Week 12 is one of the most anticipated of the NFL season for one big reason: Thanksgiving Football. Here are our NFL Week 12 Thanksgiving Day picks and predictions based on the most recent NFL odds. Can the Lions get their first win of the season on Turkey Day? Will the Cowboys bounce back after a tough loss? Can the Bills regain control of the AFC East?
Early NFL picks, predictions for Thanksgiving Day games
With three games being played on Thanksgiving Day, let’s take a look at our early picks and predictions for each one against the spread. Odds are provided by DraftKings Sportbook.
Bears (-3.5) vs. Lions pick and prediction
The first game of the Thanksgiving Day slate is the weakest of the three. The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions are two of the worst teams in the NFC. The Lions still have yet to win a game. Will they be able to get that first win in this NFC North battle?
The problem with making any Thanksgiving Day picks and predictions for this game is the uncertainty around the QB position for both teams. Justin Fields was injured in the Bears’ loss to the Ravens this past week. Andy Dalton stepped in and looked good, completing 11 passes for over 200 yards and 2 touchdowns. It looks like Dalton will likely get the start for this Thanksgiving Day showdown.
For the Lions, Jared Goff is questionable. Thus, Tim Boyle could get his second straight start. His last one couldn’t have gone any worse. He threw for a whopping 77 yards and 2 interceptions.
Whether we see Boyle or Goff in this matchup changes very little for me. Dalton is by no means an elite QB option, but I trust him and this Bears offense more than I do Detroit’s. The Bears have actually performed well against the Lions in the past, winning six of their last seven, two of which were on Thanksgiving.
I prefer this number at -3 over -3.5 just because I think that hook could be important. I would buy it down to 3 points just to give myself a bit of comfort in knowing a field goal win is a push instead of a loss.
Thanksgiving Day NFL Picks and Predictions: Bears 21, Lions 17
Raiders vs. Cowboys (-7) pick and prediction
Both of these teams are coming off of important losses — the Raiders to the Bengals and the Cowboys to a potential Super Bowl foe in the Chiefs. With their divisions starting to tighten, which of these squads has the best chance of a bounce-back on Thanksgiving Day?
Dallas’ offense could not have been any worse against Kansas City. After being on top of the league in yards per game and points per game, they came out flat and were only able to put up 3 field goals against a Chiefs defense that is middle of the road at best. With Amari Cooper a surprise inactive due to COVID, CeeDee Lamb became the de facto top option. But he left with a concussion halfway through the game.
Down his two top options, Dak Prescott was only able to muster 216 yards and 2 interceptions. However, the Raiders’ offense has not been much better as of late. After starting the season hot, their offense has gone flat over the last three weeks, having scored just 16 points in Week 9 against the New York Giants, 14 points against the Chiefs a week ago, and then 13 at home versus Cincinnati.
The over/under is currently set at 51.5, so oddsmakers believe this is going to be a high-scoring affair. If that is to be the case, I trust this Cowboys offense over the Raiders’. Lamb is still questionable, but it looks like he is probably going to play. The Raiders defense has allowed an average of 132.1 rushing yards per game, so Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard should be able to find enough success for the Cowboys to get the win, even if their passing game struggles again.
Thanksgiving Day NFL Picks and Predictions: Cowboys 31, Raiders 21
Bills (-4) vs. Saints NFL pick and prediction
Both of these teams are coming off blowout losses where they allowed their opponents to score 40+ points. After a few tough weeks, the Bills have now fallen out of the top spot not only in the AFC, but in the AFC East. The Saints, meanwhile, are holding on by a thread in the NFC South and are now two games behind Tampa Bay.
A key element to this game is going to be the health of Alvin Kamara. New Orleans has been without Kamara for the past two weeks and now has several injuries on the offensive line. If he’s still unable to play, Mark Ingram will once again get the start. There are also questions around who will be playing QB for New Orleans. There are rumors that Taysom Hill might take over for Trevor Siemian.
Josh Allen’s MVP candidacy has completely fallen apart after inconsistent play. Buffalo’s offense has gone from scoring 26 points against the Dolphins to 6 against the Jaguars, 45 against the Jets, and then 15 against the Colts.
Although the Saints have one of the best defenses in the league, I expect the Bills to bounce back in this one. If Buffalo’s defense can contain Hill, the team would just need Allen to return to form. My one hesitation is that the Saints are 10-5 against the spread as home underdogs under head coach Sean Payton. However, I will trust the Bills one last time this season.
Thanksgiving Day NFL Picks and Predictions: Bills 27, Saints 22