Can we talk a little turkey? The NFL has several tasty treats lined up for football fans this Thanksgiving. First up is an NFC grudge match between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, followed by a tantalizing tilt between the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys that has serious playoff implications. Still hungry for more? The New Orleans Saints will try to knock the stuffing out of the Atlanta Falcons when they face off in their NFC South night cap.
We have odds and analysis for all three game as well as the biggest Week 13 trends and storylines from around the National Football League.
In a battle of the bottom of the NFC North, the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions tangle at Ford Field in the first of a three-game NFL slate on Thanksgiving Day.
The 5-6 Bears head into the short week coming off a 19-14 home victory over the New York Giants, despite another poor outing from Mitch Trubisky. The erratic quarterback went 25-of-41 for 278 yards and two interceptions, but found Allen Robinson for a 32-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
The Bears traded up to get Mitch Trubisky with Mahomes & Watson avaiable pic.twitter.com/NUyS3EIUbb
— Eric Rosenthal (@ericsports) November 24, 2019
The running game barely got off the ground, either, as Tarik Cohen, David Montgomery and Trubisky combined for 65 yards on 26 carries.
The Bears’ struggles on offense this season didn’t improve against the league’s No. 27 defense, but Chicago may find its footing against an even worse Lions D. Detroit is ranked 30th against the pass (275.5 yards per game) and 24th against the run (120.7 YPG), and somehow managed to let the Washington Redskins’ bottom-ranked offense earn a win on Sunday.
The Redskins didn’t exactly excel on that side of the field (Washington’s only score of the game came off a 91-yard kickoff return), but the Lions let the ‘Skins work their way back to a 19-16 victory by giving up four field goals, including a 39-yarder with 16 seconds remaining.
On offense, the Lions were just as bad, as Jeff Driskel got picked off three times and threw just one touchdown to Logan Thomas in the third quarter.
Detroit now rides a four-game losing streak and has won just once since September 29. The Lions will be eager to finally celebrate a victory at home on Thanksgiving and pay back the Bears for last year’s 23-16 defeat in the Lions’ traditional holiday home game.
Chicago opened as a 1.5-point favorite and is 5-1-1 against the spread in the previous seven games against the Lions. The favorite is also 4-0-1 ATS in the last five.
In the afternoon game on Thanksgiving Day, the Dallas Cowboys play host to the Buffalo Bills, a team Dallas defeated in the Super Bowl in 1993 and 1994.
In 2019, the Bills boast a better record than the Cowboys, though Buffalo’s schedule has been a bit softer by comparison. The 8-3 Bills own losses to the Browns, Eagles and Patriots. The Cowboys, at 6-5, have dropped three to NFC teams in the playoff hunt, fell inexplicably at the Jets 24-22, and lost a close one on Sunday at New England.
In the Week 12 loss to the Patriots, Dallas’ high-powered offense stalled, as Dak Prescott failed to complete a touchdown pass and chucked one interception early in the second quarter. Randall Cobb and Michael Gallup tied for a team-leading four receptions and combined for 141 yards. Receiver Amari Cooper hardly made noise on the field and went without a reception on his two targets.
In the run game, Ezekiel Elliott produced 86 yards on 21 carries and brought in another 40 yards receiving, but Dallas could never find the end zone and settled for three field goals from Brett Maher.
The Cowboys who once started 3-0 have the same record as the #Steelers.
The Cowboys also have
– Dak Prescott
– Ezekiel Elliott
– Amari Cooper
Meanwhile the Steelers leaders on offense today were:
– Duck Hodges
– Benny Snell Jr.
– James Washington
— Daniel Valente (@StatsGuyDaniel) November 25, 2019
The Bills had an easier time on Sunday in a 20-3 win over the 3-8 Broncos. Josh Allen registered two touchdown passes, and the Buffalo rushing attack racked up 244 yards on the ground. Rookie Devin Singletary accounted for 106 of those and Frank Gore added 65 on 15 carries.
The Buffalo D also held Denver to just 167 yards of total offense, as Brandon Allen completed 10-of-25 passes, took four sacks and tossed one interception.
Thursday’s matchup should provide more of a challenge, especially with Dallas playing in front of its home crowd on a holiday. The Cowboys are favored by seven at AT&T Stadium and are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games overall. The home team is also 4-0-1 ATS in the last five meetings between the Cowboys and Bills, but Buffalo is 3-1-1 ATS in the last five.
The Atlanta Falcons came crashing back down to reality after winning two straight over division foes. The Falcons had already crushed the Saints and Panthers, back-to-back on the road, but couldn’t best the lowly Buccaneers at home on Sunday.
Matt Ryan generated 271 yards through the air on 23-of-46 passing and coughed up one interception. He played with an injured weapon in Julio Jones, who banged up his shoulder during the first half but still pulled in five catches for 68 yards.
