After reading/hearing and seeing what the sharps were on for Monday night and frankly running out of time in my day I decided against putting anything up, obviously the Ravens covered easily, Lamar threw many TDs and the Gus Bus was rolling, all of which I liked.
So, on to THANKSGIVING GAMES!!! It’s a wonderful time of the year for our friends in the states, and for us in the UK it’s amazing as well, games on TV when you get home from work, the first one at 1730 over here is perfect timing! I’ll be heading to the sports bar for at least a game and a half as I couldn’t get tomorrow off work it might not be too much past half time in the Cowboys game. 530am get ups are a killer some times!
Our guys at Draftking are once again offering a free entry competition with $50,000 in total prizes, so if you’re a member already you’d be foolish not to get involved, if you’re not a member you can sign up through by clicking the banner. And join the FREE ENTRY COMP – https://www.draftkings.co.uk/gateway?s=114010827
Chicago Bears -4 @ Detroit Lions; Total – 37
It’s the 18th meeting of these two on Thanksgiving with the Bears having a 9-8 lead in the series, and having taken the contest last year 23-16 with Chase Daniel under centre, something that looked like it could have happened this year too, but alas, we get Mitch.
As you’ll know if you’ve read any posts of mine recently I am not the biggest fan of Mr. Trubisky for the Bears, so I won’t go into him too much. He had a better game last week against a poor Giants defense finishing with 278, 1 TD and 2 interceptions… So not exactly great, but better than normal. He also ran in a TD, finishing with 18 yards on the ground, his highest rush total of the season.
He’s got one main receiver, and it boggles my mind a little that don’t just double team him. Allen Robinson is good, very good and has only been limited by the trash he’s had throwing the ball to him, Bortles and Trubisky is quite some way to start your career. He had his best game of the season last week with 131 yards and a TD, and another 60 yarder called back by penalty as well. Everyone else Trubisky targets, especially to the left of the field generally watches the ball sail over their heads, but the Lions are particularly poor vs Slot receivers and Anthony Miller has been getting more involved recently so may be worth a look especially with Taylor Gabriel declared out. I would guess with Gabriel out it would mean more Tarik Cohen in the passing game, and maybe a bit of Javon Wims, possibly Riley Ridley who should be active.
They’re without Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen and now Braunecker at tight end so you’re looking at JP Holtz in that role for them.
The running game is shit. David Montgomery had so much hype coming into the season and has done bugger all, 13 for 22 yards last week typifies his season, and he lost his goal-line role to Trubisky last week. That was pretty much all he had. Tarik Cohen out-rushed him from half the attempts last week. In fairness Montgomery had 60 yards vs Detroit in their first game this year, and at 3.5 per carry at least was above his average against them. Cohen doesn’t generally run the ball too much, but has seen increased carries in recent weeks.
Their defense is still great in the secondary but not great against the run since Akiem Hicks has been out of the team. Although they still rank 12th vs the run (and 7th vs the pass) and are either facing an injured backup, or the backups backup at QB…
Yeah, the Lions may be down to their 3rd string QB. Which isn’t good. Matty Stafford is probably out for the season and Jeff Driskel is struggling with a hamstring injury and likely a game-time decision, behind him is David Blough… a rookie from Purdue. So, yeah, good luck with that. Even if Driskel goes, a big part of his play on the field is his mobility which will be surely limited if he’s dodgy with a hammy. He played all right last week but fell apart when the pressure came.
It’s hurt their passing game although Marvin Jones has put up good numbers and Kenny Golladay has had some deeper targets with Driskel, even Danny Amendola has got involved more. Marvin Hall adds further deep threat and TJ Hockenson and Logan Thomas are adequate at tight end, Hock is questionable again so Jesse James may go. As we have no news on a QB it’s tough to call anything here, so best left alone.
Bo Scarbrough should be the man on the ground though, he’s done well since being called up by them and nearly hit 100 yards last week. Ty Johnson and JD McKissic are muddling it up, with McKissic the pass catching back.
Their defense isn’t great but Darius Slay will probably be on Allen Robinson and he’s one of the better corners in the league.
With the injuries on both sides there’s a few big prices around for unlikely scorers; Ridley at 22/1, JP Holtz 12/1 for the Bears. The Lions – Thomas and James at 16s, Marvin Hall at 20s.
It’s going to be a low scoring game, the total has fallen 2 points since yesterday. Mainly due to the Lions injuries the Bears should win and cover but I’m not touching that.
Riley Ridley anytime TD – 22/1 (Uni/888); JP Holtz anytime TD – 12/1 (Betfair) – Both 1 point.
Buffalo Bills +6.5 @ Dallas Cowboys; 47
The 8-3 Bills travel down to Jerra world to take on the 6-5 Cowboys with a game that has connotations in both divisions playoff races.
They’re a tough one to call and one the market still doesn’t take too seriously despite their record. That’s due in large parts to them having the easiest schedule in recent history, but they’ve not been too bad either, and have found their stride a little in recent weeks.
