NFL Prediction: Expert Makes Thanksgiving Pick on Patriots vs Vikings
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images. Pictured: Mac Jones (left) and Rhamondre Stevenson.
- Stuckey has laid out his bet slip for the NFL slate on Thanksgiving.
- Having registered a winner in Bills vs. Lions, he's onto Patriots vs. Vikings.
- Check out Stuckey's full betting breakdown below.
I’ve always preached betting responsibly and passing on games if you don’t have an edge. You don’t need to bet the primetime NFL game every single time.
However, I’ve had one primary exception since I started betting: I will ensure I have action on every Thanksgiving game while I sit in a food coma on my couch. It’s un-American not to in my humble opinion.
Now, that doesn’t mean go crazy and bet irresponsibly. It could be a simple fun parlay for some couch change, or a couple player props.
With that said, here are my thoughts on all three Thursday games, including how I will bet each. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the day.
12:30 p.m. ET on CBS
We have a pretty unique situation here with the road Bills playing in the same stadium in back-to-back weeks — although they did travel back to Buffalo during the short week.
Regardless, Buffalo’s offense consistently hums indoors on a fast track, as you would expect. Plus, the Bills have won by double-digits at a higher frequency than any team in the NFL over the past few seasons.
However, Buffalo has failed to cover in each of its four previous games for a reason. Not only is Josh Allen dealing with an injury that has caused some slow starts and errant throws, but the rest of the roster has also been decimated by injury.
The Bills could be without center Mitch Morse, which wouldn’t be ideal on a short week. More importantly, the defense has impactful injuries at all three levels.
Without Gregory Rousseau and AJ Epenesa, the pass rush, outside of Von Miller, lacks the same potency we saw earlier in the year. The absence of Tremaine Edmunds (PFF’s second-highest rated LB in the NFL) also hurts in that department.
Things are also murky on the back end with stud safety Micah Hyde on IR and rookie corner Kaair Elam also out, especially since we have yet to see the season debut of All Pro cornerback Tre White.
Meanwhile, Detroit’s offense is as healthy as it has been all year. When that’s been the case this year, the Lions have been able to put up points with ease.
Not only do the Lions have an excellent offensive line that can give Jared Goff time to operate in the pocket, they have the weapons to exploit this undermanned Buffalo defense.
The Bills will still get their points, as they do against almost everybody. However, while still a poor defense, Detroit’s young defense has been improving as the season has progressed — although it will miss cornerback Jeff Okudah here.
Ultimately, I bet Detroit +10 after the Bills took money. I see a bit of value in the number after adjusting for the injury situation for both teams.
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4:30 p.m. ET on FOX
On the surface, this is a good buy-low/sell-high spot in a division game where catching over a touchdown will always look tempting, especially in this season’s lower-scoring environment.
However, I can’t get behind the Giants with their current injury situation. They have key injuries all along the offensive line, in addition to at tight end and wide receiver.
It’s an even more dire situation on defense where New York will be without both starting cornerbacks and its starting safety. It may also be without a few depth pieces in the secondary. The loss of Adoree Jackson particularly stings.
Cluster injuries along the offensive line or secondary can lead to disastrous results in the NFL. The Giants must deal with both on the road after a short week. Not ideal.
Just like in the first meeting, Daniel Jones should find himself under relentless pressure without many reliable weapons to bail him out. I’m sure Dallas will load the box and key on Saquon Barkley, which would completely shut down this Giants offense.
The only saving grace could be a potentially banged up Dallas defensive line that is dealing with a number of injuries and some illness issues. Still, it’s hard to see many paths to success for New York.
On the other side of the ball, it’s hard to see Dallas not sustaining drives against a poor Giants defense that will be severely shorthanded. The Lions had no issues moving the ball in New York last week and neither did the Texans the week prior, which is a very troubling sign.
I’m sure defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will send the blitz as usual, but Dak Prescott has thrived against the blitz this season. The Giants defense couldn’t get enough stops to get a win at home with a fully healthy secondary to beat Cooper Rush. Now, it must face Prescott on the road down defensive starters.
Even after adjusting for injuries, I project this line right around 10, so I can’t lay it with the Cowboys from a value perspective. (Although, I think it’s either Dallas or nothing here and may look live if the Giants take an early lead).
If you missed the early teaser opportunity with the Cowboys before the line moved up, I do think they are a nice moneyline parlay piece to add to something you like this weekend. I personally matched them with the Jets.
8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
I keep hearing about Kirk Cousins in primetime and how much he will struggle against the dominant Patriots defense. Meanwhile, I’ve also heard about how poor Mac Jones and the New England offense have looked.
Well, I guess I’ll be on a Thanksgiving island with the over.
I just had to play it after it touched 42 (I’d play to 42.5), per my numbers. That’s a super low total for a game that will be indoors with all of the talented playmakers the Vikings have on offense, even if I do have some concerns about Cousins under pressure, especially without his young stud left tackle Christian Darrisaw.
The Patriots defense is a good unit, but it’s still an inexperienced group that I believe is a bit overrated after playing Zach Wilson twice and Sam Ehlinger over the past three games. Their other wins came against Mitch Trubisky, Jacoby Brissett and Jared Goff, who didn’t have a number of his usual weapons.
The defense has also benefited from some favorable weather conditions in some of those games. This is still a bunch that allowed 27 or more against the Ravens (37), Packers (27) and Bears (33) — not the most explosive trio of offenses in the NFL.
On the other side of the ball, Jones looked better last week outdoors against a great defense. I did expect a better version of Jones after the bye week, which he desperately needed to get his timing back after missing time with an injury.
Plus, the offense has suffered the same conditions that have aided the defense. They’ll also get a break this week against a Minnesota defense I don’t rate very highly, especially on the back end, where it will start a fourth different right outside cornerback (Duke Shelley) in the past four games.
The Patriots should find success on the ground as usual, but also hit some more explosive plays through the air against a defense that has allowed anybody with a pulse (and starting quarterback) to get into the 20s.
Ultimately, I see both teams getting into the 20s in a competitive game, which is why I also fancy the Patriots as a teaser piece going through three and seven.