Thanksgiving and football…a time honored tradition that goes back to the beginnings of pro football. Detroit has hosted a Thanksgiving day game every year since 1944 and as far back as their first year having pro football in 1934. Dallas volunteered for a Thanksgiving game when the NFL wanted to add a second game in the 70s and have hosted the late afternoon game continually since. The NFL added a third game in primetime four years ago for its own network and to get other teams on. So basically its wall to wall football while you fight off the effects of the tryptophan from the turkey you gobble down…Odds are provided by by bodog.net and are for entertainment and comparison purposes only, so don’t come by my house looking for turkey and stuffing leftovers next week if you bet the lines and lose.
Packers (10-0) @ Lions (7-3)
Ford Field, Detroit 12:30 (FOX)
Favorite Packers by 7
Last Week Packers beat Bucs, Lions beat Panthers 49-35
Fast Fact This is the first time since 1962 that an unbeaten team has played on Thanksgiving, that team was the Packers…who lost to the Lions
This is a Thanksgiving game that involves the Lions that aint a turkey. The Pack come in full of swagger but as an unbeaten team that is hard not to admire. Aaron Rodgers is cutting defenses up with better than surgical precision, his 4 INT’s on the season have all come in the 4th quarter and have been meaningless to the teams outcome. The Pack have been rolling over teams with a methodical style bordering on scary. But their defense has been a bit suspect at times but always having to defend big leads. Meanwhile the Lions 5-0 start has been followed by an uneven 2-3 stretch that saw them blowout the Broncos and Panthers but get housed by the Lions and lose tight games to Falcons and Niners. Matthew Stafford isn’t on the same level as Rodgers but can light it up with the best of them. The Packers are the smart money choice to go to Indy in February but they have been playing a bit ragged and the unbeaten talk has got a bit silly. This just seems like an upset waiting to happen. The Lions are due for a real signature win, like the Starr led Packers of ’62 who walked into a Motown Ambush the Rodgers led Pack will do the same thing.
Pick-Detroit (Upset of the Week…and maybe year)
Dolphins (3-7) @ Cowboys (6-4)
Cowboys Stadium; Arlington, TX 4:15 (CBS)
Favorite Cowboys by 7
Last Week Dolphins beat Bills 35-8, Cowboys beat Redskins 27-24 in ot
Fast Fact Dolphins have not allowed a TD in 12 quarters
What a difference 3 weeks makes, 3 weeks ago the Dolphins were dodging questions about the 76 Bucs and if they were as bad as the Colts and the Cowboys were a mediocre 3-4. Now the Pokes are in first and The Dolphins may have save Tony Sparano’s job by getting off the mat and winning three by double digits. They may have also played their way out of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes as well. The Pokes have ambled into first place by beating one tomato can team after another and developing swagger like they think they have anything in common with the Super Bowl winning teams of the 90s. Problem here is it’s foolish to pick against the Pokes anytime between now and their New Years day visit to New York. Colin Cowherd is going to make himself annoyingly giddy as the Pokes roll over on palooka after another. This should be no different
49ers (9-1) @ Ravens (7-3)
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 8:20 (NFLN)
Favorite Ravens by 3
Last Week 49ers beat Cardinals 27-3, Ravens beat Bengals 31-24
Fast Fact The first matchup of two coaching brothers in NFL history, happening 17 years after the first father-son coaching matchup. Ravens coach John Harbaugh is 15 months older than Niners Coach (and former NFL QB) Jim.
The so-called Har-Bowl pits two of the brightest young coaches in the game and two of its stoutest defenses. Both teams are mirror images, ballhawking, roughneck, big play defenses with efficient run oriented offenses that punish you with the big throw if you load up the box. It will be an interesting chess match. I think the Niners having had made one too many cross-country trips will not be able to make the transition on a short week turnaround. The veteran laden Ravens will slow the young Niners down for the time being. If these two teams meet back up in two months in Indy (Don’t laugh, it could happen) It could be a different story.
The Rest of the picks will be posted Sunday. From my neck of the Hoodwood to yours, have a Festive, Filling, Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!