Josh Allen especially has played well recently and become a lot more secure with the ball in his hands, last week was his first INT in 6 games, though he made amends finishing with a 92.9 passer rating and 2 TDs. He’s not the best passer in the game but adds to his offense by being able to take off and run the ball as well. 56 yards on the ground in two consecutive games and nearly 400 on the season.
The run game has shifted towards Devin Singletary with the biggest game of his career last week in terms of carries and yardage. 21 for 106. He looks good with it and can be used in the passing game as well. Frank Gore is still there, and he always will be, he reached 3rd in rushing yards last week and if his carries are set around 6.5 again then well worth a bet (fair play to the guys who put that easy win up next week)
The passing game is mainly John Brown finished with under 50 yards for the first time this season last week, although redeemed himself with a TD. It’s been a great run for them but Chris Harris Jnr. did his work well. He should bounce back with weaker coverage in this one though. Cole Beasley has 4 TDs in his last 6 games for them, their the main guys, everyone else is a couple of targets max, Isiaih McKenzie probably the 3 now that Robert Foster is out. Dawson Knox and Tyler Kroft are in at tight end, Knox seems to be more of a playmaker for them.
They’re a good defense although can be run on. I’d imagine Tredavius White will be on Amari Cooper which isn’t great for him. They’re 5th vs the pass, 26th vs the run.
Dak Prescott is gonna get paid. He’s leading the league in passing yards this year and has some great targets who he looks good and comfortable throwing the ball to. He’s 21:10 on TDs and Ints, and 3rd in the league in terms of QBR on ESPN. He’s mobile too although has only scored 3 rushing TDs this season. The Bills aren’t good against mobile QBs though so could be more involved there in this one.
Ezekiel Elliott should have a big game too, as above the Bills are 6th worst against the run and Zeke is one on of the best in the league, it’s not been a stellar year for him but most players would be happy with 85 or so on the ground and 20ish through the air. He’s due a TD or two having only scored in 1 of his last 4 games. Tony Pollard has looked good in the little work he gets as well.
Amari Cooper has been on and off the injury report in the last few months, wasn’t on it this week but I’m not exactly confident in him despite his crazy home/road splits. He’s best in the league at home, not great on the road, he’ll also probably have the best coverage from the Bills in this one. Michael Gallup has stepped up with 143 in his game a couple of weeks ago (I’m ignoring last weeks vs the Pats) although has only scored 3 times this year. It could be another Randall Cobb game, he was the leading receiver in the Pats game and has had 300 in his last 3 games combined. It’s safe to say their pass offense is clicking.
Jason Witten is still seemingly the main tight end for them, although can’t move at all. They really should be giving Blake Jarwin more, he’s more athletic and is a more serious threat in the passing game.
They’re decent enough on defense although have been giving up yards recently, they rank 18th vs the pass and against the run in DVOA.
The Bills are probably over-rated due to their schedule but the Cowboys haven’t exactly beaten much either, only one win against a team with a winning record.
The Cowboys should bounce back at home, they were stymied by the weather last week and won’t have to worry about that in AT&T. Lean to them covering too, leaving the total well alone
Blake Jarwin anytime – 7.5 (Sky/WillHill) – 1 point; Dak Prescott o12.5 rush yards – 1.90 (Uni/888)
New Orleans Saints -7 @ Atlanta Falcons; 48.5
Saints lost 26-9 at home as 14 point favourites 3 weeks ago.
Drew Brees, weak arm, threw some nice ones down the field last week though.
Michael Thomas is ridiculous,on target to break the reception record for the season, Alvin Kamara increasingly involved and Jarred Cook has looked great recently.
TreQuan Smith scored last week, is a person, Ted Ginn drops passes, catches the odd one.
Kamara and Murray good on the ground but the Saints are without the left side of their offensive line which will hurt run and pass.
Probably still without Marshon Lattimore, limited in practise this week. Lattiless more like, right?!
Blew up on defense in that game nearly doubling their season sacks in one game after a shit first half of the season, shut down the Panthers too before getting smashed by the Bucs last week.
Matt Ryan was benched before the end of that game, he’ll be back fine in this one.
Devonta Freeman comes back in the run game, Brian Hill wasn’t getting it done, Qadree Ollison hasn’t been totally awful.
Julio Jones is a game-time decision, without him it’ll be Calvin Ridley and more Russell Gage. Justin Hardy may be needed too. Austin Hooper is out still, Graham had one big catch last week nothing else.
The defense regressed seriously and their thin hopes of the playoffs is now way off.
That Falcons win was a blip on the Saints schedule and I don’t think they’ll be making that mistake again.
I’ve got to think it’ll be a high scoring game, I’d lean to the Saints covering, but with it being a rivalry game and having seen the Falcons win on the road in that last one, I’m a little wary of it.
Jared Cook anytime – 3.00 (365)
Skybet have a variation on their RaB offer, but £10 across the two early games to get a free £5 on the late game. Nice.
Good Luck if you have a bet, of course you will, and enjoy an evening of Football on your screens!
And enjoy that 3-game Draftkings contest!