NFL Thanksgiving Tidbits

Football has almost become as synonymous with Thanksgiving as turkey, dressing and gearing up for Black Friday. And when we say football, we mean the National Football League. Sure, there are some games on the college menu, but the holiday would seem empty if we did not wake up to the Detroit Lions on our televisions on Turkey Day morning (Noonish, for those of you on the East Coast).

Even though none of the Thursday games looked like enough of a sure thing to be included in our Best Bets weekly crier (published every Saturday on BindleSnitch), there are some edges to be explored – and free advice to be distributed. For those needing an excuse to get away from the relatives for an hour or so and visit your local sports book (or bookmaker), here are this year’s Thanksgiving Tidbits. Home teams are in ALL CAPS.

NFL Jay CutlerLIONS (-7) over Bears When Chicago QB Jay Cutler drops back to pass and gets pressure from the defensive line, he dances like a teen-age girl standing in line for a Jonas Brothers concert. Then he throws up an errant pass which gets intercepted, puts his hands on his hips and slowly walks to the sideline and dons his cap. Bears fans will see a lot of that on Thursday. They will also see Cutler picking himself up off of the ground. According to NFL.com, the Lions are sixth in the league in sacks with 26 and fourth in interceptions with 13. Chicago’s offensive line has allowed 27 quarterback sacks and 48 QB hits. If the Lions can somehow scratch out three touchdowns against a depleted Bears secondary, that should be plenty. Lions 31, Bears 10

NFL EaglesEagles (+3) over Cowboys There is no doubt this will be the most entertaining game of the day, as is usually the case when these two teams meet. A high scoring game is expected, evidenced by the over/under total of 55 issued by the Las Vegas sports books. RJ Bell of Pregame.com has pointed out some heavy trends – and they all favor Philadelphia. The underdog in the Dallas/Philadelphia series is 23-8 in the last 31 games in this series. In Cowboys games, the underdog has covered 71 percent of the time since 2010. Finally, when the Cowboys are favored after a win (they beat the Giants on Sunday 31-28) they are 3-16. On the turf at AT&T Stadium, the Eagles will use their speed to their advantage. Eagles 42, Cowboys 37

NFL SeahawksSeahawks (+1) over 49ers This game should be called the “Discord Bowl,” as both teams have grabbed headlines this year about problems off of the field. For Seattle, being World Champions has obviously taken its toll, with players being labeled everything from “Divas” to “Lame Ducks.” On the San Francisco side, Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has reportedly been at odds with his GM Trent Baalke and, according to Bleacher Report, will not be back next year no matter how well the 49ers do this year. Although a high-scoring game is not expected for the Thanksgiving finale, this one has enough bad blood between the two combatants to be entertaining nonetheless. The trends favor Seattle, as they have failed to cover as underdogs just three times in their last 18 in that role. The ‘Hawks have also covered five straight times against the 49ers. In a close game like this, take the better team. Seahawks 9, 49ers 3

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