Name a holiday more satisfying than Thanksgiving. Go ahead I’ll give you a minute…
Okay by now the only other valid answer is Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa because who doesn’t love presents. Other than that, Thanksgiving is the cream of the crop. The one day where eating until you literally fall asleep is considered a success. When your significant other does not care that you have left the couch just to grab another beer or plate of food. And above all, there is football on from the minute you wake up until the minute you pass out from a food coma.
The NFL typically does a decent job entertaining us on Thanksgiving. This year’s slate looks a little limp compared to years past. The first game of the day projects to be the best of the day which each game getting progressively worse. If that happens to be the case there is still money to be made. Let’s take a look at the spreads and figure out what is what.
LIONS (+3) over Vikings
Is this a semi-upset pick? Probably. Will I regret taking Matthew Stafford against the Vikings defense and red-hot offense? Maybe. But life is all about going with your gut and my gut tells me to trust the Lions at home.
The last time these two faced off in Minnesota the Lions won 14-7. Since then the Vikings have looked virtually indestructible and the Lions have been their normal erratic selves. But for whatever reason they seem to enjoy playing at home for Thanksgiving. Stafford has won his last four Turkey Day games and has eclipsed 300 yards in each contest. Lions head coach Jim Caldwell has gone 3-0 since taking the helm, although he has yet to show any emotion of the sideline.
At the bare minimum I expect Stafford to come out hot and put pressure on the Vikings. Case Keenum has been great this season but at some point the Cinderella run must end. That may come this week, but even if it doesn’t I don’t trust him to outduel Stafford to the point his team covers on the road.
Prediction: Vikings 23, Lions 27
Chargers (-1.5) over COWBOYS
The Cowboys can really use Zeke Elliott. Without him they look like a neutered dog. Dak Prescott in particular has been hard to watch. His last game against the Eagles was cringeworthy to the point many believe he is injured. I think Dak is fine, he just has little to no weapons. Dez Bryant is great and all but the dropoff after Dez is catastrophic.
Playing a scorching hot Chargers team doesn’t make things any easier. Philip Rivers and the offense hung 54 points on the Bills defense which may actually be on par or a little better than the Cowboys defense. If the Chargers eclipse 20 points I’m not sure the Cowboys have the firepower to catch up. Carson Wentz cut through the Cowboy secondary with a fine-toothed comb as he poured on 30 unanswered second half points. Rivers should have no issue doing the same, not to mention Melvin Gordon is also at his disposal. Plus, the Chargers are rocking the best uniforms in all of sports. Rock with LA.
Prediction: Chargers 31, Cowboys 21
REDSKINS (-7.5) over Giants
I wonder how many Giants fans had a nervous breakdown after their squad accidentally beat the Chiefs last Sunday. They had a chance at the top pick in the draft but can now slide to three or worse. No worries, the Redskins have to be pissed off after their fourth quarter collapse in New Orleans. They need this win to keep playoff hopes alive and should have no issue shredding the Giants defense.
On the flip side the Redskins defense will be able to breathe. After being put in a blender by Drew Brees and that vicious Saints run attack they will get the docile Eli Manning and cast of misfits. The only Giant that should scare any Skins fan is rookie tight end Evan Engram. Aside from that there is literally nothing to worry about. If the Redskins come out to play they should win this game with relative ease–even if they did lose their best player, Chris Thompson, for the season.
Prediction: Giants 16, Redskins 27