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NFL Pro Football 2011 Week 12 Picks

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Pro Football Week 12 Picks - late games

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 12 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | November 24-27

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, November 24

Green Bay Packers (-6 1/2, 55 1/2) at Detroit Lions 12:30 pm - This is a great game to work up a Thanksgiving appetite over as the unbeaten Packers head to the traditional Detroit locale for this annual holiday feast of football.

Thus far, the Packers have withstood every challenge and dominated the rest of the league, steamrolling to a 10-0 record and looking to repeat as Super Bowl champions.

The Lions have been having a breakout season, though they went through a rough patch recently, losing to the 49ers, Falcons and Bears, but getting back in stride with a 49-35 win over Carolina last week.

While the Lions are at home and looking pretty good, it's tough to take a stand against Aaron Rodgers and the amazing Green Bay offense. Detroit should hang in, but, in the end, Green bay will be 11-0.

Prediction: Packers 38 Lions 27


Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys (-7, 44) 4:15 pm - The Cowboys find themselves in the NFC East driver's seat after three straight wins and the recent demise of the NY Giants.

Dallas may have a much better record than Miami, but few teams have been playing better football over the past three weeks than the Dolphins, especially on defense, where they've allowed just 20 points in wins over KC, Washington and Buffalo.

The Dolphins have just one road win - at KC - but their defense should hold up well against the Cowboy offense, which is good, though not great. Despite winning five of their last six home games, Dallas is just 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games at home.

Prediction: Dolphins 24 Cowboys 23


San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens (-3, 38 1/2) 8:20 pm - If the turkey's tryptophan hasn't put you to sleep, you may be able to stay awake for the conclusion of this holiday fete, a super inter-conference match-up between obvious playoff contenders.

San Francisco ran their win streak to eight straight last week with a thorough pounding of division rival Arizona, 23-7, and a win here coupled with a Seattle loss would clinch the NFC West.

Baltimore's situation is a little more complicated, currently tied with the Steelers atop the AFC North at 7-3, with the Bengals just a game back, so winning is imperative, especially with the Steelers playing Seattle Sunday. Baltimore is 5-0 at home, while the 49ers are 4-0 on the road, so something has to give, probably the aging Baltimore defense.

Prediction: 49ers 23 Ravens 17


Sunday, November 27

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-7 1/2, 37 1/2) 1:00 pm - 4-6 Cleveland broke a three-game losing streak with a 14-10 win over Jacksonville last week. Meanwhile, the Bengals lost their second straight seven-point decision to a division rival, losing at Baltimore, 31-24 after being beaten by Pittsburgh, 24-17, the week earlier.

These two met earlier in the season, with the Bengals coming away with a 27-17 win at Cleveland, and, while the Browns haven't really improved much, Cincinnati is still in the hunt for a playoff spot, which should be motivation enough to win one for the home fans.

Cleveland is just 1-3 on the road this season and 1-4-1 ATS in its last 6 road games.

Prediction: Bengals 24 Browns 13


Houston Texans (-3 1/2, 37) at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm - Houston has been battered by injuries, the latest being the injury to QB Matt Schaub's right foot, which will require season-ending surgery.

Matt Leinart, who was a bust in Arizona and hasn't thrown a pass since 2009, will get the start, and the Texans have signed Kellen Clemens as a backup just in case.

Leinart probably won't have to do much, as the Texan defense should be able to handle the league's second-worst offense (12.5 ppg), plus he's got a healthy Arian Foster and has had two weeks to prepare. Though Jacksonville has a pretty decent defense, Houston has won four straight and should cruise to a win here.

Prediction: Texans 20 Jaguars 6


Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams (-2 1/2, 40) 1:00 pm - These two teams met back on November 6, the Cardinals coming away with a 19-13 victory at home. With Sam Bradford getting comfortable once again in the offense and a healthy Stephen Jackson, look for the Rams to turn the tables in a nearly-meaningless game.

Prediction: Rams 23 Cardinals 17


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Buffalo Bills at NY Jets (-8, 42 1/2) 1:00 pm - The Bills are reeling, having suffered four major setbacks in the last five weeks after a 4-1 start.

Now at 5-5, Buffalo faces a stern test against the Jets, also 5-5, though the Jets appear to be in better shape, having topped the Bills in their last four meetings, including a 27-11 slaughter earlier in the month.

While the Jets have themselves lost two straight, they are back home, where they are 4-1. Buffalo is 1-4 on the road and the injuries have been piling up, especially in their secondary.

Prediction: Jets 30 Bills 16


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Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans (-3, 43) 1:00 pm - Probably the toughest game of the week to pick, as Tampa Bay has regressed to a 4-6 record as they prepare for their trip to Tennessee. The 5-5 Titans have QB issues as veteran Matt Hasselbeck is questionable for this contest. If he can't go, rookie Jake Locker will get his first NFL start.

Neither team has a positive ATS record, making the selection more difficult. One big weapon is the Bucs' LeGarrette Blount who rushed for 107 yards in Tampa's loss to the Packers last weekend. Blount will be used extensively against the Tennessee defense, yielding 124.3 yards per game rushing.

Tampa Bay should pull out the needed win and maybe keep alive their playoff hopes.

Prediction: Buccaneers 27 Titans 21


Carolina Panthers (-3 1/2, 45) at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm - The 0-10 Colts simply don't have any answers without Peyton Manning and the season has turned into a complete bust.

Indy is dead last on defense (30.0 ppg) and 30th on offense (13.1 ppg), and while the Panthers - last season's whipping boy - is only marginally better statistically, they have the weapons to put up big points, especially late, against a defense spending far too much time on the field.

Prediction: Panthers 35 Colts 21


Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons (-9, 44) 1:00 pm - The Vikings have gotten good work from rookie QB Christian Ponder, but it still hasn't been enough. With just two wins in its first ten games, chalk up the Vikings' 2011 campaign as a rebuilding year. With Adrian Peterson out, the Vikes will have to depend on Toby Gerhart to tote the pigskin.

Atlanta is back in the hunt in the NFC South, trailing the Saints by a game, but a win here and they'll be 7-4 and in pretty good shape for a wild card spot at least.

The Falcons haven't gotten the offense clicking completely, though small improvements have occurred each week. They could put it all together here for a big home win.

Prediction: Falcons 31 Vikings 10

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2011, 2012, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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