It's Week 12 of the NFL season -- the week that we sit down around the table, dig into a fantastic meal, hang out with our families as long as we are required and as little as we can get away with, and then eventually sneak away to watch a traditional schedule of Thanksgiving football! But before you tuck in and veg out, check out our "expert" picks against the spread.
At some point, those folk under the age of 35 are going to rise up in revolt of having the Detroit Lions get the annual honor of playing on Turkey Day. Yes, it's tradition, but sometimes -- say, after the team has been horrible for over a decade -- it's time to rethink that tradition. Who wouldn't rather be watching Baltimore and Tampa Bay today instead of New England at Detroit?
The Patriots are an appropriate 6.5 point road favorite against the 2-8 Lions, who keep threatening to get better, but so far haven't been able to break through. That's not going to change today, but the real question is if the Patriots, with Tom Brady hobbled by a foot injury, can cover the spread. I say yes, and six of our other "experts" agree. It is the Lions after all and a one touchdown win for the Pats feels doable.
The early game starts at 10:30 a.m Arizona Time (12:30 ET) on CBS.
The late game once again features a Thanksgiving turkey tradition, the Dallas Cowboys -- America's so-called team. The New Orleans Saints go into the Jerry Jones Palace and will likely still be without Reggie Bush. The Cowboys are 2-0 since giving Wade Phillips the axe, which explains why the Saints (7-3) are only a 4-point road favorite against the Cowboys (3-7). I'm going with the Cowboys -- head, not heart pick -- because the Saints haven't fully won me over and Dallas seems to be finally playing up to their potential.
The game starts at 2:15 p.m. Arizona Time (4:15 ET) on Fox.
The third game of the Thanksgiving football schedule was only added in 2006 and therefore has no tradition. It doesn't even have national broadcast TV, instead the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals are relegated to the NFL Network at 6:20 Arizona Time (8:20 ET). By that point we are confident that most of you will be passed out from either too much Turkey or too much drink or most likely too much of both. But for those still awake, you can expect to see the Jets roll right over the hapless Bengals. Will they cover the 9 point spread? Probably not given how tight they've made their recent games so I am going with the Bengals here to keep the Jets from covering.
Here's the rest of our picks for Week 12 and our standings. Dennis is pulling away from the pack with an impressive 59 percent correct pick rate. You might want to give that guy a ring next time you head north to Vegas. He's available for parties and Bar Mitzvahs, as well (if you feed him).
The Coin Flip is still doing well (56%) and Cory is still not doing well (39%).
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!