NFL Thanksgiving Betting Advice: Predictions for All Three Games
I'm not typically a jealous guy. But, as a devoted lover of turkey and a proud Canadian, I feel an intense burst of jealousy one Thursday each November. Canadians get our Thanksgiving out of the way in mid-October, so while you guys get to hang out, gorge yourselves, and watch football all day, up here it's just Thursday. I really can't complain too much - watching football is my job, and I'll probably make turkey for dinner. But it's the principle of the thing. Regardless of whether it's a holiday for you or not, we have three games to get ready for, a short week to prepare for them, and too many distractions this week. Fear not, though - we are here for you. Our annual Thanksgiving games primer will get you ready for the full slate:
Chicago (-3) at Detroit: Every year we are treated to a Thanksgiving game in Detroit . And almost every year it is really hard to get excited for it. The Lions are the Lions, which means that they are unreliable at best - and underachieving as a habit. This year they started out very well and looked to perhaps have turned something of a corner, but then reality struck and they crashed down to earth. They have dropped four in a row. They have had issues staying healthy, with the new twist of QB injuries afflicting them. They are hurtling towards a coaching change that seems more inevitable every week. And they haven't covered a spread in their last six games. They are a horrible team right now and one that is very tough to trust. So, picking against them would be a no-brainer in most cases. But not necessarily this one. The Bears have the second-best defense in the NFC, but their 188 points allowed has been badly handicapped by scoring only 188 points. You aren't going to win more than half your games when you score as many as you allow, and this team is right at 5-6. They are a better team than Detroit right now, but not one that is easy to like or trust. The smart move is probably to skip the game entirely, play an extra game of flag football, and work up an appetite for what is to come next.
Buffalo (+7) at Dallas: The Cowboys are another team that seems to be hurtling towards a coaching change that seems more inevitable with each passing week. Jerry Jones hasn't been shy all year about talking in glowing terms about other coaches. And after last week's rough loss to the Patriots, he was clearly angry with Garrett, and he made it very easy to read between the lines and assume that the end is near. They are winning their division, but only because it is truly awful. If they weren't in first place, they would be trailing in the wild card race by two wins. They should be better than they are - they have the second-best point differential in the NFC - but they are somehow less than the sum of their parts. Buffalo, meanwhile, somehow keeps rolling. Their formula of stingy defense and competent offense is working. Now, they haven't played a tough schedule at all, and have struggled against the best teams they have played. But they are 4-1 away from home and will be ready for this one against the Cowboys . The home team should be favored here, but it sure feels like this price doesn't give the visitor enough respect.
New Orleans (-7) at Atlanta: The Falcons had forgotten who they were for a few weeks, but they crashed back into their depressing usual form last week. This is a team that doesn't have a lot of excuses but is so mentally soft and misses Kyle Shanahan so very badly. They are a third team on this Thursday card - or maybe fourth depending on how the Bears close out - heading towards a coaching change. And it is needed - this team is broken. It should be so simple - a very good team against a very sad one. But, of course, when they met recently, the sad team annihilated the very good one. Atlanta's convincing win at New Orleans ranks as the most surprising and confusing outcome of the week, and the gap between this and the second most confusing is large. New Orleans is much better, in better form, they have better coaching, and a more reliable clutch quarterback. This Saints vs. Falcons matchup should be an easy pick. But it was an even easier pick when the teams played in New Orleans, and that turned out so badly that you wouldn't be normal if you weren't at least a little nervous about this game.
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