Mark Craig’s Week 12 NFL picks against the spread

The NFL season is flying by faster than Micah Parsons past a Vikings offensive lineman.

Yes, Week 12 has arrived. Thanksgiving features three games, including the Patriots-Vikings nightcap at U.S. Bank Stadium, known in Week 11 at Cowboys Stadium North.

The Vikings, who are now 0-1 in games decided by five scores, are the only NFC North team favored this week.

Let's grab a coin, start flipping and say eight underdogs will win this week: Lions over Bills; Bears over Jets; Titans over Bengals, Browns over Bucs, Panthers over Broncos, Steelers over Colts, Packers over Eagles, and, sorry, Patriots over Vikings.

NFL scoreboard: Week 12 schedule, game previews, betting lines

Here are this week's picks:


Patriots (+2 ½) at Vikings: Bill Belichick, the best defensive mind the game has ever seen, has the No. 2 scoring defense (16.9), the second-best pass rush and the NFL's sack leader in Matthew Judon (13 ½). The Vikings are missing their left tackle and aren't committed to running the ball. A bad mix for the suddenly shaken Purple and rookie head coach Kevin O'Connell. Patriots 24, Vikings 16

Bills (-9 ½) at Lions: The Bills are wobbling. The Lions are gaining confidence and actually starting to look competent on defense. Detroit pulls the upset for its first four-game win streak since 2016. Lions 34, Bills 31

Giants (+8 ½) at Cowboys: The Cowboys keep on rolling, topping the five sacks they tagged on Daniel Jones in their Week 3 win over the Giants. Cowboys 34, Giants 17


Bears (+4 ½) at Jets: The Bears have lost four straight while scoring an average of 28.8 points per game. They finally find someone Justin Fields can not only outrun but outscore. Bears 24, Jets 23

Buccaneers (-3½) at Browns: Browns by 4

Falcons (+3½) at Commanders: Commanders by 7

Bengals (-2 ½) at Titans: Titans by 6

Broncos (-2 ½) at Panthers: Panthers by 3

Texans (+12 ½) at Dolphins: Dolphins by 14

Ravens (-3½) at Jaguars: Ravens by 6

Raiders (+3 ½) at Seahawks: Seahawks by 7

Chargers (-4½) at Cardinals: Chargers by 7

Rams (+14½) at Chiefs: Chiefs by 10

Saints (+8 ½) at 49ers: 49ers by 7


Steelers (+2½) at Colts: Pittsburgh's defense will disrupt Matt Ryan enough to give Kenny Pickett his first road win. Steelers 20, Colts 16


Packers (+6 ½) at Eagles: This. Makes. Absolutely. No. Sense. Yes, but neither did the Packers scoring nine points in a loss to Detroit one week and 31 points in a win over the Cowboys the next. The Packers won't win the division, so Vikings fans should be rooting for a Cheesehead win to help the Vikings' pursuit of the NFC's top seed. Packers 34, Eagles 30

Last week's Upset Special: Steelers (+4 ½) 24, Bengals 21. Score: Bengals 37, Steelers 30. Record: 3-8.


Straight up last week/season: 10-4/89-62-1.

Against the spread last week/season: 7-7/81-79-2.

Vikings picks: 6-4.