Rick Zamperin’s Week 12 NFL Picks: Bills grab 8th win, Brady can’t keep up with Mahomes

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Oof. Week 11 of the NFL season was a complete disaster in terms of my picks.

I went a dreadful 7-7 straight up and a miserable 2-12 against the spread last week, correctly predicting that Washington and Pittsburgh would cover — and that’s it.

This week, I’m going to shake things up and not over-think each game. Fingers crossed, here goes.

Read more: Rick Zamperin: COVID-19 spoils NFL’s Thanksgiving Day triple-header

Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills (-5.5) Buffalo is coming off a bye week while the 3-7 Chargers are travelling cross country. The Bills are the much better team and improve to 8-3. Buffalo 30-27

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (+7) The 6-4 Dolphins are favoured by a touchdown over the 0-10 Jets. That’s a fairly big number considering Miami is coming off a loss in Denver in which they scored just 13 points and rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa was benched. Tua rebounds, but this will be a close one. Miami 23-20

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (OFF) Moved from Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day triple-header to Sunday after numerous Ravens players tested positive for COVID-19. At 6-4, Baltimore needs to win this game way more than the 10-0 Steelers, but Pittsburgh takes advantage of their short-staffed rivals. Pittsburgh 27-24

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Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars (+6.5) The 7-3 Browns are going to rely on their top-notch ground game to attack Jacksonville’s anemic defence. NFL journeyman Mike Glennon starts for the 1-9 Jaguars, who are just playing out the string at this point. Cleveland 24-13

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-3.5) The battle for top spot in the AFC South is one of the games of the week. The 7-3 Colts have a great defence, the 7-3 Titans do not. I like Indy to keep things rolling. Indianapolis 27-21

Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots (+2) Kyler Murray leads the 6-4 Cardinals into New England, where Cam Newton and the 4-6 Patriots are waiting. Both teams are coming off a loss last week. Arizona’s offence is capable of big plays while the Pats still haven’t found their groove. Arizona 24-23

Click to play video 'EE Football Team looking to the public for its new name' EE Football Team looking to the public for its new name
EE Football Team looking to the public for its new name – Nov 23, 2020

New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals (+6) Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow is gone for the season after suffering a knee injury last Sunday. The 3-7 Giants are coming off the bye and are still remarkably in the hunt for first place in the NFC East. New York 24-17

Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings (-4) Two four-win teams whose playoff hopes are fading fast. The Vikings are coming off a loss last week while the Panthers shutout the Lions on Sunday and will likely have QB Teddy Bridgewater back on the field. Vikes RB Dalvin Cook has a big game. Minnesota 30-23

Las Vegas Raiders at Atlanta Falcons (+3) Las Vegas fell to 6-4 after a last-minute loss against the Chiefs on Sunday night. Atlanta is 3-7 after getting blitzed by New Orleans. I think Matt Ryan and the Falcons are primed to pull off an upset. Atlanta 31-28

Read more: Rick Zamperin: Patrick Mahomes is the clear-cut NFL MVP favourite

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Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) K.C. QB Patrick Mahomes is having another MVP-caliber season and is poised to have another big game. Can Tom Brady and the 7-4 Bucs offence keep up with the 9-1 defending champions? Kansas City 33-31

New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos (+6) Denver stopped Miami’s five-game winning streak last week and now host the 8-2 Saints, who have won seven straight. Taysom Hill played well in his first career start last week and he will keep New Orleans on the winning track against the 4-6 Broncos. New Orleans 24-17

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-7) Los Angeles jumped to 7-3 and into first place in the competitive NFC West after a hard-fought win in Tampa Bay. The 4-6 Niners are still dealing with a number of injuries to key players and will be in tough to keep pace with the Rams. L.A. Rams 27-23

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Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-9) The oldest rivalry in the NFL is showcased on Sunday Night Football as the 7-3 Packers host the 5-5 Bears. Plain and simple, Chicago’s offence will not be able to outperform Aaron Rodgers and the Pack. Green Bay 31-14

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles (+6) The 3-6-1 Eagles are in desperation mode after losing two straight games and seeing their grip of the NFC East lead loosen mightily. 7-3 Seattle is coming off a big win over Arizona in the Thursday night opener to Week 11 and are well-rested. Seattle 31-20

Overall straight up 103-60-1

Overall against the spread 63-95-3

Rick Zamperin is the assistant program, news and senior sports director at Global News Radio 900 CHML.