2018 NFL Thanksgiving Day Rundown - Lions and Touchdowns and Bears, Oh My!

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Jay Ginsbach

November 21st, 2018

The 2018 NFL Thanksgiving Day feast includes three games to keep you stuffed throughout the day. The point spreads support the favorites intensely, suggesting that the underdogs could get the stuffing knocked out of them.

Thanksgiving Day favorites are 27-11 ATS (71%) since 2005. Let’s see if that trend continues.

Chicago Bears (-3.5) at Detroit Lions – The Bears' (7-3) Sunday night win over the Vikings (5-4-1) extended their lead in the NFC North. Chicago has the shortest turnaround ever for a Thursday night game at less than 85 hours with an early Thanksgiving Day kickoff. The Lions (4-6)  don’t match up defensively with the Bears' NFC-best defense allowing 314.4 yards per game and just 4.9 yards per play. Detroit is allowing  allowing 6.3 yards per play (29th) including 6.9 YPPL over their last three games against the Vikings, Panthers and Bears, who beat Detroit 34-22 on Nov. 11 as a 7-point favorite. Mitchell Trubisky offset a poor rushing day for the Bears (54 yards) by passing for 355 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Lions are 4-1 SU/ATS in their last five Thanksgiving Day games, and staying at home off a 20-19 victory over Carolina Sunday gives Detroit a situational edge against the Bears in a very short turnaround. Stats and team strength goes to Chicago, and I like the Bears defense to be the difference in a tough scheduling spot against a Lions offense averaging just 274.2 yards per game over their last three contests.

2018 NFL Thanksgiving Day Pick: Chicago Bears -3.5

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-7.5) – This line is inflated based on last week’s results and the look ahead line out of Las Vegas prior to last week’s results was Dallas -5. Still, the point of attack play favors the Cowboys and their strong defense, which will get after new QB Colt McCoy following the severe leg injury to Alex Smith last week.  The Cowboys (5-5) are off back-to-back road underdog wins and gaining confidence, and a victory over Washington (6-4) puts Dallas into a tie for first place. Value may seem to lie with Washington, but the situation is not good, nor is the rematch. I think Dallas gets the victory by more than a touchdown, controlling the proceedings at the point of attack with Ezekiel Elliott carrying a big load in victory.

2018 NFL Thanksgiving Day Pick: Dallas Cowboys -7.5

Atlanta at New Orleans (-13) – The over/under is a week-high 59.5 points, and we still think it will exceed that number in a high-scoring shootout. If the line holds at -13, it will be the largest point spread in the series history. Atlanta’s defense remains decimated and deficient, and the Falcons are allowing an NFC worst 405.2 yards per game. The Saints offense is elite averaging a league-high 37.8 points per game and just rolled up 546 yards at 7.6 yards per play against a stronger Eagles defense. These two teams met in Week 3 and the Saints escaped in overtime 43-37. Both QB’s Drew Brees and Matt Ryan were superb, as Brees passed for 396 yards and 3 touchdowns while Matt Ryan passed for 374 yards and 5 touchdowns with no interceptions in the contest. The Saints have the stronger, more balanced offense and are so explosive. But both teams have tremendous talent at the skill positions and pure passing quarterbacks that are efficient. Another shootout on a fast track should be no surprise.

2018 NFL Thanksgiving Day Pick – OVER  59.6

Fairway Jay is a professional handicapper based out of Las Vegas. He focuses primarily on the four majors along with college football and college basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @FairwayJay.