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NFL picks against the spread, Week 12: The underdog Chiefs deserve some attention

It’s not a very good week for the underdogs. Just too many mismatches, but if you can handle a little risk, the Jags and Chiefs might be your best bets in Week 12.

Congratulations. It’s Week 12, and you’re still betting on football games, or at least you’re just curious enough to cruise by and check out our predictions. Either way, you haven’t totally pissed away the family farm on NFL games, so let’s expedite your money making with some picks!

Home team in all caps. Odds are courtesy of OddsShark. Check back because we’ll update this as the lines change.

DOLPHINS (-7) over 49ers

It’s tempting to pick the 49ers to cover a seven-point spread with the possibility of three of the Dolphins’ five starters on the offensive line out this week. Mike Pouncey is out for sure with a hip injury. Left tackle Brandon Albert is most certainly out with a wrist injury, and Laremy Tunsil is a game-time decision.

However, this is the 49ers, who are 1-9 in actual games and a mere 2-8 against the spread. It’s not a team you want to bet on, as tempting as the spread is.

If you want an underdog pick, might I suggest the Jaguars?

Jaguars (+7.5) over BILLS

As putrid as Jacksonville’s been this year, they’re a solid .500 against the spread. That matches Buffalo, 5-4-1 against the spread. The Bills might have Sammy Watkins back this week, but it’s a stretch to think that he’ll be a full go.

Rams (+8) over SAINTS

This feels like a stretch, but the Rams have slightly less of their trademark “seven and nine bullshit” on the road, where they’re 3-2 against the spread this season. The defense is good, good enough to hold Drew Brees to more human-like passing numbers ... not enough win, but maybe enough to keep it within a touchdown, giving Jeff Fisher ANOTHER excuse for why he shouldn’t be fired.

Then again, this assumes the Rams can actually score points. Might be best to avoid this one entirely.

Seahawks (-6) over BUCCANEERS

Six points feels like it’s just not big enough, probably because more than 70 percent of the action so far has been on the Seahawks. Don’t bet on the Bucs.

RAIDERS (-3.5) over Panthers

Injuries have left the Panthers decimated. I’m honestly not sure why they set this one so close given that Carolina won’t have Luke Kuechly this week among a host of other players.

Patriots (-7.5) over JETS

You might be tempted ... don’t be.

Chiefs (+3.5) over BRONCOS

Both teams are 7-3. Denver’s record against the spread actually matches that. Not so for Kansas City. The Chiefs are only 4-6 against the spread this season, including last week’s home loss to the Bucs. Yes, those Bucs.

So why am I picking the Chiefs this week? For starters, I trust Trevor Siemian as much as I do Alex Smith. They’re both terrible, but at least Siemian has an excuse. Second, it sounds like Marcus Peters will be back too, which could give Kansas City a turnover or two and the chance for Andy Reid to get his field goal team on the field. Thrilling!

And here’s the rest of this week’s action.

RAVENS (-3.5) over Bengals

Giants (-7) over BROWNS

FALCONS (-4) over Cardinals

Chargers (-2) over TEXANS

Titans (-6) over BEARS

Packers (+3.5) over EAGLES