NFL Thanksgiving Picks (Week 12 of 2020 regular season)



University Professor. PhD in stats. Proud dad of 2 boys.



Written Wednesday November 25th, 2020 at 10 a.m. Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed)

A 4-2 record against the spread (ATS) last week, after posting a 2-1-2 ATS record the week before.

The top pick of the week has been a winner in four of the past five weeks.


We have two picks with the highest 5-star rating this Sunday!

That’s incredible, especially when you consider that we’ve had only three plays rated five stars in the entire 2020 season thus far.

Remember that such confidence picks hold a 2-1 record this year. Since I started this Professor MJ brand three years ago, we are 7-3 under such circumstances.

After giving away ALL of my NFL picks this year, these two gems are available at a $100 fee.

I’m so confident in those bets that I’m willing to make you this great offer:

  • If both picks lose, you get your money back;
  • If one pick loses and the other wins, you’re going to get my next 5-star pick for free, which should occur sometime later this season;
  • If both picks win, everyone’s happy and richer!

I don’t recommend that you wait any longer before getting those 2 awesome picks because the lines are likely to move against you. I already placed my bets because I suspect the lines will only get worse as money pours in.

Simply follow this link for these great bets. You don’t want to miss out on this unique opportunity to have two 5-star picks during the same week

Let’s keep rolling, and Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!


My top pick for the whole day is to go with the Texans -2.5 in Detroit.

The Lions have posted a mediocre 5-15 ATS record the last 20 times they lost a game by 14+ points. Also, they have beaten the spread on just two occasions during the last seven matchups where they were home underdogs.

Houston has a 5-2-2 ATS record when playing on the road against a team with a losing record, but they’ve been awful the last 11 times they played on a Thursday. Indeed, their 2-9 ATS record is not very inspiring.

Still, I like how the Texans showed up last week against New England. Deshaun Watson is completing close to 70% of his passes this year, along with 20 TD passes and 5 interceptions.

Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford has completed just 63% of his passes with 17 TDs and 7 picks. He has a right thumb injury that might affect his play. He is likely to get his top target back, Kenny Golladay. If the wide receiver misses the game, I love this pick even more.

Did you look at the Lions’ injury list? Seven out of their 11 starters on offense are listed as questionable or probable. And they have at least six more on defense.

QB Matthew Stafford, WR Kenny Golladay and TE T.J. Hockenson are banged up, but seem on track to suit up for Thursday. Things aren’t as clear regarding RB D’Andre Swift, WR Danny Amendola and offensive linemen Jonah Jackson and Halapoulivaati Vaitai.

Update (Wednesday morning): Kenny Golladay now seems more likely to miss the game than to play it. Great news for Houston bettors!

On Houston’s side, my main concern pertains to left tackle Laremy Tunsil. The latest reports suggest he has a 50-50 shot of taking the field, as is the case for left guard Senio Kelemete.

Update (Wednesday morning): Tunsil is said to have a good chance of suiting up this Thursday. Another good news for us!

 Bonus tip: I am leaning towards taking over 51.5 points. Both teams have a bad defense and a struggling running game. That means they are likely to throw often, which avoids running out the clock with the ground game (whereas incomplete passes stop the clock).


Let me start off by saying that I won’t bet this game.

If you forced me to bet, I’d probably go with under 46 points. I know, I know. The last 10 meetings between these two clubs have led to 8 overs and 2 unders, including a perfect 5-0 on the over in games played in Dallas.

Still, I see both offenses struggling to move the ball. Andy Dalton was impressive in Minnesota last week, but Washington’s defense is much better. And they rush opposing QBs much better than the Vikings since they are tied in third place for the most sacks in the league.

Call me crazy, but I believe the Cowboys defense is doing better. After allowing an average of 36 points per game over their first six contests, Dallas has allowed 25 per match in their past four. They seem to have more fight in them, and they won’t be playing softly against a division rival.

Alex Smith has done a fine job replacing Kyle Allen at quarterback, but he’s mostly completing short passes. And he still has just 2 TD passes versus 4 interceptions in 2020.

Also, running back Antonio Gibson and stud wide receiver Terry McLaurin are injured. They will likely take the field, but they are not 100%.

As for the point spread, would I prefer to bet Washington or Dallas? I am really torn here. The Cowboys will be looking to avenge an ugly 25-3 loss in Week 7 against Washington, but there are many other factors favoring Washington… If you forced me to make a pick, I’d go with Washington +3.

For these reasons, the only bet I would consider making would be under 46 points.


(Game was moved to Sunday. The betting analysis below still applies)

Running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins will miss the game after testing positive for COVID-19 Sunday night. Gus Edwards will step in as the starting running back. Having all three guys would obviously be preferable, but Edwards has done a fine job at the position. In some games, he even looked like the better of the three.

The Ravens lost 28-24 at home against the Steelers back in Week 8. You know I like the revenge factor, so that plays a role in my decision this week. Notice how Baltimore dominated total yardage 457 to 221 in that game, but they were screwed by four turnovers.

Also, I like to back elite teams after a straight loss (even better when the in-season revenge thing comes into play as well). However, after losing three out their past four games, we are left wondering if the Ravens are indeed an elite team or not…

Baltimore has fared well in Pittsburgh recently, as shown by their 4-1-1 ATS record. They have also beaten up the spread six of the last seven times they were established as road underdogs.

However, there are several trends favoring the Steelers too. For example, they are 5-0-1 ATS after winning a match by 14 points or more, and they have beaten the spread the last four times they were home favorites.

Overall, I am leaning towards the Ravens +5, but the truth is I won’t personally bet this game.


Official pick:

  • Texans -2.5 at Lions (rated 3 stars)


  • Over 51.5 Texans-Lions
  • Under 46 Washington-Dallas
  • Washington +3 at Cowboys
  • Ravens +5 at Steelers

A final reminder that you have the rare opportunity to obtain two 5-star picks on the same week.

Simply follow this link, buddy!


Professor MJ

(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)