By Eric Schmidt

Week 12 is upon us, the NFL season is moving at a blistering pace. Several teams are still battling for a possible playoff berth while others look to pad their division lead. Several early season favorites now appear to be on the outside looking in as the playoff race heats up. As we edge towards the month of December, weather is starting to play a role in some contests. It is currently windy and snowing in Cleveland. The mercury is currently below freezing in Chicago where a high of 44 is expected this afternoon with moderate breezes.

NFL Week 12 Against the Spread Picks and Predictions-

Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals -8.5 50.5

The Raiders will be without Darren McFadden, Mike Goodson and Richard Seymour once again this week. I am expecting a big game from Bengals WR A.J. Green this afternoon. Cinncinnati 27-16

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns +1.5 34.5

The Steelers are starting the venerable Charlie Batch at quarterback in a blustery, snowy Cleveland. Look for a smash-mouth low scoring affair. I’m rolling with the home dog in this one. Cleveland 16-13

Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts -3

If the Indianapolis Colts are truly a playoff team, this is a must win for them this afternoon. Look for the Colts to rebound in Lucus Oil Stadium this afternoon. Indianapolis 27-20

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs +10 43

The Denver Broncos are in the midst of a five-game winning streak. Peyton Manning is turning in a MVP-type season. Denver 34-13

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars +3.5

The starting job has been given to Chad Henne for the remainder of the season in Jacksonville. A few numbers: The Jaguars are 6-23 in their last 29 games and have allowed 24 points or more in their last seven games. Tennessee 23-16

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears-6.5 39.5

Jay Cutler has been medically cleared to play this afternoon. The Vikings will be without WR Percy Harvin today. Chicago 27-13

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1.5 51.5

With a road trip next week to Denver and in the mix of the playoff hunt, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers really need a win this afternoon. Tampa’s offense is firing on all cylinders currently. Tampa Bay 34-30

Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins +3 38

If the Seattle Seahawks are truly a playoff team, they are going to have to win on the road. Seattle 21-17

Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers PK 47

This game opened with San Diego getting 2.5 points and it’s moved to a pick ‘em contest. The Chargers are playing some uninspired football currently and the Ravens are sniffing a first round bye. Baltimore 31-20

San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints +1.5 49.5

The Saints have rebounded after a 0-4 start to win four of their last five and are on the edge of a possible playoff berth. The Saints will need a win today in order to keep their hopes alive. The Niners have not named a starting quarterback but all signs are pointing to Colin Kaepernick getting his second career start. San Francisco 31-30

St Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals -1.5 37

The Rams roll into the desert without WR Danny Amendola and have yet to win a game on the road this season. The Cardinals offense has been offensive this season. Arizona 19-13

Green Bay Packers at New York Giants -3 51.5

The Packers are looking to avenge their playoff loss last season. Wind gusts to as high as 30 mph can be expected in New Jersey this evening. Green Bay 34-27

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