CLEVELAND — “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth
Apparently The Great Bambino never picked against the spread.
In what amounted to my third straight losing week, I went 4-6 in my Week 11 picks, bringing my total for the season to a not-so-nice 69-81-1 (again, how have I only had one push?).
I may be 12 games under .500, but it's going to take more than that to keep me down. Let's get back on track with my Week 12 picks.
All lines made available via Bovada
Houston Texans (-4) vs. Indianapolis Colts
Pick: Texans -4
There may not be a team I've understood less this season than the Texans, but I like this as a bounce back spot after last weekend's beatdown by the Ravens. Plus, Houston's offense seems to possess significantly higher ceiling with Will Fuller V (potentially) back in the lineup.
Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5) vs. Seattle Seahawks
Pick: Seahawks +1.5
These teams seem relatively evenly matched, but it's the Seahawks who have been more consistent. Plus, Seattle should be well-rested coming off a bye, while the Eagles return from last weekend's physical (and arguably emotional loss) to New England.
Chicago Bears (-6) vs. New York Giants
Pick: Giants +6
I don't feel great about this pick -- especially given Saquon Barkley's recent inconsistencies -- but have you seen anything from the Bears this season that would make you comfortable picking them as a near-touchdown favorite? I haven't.
New Orleans Saints (-10) vs. Carolina Panthers
Pick: Panthers +10
You could make a case the Saints should be the Super Bowl favorites right now and I fully expect them to win this game. But 10 points are just too many to lay against a division rival with a roster that possesses as much talent as the Panthers' does.
Cincinnati Bengals (+7) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: Bengals +7
Weird things happen to teams when they lose their starting center and that's what the Steelers will be dealing with without Maurkice Pouncey. Plus, having just watched the Mason Rudolph experience in person, there's no way I'd feel comfortable picking Pittsburgh to cover by a touchdown on the road.
Washington Redskins (+3.5) vs. Detroit Lions
Pick: Redskins +3.5
I mean, the Redskins have to win (or at least cover) at some point, right? And with Detroit having lost three straight, this feels like a spot where its season could officially fall apart.
Atlanta Falcons (-4.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: Buccaneers +4.5
Even after two straight convincing wins, I'm not buying this Falcons team yet. And while betting on Jameis Winston on the road is always an adventure, I like the idea of having Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and 4.5 points on my side.
Cleveland Browns (-10.5) vs. Miami Dolphins
Pick: Browns -10.5
While the Browns haven't shown much this season to justify being a 10.5-point favorite against anyone, but if ever there was a time for a slowly improving offense to hit its stride, it's this Sunday against Miami at home.
New York Jets (+3) vs. Oakland Raiders
Pick: Raiders -3
This feels like the line this week that makes the least amount of sense, so I'm tempted to take the Jets. But I'm going to bank on the Raiders taking care of business against one of the league's worst teams in order to keep pace in the competitive AFC Wild Card race.
Buffalo Bills (-4) vs. Denver Broncos
Pick: Bills -4
The Broncos might be this season's good bad team, but it's hard to see them bouncing back from last week's loss to the Vikings. Conversely, much like Oakland, Buffalo needs this win to stay ahead of the pack in the Wild Card race.
Tennessee Titans (-3) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Titans -3
Don't look now, but the Titans quietly won three of their final four games before last week's bye. I'm not sure if that success is sustainable -- actually I am, it's not -- but I don't expect the Jaguars to be the team that slows them down just yet.
New England Patriots (-7) vs. Dallas Cowboys
Pick: Cowboys +7
The Cowboys aren't as well-coached as the Ravens, but have enough offensive talent that they could present similar problems for the Patriots. I don't think Dallas blows New England out, but I do think it does enough to cover the touchdown spread.
San Francisco 49ers (-3) vs. Green Bay Packers
Pick: Packers +3
The 49ers have shown some warts in the last two weeks, while the Packers are coming off a bye. This feels like a good spot for Green Bay to re-establish itself as a legitimate contender in the NFC.
Los Angeles Rams (+3.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens
Pick: Ravens -3.5
Do you want to bet against the Lamar Jackson hype train? After picking against the Ravens last week, I know I don't.