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I went two for one in the Thanksgiving games, largely because Amari Cooper scored two breakaway touchdowns for the Cowboys, demonstrating his speed and some poor tackling in Washington’s secondary. So now we roll into the rest of the week twelve games and an enormous game for the Bengals but before all of that, there is this week’s trivia question where somehow I hold a two-point lead over Dan.

‘Moving onto Week 12 this should not prove too taxing and I’d like to know for which college did Peyton Manning play?’

Now, this was one of those questions where when I read it the answer was on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn’t quite remember it. However, leaving it for a couple of days allowed the answer to bubble up to the surface and I believe he played for Tennessee.

‘Having said the other week that I don’t pay any attention to the college game, I think this is one of those bits of information I’ve heard somewhere before and it’s just stuck with me for some reason. I think Payton Manning played college football for the University of Tennessee.’

Jaguars @ Bills (+3.5)

The Jacksonville Jaguars leave Florida to head up to a cold Buffalo where the Bills are coming off a bye and look to have Josh Allen coming back from his elbow injury. This does not look to be a great spot for a team with a six game losing streak and if I’m getting this many points with a warm weather team heading into the cold who haven’t been very good I’m going to grab them. I’m not saying the Jaguars can’t win this game, but I kind of fancy the Bills to keep this one within a field goal at list.

Gee’s Pick: Bills
Dan’s Pick: Jaguars

Browns @ Bengals (-3.5)

This is a big game for the beleaguered Cincinnati Bengals who managed to keep the game close with the Ravens last week and will be desperate to get back to winning ways against the franchise that carries the name of their founder Paul Brown. The Cleveland Browns are coming off a bye and a win against the Atlanta Falcons and their top defence could very well give a banged up Bengals’ offence problems, particularly with left tackle Cordy Glenn having back issues and Myles Garrett coming to town. It also looks like AJ Green is unlikely to play and suddenly things are looking tricky. I think the Bengals could very well win it, but this feels like a tight game to me and the extra half point has me picking the other way. I would love to be proved wrong.

Gee’s Pick: Browns
Dan’s Pick: Bengals

Raiders @ Ravens (-10.5)

The Oakland Raiders got their second win of the season in Arizona last week, but now they have to come all the way across the country to face a Baltimore team that got a spark last week with Lamar Jackson’s first start at quarterback and who is starting again this week due to Joe Flaco’s hip injury. I don’t know if the Ravens are planning another twenty plus carries for their quarterback this week, (Jackson ran the ball twenty-six times against the Bengals last week) but if the Ravens can do enough on offence to complement their tough defence they could make a late push for the playoffs and will at least cause a lot of teams difficulties. I fancy them to win this game at home, but the line does give me a little pause. There is a gulf between these two teams in terms of DVOA ranking and with the Raiders facing a second road game and travelling across the country I don’t expect them to win and I can’t quite bring myself to pick them either.

Gee’s Pick: Ravens
Dan’s Pick: Raiders

Patriots @ Jets (+9.5)

Both teams are coming off a bye and the New York Jets were last seen losing by thirty-one points to the Bills, whilst the Patriots lost by twenty-four points to the Titans. This makes this line a tricky one as I know which team I back to bounce back, and the Patriots largely have a history of beating big lines in games they are favoured for but this feels like a lot of points. However, given this is Bill Belichick coming off a bye I’m going to back the Patriots to get right and that time hasn’t finally caught up with Tom Brady, although it has to happen at some point.

Gee’s Pick: Patriots
Dan’s Pick: Patriots

Giants @ Eagles (-6.5)

The formula is all wrong for Philadelphia Eagles this season and they have so many injuries in the secondary that I think this line is too big. I don’t expect a repeat of what happened against the Saints last week, but the Eagles have lost three straight home games and welcome a New York Giants team who have won two straight. They have enough options in the passing game to make life difficult for a patched up secondary and with Saquon Barkley hitting holes with power and picking up the hard yards last week, I think the Giants could keep this one within a touchdown. I could be horribly wrong about this.

