Sunday Locks (NFL Week 12)
Eagles (-4) @ Giants, O/U 45
NFC East division game alert! The NFL really backloaded these games, so I haven’t gotten to use my “always take the points in NFC East division games” philosophy much. I’ll be using it here. The Eagles have really been rolling and the Giants have been in a freefall, so I understand this line. But the Giants just fired Jason Garrett, which theoretically could provide a spark, or at the very least an offense the Eagles haven’t prepared for. And 4 points at home against a sub-.500 team is a lot. So I’ll take the points with the Giants here.
Picks: Giants +4 (Padlock), UNDER 45 (Padlock)
Buccaneers (-3.5) @ Colts, O/U 53
The Bucs dominate defensively against the run. The Colts have the league’s hottest running back. It’ll be interesting to see what wins out here. The Bucs had a much needed get right game last week, and this was right about the time last year where they got hot. I certainly expect them to go on a run here soon, but I also really like the Colts. So I’ll take the points at home here.
Picks: Colts +3.5 (Padlock), UNDER 53 (Padlock)
Titans @ Patriots (-7), O/U 43.5
I was all about the Titans here all week. 7 points is a ton. The Titans have beaten good teams all year. And Vrabel against the Patriots seems like a competitive game. But then A.J. Brown joined Julio Jones and Derrick Henry on the IR. Now, I struggle to envision where the Titans will get their points from. So I’ll take the Patriots laying a touchdown.
Picks: Patriots -7 (Padlock), UNDER 43.5 (Deadbolt)
Jets @ Texans (-2.5), O/U 45.5
Huge game here with top 5 pick implications. Tyrod Taylor led the Texans to an improbable convincing win last week. The Texans couldn’t possibly go on a winning streak, could they? Seeing as I have a rule (NEVER pick the Jets), I apparently think they will. The Jets are getting Zach Wilson back which is exciting for the fans. And I genuinely am curious to see if the time off helped him refocus as the Jets offense went on a bit of a run with him out. But, again, I have a rule. So I’ll be picking the Texans here laying the points (that just sounds wrong).
Picks: Texans -2.5 (Padlock), OVER 45.5 (Padlock)
Steelers @ Bengals (-3.5), O/U 44
The Steelers nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback last week against the Chargers, but don’t let that fool you. They were significantly outplayed for most of that game. The Bengals looked dominant. This doesn’t appear to me to be a spread inflated by recent performance, so I’ll take the Bengals here.
Picks: Bengals -3.5 (Deadbolt), OVER 44 (Padlock)
Panthers (-2) @ Dolphins, O/U 41.5
I don’t have much of an opinion on this game. The Panthers are playing for the playoffs though, so I’ll take them. Two bad teams.
Picks: Panthers -2 (Padlock), OVER (Padlock)
Falcons (-2) @ Jaguars, O/U 45.5
Speaking of two bad teams… Give me the Falcons. It looks like Cordarelle Patterson will play, and he seems to be a difference maker in their offense.
Picks: Falcons -2 (Padlock), OVER 45.5 (Deadbolt)
Chargers (-2.5) @ Broncos, O/U 47
This is the only game I truly feel confident about this week. I’ve been high on the Chargers all season long, and I expect them to roll into Denver this week and win a laugher. The Broncos have a good home field advantage, so I guess I understand the spread, but their team is not good. I’ll take the road team.
Picks: Chargers -2.5 (Fort Knox), OVER 47 (Padlock)
Rams (-2) @ Packers, O/U 46.5
For the life of me, I can’t figure out this spread. The Rams have been blown out in two straight games. They’re traveling to Lambeau. They lost Robert Woods for the year. They haven’t looked good for a while. The Packers lost a close one last week, but outside of that have looked like the most complete team in football. Aaron Rodgers has a banged up toe, but that didn’t stop him from looking elite last week, so no reason to think it will impact him here. Aaron Jones may suit up, but even if he doesn’t, A.J. Dillon’s downhill running style should be successful against this Rams soft interior defense. I simply can’t pick against Aaron Rodgers at home getting points, so I’ll take the Packers.
Picks: Packers +2 (Padlock), OVER 46.5 (Deadbolt)
Vikings @ 49ers (-3), O/U 49.5
One of these teams will leave this game on a 3-game winning streak and right in the thick of things in the NFC Wild Card race. On paper, the Vikings look like the better team in this matchup, but that can be said for most matchups. The trick with this team is picking the game where Kirk Cousins puts up a stinker. The 49ers have seemingly found their stride offensively and can certainly be tough on opposing offenses, but I still don’t trust Jimmy G. I’ll roll with the Vikings for one more week here and take the points with the road team.
Picks: Vikings +3 (Deadbolt), UNDER 49.5 (Padlock)
Browns @ Ravens (-3.5), O/U 47
The Browns looked awful last week but were able to escape with a win. The play of Baker Mayfield has been bad. I understand he’s banged up, but I think his toughness is what’s going to hold this team back. I think a healthy Case Keenum gives them a better shot of winning games than a banged up Baker. I’m going with the Ravens here in primetime laying the points.
Picks: Ravens -3.5 (Deadbolt), UNDER 47 (Padlock)
Zack Nicol and I have partnered to do a head to head challenge every week called LOCK OFF. We’ll pick 4 of our favorite spreads and battle it out.
This week’s LOCK OFF picks:
Zack Nicol: Bengals -3.5, Patriots -7, Chargers -2.5, 49ers -3
Craig Ebinger: Chargers -2.5, Ravens -3.5, Bengals -3.5, Vikings +3