Calvin Ridley praises Julio Jones for playing through pain pic.twitter.com/jWGQVJfOnP
— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) November 24, 2019
Calvin Ridley led the team in yards, with 85 on six receptions, and scored in the final two minutes of regulation on a 21-yard pass from backup Matt Schaub.
The run game just about disappeared against the Bucs’ second-ranked rushing defense and should continue to experience trouble against the Saints D. Third in rushing yards allowed (88.5 per game), the Saints held Christian McCaffrey to 64 yards on the ground on Sunday—his lowest total since October 13, when he played the Bucs.
McCaffrey still found the end zone twice and hauled in 69 yards on nine catches, but the Saints came out on top in a 34-31 home victory.
In the first meeting of the season between New Orleans and Atlanta, the Saints gave up 143 yards on the ground and another 182 passing in a 26-9 home loss. On offense, running back Alvin Kamara tallied just 24 yards rushing on four attempts, but the star running back was coming off a two-game absence due to injury.
Last Thanksgiving, the Saints hosted the Falcons and beat Atlanta 31-17. New Orleans is a seven-point road favorite in the late-night holiday clash, but the underdog is 9-3 against the spread in the last 12 meetings. The Falcons are also 4-0 ATS versus a team with a winning record and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 Thursday games.
Sunday, December 1, 8:20 p.m. ET | NRG Stadium
The New England Patriots are holding onto a one-loss record with all their might, but it’s been anything but impressive.
On Sunday afternoon, the Patriots welcomed the Cowboys to Gillette Stadium and pulled out a 13-9 win, thanks again to the defense.
Tom Brady and company once again needed major help on offense, as receivers Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett sat out with injuries. The legendary QB completed just 17 of 37 passes for 190 yards and one touchdown to 2019 first-round draft pick N’Keal Harry, who was activated off injured reserve in early November.
— 🐐 (@Tommy6Rings) November 24, 2019
The Pats did find a boost in the run game with Sony Michel, as he broke through the Dallas defense for 85 yards, his largest total since October 10 against the Giants. Julian Edelman also caught eight passes for 93 yards, and rookie Jakobi Meyers tacked on 74.
Dallas’ offense outgained New England but failed to convert in the red zone twice and settled for three field goals. The Cowboys have scored a touchdown on 55.26 percent of their tries within the 20-yard line, good for 18th in the league.
New England’s opponent on Sunday night is a bit more efficient in scoring position. The Houston Texans rank 10th in red-zone conversion percentage (62.16%), though they went 0-for-2 against the Colts on Thursday Night Football.
Still, Houston slapped its division foe with a 20-17 defeat and moved into first in the AFC South. Deshaun Watson found DeAndre Hopkins twice for scores—each on 30-plus-yard passes. Will Fuller also provided a team-leading 140 receiving yards on seven catches in his first game back from a hamstring injury.
The Texans rank seventh on offense and 20th on defense, whereas the Pats boast the No. 17 offense and second-best defense in the NFL.
The Patriots own an eight-game win streak over the Texans and last lost to Houston in the 2009 regular-season closer. Houston is a three-point underdog at home and is 1-4 against the spread in its last five games overall.
In this series, the Patriots are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings, and the favorite is 6-2-1 ATS in the previous nine.
Monday, December 2, 8:15 p.m. ET | CenturyLink Field
The 8-3 Minnesota Vikings enter Monday night’s NFC showdown fresh off a bye week and get a 9-2 Seahawks team searching for its fifth consecutive win.
On Sunday, Seattle traveled to Philadelphia and handed the Eagles a 17-9 defeat, as the Seahawks ran all over the league’s fifth-best rushing defense.
Rashaad Penny enjoyed his best game of the season, with 129 yards and one score on 14 carries. Lead back Chris Carson offered up another 26 yards on eight attempts, and Russell Wilson pulled out 15 more on three carries.
— Establish the Russ (@am_misfit) November 24, 2019
Wilson put up an additional 200 yards through the air and connected with Malik Turner for a 33-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
The Seahawks defense held Philly to one touchdown, which came on a two-yard pass to Zach Ertz with just 20 seconds remaining. The Eagles entered the game with a huge disadvantage, as receivers DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, running back Jordan Howard and right tackle Lane Johnson all sat out with injuries.
Minnesota’s offense will come in loaded with weapons on Monday, and may even get receiver Adam Thielen back after he missed the majority of the last five games with a pulled hamstring.
The Vikings rank 15th in passing (236.2 yards per game) and fourth in rushing (142.5 YPG), and will go up against a Seahawks defense yielding 370.3 opponent yards per game, 10th-most in the league.
The Seahawks are three-point favorites and beat Minnesota 21-7 in Seattle on Monday Night Football last season. The home team is 5-1 against the spread in the previous six meetings, and the Vikings are 1-5 ATS in the last six in Seattle.
