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Philadelphia Eagles (P) at Detroit Lions 12:30 ET
It will be a battle of two teams headed opposite directions when the Philadelphia Eagles invade Ford Field to match up with the Detroit Lions in a 12:30 ET kick to begin the Thanksgiving Weekend festivities.
After firing the majority of the front office and threatening that HC Caldwell would be next, the Lions were given no chance in their game two weeks ago at Green Bay. At that time, Detroit had the worst record in the league at 1-7 SU ATS and entered Green Bay on a 24-game losing streak at Lambeau Field. Responding to the call of the Lone Ranger, the Lions pulled the upset of the year, beating Green Bay (18-16). But the public, not believing the win was for real, gladly suited up AGAINST THEM last week when they hosted Oakland. Again, you and I and the Lone Ranger lined up on the Lions as the contrary selection of the week. Again, the Lions obeyed our command emerging with a (18-13) win over Oakland. This victory had more statistical clout to it. Detroit ran the ball 31 times for a 109-50 overland advantage and out passed the high-powered Raiders’ attack 266-164. Now, the fickle public has jumped on the Lions’ bandwagon. Admittedly, Detroit has held these last 2 high-powered offenses to an average of only 14.5 PPG the last 2 weeks. But, the ground game remains the worst in the NFL at 21/71/3.4. In short, this is not the week to trust the Lions, even against a Philadelphia team that looks like it is their turn to be left for road kill.
The Eagles enter the Motor City following a pair of defeats. Worst news is they both came on their home field. The first was a gut-wrenching home loss to Miami (20-19). Last week, they simply got handled by the formerly impotent Tampa Bay Buccaneers. TBay ran the ball 42 times for 283 yards against Philly, added another 238 through the air for a 521-338 yardage advantage and prospered from a (+3) net TO margin for a (45-17) butt-kicking of the Eagles. Surely, the public believes if they can’t win at home against Miami and TBay, how do they win on the road against the resurgent Lions? Furthering the scenario to fade the Eagles is that RB Matthews is scheduled to miss this contest and the predicament at the signal caller spot continues. It is undetermined at this time whether QB Bradley or Sanchez will be taking the snaps.
With Eagle fans enraged and Detroit fans coming out of the woodwork, I invite you to put the NFL ODDS in your favor and join me for the appetizer segment of your Thanksgiving meal with our NFL PICK on the Philadelphia Eagles. Note that, for as poorly as the Eagles have played, they remain just 1 game behind the NY Giants in the muddled NFC East.
Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys (P) 4:30 ET
The Carolina Panthers travel to Big D to faceoff with the Dallas Cowboys for this 4:30 ET kick in the home that Mr. Jones built. It is a battle of two teams with dichotomous records and leaves sports bettors scratching their heads when trying to analyze this pointspread. After all, it is a matchup of the undefeated Carolina Panthers against the 3-7 SU, 2-8 ATS Dallas Cowboys. Why would this game be a PICK EM? Or, in the minds of Cowboy backers, is Tony Romo really that good?
Carolina enters today looking like the best team in the NFC. What’s not to like? They run the ball 34 times per game for 140 RYPG. Note that any team who runs the ball 34 times per game, while their opponent does not is a near 85% pointspread winner (including 9-0 ATS last Sunday, November 22nd!). While controlling the ball overland, they have a versatile signal caller in QB Newton who can make plays with both, his arms and his feet. The defense is among the best in the NFL, allowing only 95 RYPG, only 58% completions and just 5.0 YP play, a number that is second only to Denver. They have scored 27 or more points, 8 consecutive weeks and have won 14 straight, regular season games. Last week, they defeated Washington (44-16), outrushing the Skins 142-14 for a total yardage edge of 368-186. Throw in a (+5) net TO margin and you get an “as easy as it comes in the NFL (44-16) victory.” This, on the heels of 4 consecutive mid-season revenge victories against Seattle, Philly Indianapolis and Green Bay! Looking at those numbers, is it any wonder that the public is finally sold on these Panthers?
Lying in wait is a Dallas Cowboys team, who despite being 3-7 SU, 2-8 ATS, remains just 2 games behind the NY Giants in the NFC East. With the return of QB Romo, hope springs eternal, after last week’s return of their signal caller led to a (24-14) road victory at Miami. They outrushed Miami 38/166 to 14/70 and STEAMROLLED their way (yes, that was the label on last week’s Dallas victory) to a 24-14 victory. Clearly, they will not lack for motivation with the undefeated Panthers coming to town for the weekend feast.
I invite you to celebrate your Thanksgiving entrée with this main course by putting the NFL ODDS in your favor as the Cowboys devour the Panthers as our NFL PICK of the day this Thanksgiving!
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-9) 8:30 ET
If you have not already stuffed yourself full of winners with Philly and Dallas this afternoon, then grab a big piece of desert with the Chicago Bears tonight! At 8:30 ET at venerable Lambeau Field, the legendary Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears in this NFC North divisional rivalry. Currently, the Packers hold the tiebreaker against the Vikings by virtue of their (30-13) victory last week against the Norsemen. The Bears, meanwhile, shot themselves in the paw with a (17-15) home loss to the Broncos. Many say it’s not a rivalry unless the series is competitive. That has NOT been the case in the games between these teams, as Green Bay holds an 8-1 SU ATS series edge with an average victory of 12 PPG. How will the Bears ever stay with Green Bay, now that the Pack is back on track? When these two met earlier in the season, in Week 1, Green Bay prevailed (31-23).
Entering last week’s key divisional contest against Minnesota, Green Bay was in a major funk. They were on a 0-3 SU, 0-4 ATS run, losing consecutive games to Denver, Carolina and then Detroit, a team they had defeated 24 consecutive times at this Lambeau Field venue. Surely, the motivation of that PHL (previous home loss), the confidence from last week’s victory against Minnesota and the knowledge of their strong history against these Bears will make the Packers the ODDS ON choice to prevail. Last week, in the victory over the Vikings, they rediscovered the ground game, outrushing Minnesota 34/124 to 18/94. It was a complete reversal of form for both the Packers and the Vikings. But, it says here that tonight’s victory will not come so easily.
This is a Chicago Bear team that is undergoing a major metamorphosis under HC Fox and OC Gase. Last week, against the strong defense of Denver, the Bears lost a close one (17-15). It was a tough loss to take for Fox and Gase, who had been fired by Denver at the end of last season. But, the combination of that loss and revenge for the Week 1 home field defeat at the hands of these Packers will bring great motivation to a vastly improved Bears team today. The key to NFL success often revolves around the running game and defense. Do you know that the Bears actually are running for 112 RYPG to 110 YPG for the Packers? Now, the Bears have the scheduled return of their best rusher RB Forte. On the defensive side of the ball, the Bears allow 28 YPG less than Green Bay and actually have the superior defensive YP play. The Bears have enough running game and defense to make this game competitive.
I invite you to put the NFL ODDS in your favor and take the generous 9 points, as we culminate Thanksgiving Day of Feast Week with my NFL PICK on the Chicago Bears.