Kirk Cousins

Prior to making our predictions for Week 11, we had to offer a bit of an apology — Week 10 didn’t go as well as we’d hoped. We asked for patience and understanding, and those who stuck with us last week were rewarded with a stellar 11-3 record in Week 11 and (hopefully) some modest monetary gain as a result. To the loyal followers out there, we say thank you.

Now is not the time for gloating, though, as we must build on this success. Week 12 is perhaps the best regular season week yet, as there is a full 16-game slate to pick, including three Turkey Day tilts. Thankful as ever for so much football to digest, PointAfter, a sports data site powered by Graphiq, predicted the winner of each game using data from Bing Predicts. Bing Predicts uses web activity and social sentiment — in addition to historical player, team and match stats — to predict the outcome of NFL games. Web and social data allow Bing Predicts to capture real-time information about lineup changes and reaction to them to tune the strengths of teams.

A trio of Thursday games headline this week, starting with the Minnesota Vikings visiting the Detroit Lions in an NFC North battle. Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys look to stay hot against the surging Washington Redskins. As usual, we’ll go from the most competitive game to the biggest blowout and break down each matchup along the way. In the event of ties, the earlier game was shown first. If games had the same kickoff time, we then broke ties based on each game’s opening line.

Note: Also included with game predictions are the opening lines for each game, courtesy of Vegas Insider.

#1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-3) @ Denver Broncos (7-3)

Trevor Siemian

Bing Predicts winner: Broncos (53 percent)

Opening line: DEN -3.5
Kickoff time: 8:30 p.m. EST

In a huge game for both teams’ playoff aspirations, the Chiefs head to Denver in a battle to keep pace with the first-place Raiders. This is the first meeting between the two teams this season. Denver is coming off a bye week and has struggled in its passing game of late. In his past five games, Trevor Siemian has completed just 56.3 percent of his passes with a 77.2 passer rating, though the team is 3-2 in that span.

The Chiefs have had one of the better pass defenses this season, allowing the seventh-lowest opponents’ passer rating (83.9) and intercepting a league-best 13 passes. Denver gets the slight edge from Bing Predicts, though, thanks in large part to its defense. The Broncos have allowed 318 yards per game this season, fourth-lowest in the NFL.

#2. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (5-5)

Antonio Brown

Bing Predicts winner: Steelers (55 percent)

Opening line: PIT -3
Kickoff time: 8:30 p.m. EST (Thursday)

By defeating the Titans 24-17 last week, the Colts have won consecutive games for the first time all season. Now, they’ll have to continue that wee bit of momentum while playing on a short week against the Steelers, though a lack of rest has played in the Colts’ favor in recent years.

Since 2012, Indianapolis is 4-0 when playing on three days’ rest. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, is 0-4 under those same circumstances during that time. Three of those four Steelers losses came against the Ravens, while the Colts have twice beaten the Jaguars on a short week, so those schedules are exactly comparable. Still, Bing Predicts gives the slight nod to Pittsburgh, despite the fact that the Steelers haven’t beaten a team besides the Browns since Oct. 9.

#3. Tennessee Titans (5-6) @ Chicago Bears (2-8)

Marcus Mariota

Bing Predicts winner: Titans (55 percent)

Opening line: PK
Kickoff time: 1:00 p.m. EST

The Titans lost a tough inter-divisional game to the Colts last week, but Marcus Mariota stayed hot. He posted his fifth game with a passer rating over 100 in his last seven starts, throwing for 290 yards and two scores against Indianapolis. Tennessee is the only AFC South team with a positive point differential on the season, and the Titans can’t afford to lose against the woeful Bears while trying to keep pace with the first-place Texans.

Chicago, meanwhile, will be playing without quarterback Jay Cutler, who is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. Matt Barkley is expected to start in his stead, and the fourth-year quarterback did not impress when he was last pressed into action in Week 7 against Green Bay. In that game, Barkley completed six of his 15 pass attempts for 81 yards and two interceptions.

#4. Cincinnati Bengals (3-6-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (5-5)

A.J. Green

Bing Predicts winner: Ravens (55 percent)

Opening line: BAL -3
Kickoff time: 1:00 p.m. EST

The AFC North has been probably the most unwatchable division in the league. Case in point, the Ravens — who are tied with the Bengals for 25th in scoring offense (19.9 points per game) — are currently in first place. Meanwhile, the supposed juggernaut offense in Pittsburgh ranks 15th (23.8), while the winless Browns are, well, still winless.

The Bengals are 1-4-1 in their last six games and enter Week 12 severely banged up. Running back Giovani Bernard tore his ACL against the Bills, and wideout A.J. Green suffered a strained hamstring and will miss extended time. The Ravens haven’t been particularly fun to watch this year, but they can still play defense. Baltimore is second in yards allowed per game (295.1) and seventh in yards per pass attempt allowed (6.8).

