It's almost time for a Thanksgiving feast of football. Three games. Countless wagering opportunities.
Two of these spreads are quite large and I can't help but wonder if at least one of those 'dogs is able to keep it closer than the line would indicate. And we get a heaping helping of Prime Time Kirk Cousins in the finale of the day, which lends itself to plenty of narratives and memes.
What more could you ask for?
There are elements to these matchups that I like more than others, though in general none of these spreads excite me all that much.
Patriots at Vikings Under 42.5
We can quibble about the teams the Patriots have played and their relative merits. But they have allowed just 71 points the last six weeks. They are generating massive pressure, have multiple shutdown elements in the secondary and a defensive MVP candidate in Matt Judon. The Vikings offensive line wasn't great before left tackle Christian Darrisaw went down and it was simply awful Sunday against Dallas. Opposing quarterbacks have a rating of 74 against the Patriots and the Vikings are not nearly as complete of a football team as their record would indicate. I expect The Hoodie to suffocate Justin Jefferson. Bill Belichick be okay with Dalvin Cook getting some yards between the tackles and he will harass a quarterback like Kirk Cousins who isn't a runner. We know the Pats offense is very limited and Mac Jones has been brutal. Give me the Under.
Patriots Team Total Under 20.5
Unless the Pats get some help from the defense, this looks like a very tall order to me. New England is dealing with its own offensive line issues. The Vikings are able to get heavy pressure and the Pats have no real quick-strike capabilities. There's no big plays to be had here. The Patriots have produced all of two offensive touchdowns in their last three games. Matt Patricia is not an offensive coordinator.
Bills at Lions Over 54
The Bills defense is very beat up. This is a quick turnaround for them and they are facing a challenging Lions offense that can get after you in different ways in the run game. Buffalo has allowed 53 points over its last two games and the Lions can roll up points in a hurry. The Bills haven't been scoring quite as much as we might expect lately, but that also haven't faced a defense this brutal in quite some time. Detroit is 32nd in points and yards per game allowed and Buffalo's offense is second in both of those categories. Bills games are 7-3 to the Under and Lions games are 7-3 to the Over. I am expecting the home-teams trend to prevail here. I also like the Lions to go Over their team total of 22.5 (-105).
Giants at Cowboys Under 45.5
The Under is 13-7 for these two teams. The Giants have significant offensive limitations at this point, but they blitz like mad and I think that will present problems for the Cowboys. They combined for 39 points in their first meeting and I understand that was with Cooper Rush and not Dak Prescott at quarterback, but this is also a short week with opponents that are quite familiar with each other. The 9.5-point spread gives me pause, and the Giants have found a way to compete and stay in games and make astute second half adjustments. I just don't see a path to many points for them.
Giants Team Total Under 17.5 Points
New York has nothing at wide receiver and nothing at tight end. There are no playmakers outside of Saquon Barkley and a Daniel Jones (when he runs). I could see the Giants having to chase this game and get away from being able to simply run Barkley down the Cowboys' throats. Their injury woes on the offensive side of the ball may very well catch up with them here, especially against an opponent that can get after the passer the way Dallas can.
Patriots at Vikings Same-Game Parlay (+1100)
- Kirk Cousins Over 0.5 INT
- T.J. Hockenson TD
- Justin Jefferson Under 88.5 Receiving Yards
Player Props of the Week
Jamaal Williams Anytime TD (+113)
Williams has done this 12 times already this season and he hasn't played 12 games. He is fully healthy and the Lions have a dominant offensive line and a quarterback who isn't mobile to vulture short-yardage and goal line stuff from him. And you're giving me a chance to make plus money? Okay.
Devin Singletary Over 13.5 Rushing attempts (-106)
Josh Allen has been in a real rut the last month and the Bills showed you last week that they are more than willing to lean into the run game against a Browns team that struggles to stop it. Guess who is even worse against the ground game? Yeah, the Lions. I see the Bills trying to stick with that script, especially on a short week, and a weird one at that with the blizzard in Buffalo. I could see Singletary getting the 18 carries he got a few days ago.
Josh Allen INT (-115)
Only Davis Mills has thrown more picks than Allen the last four weeks. Allen has the fourth-worst passer rating in the NFL since Week 6 (74.1). I'm not sure all of that hero ball and forcing stuff in the red zone is out of his system.
Saquon Barkley Over 74.5 yards (-115)
Dallas sucks against the run and while it didn't show up beyond the first quarter on Sunday at Minnesota – because the game flow got so out of hand the Vikings had to abandon it – the Giants have to stick with it here. Maybe it's a blowout and Barkley doesn't get the attempts we'd expect, but he will break off a few longs ones and hit this total. He and Jones tore Dallas up on the ground last time around.
Daniel Jones Anytime TD (+200)
It's time to pull out all the stops. Maybe Jones catches one. I suspect he runs for one. He is averaging 7.6 yards per carry (more than even Lamar Jackson).
Ezekiel Elliott Anytime TD (+128)
You don't think Jerry Jones wants this? No one is pushing the Zeke parable more than Jerry. He wants that money he is paying Elliott to be worth it and everyone in that organization knows where their bread is buttered. Zeke will get chances to punch it in from short distance (while Pollard excels beyond him in other facets of the game). Happy Thanksgiving, Jerry!
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