With three games on Thanksgiving, I had to get my picks up earlier than normal. Have a good Thanksgiving, eat lots of food and watch lots of football. As always, the lines are from ESPN and my picks are in caps.
Green Bay Packers at DETROIT LIONS (+6.5)
Please note that I am a Lions and may be biased when I say that I think the Lions could actually beat the Packers on Thanksgiving. The Lions have the type of offense that can keep up with the Packers and the type of defense that can make one or two big plays. No one is going to stop Aaron Rodgers, but the Lions may be able to do enough to beat him. Also, know that Lions fans apologize for Nickleback as your halftime entertainment.
MIAMI DOLPHINS (+6.5) at Dallas Cowboys
The Dolphins have been one of the better bad teams. Since, barely losing to the New York Giants in week 8, the Dolphins have gone 3-0, while outscoring opponents 86-20. This isn’t the same team that was sucking for Luck and they’ll keep it close this week.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (+3.5) at Baltimore Ravens
The NFL is marketing this game as a battle of the Harbaugh brothers, but is that really a competition? John Harbaugh coaches the Ravens. John has led his team to a very respectable 7-3 record. However, those three loses were games that they should have won. Games that a great team would have won. And a lot of that is on the coach, mainly for not realizing that you need to get the ball into the hands of your best player to win games. Jim Harbaugh recognizes this. Jim has led his 49ers to a 9-1 record, with their only loss coming against the Cowboys in overtime. Jim will lead his team to their 10thwin of the season on Thanksgiving.
Minnesota Vikings at ATLANTA FALCONS (-9.5)
Speaking of getting the ball to your best player, the Vikings won’t be able to do that this weekend. And it is not because coach Leslie Frazier is incompetent. With a high ankle sprain, I’d be surprised to see Adrian Peterson play. Even if he does, he won’t be effective.
BUFFALO BILLS (+8.5) at New York Jets
I’d really rather not pick either team. But Mark Sanchez was out quarterbacked by Tim Tebow last week and that is inexcusable. It must be tough to be a Jets fan right now. Especially when it’s after your bedtime.
Cleveland Browns at CINCINNATI BENGALS (-7.5)
Jen Engel wrote an article this week calling Andy Dalton the top rookie. We all may have gotten caught up in the Cam Newton hype, but she’s right.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (+3.5) at Tennessee Titans
LeGarrette Blount summoned his inner Marshawn Lynch with an awesome touchdown run against the Packers. If they can keep up that running game, they shouldn’t have a problem with Tennessee.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (-3.5) at Indianapolis Colts
While Cam Newton has been great, the Panthers only have two wins. With only two wins, the Panthers are tied for the second worst record in the NFL. So this matchup is the second worst team against the worst team. Even so, the Panthers are on the road, but still favored to win the game. That is how bad the Colts are.
ARIZONA CARDINALS (+3.5) at St. Louis Rams
So much for that quarterback controversy I proposed last week! Luckily for the Cardinals, they’re still better than the Rams.
HOUSTON TEXANS (+3.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Without Matt Schaub, the Texans turn to Matt Leinart. As scary as that sounds, the Texans might be fine if they stick to running it with Arian Foster and Ben Tate. But then again, it’s Matt Leinart.
Chicago Bears at OAKLAND RAIDERS (-4.5)
There are a lot of interesting things going on in Chicago. They appear ready to grab Kyle Orton off of waivers if he is available, getting back the quarterback they sent to Denver for Jay Cutler. However, that isn’t as interesting as the news that Cutler proposed to Kristin Cavallari again! Seriously, stay away from the Bears right now.
Washington Redskins at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-4.5)
The Seahawks defense has been surprisingly good this year. They won’t have any problem with Rex Grossman and whomever Shanahan decides to trot out at running back. The Redskins have just been awful at everything. Even Twitter. And some of them even think they should be cut from the team.
DENVER BRONCOS (+6.5) at San Diego Chargers
The news that the Broncos waived Kyle Orton came as a little bit of a shock. But not if you consider all of the other talent they’ve given away. Like Brandon Lloyd, Peyton Hillis and the best dancer in the NFL, Tony Scheffler. Even so, I’ve succumbed to the power of Tebow this week in hopes that it actually works as a reverse-jinx.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-4.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
Vince Young, the original Tim Tebow, led the Eagles on an impressive game winning drive. Don’t expect the same from him or Vick against the Patriots.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-10.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
Don’t listen to Bill Williamson, Tyler Palko is horrible.
NEW YORK GIANTS (+6.5) at New Orleans Saints
The Giants are the Ravens of the NFC. They both have erratic quarterbacks, they both lost to the Seahawks and they both play down to the level of their opponents. There was no reason the Giants should have lost to the Eagles last week. Yet they did. And we could all see it coming, even if some of us didn’t pick the Eagles. Now they’ve got a good team this week, so they should at least keep it interesting.