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NFL Week 12 Game Day Picks, early games open thread

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As the NFL season continues, excitement builds for the weekly matchups and the anticipation of game day picks. With each team giving it their all on the field, the stakes are high and unpredictable outcomes are the norm. Ahead of Week 12, I’ll help get you set as I share my predictions and picks for each game this Sunday.

Join me as we analyze key matchups and player performances in an effort to help fans and bettors make informed decisions while rooting for their favorite teams, and enjoying the game within the game via DraftKings Sportsbook. Whether you’re a die-hard fan, fantasy football player, or just looking to test your own predictions, get ready to dive into the thrilling world of game day picks in the NFL.

Sunday, November 26 NFL Week 12 — early games

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. EST (FOX)

The Falcons have the ability to be a really good team, with solid talent in several areas of the team. But for some reason Atlanta just hasn’t utilized their stud rookie running back, Bijan Robinson in the way most would have assumed coming into the season. He’s a player that deserves 15-20 touches per game, yet Robinson’s only reached 20 touches once this season. The Saints have a stout defense and they have enough on offense to score points in a hurry with their running backs alone. I have trust issues with the Falcons and I don’t believe Robinson will get the ball enough to change the outcome of the game.

Saints steal this one on the road and take a win into a big week.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. EST (CBS)

The Bengals are in rough shape. No Joe Burrow for the rest of the year means that the offense will struggle, unless Jake Browning is able to lock in and prove me wrong. I don’t see that being likely, however. The Steelers continue to find ways to win and will still have to show up for this game. But, as we all know, Mike Tomlin-coached teams always show up when games matter like this.

Pittsburgh will be partying after this divisional win.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans, 1 p.m. EST (CBS)

Can I just take a moment to show love to Devin Singletary? I don’t know what’ll happen to his role when Pierce returns from injury but it’s certainly been refreshing to watch the former Buffalo Bills RB have two of the best games of his career in back to back weeks. And quarterback C.J. Stroud is my pick for MVP. I know he had multiple interceptions last week, but he’s been the best quarterback in the league in so many different ways this year. The Jaguars want to run away with the division and a win against the Texans would go a long way in doing so.

Texans win and the legend of Stroud grows.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m. EST (CBS)

The Colts have the magic when it comes to running backs. Both Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss are playing well this season, and it’s needed with Anthony Richardson being out for the year. Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield and wide receiver Mike Evans have been fun to watch this season, and I don’t see any reason why that will change this week. The Colts won’t be able to stop the Bucs’ offense and will need Mayfield to make some major mistakes for them to have a chance to win this week.

The Bucs roll and win big in Nap Town.

New England Patriots at New York Giants, 1 p.m. EST (FOX)

On paper, this is potentially the most boring matchup of the season. Through 11 weeks, the Patriots have just 15 offensive touchdowns and the Giants aren’t much better with 16. No one viewed either team as offensive juggernauts coming into the season, but the struggles of both teams is a bit surprising. The Giants have one of the best offensive minds in football calling the shots, but it doesn’t seem to matter. The Patriots aren’t committed to quarterback Mac Jones, but they don’t have anyone better.

The Giants will run all over the Patriots and running back Saquon Barkley has a day. Giants by a touchdown.

Carolina Panthers at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. EST (FOX)

The Titans went from controlling the division to envying the Texans and Jaguars. Rookie quarterback Will Levis will be a good QB at some point, but he has a lot of growing to do before he gets there. The Panthers should continue believing in rookie quarterback Bryce Young, but he also has growing to do before he’s mentioned with some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. This game will just come down to which team makes the least amount of mistakes. The Titans have the advantage there because they can turn around and hand the ball off to running back Derrick Henry. The Panthers, on the other hand, don’t have that luxury.

The Titans will win by two field goals.

Sunday, November 26 NFL Week 12 — late-afternoon games

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m. EST (FOX)

The Cardinals are a different team with quarterback Kyler Murray back, and that might be a bad thing for them. Since his return the team is 1-1, taking Texans to the wire last week. The Rams are beat up and just trying to keep things together.

Cardinals win.

Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos, 4:05 p.m. EST (FOX)

The Cleveland Browns have the best defense in football and that’s going to matter in a division that’s now without starting quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Deshaun Watson. For the Browns to remain relevant they’ll have to rely on their defense keeping them in games or possibly even scoring some points. The Broncos are riding high after winning their last four games. Quarterback Russell Wilson is protecting the football and limiting mistakes, and while he isn’t taking over games he’s doing just enough to win. I think that changes this week against Cleveland’s defense.

I know they have to score points on offense, but the Browns’ defense will get the win in Denver.

Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders, 4:25 p.m. EST (CBS)

I don’t have much to say about this one. I know it’s a week-to-week league and the Chiefs lost to the Broncos, so anything’s possible. But I don’t see it logically, and I have to go with what makes sense.

The Chiefs win big in Sin City.

Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles, 4:25 p.m. EST (CBS)

Be sure to check out this mornings “Pregame Rumblings” podcast and article presented by DraftKings Sportsbook

Sunday, November 26 NFL Week 12 — Sunday Night Football

Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Chargers, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)*

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is really really good at a lot of things. It’s been impressive to watch him continue making something out of nothing each season when half of his team gets injured. The Chargers’ season has been disappointing and a win here could go a long way for morale for the fan base and the team — but things just haven’t gone their way.

Baltimore with the win and a chokehold on the AFC North.

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