If you live in the United States, this is arguably the best week of the NFL’s regular season because there are three games on the Thanksgiving holiday. Football, turkey and naps! It’s pure heaven. With that said, here’s a preview of three NFL picks on this week’s holiday games with the latest NFL Week 12 odds.
Top NFL Picks & Predictions for Week 12
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— NBC Sports Redskins (@NBCSRedskins) November 21, 2017
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (+2)
When: Thursday, 12:30 PM ET (Fox TV)
The Detroit Lions have the longest drought in the NFC in terms of winning a division title, last doing so in 1993. They are two games behind first-place Minnesota in the NFC North, but would win the tiebreaker by completing the season sweep on Thursday in the first game – the Lions started hosting Thanksgiving games way back on 1935.
Detroit is 37-38-2 all-time on Thanksgiving Day and has won its four. (The franchise has won five straight on the holiday just once before in the Super Bowl era; the other time coming from 1997-2000.) That includes a 16-13 victory over these Vikings last year. Sam Bradford threw an awful late interception for the Vikings and Detroit turned it into the winning Matt Prater 40-yard field goal as time expired.
Bradford is out for this season as Case Keenum has the Vikings on a six-game winning streak. Their last loss was 14-7 at home vs. Detroit in Week 4. The Lions turned two fumbles lost by the Vikings in the third quarter into 11 points, taking the lead on Ameer Abdullah’s 1-yard touchdown run five plays after rookie Dalvin Cook fumbled at the Minnesota 29. Cook, Minnesota’s good-looking rookie, would suffer a season-ending injury in that game.
The Lions defeated the Bears 27–24 on Sunday and now have road wins at Minnesota, Green Bay and Chicago. The only other season in which Detroit had road victories against the Vikings, Packers and Bears was 1961.
Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas Cowboys (Pick’em)
When: Thursday, 4:30 PM ET (CBS)
This marks the Chargers’ first time playing on Thanksgiving since 1969, one year before the NFL-AFL merger. “To play Thanksgiving in Dallas is awesome,” said Bolts QB Philip Rivers. “Every year I always wonder if that will ever be us playing in that game. That’s a game the whole country watches, and now we get to play in it so that’s awesome. Dallas on Thanksgiving is as big as it gets.”
The Cowboys started their Thanksgiving Day tradition in 1966. General manager Tex Schramm used the game to generate national appeal for the team. It worked as 80,259 fans packed the Cotton Bowl and set a new attendance record. The Cowboys beat the Browns 26-14. Dallas also won on Thanksgiving last year, beating Washington. But the Cowboys are on a two-game skid since losing star running back Ezekiel Elliott to his six-game suspension. They have totaled just 16 points in those losses. Dallas also has missed Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith in the past two as Dak Prescott has been under siege. It is looking good for Smith to return from injury, however.
The Chargers played their best game in a long time Sunday in crushing the Bills 54-24. The Bolts picked off Bills rookie QB Nathan Peterman five times in the first half to lead 37-7 at intermission. Overall, it was the team’s highest-scoring performance in Rivers’ 195 consecutive starts since 2006. Los Angeles set a franchise record for points in a first half during the Bills’ worst defensive half since 1977. Rivers passed for 250 yards and Keenan Allen had 12 receptions for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
New York Giants at Washington Redskins (-7)
When: Thursday, 8:30 PM ET (NBC)
It’s the first time ever these two teams will play on Thanksgiving and the first time the Redskins are hosting a Turkey Day game. The NFL only added a prime-time game in 2006, and there is not set home team for it but a rotation. The Redskins played on the holiday last year and lost a close game in Dallas. Washington is only 2-7 on the holiday all time. It’s the first Thanksgiving game for the Giants in eight years, a loss in Denver. New York is 7-4-3 on the holiday.
Washington comes off a crushing 34-31 OT loss in New Orleans, blowing a 31-16 lead with under 3 minutes left and seeing excellent pass-catching running back Chris Thompson go down with a broken leg. That means rookie Samaje Perine will take over as the clear-cut No. 1. This offseason, the Skins signed Browns free-agent WR Terrelle Pryor to be their No. 1 receiver. He has been a mega-bust and was placed on season-ending IR on Monday. Pryor has 20 catches for 240 yards and a touchdown after 77 catches for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns with Cleveland in 2016.
New York was a 10-point home underdog on Sunday to Kansas City but won 12-9 in overtime for only the Giants’ second win of the season. New York had three interceptions in its best defensive game of the.
The Giants and Redskins split their series in 2016, each winning on the road. New York’s Week 17 victory prevented Washington from getting a playoff spot.
Expert Predictions & NFL Picks
The Lions and Cowboys win outright at home – buy that Giants-Redskins line down to 6.5 and take Washington. It’s gonna be a great week, so consider these NFL picks and win big!