The NFL will deliver three good Thanksgiving games for a change.
Buffalo (7-3) stayed in Detroit after beating the Browns in Week 11 in a game that was postponed because of snow. The Bills are big favorites around MVP nominee Josh Allen, but these may not be the same old Lions. Detroit (4-6) is on a rare three-game winning streak, and sophomore coach Dan Campbell may have a turnaround yet.
The Giants (7-3) and Cowboys (7-3) are both two games behind NFC East Division leaders Philadelphia (9-1), so their rivalry match is a bit more important this time. New York’s Saquon Barkley ranks second in the NFL with 953 rushing yards, but Dallas running back Tony Pollard is moving up fast with 701 rushing yards. Those big play running backs will take center stage.
The prime-time matchup features New England (6-4) at Minnesota (8-2). The Vikings have been lucky in tight games this season, and the Patriots are winning with a defense that allows just 16.9 points per game. How will Bill Belichick come up with a plan to slow down Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson?
Those are the Thanksgiving storylines on an awesome list of games. A look at our track record this season:
Here are our picks for the NFL’s Thanksgiving games:
POWER RANKINGS: Cowboys, Bengals, Patriots rise; Vikings, giants, jets stumble for week 12
NFL Picks, Thanksgiving Predictions
- Buffalo Bills (-9) at the Detroit Lions
Thursday, 12:30 p.m., CBS
Detroit has lost on Thanksgiving for the past four years. The Lions tightened against the run against the Giants last week, but Allen’s mobility will be an issue for this defense. Devin Singletary and James Cook will get in on the action and that will set up play action for Buffalo’s receivers. However, Detroit continues to improve on an offense that features some playmakers in D’Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown. Jared Goff will also have a solid game, but the pressure to keep up with Buffalo in the second half will result in two turnovers. From Miller chips in a pair of sacks. Buffalo will win, but they will drop to 1-4 ATS on the road.
Choose: Bills 34, lions 27
- New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-9)
Thursday, 4:30 p.m. CBS
The Cowboys won the first meeting of Week 3 23-16, but Barkley made an impression. He had 126 total yards and one touchdown, and Daniel Jones worked with a limited group of receivers. The loss of Wan’Dale Robinson (ruptured ACL) will not help in that regard and Dak Prescott will be on the field for the rematch. Pollard’s performance on offense was a plus. He has averaged 154.7 total yards in the last three games. CeeDee Lamb adds a touchdown. Micah Parsons, who was quiet when they first met, also makes his presence felt. The Cowboys break a three-game losing streak on Thanksgiving.
Choose: Cowboys 30, Giants 20
- New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings (-3)
Thursday, 8:20 p.m., NBC
Kirk Cousins is in prime time with the Vikings looking to bounce back from a 40-3 loss to the Cowboys. Cousins has started twice against the Patriots (once against Washington and once against Minnesota) and his teams have averaged 10 points in those losses. The Patriots are winning on a defense that has only allowed 23 points over the past three weeks, and Matt Judon has 4.5 sacks at that stretch. Minnesota needs to get off to a fast start but Belichick will try to take away from Justin Jefferson but will it work? The Patriots weren’t great on offense. Mac Jones has taken 16 sacks over the past three weeks. It’s tempting to pick New England here, but Dalvin Cook is fueling Minnesota’s offense — and Cousins doesn’t make the big mistake.
Choose: Vikings 22, Patriots 19