Gee’s Pick: Giants
Dan’s Pick: Eagles

49ers @ Buccaneers (-3.5)

This is a difficult game to pick thanks to the indifferent form of the San Francisco 49ers who are coming across the country to play a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team who have moved the ball on offence but really struggled to do much else, including win after a decent start. I really want to stay away from this game, but in the end I’ll plump for the home team and hope, but it very much feels like a shot in the dark.

Gee’s Pick: Buccaneers
Dan’s Pick: Buccaneers

Seahawks @ Panthers (-3.5)

I am really looking forward to this game as it should tell us a lot about a Carolina Panthers team who have wobbled in recent weeks. They face a Seattle Seahawks team who have re-found their formula of defence and running the ball and come into this game with extra rest having beaten the Packers on Thursday night in week eleven. I think this will be a close game and with that extra half point I am going to grab the Seahawks to stay within a field goal but the game could easily go either way.

Gee’s Pick: Seahawks
Dan’s Pick: Seahawks

Cardinals @ Chargers (-12.5)

The LA Chargers dropped a clanger against the Denver Broncos last week but should have more than enough to deal with a woeful Arizona Cardinals team who are really struggling. However, this is a very big line for a team whose home support isn’t that great and it really makes me wonder. However, I think the Chargers will have a point to prove and with the league’s fourth best offence by DVOA going against the thirty-first defence I’m going to worriedly swing for the fences with this one.

Gee’s Pick: Chargers
Dan’s Pick: Cardinals

Steelers @ Broncos (+3.5)

The Pittsburgh Steelers got their win last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars but it wasn’t exactly pretty and we should remember that Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t look like the same quarterback on the road. The Steelers should have more than enough to deal with the Broncos in Denver as their defence is just not the same as recent years and their offence hasn’t improved that much. The DVOA stats really like Denver though, as in really likes them with an overall ranking of ninth but I have more faith in the Steelers. It is tempting to grab the points, particularly with that important half point over a field goal and in the end, that’s what I’m going to go with but I’m not exactly confident.

Gee’s Pick: Broncos
Dan’s Pick: Broncos

Dolphins @ Colts (-9.5)

The Miami Dolphins are 1-4 on the road this year, but are expected to get Ryan Tannehill back from injury this week, although whether the oft-injured quarterback can make a big difference is somewhat up in the air given how beat up the Dolphins are generally. I have just watched the coaching tape of the Colts’ offence putting up thirty-eight points on the Titans’ defence and despite these two teams having the same 5-5 record, they feel like they are on very different trajectories. The question is though, can the Dolphins make it a tough game and though I’m not ruling it out, the form is so different and the Colts have a quarterback so I’m going to go with the large line again, which likely could make Dan happy if I’m wrong.

Gee’s Pick: Colts
Dan’s Pick: Dolphins

Packers @ Vikings (-3.5)

This is a huge game in the NFC North, with the Packers ill able to afford another loss and the Vikings needing the win to stay in contact with the Bears who currently have a three game lead thanks to their Thanksgiving win over the Lions. There seems to be something not quite right with the Vikings this year, both on defence and offence whilst the Packers have been up and down as well. The Vikings have had a real home advantage since moving to their current stadium, but I hate picking against Aaron Rodgers and the extra half point really makes me nervous. In fact it makes me nervous enough that I’m going to pick the Packers, but it would not surprise me if I’m wrong again.

Gee’s Pick: Packers
Dan’s Pick: Packers

Titans @ Texans (-6.5)

The question of this game is are the Houston Texans a touchdown better than the Tennessee Titans and I’m really not sure I know the answer to that one. The Titans have been so up and down this season and are coming off a big loss to the Colts having beaten the Patriots soundly in week ten, whilst the Texans have won seven straight games to be 7-3. There is a solid gap between these two teams by DVOA ranking and with a defence that seems to have finally got JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney fit at the same time I’m leaning Texans to win but I’m not sure by this much. In the end I don’t feel strongly enough to lay this many points so I’ll nervously grab the Titans.

Gee’s Pick: Titans
Dan’s Pick: Titans

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