Thursday, Nov. 24
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (-2.5)
NB: Detroit Lions. Minnesota has finally regressed to the mean after their ridiculous record ATS in 2015 and early 2016. They may have won last week, but they didn’t play all that well. Give me the Lions to start the day with a win.
RH: Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are 7-1 ATS as a road dog since the start of last season and it would appear they have fixed a few things during last week’s win against Arizona. Matthew Stafford has been on fire the last few Thanksgivings, but I think the Vikings are just a better team.
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-7)
NB: Dallas Cowboys. This has been a banner year for Dallas and this feels like it could be one of those iconic Thanksgiving games for them. Years from now we will see pictures and videos of Dak, Zeke, and Dez rolling over the ‘Skins. It is just one of those years.
RH: Washington Redskins. Be prepared for a lot of points in this one America. Both of these teams have a top 10 offense by DVOA and a bottom 10 defense by DVOA. I think Washington will be able to keep this game close enough for a backdoor cover to come into play.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-8.5) at Indianapolis Colts
NB: Indianapolis Colts. Getting 8.5 points at home in primetime? That seems like a lot, even if Andrew Luck isn’t playing. The Colts are not a good team, but neither are the Steelers this year, especially away from Heinz Field. Take the points.
RH: Pittsburgh Steelers. This was a really tough one to pick. The Steelers have been really bad on the road this season, but it looks like the Colts quarterback in this one will be Scott Tolzien, who I have to admit up until this week I thought still played for the Packers. I’ll take the Steelers, but I’m treading lightly. There’s a chance Pittsburgh just isn’t that good of a team this year.
Sunday, Nov. 27
San Diego Chargers (-1.5) at Houston Texans
NB: San Diego Chargers. This line has switched the favorites from the Texans to the Chargers. The smart money is to go with the Chargers, who are better than their record indicates ovhe Texer tans, who are worse than their record indicates.
RH: San Diego Chargers. The Chargers are coming off a bye week while the Texans are coming off a Monday night game in Mexico. I like that scenario for San Diego plus they just might be the better team despite what the records say.
Tennessee Titans (-4.5) at Chicago Bears
NB: Tennessee Titans. You had me at Matt Barkley.
RH: Tennessee Titans. I warned everyone last week that I wasn’t ready to jump on the Titans just yet, but that thought process doesn’t apply here. Give me Tennessee bigtime against Matt Barkley.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills (-7.5)
NB: Jacksonville Jaguars. I’m going to keep riding the backdoor cover Jags. Also, the Bills best and healthiest WR right now is Percy Harvin. He was retired and unemployed a few weeks ago. That isn’t what you want to give more than a TD to.
RH: Buffalo Bills. I think the Bills might be the most underrated team in the league this season and the Jaguars are just terrible. Terrible at everything.
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-4)
NB: Baltimore Ravens. This is a lost season for Cincinnati and the Ravens need a win to stay in the division race. Also, AJ Green ALWAYS torches the Ravens, but since he won’t be playing, the Bengals will be out of options on offense.
RH: Baltimore Ravens. The Bengals are having a nightmare season that just keeps getting worse. No AJ Green, no Gio Bernard, means no chance even against a pretty mediocre Ravens team.
Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons (-4)
NB: Atlanta Falcons. It’s easy to keep sleeping on Atlanta, but they need this win to keep a cushion on the NFC South. I think Matt Ryan is way more comfortable with the offense this season and I don’t see a second half swoon coming. Also, Carson Palmer.
RH: Arizona Cardinals. I might regret this one immediately, but I’m giving the Cards one more shot. Their season is on the line in this one and Atlanta’s yearly second half collapse might have started when their offensive line was exposed two weeks ago in Philly.
San Francisco 49ers at Miami Dolphins (-7.5)
NB: San Francisco 49ers. The Dolphins can’t be this good. I refuse to believe it. Also, another great chance for a backdoor cover.
RH: Miami Dolphins. Someone break up the Phins! Miami’s defense has been surprisingly good for most of the season and Jay Ajayi has a real shot at another 200 yard game in this one.
Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints (-7)
NB: New Orleans Saints. After a frustrating couple weeks, I think Brees step on the gas pedal at home and routs the garbage Rams. Jared Goff will probably throw a few picks to help the Saints D as well.
RH: Los Angeles Rams. I’ll give the Rams one thing, they make you play down to their level. Aaron Donald and company will give Drew Brees just enough trouble to keep this one close.
New York Giants (-7) at Cleveland Browns
NB: New York Giants. I keep picking the Browns with these large spreads, but I’m done. At this point, these shouldn’t even be single digit underdogs against local high school teams.
RH: Cleveland Browns. This is it. If the Browns do not cover here they are probably not going to the rest of the season. I mentioned last week that regression is coming for the Giants, I just don’t know if it’s this week either.
Seattle Seahawks (-5.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NB: Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are playing great football right now. The LoB will shut down Mike Evans, and there really isn’t anything else on the Bucs offense that scares you.
RH: Seattle Seahawks. The Bucs had a huge win last week in Kansas City where they played their best football of the season. However this an entirely different situation against the red hot Seahawks.
Carolina Panthers at Oakland Raiders (-3)
NB: Oakland Raiders. I think this will be a fairly close game, even at home for Oakland. The only thing is the spread indicates that these teams are even on a neutral field. That just simply isn’t true this year.
RH: Oakland Raiders. There is just no stopping this Oakland team. The train keeps this weekend for Derek Carr and company.
New England Patriots (-8) at New York Jets
NB: New York Jets. The Jets tend to play the Patriots pretty well, butt fumble game aside. It is also great to get 8 points as the home team in a rivalry game. I don’t like picking against the Pats, but I see some value here.
RH: New England Patriots. Normally in a situation like this you just take the homedog and pray. However rules do not apply to the New England Patriots.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (-3.5)
NB: Kansas City Chiefs. The Denver D has been exposed a little bit this season, especially by run heavy teams. The Chiefs gave one away last week, probably because they were looking ahead to this game. I think they will be ready Sunday night.
RH: Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City let one slip away at home last week and know the importance of this game with current state of the AFC West.
Monday, Nov. 28
Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles (-4)
NB: Philadelphia Eagles. Put a fork in the Packers. They are done (cue the Packers blowing out the Eagles).
RH: Green Bay Packers. These two teams are polar opposites of each other. Philly thrives on defense while the Packers have been a sieve on that side of the ball over the last month. Green Bay’s passing offense is still one of the best in the league while Eagles receivers struggle to catch even the most simple of passes. When it comes to running the ball the Eagles seem to get 4 yards a pop regardless of who the ball carrier is whereas the Packers well, they just choose to not run the ball ever. I’ll take the points in a game that could go a million different ways.
NB: 79-79-3 (5-8-1 last week)
RH: 63-95-3 (6-7-1 last week)
-Nick Bair & Randy Haines
Odds according to Westgate Las Vegas
Photo credit: New York Times