Two National Football League games was good enough for your dad on Thanksgiving, and this year it is going to have to be good enough for you.
The traditional hosts, the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, will be in action while hosting the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins respectively. The originally scheduled late game, the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the defending AFC North Division Champion Baltimore Ravens, has been postponed … at least until Sunday.
While that game has been rescheduled for a 10:15 a.m. Pacific Time start on Sunday, whether the three day delay will actually allow the contest to be played is not yet a settled question. The Ravens have a Covid-19 outbreak that looks a lot like one in a Washington nursing home in March.
Okay, so we get the Cowboys hosting the second game on Thursday and they meet the Redskins with the winner possibly ending the weekend alone atop the NFC East Division standings.
Battle of titans, huh?
Well, not really.
The Cowboys and Redskins also enter action this week in last place in their division, tied with the New York Giants with three wins and seven losses. The team leading the NFC East is the Philadelphia Eagles, who also have only three wins but also a tie along with six losses. If the Seattle Seahawks win in Philadelphia on Monday night, the winner of the Cowboys/Redskins shootout could be alone in first place, or tied with the New York Giants, with a record that would be likely last place in any other NFC Division.
You want a side in this game?
You can have the Cowboys as a favorite in a game they should win, or the Redskins on the road against a Dallas team that they drilled at FedExField, 25-3, five weeks ago.
As for me, I’m a lot more interested in the first game of the day. The Lions against the Texans.
Last week, the Texans won their first game of the season against an opponent that wasn’t the Jacksonville Jaguars. They caught the struggling New England Patriots off back-to-back wins and the Texans were both an underdog on the point spread at home and bet against by the public.
Perfect spot for Houston, and they cashed that advantage with a 27-20 victory.
On the same day the Texans were winning, Detroit was in Carolina to meet the Panthers. Early Sunday morning the Detroit/Carolina game was listed as a pick ‘em, but when word spread that Carolina was forced to go with backup P.J. Walker while regular starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater nursed injuries, the betting world flocked to the Panthers like Swallows to Capistrano.
In a matter of minutes, the game’s line blew up and the Lions became a bet-on road favorite of three points. This, against a team which was motivated to compensate for the loss of their starting quarterback.
Did you notice how the two teams that were missing their starting quarterbacks did last week? They were the New Orleans Saints, missing Drew Brees, and the Panthers without Bridgewater. Both of the teams forced to play with backup quarterbacks had big defensive efforts, a situation that was sparked by the teams looking to compensate for the loss of their field generals.
The Falcons were limited to three field goals in a 24-9 loss in the Big Easy, and the Lions were shutout as a road favorite, 20-0.
Now, how do you think the Lions are going to respond today after losing last week as a road bet-on favorite and coming back now as a bet-against home underdog? Compliment this matchup by opposing a Houston team that won last week as a bet-against home underdog and is now a bet-on road favorite?
Right, glad you are paying attention.
Qoxhi Picks: Detroit Lions (+3) over Houston Texans