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WEEK 11 Record: 3-1
YEAR-TO-DATE Record: 26-19
America’s Team on a Great American Holiday
Did you know that the Dallas Cowboys are 1-10 against the spread in their last 11 Thanksgiving games? Their most recent debacle on Thanksgiving came last year against the Las Vegas Raiders, losing 36-33 in overtime as seven-point chalk. It makes sense that such a big public team like the Cowboys would struggle so much in their typical late afternoon window when everyone is watching. Such a set up can often create an inflated line and make the Cowboys’ opponent an interesting bet on Thanksgiving. Situationally, a lot lines up to bet against the Cowboys this year as well. We often like to tout the gambling proverb that no one is as good as as bad as it looks in any one game. Are the Cowboys really 37 points better than the Vikings after a 40-3 in Minnesota last week? Of course not. The Giants might not be any good, but are they really worse than Detroit after losing to the Lions at MetLife Stadium in Week 11? Probably not. The last games for both the Giants and the Cowboys coupled with the annual Thanksgiving tax on Dallas make the Giants an obvious bet at +9.
Guess Who’s Back? Primetime Kirk
You should have seen this coming from a mile away. The Vikings are playing their second primetime game of 2022 and got whitewashed by the Eagles in Week 2 on Monday Night Football. The loss in Philly dropped Kirk Cousins to 10-18 straight-up in primetime in his career straight-up. Do you really want to lay three points with Cousins and Minnesota coming off the aforementioned blowout loss to the Cowboys and now facing a Bill Belichick defense? The Patriots have problems of their own on offense, but the total in this game is sitting at 42 at the moment which is one of the lower totals in Week 12. New England has figured some things out after a Monday Night embarrassment of their own about a month ago against the Bears at home. The Patriots need to keep surging to feel good about their playoff chances. We’re on Belichick and company +3 in this Thanksgiving night cap.
Tapped Out Broncos
This season’s past the point of salvaging for Denver. At this point, the only thing left to salvage might be Nathaniel Hackett’s job and I’m sure Broncos fans wouldn’t mind if that’s not saved either. If you were in a coma for the first 3 months of the NFL season, allow me to tell you that the Raiders, another one of the league’s disappointments in 2022, just finished off a regular season sweep of the Broncos with a 22-16 overtime win last Sunday. Denver traded Bradley Chubb earlier this month in an effort to recoup some draft capital as it looks increasingly likely that the Broncos are going to send the Seahawks a top 10 pick via the Russell Wilson trade. This week, the Broncos waved veteran running back Melvin Gordon who has had countless fumbling problems this season. These are moves that indicate a front office that’s packing it in and if they can’t beat the Raiders at home, there’s a good chance the players and coaching staff aren’t exactly a confident group at the moment. So they’re going to get up for a cross-country trip to lowly Carolina now? Conversely, the Panthers continue to play hard and defend well under interim coach Steve Wilks. In six games under the former Arizona sideline boss, Carolina is 4-2 ATS. They were a couple of high-scoring games for Carolina opponents in that stretch, but those two teams were high-powered Cincinnati and surprisingly competent Atlanta. If Wilks’ defense can slow Baltimore down on the road to the tune of just 13 points for the Ravens last week, why would the Broncos, one of the NFL’s worst offenses, be able to score a lot on them. Carolina is a live underdog at +2.5 in Week 12.
A Titanic Revenge
There was certainly a vibe around the Tennessee Titans last year that they were a soft No. 1 seed heading into the AFC Playoffs. It felt like no one was picking the Titans to win the conference. That doubt was certainly validated when Ryan Tannehill’s offense laid an egg in the divisional round at home against Cincinnati and the Bengals continued their improbable run to the Super Bowl. It’s been a bit of an uneasy season for the Bengals to date, but Cincinnati should still find its way back into the postseason sitting at 6-4 heading to Nashville for a playoff rematch with the Titans. Tennessee, on the other hand, is starting to feel a lot like it did last year where the Titans just keep winning, no one really takes them seriously, and the next thing you know they have a shot at the No. 1 seed again. Mike Vrabel continues to look like one of the league’s best coaches and he’s got 10 days to prepare for the Bengals after last Thursday night’s win at Lambeau. We’re all over the Titans as a home dog here at +1.5.
By Greg Frank
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