NFL Betting Trends
Looking to build your bankroll? These are the numbers you need to know:
- Home favorites have won just 63% of their games SU in 2019. By contrast, road favorites have won 66% of their games SU
- Road teams have won 57% of their games ATS in 2019. Road dogs have fared even better, winning 60% of their games ATS in 2019
- 54% of all non-overtime games have gone Under the projected point total in 2019
- The Cardinals, Rams and Bills have been the NFL’s most reliable teams against the spread in 2019, covering 70% of the time
- The Buccaneers (2-8-0) have covered just 27% of the time ATS in 2019, but have hit the Over 82% of the time
- The Bills are 4-0-1 ATS in 2019 when playing on the road
- The Bengals are 0-5-0 ATS in 2019 when playing at home
NFL Week 13 Schedule
Cancel all your plans. Seriously, you won’t be going anywhere.
|Bears vs. Lions||Thu, November 28 @12:30 PM||DET +1.5||38.5|
|Bills vs. Cowboys||Thu, November 28 @4:30PM||DAL -7||44.5|
|Saints vs. Falcons||Thu, November 28 @8:20PM||ATL +6.5||50.0|
|Titans vs. Colts||Sun, December 1 @1PM||IND -3||43.5|
|Jets vs. Bengals||Sun, December 1 @1PM||CIN +3.5||39.5|
|Redskins vs. Panthers||Sun, December 1 @1PM||CAR -10||40.5|
|49ers vs. Ravens||Sun, December 1 @1PM||BAL -4.5||46.5|
|Buccaneers vs. Jaguars||Sun, December 1 @1PM||JAX -1||49.0|
|Browns vs. Steelers||Sun, December 1 @1PM||PIT +1.5||40.0|
|Packers vs. Giants||Sun, December 1 @1PM||NYG +6.5||47.0|
|Eagles vs. Dolphins||Sun, December 1 @1PM||MIA +8.5||46.0|
|Rams vs. Cardinals||Sun, December 1 @4:05PM||ARI +4||47.0|
|Chargers vs. Broncos||Sun, December 1 @4:25PM||DEN +1||38.5|
|Raiders vs. Chiefs||Sun, December 1 @4:25PM||KC -10||53.5|
|Patriots vs. Texans||Sun, December 1 @8:20PM||HOU +3.5||44.5|
|Vikings vs. Seahawks||Mon, December 2 @8:15||SEA -3||48.5|
Get to Know Ryan Tannehill
Ryan Tannehill is now 4-1 since taking over as the starter for Tennessee. Here are three things you should know about the Titans new first string QB:
- Tannehill hasn’t always been a quarterback. The Lubbock native played 10 games as a defensive back as a sophomore in high school, and starred at wide receiver during his first two seasons at Texas A&M after losing out on the starting QB job.
- Tannehill isn’t your typical jock. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and planned on becoming an orthopedic surgeon before the NFL came calling.
- Tannehill holds nine different Dolphins franchise records including most passing completions in a single season, most consecutive pass completions, and highest career completion percentage.
— PewterReport (@PewterReport) November 24, 2019
There were plenty of big touchdowns on Sunday, but none were scored by a bigger player than Tampa Bay defensive tackle Vita Vea. It was the first offensive TD for the bigger-than-life Buc since high school.
#Patriots QB Tom Brady on the officials not ending the game after he threw it away with a ton of hang time.
“It was still up in the air when they stopped the clock. So I don’t know. Everyone who says Patriots get the advantages. I don’t know about that.” pic.twitter.com/kxvWakas9c
— Raul Martinez (@RaulNBCBoston) November 25, 2019
Tom Brady has heard the rumblings from around the league and isn’t so sure that New England gets the benefit of every call.
— 92.3 The Fan (@923TheFan) November 24, 2019
Something tells us this isn’t the kind of support Steelers QB Mason Rudolph was hoping for.
Three and Out
340-pound defensive tackle Vita Vea etched his name in the record books on Sunday by becoming the heaviest player in NFL history to score an offensive touchdown. As big as Vea is, he’s not even one of the 10 heaviest players to suit up for an NFL team. Here are the three biggest behemoths in league history:
- Aaron Gibson (410 lbs): An All-American at Wisconsin, Gibson played offensive tackle for three NFL teams before becoming the biggest – and most immovable – player in the Arena Football League.
- Terrell Brown (403 lbs): Brown wasn’t just one of the heaviest players in league history, he was also one of the tallest. The 6’10” giant was a star offensive tackle at Ole Miss, but is remembered by most football fans for accidentally crushing a folding chair simply by sitting on it.
- Nate Newton (400 lbs): Few big guys have used their girth to better effect than Nate Newton, a hulking guard who was named to the Pro Bowl six times and won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys.