
Green Bay at Minnesota
Tennessee at Houston
Total Record

99-6098-61102-57110-49



Matchup

Conglomerate Score

ATS Winner

Pick’em Winner

Why the home team will win

Why the away team will win

Chicago at Detroit24-19CHI-4.5Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky is doubtful and Chicago will likely have to prepare backup QB Chase Daniel for a road matchup on a short week. Watch for an upset by the Lions here against a familiar foe at home.Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, and the Bears’ front seven can give Lions QB Matthew Stafford a long day.
Washington at Dallas18-18WSH+7.5TiedWith Redskins QB Alex Smith out, Dallas’s prominent front seven can hone in on RB Adrian Peterson and give the offense a chance to win a low-scoring game. Dallas has had a very difficult time gaining momentum this season. These past two weeks mark their only stint of back-to-back wins. They are facing a backup quarterback, but an experienced veteran in Colt McCoy.
Atlanta at New Orleans26-38ATL+13.5The Saints are the league’s hottest team with nine straight wins and have the highest-scoring offense. Atlanta’s defense is fairly porous and they will have trouble stopping New Orleans on the road.Atlanta is one of the few teams in the league with the fire power to keep up with the Saints. They’ve scored over 30 points in half their games this year and put up 37 already on New Orleans. They just need to get one or two key stops.
Jacksonville at Buffalo18-14JAC-3.5Buffalo has put together a couple of strong wins this season: 27-6 over Minnesota and 41-10 at the NY Jets, and Jacksonville wants no part of that cold Buffalo weather. The Jags’ defense matches up well against the Bills’ offense. If the defense can hold Bills to 17 points or fewer, Jacksonville has a good shot.
Cleveland at Cincinnati22-27CIN-3.5The Browns give up the 31st most yards in the league. This should be a high-scoring game on Sunday, and if that’s the case, bet on the team with Joe Mixon that is getting A.J. Green back.The Bengals are somehow a 5-5 team with a -56 point differential. The Browns, despite the worse, record are actually better at -45. Cleveland can absolutely win this game and you should expect it to be close.
Miami at Indianapolis20-30IND-9.5Indy has won four straight games and have a point differential of +49 despite having only a 5-5 record. Conversely the 5-5 Dolphins are -57. Indy should hammer them.Ryan Tannehill will be back at quarterback for the first time in five weeks. The Dolphins’ offense has struggled of late and should get a spark with their leader back at the helm.
New England at NY Jets28-17NE-9.5Tom Brady is 41 years old. It’s got to happen at some point.It’s Bill Belichick. He’s coming off a loss. He’s coming off a bye. He’s playing the Jets.
NY Giants at Philadelphia21-24NYG+6.5Carson Wentz is 13th in the league with a 62.5 QBR. Eli is 25th in the league at 47.5 The Eagles have a decided advantage at the most important position in the game and are playing at home on Sunday.New York has won two straight games while Philadelphia has lost two straight games. In an NFC East that has been anything but predictable, the Giants could definitely go into Philly and come out with a win.
San Francisco at Tampa Bay23-22SF+3.5With Jameis Winston back as the starting quarterback, the Buccaneers are going to need a good game out of him. Winston has shown he’s capable of having 300+ yard, three-TD games consistently, but the problem has been the decision making. If Winston can play turnover free, Tampa has an excellent chance in this one. Off the bye, the Nick Mullens era continues this weekend in Tampa. The good news for the 49ers is the bye week allowed them to get a lot healthier heading into this game and should Mullens play at the level he has the past two games, they should find themselves in a great position to win this game.
Seattle at Carolina21-25CAR-3.5Off back-to-back losses, the Panthers need a win this week. Returning home is going to be a big help and I expect them to play with a sense of urgency, as a loss in this game could push them out of the playoffs. Seattle has had extra time to prepare for this game off of their Thursday night victory over the Packers. Getting their rushing attack going against the Panthers this week could be difficult, so Russell Wilson might have to shoulder a heavier load if Seattle wants to pull off the road upset.
Oakland at Baltimore15-25OAK+10.5In Lamar Jackson’s debut last week against Cincinnati, the rookie quarterback carried the ball 27 times. This high of a total isn’t sustainable long term, but against a weak Raiders offense, Jackson should be able to rely heavily on the defense and running backs to win this game.Coming off a victory over the Cardinals, the Raiders should feel optimistic about this week. Jackson didn’t show much of an ability to throw the ball last week, so if you can shut down the running game you should be able to keep this game close.
Arizona at LA Chargers17-31LAC-12.5The Chargers need to keep pace with the Chiefs in the AFC West, and this is the perfect matchup for them to bounce back after a heartbreaking loss to the Broncos. Philip Rivers should have no problem carving up one of the worst defenses in the league, especially when Melvin Gordon opens up the field with his ability to pick up yards after contact. This could be a big day for the Williams receivers.The offense has looked much better in the last two weeks because of Arizona’s reliance on star running back David Johnson. If the offense can establish a strong running game from Johnson, Josh Rosen will see the field open up in play action sets. The Chargers’ defense can be had, but it’ll take an impressive gameplan and execution from Arizona’s stars to get it done in Los Angeles.
Pittsburgh at Denver30-23PIT-3.5Denver is a good team at home, especially on the defensive side of the football. Philip Lindsay continues to impress in his limited touches for the Broncos, so the team should look to feature him more in the offense. Although Pittsburgh has been good against the run this year, Lindsay presents an intriguing matchup as a pass catcher out of the backfield.After a dud last week against Jacksonville, the offense will look to bounce back against the Broncos. Even if Denver’s defense is above average, it’s hard to see anyone on that side of the ball containing the likes of Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and James Connor. The Steelers just have too many weapons for Denver to contain them this week.
Green Bay at Minnesota27-27GB+3.5TiedGreen Bay is desperate and will give the Vikings their best shot, but the Vikes are fighting for a playoff spot themselves. Minnesota not only has the better defense in this game, but the better offense apart from the quarterback position. 4-5-1 Green Bay is hanging on by a thread. Their back is against the wall, and it is the perfect, desperate moment for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to shine with all eyes on this divisional matchup.
Tennessee at Houston21-25TEN+6.5Houston’s front four should get after Mariota with relative ease this week, as JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney line up across the offensive line. Deshaun Watson shouldn’t replicate the unimpressive performance of last week and will look to bounce back against an average Tennessee defense.Dion Lewis’ ability to create plays in space will be key for Tennessee’s offense. Look for the Titans to lean heavily on their backs and keep the ball on the ground this week. Establishing a strong ground game with Lewis and Derrick Henry will make life much easier for a struggling Mariota.


Edited by Emily Berman.

SQuiz
How many straight 100 yard games did Adam Thielen record?
Created 11/21/18
  1. 5
  2. 6
  3. 7
  4. 8

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