#5. Minnesota Vikings (6-4) @ Detroit Lions (6-4)

Xavier Rhodes

Bing Predicts winner: Lions (63 percent)

Opening line: DET -3
Kickoff time: 12:30 p.m. EST (Thursday)

The Lions took care of business against Jacksonville in Week 11, winning for the fifth time in their last six games. These two teams faced off in Week 9, with Detroit topping Minnesota in overtime thanks to Golden Tate physically removing the souls of three Vikings defenders on his game-ending touchdown.

Minnesota snapped its four-game losing streak last week thanks to a return to form from its defense and special teams. Xavier Rhodes returned a Carson Palmer interception 100 yards for a score, and Cordarrelle Patterson returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a 104-yard touchdown. The Vikings only had 217 yards of total offense, but should get a respite in the form of the Lions defense. Detroit ranks 19th in yards allowed per game (358.2), providing a much easier test than Arizona, which allows a league-best 287.4 yards per game.

#6. San Diego Chargers (4-6) @ Houston Texans (6-4)

Brock Osweiler

Bing Predicts winner: Texans (64 percent)

Opening line: HOU -1
Kickoff time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Houston sits in first place in the AFC South despite being outscored by 34 points this season. Brock Osweiler’s struggles continued in the Texans’ Week 11 loss to Oakland, in which he averaged a measly 6.2 yards per attempt on 39 passes with one interception.

Houston’s defense, however, has held up nicely despite being without J.J. Watt. The Texans rank fifth in the league with 318.2 yards allowed per game. The Chargers enter this game desperately clinging to the fringes of the playoff race. San Diego had a bye last week but lost to the Dolphins in Week 10, and the team will need a strong finish to have any shot at a wild card spot.

#7. Arizona Cardinals (4-5-1) @ Atlanta Falcons (6-4)

Carson Palmer

Bing Predicts winner: Falcons (64 percent)

Opening line: ATL -4
Kickoff time: 1:00 p.m. EST

It was a rough weekend to be a Cardinals fan in Week 11. Carson Palmer suffered through his worst game since his four-interception meltdown against the Bills in Week 3. This time, he averaged a season-low 5.2 yards per pass attempt and threw two interceptions, including an incredibly costly pick-six as the team lost to Minnesota by six points. The focus on the Cardinals’ disappointing season took a backseat earlier in the week when head coach Bruce Arians was hospitalized with chest pains on Monday night. He’s since been released and reportedly will coach the game on Sunday.

The Falcons had a bye last week and lost their Week 10 matchup with the Eagles. Atlanta holds a slim lead in the NFC South but ends the season with four home games, so the schedule lines up favorably for a strong finish.

#8. Seattle Seahawks (7-2-1) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5)

Russell Wilson

Bing Predicts winner: Seahawks (64 percent)

Opening line: SEA -6
Kickoff time: 4:05 p.m. EST

By going 6-1-1 in their last eight games, the Seahawks appear to be on a collision course with the Cowboys to meet up in the NFC title game. The main reason for this is that, after a rough start to the year, Russell Wilson is unequivocally, no-doubt-about-it back. Wilson has thrown for 902 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions during the team’s current three-game win streak, with a passer rating of 119.2.

The Bucs notched an impressive road win against the Chiefs last week, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who would pick against Seattle right now. Jameis Winston has thrown 10 interceptions with seven fumbles this season, which is a bad recipe for success against the stout Seattle defense.

#9. Carolina Panthers (4-6) @ Oakland Raiders (8-2)

Derek Carr Latavius Murray

Bing Predicts winner: Raiders (64 percent)

Opening line: OAK -4.5
Kickoff time: 4:25 p.m. EST

The Panthers have positioned themselves at the fringes of the NFC playoff hunt, but they face a difficult upcoming stretch. Three of their next four games are on the road against teams currently in the playoff picture, starting with Week 12’s trip to Oakland. Cam Newton hasn’t been particularly strong during the last four games, posting an 80.6 passer rating with a meager 54.6 completion percentage.

The Raiders, meanwhile, are the league’s hottest team not named the Cowboys. Oakland has won four straight and seven of its past eight, with Derek Carr playing like an MVP candidate. The third-year quarterback has thrown eight touchdowns and one pick with a 102.6 passer rating during the team’s current win streak, and his season-long passer rating of 100.6 ranks sixth in the league.

