Much like we did last week, the Thursday Night Football picks were in before this post was put together. The Thanksgiving schedule featured some of the top talent in the NFL, but there remain some solid games for this Sunday and Monday. Chicago versus Oakland is an intriguing one with Jay Cutler sidelined. The Bears still bring a strong defense and rushing attack, so we'll see if that's enough to keep Caleb Hanie in this one. On to the picks.
David - Green Bay Packers (6.5) over DETROIT LIONS: The Lions are a very solid squad this season and the Thanksgiving home game brings a different kind of home field advantage. The problem is that I can't bet against the Packers at this point. They may not cover every game, but they are playing so well right now. Much like I can't bet for the Colts, I can't bet against the Packers.
James - Green Bay Packers (6.5) over DETROIT LIONS: The Lions could give the Packers a solid test on Thanksgiving, but I do not see them keeping it close down to the end. Packers by a touchdown is an easy bet to take.
David - DALLAS COWBOYS (-7) over Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins are playing really well and they are incredibly tempting on Thanksgiving. The problem is I just don't know if they can beat the Cowboys on the road. I'm tempted by the cover, particularly with the touchdown line, but I'm gonna have to stick with Big D.
James - DALLAS COWBOYS (-7) over Miami Dolphins: Miami's recent little run of success has been fun, but it is likely over now. I do not think the Dolphins will be able to beat Dallas, and I doubt if they will be able to keep this game close. I think the Cowboys win big.
David - San Francisco 49ers (+3.5) over BALTIMORE RAVENS: Never bet against the 49ers. This is the 49ers toughest game to date, but I think we're looking at a low-scoring dogfight that could be decided by a field goal.
James - San Francisco 49ers (+3.5) over BALTIMORE RAVENS: This going to be a defensive battle, but I think it will be decided by the offense. Whichever offense can prove to be more productive against the dominant defenses will win this game. I never thought I'd say this, but I'll take Alex Smith over Joe Flacco.
David - OAKLAND RAIDERS (-4.5) over Chicago Bears: The Bears open as one point favorites but the news of Jay Cutler's injury swung the line the other way. The Bears defense and Matt Forte are still very solid, but Caleb Hanie? I just can't wager on him yet.
James - OAKLAND RAIDERS (-4.5) over Chicago Bears: Carson Palmer is starting to look much more comfortable for the Raiders. Meanwhile, the Bears need to figure out what they are going to do at quarterback after the loss of Jay Cutler last weekend. I do not think the Bears will be able to bounce back from losing Cutler immediately. Raiders could pull away in this one.
David - ATLANTA FALCONS (-11) over Minnesota Vikings: Double digit spreads are always questionable, but the Falcons at home are a tough, tough team. Christian Ponder can keep the Vikings in games, but considering they will be without Adrian Peterson, this could be troublesome for the Vikings.
James - Minnesota Vikings (+11) over ATLANTA FALCONS: The Falcons should win this game, but I think it will be a lot closer than this. The Vikings have only lost big twice this year, against the Packers and the Bears. Atlanta is simply not that great this year. I think the Falcons win, but it will be closer than 11 points.
David - CINCINNATI BENGALS (-8.5) over Cleveland Browns: The Browns are just not that good. The Bengals aren't a great team, but they're solid enough to win this by double digits.
James - CINCINNATI BENGALS (-8.5) over Cleveland Browns: Shocking how this game has an obvious pick to it. A year ago, I would have argued that if there was any obvious pick in this game, it would have been Cleveland. But the Browns look like they are regressing massively from last year while the Bengals are progressing at a faster rate than anyone expected them to.
David - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) over TENNESSEE TITANS: The Titans can be tough and the Bucs can be inconsistent anywhere, but I just have a hunch about the Bucs on Sunday. A banged up Matt Hasselbeck adds a little something to this.
James - TENNESSEE TITANS (-3) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Matt Hasselbeck is having a very good year while Josh Freeman is struggling. If the line was bigger, I would be tempted to take the Bucs, because this could be a close one, but I am confident the Titans can pull out a win by more than 3 points.
