At the beginning of this season, we launched our Sports on Earth Confidence Pool, which allows you to compete against me (and Vegas and FiveThirtyEight, ESPN's smart analytics site). The winner of the pool gets to assign me to write about whatever they would like for my weekly newsletter. And I am proud to say that I am doing well. But this is less because "I am smart" and more because "I'll make sure to do my picks every week because it's my job and not every reader will have time to do that." I'll wait you out, people!

Actually, we can track how I'm doing against FiveThirtyEight and Vegas. Current scores:

FiveThirtyEight: 878 (3rd place)

Leitch: 865 (6th place)

Vegas Odds: 859 (8th place)

Check those standings out! First place is held by "adamcohen15," but, man, is it ever tight. FiveThirtyEight will always win in the end, I suspect. Anyway! It's not too late to join, if you want to join: Just go here.

For now, though: Week 12! Here goes! Vegas and FiveThirtyEight picks are after mine. Home teams are in all caps, with spreads (via Bovada, subject to change, with points indicating first team listed) and tune-in info below (all times ET).

16. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (8-2) over Miami Dolphins (4-6)
(-17) 1 p.m. Sunday, CBS

It's always a relief when the Patriots don't play on Thanksgiving. It saves us all from several unnecessary family fights.

15. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (9-1) over Chicago Bears (3-7)
(-14) 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox

Maybe Chip Kelly wants to grab an NFL job right quick to make everyone forget about what this team is doing a year removed from him?

14. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-2) over Green Bay Packers (5-5)
(-14) 8:30 p.m. Sunday, NBC

That Dec. 17 Steelers-Patriots game is looking more and more like it'll settle home-field advantage in the AFC.

13. ATLANTA FALCONS (6-4) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6)
(-10) 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox

There was a time this year when the Falcons would choke away this game. But they look back to me now.

12. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (6-4) over Buffalo Bills (5-5)
(-10) 1 p.m. Sunday, CBS

And suddenly, the Bills -- the team every NFL fan secretly wants to root for -- became the hardest team in the league to root for.

11. CINCINNATI BENGALS (4-6) over Cleveland Browns (0-10)
(-8) 1 p.m. Sunday, CBS

If I were more daring, I'd pick this as the one Browns win this season. But I'm not!

10. Seattle Seahawks (6-4) over SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1-9)
(-6 1/2) 4:05 p.m. Sunday, Fox

Record aside, the Seahawks still feel like one of the best two or three teams in the NFC.

9. Carolina Panthers (7-3) over NEW YORK JETS 4-6)
(-5) 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox

Cam Newton had a week off after his wakeup game, and he might dominate the league the rest of the way.

8. WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (4-6) over New York Giants (2-8)
(-7½) 8:30 p.m. Thursday, NBC

This is probably as sad as this matchup has ever been.

7, BALTIMORE RAVENS (5-5) over Houston Texans (4-6)
(-7) 8:30 p.m. Monday, ESPN

Quietly, the Ravens are sneaking back in the playoff picture. They're indestructible.

6. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3) over ARIZONA CARDINALS (4-6)
(-5) 4:25 p.m. Sunday, CBS

That the Cardinals are heavy home underdogs to the Jaguars is a sign of just how far things have fallen for Bruce Arians.

5. Tennessee Titans (6-4) over INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3-7)
(-3) 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox

The Colts have forgotten that three wins in a season when your franchise quarterback is hurt is a few too many.

4. OAKLAND RAIDERS (4-6) over Denver Broncos (3-7)
(-5) 4:25 p.m. Sunday, CBS

Now that you look at it, the AFC West has to be the most disappointing division in the sport this year, by far. 

3. Minnesota Vikings (8-2) at DETROIT LIONS (6-4)
(-3) 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Fox

This is a sneaky-good early Thanksgiving game.

2. DALLAS COWBOYS (5-5) over Los Angeles Chargers (4-6)
(-1) 4:30 p.m. Thursday, CBS

Nothing whets one's appetite for a Thanksgiving feast like Jerry Jones.

1. New Orleans Saints (8-2) over LOS ANGELES RAMS (7-3)
(-2½) 4:25 p.m. Sunday, CBS

I'm just taking the hot hand in this one. The Saints' resurgence is one of the great quiet stories of this NFL season.


16. NEW ENGLAND over Miami
15. PHILADELPHIA over Chicago
14. CINCINNATI over Cleveland
13. KANSAS CITY over Buffalo
12. ATLANTA over Tampa Bay
11. PITTSBURGH over Green Bay
10. Seattle over SAN FRANCISCO
9. BALTIMORE over Houston
8. WASHINGTON over NY Giants
7. DALLAS over LA Chargers
6. OAKLAND over Denver
5. Carolina over NY JETS
4. Jacksonville over ARIZONA
3. New Orleans over LA RAMS
2. DETROIT over Minnesota
1. Tennessee over INDIANAPOLIS


16. NEW ENGLAND over Miami
15. PITTSBURGH over Green Bay
14. PHILADELPHIA over Chicago
13. KANSAS CITY over Buffalo
12. ATLANTA over Tampa Bay
11. CINCINNATI over Cleveland
10. Seattle over SAN FRANCISCO
9. WASHINGTON over NY Giants
8. BALTIMORE over Houston
7. Jacksonville over ARIZONA
6. OAKLAND over Denver
5. Carolina over NY JETS
4. Tennessee over INDIANAPOLIS
3. Minnesota over DETROIT
2. LA RAMS over New Orleans
1. DALLAS over LA Chargers

* * *
Subscribe to Will's weekly newsletter; and email him at