November 24, 2021
Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with food, family/friends, football & sharing thanks. The American tradition of NFL on Thanksgiving Thursday kicks off with three games throughout the day. As always the Lions & Cowboys play home games, while New Orleans will play in their third Turkey Day in four years. Of course the other 11 matchups will take place on Sunday (and one on Monday). To follow along with all the changing odds throughout the week, keep referencing the live Betting Odds page.
The first matchup of the day consists of the 3-7 Chicago Bears heading northeast to Detroit to face the 0-9-1 Lions. Andy Dalton will get the start at QB for the Bears. While he was serviceable last week against the Ravens, it is not hard to see him regressing to his career-low numbers. Coach Matt Nagy will most likely be fired at the end of this season (if he makes it that far). This is where the Lions get their first win. Goff is a game time decision, however last week a Goff-less Lions barely lost 13-10 against Cleveland. 2nd year breakout RB Swift went 14/136 and a TD on the ground with star TE Hockenson and rookie St. Brown gobbled up the rest of the targets.
If the Lions are winning this matchup it is most likely through Swift. Swift has 4 TDs on the ground and 2 from the air this year. The Bears are right in the middle of the NFL in fantasy points given up to RBs. Even though Swift struggled on the ground in their first matchup, he did well catching the ball in that game. After the Lions’ bye Swift got 135 and 136 total yards (130 & 136 on the ground).
The 5-5 Raiders are traveling to Jerry World in Dallas to face off against the 7-3 Cowboys. The Raiders are coming off their second straight blowout loss (Bengals & Chiefs) and third straight loss in general (to a 3-7 Giants squad). Mixon ran all over the Raiders, while the Bengals defense caused two turnovers and held Carr, Jacobs & Renfrow to poor performances. Only TE Darren Waller shined last week with 7 receptions for 116 yards. Now the Raiders have to go on the road with a short week and play a Cowboys team, who barely lost to the talented Chiefs. Dallas has the 7th best defense in fantasy points scored against. This is compared to the Bengals 17th and the Chiefs 20th that held the Raiders to 13 and 14 points respectively. Despite Dallas not having WR Amari Cooper and possibly without Lamb, this high-powered offense of Prescott, Elliott, Gallup, & Schultz should win handily and cover the spread against a struggling Raiders team.
The Cowboys are slightly below average at defending TEs, however they are the fifth worst at defending them in the red zone. The Raiders should score one to two touchdowns. With Dallas having the sixth best run defense (in fantasy points) look for the scores to be in the air, especially to their star Waller. Despite the Waller score, it shouldn’t be that close of a matchup. The Raiders are 6th worst against the run and Elliott and Pollard are both capable of racking up big games against an average Raiders team.
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The 6-4 Bills are going south to play the 5-5 Saints in NOLA to end the festivities on Thanksgiving Night. QB Josh Allen is looking great again this year, but has been struggling in the last few games with turnovers. This should be the week he gets back on track, as the Saints are not that great at defending rushing QBs, throwing QBs, or WRs. Expect another big game from Allen & Diggs to bring the Bills to victory.
On the other side, the Saints will more than likely play without star RB Kamara again and could lose backup RB Ingram this week. The Bills themselves have a great defense, especially against QBs, WRs, & TEs. If the Saints are going to make it close it would have to be with the run, just look at what Jonathan Taylor (Colts) did to the Bills last week. However, 3rd string backup Tony Jones, who might get the start, is not good enough to make a big impact.
In ten games Allen has thrown for more than 280 yards in four games. In each of those four games the Bills scored anywhere from 31-45 points. Furthermore, the total points in all four of those matchups started at 58 and went all the way to 65. Therefore if Allen throws for 280 yards it will be pretty easy to topple 45.5 total points. The Bills won all but one of those matchups (a close loss to Tennessee).
Since Winston went down in Week 8 against Tampa Bay, the Saints have not won a game. Replacement QB Siemian has thrown the ball surprisingly well, but ultimately losing to Atlanta, Tennessee, & a blowout loss to Philadelphia. In each of these losses the Saints managed to score at least 21 points. If the Saints lose, but can score at least 21, that only leaves the Bills to need to score 27 to both cover the spread and make the total points go over 45.5. It is not hard to imagine that the final to this score will be higher than a 27-21 Bills victory. Personally, I think it could look something more like a Bills’ 35-24 win down in the Big Easy.
There are some great hockey matchups this Thursday for the NHL too, fill your wallets and your bellies this Turkey Day by betting on both sports. Review all the changing odds for hockey here.