This week we bring the Thanksgiving Triple Header, three games for you to enjoy.
Last week: 10-4, making the season prediction 97-66
– Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions (+9.5): As a Lions fan, I’m thankful for the three-game winning streak the team has now; it’s the first time since 2017. Unfortunately, there’s no extra gravy on that tasty meat. With both starting guards out with injuries and center Frank Ragnow probably needing a game of his own, the Lions are in big trouble against a very underrated Bills defensive front. And that doesn’t even start with the idea of playing Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs without top CB Jeff Okudah, who is also out.
Bills 33, Lions 13
– New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-10): My first inclination here is “wow, that’s a lot of points to give the Giants.” But the G-Men are a poor fit for Dallas’ strong, influential defense front, and their receivers don’t deter anyone. The Giants also have the NFL’s worst defense on first down, allowing more than 6 yards per carry. The combination of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard should go through the table like a hot knife through butter on Thanksgiving.
Cowboys 39, Giants 16
– New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings (-2.5): I’m very curious to see how the Vikings react to being whipped by the Cowboys last week. New England isn’t exactly the easiest enemy to face with the Skol ship. Minnesota should win, but the Patriots are very good at taking away what Minnesota does best, which is throwing Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson.
Vikings 24, Patriots 21
– Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (+2): I wrote about it on Monday and it’s still true: the Titans don’t get respect no matter how well they play. And their superior record against the Bengals, who have admittedly been playing some pretty good football lately. Jeffery Simmons and the Tennessee front are a huge problem for the Bengals offensive line, and I’ll use that matchup advantage to win.
Titans 20, Bengals 17
– Chicago Bears at New York Jets (-4.5): Robert Saleh grounded the wildly ineffective Zach Wilson at QB and elected to go over the No. 2 seed of the 2021 NFL draft with Mike White. He could get lucky making that call with the No. 11 overall pick from that same draft, Chicago’s Justin Fields, severely limited with a non-throwing shoulder injury. Not that Fields’ wins by throwing the ball, but the threat is necessary to attack the strong Jets defense. I think New York is responding positively to the recalcitrant Wilson sitting on the bench.
Jets 30, Bears 12
– Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars (+4.5): The Jaguars are up for their monthly hiccup where they look like a playoff team. Don’t cut their chances, but don’t expect a win in Jacksonville either. This one may be closer than expected…
Ravens 31, Jaguars 30
– Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers (+2.5): This week’s QB of doom carousel in Carolina revolves around Sam Darnold. It’s almost unfair to ask Darnold to try and prove he’s worth the long run by pitting him against the NFL’s best defense, but that’s why the Panthers are the underdogs at home on the NFL’s worst offense.
Broncos 15, Panthers 13
– Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns (+2.5): This would be the last game the Browns play without Deshaun Watson, who can return from suspension next week. Jacoby Brissett played the best game of his career last week in Cleveland’s loss to Buffalo, surpassing Josh Allen. The rest of the team abandoned him. Get used to that, Deshaun; Cleveland’s defensive tackles are the worst in football and even the Buccaneers’ meager play can take advantage of that.
Buccaneers 27, Browns 24
– Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins (-13.5): The Texans may not win again this year. They almost certainly won’t win this one, not against the pace of the Dolphins. If somehow you still haven’t used Miami in survival fantasy football, this is a safe bet.
Dolphins 34, Texans 12
– Atlanta Falcons at Washington Commanders (-4.5): Quietly a big play in the NFC playoff race, where the Commanders are back in the picture 6-5 after winning five of six. Atlanta is 5-6, but still very much in contention for both the NFC South and Wild Card, but they need a win against a hot Washington team to stay within striking distance for both. I don’t see it, not with the way the commander’s defense comes together and with TE Kyle Pitts looking.
Commanders 28, Falcons 21
– Las Vegas Raiders at Seattle Seahawks (-3.5): I was impressed with the Raiders coming back from a tough loss last week and getting a win against the Broncos. I still argue that Las Vegas has too much talent to be as bad as them, so there may be a roadblock in the air. This should be a great game between Raiders top pass rusher Maxx Crosby and impressive Seahawks rookie RT Abe Lucas. It could very well determine the outcome.
Seahawks 26, Raiders 24
– Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals (+4): Two teams very adept at finding ways to waste leads and lose games meet in Arizona. Justin Herbert is the difference in this one.
Chargers 32, Cardinals 27
– New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers (-9.5): The 49ers are back home after their successful trip to Mexico City. It’s hard to imagine Kyle Shanahan’s team stumbling against the Saints, who have followed each of their previous three wins this season with a multi-game series of losses. New Orleans won last week. I’m not fighting history…
49ers 28, Saints 17
– Los Angeles Rams at Kansas City Chiefs (-14.5): What’s left of the Rams stands little chance against what’s going on for the Chiefs. Sorry, LA, but that Super Bowl title was well worth it. It unfortunately came with a high future price.
Leaders 33, Rams 17
– Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles (-7): A matchup where the Eagles defense reminds you how good it is and why Philadelphia can win, even if the offense isn’t firing on all cylinders. However, Jalen Hurts and company should do well here as well. A waste time score makes the margin closer than the game plays out.
Eagles 30, Packers 20
– Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5): Jeff Saturday makes his Colts play well enough to beat a bad Steelers team that threatens the field as often as an armadillo threatens a jeep.
Colts 20, Steelers 12
Cincinnati 27, Tulane 24
Michigan 30, Ohio State 28
State of Florida 33, Florida 21
Alabama 30, maroon 26
Oregon 35, Oregon State 31
27 USC, 21 Notre Dame