by Joe Fortenbaugh
November 22, 02012
The smell of a 15-pound turkey roasting in the oven, the feel of my most comfortable sweat pants and the sounds of my loving mother questioning whether or not I’ve been taking care of myself since the last time she saw me. Must be Thanksgiving on the east coast. Happy Turkey Day to all.
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Houston Texans (9-1, 4-0 road) at Detroit Lions (4-6, 2-2 home)
When: Thursday, 12:30pm ET
Open: Houston -3
Current: Houston -3.5
Current betting percentages: 77% currently backing the Texans.
Analysis: You’ll have to go back to 2003 to find the last time the Detroit Lions covered a spread on Thanksgiving (22-14 vs. Green Bay). In fact, the Lions are 0-8 straight-up over their last eight on Turkey Day and just 18-37-2 ATS over their last 57 games played in the month of November. But you have to keep in mind that the Texans are in a tough spot on Thursday, having gone to overtime against a divisional opponent just four days ago before hitting the road for an early start time against a non-conference foe. Take note that Houston is 1-4 ATS over their last five road games against teams with a losing home record.
Pick: Lions (+3.5)
Washington Redskins (4-6, 2-3 road) at Dallas Cowboys (5-5, 2-2 home)
When: Thursday, 4:15pm ET
Open: Dallas -4
Current: Dallas -3
Current betting percentages: 52% currently backing the Cowboys.
Analysis: The Cowboys get just four days to prepare for their first ever meeting against quarterback Robert Griffin III, which mitigates the fact that Dallas has covered the number in five of their last six Thanksgiving Day games. In addition, the Cowboys are 0-7 ATS over their last seven home games while Washington is 4-0 ATS over their last four games against Big D and 5-0 ATS in their last five trips to Dallas. The early money came in on Washington for good reason.
Pick: Redskins (+3)
New England Patriots (7-3, 3-2 road) at New York Jets (4-6, 2-3 home)
When: Thursday, 8:20pm ET
Open: New England -7
Current: New England -7
Current betting percentages: 82% currently backing the Patriots.
Weather: 47 degrees, 1 mph winds, 0% chance of precipitation
Analysis: The public loves the Patriots here and why shouldn’t they? New England is 11-2 ATS in their last 13 road games at New York and 53-25-3 ATS over their last 81 road contests overall. But there are several factors that concern us in regards to the Thanksgiving nightcap, including the loss of red zone target Rob Gronkowski, the overall shoddiness of the New England defense and the short week to prepare for a road divisional game as a touchdown favorite. Backing Mark Sanchez can make for sixty minutes of hell, but we’re not willing to lay that many points with the Pats.
Pick: Jets (+7)
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