NFL Picks: Biggest Spreads & Selections for Week 12

Matthew Jordan

Saturday, November 28, 2015 8:23 PM UTC

Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015 8:23 PM UTC

Our NFL handicapper takes a close look at  Cards vs. 49ers, Bills vs.Chiefs & Rams vs. Bengals, don't make a move without reading this preview and unlock the top three NFL picks for Sunday.

Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers 
It's usually a bad idea to beat on a road favorite of double-digits. In college, sure. Those teams aren't evenly matched. But NFL teams for the most part are. But San Francisco is  just terrible offensively and when the Niners lose they lose big. They have dropped three of four and those losses were by 17 points (vs. Seahawks), 21 points (at Rams) and 16 points (at Seahawks). There's no going away from Blaine Gabbert at quarterback now because former starting QB Colin Kaepernick has undergone season-ending shoulder surgery. In their past three defeats, the Niners have totaled 22 points and one offensive touchdown. They are dead last in total and scoring offense, the latter by a mile (13.9 points, four worse than No. 31 St. Louis). You can only say good things about the high-flying Cardinals, who have now supplanted the Patriots as the top scoring team in the NFL at 33.6 points per game. Arizona already thumped the 49ers 47-7 in Week 3 in the desert. Kaepernick was dreadful in that game with 67 yards passing and four interceptions. Gabbert can't possibly be that bad Sunday. Right? Carson Palmer threw for 311 yards and two scores in the win. My only worry here with the Cardinals is a bit of a letdown following huge back-to-back prime-time wins over Seattle and Cincinnati.

Arizona against the NFL odds is the selection, although I'm going to shop for a line at 9.5. The Cards are 12-1 ATS in their past 13 road games vs. teams with a losing home record. The Niners have covered only one of their past eight vs. teams with a winning record. They are 3-7 ATS in their past 10 at home.

NFL Pick: Cardinals -10 at Heritage

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St. Louis Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals 
Have the Bengals been exposed or are they just a bit unlucky? Cincinnati of course started a franchise-best 8-0 but lost 10-6 at home to Houston on Monday night in Week 10 and then had a tough short-week game at Arizona last Sunday and fell 34-31. So it's not like the Bengals are that far from being unbeaten. Plus the team was the victim of a pretty questionable call by the refs -- Cincy coach Marvin Lewis called it a "phantom call" -- that changed Arizona's game-winning field-goal attempt from a difficult 47 yards to a much easier 32. That was the Bengals' third straight prime-time game and the team is just 8-18 in night games since 2003. So perhaps it's a good thing this one is at 1 p.m. ET. It's still not clear if Case Keenum will start at quarterback for the Rams or if they will go back to ex-starter Nick Foles. Keenum suffered a concussion -- and wasn't immediately removed from the field despite being clearly wobbly -- in last week's loss to Baltimore. He has practiced only on a limited basis entering Friday. Probably doesn't matter which QB plays as neither is very good. St. Louis has dropped three in a row and not topped 18 points in any of them as rookie running back Todd Gurley has largely been kept in check. The Rams have topped 18 points just once in five road games in 2015.

Cincinnati. The Rams are 1-4 ATS in their past six vs. teams with a winning record and same ATS in past five on the road. The Bengals have covered eight of their past 10 overall. They are 4-1 ATS in their past five after a loss.

NFL Pick: Bengals -8.5 at Pinnacle

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Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs 
Very important game in the AFC wild-card race. The Chiefs and Bills are both 5-5, with Kansas City currently holding the last playoff spot while Buffalo is at No. 8 at the moment. So obviously the winner here has a huge head-to-head tiebreaker. Seems like a lot is going against Buffalo. The Bills are on a short week after losing at New England, albeit very competitively on Monday night. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor hurt his throwing shoulder in the game. Taylor says he will play Sunday. He said the same thing earlier in the season when he had a knee injury and then he didn't play for two games. The Bills can ill afford to lose Taylor as they are last in the NFL with 28.5 percent of their possessions ending without a first down. That doesn't bode well against a rampaging Chiefs defense, which has led Kansas City on a four-game winning streak. The Chiefs, who are trying to become the second team in NFL history to make the playoffs after a 1-5 start, held the Steelers to 10 points (won by 10), the Lions to 10 (won by 35), the Broncos to 13 in Denver (won by 16) and the Chargers to 3 in  San Diego (won by 30) in the winning streak. This actually will be Kansas City's first home game in a little more than a month. If this isn't the lowest-scoring game of Sunday, it would be an upset. Kansas City won 17-13 in Buffalo last season.

Kansas City is the NFL pick, as even if Taylor plays he's likely one hit from leaving. The Chiefs are 8-3 ATS in their past 11 at home. 

NFL Pick: Chiefs -5.5 at 5Dimes

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