Thanksgiving NFL Games Picks – Vikings vs Lions & Chargers vs Cowboys Predictions
Happy Thanksgiving! We have two early games for Turkey Day and many teams fighting for playoff spots as we enter the latter part of the NFL season. We’ll cover the first two afternoon games in this post and be back with another post for the evening game between the Giants and Redskins. Opening kickoff is 12:30 EST between the Vikings and Lions.
Minnesota Vikings -3 at Detroit Lions +3 Total: 44.5
After losing Sam Bradford early in the season, Case Keenum, a journeyman quarterback, has taken over the starting job and produced. He still has Teddy Bridgewater looking over his shoulder, but the offense has looked fantastic under Keenum.
The Vikings have won five straight games including a 38-30 shootout against the Washington Redskins last week, putting them at 8-2 on the year. Their latest defeat came at the hands of their Thanksgiving opponent. The Lions defeated them 14-7 in Minnesota on October 1.
It’s been a bit tougher for Detroit this season. They’re still firmly in the playoff picture at 6-4, but each game is ultra-important, with the division out of reach for the most part. The Lions have won three straight after losing to the Steelers in primetime a few weeks ago. Last week, they won a nail-biter against the Bears in Chicago, 27-24.
Opening odds had the Lions at -1 to start the week, but the odds have moved in Minnesota’s favor as they are now -3. The public and sharps have taken a liking to the Vikings. Over 60 percent of the bets have come in on Minnesota. The total opened at 44.5 and has moved at most sportsbooks, despite the public being heavy on the over.
Vikings vs Lions Prediction
I think the Vikings are the play if you’re looking to bet a side, but they can’t be found for anything less than -3 at this point. Instead, I think the better play on this game is on the under. The total hasn’t moved even with the public betting the over massively.
Last time these two teams played, we saw a 14-7 scoreline, and it’s not hard to see something similar on Thanksgiving. Detroit’s turf may create some more offense, but both teams play a bit slower, especially the Lions. Minnesota’s recent suggest in their run game may also lead them to utilize the ground game more. Also, both these defenses are above average. This division bout should go under the total.
Los Angeles Chargers -2.5 at Dallas Cowboys +2.5 Total: 47.5
The Chargers may be the best 4-6 team in the league. On paper, the team is a lot better than they have shown this year. At 4-6, a Wild Card spot likely isn’t possible, but with the Chiefs now falling to 6-4, the division is back in play. L.A. blew out the Bills by a score of 54-24 last week and have won five out of their last six games.
It’s been hard times for Dallas after their excellent season last year. They’re sitting at 5-5 and have no chance in the NFC East thanks to the Eagles sterling 9-1 record. They have plenty of injuries on the roster and will be without Ezekiel Elliot another five games. The Cowboys have lost their last two games and have scored just 16 points combined in those two games.
This game also has seen a big move. Dallas initially opened at -3.5 and the odds have moved a full five points to -2.5 in favor of the Chargers. Betting ticket wise, it’s about 50/50, suggesting this is a sharp move. The total opened at 48 points and sits at 47.5 at most sportsbooks as of this writing.
Chargers vs Cowboys Prediction
I don’t have a strong play on either of these sides. If you managed to grab the Chargers at +3.5 early on, well, you’ve got yourself an awesome bet. Dallas is not as bad as they have played recently, but it’s important to remember how good this Chargers defense is.
Still, with the Cowboys as underdogs at home with their dominant line and if this line should move to +3 – I have to go with Dallas.