After a Sunday off, I’m back with my thoughts on this year’s Thanksgiving games. There’s a real feast of NFL action on our television screens, starting with a mouth-watering contest at Ford Field. The Detroit Lions, not out of contention just yet, host the Minnesota Vikings in what might be the most eagerly anticipated game of the day.
Afterwards, the Los Angeles Chargers face the Dallas Cowboys before an NFC East divisional contest involving the New York Giants and Washington Redskins. Read below for my top tips ahead of Thursday’s trio of American football fixtures...
DETROIT LIONS vs MINNESOTA VIKINGS
This has potential to be one of the matches of the season. Detroit, led by Matthew Stafford, are playing some superb stuff on offense right now whilst Minnesota, arguably one of the most complete franchises in the sport, have been consistently good this year. Take your pick in this one; it really is a tough one to call.
Over 44.5 points has landed in seven of Detroit’s 10 regular season games so far and that is enough to convince me that the over line represents excellent value. The Vikings have built a commanding lead at the top of the NFC North ladder but Jim Caldwell will be confident of slowing Minnesota down here.
Detroit were well beaten by their NFC North rivals earlier in the campaign and a closer encounter is expected. You could stake a claim for a Lions win (5/4) but opting for the points tally may be a better option. Ford Field has hosted five NFL games in 2017 and the over 44.5 points line has been hit in all but one of Detroit’s home fixtures.
TIP: Over 44.5 points @ 10/11
Dallas Cowboys vs LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
2017 could have been so different for the Dallas Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension case has provided an unwelcome distraction during the early stages of the campaign and Jason Garrett is now under pressure. The Cowboys have scored a combined 16 points in their last two games whilst conceding 64 in the same timeframe. Not exactly ideal...
Keenan Allen was sensational against the Buffalo Bills and Philip Rivers could look for his top target again here. Racking up 12 receptions for 159 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Allen pick up where he left off. A road game against the Cowboys offers a favourable matchup – especially when lining up in the slot.
For those expecting a close Chargers victory, the 47/20 available for an away win with less than 48.5 points in the game carries some appeal. If Dallas get going early on, they are more than capable of keeping this one close though and I like the Chargers on the handicap. Road wins don’t come easy in the National Football League but this could be LA’s day.
TIP: Los Angeles Chargers at +1.5 @ 10/13
WASHINGTON REDSKINS vs New York Giants
Backing against Washington would be foolish here – don’t buy into New York’s dramatic win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The Redskins aren’t perfect by any stretch but this is a very winnable game. Kirk Cousins has managed to emulate his 2016 form in recent weeks and the Washington defence should be strong enough to keep New York at bay.
Jay Gruden’s side blew a 15-point lead over the New Orleans Saints last time out and there will be an inquiry as to how that defeat occurred. The Redskins have allowed 30+ points in four of their last five National Football League games and that will be of some concern to Washington supporters. That shouldn’t be an issue here though.
Washington’s offense could blow the Giants away if everything clicks. Gruden is a talented enough coach to avoid this potential banana skin and the Redskins will be quietly confident of notching a comfortable victory here. The handicap is certainly backable at an appealing price of 4/5...
TIP: Washington at -6.5 on the handicap @ 4/5
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*