Pass the Gravy: Thanksgiving Day Picks
Posted by Andrew Zercie on November 25, 2009
Less than 24 hours away from a day devoted to family, feasting, and football, here’s how tomorrow’s games are shaping up, from my point of view. Home teams are in bold, as always.
Green Bay (-11) over Detroit
After the way they came from behind against the Browns last week, I wanted to pick the Lions to at least cover. Between the fact that I hate picking against double-digit home underdogs, and my suspicion that the Packers aren’t really as good as their record indicates, I was ready to go with the Lions.
However, the Lions could be without Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, two of their young stars-in-the-making on offense. And, in all honesty, the Packers should have little trouble moving the ball and scoring a lot of points on the Lions’ defense.
I’m hopeful of seeing the competitive portion of this game before settling down before a sizeable helping of the traditional Thanksgiving fare. In other words, I don’t plan on watching after halftime.
Packers 35, Lions 17
Oakland (+13.5) over Dallas
After upending the Bengals behind Bruce Gradkowski last week, the Raiders have the look of a frisky team instead of an inept one. It will be interesting to see how Oakland follows that performance up. A few weeks ago, I’d have assumed they would have mailed this game in.
I still envision the Cowboys winning, and probably by double digits, but I expect the Raiders to make it entertaining enough to watch while eating a turkey sandwich or a piece of pie after the feast is over.
Cowboys 27, Raiders 18
Denver (+6.5) over NY Giants
I realize the Broncos have lost four in a row, but these Giants just recovered from their own four-game losing streak on Sunday with a nail-biting 34-31 win over Atlanta, a team that has struggled mightily as well. The Giants have some injury issues, the biggest perhaps being the loss of Ahmad Bradshaw for this game. Without him, the Giants will rely on Brandon Jacobs to run the football, and he hasn’t been effective all season.
This game makes or breaks Denver’s season, perhaps. A win puts them at 7-4 going into a mini-bye week, before road games at Kansas City and Indianapolis. A loss on Thanksgiving continues their tailspin, increases the scrutiny on them, and perhaps increases any clubhouse tension that could be building.
It’s hard to be impartial here. I am a Broncos fan and I want them to win this game. The optimist in me thinks the Giants will struggle away from home following a hard-fought win and they’ll wear down late due to the thin air and the short preparation week, leading to a Denver win.
I’ll take the glass-is-half-full approach and hopefully wash down my optimism with a Sam Adams Winter Lager as Denver pulls away late. I’d certainly be thankful of that.
Broncos 24, Giants 20