David - Carolina Panthers (-3.5) over INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Although the Colts have covered some games, I'm not really sure I can find a reason to bet on a winless team this late in the season. Even coming off a bye week, extra preparation time and potentially Joseph Addai back in the lineup, I can't justify it in my head.
James - Carolina Panthers (-3.5) over INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Said it before, I'll say it again. I will not take the Colts until they give me a reason to. Thus far, they have only given me a reason to bet against them. And come on, a 3.5 line? This will be a much bigger loss for the Colts than that.
David - ST. LOUIS RAMS (even) over Arizona Cardinals: I'm convinced the Rams are better than their record indicates. They continue their efforts to prove otherwise.
James - ST. LOUIS RAMS (even) over Arizona Cardinals: Hmmm... I've got nothing. Both teams are not even worth watching. Home team it is.
David - Buffalo Bills (+10.5) over NEW YORK JETS: I think the Jets take this one, but I'd be a bit stunned by anything more than a ten point victory. The Bills lost Fred Jackson, but consider it rally the flag time.
James - Buffalo Bills (+10.5) over NEW YORK JETS: I am not sure if the Bills can win this one, but I think they can make it closer than a double digit loss. Yes, the Bills are in a free fall, but the Jets are not exactly lighting it up right now. I think this will be a surprisingly close game, and one that the Bills could actually get a win in.
David - Houston Texans (-3.5) over JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: This is a tough one with the loss of Matt Schaub ut consider it more of a credit to Arian Foster. I think the Jaguars could very well spring the upset, but it's almost too much of a sucker bet to go with the Jaguars cover.
James - Houston Texans (-3.5) over JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: No Matt Shaub should not make a big difference for the Texans this week. Matt Leinart is going to be doing a whole lot of handing the ball off to Arian Foster. I do not see the Texans losing this one and I doubt if the game is very close.
David - SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-3.5) over Washington Redskins: Alongside the Kansas City Chiefs, the Seahawks have one of the last great home field advantages. I don't think they really need it against the Redskins.
James - SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-3.5) over Washington Redskins: Two bad teams with two bad quarterbacks. Definitely not one of the more interesting games of the weekend. In fact, the home field advantage is the only reason I am picking the Seahawks.
David - PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (even) over New England Patriots: I really have no idea what to do with this one, but I'm gonna go with the Eagles at home. Both teams have been a bit inconsistent at times, so it's hard to tell what's what with both of them. I'll go with the home team.
James - New England Patriots (even) over PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: For a little while, it looked like the Eagles might be figuring this whole thing out. Not so much. Yeah, they won last weekend, but they are not going to beat the Patriots, even if Michael Vick does play.
David - Denver Broncos (+7) over SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: Consider this the Tim Tebow corollary to my decision not to pick against the Green Bay Packers and not to pick the Indianapolis Colts. Until proven otherwise, I'll take Tebow to cover until the cows come home.
James - SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (-7) over Denver Broncos: This was a really tough one to pick. The Chargers have more talent on their team, but Denver's defense has been playing great, and the Chargers' offense has been prone to a lot of mistakes. That being said, I just don't think the Broncos can do it four weeks in a row. I see a two score win for San Diego.
David - Pittsburgh Steelers (-11.5) over KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Even if Kyle Orton works his way into the starting lineup for this game, the Chiefs are in a world of hurt for now. The one question mark for me is Ben Roethlisberger's thumb injury. It leaves me moderately concerned.
James - Pittsburgh Steelers (-11.5) over KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: I was tempted to take the Chiefs on this one. 11.5 points is a lot for a road team and Kansas City is not an easy place to play. That being said, I just do not trust Tyler Palko enough. This will likely be a blow out.
David - NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-7.5) over New York Giants: It is really difficult to pick against the Saints at home. In the Superdome, they are a tough team to beat and that offense is built for the speed of dome play. I think this could turn into a bit of a shootout, and I don't think the Giants can hang with the Saints in that kind of game.
James - NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-7.5) over New York Giants: The Giants are in a little bit of a slide right now after losing two weeks in a row. Traveling to New Orleans to play the Saints is not going to help their cause. I do not think they can pull out the win and would not be surprised if the Saints win this one going away.
Last Week: 8-6-0
Last Week: 6-8-0