NFL Betting Tips, Picks & Predictions: Week 12-13

Leigh Copson:

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Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (Wednesday 20:40 GMT)

Pittsburgh can take a gigantic step towards the AFC North title and number one seeding in the playoffs with a win in this rearranged game from Thanksgiving. The Steelers improved their flawless record to 10-0 with a routine win over Jacksonville last weekend and that has set them up nicely for a meeting with the reeling Ravens. At one time Baltimore were considered favourites to win the Super Bowl by the bookmakers, but they have struggled to meet preseason expectations and find themselves third in the AFC North heading into Week 12. While he has not been dreadful, Lamar Jackson has struggled to build on an impressive 2019 campaign, and on the opposite side of the football the defense has really struggled as of late, especially against the run. Oh, and just to make things worse they will be without a bunch of players for this one due to an outbreak, including Jackson. Put simply, Baltimore could not have found a worse time to be playing the NFL’s only unbeaten team. The Steelers are going to have much more success running the football than they did in their last meeting with the Ravens and that will help open up a passing game that struggled in that encounter. This time Ben Roethlisberger will make some big plays with the aid of his talented receiving group and that, along with another solid defensive showing from this top-five unit, should be enough to lead the Steelers to 11-0.

Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans (Sunday 18:00 GMT)

Cleveland and Tennessee are firmly in the playoff hunt heading into this big Week 13 matchup. The Browns are riding a three-game win streak that has them in one of the wildcard spots and a victory here would set them up nicely for the huge Week 14 clash with Baltimore. Tennessee, meanwhile, are setting the standard in the AFC South after they ran over Indianapolis for a commanding win a week ago – an impressive victory that came on the back of a fine overtime win in Baltimore. The Titans’ fate is in their own hands and I am backing them to ensure that is still the case after this weekend. Cleveland may be riding a three-game win streak and they may have racked up eight wins this season, but they have really only beaten one ‘good’ team all season long. Inevitably when they come up against a playoff contender they come up short, and Tennessee are one of the very best contenders right now. Derrick Henry is in dominant form out of the backfield and offensively they are doing an excellent job at protecting the football, while on the opposite side of the football this improving defense is stepping up and making plays when it matters. For me they are the better all-around team at this time, so I fancy the Titans to win this one by at least a touchdown.

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals (Sunday 21:05 GMT)

The NFC West title remains up for grabs with just two games separating three teams. The Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals are in hot pursuit of Seattle at this time, so there may be no bigger game this weekend than this showdown in the desert. The winner will remain in the hunt to win this division, while the loser will be left knowing that a wildcard spot is their only real hope. So who gets the win they need? Arizona’s momentum has stalled in recent weeks with back-to-back defeats, and these losses have been something of a reality check for young quarterback Kyler Murray, who had been in sensational form prior to this. The Rams also go into this game on the back of a defeat after Robbie Gould’s field goal as time expired sank them a week ago, but they have now won two of the last three and they have beaten a couple of good teams too in Seattle and Tampa Bay. Jared Goff remains a little unpredictable, making it tough to have total faith in the Rams, but he has delivered on occasions this season and that defense, led by Aaron Donald, is going to pile the pressure on Murray. I believe Goff will produce one of his better performances of the season on Sunday, LA will get their run game going against a Cardinals defense that has got gashed on the ground in recent weeks, and the Los Angeles defense will make some big plays and key stops at crucial times. This should result in a massive road win for the Rams.

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (Monday 01:20 GMT)

Denver were let down badly by their quarterbacks heading into Week 12, resulting in them fielding a practice squad wide receiver at QB for the game with New Orleans. That went as well as you would expect – Kendall Hinton completed just one of his nine throws for 13 yards, with two of his attempts being returned for touchdowns. Thankfully for the Broncos they should have a recognised quarterback at the controls this weekend, but in all honesty that will not make any real difference because they are facing a trip to Arrowhead to face the defender champions Kansas City Chiefs. KC are on a hot streak once again thanks to six consecutive wins, although they nearly blew it a week ago as Tampa Bay came storming back to make a game of it. The Chiefs had done enough in an explosive first quarter to hold on though – Patrick Mahomes hit Tyreek Hill for 75-yard and 44-yard scores as they surged ahead and never looked back, and if those two are at their unplayable best once again on Sunday it could be a long night for the Broncos. But even if they are not, Kansas City have so many weapons on offense that you simply cannot stop everyone. They will move the football and they will rack up points, and this anaemic Denver offense, even with a ‘proper’ QB will not be able to keep pace. The Chiefs should roll over Denver here and stay hot on the heels of Pittsburgh in the race for the number one seeding.