Maybe I have this thing figured out (probably not), but I went 8-4-2 in Week 11 to get me a little ahead in the season. And the season record would be fine if I could erase the extremely impressive 0-12-2 record I had in Week 7. This week here could be a very big week. It’s an odd week with a lot of big point spreads and a lot of home dogs — two things I tend to gravitate towards.
Minnesota Vikings (-3) at Detroit Lions
Thanksgiving is Turkey, and Lions and Cowboys football. The Lions, I feel (I didn’t look it up) always seem to play up on Thanksgiving and they are a home dog in a divisional game, although I do think the Vikings are legitimately the better team.
Final score: Minnesota 30, Detroit 23
LA Chargers (-1) at Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott over the last two games without Tyron Smith: 5.9 yards per pass attempt, and 4.7 yards per attempt. Sacked 12 times and 3 INT with zero touchdowns. The Chargers don’t do everything well, but they really rush the passer. The Cowboys NEED Smith back in this game and right now he’s questionable to play. I think with Smith, though, the Cowboys are the better team and they are home dogs getting points on Thanksgiving.
Pick: Cowboys win out-right.
Final score: Chargers 28, Cowboys 6
New York Giants (+7) at Washington
Washington’s injury list contained 22 players on Monday. That’s tough. Short week doesn’t help coming up against the Giants. Eli is 17-9 against the Washington team, they have found a running game, the biggest threat to the Giants would be Chris Thompson (out for season) and Jordan Reed (who hasn’t played much this season).
Final score: Washington 20, Giants 10
Cleveland Browns (+8.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
I don’t trust the Bengals as 8.5-point favorites against anyone. Yes, including the Browns.
Chicago Bears (+13.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
Can the Bears run enough to keep this game close? I think so.
Miami Dolphins (+16.5) at New England Patriots
Another big point spread divisional game. The Dolphins aren’t great, but they are OK and it’s a divisional game. The 16.5 points is a big spread. Too big. There is just too much that can happen on any given Sunday.
Buffalo Bills (+10) at Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have cooled off since their terrific start. The Bills have as well. Coach McDermott thought Tyrod Taylor was the problem. Fun fact — Tyrod Taylor is the all-time leader in INT percentage for quarterbacks with a minimum of 1,000 passes. I like the Bills here provided that Taylor starts.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+9.5) at Atlanta Falcons
Another big point spread for a divisional game. The Buccaneers with Ryan Fitzpatrick have won two games (same as they did with Winston). I like the Buccaneers to cover the spread.
Carolina Panthers (-4.5) at New York Jets
Another home dog. The Jets have only a -21 point differential. They have been very competitive this year. I like the Jets to cover the spread here.
Tennessee Titans (-3.5) at Indianapolis Colts
If the Titans can rediscover their run game from last year they would be in great shape, but despite the same offensive line and running backs they are not as dominant. Marcus Mariota I think will bounce back here after a terrible game vs. the Steelers. Plus, the Colts are just not good.
Seattle Seahawks (-7) at San Francisco 49ers
New Orleans (+2.5) at Los Angeles Rams
The Saints have probably the best one-two running back combo in the league right now with the way Ingram and Kamara are running. I think this is the best game of the week and I’ll take the more experienced dynamic passer over the young guy.
Pick: Saints win
Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5) at Arizona Cardinals
The Jaguars defense should overwhelm the Cardinals and stumble into enough offense to cover the 4.5 points.
Denver Broncos (+5) at Oakland Raiders
The Raiders are one of the more disappointing teams of the season this year. I like the Broncos here. I think Elway calling the team soft will lead to a good defensive performance here.
Green Bay Packers (+14) at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Packers got blanked by the Ravens, who aren’t very good, and Big Ben and Antonio Brown have been unstoppable, but 14 points is so many.
Houston Texans (+7) at Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens might make the playoffs because their remaining schedule might be the easiest in the league, but they are not good.
Week 1: 10-5
Week 2: 7-9
Week 3: 10-5
Week 4: 10-6
Week 5: 7-6-1
Week 6: 10-4
Week 7: 0-12-2
Week 8: 6-7
Week 9: 7-4-1
Week 10: 3-10-1
Week 11: 8-4-2
Season overall: 73-68-8