Thanksgiving Day Locks!
Food, family and football. That’s what Thanksgiving is all about. And with three games with all six teams coming in off of a loss, we should see some competitive games. The traditional Lions Thanksgiving Day game goes hand in hand with the traditional week (plus) of people complaining the Lions should be removed from this tradition. America’s Team of course gets their annual late afternoon game. And the nightcap is an inter-conference battle between two teams currently in playoff position. We’re in for a good one.
Bears (-2.5) @ Lions, O/U 41
This Lions Thanksgiving game in particular, on the surface, looks like the stinker of all stinkers. You’ve got the Bears who reportedly will be firing Matt Nagy (finally) following this week, win or lose. Has a coach ever been fired during the season following a win? On top of that news, you’ve also got Andy Dalton starting once again due to the injury to Justin Fields. While that may not impact the overall performance of their offense too much, the watchability factor of Dalton is significantly lower than that of Fields.
Then you’ve got the Lions, who are still searching for their first victory of the season. Of all their remaining games, this is clearly the most winnable one. And to their credit, the Lions have come out of their bye week with back to back solid games both defensively and on the ground. Their passing game continues to leave much to be desired, and with Jared Goff likely to return, it doesn’t appear that it will.
All signs are pointing to a Lions win here, so I’m confidently picking the Bears. That’s been the Lions season to this point. They’ve battled tough against quality opponents and then get what looks to be a good opportunity for a win, and they lay an egg. I’ll lay the points with the Bears.
Picks: Bears -2.5 (Deadbolt), UNDER 41 (Deadbolt)
Raiders @ Cowboys (-7.5), O/U 51.5
A month ago, this game screamed Thanksgiving Day thriller. NFL fans salivated at the thought of the 5–2 Raiders battling for the division lead facing off against the 6–1 Cowboys battling for that top spot in the NFC. Fast forward to present day and you’ve got the Raiders entering this one on a 3-game losing streak and the Cowboys not doing much better with just one win in their last three.
The Raiders have serious problems. That’s obvious. It started off the field, but now is showing on the field. The Cowboys don’t appear to be in too much jeopardy of losing the division lead, although a certain team out in Philly is on a roll of late. But they certainly can, and should, be playing better.
I’ll take the Cowboys here. It’s just too hard to say I’ll take the Raiders with the way they’ve been playing. With Ceedee Lamb likely to play, the Cowboys shouldn’t have any problem putting up points, and their defense is opportunistic enough to cover here. I’ll lay the points.
Picks: Cowboys -7.5 (Deadbolt), OVER 51.5 (Padlock)
Bills (-6.5) @ Saints, O/U 45
In the nightcap, you’ve got 6–4 vs. 5–5. But just like the game before this one, you’ve got the Bills coming in losers of two out of their last three, and the Saints coming in on a 3-game losing streak. The similarities between these two games is striking.
The Bills are much like the Cowboys. They are legitimate Super Bowl contenders who are simply in a funk. The main difference is they do have a team more legitimately challenging them for the division. The Saints, much like the Raiders, appear to be in danger of slipping out of the playoffs altogether. They’ve got problems, especially with Alvin Kamara out.
I have to go with the Bills here. I simply find it too hard to believe that the Bills are not a legitimate Super Bowl contender, and this seems like a great buy-low opportunity. I can’t see the Saints putting up too many points, unless the magic of the Superdome in primetime is too much for the Bills defense, which before last week had been playing incredibly. I’ll lay the points here.