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NFL Week 12 picks: Giants coast past Browns; Jets cover vs. Patriots

Quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants

Quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants has stressed that he and his teammates can't take the 0-11 Cleveland Browns lightly. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

There are no byes this week. Speaking of taking time off, what happened to kickers last week? An NFL-record 12 extra points were missed. One of those cost the Patriots a cover as they pushed as 13-point favorites. Maybe the NFL should eliminate the extra point altogether and just have teams go for two. Mike Tomlin and the Steelers would sign up in a hurry.

Favorites went a whopping 11-2-1 against the spread last week after underdogs were 12-2 in Week 10. Underdogs are still 82-69-8 on the season. This week’s matchups again favor the favorites.

 

GIANTS (7-3) AT BROWNS (0-11), 1 p.m.

TV: Ch. 5; Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)

Giants by 7; O/U: 44

The Giants aren’t as good as 7-3, and the Browns aren’t as bad as 0-11, but as Bill Parcells once said, “You are what your record says you are.” One thing’s for sure: The Browns aren’t going to lose next week. They’re (finally!) on the bye. They’ll fall to 0-12 because there’s no way a tired Browns defense can stop the Giants’ passing game. Look for Eli Manning to find Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard whenever he wants. Big Blue had its expected scare against the Bears last week, but this one won’t be as nerve-wracking: Giants 34, Browns 17.

The pick: Giants

PATRIOTS (8-2) AT JETS (3-7), 4:25 p.m.

TV: Ch. 2; Radio: ESPN (98.7)

Patriots by 7; O/U: 46

One of these teams has a strong chance to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. That’s why the Jets should approach this rivalry matchup as their Super Bowl. It’s been a lost season for Gang Green, but if they can beat the Pats, at least they can smile about that. After the bye, Todd Bowles said hello to Ryan Fitzpatrick again. A Jets win would be surprising, but would it really be shocking if the they kept it close and lost 24-17? Nope. The Jets beat the Pats at MetLife Stadium last season, something that could inspire them. Take the points . . . and hope Fitzpatrick doesn’t give any away.

The pick: Jets

 

1 p.m. GAMES

CARDINALS (4-5-1) AT FALCONS (6-4)

Falcons by 5; O/U: 50

This game features two “bird” teams going in different directions. First-place Atlanta, off a bye, will be pumped at home to take another step toward winning the NFC South. Arizona, three games out of first, is 0-3 in 1 p.m. starts this season. Matt Ryan, as well as the Falcons’ defense, should have their way in this one.

The pick: Falcons

RAMS (4-6) AT SAINTS (4-6)

Saints by 7; O/U: 46

The Saints have lost two in a row by a combined five points. This one won’t be as close. Not when Jared Goff’s first road start is at the Superdome. The Rams average an NFL-worst 14.9 points per game. They won’t be able to match the firepower of Drew Brees and the Saints, who are averaging 31 points per game at home.

The pick: Saints

TITANS (5-6) AT BEARS (2-8)

Titans by 5; O/U: 42

Tennessee followed up an impressive win over the Packers with another loss to the Colts, a team they just can’t beat. They should be able to beat the Bears, but it won’t be easy. Chicago shows up at home -- remember the Monday night win over the Vikings? Marcus Mariota and the Titans’ third-ranked rushing attack (140.8 yards per game) will have to ground and pound their way to a win. With a chance to be .500 entering their bye week, expect them to do just that, and cover.

The pick: Titans

CHARGERS (4-6) AT TEXANS (6-4)

Chargers by 2; O/U: 46.5

Houston is 5-0 at home, but none of those wins were all that impressive. San Diego, off a bye, needs to win out if it wants a wild card. It’s a long shot, but you never can count out Philip Rivers. Take the better team, which despite the records, is the Chargers.

The pick: Chargers

 

 

LOCK OF THE WEEK

BENGALS (3-6-1) AT RAVENS (5-5)

Ravens by 4; O/U: 40.5

It’s been a lost season for the Bengals, who will be without A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard. The Ravens have more on the line, like winning a division. They’ll make Andy Dalton beat them, but without Green, he doesn’t stand a chance. Baltimore will be more than happy to all but end a rival’s season.

The pick: Ravens

JAGUARS (2-8) AT BILLS (5-5)

Bills by 7.5; O/U: 45

Buffalo isn’t an easy place to play, unless you’re Tom Brady. Blake Bortles is not Tom Brady. Buffalo needs a win to stay in the AFC wild-card hunt, and should easily beat a Jacksonville team playing in 40-degree weather.

The pick: Bills

49ERS (1-9) AT DOLPHINS (6-4)

Dolphins by 7.5; O/U: 44.5

The Dolphins did nothing for 50-plus minutes last week, then stole a win to make it five in a row. They’ll win again, but Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers haven’t looked that bad the last two weeks. Take the points.

The pick: 49ers

 

4 p.m. GAMES

SEAHAWKS (7-2-1) AT BUCS (5-5)

Seahawks by 6; O/U: 45

Tampa Bay has won two in a row, including an upset at Kansas City last week. Seattle will buck that trend. The Seahawks are hitting their stride and need to keep winning if they want the NFC’s No. 1 seed. Mike Evans leads the NFL with 119 targets, but with Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor locking in on him, Jameis Winston will struggle.

The pick: Seahawks

PANTHERS (4-6) AT RAIDERS (8-2)

Raiders by 3; O/U: 49.5

It’s the battle of the luckiest vs. unluckiest. While everything has fell just right for Oakland, Carolina can’t catch a break. The Raiders could be in for a slow start after playing in Mexico City Monday night, so take a shot with Cam Newton. Maybe a couple of bounces will even go the Panthers’ way.

The pick: Panthers

 

SUNDAY NIGHT

CHIEFS (7-3) AT BRONCOS (7-3), Ch. 4

Broncos by 3.5; O/U: 39.5

This is the toughest game of the week to pick. Two strong AFC West teams, Denver off a bye and Kansas City off a rare home loss. Bet the under in what should be a low-scoring game. The Chiefs will play with a chip on their shoulder, so take the points.

The pick: Chiefs

 

MONDAY NIGHT

PACKERS (4-6) AT EAGLES (5-5), ESPN

Eagles by 4; O/U: 47.5

The Packers’ defense might as well have done the “Mannequin Challenge” last Sunday night considering how often Redskins’ receivers flew by them for long catches. Green Bay has lost four in a row, giving up 33, 31, 47 and 42 points. The Eagles are 4-0 at home, outscoring opponents by a total of 70 points. Look for both trends to continue.

The pick: Eagles

STAFF PICKS

(BEST BETS IN Bold)

JOE MANNIELLO

Record: 79-74-8 overall, 7-4 best bets

Last week: 10-3-1

Giants Jets Falcons Saints

Titans Chargers Ravens Bills 49ers

Seahawks Panthers Chiefs Eagles

BOB GLAUBER

Record: 78-75-8 overall, 6-5 best bets

Last week: 9-4-1

Giants Patriots Falcons Saints

Titans Texans Ravens Bills Dolphins

Seahawks Raiders Broncos Eagles

TOM ROCK

Record: 87-66-8 overall, 4-7 best bets

Last week: 11-2-1

Giants Patriots Falcons Saints

Titans Texans Ravens Jaguars Dolphins

Seahawks Raiders Chiefs Eagles

KIMBERLEY A. MARTIN

Record: 68-85-8 overall, 5-5-1 best bets

Last week: 5-8-1

Giants Patriots Falcons Saints

Titans Chargers Ravens Bills Dolphins

Seahawks Raiders Broncos Eagles

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