Happy Thanksgiving!! Enjoy the turkey and the football and of course good luck in your Turkey Day betting!
Green Bay (+7) at Detroit – Here’s the one stat you need to know heading into this one; Detroit has lost nine straight Thanksgiving Day contests and of course those are all at home. Whatever you choose to do with that is up to you but this is the one time to be extremely cautious. The Packers have not won a game since Aaron Rodgers went down on the Lambeau Field grass with a broken collarbone.
Despite this, the team showed some offensive gumption when Matt Flynn was inserted into the game last week. Ironically, the last time Flynn started a game for the Packers was against the Lions and he threw for over 480 yards that evening.
The Lions’ secondary is weak so they must get pressure from the front four. If not, Flynn could have another one of those days but don’t sleep on rookie Eddie Lacy though either who was over 100 yards last week.
The formula for the Lions is simple; take care of the ball and rely on Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush. Detroit is 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games at home against the Packers while Green Bay is 6-1 straight up against the Lions in Detroit over that same span. With the over/under at 50, take the over with confidence (both teams average about 25 per game) and take the Packers with that hefty touchdown advantage.
Oakland (+9) at Dallas – I really hate that new stadium that Jerry Jones has built in Arlington. The old Texas Stadium offered the perfect backdrop to the numerous Thanksgiving shenanigans that seemed to happen back in those days. Now we’re stuck with a perfectly pristine field and video boards bigger than an aircraft carrier.
Oh well…. The Raiders enter the Turkey Day showdown with Matt McGloin at quarterback and he has been OK but the Cowboys might be peaking right now and that spells trouble for him and the Oakland offense. If the Raiders have any chance it’s to expose the Dallas defense which gives up over 25 points per game and over 133 yards per game on the ground.
Tony Romo and the Cowboys’ offense ran the ball pretty well last week against the Giants but the Raiders have been good against the run all season allowing less than 100 yards per game. That means Romo will take to the skies more and when that happens his chances for mistakes rises as well.
Oakland is 2-4 against the spread in their last six trips to Dallas while the Cowboys are 5-11 against the spread in their last 16 home games. The over/under is 47.5 and I actually like the under today. I also like the Cowboys to win, but love the Raiders getting nine.
Pittsburgh (+3) at Baltimore – What a way to rekindle the NFL’s best rivalry. Both teams sit at 5-6 and have their eyes on the final wild-card spot. Pittsburgh defeated the Ravens by three back in Heinz Field several weeks back and now Baltimore looks for revenge. Neither team has run the ball well most of the season and that will be a key today. Keeping the opposing defense unbalanced can help keep the QBs clean.
Since starting 0-4, the Steelers have ripped off five of seven. Since being destroyed by Tom Brady four weeks ago, the defense has been outstanding over their last three games with the exception of the second quarter against Detroit where they gave up 27 points. The other 11 quarters they’ve only surrendered 21 total.
The Ravens will need Ray Rice to get going and need Joe Flacco to take care of the ball which is something he hasn’t done real well in 2013. Flacco will try to get Torrie Smith deep which is an area the Steelers’ defense has been poor at covering.
The Ravens are 1-4 against the spread in their last five home games against the Steelers while Pittsburgh is 5-13 against the spread in their last 18 road games. The over/under is 41 and I love the over. I will also take the Steelers and the three.