We’re down to five weeks left in the NFL season, and with a huge Thursday for sports betting, it’s time to figure out where to place your bets. We go over Thanksgiving, and the rest of the Week 13 slate.
We finally made it to Thanksgiving, and one thing’s certain, there are good teams in the NFL and bad teams. We’ve lost most of those teams that find themselves in the middle of the pack. They’ve either moved closer to the front or close to the back. There are maybe 17 teams that still have a chance to make it into one of the 12 playoff spots. That includes the Cleveland Browns, who need a lot of help.
The problem with teams separating themselves like they have, oddsmakers have counteracted that with big spreads. That wasn’t so much a problem last week, as six teams won by at least two scores. There were some blowouts last week, including two marquee matchups that make us really question the Rams and Packers (in case the Rams weren’t underachieving enough).
This week, we look forward to spending some quality time with our families, while spending hours on our phone live betting the Thanksgiving games. That makes this week a really interesting one, mostly because we could either take our Thursday winnings and take some chances on Sunday, or because we can use Sunday to make up for our Thanksgiving losses.
Last Week: 6-8
Season Record: 80-94-1
All lines taken from The Action Network.
Chicago Bears (-3) at Detroit Lions
This game just feels like one that’s going to ruin you no matter how you bet it. Can you trust the Bears offense, or will the Lions once again fall apart under pressure? The Lions are terrible, and just gave another win to the useless Washington Redskins. Things are so bad in the Motor City, that they’ve asked tight end Logan Thomas to prepare as the emergency backup quarterback. Matthew Stafford will miss his fourth straight game, and Jeff Driskel has been limited in walk throughs.
We all know the Bears’ story. They came in to this season as legit Super Bowl contenders. Another year under the Matt Nagy system along with an improved Mitch Trubisky and a defense that can stop anyone is the equation that equals winning. However, the decisions just continued to make less and less sense. They traded Jordan Howard and then used Tarik Cohen like a wide receiver. Trubisky took ten steps back. It’s been awful.
These two teams faced off a few weeks ago, and the Bears won the game at home. This was the game where Stafford sat at the last minute, and Driskel played decently well. This feels like it’s going to be weird. The Lions just lost to the Redskins, so now they are getting three points at home on Thanksgiving. We will take the points when two bad teams face off.
Pick: Detroit (+3)
Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys (-7)
This is a huge line for the Cowboys. The Buffalo Bills have eight wins, two more than Dallas, yet they’re getting a full touchdown on three days rest. The Bills are a big win against the Broncos, but admittedly the Bills haven’t beaten a good team yet. The best team they beat was a Marcus Mariota led Titans team. Still, this is a lot of points.
The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a loss where the Patriots defense and the weather completely stopped the team’s offense. Also, the coaching for the Cowboys was just putrid. It was clear this was a major disadvantage for them that isn’t getting fixed until the offseason. Jerry Jones had some brutal words for his team, and he’s looking down a $40 million per season contract for Dak Prescott. He knows now is the time to win while Prescott is under a minuscule deal.
We expect the Cowboys to bounce back in a major way, but we see both these offenses responding. This is the first time the Bills have played on Thanksgiving since 1994. They’ll have a little motivation, even with playing on the road. We like the Cowboys to win, but the Bills will find a way to cover, even if it takes some Josh Allen heroics.
Pick: Buffalo (+7)
New Orleans Saints (-7) at Atlanta Falcons
The New Orleans Saints lost to the Atlanta Falcons two weeks ago. This is one of those weird parts of the schedule where a team plays twice in a month. It seems like this could be avoided, but alas here we are. The Saints bounced back with wins against the Panthers and Buccaneers, to make this four straight games against NFC South opponents. However, this is a different Saints team. Alvin Kamara is getting completely healthy. Drew Brees is far away from his thumb injury.
The Falcons came back to Earth last week when the Bucs took them to town on their own home field. They were riding high, that is until Mike Evans and Chris Godwin took them to task. The Falcons also have a laundry list of injuries that include Julio Jones, who is dealing with a shoulder issue. Devonta Freeman could return, but he might not. Tight end Austin Hooper isn’t expected to play, either.
The Saints are looking to avenge their loss to the Falcons, and it’s going to be Matt Ryan versus the world on short rest. We don’t like giving any team this many points on at home, but there’s just too much going against the Falcons and too much going for the Saints to think the Falcons can keep this a one-score game.
Pick: Saints (-7)