As is what seems to be the case every year, a Thanksgiving Day game involving the Detroit Lions is seemingly in place to simply make the following games look that much better.
4-6 Philadelphia Eagles at 3-7 Detroit Lions; 12:30 pm ET on FOX
Lions -2½ . . . . . over/under 46 . . . . . Lions -135, Eagles +115
After a terrible start to the season, Detroit has now screwed things up further by winning their last two games – and thus, for the time being, put themselves out of the top five for next year’s draft. Detroit’s defense is playing better and, while still very much a work in progress, the offensive line has improved as well. Philadelphia has problems on and off the field, culminating in last week’s debacle at home against a mediocre Tampa Bay team. So which college will Chip Kelly be coaching next year? Philly fans could not care less that he won 19 of his first 28 games as the head coach for the Eagles.
Prediction: Lions 24, Eagles 20
Pick: Lions -2½ . . . . under 46 . . . . Lions -135
10-0 Carolina Panthers at 3-7 Dallas Cowboys; 4:30 pm ET on CBS
Cowboys -1 . . . . . over/under 45½ . . . . . Panthers +100, Cowboys -120
This line baffles me; what, am I supposed to be impressed that Dallas beat an awful Miami team, but not impressed with Carolina’s dismantling of Washington last week? Of course the Cowboys are a better team with Tony Romo, but Carolina’s defense should dominate. The Panther D ranks first in takeaways (25), third in sacks (31), fourth in yardage (323 yards per game) and fifth in scoring (19.1 points per game). While much has been made of Cam Newton‘s completion percentage (57.0%, 28th) and passer rating (90.4, 17th), he has a better than 2:1 ratio of touchdown pass to picks (20:9) – and has rushed for six touchdowns on top of that. I wonder what Jerry Jones next ill-advised decision will be?
Prediction: Panthers 27, Cowboys 17
Pick: Panthers +1 (four units) . . . . under 45½ . . . . Panthers +100 (two units)
4-6 Chicago Bears at 7-3 Green Bay Packers; 8:30 pm on NBC
Packers -8½ . . . . . over/under 45 . . . . . Bears +350, Packers -450
It is Brett Favre Day at Lambeau Field, but the real story – and rightfully so – will be the honoring of Bart Starr during Favre’s ceremony. Starr won five NFL championships as the starting quarterback for Green Bay, but instead is usually referred to as a ‘two-time Super Bowl champ’ – as if nothing prior to the first NFL-AFL championship game mattered, or even occurred. Chicago gets WR Alshon Jeffery and RB Matt Forte back on the field, but it will be difficult to take the cheeseheads out of the game.
Prediction: Packers 24, Bears 20
Pick: Bears +8½ (one unit) . . . . under 45 . . . . Bears +350
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
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Tags: 2015 NFL Season against the spread betting line Carolina Panthers Chicago Bears Dallas Cowboys Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers NFL odds Philadelphia Eagles picks predictions Week 12