Week 12 NFL Pick'em & Survivor Pool Picks: Lions Gobble Up Packers

Nov 22, 2023
Week 12 NFL Pick'em & Survivor Pool Picks

Thanksgiving week grants us three contests on Thursday, one more bonus on Black Friday, and 12 contests on Sunday. With the help of PoolGenius' customizable tools and data, I’ll select matchups with some value so that you can get to the top of those leaderboards in pick'em contests and survive another week in knockout pools.

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Week 11 Recap

Last week was a mixed bag as the Lions and Dolphins came out on top while the Commanders and Chargers fell as the favorites. My record in this column is now 21-10 since starting in Week 5.

Pick'em Pool Breakdown

Before I get into the picks, note I’m not suggesting you should make all of the picks listed below. The best Week 12 picks for your NFL pool depend on strategy factors such as your pool’s size, rules, and prize structure, plus situational factors like your current place in the standings and the number of weeks remaining.

However, these picks do provide some of the best opportunities to differentiate your Week 12 picks from your pool opponents by taking on only a modest amount of risk, or no additional risk at all.

Favorite Favorites

Dallas Cowboys vs. Commanders

Washington fell to the Tommy DeVito-led Giants last week and Dallas beat the Giants 49-17 just two weeks ago. Dak Prescott is dialed in and this should be a Thanksgiving Day massacre. The Cowboys are favored by 11 points (the highest on the slate) with 84% win odds via Vegas and PoolGenius.

Public bettors are taking Dallas 98% of the time so you’ll win or lose this pick with your whole pool.

Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay

The other Thanksgiving game should be a fun one as the Packers have been more inspired on offense but are down Aaron Jones. The Lions are just too stacked with weapons for Green Bay to keep up with and will fall short. Detroit is a 7.5-point home favorite in this one with 76% Vegas win odds.

As always with these lopsided contests, you’ll win or lose with most of your pool as 98% of bettors are taking the Lions this week.

Sensibly Priced Favorites

San Francisco 49ers @ Seahawks

The 49ers have won three straight against Seattle with their run game, as they averaged 180 rushing yards in each of those contests. They also have Brock Purdy and a plethora of weapons who are all in synch right now. Seattle is trending in the opposite direction and just won't be able to hang in this one.

San Francisco is a touchdown favorite in this NFC West matchup with 75% odds to come out with a win. This game falls in the sensibly priced category, as the public is taking the 49ers 91% of the time which is high, but not as high as games with similar spreads like Detroit (98%) or Kansas City (96%).

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Bengals

The Steelers should be inspired without Matt Canada calling the plays and Cincy is without QB Joe Burrow. This will likely be a run-heavy game with TJ Watt taking care of Jake Browning. Pittsburgh is favored by one point in this AFC North showdown with just 52% PoolGenius win odds. The public is selecting the Steelers just 66% of the time which presents decent value this week in the pick.


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Survivor Picks for Week 12

Win Odds: Top 5 Week 12 Picks

Stating the obvious here, but higher is better when it comes to winning odds. Everything else being equal, you want to pick the team with the best likelihood of making it through.

Here are the five safest teams this week, according to the PoolGenius Data Grid model (chances to win in parentheses):

  • Cowboys vs Commanders (84%, 11-point favorites)
  • Dolphins @ Jets (81%, 9.5-point favorites)
  • Chiefs @ Raiders (79%, 9-point favorites)
  • Lions vs. Packers (76%, 7.5-point favorites)
  • 49ers @ Seahawks (75%, 7-point favorites)

Pick Popularity

Diversifying your survivor picks from the crowd is an advantageous strategy, as the pool winnings can increase significantly if your pick hits and another popular pick loses.

Here are the five most popular survivor picks for Week 12 (referencing Data Grid mentioned earlier):

  • Vikings vs. Bears (29%)
  • Titans vs. Panthers (20%)
  • Chiefs @ Raiders (15%)
  • Lions vs. Packers (8%)
  • Cowboys vs. Commanders (4%)

Future Value

The last piece of the survivor pool puzzle is future value. If you fire off a powerful team in Week 12, you won’t be able to use them later. According to PoolGenius, here are the top five teams in future value entering this week for a 100-entry standard rules pool:

  • Chiefs (3.8)
  • 49ers (3.4)
  • Dolphins (3.3)
  • Eagles (2.8)
  • Cowboys (1.7)


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