Merry Thanksgivingmas. We had a bad week in Week 11, as the Miami Dolphins had their worst home outing of the entire season, the Los Angeles Chargers wide receivers forgot how to catch and the Detroit Lions struggled mightily with the lowly Chicago Bears.
Additionally, Taylor Swift had to reschedule her concert in Brazil, so she was unable to facilitate the merging of two powerful families in Kansas City, as was planned. Without her in attendance, the Chiefs predictably lost. Sportsbooks should refund all Chiefs tickets because the NFL world was under the assumption K.C.'s most important weapon would be active for "Monday Night Football." I'm not joking I'm actually mad.
Here's a look at what I'm thinking this week. As always, credit to the CBS Sports research team for making me sound smart.
All odds come courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook
Top five picks ATS record: 23-29-3
Overall ATS record: 67-91-6
Straight up record: 94-70
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (-8)
Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)
I'll bite on the Lions ... again. They have covered the spread just once over the last four games, but are 4-0 SU and ATS in their past four matchups vs. the Packers. Plus, Green Bay will be without Aaron Jones and Darnell Savage, while Jaire Alexander, De'Vondre Campbell, AJ Dillon and Dontayvion Wicks are questionable to play.
The Lions are clearly the better team. When these two squads met last month, the Lions won by eight points and held a 24-0 lead at halftime. Detroit will be rocking for Thanksgiving.
The pick: Lions -8
Projected score: Lions 31-20
San Francisco 49ers (-7) at Seattle Seahawks
Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC, fubo)
The report of the 49ers' death was greatly exaggerated. After blowing out the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brock Purdy and the boys covered against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers despite the large number, while the second-year signal-caller recorded a perfect passer rating (158.3) in his 15th career regular-season start.
The Seahawks on the other hand have struggled a bit as of late. After getting blown out by the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9, Seattle had a hard time with the Washington Commanders, and then allowed a fourth-quarter comeback from the Los Angeles Rams. Now, quarterback Geno Smith is dealing with a bruised right tricep on a short week. I imagine he will play, but it's a legitimate question how effective he will be.
Both of these teams are 5-4-1 ATS on the season, but the 49ers are 8-0-1 ATS in their last nine divisional games, and 4-1 ATS in their last five primetime games. I'll take San Francisco to cover, and expect a push at worst.
The pick: 49ers -7
Projected score: 49ers 29-21
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)
Steelers fans got Thanksgiving early, as offensive coordinator Matt Canada was relieved of his duties. This was a big deal, as it marked the first time the Steelers had made an in-season coaching change since 1941. I'm not going to pretend that firing Canada will all of a sudden make Pittsburgh an offensive juggernaut, but I do think it's something that can spark this unit.
Running backs coach Eddie Faulkner and quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan will replace Canada, and it will be interesting to see what changes are made on Sunday. Will Jaylen Warren be RB1? Will George Pickens receive an uptick in targets?
As for the Bengals, their fan base isn't feeling as excited. Star quarterback Joe Burrow of course is now out for the year with a wrist injury, so we get our first look at Jake Browning. The Steelers are 5-0 ATS in their last five divisional games, and 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games. Give me Pittsburgh on the road.
The pick: Steelers -1
Projected score: Steelers 20-17
Kansas City Chiefs (-9) at Las Vegas Raiders
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)
The Chiefs are coming off of what was really a shocking loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. It was shocking for multiple reasons. Philly looked dead in the water in the first half, and trailed by 10 points at the halftime break. In the second half, however, the Chiefs scored zero points once again. Their last second-half points scored came on Oct. 22! It's now been a month! Then, of course, we all saw Marquez Valdes-Scantling drop what could have been the game-winning touchdown. The last time Mahomes threw a touchdown pass on a throw 30-plus yards downfield was on Sept. 15, 2022, and there's a legitimate question about his wide receiving corps. At the same time, we all know the Chiefs are still one of the best teams in the NFL, and will likely bounce back.
The Raiders actually impressed in their loss to the Dolphins last Sunday. Antonio Pierce has improved this defense, as they held Miami out of the end zone in the second half. However, Aidan O'Connell and the offense let the defense down in a big way with zero second-half points and three turnovers.
Mahomes is 9-1 vs. the Raiders, and has won five straight vs. his rivals. He's also 5-0 on the road vs. Vegas, and has thrown 16 touchdowns compared to one interception in those matchups. I'm going to guess everyone has the Chiefs winning this game, but the question is the spread. Kansas City has won three of the last four meetings against Vegas by at least 18 points.
The Raiders have new life with coach Pierce, but I'm going to take a superior Chiefs team that should be out for blood. I'd even pour it on in the second half to send a message.
The pick: Chiefs -9
Projected score: Chiefs 28-14
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) at Los Angeles Chargers
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC, fubo)
I backed the Chargers last week against the Packers, and that did not work out. It feels like things are falling apart for L.A. The defense allowed Jordan Love to have his first-ever 300-yard game, and Justin Herbert's weapons let him down multiple times.
Brandon Staley may be coaching his last games for the Chargers. His defense has allowed the most 25+ yard plays since he took over in 2021 with 117. Meanwhile, the Ravens have one of the best defenses in the league, a unit that allows an NFL-best 4.2 yards per play. That's the lowest mark since the 2008 Steelers, who won the Super Bowl. The Ravens have averaged 34.2 points per game over the last five contests, so imagine what they can do against this Chargers defense.
The Ravens show up in primetime, as Jackson is 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in his last five matchups under the lights. In the lone Lamar vs. Herbert matchup, the Ravens beat the Chargers by 28 points.
The pick: Ravens -3.5
Projected score: Ravens 35-24
Other Week 12 picks
Cowboys (-13.5) 30-14 over Commanders
Dolphins 23-20 over Jets (+9.5)
Patriots 16-13 over Giants (+3.5)
Texans (+1.5) 30-27 over Jaguars
Colts (-2.5) 23-18 over Buccaneers
Falcons (+1) 24-20 over Saints
Titans (-3.5) 21-14 over Panthers
Rams (-1) 26-24 over Cardinals
Browns (+1.5) 17-13 over Broncos
Eagles (-3) 27-23 over Bills
Vikings 23-21 over Bears (+3.5)