NFL Week 12 picks against the spread: Patriots upset Vikings, Lions play Bills tough

NFL Week 12 ATS picks: Pats upset Vikings, Lions play Bills tough originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The 2022 NFL season will be about 75 percent finished by the time the Week 12 games conclude.

It's hard to believe we're this deep into the campaign. As a result, games are becoming increasingly important to the playoff races in both the AFC and NFC, and there's no shortage of intriguing matchups on this week's schedule.

Here are our best bets against the spread for Week 12. All start times listed are ET. All betting lines via DraftKings Sportsbook.

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Buffalo Bills (-10) at Detroit Lions

Time/TV channel: Thursday, Nov. 24 at 12:30 p.m. on CBS

Over/Under: 54

The Lions are actually not a bad football team. They have won three games in a row, including an impressive victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in Week 9. They just beat a 7-2 New York Giants team 31-18 in Week 11.

Will the Lions pull off a shocking upset over the Bills? It's possible, but the more likely scenario is they keep it close and cover the spread. Four of Detroit's six losses have come by a touchdown or less. The Lions are 6-4 ATS this season and 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games. Their offense is pretty potent, too, ranking No. 6 in points per game and No. 5 in total yards per game.

The Bills haven't played particularly well of late, losing two of their last three games. Josh Allen's elbow injury is a concern, too. He doesn't look 100 percent healthy.

The Bills should win this game, but it's tough to envision them covering a double-digit spread against a confident Lions team playing at home on Thanksgiving.

Pick: Lions +10

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New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings (-3)

Time/TV channel: Thursday, Nov. 24 at 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Over/Under: 42.5

The Patriots defense is legit. This unit ranks No. 2 in points allowed per game and No. 4 in yards allowed per game. It made the Jets offense look absolutely horrendous in Week 11, allowing just three points and 2.1 yards per play.

Bill Belichick's defense faces a much tougher test on Thanksgiving in a road matchup versus the Vikings. The Vikings are loaded with elite offensive talent, but they are coming off an embarrassing 40-3 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys at home Sunday.

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Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has also struggled in primetime games with a career record of 10-18, including a 3-4 record on Thursday night. The Vikings also will be without their starting left tackle Christian Darrisaw (concussion), which means the Patriots pass rush, which ranks No. 2 in the league with 36 sacks, could have another dominant performance.

The Patriots bring a five-game win streak against the Vikings into this matchup, and they've covered the spread in four of those games. They also are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games this season. The Patriots have a strong chance to win this game outright and improve to 7-4.

Pick: Patriots +3

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5) at Cleveland Browns

Time/TV channel: Sunday, Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. on FOX

Over/Under: 43

The Buccaneers have struggled this season, but they've also won back-to-back games and are coming off a Week 11 bye. They will be well-rested for a matchup versus a much inferior Browns team.

The Browns are 2-5 ATS and 1-6 straight up in their last seven games. Cleveland's defense also is a good opponent for Tampa Bay's offense to get back on track. This unit ranks 20th in yards allowed per game, 30th in points allowed per game and 28th in turnovers.

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is 7-1 with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions in his career against the Browns. He should add to those impressive numbers this week in Cleveland.

Pick: Bucs -3.5

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Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5) at Tennessee Titans

Time/TV channel: Sunday, Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. on CBS

Over/Under: 42.5

The Bengals started out 0-2, but they've since won six of their last eight games, including back-to-back wins entering Week 12.

Cincinnati's high-powered offense is starting to fire on cylinders and has scored 30-plus points in four of the last five games. As a result, Cincy is now fifth in point differential at plus-50. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has thrown 13 touchdowns with three interceptions over that five-game span, too.

The Bengals also have been a great ATS team going back to last season. They are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games and 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road matchups. The Bengals have covered the spread in their previous five meetings with the Titans.

The Titans have played three teams currently in a playoff spot and they're 0-3. They've beaten up on a mostly soft schedule so far thanks to their AFC South division opponents.

Pick: Bengals -1.5