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NFL picks against the spread, Week 12: Underdogs seem to be the story

A look at handicapping all the Sunday games.

Jonathan Daniel

Sunday is nearly upon us and Week 12 games in the NFL are here. Jay Cutler returns for the Bears, but it looks like Alex Smith, despite being able to play, will probably sit behind Colin Kaepernick. This has made it hard for Vegas to give point spreads. Nonetheless, here are our picks for Sunday.

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (-6): Most places have no line for this game, but we now know more. Percy Harvin is out for the Vikes, Jay Cutler is in for the Bears. Pick: Bears, -6.

Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals (-9): Oakland has been reeling and has to go on the road. Can you trust them? I can't. Pick: Bengals, -9.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-1.5) at Cleveland Browns: Ben Roethlisberger is still out, as is Byron Leftwich. That means Charlie Batch will start. Now, Cleveland is bad enough to lose, but they will be at home and the Steelers just have too many injuries on offense. We're going with the upset and taking the Browns with the 1.5 points.

Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts (-3): Indy returns home after being destroyed by Tom Brady. Andrew Luck has hit a bit of a wall and Buffalo's Jairus Byrd has been making plays on defense. We take the underdog here, too. Bills, +3.

Tennessee Titans (-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars: Well, the Jags put up 37 against the Texans. Tennessee has been very good and very bad. But can you really trust the Jags to cover two straight weeks? I can't. Pick: Titans, -4.

Denver Broncos (-10) at Kansas City Chiefs: I think this is a given. The Chiefs are bad and Peyton Manning is good. It is a rivalry game, but not even the biggest rivalry can overcome the Chiefs' deficiencies. Pick: Broncos -10.

Seattle Seahawks (-3) at Miami Dolphins: The Seattle defense is great, but Miami has been a very tough team. Plus, Seattle has not quite been the same team when they are on the road. Pick, Dolphins, +3.

Atlanta Falcons (-1.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Atlanta takes to the road after a lucky win, where they turned the ball over six times and still won. Expect a big rebound performance for Ryan. Pick: Falcons, -1.5.

Baltimore Ravens (-1) at San Diego Chargers: Is it time for the Chargers' signature late season run? Not yet. Pick: Ravens, -1.

St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-1): Last year, the Cardinals snapped a six-game losing streak against St. Louis. History will repeat itself with a rookie starting at QB. Pick: Cards, -1.

San Francisco 49ers (-2.5) at New Orleans Saints: Colin Kaepernick gets his second start and will try to show the flash he did a week ago. He will face Drew Brees and a surging Saints team. But it is on the road and it is Drew Brees. We're taking the underdog. Pick: Saints, +2.5.

Green Bay Packers at New York Giants (-1.5): The Packers are surging, while Eli Manning is struggling for the Giants. Even though it is a road game for the Packers, we like the underdogs. Packers, +1.5.