NFL Thanksgiving Day Picks, Predictions and Lines
Thanksgiving NFL action gets underway with the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans. The Dallas Cowboys meet Washington Football Team in the second game.
It’s the third of Thursday’s games which takes our focus here, however, with the NFL’s only unbeaten team taking on last season’s MVP.
NFL Thanksgiving Betting Lines
Below we highlight some of our NFL Thanksgiving Day Predictions.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens
Owning a 10-0 record, the Pittsburgh Steelers are exceeding all expectations this season. Ben Roethlisberger has bounced back, the defense is truly elite, and they have left the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens to fight it out for second place in the AFC North.
Baltimore came into this season as one of the Super Bowl favorites. With three losses from their last four, the Ravens sit at 6-4, and need a strong end to the season if they are to return to the playoffs.
Reigning MVP Lamar Jackson has had a difficult year. The offense has bordered on dysfunctional, with Jackson registering just 15 touchdowns to date. Roethlisberger has 24 to his name and over 500 more yards.
These two quarterbacks looked to be trending in different directions at the end of last season. Roethlisberger’s career appeared to be almost over, and Jackson was set to challenge Patrick Mahomes for years to come. Those trajectories have been flipped this season – Jackson’s passing game has regressed drastically.
The 2019 MVP has already been sacked more this season than he was last. Facing a Steelers team who pile pressure on the quarterback, and who have registered the most sacks in the NFL so far this season, Jackson is going to be forced to throw quickly.
Pittsburgh is a truly elite defensive team. Their secondary shuts down passing options, and they hurry quarterbacks. Thursday’s game is a massive one for Jackson.
These are two of the four best teams in the league at yards allowed by pass attempt. The running game is going to be significant for both teams – they will be made to work hard for any points.
Pick: Under 45 total points is the best bet in this one. It’ll be a battle of the defenses.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Kansas City Chiefs
It’s the old versus the new on Sunday as Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes go head-to-head in Florida. Kansas City could catch the Steelers if Pittsburgh loses on Thursday, while Tampa Bay is looking to close the gap to the Saints in the NFC South.
Tampa is coming off a rough loss to the Rams. Brady was outduelled by Jared Goff – the former Patriots quarterback was picked a couple of times and the Buccaneers’ defense was unable to slow down the Rams offense.
Facing the league leader in passing yards, the Buccaneers are going to come under pressure. Even if Sammy Watkins is sidelined again with a hamstring issue, the Chiefs have an array of options on offense. Mahomes’ power arm and pinpoint accuracy can pick apart a defense.
The Buccaneers are not an aggressive team. Opposing quarterbacks complete over 69% of passes, the fourth-highest mark in the league. Ranking middle of the pack in quarterback pressures and hurries, Tampa Bay could get torn apart by this Chiefs offense.
Pick: The Chiefs are three-point favorites, which looks a great bet against a Tampa Bay defense which has given up 20 or more points in seven of their 10 games.