#10. Green Bay Packers (4-6) @ Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)

Aaron Rodgers

Bing Predicts winner: Eagles (66 percent)

Opening line: PHI -3
Kickoff time: 8:30 p.m. EST (Monday)

The Packers’ skid reached four games in a 42-24 loss to the Redskins in Week 11, as the team continues to struggle running the ball. Aaron Rodgers actually led the team with 33 rushing yards during the loss, as James Starks and Ty Montgomery combined for 42 yards on 13 carries. The Eagles aren’t exactly clicking at the moment, having lost three of their last four, but it’s difficult to find many reasons to pick Green Bay at this point.

#11. Los Angeles Rams (4-6) @ New Orleans Saints (4-6)

Drew Brees

Bing Predicts winner: Saints (67 percent)

Opening line: NOR -6.5
Kickoff time: 1:00 p.m. EST

The Rams finally made the switch at quarterback from Case Keenum to Jared Goff last week, and the offense was … well, still terrible. Los Angeles mustered just 227 yards and 10 points in a home loss to Miami, and the team now ranks 31st in yards per game (299.9) and dead last in points per game (14.9).

The Saints are coming off two tough losses — one to Denver and last week’s defeat to Carolina — but it’s hard to envision the Rams scoring enough points to beat them at the Superdome. Drew Brees continues to play at an All-Pro level, as he ranks fourth with a 106.4 passer rating and leads the league in completion rate (71.0 percent).

#12. New England Patriots (8-2) @ New York Jets (3-7)

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Bing Predicts winner: Patriots (69 percent)

Opening line: NE -7.5
Kickoff time: 4:25 p.m. EST

Last season’s Patriots-Jets matchup at MetLife Stadium was one of the best games of the year, with the Jets winning 26-20 in overtime and seemingly punching their ticket to the postseason. Since then, everything has fallen apart for the franchise. New York lost to the Bills in Week 17, keeping the Jets out of the playoffs. This season has been an absolute disaster, and the Patriots come to town now looking to further the Jets’ misery.

The Jets will start Ryan Fitzpatrick this week, despite the fact that he is tied with Blake Bortles for the league lead in interceptions. Bortles has thrown 13 picks in 415 attempts, while Fitzpatrick has done so in just 298. The Patriots have only nine takeaways on the season but will likely be able to bait Fitzpatrick into one or two mistakes in what should be an easy win for New England.

#13. Washington Redskins (6-3-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (9-1)

Ezekiel Elliott

Bing Predicts winner: Cowboys (72 percent)

Opening line: DAL -6.5
Kickoff time: 4:30 p.m. EST (Thursday)

In Thanksgiving’s marquee matchup, the surging Redskins head to Jerry World to face the team with the league’s best record. After an 0-2 start, Kirk Cousins has been on a roll. He owns a 104.9 passer rating in his last eight games, completing 67.8 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. That spells trouble for the Cowboys, who have allowed a 99.3 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks — sixth-worst in the league.

While Cousins looks primed for another big game, nobody has been able to slow down the Cowboys’ offense. The team is tied for third in points per game (28.5) and is second in rushing yards per game (156.7). Washington has allowed 4.6 yards per rush attempt, second-worst in the league, and the defense will likely have a difficult time getting off the field.

#14. New York Giants (7-3) @ Cleveland Browns (0-11)

Eli Manning

Bing Predicts winner: Giants (72 percent)

Opening line: NYG -6.5
Kickoff time: 1:00 p.m. EST

The Giants quietly own the third-best record in the NFC despite outscoring their opponents by just four points on the season. The team has won five straight games and should make it six against the Browns, who will start Josh McCown after Cody Kessler suffered his second concussion in less than a month.

#15. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8) @ Buffalo Bills (5-5)

LeSean McCoy

Bing Predicts winner: Bills (78 percent)

Opening line: BUF -6.5
Kickoff time: 1:00 p.m. EST

The Jaguars’ struggles continued in their Week 11 loss to Detroit, as their losing streak climbed to five games. Jacksonville ranks 27th in points per game (19.3) and 25th in points allowed per game (26.5). The Bills lead the league in rushing offense, so expect a big day for Buffalo’s ground game, especially if LeSean McCoy is able to return from his dislocated thumb.

#16. San Francisco 49ers (1-9) @ Miami Dolphins (6-4)

Ryan Tannehill

Bing Predicts winner: Dolphins (79 percent)

Opening line: MIA -8.5
Kickoff time: 1:00 p.m. EST

The Dolphins extended their winning streak to five games in an ugly 14-10 win over the Rams last week. After being held in check all afternoon, the offense scored two touchdowns in the final 4:02 to steal a victory.

The comeback marked the team’s fourth straight win when trailing in the fourth quarter. Miami likely won’t need that type of heroic effort against San Francisco, which has lost nine straight games.

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