NFL Week 12 Preview: Thanksgiving Special!

I will have the full Top 10 and preview for Sunday out on Friday. This is the Thanksgiving Special and as I am writing this, it seems the Ravens vs Steelers game is still on for Thursday night. Prior to the game, the Steelers are still in the #2 spot in the rankings. Let’s go game by game and I am going to pick each game and give an over / under pick. I will add these picks to the over-all totals, excluding the over / under picks, because I have not included any over / under picks since the start.

Game 1: Houston Texans (3-7) at Detroit Lions (4-6)

The Lions’ record on Thanksgiving is 37-41-2. They are coming off a terrible performance and getting shutout at Carolina on Sunday. This means that they are now +3 point underdogs at home against the Texans. The Texans are coming off a win against the Patriots and are 1-0 on Thanksgiving as the Texans. The last time the Texans played on Thanksgiving was against the Lions and for those who forget, that was the Suh kick, and overtime debacle with the Schwartz rule.

That was eight years ago. This year, both teams are struggling, but the Texan have won two of their last three. If you look at the team stats on the year, they are almost identical. 22.7 points a game, around 370 yards of offense a game, around 415 yards allowed per game; the biggest difference is Texans allow more rush yards and less passing yard, where the Lions allow more passing yards and less rushing yards.

Stafford’s thumb is hurt, but he is saying he is going to be good to go for Thanksgiving. That’s the storyline I like. Coming off a shutout loss, quarterback is banged up, I am going to take the Lions with the points and I am also going to take the over. The Lions are not going to play shutdown defense, so I anticipate points to be scored. I like the over in this game, right now it’s set at 51.5. It’s Thanksgiving and I am ready to root for points! I also like a pick six in this game.

Game 2: Washington Football Team (3-7) at Dallas Cowboys (3-7)

The Cowboys are 30-21-1 on Thanksgiving. Here are the last few games and results between Dallas and Washington.

2012: Washington 38 | Dallas 31

2016: Washington 26 | Dallas 31

2018: Washington 23 | Dallas 31

If you follow the blog, you know it’s time to put on your tin foil hats. 31 points by Dallas the last three times they have played Washington on Thanksgiving!? That is CRAZY! Dallas is a -3 point favorite and I think they are getting better and better, especially on defense. Washington is coming off a win, where they only had to play half the game, because Burrow got injured and I think they may be too high off that win. McCarthy is going to have the Cowboys ready to play and take the lead in the shit show that is the NFC East. I will take the Cowboys at -3. I am confused as to why the total is so low for this game at 46. Looking at the past matchups, the game has always gone over 50, so I am going to take the over on this as well.

Game 3: Baltimore Ravens (6-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0)

The Steelers are a -5 point favorite against the Ravens for the night game, and as I stated above, as of right now the game is still on, even with the Ravens dealing with positive tests. The total on this game is also low and I can see why. Right now, the total is set at 44.5, and I think the odds makers aren’t expecting Baltimore to be able to score without any running backs.

Here’s a fact, the Steelers’ defense is REALLY GOOD. If the Ravens were healthy, I would say this would be a trap game. But they’re not. I do think this game goes over though, because I think both defenses force turnovers and it gets a little sloppy. There’s rain in the forecast, and it’s a recipe for Lamar Jackson to keep it closer than it should be by using his legs.

I am going to take the Steelers -5 and the over 44.5 and the over is going to get hit late due to sloppy play or a defensive take away in the rain. I am excited for a great slate for the day tomorrow, and it should provide a good distraction for those of us that aren’t able to see family this year.

I hope everyone has a SAFE and Happy Thanksgiving!

~RD

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