NFL Picks for Thanksgiving (Week #13 - Thursday)
NFL PICK WEEK #13 - Thursday Games
BY PROFESSOR MJ
PICK #1: New Orleans Saints -6.5 at Atlanta Falcons (rated 4 stars)
Do you think Drew Brees and company remember their Week #10 meeting with the Falcons, a game in which Atlanta cruised to a stunning 26-to-9 victory despite being 14-point underdogs? I think so, and this is going to be payback time!
The Saints offense is firing on all cylinders, after scoring at least 30 points in four of their past five games. I have serious doubts about the Falcons defense repeating their performance from three weeks ago. They have allowed an average of 27 points per game this season, including 35 last week against the Bucs.
One might argue this is a dangerous sandwich game for New Orleans since they faced Carolina last week and are awaiting a key meeting with the 49ers next week. But how could they possibly look past the Falcons considering they are divisional foes and have lost to them earlier in the year? They won’t underestimate them this time around.
Left tackle Terron Armstead, who is responsible for blocking Drew Brees’ blind side, is out with a high-ankle sprain. I must admit this is a source of concern. At least, all signs are pointing towards the return of cornerback Marshon Lattimore who should be in the lineup to cover Julio Jones.
On Atlanta’s side, running back Devonta Freeman is questionable to play. Tight end Austin Hooper is likely out, while star wide receiver Julio Jones has a good chance to be in the lineup.
PICK #2: Buffalo Bills +6.5 at Dallas Cowboys (rated 3 stars)
Both teams have had a similar path thus far this season, with the exception of Dallas running into more bumps. Indeed, Buffalo and Dallas have yet to beat a single winning opponent; the lone exception is the Bills getting the W against the 6-5 Tennessee Titans.
However, Dallas is going to face A LOT more pressure in this game. Owner Jerry Jones spoke at length about his dissatisfaction with the team’s performance. I’m pretty sure head coach Jason Garrett is feeling the heat. Under such circumstances, playing at home may not be ideal. If things don’t go as plan, the boo birds will be quick to show up.
The point spread is simply too big, in my opinion. It won’t be an easy game for the Cowboys. Buffalo’s defense seems to be back to its early season form.
I expect a low-scoring game that will be decided in the final minutes of the game. I don’t know which team is going to win, but I certainly like the Bills to cover the 6.5 point spread. Buffalo definitely has a shot to win this game.
PICK #3: Chicago Bears -3 at Detroit Lions (rated 1 star)
The revenge factor goes in favor of the Lions since they lost their Week #10 meeting with Chicago by a 20-to-13 score. But I’m still going to go with the Bears, even though they have burned me several times in 2019.
The key thing is Jeff Driskel’s hamstring injury. Head coach Matt Patricia just said Driskel’s hamstring is pretty sore and he did not guarantee he’ll suit up this Thursday. If he cannot go, that would be a disaster for the Lions. They would need to turn to David Blough, a guy that is far from looking like a potential NFL starter.
Even if Driskel plays, a big part of his game is his mobility. Being hurt will limit his ability to escape from Khalil Mack and his friends. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen for Detroit. Driskel has only played three games this season, and the Bears were one of those opponents. They got a chance to play him, so they already have some knowledge about the way he plays.
The Bears not only won the past three meetings with the Lions, but they also beat the spread in each of those games.
I’m taking Da Bears to win big.
UPDATE ON WEDNESDAY NOV. 27 AT 9 PM: David Blough is officially starting for Detroit! The line jumped from 3 to 5.5. We got a great bargain with the 3-point spread. Let's hope it hits!
(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)