NFL Thanksgiving Day Picks, Predictions: Can the Cowboys, Bears, and Bills avoid upsets?

With three intriguing games on the NFL Thanksgiving slate, what are our picks and predictions for each of the three matchups?

With back-to-back-to-back NFL games as per Thanksgiving tradition, what are our picks and predictions for one of the most popular days in the season for NFL betting? Which teams do the sportsbooks favor on Thursday, and could we see an upset or two this Thanksgiving?

NFL Thanksgiving Day Picks and Predictions

Given all of the drama surrounding these six teams heading into Thanksgiving, it has been tough for the sportsbooks to pinpoint a line. All six teams lost in Week 11, with four of them losing by double-digits and a combined point differential of -72.

With each team lacking form coming into Thanksgiving, what does today have in store for us?

Bears vs. Lions Pick and Prediction

Making a pick for this NFL matchup very much depends on who is playing quarterback for the Detroit Lions. Tim Boyle struggled in his first matchup as a starting QB, and for as poor as Jared Goff’s performances have been this season, he is a significant upgrade at the position.

Goff’s presence would give the Lions a fantastic chance to win, thanks to how well their defense has been playing. Since their bye in Week 9, Detroit’s defense has allowed just 29 points in total. During those two games, they have forced 5 turnovers and have given themselves a chance to win both games.

Andy Dalton is hardly likely to light up this defense, so if Goff is active, the Lions producing a Thanksgiving Day upset is an intriguing play.

Bears vs. Lions Prediction: Lions 16, Bears 13

Raiders vs. Cowboys Pick and Prediction

These two franchises have really struggled since their respective bye weeks. The Cowboys have gone 2-2 in what can only be described as a true roller coaster run of four weeks. Meanwhile, the Raiders have gone 0-3 with a combined point differential in those losses of -53. Their offense has mustered an average of just 14.3 points per game in that stretch.

As for the Cowboys, they will potentially be without CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper on Thursday. Being without their top two weapons is a major concern that limits their offense.

However, arguably more important is the potential return of Tyron Smith at tackle. With Smith back to reinforce the line, Dallas should have too much for a Raiders team that looks to be suffering from a tough season off the field.

Raiders vs. Cowboys Prediction: Cowboys 27, Raiders 17

Bills vs. Saints Pick and Prediction

The final Thanksgiving NFL matchup for 2021 is again tough to make a pick for, given the form of the two teams. The Bills were humiliated by the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, just two weeks after being defeated in an embarrassing fashion by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Meanwhile, the Saints have lost three straight, but the manner of the defeat against the Eagles was a big concern. The good news for New Orleans is that the Bills do not have a productive run game, which is what Philadelphia used to defeat them. Unless Buffalo’s run game can take control, the Saints have a great chance to produce an upset on a night when Drew Brees will be honored at halftime.

Bills vs. Saints Prediction: Saints 24, Bills 21

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.